Friday, April 13, 2007
Weekend Must Reads
Three must reads for the weekend, if you haven’t seen them already:
Turning the Corner in Iraq, by Charles Krauthammer at NRO
The Troop Surge vs. al Qaeda in Iraq, by John Wixted
The Postwest: A civilization that has become just a dream, by Victor Davis Hanson at NRO
The Krauthammer piece summarizes the very real change in the
Here are excerpts, because really, you should read them, rather than anything I could say, less well.
By the day, the debate at home about
How at this point—with only about half of the additional surge troops yet deployed—can Democrats be trying to force the U.S. to give up? The Democrats say they are carrying out their electoral mandate from the November election. But winning a single-vote Senate majority as a result of razor-thin victories in
Second, if the electorate was sending an unconflicted message about withdrawal, how did the most uncompromising supporter of the war, Sen. Joe Lieberman, win handily in one of the most liberal states in the country?
And third, where was the mandate for withdrawal? Almost no Democratic candidates campaigned on that. They campaigned for changing the course the administration was on last November.
Which the president has done.
Depressed about the suicide bombing in the Green Zone? Don't be. It is a shocking breach of security to be sure, but it seems that only one person was killed after all. Still, the same Washington Post article that reports that good news adds this helpful little quote to direct your thinking:
"The security plan is dead. If they are able to reach inside the parliament, then we should not talk about the security plan anymore," said Sunni legislator Saleh al-Mutlaq.
"Nowhere is safe," said Ridha Jawad Taqi, a Shiite member of parliament.
And the article adds an equally helpful preemptive strike to guard against the possibility that Bush's troop surge might be perceived as a success:
In a report to be issued Friday, military expert Anthony Cordesman concludes that even if the current U.S. troop increase is a success and creates some degree of stability and political unity, the perception of most Iraqis and others in the Middle East and Europe will be that the United States "lost" the war in Iraq.
So, the "security plan is dead," but just in case it isn't, a new report says it's dead anyway. Read the whole article see how analysis-free agenda journalism works, and then come back and read what I have to say. Reporters are right to be worried that the troop surge might succeed, so they are working overtime to do something about that.
Al Qaeda killed 152 Shiites in Tal Afar. If that atrocity is just part of a "civil war" (as everyone mistakenly believes), it should make the Sunni insurgents happy, not angry. But it is causing the Sunni insurgents to turn against al Qaeda instead. The Islamic Army in
Again, these Sunni insurgent groups are unhappy (not happy) with al Qaeda for indiscriminately slaughtering Shiite civilians in
The Sunni insurgents have come to realize that al Qaeda is not helping them in their fight against American troops. Instead, al Qaeda is trying to provoke a civil war, which benefits al Qaeda alone. That is, al Qaeda is trying to get Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army to once again start executing Sunnis in
Note how radically different -- and well supported -- my analysis is compared to the one provided by that AP reporter. The American public gets its education from such reporters, and that's why they think that
All of this should also serve to update your thinking about Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army, which, contrary to what you might believe, was killing Sunnis in
Unfortunately, last month, al Qaeda successfully slaughtered many hundreds of Shiites, and that increase in violence offset the decrease in violence by the Mahdi Army, so overall civilian casualties in
Al Qaeda has already torpedoed its reputation in
I recently had a dream that British marines fought back, like their forefathers of old, against criminals and pirates. When taken captive, they proved defiant in their silence. When released, they talked to the tabloids with restraint and dignity, and accepted no recompense.
I dreamed that a kindred German government, which best knew the wages of appeasement, cut-off all trade credits to the outlaw Iranian mullahs — even as the European Union joined the Americans in refusing commerce with this Holocaust-denying, anti-Semitic, and thuggish regime.
NATO countries would then warn
In this apparition of mine, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, in Syria at the time, would lecture the Assad regime that there would be consequences to its serial murdering of democratic reformers in Lebanon, to fomenting war with Israel by means of its surrogates, and to sending terrorists to destroy the nascent constitutional government in Iraq.
She would add that the
And then I woke up, remembering that the West of old lives only in dreams. Yes, the new religion of the post-Westerner is neither the Enlightenment nor Christianity, but the gospel of the Path of Least Resistance — one that must lead inevitably to gratification rather than sacrifice.
Once one understands this new creed, then all the surreal present at last makes sense: life in the contemporary West is so good, so free, so undemanding, that we will pay, say, and suffer almost anything to enjoy its uninterrupted continuance — and accordingly avoid almost any principled act that might endanger it.
One of my favorite movies is Raising Arizona. At the end of the movie, protagonist H.I. dreams a dream of the future. He sees a large, loving family we want to believe will be his. He says, “it seemed real.”
I wonder. Does Hanson dream a dream that should seem so remote? It seemed like it should be the way the world works out. We all should want it to work out that way? So why does it seem so surreal?
Is it the fault of the dream he dreams? Or is it us, do we live in some unsteady slumberous state ourselves? Can anyone blame us for hoping that, maybe someday, we might wake from our slumber, rub the sleep from our eyes, and find the world as it always should have been?
I only hope it doesn’t take the dreadful wake-up of a terrorist nuclear detonation. We’d wake up to a whole new world then, and the chance of ever living in a place of Hanson’s imagining will never be possible again.
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