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The Therapy Sessions
Friday, September 24, 2004

The real struggle

Andrew C. McCarthy:
Simply stated, this war is not a struggle to create stable democracies that, secondarily, might themselves keep our enemies at bay. It is a war to root out and destroy militant Islam, to vindicate the highest purpose of government: American national security. We should prosecute this war with the expectation that the accomplishment of our primary goal will produce conditions that make stability and, hopefully, democracy plausible if the indigenes are willing to do the hard work needed to make that happen. We are not, however, guarantors of their future; it is our own future that has caused our paths to cross.

Why do I say we are imperiling future as well as current success? Because eradicating militant Islam will be difficult, but not nearly as difficult as establishing democracies wherever hunting down militant Islam may take us. If, due to a failure to describe our mission correctly, we have allowed that mission to be contorted such that erecting democratic institutions is now an operating cost of self-defense, Iraq will almost certainly be the end of the line. That could be a catastrophe.

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