U.S. Carrying The World's Water

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Mark Steyn reports on a recent discussion with President Bush and gets to the truth as only Steyn can. Audio here.

If the upcoming election is, as the Democrats wish, about Iraq, then let's be sure we all are clear on what the battle in Iraq is about.


The host, Paul Orgel, had asked me what I thought of President Bush and I replied that, whatever my differences with him on this or that, I thought he was one of the most farsighted politicians in Washington. That is to say, he is looking down the line to a world in which a radicalized Islam has exported its pathologies to every corner on Earth...

...if it really is, as Democrats say, "all about the future of our children," then our children will want to know why our generation saw what was happening and didn't do anything about it. They will despise us as we despise the political class of the 1930s....

...But suppose the "ANYONE BUT BUSH" bumper-sticker set got their way; suppose he and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and all the minor supporting warmongers down to yours truly were suddenly vaporized in 20 seconds' time. What then?

Nothing, that's what. The jihad's still there. Kim Jong-il's still there. The Iranian nukes are still there. The slyer Islamist subversion from Southeast Asia to the Balkans to northern England goes on, day after day after day. And one morning we'll switch on the TV and the smoke and flames will be on this side of the Atlantic, much to President Rodham's surprise. Bush hatred is silly and parochial and reductive: History is on the march, and the anti-Bush crowd is holding the telescope the wrong way round...

He dismissed the idea that going into Iraq had only served to "recruit" more terrorists to the cause. (Gen. Peter Pace told me last week that, if anything, the evidence is that Iraq has tied up a big chunk of senior jihadists who'd otherwise be blowing up Afghanistan and elsewhere.) The president's view is that before it was Iraq it was Israel; with these guys, it's always something...

The invaluable Brussels Journal recently translated an interview with the writer Oscar van den Boogaard from the Belgian paper De Standaard. A Dutch gay "humanist" (which is pretty much the trifecta of Eurocool), Mr. van den Boogaard was reflecting on the accelerating Islamification of the Continent and concluding the jig was up for the Europe he loved. "I am not a warrior, but who is?" he shrugged. "I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it."

Too many of us are only good at enjoying freedom. That war-is-never-the-answer 25 percent are in essence saying there's nothing about America worth fighting for, and that, ultimately, the continuation of their society is a bet on the kindness of strangers -- on the goodnaturedness of Kim Jong-il and the mullahs and al Qaeda and what the president called "al Qaeda lookalikes and al Qaeda wannabes" and whatever nuclear combination thereof comes down the pike.


And lest anyone forget, the fight in Iraq is a direct result of the attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001. There's is a global war going on between the United States and the jihadists, and Iraq is the central front. That's why our troops are there.

Reasonable people can disagree about whether it's winnable. This is why I don't consider Jim Webb (and so many others) fools. You can make a reasoned calculation that an unwinnable battle should not be entered into. But you can also argue some battles must be fought even if the progress is not 100 percent predictable (and if the leadership has not foreseen every eventuality). In Iraq, we must find a way to win. In contrast to the Bushites and neocons, I personally think "democracy for the Iraqi people" may not be the answer nor was it the ultimate goal. The goals were to take out Saddam (done) and ensure the country does not become a launching pad for distribution of weapons of mass destruction or attacks against the U.S. and other countries in the West (in progress).

In the 1990s, every statesman in America (Democrats at the top of the list) shouted from the rooftops that the government of Iraq was a mortal threat to the security of the world. Not too many folks are making that claim now, are they?

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7 Comments

zimzo said:

Things are so much clearer when you explain them, Joe. I never realized that the best way to fight the jihadists after 9/11 was to let the man actually responsible, Osama bin Laden, go free in order to focus on invading a largely secular country whose leader hated the jihadists, too, in order to prove to the jihadists how strong we were and then to lose that war through incompetence. What a brilliant counterintuitive plan!

Saddam was supporting the terrorists, also the sky is blue. Follow the links, friend. You have much to learn.

zimzo said:

I did read it, Joe. Every one of the allegations in the article has long been dismissed as bogus yet the neocons keep repeating them. The 9/11 Commission and others long ago dispensed with the Muhammad Atta meeting myth. Zawahiri was hiding in the Kurdish controlled part of Iraq and we had a chance to get him before the war but the Bush Administration wanted to use his presence to justify the war. Ahmed Hikmat Shakir? That's especially hilarious:

The al-Qaeda employee in Malaysia is named Ahmad Hikmat Shakir Azzawi. The Iraqi intelligence agent is named Lt. Col. Hikmat Shakir Ahmad.

http://www.juancole.com/2004/06/neocons-cant-spell-reader-asked-me-to.html

Whoops!

Maybe you should expand what you read a bit more and not rely so much on World Net Daily and National Review and other right-wing myth makers.

Correction: I think everything you've just written is, in fact, wrong. And this is likely because you have secretly been reading Juan ("SPEAKS ARABIC!") Cole. Don't do that or everyone will simply laugh at you.

zimzo said:

Spoken like a good neocon. never let facts or your own ignorance get in the way of making your argument.

Kevin said:

Surely you believe that Iraq is a mortal threat to the security of the world now. . .don't you? Somebody just walked off with a sh8t ton of our weapons!

Seriously, what is the answer in Iraq now that we're there?

Give the Kurds whatever territory they want and arm them to the teeth, for starters.

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