Sunday, January 8, 2012

Rick Perry On Iraq; A Kennedeyesque Profile In Courage

JFK's Pulitzer prize winning book "Profiles In Courage" detailed the actions of outstanding American politicians who made decisions that either effectively ended their careers, or caused massive amounts of  ignominy to be dumped on them.

Such men as John Quincy Adams, whose Federalist party represented the interests of the traders, supported the actions of Jefferson who wanted an embargo on British goods in retaliation for Britain impressing American sailors. The embargo seriously affected trade in Adam's home state of Massachusetts, for which Adams was roundly ostracised as a traitor to his party, but Adams supported the interests of his country above party and business.

Sam Houston who refused to take part in Texas's secession, the obscure Edmund G. Ross who voted for the acquittal of President Andrew Johnson when on impeachment charges, and whose vote made the difference between impeachment being progressed and their ceasing, even though he was a Republican. Kennedy gave many other examples of courage that are, especially in these rightly cynical times, not expected from politicians, especially those with much to lose.

I am delighted to see in our times an example of a courageous act which, surely, JFK would have considered for his book. In the first New Hampshire debate Texas governor Rick Perry stated that he would see the return of American troops to Iraq. This statement received condemnation from 73% of people who commented on it at the Yahoo debate site ( AT THIS LINK). 

There would be little doubt that Perry's statement would be out of favor with the majority of voters and, as can clearly be seen by the response, well out of tune with the usual leftist youth element which hammers away at conservatives on the Yahoo sites.

However there are a number of truths behind this important issue.

Firstly the left used the American involvement in Iraq as a hammer against the Republican administration once it was safe to do so. The Obama team rode into office on the issue as Hilary Clinton had voted for troops to be sent  to Iraq. Secondly there is no question that Americans are war weary and see the financial cost as a contributor to the massive budget deficit-which it is of course.

However, the fact that American troops are still in Korea over sixty years later shows that cost is a secondary matter when wider issues are at stake. It also shows that there is a moral imperative that transcends cost and political expediency. That the removal of American troops from Iraq to placate the "progressive" left is a moral cancer is indisputable.

That it is not recognized as such now, except by very few, and that a politician struggling to keep his nomination hopes alive would see that immorality and, against the mass of public opinion, speak out against it is stunning.

That Perry would go further and actually advocate the return of American troops to protect America's interest in stopping Iran from "gaining a foothold of influence" in Iraq, which would also protect that country against the coming civil war slaughter, is an act of bravery and compassion. 

He most probably will not be rewarded in the polls or elections but history, which is perhaps the better reward in the long term, will certainly reward him.

Here is Governor Perry in his own courageous words. I certainly have new found respect for him;

For the record the current deaths and injuries in Iraq since the last american troops left stands at 344; 
(AT THIS LINK) which deaths and injuries lie at the feet of the Obama administration. It is just a matter of time before the total deaths and injuries passes the number that occurred during the entire American occupation.

No comments :