Jewish World Review Dec. 5, 2005/ 4 Kislev,
Going for the knockout
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | The Iraqis, who know better than anyone about what's going on in
their country, are more optimistic about winning the war for democracy than
the Americans. Marines with their lives on the line are considerably more
faithful to the cause than the politicians in Washington.
The polls show Americans turning against the war, with the media
chorus eager to sing the siren call to the troops. President Bush, speaking
to the Class of '05 at the U.S. Naval Academy, and Sen. Joe Lieberman, the
Connecticut Democrat who wrote an important op-ed in The Wall Street Journal
reporting on his fourth visit to Iraq, delivered a one-two punch that ought
to knock some sense into the heads of Americans who have "gone wobbly."
"While U.S. public opinion polls show serious declines in
support for the war and increasing pessimism about how it will end, polls
conducted by Iraqis for Iraqi universities show increasing optimism," the
senator wrote. "Two-thirds say they are better off than they were under
Saddam [Hussein], and a resounding 82 percent are confident their lives in
Iraq will be better a year from now than they are today."
Critics of the war might think these Iraqis are smoking
something besides water in their pipes, but the Iraqis have suffered, and
the critics haven't. The Iraqis can see what is not so visible from afar,
the flowering of democracy from the seeds we planted in a garden of evil.
The Iraqis didn't start the war, but they're in it, and they understand that
someone will win it, and it had better be the small-d democrats.
We were spoiled by the facile symbolism of the toppling of
Saddam Hussein, both of the statue and the man. The president describes
mistakes he made at the beginning of the war but counsels patience with
clarity. He asks Americans to visit whitehouse.gov, where a document called
"National Strategy for Victory in Iraq" is posted. It's worth the trip.
The war for Iraq is a war between the 27 million who want to be
free and the 10,000 who, for reasons of power, ambition and benighted
religion, don't. The opposition is made up of rejectionists, mainly Sunni
Muslims who enjoyed a privileged life under Saddam, the Saddamists who held
power under Saddam and terrorists who cut off heads in the name of Allah.
"The third group is the smallest but the most lethal," says the president.
The terrorists include savages from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Sudan,
Yemen, Libya and other countries.
It would be foolish to think that the terrorists would go away
if we went away. "If we're not fighting and destroying this enemy in Iraq,"
says the president, "they would not be idle. They would be plotting and
killing Americans across the world and within our own borders. By fighting
these terrorists in Iraq, Americans in uniform are defeating a direct threat
to the American people."
He described how the terrorists would fill the vacuum left
behind: "They would then use Iraq as a base from which to launch attacks
against America and overthrow moderate governments in the Middle East and
try to establish a totalitarian Islamic empire that reaches from Indonesia
Leaving now would undermine what Sen. Lieberman witnessed as
"the growing stability and progress in the Middle East, which has long been
a major American national and economic security priority."
The senator correctly sizes up the men and women of both parties
who are running for cover despite what the clear evidence tells everyone. He
is sickened by the posturing, both of Democrats eager to prolong a pointless
3-year-old argument over how we got into this war, and the Republicans who
aren't men enough to stand by what they have been saying now that another
Election Day comes in sight.
The worst among us are those who bounce back and forth, seeking
to exploit the sentiment of the day. John Kerry once demanded more troops
for Iraq and now wants a quick pullout. Hillary Clinton says she willingly
takes responsibility for her votes for war but she should never have been
asked to vote for a war she now calls a mistake. House Minority Leader Nancy
Pelosi voted against immediate withdrawal two weeks ago and now wants to cut
and run. (Isn't asking a San Francisco Democrat for strategy on the war like
asking David Duke for strategy on protecting the civil rights of blacks?)
Fortunately, the soldiers and Marines in Iraq are not girly men.
A Marine general at Camp Fallujah puts it on the line: "My Marines are
motivated by their devotion to each other and the cause, not by political
debates." Marines go for the knockout.
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© 2005, Suzanne Fields, Creators Syndicate