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March 01, 2006

Standing Fast

It has been a tough week or two for those of us who continue to believe that the war to depose Saddam was the right thing to do. Exploding shrines, roving death squads, executed journalists and harbingers of civil war in Iraq have made even guarded optimism seem hopelessly naive. More broadly, radical Islam appears to be on a roll of late; rioting over Dutch cartoons, torturing to death the odd jew in Paris, and working industriously to develop nuclear weapons in Iran while following Saddam's playbook on gaming the UN, EU and US on its intentions. On the domestic front, Cheney's shooting spree, port deals with Arab firms, fears about secret NSA wiretap programs, and plummeting Presidential approval ratings have most conservatives feeling pretty uneasy. There is a whiff of panic in the air.

Fortunately, some people aren't ready to declare defeat just yet. Victor Davis Hanson, the blogger and scholar, writing in today's Opinion Journal observes:

Conservatives who insisted that we needed more initial troops are often the same ones who now decry that too much money has been spent in Iraq. Liberals who chant "no blood for oil" lament that we unnecessarily ratcheted up the global price of petroleum. Progressives who charge that we are imperialists also indict us for being naively idealistic in thinking democracy could take root in post-Baathist Iraq and providing aid of a magnitude not seen since the Marshall Plan. For many, Iraq is no longer a war whose prognosis is to be judged empirically. It has instead transmogrified into a powerful symbol that apparently must serve deeply held, but preconceived, beliefs--the deceptions of Mr. Bush, the folly of a neoconservative cabal, the necessary comeuppance of the American imperium, or the greed of an oil-hungry U.S.

I agree with Hanson that there are reasons to be positive in Iraq. As I wrote last week, the bombing of the Askariya Shrine in Samarra is a sign that Al Queda in Iraq is getting desperate. Now is not the time for us to go all wobbly.

Yes, George Bush is no Winston Churchill, but he is the only war leader we've got. I only wish that the "progressives" who are overjoyed at the sight of Bush's political weakness would recognize that the "enemy of your enemy is your friend:" and the radical Islamists who carried out the attacks of 9/11, 7/7 and 3/11 and would readily subjugate women, end freedom of expression, flog homosexuals, and "wipe Israel off the map," are the enemies of us all.

March 1, 2006 at 09:44 AM | Permalink


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