April 6, 2004

To meet them head on...

A snippet from Wretchard [as always, excerpts don't do him justice, read the post] :

...The greatest mistake America could make would be to take the counsel of the past and either reconstitute a dictatorship in Iraq or withdraw into the illusory safety of a Western homeland. Like the Spaniards, Americans will find the Jihadis already there before them, ready to pelt them at the homecoming parade. It should never forget that the reason America came to the Middle East in the first place was precisely to meet these toxic religious and political forces head on. And if American policy makers are shy about it, the Jihadis are not. They are lining up to fight Western infidels at an immigration office near you...
Some people argue that, since Al Qaeda was headquartered in Afghanistan, the tidy and proper way to play the game would be to confine major military operations to that country.

Trouble is, that's the obvious and predictable step. Like in a game of checkers. I'll move to this square, and then you'll probably move to that square, and then I'll move so-and-so...As they say about Israel, "a cycle of violence."

Instead, we seized the initiative in a most shocking fashion, and sent an army into the very heart of the Arab world. With the express goal of starting a transformation that would destroy the very conditions that created bin Ladenism. Not checkers but chess, a bishop shooting all the way across the board to put the king in check. It was the unexpected.

Ever since, the enemy has been reacting to us. Much like when the king is in check, you have to react, you can't move somewhere else. Even such a powerful blow as the Madrid bombings seems to have been an attempt to spilt the Iraq Coalition. Psychologically, we now have the drop on them, and they are surely putting a lot of their psychic energy into wondering what calamity we will visit upon them next.

Of course, our control of the initiative won't last forever. Unless we come up with some new surprise. I have no doubt the Vulcans can think up something stupefying. But could it be implemented? Does the President have the political support? The Ultras* will hinder and block him all they can; there are many who would gladly cripple the War to hurt Bush. Most Americans support the War, but do they get it?

But Bush is the kind of guy who might just do the right thing and damn the political risk. And after November I predict that he will have a decisive mandate to chase Islamism with a stick and make it howl.

*A friend has taxed me with over-using Left and Leftist, etc. "Reifying" them. Perhaps he's right. I'll substitute Ultra for a while. Meaning whoever I'm bellyaching about. (Not just the left, Pat Buchannon is an Ultra.) Only those who have read The Charterhouse of Parma will get my drift; no one else will have cause to take offense.

Posted by John Weidner at April 6, 2004 8:41 PM
Weblog by John Weidner