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.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.
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]
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....