Sunday, August 21, 2005


Believe our Enemies

Jeffrey Bell and Frank Cannon take stock of the War on Terror in this, the fifth year of America's active response to the threat of radical Islamic terrorism (which itself is far older than our response to its aggression against us).

In The War on Terror: Year Five in the Weekly Standard, Bell and Gannon rightly point out that:
Osama bin Laden conceived his attack on the Twin Towers as a masterstroke of psychological warfare. If America could be driven out of Somalia in 1993 by mere dozens of casualties, he is known to have believed, the sudden, unexpected murder of thousands would compel us to wash our hands not just of Saudi Arabia but of the entire Arab world, the greater Middle East, and ultimately of the world of Islam altogether.
Bin Laden was very wrong, but only proven so by the decisive response of the United States, its President, and the rest of the Coalition.

We put pressure on Pakistan's Musharraf, and forced him to choose sides. We deposed the repressive and state-sponsor-of-terror Taliban. We pressed for regime change in Iraq and refused to deal with the PLO's Arafat. Many attack these decisions as a distraction from the Global War on Terror.

Bell and Gannon give the best reason possible for believing our success in Iraq is critical to the War on Terror: the leading General of Al Qaeda, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi believes this, too.

If he did not, why would he bother to expend critical Al Qaeda resources and "prestige" in throwing all his ogranization's effort into trying to strangle the infant Iraqi democracy in its cradle?

Bell and Gannon declare:
But there is one person who has never had any doubt that Bush is right, and therefore has moved heaven and earth to try to prevent democracy from getting an Iraqi foothold: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and the most effective general al Qaeda has found in the four years of this world war. Zarqawi's certainty on this point--the devastating effect democratization would have on the cause of Islamist terrorism--is undoubtedly a big reason al Qaeda has put so many chips--not just in Iraq itself, but in Madrid and London--on demoralizing supporters of the Bush-Blair-Sharansky strategy of promoting Arab democracy.
If our enemies think George Bush is right, if our enemy intensely seeks to fight us in Iraq, and we can acknowledge he is in fact our enemy, then why would we want to turn and run, and say the really important battle is somewhere, anywhere else?

We need to take our enemies at their word. They know, as we should know, that Iraq is key to whatever will happen next.

No Exit Strategy, please, just victory against terrorism and anti-democratic forces.

Links: Mudville Gazette, Basil's Blog

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