In case no one’s noticed, we’re winning

posted at 8:35 am on June 27, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Gerard Baker wonders in his Times of London column why the West wears such long faces regarding the war on terror.  On every front, we have prevailed far past the hopes we had after 9/11.  The radical Islamists have managed to marginalize themselves among even conservative Muslims, and both Iraq and Afghanistan continue to advance towards stability and moderation.  The al-Qaeda network has not been able to stage a major terrorist attack in over three years.  By any measure of war, the West has not just taken the initiative but has delivered a series of major defeats, especially in stripping AQ of its easy shelter in Afghanistan, from which it launched a series of attacks in the decade before 9/11.

So why does the West despair?

There ought to be no surprise here. It’s only their apologists in the Western media who really failed to see the intrinsic evil of Islamists. Those who have had to live with it have never been in much doubt about what it represents. Ask the people of Iran. Or those who fled the horrors of Afghanistan under the Taleban.

This is why we fight. Primarily, of course, to protect ourselves from the immediate threat of terrorist carnage, but also because we know that extending the embrace of a civilisation that liberates everyone makes us all safer.

Every death is an unspeakable tragedy. It’s right that each time a soldier is killed in action we ask why. Was it really worth it?

The right response to the loss of brave souls such as Corporal Sarah Bryant, the first British woman to die in Afghanistan, is not an immediate call for retreat. It is, first of all, pride; a great, deep conviction that it is on such sacrifice that our own freedoms have always rested. Then, defiance. How foolish is the enemy that it might think our grief is really some prelude to their victory? Finally, confidence. We are prevailing in this struggle. We know it. And everywhere: in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and among Muslims around the world, the enemy knows it too.

I believe that a couple of impulses are at play in the doom and gloom coming from Western media.  First, it’s a lot easier to report on bombings than on bomb disposals, and on attacks rather than prevented attacks.  That doesn’t even involve a bias as much as a structural defect of the current way the news media presents itself.   Consumers get overdoses of instant reporting, but demand a lot less longer-view analysis.  Decades from now, when historians write about this conflict in a complete narrativ, Baker’s point will be more clear, but at this stage, people simply don’t look at the long view.

A larger component of the defeatism could have been predicted from the start.  The common wisdom after 9/11 was that invading Afghanistan would be a huge tactical mistake, and that the American military would repeat the experience of the British Army in the 19th century and the Soviets of the 1980s.  On a wider basis, many voices insisted that terrorists could not be defeated militarily and that it was useless to try that strategy.  Nor have these opinions disappeared.  It came from the pacifist Left movement that gained strength after the failure in Vietnam, and they have a large stake in fostering an air of futility rather than acknowledge success.

Read through Baker’s recap of the war as we approach the seven-year mark.  What would have been the alternative?  Had we not opened fronts in Afghanistan and Iraq against terrorists, we would have left them free to send the same jihadis against Western targets around the world, especially after their success on 9/11 and later in Bali and Madrid.  Instead, they have been more or less neutered into an ideology, still dangerous but at least so far not capable of major coordinated action outside of their region.

It’s not victory, but it is initiative and momentum.  Defeatism run amuck could derail both.

Update: Here’s another victory:

The US military in Iraq says a militant killed on Tuesday has been positively identified as the leader of al-Qaeda in the city of Mosul.

It said the man – identified by a pseudonym, Abu Khalaf – had co-ordinated and ordered many attacks.

He was shot dead by American troops during a raid on a building in Mosul.

Khalaf was a protege of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, according to the OIF-MNF website.   He tried reaching for his pistol as his partner, a Syrian named Abu Khalud, attempted to detonate a suicide vest.  Both died before they could attack, as did a woman with them who attempted to detonate the vest after Khalud began to reach room temperature.


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Comments

Instead of “What if somebody had a war, and nobody came?”, it’s now “What if somebody won a war, and nobody knew?”

Bigfoot on June 27, 2008 at 8:42 AM

In case no one’s noticed, we’re winning.

Sad though, this comes from a British Reporter. When Obama & other dems talk their usual negative spin, not one MSM reporter here (Fox included) ever challenge them.

This morning all of them were on their negative spin about North Korea’s tower blast.

Never give W any credit.

Anita on June 27, 2008 at 8:49 AM

The leftist MSM is too busy writing up their apologies for being so wrong on the surge, their lack of faith in the Iraqi people, and their lack of respect for the American military to bother reporting the news. Surely that’s it, right?

michaelo on June 27, 2008 at 8:49 AM

Buck up little camper

Squid Shark on June 27, 2008 at 8:49 AM

We won in Viet Nam, then quit and left. Hope that we don’t do same same in Iraq.

Linh_My on June 27, 2008 at 8:50 AM

The common wisdom after 9/11 was that invading Afghanistan would be a huge tactical mistake, and that the American military would repeat the experience of the British Army in the 19th century and the Soviets of the 1980s.

My immediate response when I learned that we would have to go into Afghanistan to get Al Qaida was, “Anywhere but Afghanistan!” I said that, not in the sense that I thought we shouldn’t, but because I knew that historically it was a very difficult place to conquer and hold. I knew that America and our military being what they are, we would not refuse the challenge because of its difficulty. My feelings of anguish over the difficulty were accompanied by the knowledge that we carry out the duty fate had handed us, no matter where it led.

backwoods conservative on June 27, 2008 at 8:56 AM

It came from the pacifist Left movement that gained strength after the failure in Vietnam, and they have a large stake in fostering an air of futility rather than acknowledge success.

They gained strength during the Vietnam War and plotted our defeat in Vietnam. They’re a collective of Maoists, neo-marxists, and members of CPUSA, with a few rag tag Islamists, and their goal is the defeat of this country.

Buy Danish on June 27, 2008 at 9:00 AM

Amazing how it still holds true that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

jackmac on June 27, 2008 at 9:01 AM

But, but, we’re making more terrorists… ;)

Maquis on June 27, 2008 at 9:02 AM

First, it’s a lot easier to report on bombings than on bomb disposals, and on attacks rather than prevented attacks.

“Easier”? As far as persisting in a bad habit, perhaps “easier”. But not “easier” in terms of publicizing information that the military posts for reference. It’s a matter of choice and the MSM chooses to strangle good news because it wants to, not because it’s easier news to produce or sell. In fact, good news would sell a hell of a lot better during the summer especially than bad news. Particularly, good patriotic news would sell around the Fourth of July!

maverick muse on June 27, 2008 at 9:03 AM

as we approach the seven-year mark.

7 is one of those numbers. Our 7 Year War ended before our Revolution .

maverick muse on June 27, 2008 at 9:09 AM

On every front, we have prevailed far past the hopes we had after 9/11.

The Muslims are ahead far and away by a country mile. People are glum because the West is losing big time. Its very depressing.

You seem to think the war is just taking place in Iraq. You’re holding your binoculars the wrong way around. Almost every country in the world has an internal, growing Muslim population. Roll on WWIII.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 9:12 AM

Buy Danish on June 27, 2008 at 9:00 AM

It’s interesting to trace defeatism from Truman’s role that demoralized America given his absolutely moronic “leadership” that rebuked all military advice and defeated our military in the Korean Conflict. Congress saw “how to” manipulate the Commander in Chief, and the MSM made its conversion from pro-American unity to shame on America.

maverick muse on June 27, 2008 at 9:15 AM

They gained strength during the Vietnam War and plotted our defeat in Vietnam. They’re a collective of Maoists, neo-marxists, and members of CPUSA, with a few rag tag Islamists, and their goal is the defeat of this country.

Buy Danish on June 27, 2008 at 9:00 AM

You forgot one important aspect. They also completely infiltrated most high profile media outlets, Hollywood, many parts of the behind the scenes local and federal government and now in some cases the visible federal government. Also don’t forget the complete hold on the environmentalist lobby. The only reason we are seeing them become more visible is because they feel that they are entrenched firmly enough to come out of the closet. I also think that they may be a bit more visible because the core founders are facing death from old age and worry they will not be alive to see the utopian world they worked so hard to achieve.

jmarcure on June 27, 2008 at 9:26 AM

So, basically, we’re getting to see what might have happened in Vietnam if we had stood up to the democrat radicals instead of caving in to them.

We came dangerously close to repeating that mistake in Iraq, and it’s not just leftist radicals who are to blame. Until recently, public opinion has been disturbingly receptive to the obviously rehashed slogans and narrative of the aging anti-war left. You know, the meme that Iraq is in a “civil war,” or that General Petraeus is a liar, or that the Iraqis are just too anthropologically unevolved to embrace a democratic form of government [a lot of ersatz conservatives drank that right up], or that our troops are Jenjis Khans going door to door terrorizing children.

Leftists lie. Let this be a lesson learned!

jeff_from_mpls on June 27, 2008 at 9:27 AM

It’s interesting to trace defeatism from Truman’s role that demoralized America given his absolutely moronic “leadership” that rebuked all military advice and defeated our military in the Korean Conflict.

Do you mean MacArthur’s plan to drop 20 nuclear bombs on the border between Korea and China in order to turn it into a permanently uninhabitable radioactive wasteland?

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 9:28 AM

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 9:12 AM

Given the Progressives’ penchant for retro-revision from their own historical birth we should seriously revisit early 20th Century emigration policy. The 21st Century is not the 18th or 19th and there’s no more “wild west” for young men to explore. Cities are crowded and tax paid public services are pushed beyond capacity.

QUOTA!

The ubertards have legislated quotas in school populations and job placements. Conservatives unite for the return of immigration quotas BEYOND denying public services (education and welfare) to illegal aliens. For now, whoever wants to give to charity can do so, but may NOT require taxes to provide funding for illegal aliens.

maverick muse on June 27, 2008 at 9:29 AM

Almost every country in the world has an internal, growing Muslim population.

I think the majority of the Supreme Court recognized that fact only yesterday.

fogw on June 27, 2008 at 9:29 AM

Ed:

Please try to keep from using the self-descriptive language of socialism to identify them. I am talking about using the term “Pacifist Left.” They aren’t pacifists, they are totalitarians attempting to aid other totalitarian forces around the world who they see as allies. The so-called left isn’t a bunch of pacifists; they support the employment of violence in their cause. Too often conservatives acquiesce to the socialist use of language to self-validate their own moral superiority.

jerryofva on June 27, 2008 at 9:32 AM

7 is one of those numbers. Our 7 Year War ended before our Revolution .

maverick muse on June 27, 2008 at 9:09 AM

What is your point?

NotCoach on June 27, 2008 at 9:34 AM

or that the Iraqis are just too anthropologically unevolved to embrace a democratic form of government [a lot of ersatz conservatives drank that right up]

Iraqis will not embrace a democratic form of government because they are Muslims. Democracy is in competition with sharia law and will lose out every time.

The attempt to spread democracy to backward, tribal cultures has been a near-universal disaster. From Communist South Africa and Zimbabwae to “pluralist” Iraq its produced nightmarish results. The great exception is India which after centuries of colonialism has become a semi-stable democracy.

How many hundreds of years will it take before Iraqis produce the equivalent of Indian civil servants?

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 9:35 AM

I think the majority of the Supreme Court recognized that fact only yesterday.

:)

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 9:36 AM

NotCoach on June 27, 2008 at 9:34 AM

just reflecting on time, noting experience and people’s expectations of what should be accomplished in a certain amount of time. Today’s population imagines that every war can be “won” within a few years. Not necessarily so.

maverick muse on June 27, 2008 at 9:41 AM

The Muslims are ahead far and away by a country mile. People are glum because the West is losing big time. Its very depressing.

You seem to think the war is just taking place in Iraq. You’re holding your binoculars the wrong way around. Almost every country in the world has an internal, growing Muslim population. Roll on WWIII.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 9:12 AM

I fear you are right. Prior to 9/11 few westerners knew of Islam and even fewer cared. Now after 9/11 we are falling all over ourselves to accommodate Muslims and declare Islam the religion of peace. I’m continually amazed at how unbelievably successful the attacks on the USA, Spain and England were for the Islamic cause. They tried for years and years to do damage by attacking embassies and all it took for the world to role over was a few relatively small attacks directly to the homelands. What we have done in the Middle East is nothing compared to what they have managed. Yes we have killed many of their overt fighters but they have gain far more with their infiltration efforts to the point that major first world countries now seriously debate installing Islamic law into their political structures and adopt religious accommodations that would be soundly and rightfully rejected if asked for by any other religious group and laughed at as being completely daft prior to 9/11.

jmarcure on June 27, 2008 at 9:42 AM

jerryofva on June 27, 2008 at 9:32 AM

+1 spot on!

If definitions are corrupted, the point is lost.

maverick muse on June 27, 2008 at 9:43 AM

just reflecting on time, noting experience and people’s expectations of what should be accomplished in a certain amount of time. Today’s population imagines that every war can be “won” within a few years. Not necessarily so.

maverick muse on June 27, 2008 at 9:41 AM

I think they expect it to be done in about 2 hours with breaks for snacks and toilet. Of course it would also have to be live and scheduled for primetime 8:00-10:00ET and 7:00-9:00CT.

jmarcure on June 27, 2008 at 9:45 AM

Too often conservatives acquiesce to the socialist use of language to self-validate their own moral superiority.

jerryofva on June 27, 2008 at 9:32 AM

True. We’re also guilty of falling into the “universal health care” word trap, when we should be calling it what it really is.

whitetop on June 27, 2008 at 9:51 AM

I’ll explain it in real simple terms, not for the folks here who already understand, but maybe to help you in explaining it to others:

We were attacked because we were perceived to be weak and indecisive. That is the legacy of visionless poll-driven leadership as exemplified by Bill Clinton.

Now we are seen as incredibly strong and clever fighters. Thus we are feared by bad people, and despite what our leftist media would have you think, loved by good people, especially the millions we have freed.

It’s pretty simple, really. Churchill said it years ago… if you want peace, prepare for war.

And the reason the left doesn’t want us to be prepared for war is that they don’t want us to have peace. Peace leads to contentment, and contentment does not suit revolutions. Next time you wonder why all the self-proclaimed “human-rights activists” never lift a finger in active support for human rights unless it is for our enemies, that’s your answer right there.

drunyan8315 on June 27, 2008 at 9:53 AM

Thanks to the Troops.

ronsfi on June 27, 2008 at 9:53 AM

jmarcure on June 27, 2008 at 9:45 AM

heh

maverick muse on June 27, 2008 at 9:53 AM

I think they expect it to be done in about 2 hours with breaks for snacks and toilet. Of course it would also have to be live and scheduled for primetime 8:00-10:00ET and 7:00-9:00CT.

jmarcure on June 27, 2008 at 9:45 AM

I think you are right. Nobody talks anymore about the two week invasion. While it was occurring it was being reported as a bogged down mess that will drag on into months. That should have been the first indication to the rest of us that the MSM would be willing to report with apparent glee any and all setbacks. I do not use the MSM as a primary news source myself anymore, and for good reason. They seem to get the story wrong every single time on day one.

NotCoach on June 27, 2008 at 9:54 AM

whitetop on June 27, 2008 at 9:51 AM

effort to coin the rebuttal, folks

“final solution”

maverick muse on June 27, 2008 at 9:55 AM

drunyan8315 on June 27, 2008 at 9:53 AM

Well said!

maverick muse on June 27, 2008 at 9:57 AM

drunyan8315 on June 27, 2008 at 9:53 AM

Very well said!

carbon_footprint on June 27, 2008 at 10:00 AM

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 9:12 AM

I agree on this point.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 9:35 AM

On this one, I think you are being a bit too pessimistic regarding Iraq and even Iran with a regime change. I recognize the conflict between sharia and democracy, and there is historical precedent for what you say. However, I think in the case of Iraq, the way we have conducted ourselves in the war may pay dividends in the long haul. We destroyed the extremists, for all intents and purposes, gave the Iraqi army and civilian s a helping hand up, then stepped back and are letting them become a unified country. They see the benefits of our kind of system. It may help overide religious zeal if they can keep the extremists out of political power. It isn’t perfect, but I see reason to hope, particularly after they have tasted first hand the fruits of el Qaeda. A new day may be dawning, because the extremists have overplayed their hands.

a capella on June 27, 2008 at 10:02 AM

We were attacked because we were perceived to be weak and indecisive. That is the legacy of visionless poll-driven leadership as exemplified by Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton was indeed woeful but the attacks are the legacy of Mohammed. There were attacks during the Carter and Reagan years. Come to think of it there were attacks during the Jefferson and Madison years too.

Thus we are feared by bad people

I doubt that. Who’s scared? Not the Muslims. Or if they are they’re doing a very good job of concealing their fear.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 10:06 AM

a capella on June 27, 2008 at 10:02 AM

Well said. We did not pacify the Japanese by stomping on their necks once they were down. We guided them to democracy with help and support. Dishing out good will while living amongst the people tends to give long term positive results. And as another example of the short sighted instant gratification that today’s media demands, Germany and Japan were not even allowed to govern themselves until the early 1950s. Rebuilding a nation and pacifying it through democracy is not a one month crash diet.

NotCoach on June 27, 2008 at 10:10 AM

I doubt that. Who’s scared? Not the Muslims. Or if they are they’re doing a very good job of concealing their fear.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 10:06 AM

This statement ignores quite a bit of recent history. When the US is perceived as being angry and ready to use our strength as a result of that anger the fear becomes quite apparent. It is no accident that Iran temporarily suspended it’s nuclear weapons program immediately following 9/11. And both Iran and Syria seemed quite contrite at that time as well. They feared immediate reprisal on their nations with massive force.

Even today Iran is only willing to defy us through proxies. And lets not forget Khadafi’s complete capitulation to Western inspections and disarmament after 9/11.

They have fears just like any other peoples of the world and they are there to see if one only looks.

NotCoach on June 27, 2008 at 10:15 AM

a capella on June 27, 2008 at 10:02 AM

I certainly lay myself open to charges of pessimism on most issues. :)

However it seems to me that it is Islam that has been liberated. While the evil of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime recedes into the distance Islam has come to the forefront. Now that is supposed to be a good thing right? But it isn’t.

However, I think in the case of Iraq, the way we have conducted ourselves in the war may pay dividends in the long haul.

I think if it were not for Islam then the whole rationale and execution of these war aims would be reasonable and achieveable. However Mohammed made it very clear that even if infidels are being nice to you [a Muslim] and helping you it should be regarded as a trick, a deception.

The secularism of the Iraqi people is ironically due to years of Ba’athism and I think that Islam and extremism will grow in Iraq in the years to come. I don’t mean that the US has “created” more terrorists just that Islamic spiritual authorities have more breathing room due to their liberation and will manipulate the situation for their own ulterior purposes.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 10:16 AM

He tried reaching for his pistol as his partner, a Syrian named Abu Khalud, attempted to detonate a suicide vest. Both died before they could attack, as did a woman with them who attempted to detonate the vest after Khalud began to reach room temperature.

Must not of heard the news that they have right to habeus corbus!

WashJeff on June 27, 2008 at 10:16 AM

jmarcure on June 27, 2008 at 9:26 AM

All of that is true, and you forgot to mention their insidious infiltration of academia. I was merely taking issue with this particular statement (emphasis mine):

It came from the pacifist Left movement that gained strength after the failure in Vietnam, and they have a large stake in fostering an air of futility rather than acknowledge success.

Please try to keep from using the self-descriptive language of socialism to identify them. I am talking about using the term “Pacifist Left.” They aren’t pacifists, they are totalitarians attempting to aid other totalitarian forces around the world who they see as allies.
jerryofva on June 27, 2008 at 9:32 AM

Very true. They are also Stalinists :)

Buy Danish on June 27, 2008 at 10:17 AM

Must not of heard the news that they have right to habeus corbus!

WashJeff on June 27, 2008 at 10:16 AM

Yeah, because if he did he would have put his hands in the air and demanded a lawyer so he could sue for wrongly prosecution.

NotCoach on June 27, 2008 at 10:18 AM

I hope our soldiers read those Mosul guys their Miranda rights before shooting them.

danking70 on June 27, 2008 at 10:18 AM

permanently uninhabitable radioactive wasteland?

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 9:28 AM

Riiiiiiight. You might want to alert Hiroshima and Nagasaki that they need to halt their tourism efforts. Dude, they’re undermining your argument AND credibility!

dominigan on June 27, 2008 at 10:21 AM

Wrongful prosecution that is.

NotCoach on June 27, 2008 at 10:21 AM

This statement ignores quite a bit of recent history. When the US is perceived as being angry and ready to use our strength as a result of that anger the fear becomes quite apparent.

I can only tell you what I perceive when I watch Muslims shouting their diatribes on MEMRI.

When I see a Palestinian Imam screaming that the Muslims will conquer Western Europe and from there go on to conquer Eastern Europe and the two Americas (paraphrased) then I figure that they see the inability of the West to deport dangerous Muslims as a serious lack of will and are thus emboldened, not scared in the least.

Even today Iran is only willing to defy us through proxies.

Yeah but they’ve always done that and mostly because they’re very smart. They’ve been waging indirect war against the US for 30 years and they’ve paid hardly any price. They almost always manage to be just discreet enough not to raise the hackles of the US. So yeah if the US is openly attacked by an enemy in an overt way Americans will get angry but if not a lot of people might not even hear about it.

And lets not forget Khadafi’s complete capitulation to Western inspections and disarmament after 9/11.

Yup I’d concede that. But what has happened in the years since? The British have sold him top of the range anti-aircraft defenses and hes gone back to kidnapping innocent people and extorting money for their release. He openly boasts that Islam will conquer the world. He was complaining last year that he didn’t get enough in return for giving up his weapons program. I think, now that his momentary fear has subsided, he feels a little cheated.

They have fears just like any other peoples of the world and they are there to see if one only looks.

Possibly but I don’t think their fears are sufficient to stop them from warring against us.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 10:26 AM

The “despair” can be explained by looking a couple of blog posts up at the latest Time magazine poll:

McCain, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, edged out Obama on national security issues. When asked who “would best protect the U.S. against terrorism,” 53% of respondents chose McCain to just 33% for Obama.

The left has taken the position since at least the spring of 2002 that success in the War On Terror = Fewer top political offices for Democrats. To them, the battle against al Qaida and terrorism is simply another political issue, like Social Security reform or global warming, only in this case it’s not so much that they want an al Qaida victory — even the left has pretty much figured out that the terrorists are more likely to attack places in the United States where they live than where conservatives live, because liberals tend to gather in high-profile target areas on the coasts like New York and Washington. They just don’t want conservatives to get credit for the win.

Obama is already backing off the strident calls for immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. If he wins in November and the West makes any future strikes against terrorist leaders, the stories will be back to being Page A-1 material and at the top of the nightly newscasts, not buried on Page B-14 or relegated to the news crawl at the bottom of the screen.

jon1979 on June 27, 2008 at 10:27 AM

The secularism of the Iraqi people is ironically due to years of Ba’athism and I think that Islam and extremism will grow in Iraq in the years to come. I don’t mean that the US has “created” more terrorists just that Islamic spiritual authorities have more breathing room due to their liberation and will manipulate the situation for their own ulterior purposes.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 10:16 AM

Yes, that is the main concern and there is precedent. However, I am hoping that the brutality of el Qaeda, the Mehdi army and all the others may have influenced the man on the street. Arguing aginst myself, in the case of the Taliban, it seems to have not turned the population against them, so in any case, it is going to be a long, tough slog.

a capella on June 27, 2008 at 10:27 AM

Riiiiiiight. You might want to alert Hiroshima and Nagasaki that they need to halt their tourism efforts. Dude, they’re undermining your argument AND credibility!

dominigan on June 27, 2008 at 10:21 AM

What does Hiroshima and Nagasaki have to do with it? Anyway its not my argument, it was General MacArthur’s. He wanted to drop 20 nuclear bombs on the border between Korea and China in order to render in permanently uninhabitable (for 100 years at least) so that Chinese troops would not be able to invade. Truman didn’t think much of his argument AND credibility! and consequently relieved him of his command.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 10:29 AM

Early on a September morning seven years ago, we got a call to turn on the television. I had had business meetings in the top floors of the World Trade Center; I knew the stark horror being experienced.

There on the West Coast we were getting our two youngest boys ready for school, one starting junior high, one high school. The oldest had been off to college for two weeks.

Having bopped around the world hopping cargo ships as a youth, I fretted how the new hostilities so obviously on display would color their world, their opportunities to travel. Would they be made to suffer simply for being American? When the second plane slammed into the tower, it was clear it would be an extreme challenge to reclaim any sanity.

A large and festering boil needed lancing. I felt optimistic thinking we could succeed in Afghanistan and Iraq over long years at the cost of a division’s worth of casualties apiece. We had the additional challenge of showing respect for the majority populations, focusing only on eradicating the malign elements.

Thanks to the clarity and vision of George W. Bush, 40 million people in the Middle East are free of tyranny. There is a new admiration for America and the principles of freedom and mutual respect throughout the world. I no longer worry for my sons venturing out in the world. George W. Bush has my lasting respect and appreciation. Everyone is willing to say what a mess Iraq has been, but it has gone far, far better and accomplished more than I ever could have imagined.

At the same time, our mandarin class of academics, bureaucrats, artists, lawyers and lefty politicians has shown an inability to resist being the one hand perpetually tied behind our back when there’s work to be done. How can people who profess to be liberal so strongly oppose the liberation of their fellow man?

Chaz on June 27, 2008 at 10:33 AM

Danish:

Technically, they are Fascists. Fascism is more then a word used as an epithet by Socialists. Fascism is a systematic approach to a philosophy of governing order. Fascism is a collectivist ideology built upon a central organizational myth. Socialism is nothing but a specific central organizing myth. Marx failed to come up with big picture because he spent his energies building the myth instead of studying general principles. Although socialism continues to have a wide following it is the least successful form of Fascism in practice.

jerryofva on June 27, 2008 at 10:34 AM

Almost every country in the world has an internal, growing Muslim population.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 9:12 AM

That is because they breed like rabbits, while most of us can barely manage to spawn replacements. If you look at adult conversions, Christianity leaves Islam in the dust.

Women’s rights will bring their birth rates down and freedom will open up the opportunity for more conversions. Oil hell, this is a Crusade. :)

Kafir on June 27, 2008 at 10:35 AM

a capella on June 27, 2008 at 10:27 AM

The reason I’m so wary of this strategy is that if we hang our fate on the good will of Muslims we are essentially making ourselves hostages to fortune, our future hinges not just on strange foreign people but ones whose religious doctrine demands they be against us! So there is a high risk of failure.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 10:36 AM

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 10:29 AM

I probably overreacted.

I tend to hear a lot of the same type of rhetoric (“we’re destroying the earth!”, “oil companies just want to destroy the environment to get their money”, etc) from our teen youth groups at church.

I have to point out… we can’t literally destroy the earth (we don’t have that type of power), oil companies do care about the environment (look into design considerations for the Alaskan pipeline), etc.

dominigan on June 27, 2008 at 10:39 AM

dominigan on June 27, 2008 at 10:39 AM

Oh fair enough. Even MacArthur didn’t think the damage would really be permanent, he just hoped it would outlast Communism.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 10:46 AM

 The common wisdom after 9/11 was that invading Afghanistan would be a huge tactical mistake, and that the American military would repeat the experience of the British Army in the 19th century and the Soviets of the 1980s.

Some of us believed from the very beginning that we could do it, we MUST do it and that we’d be seen as liberators to those who lived under the taliban’s tyranny. We can do anything.

Tony737 on June 27, 2008 at 10:48 AM

What does Hiroshima and Nagasaki have to do with it? Anyway its not my argument, it was General MacArthur’s. He wanted to drop 20 nuclear bombs on the border between Korea and China in order to render in permanently uninhabitable (for 100 years at least) so that Chinese troops would not be able to invade. Truman didn’t think much of his argument AND credibility! and consequently relieved him of his command.
aengus on June 27, 2008 at 10:29 AM

Actually….close but not true.
After Four infantry armies, three artillery divisions and an anti – aircraft regiment, 260,000 men, crossed the Yalu into North Korea the UN forces were forced into a long retreat. It was only after the invasion that the entire general staff considered nuclear scenearios with one plan of 30 and 50 atomic bombs strung across the neck of Manchuria to create a no-mans land belt of radioactive cobalt-for at least 60 years.
That was discussed with and considered by Truman as well.
What got MacArthur fired was, after we had stopped the Chinese/ Nork advance at the 38th parallel and were discussing a negotiated settelment, MacArthur sent a communiqué to the Chinese daring them to finish what they started. It was for this insubordination he was fired.
The only reason Truman didn’t use nukes was because the Russians got very pissy with the plan.

Beto Ochoa on June 27, 2008 at 10:57 AM

Beto Ochoa on June 27, 2008 at 10:57 AM

Thank you. A documentary I watched suggested (but did not explicitly say) that Truman fired MacArthur because of the his zealotry for the nuclear bomb plan.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 11:06 AM

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 9:35 AM

synopsis: you seem to worry that Muslim religion is incompatible with secular democratic government.

Keep in mind that 13th century Islam (i.e., Spain) was more advanced intellectually, socially, and culturally than many so-called modern urban centers. Don’t think of Islam as a static entity. Like Catholicism, or Christian fundamentalism, there are a range of theological interpretations over core doctrine.

jeff_from_mpls on June 27, 2008 at 11:09 AM

Keep in mind that 13th century Islam (i.e., Spain) was more advanced intellectually, socially, and culturally than many so-called modern urban centers.

Sounds like they need a visit from Ben Youssef

Don’t think of Islam as a static entity.

While there have been different cultural models and various deviations of Islamic societies like Muslim Spain or the non-practice of Islam in Soviet Central Asia, Muslims tend to return to the basic content of their religious doctrine i.e. kill the unbelievers wherever ye find them. (See the opening scene of the video above.)

In any case the modern Middle East is in a terrible state. I do not think it can be artificially repaired but even if it can I’m more interested in removing unassimilable Muslims from Western societies.

Like Catholicism, or Christian fundamentalism, there are a range of theological interpretations over core doctrine.

No, there are only five schools of Islamic jurisprudence and they do no differ largely from one another. Though there is Sufi Islam I suppose.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 11:22 AM

All of that is true, and you forgot to mention their insidious infiltration of academia.

Buy Danish on June 27, 2008 at 10:17 AM

There I was trying to be all smart and stuff and I neglected the mammoth in the living room. You are of course right and it is undoubtedly where they have made the biggest gains with their cause. I just applied for a job at MIT. I have little hope of getting it but my wife thought I was crazy because she thinks that I wouldn’t last a week surrounded by all the commie a-holes. She said I couldn’t possibly keep my pro American, pro military trap shut and would be fired if I were lucky but more then likely I would be thrown under a bus.

jmarcure on June 27, 2008 at 11:30 AM

She said I couldn’t possibly keep my pro American, pro military trap shut and would be fired.

Or sued for hate speech if you said anything favorable about our country.

Tony737 on June 27, 2008 at 12:24 PM

we’re winning

Winning what? What in the Hell do we win?

Over 4,000 lives, tens of thousand permanently wounded, burnt through equipment, Koran kissing and groveling, and a cost that will go over a trillion (that’s trillion with a T) Pesos dollarsand what do we get for that now? I forget.

This all reminds me of the “YOU WON” that I get in my email. I just mark them as spam and delete them. Have I messed up and missed out on a BIG PRIZE?

So there I was, listening to a few of the major “architects” of the war in Iraq — Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas J. Feith, Peter Rodman and Dan Senor. They had assembled at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., for a discussion of Feith’s [This is the man about whom Tommy Franks said, ‘He is getting a reputation around here as being the dumbest #ucking guy on the planet!”]new book, “War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism,” but what they were drawn to discuss was what went wrong with the war in Iraq.

A rather large topic. Would it cover, perhaps, such grand themes as the multicultural Big Lie that insists Western ways may be grafted — presto! — onto Islamic cultures? Or maybe the difficulties inherent in the Western-style, humane projection of power against seventh-century terrorist barbarians? No.

The main discussion I heard turned more or less on one extremely narrow point of historic contention. It concerned the CPA rule of Iraq, which came to an end almost exactly four years ago. Wolfowitz and Feith, and Rodman to a less explicit degree, agreed that this period of American governance — that is, the interlude before Iraq officially became sovereign — was the fatal flaw, the fly in the ointment, the monkey wrench, the skunk at the garden party, the bad penny and overall cause of all of America’s troubles in Iraq. It wasn’t the overweening Bush administration plan for Jeffersonizing the Fertile Crescent, or our leaders’ misreading of the “democratic ally” potential therein. It was the 14-month-reign of the CPA that caused all our woes. The CPA, the argument goes, in effect created the Sunni insurgency, which later gave rise to the Sunni-Shiite wars, and which ultimately required the added infusion of American troops known as the surge.

If I’m following this theory correctly, there is absolutely nothing in Iraqi history, politics, religion, sectarianism or culture that manifested itself in the bloody insurgency that followed the removal of Saddam Hussein. According to Feith & Co., it was only the American face on (and muscle behind) initial efforts to bring order, civil society and air conditioning to Iraq that made the newly ejected-from-power Sunnis (and others) organize, shoot, stab, blow up, maim and make violence a fact of Iraqi life to this day, four years into Iraqi sovereignty.

This sounds a bit like the asinine theory that tells us U.S. foreign policy made 19 jihadists attack us on 9/11.

The classic clueless moment, however, came later in answer to a question from the floor: Did the administration ever tell Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia to bar combatants from crossing their borders into Iraq — or else? And if not (“not” is clearly the answer since these borders have been Grand Central Station for jihadists), why not? Wolfowitz owned up that the United States had said something or other at some point, but, overall, the consensus on the dais came down to a big, shrugging non-answer.

I got one of those answers myself, at least from Feith. I asked: What did these gentlemen think the United States would ultimately get out of Iraq in exchange for our massive investment of blood and treasure? And had they learned anything to make them doubt the president’s often-repeated promise that Iraq would become an “ally” in the “war on terror”? Shrug. Not interested in answering.
– Diana West

MB4 on June 27, 2008 at 12:54 PM

On every front, we have prevailed far past the hopes we had after 9/11.

The Muslims are ahead far and away by a country mile. People are glum because the West is losing big time. Its very depressing.

You seem to think the war is just taking place in Iraq. You’re holding your binoculars the wrong way around. Almost every country in the world has an internal, growing Muslim population. Roll on WWIII.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 9:12 AM

It feels like “déjà vu all over again.” As columnist Diana West puts it, “Nearly six years after September 11 — nearly six years after first visiting the Islamic Center and proclaiming ‘Islam is peace’ — Mr. Bush has learned nothing.” But we now harbor fewer hopes than in 2001 that he still can learn, absorb, and reflect an understanding of the enemy’s Islamist nature.
– Daniel Pipes

MB4 on June 27, 2008 at 1:01 PM

You seem to think the war is just taking place in Iraq. You’re holding your binoculars the wrong way around. Almost every country in the world has an internal, growing Muslim population. Roll on WWIII.

aengus on June 27, 2008 at 9:12 AM

It is called The Church of the Iraqi Centric. Much like The Church of Global Warming it has become almost like some primitive religion.

Major tenants of The Church of the Iraqi Centric:

1) All roads start in Iraq.
2) All roads end in Iraq.
3) The Sun revolves around Iraq.
4) The moon revolves around Iraq.
5) The stars revolve around Iraq.
6) If the United States does not keep sufficient troop mass in Iraq, the orbital stability of the Earth will become unbalanced and all Muslim terrorists will slide into America.

MB4 on June 27, 2008 at 1:07 PM

MB4:

You are beginning to sound a lot like Pat Buchanon in his latest tome “Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost an Empire and the West Lost the World.”

jerryofva on June 27, 2008 at 1:35 PM

how do we win? what does winning mean? how do we know when we’ve won? wah wah wah? Lets apply that silly logic a little further shall we.

I wonder what have we won by stabilizing Japan, Germany, Korea at the collective cost of about 450,000 American lives? And for what? only Japan attacked us right? When can our military forces leave Europe and Japan? Wah Wah Wah! Its not fair!

What exactly have we won by providing a stabilizing security umbrella for Europe for 50 years? I mean who really cared if they allowed communist subversion to topple their governments.

What exactly have we “won” by maintaining such an expensive bluewater navy? I mean i don’t see why the sacrifice? who cares about maintaining the sea lanes open. when can we stop doing it? I mean when will it be safe enough to stop?

Why should we maintain a hemispheric security umbrella over latin america? I mean why can’t Cost Rica just create its own army so they don’t have to rely on our security guarantees? When will we know we can stop providing those security guarantees?

If someone does not see the importance of stabilizing Iraq they just don’t get “it” nor ever will. I can’t educate you.

We’re winning in Iraq because we stabilizing Iraq by neutralizing the external and internal forces that would create an Iraqi nation inimical to US interests.

elduende on June 27, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Ed Morrissey: “On a wider basis, many voices insisted that terrorists could not be defeated militarily and that it was useless to try that strategy. Nor have these opinions disappeared. It came from the pacifist Left movement that gained strength after the failure in Vietnam, and they have a large stake in fostering an air of futility rather than acknowledge success.”

Ed, Ed, Ed, the Left is not pacifist. They are on the other side. They are not pacifists who want the war to end, but enemy sympathizers who want America defeated. You can’t go to a big anti-war demonstration in DC, back when the anti-war movement was strong enough to mount them, without seeing loads of anti-American signs and calls for a socialist revolution. These demonstrations are organized by the Marxists of ANSWER and UFPJ, for Pete’s sake, not Quakers. They glory in images of dead US soldiers. They hurl abuse and spittle on our troops. Lefty Protesters Are Not Pacifists.

I’ve been to every big anti-war protest in DC and I have yet to see a sign even mentioning Saddam or demanding the jihadis stop beheading people or the Baathists stop their campaign of executions. That seems like something a pacifist might oppose. I have seen plenty of red banners carried by large groups of people advertising themselves as various Communist cells. Heck, I’ve been attacked twice at “peace” rallies, which is twice more than I’ve ever been attacked in the military, which the Left claims is full of baby-killer types. I’ve seen signs that say “America Must Be Destroyed.” What kind of pacifist carries that sentiment around in public?

It’s no accident that when a big anti-war demonstration is mounted in DC it is part of a larger campaign around the world, all organized by the Marxists of ANSWER and their comrades abroad, not pacifists. The Marxists and associated enemies of America are trying to repeat their success of Vietnam, opening up a home front to break the public will so as to outflank the military front where the enemies of America have no chance of winning.

And, this time, they’re losing.

Tantor on June 27, 2008 at 2:46 PM

I wonder what have we won by stabilizing Japan, Germany, Korea at the collective cost of about 450,000 American lives? And for what? only Japan attacked us right? When can our military forces leave Europe and Japan? Wah Wah Wah! Its not fair!

What exactly have we won by providing a stabilizing security umbrella for Europe for 50 years? I mean who really cared if they allowed communist subversion to topple their governments.

What exactly have we “won” by maintaining such an expensive bluewater navy? I mean i don’t see why the sacrifice? who cares about maintaining the sea lanes open. when can we stop doing it? I mean when will it be safe enough to stop?

what he said.

silverfox on June 27, 2008 at 7:41 PM