By Michael Reagan
April 08, 2004
We owe much to these Marines and their Army comrades - and what we owe most of all is the stamina and determination to remain firm in our support of their mission until it is successfully concluded, no matter how much the current unrest distresses us.
Their duty is to fight and prevail. Our duty is to follow the advice that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher gave her people in a time of trial that "now is not the time to go wobbly."
Americans have never been wobblers, but despite that fact, the Iraqi thugs and their terrorist allies are counting on us to throw up our hands and flee Iraq with the task we set for ourselves left undone. They think we lack the will to see a tough and often deadly struggle through to the end. They think we will go wobbly.
This we cannot do. It would be a betrayal of every member of our armed forces who have fought and died in the conflict. And it would be surrender by the world's greatest superpower to a mob of ruthless third-world thugs.
At the moment we are being inundated with media stories about the number of Americans being killed every day. The same media have for the most part been opposed to the war in Iraq from the very beginning, and they are exploiting the deaths of Americans to prove that they were right in opposing the war and our presence in Iraq ever since.
The mainstream media, and many anti-Bush Democrats are aiding and abetting the fanatical Islamists in their efforts to cause America to cut and run as we did under similar pressures in Vietnam and Somalia.
It's important for us to understand that the majority of those stirring up rebellion and killing Americans are those Iraqis who were empowered under Saddam and these people resent having to give up the privileged lives they lived under Ba 'athist rule.
The last thing they want is a free and democratic Iraq because that means they will never again be in charge. And so they are doing everything they can to drive the coalition forces out of Iraq and wreck any chances that their country will be democratic and free. They are bitterly opposed to their countrymen having freedom of religion or assembly or any voice in how they are governed. They are trying to provoke a civil war where both sides will be angry at the U.S.
They remember Somalia, and we would have to have blinders on not to recognize that what played out in Mogadishu - when the carnage and gruesome display of one of the U.S. soldiers being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu hastened America's retreat from Somalia - is what is playing out in Fallujah with the bodies of the civilian contractors being desecrated. The killers hope for a repeat performance.
These people don't see America winning World War II - they see America cutting and running in Vietnam and Somalia.
The whole world is now watching to see how America fights this war and what kind of determination we have to stick to our guns when the going gets rough, as it has now. There are a lot of areas around the world where the United States has sworn to protect their friends and allies. One of those places being Japan, another being Taiwan, and another being Israel.
If the world sees this big superpower go wobbly in Iraq, where we have sworn to remain until it is a stable, self-governing nation, what hope can these nations have that we will have the backbone to fulfill our pledge to protect them if push comes to shove?
That's what is at stake here - the credibility of the United States and the hope for a peaceful world. What matters here is not whether we ever should have gone into Iraq to begin with - what matters is recognizing that we are there and have a solemn obligation to see it through.
It is not the time to go wobbly.
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