It looks as if the Right has taken some time out of its never-ending war against gays, abortion, and the secular culture to issue a “Declaration” calling on the US to stay in Iraq and warning of “catastrophic consequences” should US forces withdraw.
Operating under the name The Forgotten American Coalition, Gary Bauer, Don Wildmon, Pat Robertson, Paul Weyrich, John Hagee, Lou Sheldon, Tim and Beverly LaHaye, Janet Folger, Rick Scarborough, Wendy Wright, Morton Blackwell, Gary Cass, Star Parker, Mathew Staver and other have issued the following Declaration:
The Tragic Consequences of A U.S. Withdrawal From Iraq
As leaders of the conservative movement and concerned citizens, the undersigned wish to make our fellow Americans aware of the tragic consequences of a precipitous U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.
Historically, conservatives have always been cautious about foreign intervention and the concept of nation-building. Moreover, conservatives have always viewed national security as the principal reason for foreign intervention.
Still, regardless of what one thinks of the president’s decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein and to try to bring representative government to Iraq, we have been engaged there for the past four years at a cost of over 3,600 American lives.
Our military leaders warn us that a withdrawal under fire would be a geopolitical disaster.
The Iraq War must be seen in the broader context of Islamo-fascism’s war on America and Western Civilization. It is one front in a global conflict fought from Europe and the Middle East to Africa, the Balkans, the Indian Subcontinent and, finally, to the streets of our cities.
If we pull out now or announce a timetable for withdrawal, the region will be destabilized and Israel further endangered. Iran and Syria, two legs of the axis of evil, will become far more powerful. Reformers in the region will be correspondingly weakened — perhaps fatally so.
A Middle East in chaos could result in the disruption of energy supplies, a plummeting dollar and a devastated U.S. economy.
9/11 was in part precipitated by the perception of American weakness and lack of determination. An Iraq withdrawal before our mission is accomplished will convince the terrorists and their state-sponsors that we indeed are the proverbial paper tiger.
The terrorists, including Al Qaeda (which is currently fighting in Iraq), will make us bleed every step of the way out of Iraq. Then, sensing the tide of history running in their favor, they will attack us with renewed vigor on every front.
Those Iraqis who supported our presence and trusted America will be subjected to vicious reprisals by fanatics who have repeatedly demonstrated their utter ruthlessness. A bloodbath resembling South Vietnam and Cambodia in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal isn’t hard to imagine. That is a terrible burden for America to carry into the future.
After undercutting foreign leaders who sided with America, we will look in vain for allies for the next confrontation with militant Islam.
It took 20 years to recover from the demoralizing experience of our failure in Vietnam. How long will the post-Iraq malaise last? How will we convince young Americans to enlist in the next effort to combat terrorism, if — by withdrawing now — we tacitly admit that more than 3,600 of our serviceman and women died in vain?
What will we say to the veterans, the returning servicemen and the families who lost loved ones in Iraq? We accepted your sacrifices but lacked the determination to back you up?
The main opposition to our involvement in Iraq comes from the isolationist left, which wants more than withdrawal on that front.
It also wants a pull-out from Afghanistan, negotiations with the Iranian and Syrian regimes, the abandonment of Israel and a “dialogue” with Hamas and Hezbollah. An Iraq withdrawal could leave the surrender lobby in charge of U.S. foreign policy for the foreseeable future.
When it comes to a threat to our national security, the easy course is usually the wrong course. Imagine if, a month after D-Day, Washington announced that if victory wasn’t secured by the winter, we would begin withdrawing American forces from Europe.
The casualty figures concern us too. But which course is most likely to save American lives in the longrun — not to mention protect our freedom — appeasement in the form of a precipitous withdrawal or staying the course?
We believe the latter is the only sensible policy, and urge our fellow Americans not to succumb to defeatism. In the words of General Douglas MacArthur, who led American forces in the Pacific during World War II,” In war, there is no substitute for victory.”
Gary Bauer (Chairman, Forgotten American Coalition)
Chris Carmouche (GrassTopsUSA.com)
Don Feder (Don Feder Associates)
Janet Folger (Faith2Action)
Richard Ford (Heritage Alliance PAC)
Rick Scarborough (Vision America)
Paul Weyrich (Free Congress Foundation)
Don Wildmon (American Family Association)
(The foregoing all are members of the Forgotten American Coalition Steering Committee)
Daniel Pipes (Middle East Forum)
Pat Robeison (“700 Club”)
Phillip Jauregui (Judicial Action Group)
Phil Burress (Citizens for Community Values)
William J. Federer (AmeriSearch)
Wendy Wright (Concerned Women for America)
Dr. Janice Crouse (Beverly LaHaye Institute)
Dr. Jack Wheeler (Freedom Research Foundation)
Rabbi Daniel Lapin (Toward Tradition)
Frank Gaffney (Center for Security Policy)
Herb Zweibon (Americans for a Safe Israel)
Lou Sheldon (Traditional Values Coalition)
Mona Charen (syndicated columnist)
Morton Blackwell (Conservative Leadership PAC)
Gary Cass (Christian Anti-Defamation Commission)
Pastor John Hagee (Citizens United for Israel)
Larry Cirignano (Catholic activist)
Star Parker (Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education)
Clifford May (Foundation for the Defense of Democracies)
Jim Laffejy (Christian Seniors Association)
Michael Heath (Christian Civic League of Maine)
Ted Baehr (MovieGuide.org)
Mathew Staver (Liberty Counsel)
Colin Hanna (Let Freedom Ring)
Craig Shirley (Shirley And Bannister Public Affairs)
Ron Wexler (Ten Commandments Commission)
Foster Friess (Friess Associates Inc.)
Tim LaHaye (minister and author)
Beverly LaHaye (Concerned Women for America)
Dr. Rod Majin (The Vanguard.Org)
Melanie Morgan (MoveAmericaForward.org)
Elaine Donnelly (Center for Military Readiness)
Ron Robinson (Young America’s Foundation)
Flagg Youngblood (Young America’s Foundation)