February 6, 2007
Democrats and World War IVBy Ted Belman
Hillary Clinton recently said:
Both of these certitudes ignore the context and the realities. This may be because the Democrats by and large are in denial or believe that America is to blame for terrorism. If only America would stop oppressing the Arabs or stop favouring Israel, terrorism would greatly diminish.
Even if they are prepared to accept that we are in World War IV with Islamists, staying engaged in Iraq is counter-productive, they argue. It produces more terrorists than it kills. It is also costly to American lives and treasure.
Finally they argue that the war in Iraq was not prosecuted properly and that more troops should have been sent. While in hindsight, there is generally consensus on the errors but now the Democrats are against the surge and any attempt to correct the errors or the tactics or the strategy. Just bring the boys home and all will be well.
But what about World War IV? What are the causes of this war and how should it be prosecuted?
This war is a product of Islamic Jihad. Andre Bostom, author of the The Legacy of Jihad, writes,
Clearly the actions of the west are not the cause of the war as claimed by the Left. It is not who we are or what we do. Its all about who they are and what they believe.
After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Arabs turned to socialism under the Baath Party and pan-Arabism under Nasser. Their massive defeat in '67 at the hands of the Israelis gave rise to the resurgence of Islam lead by Khomeini. With it came the call to Jihad, fueled by the new found oil wealth.
On Feb 1, 1993, one month before the World Trade Centre bombing, a Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, reported,
Muslims went on the attack all over the world giving rise to the expression "the margins of Islam are bloody". Americans were often the victim of these attacks, the most egregious of which occurred on 9/11.
This was not a singular occurrence but it was a dramatic escalation in the war against the west promising more of the same.
What was America to do? In the past it "lobbed a few missiles" as it did in Afghanistan and Iraq or retreated as it did from Iran and Lebanon. 9/11 required more than tokenism. It required America to fight the war it had been avoiding for over twenty years.
Even the Democrats supported the war in Afghanistan and perhaps still do. But they question why Bush invaded Iraq. They argue it had nothing to do with the war on terror as if it was enough to invade Afghanistan only. They argue that terror must be treated as a matter of criminality and fought as such.
Given this history of the rise and growth of Jihad with its incumbent terrorism, how can Democrats suggest that it has anything to do with the invasion of Iraq.
When President Bush spoke to the Joint Session of Congress and the American People on Sept 20, 2001 he described al Qaeda thusly,
Bush was speaking not only to the American people but for them. Yet Hillary Clinton said if she were the president in 2002, she would "not have started this war". Was she referring to the Iraq war which started in '03 or the Afghanistan war which was started in '02. In any event, what would she have done to protect America or American interests? Americans deserve an answer.
And now she says, if elected, she will end the war in 2009. What does she mean? Does she intend to pull out of Iraq entirely and allow Iraq to fall to Iran which certainly will happen. If so, Lebanon and Jordan will also fall to Iran and its proxies shortly thereafter. And so will the entire Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia included.
Or is she prepared to drawn the line of retreat somewhere in order to maintain American presence in the Middle East and to protect its allies and interests. If so, where? Would it not be easier by remaining in Iraq rather then to retreating from Iraq? Americans deserve an answer.
If Americans withdraw from Iraq then what purpose was served by invading Afghanistan in the first place? Certainly the Taliban were punished for harbouring al Qaeda and the training grounds for terrorists were eliminated. But what is the point of the latter if they are allowed to regroup in Pakistan or Iraq or anywhere else for that matter?
Either America wants to prevail or it will be defeated.
Michael Gaynor in his article, Churchill, Lincoln, and Bush: Win! wrote,
The same must be said of the American People
One must keep in mind that Great Britain declared war on Germany before she was attacked. Still Churchill understood what was at stake.
Many have compared the threat posed by Hitler and Nazism in the thirties with the threat posed by the Islamists of today and concluded that the later is a more formidable enemy.
Even so and notwithstanding his words, Bush is not yet prepared to see the Iraq War as a regional war and certainly not as a global war. His "surge" strategy speech included
To my mind this was not a very aggressive stance. Yet he has done little in this regard. USA Today reviewed the US policy with respect to Iran and reported
This suggests to me that the US policy with respect to Iran remains as it has been; not to take them on. Too bad.
Will Bush commit to preventing Iran from getting the bomb or expanding its influence and hegemony? Americans deserve an answer.
How will the global War on terror be fought? How will the spread of Islamism be stopped" Americans deserve an answer.
Ted Belman is the Editor of Israpundit.