Wednesday, March 01, 2006

VDH: Losing at Home

A must read by VDH:

At War With Ourselves
We're winning in Iraq. Let's not lose at home.

BY VICTOR DAVIS HANSON
Wednesday, March 1, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

Last week the golden dome of the Askariya shrine in Samarra was blown apart. Sectarian riots followed, and reprisals and deaths ensued. Thugs and criminals came out of the woodwork to foment further violence. But instead of the apocalypse of an ensuing civil war, a curfew was enforced. Iraqi security forces stepped in with some success. Shaken Sunni and Shiite leaders appeared on television to urge restraint, and there appeared at least the semblance of reconciliation that may soon presage a viable coalition government.

But here at home you would have thought that our own capitol dome had exploded. Indeed, Americans more than the Iraqis needed such advice for calm to quiet our own frenzy. Almost before the golden shards of the mosque hit the pavement, pundits wrote off the war as lost--as we heard the tired metaphors of "final straw" and "camel's back" mindlessly repeated. The long-anticipated civil strife among Shiites and Sunnis, we were assured, was not merely imminent, but already well upon us. Then the great civil war sort of fizzled out; our own frenzy subsided; and now exhausted we await next week's new prescription of doom--apparently the hyped-up story of Arabs at our ports. That the Iraqi security forces are becoming bigger and better, that we have witnessed three successful elections, and that hundreds of brave American soldiers have died to get us to the brink of seeing an Iraqi government emerge was forgotten in a 24-hour news cycle.

Few observers suggested that the Samarra bombing of a holy mosque by radical Muslims might be a sign of the terrorists' desperation--killers who have not, and cannot, defeat the U.S. military. After the furor over Danish cartoons, French rioting and Iranian nuclear perfidy, the entire world is turning on radical Islam and the terrorists feel keenly this rising tide of opposition on the frontline in Iraq.

True, the Sunni Triangle, unlike southern Iraq and Kurdistan, is often inhospitable to the forces of reconstruction--but hardly lost to jihadists and militias as we are told. There is a disturbing sameness to our acrimony at home, as we recall all the links in this chain of America hysteria from the brouhaha over George Bush's flight suit to purported flushed Korans at Guantanamo Bay. Each time we are lectured that the looting, Abu Ghraib, the embalming of Uday and Qusay, the demeaning oral exam of Saddam, unarmored Humvees, inadequate body armor or the latest catastrophe has squandered our victory, the unimpressed U.S. military simply goes about what it does best--defeating the terrorists and training the Iraqi military to serve a democratic government. They stay focused in this long war, while our pundits prepare the next controversy.

The second-guessing of 2003 still daily obsesses us: We should have had better intelligence; we could have kept the Iraqi military intact; we would have been better off deploying more troops. Had our forefathers embraced such a suicidal and reactionary wartime mentality, Americans would have still torn each other apart over Valley Forge years later on the eve of Yorktown--or refought Pearl Harbor even as they steamed out to Okinawa.

There is a more disturbing element to these self-serving, always evolving pronouncements of the "my perfect war, but your disastrous peace" syndrome. 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.

If many are determined to see the Iraqi war as lost without a plan, it hardly seems so to 130,000 U.S. soldiers still over there. They explain to visitors that they have always had a design: defeat the Islamic terrorists; train a competent Iraqi military; and provide requisite time for a democratic Iraqi government to garner public support away from the Islamists.

We point fingers at each other; soldiers under fire point to their achievements: Largely because they fight jihadists over there, there has not been another 9/11 here. Because Saddam is gone, reform is not just confined to Iraq, but taking hold in Lebanon, Egypt and the Gulf. We hear the military is nearly ruined after conducting two wars and staying on to birth two democracies; its soldiers feel that they are more experienced and lethal, and on the verge of pulling off the nearly impossible: offering a people terrorized from nightmarish oppression something other than the false choice of dictatorship or theocracy--and making the U.S. safer for the effort.

The secretary of defense, like officers in Iraq, did not welcome the war, but felt that it needed to be fought and will be won. Soldiers and civilian planners express confidence in eventual success, but with awareness of often having only difficult and more difficult choices after Sept. 11. Put too many troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we earn the wages of imperialism, or create a costly footprint that is hard to erase, or engender a dependency among the very ones in whom we wish to ensure self-reliance. Yet deploy too few troops, and instability arises in Kabul and Baghdad, as the Islamists lose their fear of American power and turn on the vulnerable we seek to protect.

In sum, after talking to our soldiers in Iraq and our planners in Washington, what seems to me most inexplicable is the war over the war--not the purported absence of a plan, but that the more we are winning in the field, the more we are losing it at home.

Mr. Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and the author most recently of "A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War" (Random House, 2005).


Be sure to check the current posts for updates.

Friday, February 24, 2006

"Don't Call Me An Islamophobe"

It seems that that is now the rallying cry of those who reacted with hysteria at the prospect of an Arab country leasing terminal management duties at our ports. I am sure there are those who have called the critics “Islamophobes”, and it was wrong for them to do so. However, I have no sympathy for the opponents as they brought it upon themselves by reacting so hysterically when this story broke. There are questions that need to be answered about the deal, and the Administration has started to do so.

The opponents of the deal immediately jumped on the bandwagon that this was a horrible deal. The transaction was completely mischaracterized, and those mischaracterizations were used to prey on the fear Americans rightly have after 9/11. An Arab owned company has bought our Ports! Our ports have been “out sourced!” This is the worst political mistake the administration could make!!! This is the end of the Bush administration!!! At best it’s a horrid political mistake, at worst we may lose a city!!

All said before even 10% of the facts were known. The question those of us who withheld judgement have for those who were hysterical from the get go is simple: Why? Why didn’t you get the facts before you commented? Why did the potential of this deal send you over the edge? Why were you willing to attack the President without knowing any of the facts?

It may very well be that after review the deal shouldn’t go forward. But for heavens sake calm down. As for the opponents being upset about others being upset about their irrational response: tough. When you throw a hissy fit and act like a baby, that is how you will be treated. In the mean time, more responsible people will have a debate about the possible security implications of any foreign entity, whether from the Middle Eat or Great Britain, leasing terminals in our ports. When you are finished throwing your fit, you can join the conversation.

Update:

It seems that now, those who had a ridiculous knee jerk reaction to the story and commented before having all (or any) of the facts, are now using the "ineptitude of the administration" as a cover for their behaviour. Instead of an excuse how about just admitting you were wrong to prejudge the situation and to help whip the public into a frenzy? Although I link to Instapundit as an example this excuse is rampant amoung those who are now embarrassed to admit that their opposition to the deal really only boiled down to ethnicity.



Be sure to check the current posts for updates.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Unreported Thwarting Of A Terrorist Attack on The US

Italy has arrested three Algerians who were planning an attack more spectacular than that of the September 11th attacks. The attack was to be launched within the United States against stadiums, train stations etc. The story itself should be what makes the headlines, unless you are an avid reader of blogs, you have not heard this story. The mainstream media has blacked it out. Why? Why would the mainstram media in the United States not cover what is most likely the biggest story regarding homeland security and one of the biggest stories in general since September 11th, when international newspapers are screaming it across their front pages and leading their newscats with it? The answer lies in how the Italian authorities uncovered and foiled the plot: using wiretaps. That's right. It seems the largest terror plot on the US since September 11th was uncovered using the very method the Democrats and their allies in the media hope to impeach George Bush for if the Democrats manage to retake the house. How could the media allow the people of the United States to hear a story that would completely take the wind out of the impeachment sails? They can't, therefore you are not allowed to see a story that is treated as blockbuster news everywhere from China to Europe.

Read it here.

Powerline also commented on this story here.


Be sure to check the current posts for update.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Coming War With Iran

The string of anti-Israel rants and the refusal to cooperate with the international community lead me to believe that Iran is not "months away" from having a nuclear weapon, but already have nuclear weapons. If the IAEA is willing and able to say that they believe Iran is only months away then the United States and the West should assume that Iran has nuclear weapons. Ariel Sharon has postured himself politically to be able to take in necessary action against Iran. Let the countdown begin, the war is coming and this time our "allies" had better be able to see the danger and join the coalition.



Be sure to check the current posts for updates.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Predictable Press

There have been dozens of articles like this one in the past few weeks. The press, in conjunction with renewed attacks by the Democrats, has been relentlessly trying to convince the American people that George Bush's Presidency is over. The bias is stunning. In fact, it can no longer be considered "bias" as that infers that the writer is at least attempting to be up the middle. The fact is the press during the past 5 years has turned itself into the propoganda wing of the Democratic Party. Each of these articles cited the same events: the death of 2,000 soldiers in Iraq, the indictment of Scooter (who?) Libby, and supposedly low approval numbers as evidence that the President is a lame duck, one year after recieving more voted than any presidential candidate in the history of the U.S. We are witnessing the press campaign for the Democrats in a mid term election. Oh well, what else is new?


Be sure to check the current posts for updates.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

This is Fascinating

This is a fascinating story, via LGF. After reading it, I searched the web and found a few more pages devoted to it here, here and here.


Be sure to check the current posts for updates.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Comments Off

Spammers have taken to leaving dozens of absurd, sometimes offensive comments, so I am turning comments off until I can find a remedy. If anyone knows of a way to stop this, please let me know. Otherwise comments will be limited to emails.

Be sure to check the current posts for updates.