War in Iraq: Officially Over--Or is it?
Does lowering the flag end the conflict?
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Is the war really over?
Today, December 15th, 2011, the American military lowered the flag that had flown over installations, compounds and battlefields in Iraq thus ending ten years of conflict. Or did that simple gesture truly indicate that the war had indeed ended?
In November of 1918 the Treaty of Versailles ended World War I wherein hundreds of thousands had died in combat and the announcement was met with jubilant acclaim all over the world. May of 1945 saw the unconditional capitulation of Nazi Germany and the entire free world heaved a collective albeit tentative sigh of relief; Japan surrendered in August of that same year and once again the world rejoiced after the death of more than four hundred thousand casualties.
The United States brokered an end to the Korean War, a conflict that cost the American Heritage more than fifty eight thousand lives, with only an uneasy armistice; the free world stared in disbelief and the entire peninsula still quivers under the oppression of threatening war.
Vietnam sank under the weight of Communist aggression after the United States population suffered the loss of more than fifty three thousand of its most valuable assets and its government grew weary of war and left without any further attempt at winning except to offer the South Vietnam government continued air support until the North overran Saigon and its almost non-existent government.
Throughout the years until the present, United States forces have fought on nearly every continent with varying degrees of success, usually conflicts ending or being put in a state of suspended animation by politicians who left the military holding the bag to one degree or another; our valiant armed forces being obligated by our government to engage in nation building, restoring infrastructure they had spent manpower and resources destroying and trying to restructure non-existent societies.
Now the current President has determined to arbitrarily withdraw all military forces from Iraq—a nation that still struggles with religious fanaticism and conflict and stands ready to engage an old enemy: Iran, with money, oil and arms in an effort to bring stability to their land.
If Israel is forced to defend herself by a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear sites and facilities, Iraq is certain to use that which American forces left behind including infrastructure and depots, bases and military compounds as well as strategy and training implementation to battle not only Israel but any proposed or initiated American intervention. China, just today, made a public statement declaring her intent to defend Iran against all attacks from Israel or America and warned her naval forces to prepare for combat.
Tens of thousands of American forces occupy the border between North and South Korea and for many years have been instrumental in forestalling Communist aggression. American military installations in West Germany and across post-WWII Europe functioned similarly to give the Russian Bear pause in his hegemonic designs.
And now a post-Cold War president whose foreign policy has been described by pundits on both sides of the aisle as something one could liken to political tofu has decided to quit the battlefield and go home. It will no doubt save us money but at what price? If and when conflict breaks out in the Middle East wouldn’t it have been better if we had at least a military presence of some sort there to hold a line until we could get more forces on the field? It seems at least until some resolution could be found for Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan something of the sort would only be a prudent line of action, especially now that Iran is conducting military exercises to close the Straits of Hormuz, the only funnel for something like 30% to 40% of the world’s oil resources at present.
So, what do you think? Was it wise to pull out from Iraq? Was it a timely action? What about the future in the Middle East and the part our sons and daughters will almost certainly be called on to play? Contemplation of the future for my country and that of the residents of the Middle East leaves me breathless and shaking…except for one thing in which I take total and complete confidence and comfort: the sudden appearance of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who will rule the entire world with a rod of iron. I hope you can take the same comfort in His presence and His Word.