Thursday, January 25, 2007

Distracted by the War

Opponents of the Iraq War like to say that this war "distracts" us from the "real" war on terror.

This is an ignorant statement--even aside from the issue of whether killing jihadis in Iraq is unrelated to the war on terror. Are the critics really asserting we can't fight on multiple fronts? We are no less capable today of fighting in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and against jihadi terrorists than we were capable in 1943 of fighting Japan, Italy, and Germany.

Really, what would our troops in Iraq be doing now if not fighting in Iraq? Would we deploy them all to Afghanistan? Where troops cost four times as much to support as they do in Iraq? Afghansitan has the same population as Iraq, remember. If we don't have enough to win in Iraq, how can we have enough with the same number of troops? (And at four times the cost.)

Or are these critics suggesting we should invade Pakistan's tribal areas with conventional forces to hunt down Osama bin Laden?

Clearly, if we are distracted, it isn't because conventional forces are tied down in Iraq.

Perhaps if we weren't involved in Iraq we wouldn't be experiencing repeated terror attacks at home. Hmm. No terrorist attacks here since 9/11, so I guess this isn't the issue.

Well maybe we've just been lucky. Maybe the critics mean that the Iraq War is somehow interfering with other non-military means.

Perhaps if not for the Iraq War we'd be intercepting the communications of overseas terrorists trying to arrange terror attacks here at home.

No, wait. We were doing that. Sadly the press revealed that program.

Or maybe the war in Iraq stops us from tracking terrorist financial transactions.

No, wait. Again, we were doing that. And again, the press revealed that legal program.

Hey, maybe absent the Iraq War we'd be scrutinizing the bank accounts of potential terrorist suspects.

Darn the luck, we were doing that, too. The press revealed this program, too.

You know? As I reflect on all this, I have to admit that our war on terror really is being harmed by the distraction of waging a relentless and unnecessary war built on a pack of lies--the war on President Bush that our loyal opposition is waging. And this distraction persists despite Howard Dean stringing up the Mission Accomplished banner on November 8, 2006, following the end of Major Electoral Operations.

There is no substitute for victory in Iraq. And to be clear, by victory I mean victory over our enemies fighting us in Iraq.

I know a lot of people out there are genuinely confused about that. I think they are distracted.

UPDATE: Orson Scott Card has a relevant essay:

It is one thing to raise legitimate questions about how a war is being waged. It is quite another thing to agitate openly for surrender to an enemy that will not accept our surrender, but will, scenting victory, continue to murder Americans wherever they can.

Why should the Democrats have control of Congress if they will use that power to destroy the fledgling movement toward democracy in Iraq that is the only hope for countering the false piety of the Islamo-fascists?

They are so ignorant of history that they think they can do this with impunity -- that if they can keep the media on their side (as they certainly are right now), they can win political control of America in the presidential election of 2008.

Maybe they can. Just as Hoover won the presidency in 1928 just in time to preside over the Great Depression, maybe the Democrats will get complete control of the American government just in time for the disastrous world war and/or worldwide economic collapse that will be the certain result of the triumph of Islamo-fascism in the Middle East.
The anti-war side here at home is waging a total war on political opponents with a ruthlessness that they deny our troops in Iraq the ability to use on actual enemies.

And damn the consequences. It's almost as if they believe it is necessary to destroy the village in order to save it, eh?

Yes indeed, it takes a village to surrender.

And there is much else to contemplate in his essay.