Friday, November 07, 2003
....is defunct, at least if the President is to be believed.
Thursday's speech at the National Endowment for Democracy is a break with the past. Specifically, it is a break with how his father dealt with the Middle East.
In days of old when knights were bold, as early as September 10th, 2001, we relied on our sumbitches to maintain stability and the availability of oil at market prices. Saddam tried to upset that applecart and was put back in his box in 1991. Unfortunately, our sumbitches had to engage in Wahabist sumbitchery to maintain peace with the clerics and an increasingly frustrated population of restless young men. We never understood the terrible price of stability until September 11th.
Bush the Elder relied on the local satraps to Keep the Peace. For a time, it worked, as long as the peace was dictated by a desire of the ruling classes for a general Arab peace and the conflict with the Israelis was kept at a manageable simmer. But it only worked as long as the Angry Young Men were kept under control. When the Saudis exiled bin Laden and lost control of him, the clock started ticking, and so did a generation of The Wahabist impulse was supposed to be kept under control and at the beck and call of the Royal Family. The Princelings paid protection to the bin Laden organization to keep them away from the Saudi heartland. The Saudi princes never counted on a talented young man who actually took their sectarian fanaticism seriously. Wahabism, after all, had become a vehicle to provide legitimacy to the House of Saud. Now, on September 11th and beyond, an ideology founded on religious rage, suspicion, and fascism exploded throughout the Middle East.
These men had no interest in stability; rather, they were a millenialist movement of young religious fascists, and they wished to destroy the Old Order and advance Islam by means of the sword.
Our classical answer was to rely on our sumbitches. History revealed that that reliance was a terrible blunder. And so, yesterday's speech is a conscious, deliberate break with the State Department and the old Eastern Establishment of both parties that had curried favor with the Princes since the Second World War. Liberal blogger Michael J. Totten calls it the death of Kissingerian realpolitik, in so many words. The United States will pursue a doctrine founded on the advance of democratic government in an Islamic world fascinated by fascism and hate. Constitutional government and a civic democracy is a tall order, but if the Iraqis I have been reading are to be believed, it is welcome by many of the common people as well as the middle classes. And it comes not a moment too soon.
Wednesday, November 05, 2003
Now I know we're all supposed to get along, but there are times when we must point out the insanity of those obsessed by politics and ideology.
Such a time has arrived once again. Last night, a poster named "Starpass" over at DemocraticUnderground.com ("DU") posted a screed that can only be described as a cross between the repulsive and the callous. The post was picked up by some observant lurkers from FreeRepublic.com and started winging its way around the internet at something close to the speed of light. The Admin Moderators at DU didn't pull the post until Andrew Sullivan picked up on the item and posted a link to his blog. Within an hour of Sullivan picking it up, the DU mods pulled it and killed it.
What follows is the text of Starpass' message from last night:
“I hope the bloodshed continues in Iraq”
I won't be hypocritcal. It is politically correct, particularly in any Dem discussion to hope and pray and feel for our troops and scream "bring them back now". I'm fighting something bigger.
I'm a 58 year old broad and I can tell you that what is going on in our country isn't the usual ebb and flow of politics where one party is in power and then another; where the economy goes through ups and downs.......yawn, yawn--just wait a bit and things will turn out peachy keen. That stupid la-la land is over.
I realize that not every GI Joe was 100peeercent behind Prseeedent Booosh going into this war; but I do know that that is what an overwhelming number of them and their famlies screamed in the face of protesters who were trying to protect these kids. Well, there is more than one way to be "dead" for your country. They are not only not accompishing squat in Iraq, they are doing crap nothing for the safety, defense of the US of A over there directly. But "indirectly" they are doing a lot.
The only way to get rid of this slime bag WASP-Mafia, oil barron ridden cartel of a government, this assault on Americans and anything one could laughingly call "a democracy", relies heavily on what a shit hole Iraq turns into. They [American soldiers in Iraq] need to die so that we can be free. Soldiers usually did that directly--i.e., fight those invading and harming a country. This time they need to die in defense of a lie from a lying adminstration to show these ignorant, dumb Americans that Bush is incompetent. They need to die so that Americans get rid of this deadly scum. It is obscene, Barbie Bush, how other sons (of much nobler blood) have to die to save us from your Rosemary's Baby spawn and his ungodly cohorts.
No wonder this got pulled. This is one of the more hateful and contemptable things one American could write about the members of their Armed Forces. Understand the reasoning here: if more Americans die, Bush might lose. Therefore, I am in favor of more Americans being killed in action because I want George Bush to lose the election.
It is highly embarrassing to the "progressives" who dominate that website. I grant you, as Sullivan insisted, that this must be a fringe view, even on DU. Yet there were "understanding" responses to the post from fellow DU'ers. Thus, I must come to the conclusion that there are a significant number of people on the Left who desire more American combat deaths in the hope that their side will win the election and get to divvy up the swag.
Thankfully, the efforts by DU to suppress this have failed. James Taranto picked it up for his "Best of the Web" column at the Journal. No turning back now.
Monday, November 03, 2003
What a tough week.
Those Muslims sure do have a strange way to celebrate the holidays. Yesterday, a flight of CH-47 Chinook helicopters was fired upon by some of the local francs-tireurs. One helicopter successfully evaded SA-7 fire from the ground. Unfortunately, the other Chinook took a direct hit and crashed to the ground. 15 of our guys were killed in the attack, many others wounded. What really cuts to the quick is the fact that the infantrymen were beginning their two-weeks' leave. There were families expecting them home for a very short time. Unfortunately, they will receive the worst of news.
Sullivan commented that this attack, and the ensuing celebrations for the cameras by local townsfolk, are part of what he terms a "Somalia" strategy. Kill our troops, then celebrate their deaths, in the hopes that the American people will tire of this and leave Iraq to the likes of Saddam and his Sunni goons. For now, the terrorists appear to have a tactical advantage, if only because our use of infantry tactics and patrolling techniques has left something to be desired. One must never leave the initiative of any kind to the enemy. Otherwise, the next infantryman's death is merely a matter of time and choice.
Where does this leave us politically? Well, for starters, I believe that Bush has the moxie to see this through to the end. It is a good thing, because his political opponents would beat feet at the first sign of an opening. There is no thought of failure, no loss of nerve, at this White House. For that we can be thankful. Were that the same thing true in the Democratic Party. But it is not. The Democrats have veered wildly towards pacifism and retreat, all the while criticizing the President by using armies of straw men.
Democrats do this because the antiwar movement has its home in the base vote of the Democratic Party. These candidates need those base voters, and pacifism is where the votes are over there. However, their displays of weakness invite further attack. It is an article of faith among the jihadi that America has a glass jaw and cannot take casualties. To the extent that Democrats undermine the war effort, they are to be condemned, for they play into the hand of the Islamic Fascists. This does not relieve them of their obligation to offer up criticism of the Administration where it is applicable, but criticism should be leveled concomitant with a tableing of constructive solutions. There is plenty the Administration has got wrong, to be sure. But this campaign is part of a larger war to defend Western Christendom against another outbreak of Islamic imperialism. No part of that campaign can fail.
I believe that the grand strategy is sound: set up Iraq as a democracy in order to infect the surrounding kleptocracies with the virus of popular sovereignty. Once the Islamic heartland is infected by modernity, the attractions of terrorism and theocratic conquest will abate. Tactically, however, we remain on the defensive in the Sunni heartland. In the Shi'a territories and in Kurdistan, reconstruction and success have been the bywords, but much depends on how we turn this war against the Saddam crowd and their foreign allies. We may find it necessary to be much firmer towards the Sunni than was originally thought. Until such time, however, we must adopt different, more agressive patrolling techniques. We must also set up ambushes and counter-ambushes, and make extensive use of snipers.
It will be, as Donald Rumsfeld wisely forsaw, a "long, hard slog". But in the end, when all roads lead to Baghdad, it will have been worth it.