The Therapy Sessions
Friday, September 26, 2003
Contortions On The Left
In a post below ("Two Visions"), I contrasted two visions of Iraq, what it was and what it is (I think) becoming. I did this because I the left is generally incoherent on its position on that war.
I think Jay, at Shared Thought, demonstrates this "logic:" He supports the rebuilding and transformation of Iraq, is happy to see the liberation of the Iraqi people, but is very angry about the costs and the reasons for which the war was fought. He wishes there was more international involvement. But other nations were against the war, and they had (and still have) no desire to cooperate with us (the idea of creating a democracy horrifies Iraq's terrorist neighbors - and it scares France, which should know better). If we had tried to bring them on board, it is likely that Saddam would still be in power today, and killing thousands of his people every month.
The left has become increasingly isolationist over the last twenty years, and it tends to view distant dictatorships the way a biologist views exotic species: they should be protected, or left alone to grow: they are exotic fauna from other cultures.
They are (oddly) afraid to agree with this statement: democratic capitalism is superior to all other systems in promoting wealth and human rights. (Any survey of nations shows this to be undeniably true.)
That puts them at odds with most Americans, who believe that democracy and capitalism are the cure for the world's problems. Even Al Qaeda realizes the threat they represent, and that is why they have made Iraq the new battleground in the terror war.
Yussuf al-Ayyeri, was one of Bin Laden’s closest associates: Al Ayyeri sees now is a “clean battlefield” in which Islam faces a new form of unbelief. This, he labels: “secularist democracy”.Al Ayyeri asserts that this new threat is “far more dangerous to Islam” than all its predecessors combined.
Post-invasion Iraq is now, by far, the most pro-American country in the Arab Middle East.
An American loss in Iraq would be a huge victory for the forces of terror and chaos.
In the coming election, there will be a debate. George Bush and the Democratic candidate will each be asked about the War on Terror, which is (and will continue to be) the top issue on America's mind.
Bush's tone will be very similar to Churchill's, but the Texas drawl and tortured syntax will be all Dubya:
We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds.We shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.
He may trip over the words. He will have his vacant "Curious George" stare. But it won't matter, because the Democrat, trying to straddle a coalition of pacifists and terror hawks, is going to say something like this:
I was glad to see that we got rid of Saddam, but I wish we had gotten more countries involved. And it's all too expensive, and I think the president lied about the enormity of threat. Sure, Saddam was blaming all his problems on us, and directly funding terror, but he was more of a threat to Israel than he was to us. I want to get us out of Iraq quickly, but only when it is a clear victory. Then we can concentrate on health care and put the terrorists back courtrooms where they belong...
Some say Dukakis lost his election when the Willie Horton ads started running. Others credit his stumbling when asked whether he would support the death penalty for someone who killed his wife.
I think they are wrong.
Dukakis lost his election when he got in an M1A1 Battle tank and drove around a field. He looked bemused by a neat toy, and he didn't even look like he knew what it was (the government makes these things?).
He looked like snoopy, off to fight the Red Baron.
The world was still dangerous in 1988. And after a nice holiday from history (where terrorists were bumbling oafs), the world is again dangerous.
The Democrats need to realize this.