NewsBusters takes a look at Congressman Murtha's involvement in the decision to withdraw from Somalia back ini 1993. And, for those of you who do not remember how that move emboldened Osama bin Laden, here's a direct quote from him (via PBS' Frontline interview with him back in May, 1998:
"But your most disgraceful case was in Somalia; where- after vigorous propaganda about the power of the USA and its post cold war leadership of the new world order- you moved tens of thousands of international force, including twenty eight thousands American solders into Somalia. However, when tens of your solders were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge , but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal. You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear. It was a pleasure for the ‘heart’ of every Muslim and a remedy to the ‘chests’ of believing nations to see you defeated in the three Islamic cities of Beirut , Aden and Mogadishu."
Neptunus Lex follows up on the NewsBusters' piece with his own incredibly insightful and terrifying post, envisioning what would come if this country were to cut and run.
So we leave, the job undone. What happens next?
Jaafari’s government struggles on a while, trying to accommodate the Sunni west. The hard-won victories on the banks of the Euphrates fade away in memory as the fat men consolidate their power. The mayhem continues in the capital, just to keep the funding lines open from Syria, from Saudi. Just to keep the jihadi’s showing up for more. Just to keep the Shia off-balance.
Tit-for-tat murders escalate as blood feuds replace the throttled rule of law. And as always, in that sad, shattered land, fingers wet to sample the prevailing winds. The Iraqi Army fights, dies, fragments, falls apart and is replaced by local militias. The Sadrists take up arms in the east, the Badr Brigades in the south, the pesh merga in the north and the Saddamite Ba’ath in the west. Everywhere, the knives are sharpened.
Jaafari is assassinated, or removed in a coup, and a “unity government,” a triumvirate of Shia, Kurd and Sunni attempt to stop the bleeding. But in the west, the fat men continue to plot, consolidate and butcher. This is their Iraq. The gutters run red, and at night the sound of gunfire and explosions merely set off the continuous ululation of the widowed, maimed and orphaned.
Another coup takes place against the ineffectual central troika. A Shia general takes his place at the palace and the murdering escalates. The Kurds have had enough and take their leave, bringing Mosul with them and all the oil wealth of the north. The Turks eye a nascent Kurdish homeland uneasily, frowning. They draw their own swords and sharpen them. Forced emigration of Arabs from the north, a reverse “Arabization,” fuels the rage in the center. The philosophical middle ground evaporates, leaving the dialogue to be carried out by the most extreme. Baghdad becomes Beirut. The ones that trusted us die in their tens of thousands, and six thousand miles away we cannot pretend we did not know that this would happen. The remorseless eye of international media feeds all of it into our living rooms and we cannot look away. Some of us will blame it all on the man who sent us in. Others will blame it all on those who called for us to leave. Never having lost a fight in battle, our soldiers will feel betrayed - few of the next generation will wish to follow after them.
And all of this will scarcely matter, because while we hurl recriminations upon each other, they will continue to die in industrial quantities. Eventually the south secedes, aligning itself with Islamic Republic of Iran in order to protect itself from the increasingly desperate depredations of the resource-starved Sunnis. The Saudi’s clutch at their robes and put their own fingers to the air, while the worst of their princes expiate their guilt at all the whoring and drinking they have done across the causeway by sending millions more to Wahhabist madrassas throughout south asia. The streets burn in Kuwait.
At this point, although it seems but small beer compared to the anguished cries of a million souls, gas is $5 per gallon and you are bicycling to work, if you still have a job.
The Syrian Ba’ath recognizes that we are done for another twenty years or so, and organizes more clandestine mayhem in Lebanon. Civil strife, bombings and another coup precede a “request for assistance.” The Syrian army returns to their Lebanese barracks. Those who waved flags for the Cedar Revolution offer up their bodies in resistance, certain that the world will come to their aid this time. They die disabused of that notion. Everyone else takes note: Murder bonds are up, freedom bonds are down. Don’t make eye contact.
Once again the rockets begin to fall to earth in the north of Israel. Once again the Israelis shoot back. The Iranians call our bluff, and the reactors go to work re-processing spent Uranium. The jihadis congratulate themselves on having been proved right: They knew we weren’t up to it. Thus gratified, ranks swelling, they go back to planning new devilry, using the tools and infrastructure of relatively modern Arab state.
To me, that's enough to give me an ulcer. You thought 9/11 was bad? It would be NOTHING in comparrison to what could be coming down the pike if we cut and run now.
On a more hopeful note, Uncle Jimbo, posting for Matt at Blackfive gives us a glimpse into the future. The picture at the end of the post is priceless.