Saturday, April 01, 2006
Not that those who need to would ever listen, but Victor Davis Hanson attempts to correct the 6 Big Myths in opposition thinking about the War in Iraq, in today’s National Review Online.
What are the 6 Big Myths? Hanson transcribes the following, which he then effortlessly debunks:
1. Saddam was never connected to al Qaeda, the perpetrators of 9/11.
2. There was no real threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
3. The United Nations and our allies were justifiably opposed on principle to the invasion.
4. A small cabal of neoconservative (and mostly Jewish) intellectuals bullied the administration into a war that served
5. Saddam could not be easily deposed, or at least he could not be successfully replaced with a democratic government.
6. The architects of this war and the subsequent occupation are mostly inept (“dangerously incompetent”) — and are exposed daily as clueless by a professional cadre of disinterested journalists.
Note that all of these myths save #4 are now affirmed as fact in the Democrats’ plan for Really Real SecurityTM, and that the vocal opponents of the war in
What do we want to say of the analytic and decision-making abilities who can based critical judgments on false information? (Please, let’s not repeat the opposition’s deceit in suggesting these people are liars.) But seriously, how can we possibly hope to have an intelligent discussion with people who refuse to act like adults? Those who attach themselves most tightly to rhetorical slights of hand and parlor gimmicks, than actual ideas and evidence?
What if we have a debate on National Security, and for one side of the debate no serious students of history, terrorism, or military operations shows up?
Hanson notes that those who have most vocally insisted that there was “no proof whatsoever” of links between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, now fatuously parrot the line that “Saddam was not connected to September 11.” Despite the fevered imaginings of the sufferers of BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome), no such claim has ever been made by this Administration.
Hanson reviews the continued stream of intelligence information coming out of
The issue is closed: Saddam Hussein’s regime had a mutually beneficial association with al Qaeda. All that remains in doubt is the degree to which
Not that this will ever be acknowledged by the critics of this war.
And how about those last two myths, about how improbable would be the success of our efforts in
Hanson takes on myths 5 and 6, and reflects on the real history that can be used as a basis for comparison.
Fifth, after the three-week victory of April 2003, we have now forgotten the earlier prognostications of millions of refugees, oil wells afire, and thousands of dead that were to follow in
Sixth, we have not had another September 11. Two-thirds of the leadership of al Qaeda is dismantled. Fifty million people have voted in
This can’t be right, according to the true believers in the opposition. Why, their plan for Really Real SecurityTM explicitly says that we have failed in
The Bush Administration’s incompetence in
Why even “Conservative Icon William F. Buckley” says so!
What’s more, the clear eyed, “reality-based” assessment found in Really Real Details of Really Real SecurityTM explicitly says that
By opting to pursue a war of choice in
Wow, how’s that for a catch phrase: War of ChoiceTM. Note how Really Real SecurityTM acknowledges that there is, in fact, an actual “war on terror.” I thought Democrats thought that you couldn’t have a war on an idea, that that was just “fear-mongering.”
As Hanson points out, the deaths of over 2,300 valiant Americans in
The idea that our efforts have made Al Qaeda stronger and allowed it to “morph into an expansive movement,” instead of weaker, fewer in number, and often dead and on the run, is laughable on its face. There exists a great amount of documentary evidence that Saddam was very interested in doing a sideline business training terrorists, hosted terrorists, sponsored terrorists, funded terrorists, and exported terrorism. The only arguable points are how extensive, how direct as policy, how much the Iraqi intelligence services were involved, and how much actions were taken by Saddam merely on whim.
Note too, the deniability inherent in the weasel phrase, “morph into an expansive movement.” That could represent something as amorphous as creating an Al Qaeda legend or mystique, comparable to those members of the naïve and ignorant western elites who so favor their Che Gevara posters and T-shirts. “What? We never said Al Qaeda got stronger or grew because of
Contrary to what is stated as “fact” in Really Real SecurityTM, the realities of the war in
The leadership of our military has a strategy for victory, we have plans to accomplish that victory, and we have achieved great success in the three and a half years since 9/11. We better see our enemies for who they are, we have mobilized against them, and we now confront them head on. We do all this in a stifling environment of political rancor, partisan score-settling, morale-crippling denouncements, cynical opportunism, and hateful and prejudiced speech. And that’s just from our supposedly loyal opposition, not to mention a more-hostile-than-not media.
Hanson notes the threats, and thinks our strategy effective:
Our military cannot be defeated by either the Islamists or their autocratic supporters. We have the right strategy of hunting down terrorists, securing the homeland, and insidiously, but carefully, promoting democratic reform in the Middle East (an impossible notion, by the way, with the sinister presence of an oil rich and genocidal Saddam Hussein, given his history of attacking four of his neighbors.)
We have even articulated, at last, an exegesis of the dangers of radical Islam — why it hates Western freedom and how it thrives on the oil, misery, and dictatorship of the
Hanson notes the dangers, too, but they’re not military:
There remains this last unknown — how well can a liberal democracy, in its greatest age of affluence, leisure, and self-critical reflection, still fight a distant war against emissaries of the Dark Ages who seek to behead apostates, blow up democrats, and silence with death writers, journalists, and cartoonists. It is not just our democratic values versus their IEDs, but whether our idealism still has the resilience to defeat their nihilism.
Or put more directly: Can Western enlightenment and power, embedded in deep cynicism, still prevail over ignorance and self-inflicted pathology energized by fanaticism?
If we fall under the spell, and substitute rhetorical flourishes of Really Real SecurityTM for the hard-nosed and battle proven tactics of our Global War on Terror, I wouldn’t hold out much hope.
Link: Mudville Gazette, bRight&Early, Jo's Cafe, Outside the Beltway, RightWingNation, Wizbang, Unconsidered Trifles, TMH's Bacon Bits, Blue Star Chronicles
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