Friday, September 01, 2006

And We Won't Come Back Till It's Over Over There

I believe it is foolish to think that we can withdraw to our shores and concentrate on intercepting terrorist attacks at our ports and our airports. Our enemies will follow us home to kill us just as they attacked us before we stepped foot in Baghdad. The Iraq War did not cause murderous hatred of America. So such a passive Maginot Line mentality should be ruled out right off the bat.

Nor do I even think that missile defense is enough of a fortification to justify standing on fortress America and telling the world to bugger off. Screeners at our facilities and missile defense must always be the last line of defense that attempts to stop the thugs who make it through all the other defenses. As General Patton said:

Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man. Anything built by man, can be destroyed by him.

Defense in depth is the key and defending our facilities must be the last line and not the first one. Public relations, diplomacy, espionage, law enforcement, and low-level military actions ranging from training allied forces to air or special operations strikes against terrorists must be the forward layers. And war in their backyard, too, when necessary, as we fight now in Afghanistan and Iraq.

We must take the fight to the enemy. We must fight them in their streets. Battle them on their beaches (or any sandy area for that matter). And draw support from allies over there who will fight with us.

Consider that if we hadn't overthrown Saddam and the Taliban. Our terrorist enemies would still have sanctuaries to train in. Sure, we could still bomb them, but if Israel had problems with a month of bombing in southern Lebanon, do you really think we could still be bombing al Qaeda training facilties in Afghanistan five years later?

Even if we had destroyed the Taliban but not Saddam, al Qaeda would have boogied to Baghdad and have an even more powerful state sponsor. Or would sanctions and bombing runs be going on over Saddam's palaces even today? With the bought UN, France, and Russia running interference for Saddam and China opposing us too?

But instead of having enemy sanctuaries protected by 500,000 enemy troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, training terrorists to come and test our fortifications at will, we have close to 500,000 allied forces hunting the enemy at our side over there. And maybe ten percent of that number of our traditional allies helping us over there, too.

Does anybody really think that we could get anywhere near this amount of allied help to guard our borders if we stayed here and sat on the defensive? Or would we militarize our own society and destroy our civil rights in a futile quest for the never-possible perfect defense?

And don't you dare say we caused this terrorism. Our enemies hated us whether we had cowboys or lip-biters or sweater-wearing defeatists in Oval Office. The killing of Americans started long before we marched into Baghdad three years ago.

We must kill the enemy at every opportunity in every corner of the world, and don't let up until they are dead or denouncing their faith in jihad with terror in their eyes, fearful for their own mortal lives and worried that the virgins in the afterlife won't touch their ugly asses. And maybe then this latest incarnation of Islamist fervor will run its course and be replaced with democracy and actual progress in place of the self-inflicted stagnation of the last fifty years.

As painful as it seems to still be fighting over there, going on offense is the only way to actually win this Long War, though the end point is not visible from where we are today. Sitting on defense only guarantees that every victory is just a tactical victory. And every defeat will result in the loss of more freedoms as we tighten our defenses in a futile attempt to endure enemy attacks.

But as Victor Hanson writes, even as we fight in the Middle East, we seem to be in a pause with our will to win depleted, as too many of us think we've done enough and should just walk away from the threat. Such a delusion cannot last:

Given Iraq, Afghanistan, and the acrimony at home — so similar to the debate right before Pearl Harbor over the earlier discounted fascist threat to the United States — we apparently are waiting for the enemy to strike again, before renewing the offensive.

So while we keep our defenses up at home, foster democracy in the heart of the Middle East in Afghanistan and Iraq, and hope the globalized march of modernity undermines jihadism faster than it can disrupt the 21st century, we also wait — for the next blow that we know will come.

If we can't get this through our collective skulls, some people here on the Left need the 2-by-4 treatment and some on the right really do need to be slapped. Before our enemies teach us again that they hate us and want us all dead--or as many as they can kill barring that glorious day.

So let's end with another Patton quote:

Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

We have no choice but to seek out our enemies and kill them where they stand. No remorse people, just face the facts and kill our enemies. And luckily enough for us, our enemies want to die. So we've got that going for us.

And we won't come back until it's over, over there.