Sunday, November 26, 2006

Victory and Democracy Aren't Realistic?

The inherently slow path to beating a well-financed terrorism campaign in Iraq is prompting a number of people to inspired mental gymnastics to disguise retreat as realism:

So let's add up the "realist" proposals: We must retreat from Iraq, and thus abandon all those Iraqis--Shiite, Sunni, Kurd, and others--who have depended on the United States for safety and the promise of a better future. We must abandon our allies in Lebanon and the very idea of an independent Lebanon in order to win Syria's support for our retreat from Iraq. We must abandon our opposition to Iran's nuclear program in order to convince Iran to help us abandon Iraq. And we must pressure our ally, Israel, to accommodate a violent Hamas in order to gain radical Arab support for our retreat from Iraq.

I find this astounding. We once supported Third World thugs in order to focus on the far greater threat of Soviet Communism. It was never a great deal and the "stability" we bought in the Third World was never more than temporary and never morally good except for the fact that we faced a quite evil enemy in Moscow that had to be defeated.

Failing to recognize that the world has changed dramatically from 1989 to 2001 is so far from recognizing realism and idealism alike that I don't understand how abandoning democrats or pro-democracy advocates in Iraq, Iran, Israel, and Lebanon can be embraced by so-called Progressives as readily as old Cold War realists.

Progressives here who think it is outrageous that we should sacrifice any small amount of freedom to fight terrorism find it equally outrageous that we would help foreign people willing to fight and die for freedom. These Progressives would let real fascists run the lives of Iraqis, Iranians, and Lebanese while supporting Hamas over Israel.

Rather than try to dress up surrender as nuanced realism, we really need to focus on victory.

Victory is well within our grasp and is the right thing to do.