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Political Devotions
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Political Devotions - Conservative Alerts, News and Commentary
Sunday, September 12, 2004
Comforting Beslan, Confronting Islam
Topic: World War IV
[Important Notice: The Political Devotions Weblog has moved to TenMinuteLobbyist.com.]

(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

We who believe in a just God can take some small comfort in the knowledge that the Islamic terrorist scum who were killed in the process of torturing and murdering Beslan's children are now facing an eternity of torture in Hell. But our comfort is not the priority.

If you would like to donate to a fund to benefit the surviving victims of the Beslan massacre, you can do so here. Money cannot erase the horror permanently imprinted on these children's minds, but it is something. It's a kind gesture. It's not enough, but it is what we can do.

Several commentators have stated Beslan is a turning point in the war. This may be so. Islamic terror's most staunch supporters, and its most ardent appeasers, are having a tough time justifying this kind of depravity. Yet, for the morally weak, righteous indignation fades. Three years ago, after 9-11, the nation was virtually united behind a President who promised to take the battle to the Islamic terrorists. Today some 42% of the population is prepared to elect to that high office John Kerry -- an opportunist who, a generation ago, gave testimony that effectively aided our enemies while advancing his own political interests.

Will the world's moral outrage over Beslan sustain? It's possible, but doubtful.

Nevertheless, in his most recent essay for National Review Online, Victor Davis Hanson does find hope in the fallout from Beslan, and again masterfully articulates the rationale for confronting, not appeasing, evil:
Ask yourself: What do a Russian ten-year-old, a poor black farmer in Darfur, an elderly pensioner in Israel, a stockbroker in New York, and a U.N. aid worker in Afghanistan have in common? In the last three years, they have all died in similar ways: Unarmed and civilian, they were murdered by a common cowardly method fueled by a fascist ideology.

The recent slaughters in Russia were the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back of excusing or explaining away radical Islamic terror. If the Estonians can break away from post-Soviet oppression and free themselves from Russian authoritarianism without slaughtering schoolchildren and blowing up airplanes, then the Chechens can as well -- but only if they wish to create democracy rather than an Islamic fascist state.

But there is something else going on here besides the cloak of so-called Chechen nationalism. The perversion not of religion per se,
but of Islam; the singular method of suicide bombing rarely found elsewhere; the frequent resort to the unique grotesquery of beheading; the now-common display of abject incompetence on the battlefield coupled with craven slaughter of the noncombatant and civilian aid worker. At some point, the leaders of the Western world (if there are any left besides George W. Bush and Tony Blair) are going to look at all this madness worldwide and come to the bitter conclusion that there is a disgusting pattern: Not every Muslim is a fascist terrorist, but almost every fascist terrorist is a Muslim. Killers are not screaming "Hail Mary" when they machine gun children in the back, slit the throat of airline stewardesses, or blow pregnant women up on buses across the globe. And they are not the subjects of condemnatory fatwas in Iran or Saudi Arabia.

Their grievance is not really Russian imperialism, or the 5 to 10 percent of the West Bank under dispute, or black African encroachment on Arab land, or purported French insensitivity to legitimate Islamic pride, much less an American "crusade" to harm Muslims.

All these issues and the hundreds of others -- from the right to build a reactor in Iran to the desire for a semi-autonomous Chechnya -- in theory could be discussed, argued about, and adjudicated through democratic dialogue.

But that is impossible. For you see,
the real problem is the democratic dialogue itself-- unknown in the Arab Middle East and much of the Islamic world, and a hindrance to both sharia and the pan-Arabist thug with epaulettes and sunglasses. Yet consensual government alone is the key to ending failed statist economies, gender apartheid, religious intolerance, state- controlled media, and tribalism. It alone might stop the self-induced misery and with it the tedious scapegoating of "the Jews and America."

Much of the Islamic Middle East continues to blame others for its own induced catastrophe, apparently unaware -- thanks to the lever of oil it didn't discover, doesn't know how to develop, and uses to intensify rather than alleviate its poverty -- that its entire culture is becoming an international pariah. Islamic young men on European flights are looked at with distrust; they are not welcome in Russia. China wants none of them. They are wary of visiting India. Australia learned from Bali. The whole world is watching -- in disgust.

In short, the suicide bomber, the improvised explosive device, the car bomb, the televised beheading, the wacko fatwa, the sleazy propaganda streamer on the Internet, the new cult of death -- all cowardly and lethal phenomena -- these are now the innovations that the world associates with the Middle East in lieu of gene research, car production, or computer breakthroughs.

***

Some insist that this war is only against a few "crazy" extremists and that it cannot be won by force. That is half true. In fact, millions of young Middle Easterners are watching Islamic fascists to learn whether to applaud or condemn them -- and that decision in places like Najaf, Fallujah, Kandahar, Madrid, Grozny, and Ramallah sadly hinges as much on resolute force as it does on "sensitive" understanding. There are millions we must help, but there are also thousands of wannabe Osama bin Ladens and Mohammed
Attas who have neither minds nor hearts that anyone would want to win over.

In a war against such killers, it is the proverbial "Them or Us." Islamic fascists are not crazy -- however crazy they sound -- but evil, as their evil work confirms. We do not need more lectures about the impossibility of winning a postmodern conflict, about al Qaeda's not following the laws of Clausewitz or being immune to our way of war. In fact, we can and have defeated them. Keep doing that and the "hearts and minds" of others in the region, whom we are already helping, will mysteriously prove more open to dialogue.

Fail again like we did on September 11 -- and the entire United States Treasury could not buy the good will of an Islamic Street once more gone mad with delight for having felled the Great Satan.

Posted by Tim at 7:58 PM EDT
Thursday, September 9, 2004
Fight Media Newspeak
Topic: World War IV
[Important Notice: The Political Devotions Weblog has moved to TenMinuteLobbyist.com.]

(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

More fine work from Michelle Malkin:
The third anniversary of Sept. 11 is upon us. We remain at war -- and the media remain in denial.

How many times have you picked up a newspaper and read about terrorist attacks perpetrated not by Muslim terrorists, but by generic "militants" or "guerrillas" or "rebels" or, as Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes noted the Pakistan Times called them, "activists"?

Contrast the media whitewashing of our Islamofascist enemies with the press coverage of the Waco, Texas, siege in 1993 -- which constantly reminded us that David Koresh and his Branch Davidian followers were members of a "peculiar religious sect" (New York Times, March 3, 1993) and "a group of religious zealots with a known propensity for violence" (Washington Post, March 2, 1993) who were steeped in a "culture of Christian extremism" (San Francisco Chronicle, April 20, 1993).

A Nexis search of the terms "Branch Davidian" and "religious" and "cult" in The New York Times for the year 1993 yielded 151 hits. The vast majority of these references were in headlines and news articles, as opposed to editorials, letters or book reviews. A Nexis search of the terms "al Qaeda" and "religious" and "cult" in The New York Times for the year 2004 yielded just one article -- a magazine piece in March.

The mainstream media pounded President Bush for trying to explain that the War on Terror is unwinnable in a conventional sense. The mainstream press itself proves the president's point every time its reporters disguise the deadly fanatical nature of our opponents in this global war. How are we to win a war against blood-spattered enemies whom our own free press continues to protect through politically correct sanitization?

It wasn't no-name militants or wayward guerrillas who have butchered, beheaded and slaughtered thousands of innocents over the last three years alone.
The rest of the column lays out highlights from the long litany of Moslem atrocities perpetrated over the past 25 years, and offers this rebuke: "They tell us to `never forget.' First, let's stop misremembering"

No reasonable person would dispute the importance of the press in a democracy, but there is no formal checks and balances system in place to reign in the Fourth Estate when it abuses its power. Complaints from conscientious consumers can, however, make a difference. Next time you see Islamic terrorists euphemized into "militants," "guerrillas," "gunmen," "rebels" or "activists," take ten minutes to send a complaint to the outlet's ombudsman or a letter to the editor. The press' liberal bias may be endemic and incurable, but it should not be uncontested.

Posted by Tim at 4:18 PM EDT
Wednesday, September 8, 2004
Forbes on Iran
Topic: World War IV
(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

It's a rare occasion when I can voice an "Amen" to every idea presented in an editorial, but that is the case with this recent Steve Forbes piece:
The news from Iran is grim. This Islamic dictatorship--the biggest source of terrorist training and financing in the world and the nation that's doing all it can to stir up trouble in already combustible Iraq--is clearly on the cusp of becoming a nuclear power. The clerical fascists running the country have dropped just about all pretense of their atomic programs being energy-related only. Tehran announced in July that it had resumed making the centrifuges needed to produce highly enriched uranium, a key ingredient for nuclear bombs. It is, in essence, tearing up last fall's agreement with the UN International Atomic Energy Agency to keep its nuclear program transparent and to do nothing that could be construed as developing nuclear weapons.

Iran, more than Iraq or the reorganization of our intelligence agencies, is the crisis flashpoint in our war against Islamic fanaticism. What to do? John Kerry's advisers and many Bush Administration officials think we should deal directly with Iran. The Europeans would support us. The goal: to persuade Iran--through cash, trade agreements (its economy is a mess) and pats on the back--to halt its nuclear arms program. These so-called realists in this instance are the dreamers, the fantasizers.

Why wouldn't Iran go nuclear? Our ten-year dawdle over North Korea's nuclear adventurism hammers home to Tehran's corrupt, totalitarian-minded thugs this inescapable conclusion: Nukes mean respect, mean security--and they grant blackmail power to shake down billions in booty from the U.S. and other Western moneybags.

The implications of a nuclearized Iran are appalling. Fanatics in Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere will be emboldened to undermine existing governments. Israel may well feel the need to strike, just as it did against Iraq's nuclear facility in 1981.

The all-too-real possibility of a violent Israeli reaction--Israel has long considered Iran's black- robed fascists to be its ultimate enemy--may be the only possible deterrent to Iran's final nuclearization. But that's not likely, given that the mullahs have probably dispersed their nuclear capabilities around the country. Iran, moreover, is not defenseless; it has missiles that can hit Israel.
Read the whole essay for the rest of Forbes' analysis, and his proposed solution. Could someone explain to me again why we can't elect this guy president?

Posted by Tim at 11:46 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 7, 2004
Questions for Moslems, and Liberals
Topic: World War IV

[Important Notice: The Political Devotions Weblog has moved to TenMinuteLobbyist.com.]

(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

In the aftermath of the Beslan massacre, Dennis Prager has some questions:
According to The New York Times, when the terrorists took over the Russian elementary school, they shouted "Allahu akbar" ("Allah is the greatest").

Does this surprise you, dear reader? Does it shock you that the people who deliberately attacked a school and then systematically shot and blew up little children did so in the name of Islam?

Unfortunately, the question is rhetorical. Having targeted little children for death, there is no atrocity, no barbarity, no act of evil that the human race cannot imagine fanatical Muslims committing.

. . .

First, is there anything in Islam or in the way Islam is now taught and practiced that dulls the conscience and thereby enables many religious Muslims to engage in or support atrocities that other groups, religious and secular, find inconceivable?

Second, the laudable condemnations of Islamic terror made by the Islamic Center notwithstanding, why are there virtually no public demonstrations of Muslims against the unspeakable evils committed by its adherents?

And while posing questions, here are two for liberals: Why are almost the only people asking these questions aloud conservative and religious? Where are you when it comes to acknowledging evil?

Yes, some people do shoot children, and good people have a right to ask why.
Some questions I would add: Do you think people who torture, rape and murder Russian children would hesitate for one second to use nuclear weapons or other WMD against American children? Should they be allowed to develop those weapons, and be allowed virtually unfettered entry into this country?

Posted by Tim at 3:00 PM EDT
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Middle East History
Topic: World War IV
[Important Notice: The PoliticalDevotions.com site has been redesigned and moved to TenMinuteLobbyist.com. The Political Devotions weblog will still be updated and archived, but for the most up-to-date version of site, please visit and bookmark TenMinuteLobbyist.com.]

(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

For anyone who wants a good understanding of the Middle East and why Israel is an important front in the war on Islamic terror, here are links to two concise and articulate analyses by Empower America and David Horowitz.

Twenty Facts About Israel and the Middle East

The world's attention has been focused on the Middle East. We are confronted daily with scenes of carnage and destruction. Can we understand such violence? Yes, but only if we come to the situation with a solid grounding in the facts of the matter-facts that too often are forgotten, if ever they were learned.

...In sum, a fair and balanced portrayal of the Middle East will reveal that one nation stands far above the others in its commitment to human rights and democracy as well as in its commitment to peace and mutual security. That nation is Israel.

A Middle East History Primer

What is the crime of the Jews that they should not have been welcomed into this unpromising desert -- a tiny sliver of the Turkish Empire -- from the very beginning? What is the crime of the Jews that their infant state should have been attacked by five Arab armies on the day of its creation? What is the crime of the Jews that these Arab states should have continued their war for fifty years without a peace in sight? What is the crime of the Jews that these Arabs should make Jewish women and children the targets of their suicide bombers, and that their leader should call for millions of "martyrs" to plow into the heart of the Jewish sliver to blow up its inhabitants once and for all?

Their crime is that they are Jews....


Posted by Tim at 12:57 PM EDT
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Arab-Israeli Conflict by Numbers
Topic: World War IV
(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

Dennis Prager, the King of Clarity, today offers an excellent analysis of the Arab-Israeli conflict, strictly by the numbers:
For the many readers who have requested a brief synopsis of the moral arguments in the Arab-Israeli conflict, I offer the following list of numerical data.

Number of times Jerusalem is mentioned in the Old Testament: over 700

Number of times Jerusalem is mentioned in the Koran: 0

Number of Arab leaders who visited Jerusalem when it was under Arab rule (1948 to 1967): 1

Number of Arab refugees who fled the land that became Israel: approximately 600,000

Number of Jewish refugees who fled Arab countries: approximately 600,000

Number of U.N. agencies that deal only with Palestinian refugees: 1

Number of U.N. agencies that deal with all the other refugees in the world: 1

Number of Jewish states that have existed on the land called Palestine: 3

Number of Arab or Muslim states that have existed on the land called Palestine: 0

Number of terrorist attacks by Israelis or Jews since 1967: 1

Number of terrorist attacks by Arabs or Muslims since 1967: thousands

Percentage of Jews who have praised the Jewish terrorist: approximately .1

Percentage of Palestinians who have praised Islamic terrorists: approximately 90

Number of Jewish countries: 1

Number of Jewish democracies: 1

Number of Arab countries: 19

Number of Arab democracies: 0
Read it all, then e-mail it to anyone you know who believes the conflict is merely a "cycle of violence" between two equally guilty parties.

Posted by Tim at 12:18 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
The Evil We Fight
Topic: World War IV
(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

Premier warblog Little Green Footballs today provides a disturbing glimpse into the demonic, vicious, bloodthirsty minds of those we are fighting in the war on Islamic terror: Death Cult Kiddie Movies.

Posted by Tim at 1:41 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
The Cost of Complacency
Topic: World War IV
(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

A recent Barna Research Group survey portends a repeat of the near-disastrous 2000 presidential election, and offers this sobering warning:
The research pointed out one particular caution for the President's campaign. "Getting his supporters to actually turnout on Election Day will be critical for Mr. Bush. Currently, there is the danger of his most ardent supporters - the evangelicals - failing to show up because they are so firmly convinced he will win. 81% say the President will win in November; only 6% predict a victory by Mr. Kerry. Non-evangelical born agains are not quite as confident, but they are twice as likely to believe victory will go to Mr. Bush as to expect Mr. Kerry to win. Should that confidence deflate turnout among the Bush support base, a close election could swing to a different outcome."
Some have estimated that four million Evangelicals sat out the 2000 presidential election. That complacency nearly caused the calamity of an Al Gore presidency in wartime. Now we are faced with the threat of John Kerry presidency, which would result in a de facto surrender in the war on terror. (Kerry has indicated that, like Bill Clinton, he will treat Islamic terror attacks as crimes, not acts of war.)

Evangelicals who plan to shun the polls have less than five months to realize the error of their ways. If they do not, they, along with Kerry supporters, will get the government they deserve. Unfortunately, so will the rest of us.

Posted by Tim at 3:40 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 3:43 AM EDT
Monday, June 14, 2004
Red Cross: Charge Saddam or Release Him
Topic: World War IV
(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

Already infamous for its anti-Semitism, the International Committee of the Red Cross has managed to sink to a new low:
Red Cross ultimatum to US on Saddam

Release him, charge him or break international law, Bush told


Saddam Hussein must either be released from custody by June 30 or charged if the US and the new Iraqi government are to conform to international law, the International Committee of the Red Cross said last night.

Nada Doumani, a spokeswoman for the ICRC, told the Guardian: "The United States defines Saddam Hussein as a prisoner of war. At the end of an occupation PoWs have to be released provided they have no penal charges against them."
You can express your outrage at the ICRC contact page.

Posted by Tim at 1:50 PM EDT
Thursday, May 27, 2004
How Many Warnings?
Topic: World War IV
(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

Eventually, God is going to lose patience with us.

As the always-eloquent Charles Krauthammer put it last night on Fox, it appears Al Gore is off his lithium again. But for the fact that a few farmisht Florida seniors accidentally marked their ballots for Pat Buchanan, this barking lunatic would be president. For those who say there is no God, I point to the results of the 2000 presidential election. Let's call the narrowly averted catastrophe of a Gore presidency Big Warning A, and let's call 9-11 Big Warning B.

Will God in his grace give us another chance in the form of a Big Warning C, or will he allow us to reap that which our narcissism, laziness and cowardice have sown? How long before Al Qaeda's dream of slaughtering 4 million Americans is realized?

And of course the dream doesn't end there. The Islamist's vision is a worldwide caliphate, what Krauthammer has called "Taliban Afghanistan, writ large."

Allow me to repeat my familiar refrain: Anyone, including a rogue state or a terrorist network, can win a war if they possess nuclear weapons and are willing to strike first.

The World War II generation, the Greatest Generation, never questioned the morality of annihilating America's enemies before they could annihilate the US. Can an America populated with the Baby Boom generation, the Worst Generation, find that resolve? The central question is: What are we prepared to do?

Are we prepared to do whatever is necessary to win in Iraq, what President Bush properly characterizes as the major overseas front in the war on Islamic terror? Are we prepared to take the battle to other necessary fronts, such as Iran and North Korea?

And on the home front, are we prepared to deport, at least for the duration of the war, all non-US citizens from terrorist-sponsoring states? To place armed forces and an Israeli-style fence on our borders? To employ racial, ethnic and religious profiling in immigration, transportation security and law enforcement? To institute strict immigration controls to avoid a demographic shift that would gradually transform the US into just another Islamic hellhole, as is occurring in Europe as we speak?

Will Western historians one day recount the early 21st century as the era in which the US used all its powers to avert a new Dark Ages? Or will there be no future Western historians, only a glorious history of Allah's destruction of the Crusaders' empire, written by authorization of the world's ruling mullahs?

Our resolve, and our action, will decide these questions. God has warned us twice. We should not expect his indulgence forever.

Posted by Tim at 2:54 PM EDT
Friday, May 14, 2004
Retain Rumsfeld
Topic: World War IV
(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

In his most recent essay in National Review Online, Victor Davis Hanson analyzes the Democrats' jihad against Donald Rumsfeld and our suicidal American Cannibalism:
Have we any memory of a man in a suit and tie, nearly three years ago wading through the din and panic amid the morning rubble, assuring millions of stunned Americans that the national headquarters of their armed forces was still intact and capable of defending us after the mass murder of 3,000? And have we no shame in recognizing that should some congressional critics and Washington harpies get their way, Americans will accomplish what bin Laden's suicide bombers could not on September 11: remove America's finest Secretary of Defense in a half century?

The idea that anyone would suggest that Donald Rumsfeld and now Richard Meyers! should step down, in the midst of a global war, for the excesses and criminality of a handful of miscreant guards and their lax immediate superiors in the cauldron of Iraq is absurd and depressing all at once.

What would we think now if George Marshall had been forced out on news that 3,000 miles away George S. Patton's men had shot some Italian prisoners, or Gen. Hodges's soldiers summarily executed German commandoes out of uniform, or drivers of the Red Ball express had raped French women? Should Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Colin Powell have been relieved from his command for the February 12-13, 1991, nocturnal bombing of the Al Firdos compound in Baghdad, in which hundreds of women and children of Baathist loyalists were tragically incinerated and pictures of their corpses broadcast around the world, prompting the United States to cease all further pre-planned and approved attacks on the elite in Saddam's bunkers throughout Baghdad? Of course not.
While I can't imagine President Bush will yield to the maniacal demands of the likes of Ted "Hero of Chappaquiddick" Kennedy, a message of support for Rummy is in order. Use our Take Action page to send one, and to copy your Senators and House Rep.

Posted by Tim at 3:41 PM EDT
Monday, May 3, 2004
Weakness is Provocative, Part 2
Topic: World War IV
(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

In an insightful piece in National Review Online, Barbara Lerner reveals why the State Department should not be running the Iraq occupation, and why the military should:
Rumsfeld's War, Powell's Occupation

The latest post-hoc conventional wisdom on Iraq is that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld won the war but lost the occupation. There are two problems with this analysis (which comes, most forcefully, from The Weekly Standard). First, it's not Rumsfeld's occupation; it's Colin Powell's and George Tenet's. Second, although it's painfully obvious that much is wrong with this occupation, it's simple-minded to assume that more troops will fix it. More troops may be needed now, but more of the same will not do the job. Something different is needed and was, right from the start.

A Rumsfeld occupation would have been different, and still might be. Rumsfeld wanted to put an Iraqi face on everything at the outset -- not just on the occupation of Iraq, but on its liberation too. That would have made a world of difference.

Rumsfeld's plan was to train and equip -- and then transport to Iraq -- some 10,000 Shia and Sunni freedom fighters led by Shia exile leader Ahmed Chalabi and his cohorts in the INC, the multi-ethnic anti-Saddam coalition he created. There, they would have joined with thousands of experienced Kurdish freedom fighters, ably led, politically and militarily, by Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani. Working with our special forces, this trio would have sprung into action at the start of the war, striking from the north, helping to drive Baathist thugs from power, and joining Coalition forces in the liberation of Baghdad. That would have put a proud, victorious, multi- ethnic Iraqi face on the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and it would have given enormous prestige to three stubbornly independent and unashamedly pro-American Iraqi freedom fighters: Chalabi, Talabani, and Barzani.

Jay Garner, the retired American general Rumsfeld chose to head the civilian administration of the new Iraq, planned to capitalize on that prestige immediately by appointing all three, along with six others, to head up Iraq's new transitional government. He planned to cede power to them in a matter of weeks not months or years and was confident that they would work with him, not against him, because two of them already had. General Garner, after all, is the man who headed the successful humanitarian rescue mission that saved the Kurds in the disastrous aftermath of Gulf War I, after the State Department-CIA crowd and like thinkers in the first Bush administration betrayed them. Kurds are not a small minority and they remember. The hero's welcome they gave General Garner when he returned to Iraq last April made that crystal clear.

Finally, Secretary Rumsfeld wanted to cut way down on the infiltration of Syrian and Iranian agents and their foreign terrorist recruits, not just by trying to catch them at the border -- a losing game, given the length of those borders -- but by pursuing them across the border into Syria to strike hard at both the terrorists and their Syrian sponsors, a move that would have forced Iran as well as Syria to reconsider the price of trying to sabotage the reconstruction of Iraq.

None of this happened, however, because State and CIA fought against Rumsfeld's plans every step of the way. . . .

Men like Chalabi, Talabani, and Barzani have nothing but contempt for [U.N. envoy] Mr. Brahimi, the U.N., and old Europe. They know perfectly well who their real enemies are, and they understand that only decisive military action against them can create the kind of order that is a necessary precondition for freedom and democracy. They see, as our State Department Arabists do not, that we will never be loved, in Iraq or anywhere else in the Middle East, until we are respected, and that the month we have wasted negotiating with the butchers of Fallujah has earned us only contempt, frightening our friends and encouraging our mortal enemies.

The damage Brahimi will do to the hope of a new day in Iraq and in the Middle East is so profound that it would not be worth it even if empowering him would bring in a division of French troops to reinforce ours in Iraq. In fact, it will do no such thing. Behind all the bluster and moral preening, the plain truth is that the French have starved their military to feed their bloated, top-heavy welfare state for decades. They couldn't send a division like the one the Brits sent, even if they wanted to (they don't). Belgium doesn't want to help us either, nor Spain, nor Russia, because these countries are not interested in fighting to create a new Middle East. They're fighting to make the most advantageous deals they can with the old Middle East, seeking to gain advantages at our expense, and at the expense of the oppressed in Iraq, Iran, and every other Middle Eastern country where people are struggling to throw off the shackles of Islamofascist oppression.
Use our Take Action page to send President Bush, Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld a link to the Lerner piece. And be sure to excerpt the last paragraph:
It is not yet too late for us to recognize these facts and act on them by dismissing Brahimi, putting Secretary Rumsfeld and our Iraqi friends fully in charge at last, and unleashing our Marines to make an example of Fallujah. And when al Jazeera screams "massacre," instead of cringing and apologizing, we need to stand tall and proud and tell the world: Lynch mobs like the one that slaughtered four Americans will not be tolerated. Order will restored, and Iraqis who side with us will be protected and rewarded.

Posted by Tim at 1:25 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Weakness is Provocative
Topic: World War IV

(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

As is so often the case, a Wall Street Journal editorial is spot-on in assessing a crisis:
The Fallujah Stakes

The insurgents understand guns, not diplomacy.

. . . Sooner or later the Baath remnants, jihadists and criminals who have used Fallujah as a sanctuary have to be killed. They can't be bargained with, they can't be reasoned with, because for them a peaceful transition to Iraqi control after June 30 means defeat. If the estimated 2,000 or so insurgents decide to allow Marine patrols, it will be because they have concluded it is safer to melt away to kill Americans another day rather than fight to the death in Fallujah now.

The killers facing Marines in Fallujah are those who melted away a year ago as coalition forces closed on Baghdad. Rather than fight and die then, they retreated to the Sunni heartland to regroup, rearm and organize the murder of both coalition soldiers and the Iraqis who are cooperating with us. The U.S. didn't pursue those Saddamists at the time, and it decided in later months to let Fallujah more or less alone. We now know this was a mistake, and the Marine presence is a recognition that the city can no longer be tolerated as a terror sanctuary. . . .


By the way, it hardly helps to have United Nations envoy Lakhdar Brahimi publicly warning the U.S. not to defeat insurgents who are killing Americans. He repeated again yesterday that "In this situation, there is no military solution," and portrayed any U.S. attack in Fallujah as unjustified. This rhetoric, amplified by al-Jazeera, will only make it more likely that any offensive in Fallujah would be misinterpreted by other Iraqis.

Mr. Brahimi is the man Mr. Bremer and National Security Council staffer Robert Blackwill have sold to President Bush as the key to a sound political transition in Iraq. But three times in the past two weeks he has made public remarks damaging to coalition progress and U.S. interests in the region.

He told French radio last Wednesday that, "There is no doubt that the great poison in the region is this Israeli policy of domination and the suffering imposed on the Palestinians, as well as the perception by the body of the population in the region, and beyond, of the injustice of this policy and the equally unjust support of the United States for this policy." U.S. "poison?" Is Condoleezza Rice paying attention?

The danger with delay in Fallujah and Mr. Brahimi's comments is that they will be interpreted by Iraqis as a sign that the U.S. is losing its resolve and simply wants out. Perhaps caution in Fallujah makes sense at this moment, but sooner or later the insurgents have to be defeated, and at the point of a gun, not by diplomacy. If we're not prepared to do that, Mr. Bush might as well order the troops home now.
Use our Take Action page to communicate to President Bush, Dr. Rice and Donald Rumsfeld that, as the WSJ asserts, "sooner or later the insurgents have to be defeated, and at the point of a gun, not by diplomacy."

Posted by Tim at 4:24 PM EDT

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