Sunday, January 23, 2005

Iraq, Democracy and U.S. Options

Click here for AmazonFar from the quagmire that leftists and terrorists worldwide enjoy dubbing it, Victor Davis Hansen posits that Iraq is already poised to be a major, strategic success. America's powerful, unexpected response to Islamic terrorism has given it new options in the Middle East and, indeed, worldwide.

...The American persistence in Iraq under difficult circumstances might also explain why potential enemies farther afield, from Teheran to Pyongyang, have so far decided not to seize the moment to press their luck with the United States. Meanwhile, the world at large appears more, rather than less, disposed to stand up to Islamic fascism and the terror it wages. Even less ambiguously, Pakistan, though often playing a duplicitous role in the past, has remained a neutral in the war on terror if not at times an ally, while its nuclear guru, A.P. Khan, is for the moment in retirement. On the issue of the dangers posed by Islamic extremism, nearly 3 billion people in India, China, Japan, and the former Soviet Union are more likely to favor than to oppose American counterterrorism efforts. Libya is suddenly coming clean about its own nefarious schemes and even opening its borders to African aid workers. Murmurs of democratic change are rumbling throughout the autocratic Gulf. Terrorists are not so welcome as they once were in Jordan, Yemen, or much of North Africa...

...If Americans have learned anything from the careers of Qaddafi, the Saudi royal family, Saddam Hussein, and the Iranian clergy, it is that huge petroleum profits accruing among illegitimate autocrats are a recipe for global terrorism and regional havoc. One way to end the present pathology is for the United States, accepting that concerns for our national survival can sometimes trump the logic of finding the cheapest energy source, to develop a policy that helps drive down world petroleum prices. Another option is far more aggressively to promote democratic reforms among the petrol sheikdoms themselves. A third is to do both. Given the entry of India and China into the world petroleum market, fostering tighter global demand while potentially circumscribing our own clout, the hour is more urgent than ever; but the Middle East is also, and once again thanks to the ongoing reform of Iraq and Afghanistan, more fluid and perhaps more promising than ever....

Aligned with these intentions, President Bush's inaugural address painted the stark rationale for our continued actions: that spreading Democracy is directly linked to our national security. In no uncertain terms, a failure to address despots and tyrants is a recipe for increased terror, conflict and risk.

Interesting, Musab al Zarqawi -- reknowned international terrorist -- agrees:

...We have declared a fierce war on this evil principle of democracy and those who follow this wrong ideology. Anyone who tries to help set up this system is part of it...

As Hindrocket notes, "Battle lines have been drawn. It's too bad so many liberals can't figure out which side of the line they're on."

Hindrocket also links to the blog of a US soldier serving in Iraq. Kerry Manthey recently posted this missive:

I read in the news today that Zarqawi is “declaring war on Iraqis who vote in the upcoming elections”. Here’s my prediction: The Iraqis are going to declare war on Zarqawi by voting in the upcoming elections. Zarqawi is also going to be captured by American forces. Zarqawi will beg the Americans not to turn him over to the Iraqis.

Zarqawi and Al Qaeda’s declaration of war on the Iraqi people is similar to Al Qaeda's declaration of war on America. If you didn’t think we were already at war in Iraq with Al Qaeda, you obviously missed what Al Qaeda did to us on September 11, 2001.

America didn't cower in fear from terrorism, neither will the Iraqis.

It is stunning to me how frequently today's left finds itself on the side of suicidal extremist terror and Middle East anarchy. One thing is certain: it is a recipe for continued failure at the polls.

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