Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Back to War

Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette is headed for redeployment in Iraq. Wish him well, in your own way. He cites this thoughful analysis, from Austin Bay, another who was there:

Despots and autocrats are the first enemy. The despot, with an arrogance that comes from never being held responsible for his crimes, believes his iron resolve eventually will trump the spineless advocates of democracy. Despots -- like the Saddamist holdouts fighting in Iraq -- believe all they need to do is keep killing until everyone is cowed. Why not? It's worked for them before. The arrogance only ends when a Green Beret -- or, with increasing frequency, an Iraqi cop -- blows his head off in a raid.


The second enemy we face feeds off the unfortunate victims of the first. The second enemy is the Islamist religious extremist. I have many Muslim friends, and they are the first targets of the bin Ladens and Zarqawis. Is this enemy a "death cult"? Not really -- note that the top dogs aren't suicidal. This enemy is an aggressive, imperialistic, violent sect that, in one guise or another, has plagued Islam for centuries.


If there is one mistake I think we've made in fighting this war, it's been the way we've soft-pedaled the ideological dimensions. This really is a fight for the future, between our free, open political system and the unholy alliance of despots and Islamo-fascists whose very existence depends on denying liberty.

Iraq -- long plundered by despotism -- should be a wealthy country. It has water, an agricultural base, a source of capital (oil) and people willing to work. It is the best place to begin to reform the dysfunctional political systems that shackle and rob the vast the majority of Middle Easterners. The lesson of 9-11, three years on, is that liberty must sustain a focused offensive if it is to survive.

That's his exhibit "A." His exhibit "B" is Kerry's "wrong war, wrong time, wrong place" rhetoric. And his comment, as he packs his gas mask and Kevlar, is, "More A, please. And a lot less B. A is useful information, while B seems to be sending the loud and clear message -- "hang in there, help is on the way!" -- to the people described in A."