Cal Thomas: Iraq crisis is part of war for future of planet

06/18/2014 12:00 AM

06/17/2014 7:13 PM

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain....” (Gettysburg Address)

No life is more wasted than one lost in vain.

After the U.S. military battled heroically to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship and to eliminate the possibility that it might become a staging area for terrorist attacks, the Obama administration has created a vacuum now being filled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al-Qaida affiliate.

The administration’s non-policy policy proclaiming the war over has given ISIL a green light to establish another terrorist state in the Middle East. After the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, al-Qaida will likely have two states from which it can plan and execute new assaults on America, Israel, Britain and other “infidel” nations.

Having declared the war(s) over and al-Qaida “on the run,” President Obama said Friday the Iraqi government needs to find a way to bridge sectarian differences and suggested that military power alone won’t bring stability to the country. Basically, the president said, “Iraq, you’re on your own.” On Monday he told Congress that up to 275 troops could be deployed to help secure U.S. assets.

Imagine what the families of dead and wounded U.S. soldiers think about the sudden resurgence of al-Qaida in Iraq. They were told their sons and daughters died in a noble cause. The Rock River Times wrote: “Coalition deaths in Iraq totaled more than 4,700, with the United States sustaining more than 4,480 deaths through the Iraq War’s official end Dec. 15, 2011. More than 32,000 other U.S. troops were wounded in Iraq, while more than 134,000 Iraqi civilians were killed during the course of the official war.” The monetary cost is in the trillions of dollars. Are we now saying, “Never mind”?

The U.S. has no serious counterintelligence operation in Iraq, because it refuses to perceive a commensurate threat from a global enemy or to see the deadly purpose and scope of this enemy. It does not appreciate the money, motives, power and near-total information control held by the Islamists who are committed to the destruction of their enemies and the subordination, forced conversion and re-education of those they allow to live. The jihadists in Iraq recently looted $429 million from Mosul’s central bank, according to the regional governor, making them possibly the richest terrorist group ever.

Our focus under this administration is unimaginatively constrained largely to the Middle East, but the Islamists’ infiltration of schools in Birmingham, England, is an example of what is to come there and in the U.S. if they are not stopped.

This war for the future of the planet is not over and is unlikely to be for generations to come. While it’s true we can’t be the policemen of the world, we can be its prisoners in a world ruled by Islamic fundamentalists. If Western nations don’t combine to use their moral, monetary, religious, intelligence and, yes, military power to stop this onslaught against freedom, we will lose it and never get it back.

Withdrawal from this war is a policy of surrender. What we need is a unified approach to fighting Islamic extremism by us and other allied nations. What we need is a policy that works.

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