Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The War on Terror: Victory is Within Our Grasp

Contrary to the impression you get from reading most U.S. newspapers or mainstream television news programs, victory in the war on terror is within our grasp. How can this be, you ask? Almost daily, we see the carnage unleashed by Sunni insurgent car bombings in Iraq, the so-called improvised explosive devices (IED’s), which target American and Iraqi military, policemen, civilians and politicians. There is no doubt that the overwhelmingly negative news coverage in Iraq has taken a great toll on the patience and fortitude of the American public. Nevertheless, an examination of the larger picture of the war on terror, such as that given by Max Boot in his November 23rd, 2005 article in the Los Angeles Times, Iraq a lost cause? Ask the real experts, helps to clarify and bring context to the dissociated concretes we are fed daily, in mind-numbing fashion, by the mainstream media.

In his article, Boot points to the optimism of those with first-hand experience of the situation in Iraq, specifically, American troops and Iraqi civilians. For example, "in a survey last month from the U.S.-based International Republican Institute, 47% of Iraqis polled said their country was headed in the right direction, as opposed to 37% who said they thought that it was going in the wrong direction. And 56% thought things would be better in six months. Only 16% thought they would be worse." Also, "The Pew Research Center and the Council on Foreign Relations just released a survey of American elites that found that 64% of military officers are confident that we will succeed in establishing a stable democracy in Iraq. The comparable figures for journalists and academics are 33% and 27%, respectively."

More interestingly, from an economic perspective, Boot notes that a study by the liberal Brookings Institution found that per capita income among Iraqis "has doubled since 2003, and is now 30% higher than it was before the war." Moreover, the economy is projected to grow at 16.8% in 2006. Also, "According to Brookings' Iraq index, there are five times more cars on the streets than in Saddam Hussein's day, five times more telephone subscribers and 32 times more Internet users."

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, has been the growth of Iraq’s independent media. Boot writes, "The growth of the independent media — a prerequisite of liberal democracy — is even more inspiring. Before 2003 there was not a single independent media outlet in Iraq. Today, Brookings reports, there are 44 commercial TV stations, 72 radio stations and more than 100 newspapers."

On the military front, real progress has been made in winning the war against the Sunni insurgency. American and Iraqi forces been successful in wiping out the insurgent presence in numerous towns along the porous Syrian border, the major source of terrorist supplies and funding. Coalition troops are also finally holding those towns against insurgents re-infiltrating previously won territories. The Iraqi people are more and more disgusted with the indiscriminate terrorist attacks. The insurgents are now hated by the very people in the Sunni population who previously supported them just a few months ago.

American military and civilians have successfully worked with their Iraqi counterparts to rebuild decaying and sabotaged infrastructure, to open hundreds of schools, hospitals, and other essential structures, to continuously improve police security, and successfully hold two nationwide elections. American persistence, together with our enemy’s murderous irrationality, has gone light-years towards the establishment of a moderate Iraqi mainstream middle-class.

Nevertheless, important obstacles remain. The most important and urgent is the Shiite insurgency being initiated, promoted, and sustained by the radical Shiite government in Iran. Addressing this dangerous regime is something the Bush administration has failed at miserably. I wrote that victory is within our grasp. However, a lack of courage on behalf of the Bush administration on this issue will be sufficient to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. This is an issue that the mainstream media has largely ignored. Unfortunately, the time for a change of direction in our policy in dealing with Iran is growing short. Once the December 15th election puts a Shiite majority at the head of Iraqi government, the danger of Iranian inspired repression against Sunnis, instigated by radical Shiite elements in the new government, will replace and quickly dwarf any remaining danger of Sunni inspired terrorism. Because of this urgently pending situation, now is the time for all Americans, conservative and liberal, to speak up and pressure the Bush administration to change its currently misguided policy towards Iran. We need to stop the growing infiltration of the Iraqi military and police by Iranian security and political agencies. We need to isolate the radical Shiite leader, Muqtada al Sadr and his followers, who just a few years ago were wanted dead or alive by Coalition forces. We need to support a mainstream middle-class Shiite population, who will oppose any efforts by Iran to take over the new Iraqi government. The chances of our success in this effort are high if we take action soon. Iraqi Shiites have no love for the radical Shiite mullahs, who are running Iranian society into the ground. Also, as discussed in James Woosley’s 2004 speech, The War for Democracy, reprinted in frontpagemag.com, the Shiites have a tradition of separating government and Mosque. There are likely many moderate Shiite clerics, possibly including Grand Ayatollah Sistani, with whom we can make some common cause in isolating the Shiite extremists in Iraq. Again, as with the Sunni population, the United States must work with moderate Shiites and promote the politics of freedom, i.e., free speech, free press and freedom of religion, and reject the use of political violence and radical Islamist fundamentalism.

At the same time we are accomplishing this, the U.S. needs to isolate the radical Iranian Shiite government and prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons. This is more easily accomplished once a stable Iraqi democracy is in place. However, we can begin by rejecting the current U.N. capitulation to Iran and Russia's flawed plan to allow Iran to process Uranium on Russian soil. The potential for corruption in this plan is far too great. Iran, an oil rich theocracy, does not need, and cannot be allowed to have, access to nuclear technology. They do not need it, and given their history of radical theocracy since 1979, there is no reason to believe that they want it for peaceful purposes. Perhaps, after a democracy is established in Iran, then they would have every right to have access to nuclear energy if they so choose. But before this happens, the Iranian theocracy must be eliminated, as it is the number one state sponsor of Islamic terrorism in the world today.

Successfully confronting and overthrowing the Iranian dictatorship would be easier than it might seem. This is so because, first of all, so much of the demographically young Iranian population hates the mullah-controlled government. Second, once a U.S. military strike against Iran has begun, collaborating with the Iranian underground would help bring the Iranian government to its knees relatively quickly (within 6 months at most). Timing would be key. We would first need to bring the spotlight on and step up pressure on the Iranian infiltration of Iraq to quickly build the pressure for an invasion.

Next, turning to Syria, the collapse of Assad's regime is all but assured if we keep the pressure on the U.N. to prosecute the figures in that regime responsible for the assassination of the former president of Lebanon. Calling attention to Syria's terrible human rights record would be a huge help. At this point, the collapse of the Syrian dictatorship is very likely to occur through diplomatic pressure alone. The U.S. only needs to persistently apply it.

Having brought democracy to Iraq, Iran, and Syria would be an enormous step in winning the wider war on terrorism. However, this war would still not be won. The radical islamicists in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan would still need to be dealt with. In the former two countries, governments currently sympathetic to the United States will be a great help. However, the U.S. will need to step up pressure on these governments, at the appropriate moments, to give up their totalitarian policies. This is very crucial. We cannot abet dictators as allies. We cannot continue to act on the policy of "He’s a bastard, but he’s our bastard." This is where the war of ideas is crucial. The United States must have the moral courage to promote and defend the universality of human rights and specifically, as human rights are embodied in its founding documents: the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As pointed out by Jake Wakeland in his article, The Empire of the Pursuit of Happiness, the attraction of these ideas are powerful, and will ultimately overcome the alternative philosophies of death and irrationalism propagated by the Islamists.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Significant Facts on the Current Situation In Iraq

Iraq's a lost cause? Ask the real experts by Max Boot in the Los Angeles Times.

The Horrors of North Korea

James Na, of gunsandbutter.blogspot.com, comments in the Seattle Times on "Kyeong-Sook Cha and Soon-Hee Ma, two defectors from North Korea, [who]testified for the House Committee on International Relations, and provided firsthand accounts of widespread tragedy occurring in the Sino-North Korean border areas."

The stories of abuse the two defectors suffered at the hands of North Korean and Chinese police are heartbreaking.

Unfortunately, Na notes, the congressional hearing in which they spoke took place on October 27th, when the "media in Washington, D.C., were in a feeding frenzy over the Harriet Miers withdrawal and the "Scooter" Libby indictments." As a result, "Cha's and Ma's tragic stories were ignored."

Moreover, even though the Congress passed the North Korea Human Rights Act in 2004, providing assistance for North Korean defectors, "the State Department has been "seriously out of step with the spirit and letter" of the act, and "not a single North Korean refugee has been assisted"

All that evil needs to succeed is for good men to do nothing.

To do something, support the Defense Forum Foundation and North Korea Freedom Coalition.

Roasting European Chestnuts


Walter Williams nails a slam dunk!!! Again!!!

Love It!!! LOVE IT!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Monday, November 21, 2005

Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild

Michelle Malkin's new book looks like a must-read for those who doubt the violence of today's political left, and who are looking to combat leftist violence with facts and logic.

Bush Administration's Policy on Iran Becomes Even More Pathetic

The AP reports that the Bush Administration has agreed, together with its European counterparts, to delay bringing Iran before the U.N. Security Council for its obvious (yes, obvious) plan to build nuclear weapons. Instead, the U.S. and its allies prefer to let the corrupt Putin Administration of Russia broker a deal to allow uranium enrichment on Russian soil.

It is so pathetic that the president has allowed the Left to cow him into a position where, during the middle of the War on Terrorism, he is allowing the most radical Islamicist regime on Earth to be in a position to develop nuclear warheads with only a corrupt Russian government to oversee Iran's activities. No doubt there will come a time when, with a wink and a nod, the Iranians will bribe some Russian inspector to look the other way while the Iranians sneak away a little enriched uranium here and a little there... and before you know it, the mullahs have The Bomb. And guess who will take the blame from the Left and the MSM?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Unconditional Surrender

Democrat Representative John Murtha’s call today for an immediate withdrawal of American forces from Iraq amounts to calling for an unconditional surrender by the United States in the War on Terrorism.

As any observer minimally knowledgeable about the current situation in Iraq knows, to pull out American forces now would leave the Iraqi populace highly vulnerable to massive terrorist attacks by Al-Qaeda insurgents, and possibly even worse, a bloody civil war between Shiites and Sunnis. Still worse, however, would be the symbolic victory of the terrorists. It would show the Islamists and the rest of the world that the greatest power in the free world can be scared off by cowardly terrorist attacks. It would show the terrorists that the United States has lost its backbone, and it would thereby encourage the Al-Zarqawis and the Bin Ladens to step up their attacks in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and almost certainly in America.

The AP quotes Murtha as saying, “"Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against U.S. forces and we have become a catalyst for violence," and "The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion."

That Rep. Murtha is a decorated Vietnam combat veteran and a supposed political hawk is irrelevant. His statements today are a slap in the face to the American soldiers, sailors and Marines fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan today. Just as surely as Rep. Murtha served his country honorably in Vietnam, he is serving his country dishonorably today by making such blatantly reckless and false statements. The facts are indisputable: far more Iraqi’s, both military and civilian, have been attacked and killed by the terrorists than American troops. Our troops are not the primary target nor the primary catalyst for the violence. The primary targets are the Iraqi’s who want to have a free and peaceful society. And the primary catalysts are the terrorists themselves.

Murtha also raised a canard that has been used by anti-Bush fanatics since the beginning of the Iraq war. He said, "I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there," sarcastically referring to Republicans who support the war, but have not served in the military. "I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done." To suggest, as Murtha does, that Americans who have not served in the military should not criticize the policies of those, such as himself, who have, is ridiculous. Career military officers can, and frequently do, make strategic blunders that result in tremendous loss of soldier’s lives; while civilians can, and frequently do, provide valuable insights and worthwhile strategies for the military to follow. In fact, our Founding Fathers were wise enough on this subject that they chose to make a civilian, the President, the Commander-in-Chief of America’s military.

Moreover, not only has the Bush Administration NOT said or implied that the current Iraqi war strategy should not be criticized; but rather, Bush and his top advisors have gone out of their way to point out that they are open to criticism. As the President said today in S. Korea, “It’s patriotic to disagree with the President. It doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is when people are irresponsibly using their positions in playing politics, and that is exactly what is taking place in America.” It is thus ridiculous and dishonest for Murtha and other Democrats to suggest that Bush and company think that those criticizing Administration war policies are unpatriotic or have no moral right to speak out.

What is unpatriotic and immoral, however, are the reprehensible lies and hypocrisy of those on the political Left who are trying to convince the American public that the Bush Administration lied and twisted intelligence about Iraqi WMD’s in the time leading up to the war, when most of the intelligence agencies in the U.S. and Europe believed that Saddam did possess WMD’s. There are absolutely no rational grounds for the Left to stand on in making such charges. The overwhelming majority of the intelligence at that time pointed to Iraqi possession of WMD’s. Thus, it would have been completely irresponsible for the President NOT to have ordered the attack on Iraq given this intelligence combined with the history of deception and support of terrorism by Saddam Hussein’s regime. But now, when the Administration tries to fight back against these critics, they conveniently try to change the subject, e.g., Democratic Senate Minority leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who said today, "Instead of giving our troops a plan for success or answering the serious questions of the American people, they've decided to start up the [Karl] Rove/Cheney attack machine in an effort to restore their diminishing credibility and raise their sinking poll numbers,"and "We need a commander in chief, not a campaigner in chief. We need leadership from the White House, not more white-washing of the very serious issues confronting us in Iraq.".

As presidential counselor Dan Bartlett said while traveling with the President today, "There's a bright line there that the Democrats have crossed. They have no facts on their side.”

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Iran: World's Top Supporter of Islamist Terrorism

President Bush better hurry up and convince the American public that he did not mislead the country into the war with Iraq, since he now needs to convince them that a war with Iran is needed.

Sen. Reid Justifies Iraq War

Hat Tip to David Horowitz from Frontpage Magazine for finding this quote from the dishonest Democratic senator from Nevada:

Sen. Reid: "We Stopped The Fighting [In 1991] Based On An Agreement That Iraq Would Take Steps To Assure The World That It Would Not Engage In Further Aggression And That It Would Destroy Its Weapons Of Mass Destruction. It Has Refused To Take Those Steps. That Refusal Constitutes A Breach Of The Armistice Which Renders It Void And Justifies Resumption Of The Armed Conflict." (Sen. Harry Reid, Congressional Record, 10/9/02, p. S10145)

Where Iraq's WMD's Went

Bill Tierney, a former U.S. intelligence officer, who worked as a counter-infiltration operator in Baghdad in 2004 and also an inspector for the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) in 1996-1998, tells us Where the WMDs Went in a FrontPage Magazine interview.

Case Closed: Bush Did Not Mislead Country Into Iraq War

In an advance article from Commentary Magazine's December 2005 issue, Norman Podhoretz concisely and convincingly demonstrates that President Bush did not lie about the reasons justifying his decision to attack Iraq in March 2003.

After reading this article, no honest person could seriously argue that the president somehow mislead the country into war.