Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Isolationism is Not the Answer

The emails tell me I am scheduled to go on active duty February 1st. If only a set of printed orders would materialize some time soon, I could take a few days of vacation time. Unfortunately, I can’t risk wasting my remaining personal leave at work until I am sure of my mobilization date, so I must wait for the official word.

The last group mobilized in my unit received about five days notice. I shall continue to press on as a cop until Uncle Sam makes it official.

* * * *

President Bush has made his case for increasing troop levels in Iraq. Although few Americans are united in the best way to handle the situation in Iraq, precipitously pulling out and running away should not be an option.

The Iraqi government has been walking on eggshells trying to find the best way to deal with the Sunnis on one side and the Shiites on the other. The Shiite-led government owes its existence to the very people it must now rein in and this includes Muqtada al Sadr and his Mahdi Army. Failing to disarm the militias will be a catastrophe, but we must also defeat the stubborn Sunni insurgency.

This front in the war on terror has been chosen by the Islamic fundamentalists as the central battleground in their “jihad”. They will continue in their efforts to change the world into a brutal ayatollah-run society. Our enemy believes Iraq is the epicenter of that war and we must believe it as well.

It no longer matters if Iraq was the right war at the right time. The mistakes are history and we must deal with the situation as it exists. Our determination, our courage and our willingness to sacrifice cannot be undermined by a new isolationist mentality. Such a passive attitude can only lead to a cataclysmic clash of cultures that will make Iraq look like a fight on a school playground.

History has shown that hiding within our borders only emboldens our enemies. We must accept that the Islamic militants want to destroy us. When the Nazis and the Japanese set their sights on us before World War II, isolationism didn’t work then, either.

We cannot allow the enemy to have the initiative. He must continue to run and hide from us with neither the time nor the place to gather and renew his strength. These Islamic killers should always live in mortal fear of good and righteous people and we must go after them no matter where that search leads.

The terrorists must remain the hunted; we must continue to be the hunters.

SFC Chuck Grist

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