Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Foreign policy notes: Bush stands alone

A response to Cindy Sheehan: Clifford D. May responds directly to Cindy Sheehan. Plus, so does Scott Ott. May writes: "You say you want to know, 'What is the noble cause that my son died for?' They would answer: Your son died fighting a war against an extremist movement intent on destroying free societies and replacing them with racist dictatorships."

Chickenhawk? Ben Shapiro's second column on the idiocy of using the "chickenhawk" label to prevent certain people from expressing their foreign policy views. If "chickenhawk" is supposed to be an "argument" against people like me, it clearly "undermines fundamental values of representative democracy, as well as the constitutional idea of civilian control over the military." Why, then, do some people use this tactic? Shapiro continues: "If you can't win over the populace at large, the only solution left is to stifle the argument. That's what 'chickenhawk' is about. At the end of the day, 'chickenhawk' is morally and intellectually chicken."

Christians in Iraq: Chuck Colson on the plight of Iraqi Christians.

Gitmo: Rusty Humphries heads down to Gitmo to find the truth! (Part II)

Americans wither: Back, for instance, during WWII, whenever enemies killed hundreds or thousands of our soldiers, American spines would stiffen and we would become more determined than ever. Americans didn't call FDR or Harry Truman a "terrorist" (and worse) and demand we surrender to evil. They demanded that we defeat it. And we did.

In today's War on Terror, for President Bush, things are different. As Mike Burleson writes, "
What do you do when you know that you know you are right, but no one else believes the same thing? You find yourself abandoned by most of your friends and those that are left want you to quit." With spineless allies and Americans in general withering when confronted with evil and wishing to surrender to it (or side with it), President Bush stands alone.

This is precisely the point Walter Williams makes today:
During last week's commemoration of V-J day, I thought about American responses to loss of life in Iraq compared to yesteryear's American response to loss of life in the Pacific. Taking Iwo Jima cost 7,000 American lives and thousands wounded. Okinawa cost the lives of 5,000 sailors, 7,600 soldiers and thousands more wounded. There were no calls to cut and run and no political attacks on Presidents Roosevelt and Truman. Instead, those losses stiffened the backbone and resolve of the American people. But of course, back then, common sense prevailed. We hadn't become feminized and turned into a nation of wimps and nervous Nellies.

God help us regain our moral senses.


U.S. image abroad improving: Jonah Goldberg writes that "
the share of people with a favorable view of America went up in Indonesia by some 23 points, in Lebanon by 15 points, and in Jordan by 16 points. Trends in France, Germany, Russia, and India have been moving our way, too." Meanwhile, support for terrorism throughout the Middle East has dropped, and support for democracy has risen.

Goldberg continues: "No doubt these numbers are imperfect and hardly speak to a single cause. In Indonesia, our generous tsunami relief helped a great deal. In Lebanon, terrorism isn’t just something that happens to Israelis and Americans — it’s something that could snuff out the rebirth of democracy there (it’s also a reminder of the civil war few wish to return to). And across the Arab world, opinions have been shifted by images of Iraqi 'insurgents' slaughtering innocent men, women and children while Americans are trying to build schools and hospitals."

The people who seem most incapable of realizing that this is a battle between good and evil - and that we're the good, not the terrorists - are American liberals.

Leave Iraq? Cal Thomas writes on why leaving Iraq now would be so foolish. History teaches as much: Appeasement and accommodation are not the way to peace. Not only would retreating be a security disaster and lead to much, much more bloodshed in the future, Thomas also asks, "Do the 8 million people who, as the president said, 'defied the car bombers and killers and voted in free elections' deserve to be abandoned at this crucial moment? Only if America's word means nothing and the blood of our brave volunteer soldiers is without value."

Thomas issues this challenge to morally-confused Americans: "The president has repeatedly stated his objective in Iraq and in the wider war against terrorists. What is the objective of his critics and what is their forecast of what would occur following a precipitous U.S. withdrawal? They have an obligation to tell us, unless they are just blowing in the wind."

Oliver North ridicules the artificial timeline crowd. Leaving Iraq before it's adequately stabilized "would surrender the people of Iraq -- and the region -- to a fate even worse than that to which we left the Vietnamese thirty years ago. And if we do that, there will be another 'date certain' -- the point in time, years from now, when historians will look back and say, 'that's when the great American dream of individual liberty began to die.' "

On the Iraq/Vietnam comparison, North writes, "
Having spent a significant amount of time in both wars, about the only comparisons I have seen are that the bullets are still real and the media is still hostile."

Jeff Jacoby also writes about the Iraq/Vietnam comparison (available without registration here). Differences abound, but one of the biggest, he says, is what the troops are saying. "
The morale is just over the top," says a retired Vietnam War Colonel who recently questioned hundreds of low-ranking soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why? Because they're having success, and they're convinced of their noble mission. They, at least, believe they're doing the right thing.

Mark Alexander with more on the Iraq subject. He says we must maintain a presence in Iraq for decades, and he's correct.

Alexander also writes, "
This is the Long War, Islamofascism is the enemy, and Iraq is the front line." He quotes former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who says:
The war in Iraq is less about geopolitics than about the clash of ideologies, culture and religious beliefs. Because of the long reach of the Islamist challenge, the outcome in Iraq will have an even deeper significance than that in Vietnam. If a Taliban-type government or a fundamentalist radical state were to emerge in Baghdad or any part of Iraq, shock waves would ripple through the Islamic world. Radical forces in Islamic countries or Islamic minorities in non-Islamic countries would be emboldened in their attacks on existing governments. The safety and internal stability of all societies within reach of militant Islam would be imperiled.

Finally, David Limbaugh writes about the sheer wrong-headedness of the anti-war terrorist-liberals who demand to be labeled "patriotic."

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