Friday, September 21, 2012

Work All the Problems

The New York Times believes we need to keep bolstering the forces of moderation in the Moslem world even though the violent and vocal Islamists try to make it seem as if our efforts are a waste. I agree:

Mitt Romney and the Republicans have leveled preposterous charges that Mr. Obama has been weak and apologetic. They have offered only confusing and often contradictory assertions in place of a coherent alternative. They haven’t gotten the message that Washington cannot, and should not, try to impose its will on the fragile Arab democracies.

But it would be wrong to retreat from supporting people in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt who are committed to building democratic governments and pluralistic societies based on the rule of law as some in Congress urge. The United States has to stay engaged in whatever ways it can.

But I firmly reject the defense of the Obama administration on weakness and apologies.

President Obama certainly has portrayed his very existence as a refutation of past American actions. He is the personification of apology, if nothing else. And he certainly acts like he is sorry for our past which is why he wanted a new beginning with the Moslem world.

And refusal to support Iran's opposition, refusal to remain in Iraq after 2011, a too-rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan, "leading from behind" in Libya, retreating from resetting with Russia, dithering on Syria, and confusion over being at war with jihadis (even on 11 SEP 2012, of all days) all point to an administration that is too weak to use the power we have to defend our interests vigorously.

Yet I do join in being disappointed that so many Republicans want to wash our hands of the region and come home. Have we not learned from the 9/11 attacks 11 years ago that our enemies abroad will follow us home? We have to keep working the problem of jihadis within Moslem society. Loud demonstrations don't mean we've lost that battle. It means the war continues.

I know it is tempting for Republicans to reject everything because the Obama administration is involved. But just because the Obama administration is doing it wrong (and worse, often doesn't even seem to realize it must fight the war at all) doesn't mean it isn't worth doing. Truth be told, some Republicans have been against this path even under Bush.

But we have the war we are in and not the war we wish we had. Yes, it's hard. If it was easy, even President Obama and his minions could have made it work. Sadly, another problem is our current administration. We can't help it in the short run that nutballs want to kill us. It is what it is. But we can solve the problem of having an administration that believes if we only show we care enough and are contrite enough that we can disarm the anger of any murderous foe. Enemies are just friends we havent' made yet, they seem to firmly believe.

Our Islamist enemies would love it if we failed to resist them and just assumed we are beaten. Keep supporting those who oppose the Islamists in the Moslem world. It's bad enough that a relatively small minority is willing to kill us. Do we want a Moslem world where those nutballs are in charge and in a position to brainwash most of the people into unrelenting hatred of us?

Work all the problems.