Jewish World Review Oct. 12, 2004 / 27 Tishrei, 5765
We can lose there only if we lose our will
Two of the four elections which will determine the outcome of the war on
terror were held last weekend. The results are encouraging.
Afghanistan held its first elections ever. It will be some time before the
results are known, as ballots the size of posters are trekked by donkey from
remote villages to counting stations, and there have been reports of
But turnout was high, and there were only sporadic incidences of violence.
This gives the lie to assertions by Teresa Heinz Kerry and other Democrats
that the Taliban has reasserted control over most of Afghanistan.
In fact, it would be harder to have a more graphic illustration of the
relative weakness of the Taliban and al Qaida in Afghanistan than the long
lines of voters at polling stations throughout the country, and the
inability of the terrorists seriously to disrupt voting anywhere.
"After months of what proved to be empty threats, military commanders and
ordinary Afghans Sunday said the vote was a serious setback for the holdouts
of the hard-line Islamic regime that was driven from power by U.S. bombs
almost three years ago for harboring Osama bin Laden," ABC News said.
In Australia, the government of Prime Minister John Howard was returned to
power with an increased majority. Howard's Coalition even took control of
Australia's senate, which had eluded it for the eight years in which Howard
has been in power. The opposition Labor party, which opposes Australia's
role in the war on terror, had been slightly favored going into the
When it appeared as if the Labor Party was likely to win, the New York Times
said Australia's participation in the war in Iraq was a major issue. But
now that strong Bush supporter Howard has won a much larger than expected
victory, the Times has concluded that the race was decided on domestic
issues, with Iraq only a negligible factor.
The two most important elections are our presidential election Nov. 2, and
the Iraqi national elections scheduled for January. Iraq has become the
central battlefield in the war on terror, and we can lose there only if we
lose our will. As the recent fights in Najaf and Samarra indicate, the
terrorists can't stand up to our military might, and the vast majority of
Iraqis are against them.
John Kerry's cluelessness about the war on terror was illustrated
graphically in an interview he gave to the New York Times magazine, which
was published Sunday.
Kerry told interviewer Matt Bai that he is against "imposing" democracy, as
if the elections in Afghanistan would have occurred if the Taliban were
still in power, or that there could be elections in Iraq if Saddam Hussein
were still in power. We "imposed" democracy in Germany and Japan after
World War II. It's worked out pretty well.
President Bush thinks Islamic terrorists are a dangerous enemy who must be
crushed. Kerry "has a much less apocalyptic world view," Bai said.
"We have to get back to the place where we were, where terrorists are not
the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance," Kerry told Bai. "As a
former law enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution.
We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it,
organized crime, to the level where it isn't on the rise."
Many Americans will find Kerry's comparison of terrorism with prostitution
and gambling to be perverse. No prostitute has ever flown an airliner into
a skyscraper, and no gambler has machine gunned school children.
Bush's priority is to hunt down and kill terrorists wherever they are found.
But for Kerry, it's more important that Americans be liked than that
Americans be safe. He told Bai that what's most important in the war on
terror is "restoring America's reputation as a country that listens, is
sensitive, brings people to our side, is the seeker of peace, not war."
Kerry's says the war in Iraq is a mistake, but he'd fight it better than
Marine Lt. Kevin Brown, now in Iraq, isn't buying. In an email to his
father, he said: "You can't support the troops and protest their mission.
Eventually the charade will be played to its natural conclusion, and neither
the troops nor the mission will be supported."
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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a
deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan
administration. Comment by clicking here.
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