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Withdrawing troops not solution

Letter to the Editor | Friday, March 2, 2007

An immediate or rapid withdrawal of American troops from Iraq is not the answer to our nation’s problems, contrary to the beliefs held by many politicians. Removing our troops from the embattled country would leave Iraq’s fragile government and its people in shambles, empower our terrorist enemies, and ultimately compromise our national security. There has been a lot of one-sided political rhetoric about the immediate benefits of removing our troops from harms way. Yet, there has been little discussion about the consequences of withdrawal.

It is not the insurgents that will defeat our soldiers overseas; it is the degradation of our political will at home that endangers our chances for success. Losing the political willpower to continue the fight against terrorism absolutely endangers our security worldwide and domestically. By removing our troops, we endanger the fragile, two-year-old democratic government of Iraq, almost ensuring its eventual overthrow in the future. The terrorists will then have accomplished the one thing that has always eluded them, the creation of an Islamic state. This state would become the new terrorist safe haven. Iraq would be used as an instrument to recruit and train terrorist fighters for global operations. From there, terrorism would grow until we were no longer fighting it in foreign countries against a few, but rather in our own backyards against many.

Upon addressing our nations own insurgency almost 170 years ago, President Lincoln said, “If destruction be our lot, we must be its author and finisher.” This threat from within is as real today as it was then and the costs of defeat are just as severe. We must acknowledge the consequences of defeat in Iraq, not run away from them in lieu of immediate, short term political gain. Adversity is the trial of principle. As Americans, we must let it be known that we will stand and fight for what is right. If we truly believe in the values our founding fathers died to give us, then we must fight against the repressive nature of terrorism no matter where it chooses to hide. Our principles are strong and if we can find an ounce of the conviction that our founding fathers had, we will win in Iraq.

James Matthew Hughey


O’Neill Hall

Mar. 1