Douglas MacKinnon

The infantile food fight taking place in Congress in recent days over which partisan, nonbinding Iraq resolution would get a vote is nothing short of a national embarrassment. Worse, it is a slap in the face to the troops in harm's way who are desperately looking for adult leadership from those who helped send them there.

Be it the House, the Senate or the White House, all too often, the arguments now being framed with regard to Iraq are being offered based on lowest-common-denominator, partisan self-interest. Too many politicians on both sides of the aisle are more interested in scoring debating points than in figuring out what is truly the best course for the people of Iraq, our young men and women fighting and dying in that country, and our national security.

As we are well into the 2008 election cycle, the Democrats predictably want to assign guilt to the Republicans for getting us into Iraq. The Republicans want to paint the Democrats as the party of surrender and appeasement. And the White House is looking for a miracle that will keep Iraq out of the clutches of the insurgents and Iran, get our troops home, and not have future scholars record the invasion as a monumental miscalculation.

As this disgraceful process moves forward, those of us who supported the invasion have an obligation to honestly answer some very tragic questions:

If we had not invaded, would up to 100,000 Iraqi civilian men, women and children now be dead?

If we had not invaded, would more than 3,000 U.S. troops now be dead?

If we had not invaded, would approximately 25,000 U.S. troops now be wounded?

If we had not invaded, would the critical infrastructures so desperately needed by the Iraqi people have been decimated?

If we had not invaded, would our allies in the Middle East have been put in an almost untenable position with regard to their relationship with the United States?

If we had not invaded, would we have spent more than $400 billion of U.S. taxpayers' dollars prosecuting this war?

If we had not invaded, would we have removed Iraq as the natural check and balance for Iran in the region?

Many more soul-searching questions can be asked with regard to the war in Iraq, but without a doubt, the answer to each and every question listed above can only be an unequivocal "no."

Our nation has fallen deeper and deeper into the nightmare that is Iraq, and we must be prepared to admit that we may never wake from this escalating tragedy during our lifetimes. And as this horror show plays out, who pays the ultimate price? You? Me? The president and his staff? Members of Congress?


Douglas MacKinnon

Douglas MacKinnon is former White House and Pentagon official who spent three years working in a Joint Command.

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