Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Friday, April 09, 2004

Written by: Beck

I have a lot of problems with a lot of the things that have issued from the mouth of Senator John McCain in the past six or seven years. He has redeemed all of that, at least in my mind, with a speech he made on the floor of the Senate this Wednesday, which NRO was clever enough to reprint in full. You should read it. Really.

For those lacking the patience to click a link, I provide for you some prime excerpts:
I have also heard a number of observers, including some Senators, who have compared events in Iraq to what we went through in Vietnam. I happen to know something about Vietnam, and I know we do not face another Vietnam. I need not go into the long history of our involvement in that nation, the reasons for our failure, but the realities on the ground in Iraq are clear.

There is no superpower that is backing these minority of Shias and Sunnis who are seeking to gain political power through the use of a gun, and there is no comparison as far as the sanctuary which this enemy has. We grant them no sanctuary.

Some have stated we are on the defensive. I would argue that, as we speak, in Fallajuh and other places, our Marines and Army are on the offensive, dedicated to the proposition that no group, no matter what their ethnic or religious beliefs are, will take control of Iraq.
Again, in Vietnam there was superpower support. There were arms and political support. We did not have a clear plan for victory, and dare I mention that in Vietnam many times we had more casualties in a week, sometimes less than a week, than we have had in a year in Iraq.

To make these comparisons with the Tet offensive or the entire Vietnam conflict is not only uninformed but I think a bit dangerous because, of course, the specifics of our involvement in that conflict fade, as they should, in the memories of the American people.
The realities are the Sunni minority will never control Iraq again. We have a small minority of Shias who are trying to grab some political power before the July 1 transition. There is very little doubt that Sadr's followers are in a distinct minority and the majority of Shias still owe allegiance and have allegiance to the Ayatollah Sistani, who has argued, perhaps not forcefully enough, that we do not have the kind of armed conflict that we are seeing today.

Is this a difficult political problem? Yes. Is it the time to panic, to cut and run? Absolutely not. The vast majority of Iraqi people are glad we are there and they state unequivocally that they are better off than they were under the regime of Saddam Hussein. Lest time dim our memory, let us remember the mass graves that we discovered, the 8- and 9-year-old boys coming out of prison in Baghdad, the despotic, incredibly cruel practices of his two sons. The people of Iraq and America and the world are better off with Saddam Hussein gone.
The fact is, to argue that we should have left Iraq under the rule of this incredibly cruel person who used weapons of mass destruction, who had weapons of mass destruction in 1991, was continuing to attempt to acquire weapons of mass destruction, and if in power would continue to try to acquire those weapons, certainly flies in the face of the facts about Saddam Hussein's regime.

Senator Byrd says we should not have gone into Iraq in the first place and that we should not be there now. I respect the view. I strongly disagree with it, and I think the facts indicate that is not the case. We could argue for days about it, but right now at this moment we need to send a message not only to the Sunnis in Iraq and the minority of Shias in Iraq who are taking up arms and killing Americans that we are there to stay. We are there to stay and we will see it through. If we fail, if we cut and run, the results can be disastrous. Those results would be the fragmentation of Iraq, to start with, on ethnic and religious lines. The second result would be an unchecked hotbed of training ground and birthing of individuals who are committed to the destruction of the United States of America.

And finally,
So there is a lot at stake. I grieve every moment, as every American does, for the loss of these brave young Americans' lives. They have made a supreme sacrifice, and we will honor their memory, but at least their grieving families will know they sacrificed in the cause of freedom.

At this particular moment of crisis--and it is a crisis--I urge all of my colleagues and all Americans to join together in this noble cause. Yes, we are free to criticize; yes, we are free to make recommendations and suggestions; but the awesome responsibility lies with all of us, led by the President of the United States, as we attempt to carry out what is the most noble act that no country in the world has ever done besides the United States of America, and that is to shed our most precious blood and expend our treasure in defense of someone else's freedom in the hope that they may enjoy the fruits of a free and open society in a democracy that is guaranteed to all men and women by our Creator.

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