Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review Feb. 25, 2003 / 23 Adar I, 5763

Michael Long

Mike Long
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

The Cradle of Civilization, Again

No more Cold Wars | The removal of Iraq as an international troublemaker is going to change the world for the better.

Once the current Iraqi regime is removed, American soldiers will find massive and hidden stockpiles of restricted materiel and weapons. The true scope of Saddam's ability to support terrorism will be laid out for the world.

Iraqis, and a significant population within the Arab world, will see by America's magnanimous post-war behavior that U.S. intentions were as stated: the removal of a source of mischief and weapons of mass destruction (WMD), with the splendid byproduct of the liberation of the Iraqi people from a murderer-dictator.

More important, though, is that the deposing of Saddam Hussein will mark the start of a long-term effort toward a restructured and, eventually, peaceful Middle East.

The world's long history of violent despots teaches at least these things: force is the universal language of dictators; it is the only way to get terrorists' attention; and even lovers of peace must be fluent to survive --- especially lovers of peace. A historic display of American military might --- Iraq 2003 will make the Gulf War look like a cudgel - will give our enemies pause.

Expect North Korea's Kim Jong Il to return to his senses, such as they are. Kim wants to stay in power. His nuclear adventurism lately is a means to that end --- he cannot afford to run his own country, let alone run a war around the globe. In a little-noted but telling debate on "Meet The Press" on February 23, Richard Perle indicated that the U.S. would almost certainly strike at North Korea if it proceeded too far down the nuclear road. Kim won't attack the South (destroying the infrastructure and resources that he covets) unless such a move is part of regional suicide mission before he is deposed or killed. Kim will find a way back to the negotiating table. However, the world will recognize his real motivation: the intimidating power -- and newly shown will -- of America to dispose of WMD threats.

The mullahs in Iran will silence themselves considerably, having become next-door neighbors to America's vested investment in a new Middle East, and the attendant population of armed forces. Iranian leaders know they are about one sneer away from revolution among their own people, and that their country would make a nice annex to Iraq's remodeling.

The rest of the Islamic world will be relieved by the end of Saddam, but will also find itself under a new constraint: American force will no longer be only reactive; it will be available as a pre-emptive option against supporters of terrorism. This will start the countdown on the existence of terror-friendly regimes in countries such as Libya, Sudan, Egypt, Syria, and others. Additional pressure on those governments will come when the success of reconstituted Middle East states creates new opportunities and improved quality of life for their neighbors.

The goal of the war on terror began with a bold idea, to end the notion that civilized societies can tolerate terrorism of any kind. In a very short time, this has evolved into something more, to match U.S. reactive policies to pre-emptive initiatives against grave threats. With the hair-trigger potential of WMD, and the proliferation of such weapons into the hands of groups with no geographic location to defend, there was really little choice, if the safety of the nation was to be preserved and not left to the goodwill of our enemies.

It will be a frightening trip from here to there. There are significant numbers of people in Europe and America who insist that it is better to negotiate truce after truce instead of eliminating a threat that is beyond the pale. These are the same people who believe that any peace is better than war --- the same people who refuse to recall, for instance, such a "peace" after World War I, which led directly to World War II. It is easier to believe happy talk; some otherwise intelligent individuals will be happy to do just that. Yet reason and goodwill cannot fix everything.

The Cold War was a spectacular mistake. Decades of the fear of mutually assured destruction -- MAD, as it is called -- would have never occurred if the U.S. had had the foresight and will to act after World War II. This time, we have a chance to head off a far more dangerous cold war with radical Islam. Imagine the folly of fighting a cold war with the enemy already foreswearing "cold."

Iraq is the cradle of civilization. Ironically, it is about to become just that once again.

Like this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Michael Long is a a director of the White House Writers Group. Comment by clicking here.


01/31/03: Silencing opponents because you can
01/28/03: You can't always eat what you want ... But you still can, for a while 01/10/03: What They Believe For The Moment
12/06/02: Federal Spending: Look At It This Way And weep
11/15/02: On the radio: What really happens behind the scenes at talk shows
11/08/02: Coming Soon: 1972
10/31/02: The Election Goes Republican: Election 2002 finds Democrats alienating nearly everyone
10/22/02: What if we never catch the terrorist-sniper?
10/04/02: A Few Thoughts On The News
09/27/02: Goodbye To All That: The terrible, wide war that must be fought
09/20/02: The Florida Lesson: We need better voters, not better machines
09/13/02: A few thoughts on the news
09/06/02: Give Them What They Want
08/13/02: The Dangerous Lull on Iraq ... And how today's delay proves why 9/11 had to happen
07/26/02: Where's Honest Debate on Judge Owen?: NOW members should demand better of President Kim Gandy
07/19/02: A Secret No One Can Keep: Why Osama bin Laden is still alive
07/09/02: Don't forget why Bush was elected
06/28/02: The bravest pop culture icon in the war on terror
06/14/02: Five Thoughts On Father's Day: Personal Stuff
06/06/02: Stay Awake, Grads, I'm Almost Done Talking: Life, and How to Live It
05/31/02: See This Movie: "The Sum of All Fears" is a wake-up call
05/24/02: Richard Simmons for President? What really motivates the fat-taxers
05/13/02: The Carnival at the FAIR: "Unbiased" acquires a new definition
04/22/02: Bottled And Sold: Economic Confidence Under a Screw-top
04/12/02: McGovern's Respectful Dissent
04/02/02: The Right to Do Wrong: The Creator, A Clockwork Orange, and war
03/26/02: The Big Story No One Talks About: Why isn't Washington serious about airport security?
03/18/02: Worlds Away: A snapshot of anti-Semitism in the Moslem world
03/08/02: The safest place in the world --- for now
03/05/02: Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others
02/22/02: And Then What?: Fear and Loathing Around the Corner
02/15/02: Al Gore and the real root cause of terrorism
02/08/02: A few thoughts on the news
02/01/02: Ready, Aim, Cloud The Issue: An irresponsible report on "terrorism" from the Brady Center
01/28/02: Discretion and Art, Part 2
01/16/02: Discretion and Art
01/08/02: Desperate Dems
12/18/01: Politics and Holidays
12/07/01: A war bigger than we know: Changing the future, slowly and surely
11/28/01: A Mid-Winter Night's Dream: A play in one fun act
11/20/01: A Lot of War Left To Fight
11/13/01: Guess who Clinton's apologizing for now: I'll bet you guessed right
11/02/01: Rules for Wartime: Rule Number One: Remember what's true
10/26/01: The Moral Case For Torture: Dirty hands don't always mean dirty souls
10/19/01: Questions for the Anti-War Crowd, Part II: What if someone took them seriously?
10/16/01: Questions for the anti-war crowd: If they question you, ask these back
10/12/01: The Jason Problem: Sometimes they only look dead
10/08/01: A little hindsight: A letter for readers in the future
09/28/01: Calling Bono: A plea to the pop culture elite to speak out
09/20/01: Encouragement from the Heartland, by mail
09/13/01: Bleeding time
09/07/01: The trailer-park taste of the public radio catalog
09/04/01: BRAVE NEW FREUD: Internet-based psychiatry may mean relief for those who have shunned treatment
08/17/01: First Amendment: Chickens home to roost
07/27/01: Dispatch From The Front: The Gun Control War
07/20/01: Summer song
07/03/01: It's a Wonderful Recount

© 2001, Michael Long