As always in war, this success is mixed: the battleground has shifted from targets in the West to the soil of Iraq. Of course we would rather the war went away all together and that radical Islam would perish, but as it is the war is currently not waged by terrorists in America. Terrorists vs. civilians is not a matchup that we like. Now, however, the battle is fought between our professional soldiers – who happen to be the most elite combatants in the history of the world – and the insurgents in Iraq, the odds of which are much more in our favor.

Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that the insurgents will re-focus their efforts on America until they once again have influence in Iraq or until they are convinced victory is not possible. The war promises to last a long time because neither of these ends are in sight. Unless Iraq is overthrown by radical Islamists we will either be dealing with the terrorist problem in the Middle East itself (i.e. not in America) or we will have helped Iraq to become a stable, democratic-looking nation. These two options are by far more favorable than letting Iraq become instable. Which, of course, is why suggestions of pulling out based on any timetable are foolish. As soon as Iraq has the infrastructure to combat insurgents and terrorists themselves, then we have won and can leave.

By the way, the reason to believe insurgents won’t let up on Iraq any time soon is simple: Iraq’s strategic location and rich land/oil deposits. It would be a huge victory for Islamic terrorism if they had such a gold mine in their possession – or at least under their influence. They apparently enjoyed these privaledges under Saddam and want them back. Yesterday, on the Hugh Hewitt show, he interviewed Stephen Hayes who did a story on documents of communication between the Iraqi ambassador to the Phillippines and Saddam’s regime that clearly demonstrate some sort of link between the Iraqi government and terrorism. See the interview here. It’s very important stuff that has received little coverage in the media.) This is why they, like the eye of Sauron, have turned all their attention to Iraq and haven’t seemed to do much else. The proof is in the pudding: no attacks on American soil post 9/11. The London attacks appear to have been caused by insurgents within the UK.

This success, of keeping the war in Iraq, away from America, requires continued efforts on our parts. I hope the American people know what they are doing when only 40% of them support the war. It’s not fun and it’s not good, but in our broken world it is what’s best.

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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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