Caroline Glick Hammers Bush

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

At Jewish World Review is a spot-on column by Caroline Glick which should be required reading for anyone interested in winning the current war. The paragraphs I quote here are quite good, but do nothing near justice to the entire piece.

SCIRI is the largest faction in the Iraqi parliament today, and Hakim is considered key to ensuring stability in Iraq. To this end, he was brought to Washington last December to meet with President George W. Bush.

But since Hakim is controlled by Iran, by attempting to appease him, the US is effectively attempting to collaborate with Iran in a manner that facilitates the Iranian takeover of Iraq. This move is opposed by US military commanders in the country who are tired of allowing the Iranians to kill US forces at will. Yet while they are reportedly demanding that the authority kill Iranian operatives in Iraq, their moves are being blocked by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her associates at the State Department and the CIA.

...

In many ways it makes sense that Bush has lost his will to fight. Since the September 11 attacks, the president has refused to acknowledge the true nature of the forces arrayed against the US and the rest of the free world. By insisting on referring to the war against Sunni and Shi'ite jihad as a war against terrorism, Bush refused to acknowledge the identity of America's enemies or the scope of their power and ambitions. Consequently, he has approved policies in Iraq, and indeed throughout the world, which are based on a denial of the nature of the enemy and so cannot possibly defeat its forces.

Now, frustrated with the seemingly intractable realities on the ground and in the political battlefield in Washington, Bush is attempting to establish a middle course between victory and surrender. Unfortunately, this course -- which involves handing over the fruits of military victories to jihadists and their state sponsors -- cannot help but ensure the defeat Bush rightly wishes to avoid. [bold added]
Bush's actions have flowed directly from his ideas about our enemies for long enough now that one really need not have ever heard of Ayn Rand to see this. The chickens are coming home to roost in numbers too great to ignore.

Although it sounds from this like the world is going to hell in a hand-basket, we face a weak, incompetent enemy. The goals of those of us in favor of victory should be first, to do as John Lewis has done so tirelessly and effectively: lay out how we should fight this war. Second, since persisting in Bush's course is not the answer, then we must make it clear that, as Jim Allard pointed out yesterday on HBL, the alternative between "defeatism" and what is being called "patriotism" (staying on a course of disaster) is a false one.

To surrender is defeatism, but to demand that we actually fight the war is not. Not only do opinion polls that simply ask whether we "approve" or "disapprove" of how Bush is handling the war fail us by lumping together the pacifists (the real defeatists) and many (if not most) of the real hawks, so do pundits who fail to make such distinctions.

Speaking of whom, Robert Tracinski -- whose TIA Daily took Objectivists to task some time back for objecting to how Bush has handled the war -- has failed to mention this column at all for two days running, instead intimating that Bush is getting ready to confront Iran. (He did mention the U.S. aiding Ethiopia against Somalia earlier. Ms. Glick's column contains a very disconcerting followup to that.) It will be interesting to see whether he brings it up soon and, if so, what his commentary on it will be like....

-- CAV

7 comments:

Kriegsgefahrzustand said...

Thanks for that one, its nice to see that sort of thing in print, Ms. Glick has had his number for a while now, and hasn't let up.

Advocating victory? Of course, although I don't expect one. Same way I advocate capitalism, but don't expect to get any of that either.

Gus Van Horn said...

This may sound funny coming after this post, but I mean it: You're being too pessimistic.

The real battle behind both of the goals you support is a philosophical and cultural one. That battle is very difficult, but not impossible, and we do know how to fight it.

In any case, it's good to see you here. Thank you for stopping by.

Kriegsgefahrzustand said...

No, don't worry I get that a lot.

However in my defense I try to consider not only what is ideal, but also what is likely. If I sound the pessimist, it is because things don't look good at least from where I'm standing.

Yet no matter how bad, I don't view it as a reason to surrender or compromise my values.

I understand the philosophical and cultural battle that is raging, and hope for the best, even as I prepare for the worst.

Galileo Blogs said...

I'll add a couple more paragraphs from that superb article:

"THE US policy of appeasing jihadists in the Horn of Africa is just one example of the recent turn that US policy has taken regarding the war against the global jihad. On every major front, and particularly in its dealings with Israel, Iraq and Iran, the Bush administration is implementing policies that undermine its allies, strengthen its enemies and consequently harm US national security interests. While the administration and the new Democratic Congress argue over troop levels and funding for the US military in Iraq, as former CIA analyst Robert Baer wrote last week in Time magazine, Iran has effectively taken control of Basra, Iraq's port city and oil hub. The Iranian toman rather than the Iraqi dinar is the currency of trade in the city. The Shi'ite holy city of Najaf is also veering toward becoming a protectorate of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards."

On how we finance terrorists:

"Fatah forces make no attempt to hide their involvement in terror attacks against Israel. They wear their Aksa Martyr Brigades T-shirts beneath their official uniforms. And yet, this week it was revealed that some $76.4 million of the $86.4 million that the US plans to give to Fatah will go to training 13,500 terror forces. That is, the US is now openly involved in training and equipping Palestinian terrorists who, as Abbas makes clear, are seeking to expand their operations to kill Israelis."

***

That is one of the best articles I have read on Bush's war against terrorism. Thank you for linking to it.

Bush is so Christian in his approach to this war. With an altruist moral base, he cannot countenance acting with selfish authority to defeat the enemy, especially if that enemy is a sincere believer in their own religion.

It is leading to an ugly Vietnam-style defeat in Iraq, and perhaps much worse.

As for pessimism, I can't be too pessimistic either. Our nation has been through horrible times in the past, such as the burning of the White House in the War of 1812, or the attack on Pearl Harbor. But, it looks like we are headed near-term into more of a hell before it could get any better.

One big difference, though, between then and now, is that we did not act altruistically in facing the enemy. Ironically, in relative military terms we are far stronger today than at any point in our history (or even world history for that matter). Yet we are as vulnerable as ever because the ideas that guide us cause us to turn the other cheek.

Gus Van Horn said...

The biggest impediment in this war (which Galileo points out) -- and the biggest danger -- are both ideological. The biggest danger is that what we have been doing ends up being mistaken for fighting the war. This will make it harder to correct the error we have made so far.

Anonymous said...

I came away from reading this excellent article with an extreme loathing for Bush and especially Rice. Bush is the very definition of weakness and Rice, well in a more rational era she would be tried for treason.

I know the Left is worse and that they are on the side of the Jihadists. But Bush is a Christian abomination.

We are truly stuck between a rock and a hard place. I am very depressed.

Bill Visconti

Gus Van Horn said...

On the bright side, such as it is....

To borrow a metaphor from Bush: We are addicted to self-immolation.

As this travesty wears on, this REAL cause of the symptoms, our impending failure, can become better apparent with the aid of some intelligent debate, making our society that much closer to recovery.

Admitting a problem, in this case, that we failed to wage a war with its only proper objective -- our self-defense -- is half the battle.