March 16, 2004

Putting out small fires for ever...

Andrew Aullivan writes:

Now why would al Qaeda want the disintegration of the transition in Iraq? Because they understand how that transition is the most formidable blow to their hopes of transforming the entire Middle East. When clever anti-war types insist there is not and never has been any connection between the fight for democracy in Iraq and the war against terror, they are thinking in terms of legalities and technicalities - not strategy.

The only way to meaningfully defang Islamist terror is to transform the region. If we don't, we will simply be putting out small fires for ever, instead of dealing with root causes. The root cause is the lack of democracy in the region, which gives these religious fanatics the oxygen they need. Al Qaeda understand the stakes. So must we. Iraq is the battlefield. We cannot, must not, falter. In fact, we must ramp up the pressure. Alone, if needs be...

Our actions across the globe are being shaped to fit a Grand Strategy. One of the problems of discussing the War on Terror is that a lot of people don't even have the concept of Grand Strategy.

Or pretend they don't have it. I would guess that a lot of the people who argue that Iraq is a "distraction from hunting al Qaeda" are perfectly capable of understanding the theoretical connection. But, with sneaky dishonesty, they pretend that the argument doesn't even exist, so they can avoid discussing it on its merits.

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
--Thomas Paine

Posted by John Weidner at March 16, 2004 11:40 AM
Weblog by John Weidner