Monday, June 28, 2004

Bob Dole Brings Reason to Our Progress in Iraq

Bob Dole has written a fantastic article that looks at U.S. progress in Iraq through a lens of reason and sanity:

Meanwhile, in only 15 months in Iraq, the coalition has facilitated the production of more than 150 newspapers, the operation of an effective police force, the reopening of schools with propaganda-free textbooks, the rebuilding of more than 400 villages razed by Hussein, the re-creation and appreciation of a national currency, and the return from Iran and Turkey of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees.

Legions of dedicated American and other soldiers, public servants, businessmen, and nongovernmental workers in Iraq have struggled to complete these tasks and will continue to fulfill their mission in the face of unimaginably difficult obstacles. Terrorists are trying to drive them out by capturing and gruesomely murdering innocent civilians. At the same time, a group of U.S. troops has damaged their collective credibility by beating and ritually humiliating Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. Here at home, critics carp and, intentionally or not, too often suggest that Americans are serving and dying in Iraq in vain. Some suggest that if we had it to do over again, we would not and should not.

Some Democrats even claim that the coalition's failure to discover weapons of mass destruction in Iraq invalidates their earlier explicit support for our intervention. In fact, their own statements at the time show that they supported the war not only because it would eradicate the weapons threat but also because it would end human rights abuses and regime-sponsored terrorism, as well as create conditions for democracy. This isn't just "selective amnesia" in an election year. It's irresponsible hindsight.

Backbiters and back-stabbers are as entitled as anyone to ask questions, but they, like the rest of us, must remain realistic and credible. Today Iraq is poised for increased prosperity and a better political future. Many, if not most, of its people are imbued with hope. Thousands of brave Americans, with the support of most of us here, are slowly but surely turning that hope into reality.

Read it here.