If George W. Bush is to be faulted for his Iraq War strategy, blame the president for not taking on all our enemies at once.
If you believe American troops are coming home from Iraq any time soon, think again. The United States will station tens of thousands of soldiers in Iraq for at least the next 50 years.
Just look at history. World War II ended with the surrender of Japan and Germany in 1945, but the United States still has thousands of troops in those countries. Although some soldiers have been moved to Iraq and Afghanistan in the past couple years, the United States has 43,000 troops in Japan and 72,000 in Germany.
The Korean War ended in a negotiated stalemate in 1953, but the United States has 38,000 soldiers in South Korea to prevent another attack from North Korea. The same thing is going to happen in Iraq. U.S. troops will be stationed there for decades to protect our vital oil supply and to fight the war that fanatical Muslims have declared on the United States.
Iraq is not a "Neocon misadventure" as the far-left fanatics like Cindy Sheehan, Howard Dean and John Murtha would have us think. It is not a short-term peacekeeping mission following the ouster of the brutal dictator Saddam Hussein. Iraq is the front line of World War IV. The United States must fight this war to the finish, just as it did with the first three world wars.
In case you slept through the last big conflict, World War III was a 40-year global conflict (1950-1990) between the United States and the Soviet Union. It was also known as the Cold War, although it flared into hot spots in places like Korea, Vietnam, Nicaragua, El Salvador and even Grenada.
The United States won World War III without sustaining any physical damage to the homeland. But it cost the lives of more than 100,000 Americans (including 33,000 dead in Korea and 58,000 killed in Vietnam) and billions of dollars from the U.S. treasury. The end result was defeat of the Soviet military machine and the liberation of 300 million people from the tyranny of communism.
The United States, Great Britain and Australia (and a handful of other countries offering token military support) are leading the fight against Muslim fanatics bent on destroying Western Civilization. Itís unfortunate that France, Germany and Russia are sitting this one out because the war will come to their shores soon enough.
Thanks to the relentless anti-Bush, anti-military propaganda by the Democratic Party and its media allies, we are in danger of losing a war that we cannot afford to lose.
The United States in the 21st century has developed a massive case of attention deficit. We lose interest so quickly. We never focus on the big picture. Unlike so many previous generations of Americans, nobody today is willing to sacrifice for the future. We want instant gratification. That includes our wars.
We gather around the TV to watch the bombs drop for a few days and then change the channel. Saddam's army was defeated in a week, but the enemy wasn't just Saddam troops. The enemy is spread throughout the Middle East. It is the Muslim fanatics who have been attacking Israel since the 1940s. It is the extremists who blew up the Marine compound in Lebanon. The zealots who bombed the USS Cole and the American embassies in Africa. The 19 Muslim hijackers who brought down the World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon and sent 3,000 Americans to their death on Sept. 11, 2001.
If George W. Bush is to be faulted for his Iraq War strategy, blame the president for not taking on all our enemies at once. On Sept. 7, 1941, the United States was attacked by Japan, but we went to war with Japan, Italy and Germany simultaneously. We fought a two-front war across the globe. And we didn't stop until we took the fight into the enemies' capitals.
A mistake Bush made when he launched the invasion of Iraq (in addition to bowing to Turkish pressure not to launch a second front north of Baghdad) was to delay the inevitable confrontation with Syria and Iran, the two leading exporters of terrorism in the world.
Where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction that Saddam built and used against his own people? They're in Syria and Iran. They were moved there during the year when Saddam's business partners at the United Nations stalled U.S. action against the dictator's regime.
Where are the Islamic fanatics who are killing American soldiers coming from? They cross into Iraq and Afghanistan from Syria and Iran and Saudi Arabia, where they are equipped, trained and financed.
When will the U.S. win the war on terror? When we start taking the threat seriously and wage an all-out war to defeat all the rogue states that promote terrorism.
Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (www.pottsmerc.com), his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. BlogNetNews.com ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas