April 11, 2004

"they have faith in our weakness"

Don't miss Tony Blair's splendid piece in the Guardian. This part struck me, because it touches what I'm worried about most right now.

...But our greatest threat, apart from the immediate one of terrorism, is our complacency. When some ascribe, as they do, the upsurge in Islamic extremism to Iraq, do they really forget who killed whom on 11 September 2001? When they call on us to bring the troops home, do they seriously think that this would slake the thirst of these extremists, to say nothing of what it would do to the Iraqis?

Or if we scorned our American allies and told them to go and fight on their own, that somehow we would be spared? If we withdraw from Iraq, they will tell us to withdraw from Afghanistan and, after that, to withdraw from the Middle East completely and, after that, who knows? But one thing is for sure: they have faith in our weakness just as they have faith in their own religious fanaticism. And the weaker we are, the more they will come after us...

"they have faith in our weakness." ...Think about that.

There are about eight really good reasons for us to be in Iraq. And one of them is to try to undo the damage from the many times we ran from trouble, the many times we let ourselves be bullied. An enormous debt has accrued, at hideous interest. And we will never be at peace again until we change the perception that we will run from bloodshed. We had to choose our best ground, and fight! (And it's the very fact that the task is difficult, that makes Iraq suitable to the purpose.)

You may scoff at me as bloodthirsty. But I'm exactly the opposite. It's the people who have talked us into running away from trouble who have blood on their hands. We have a big war now exactly because we have run from smaller conflicts before. And if we falter now there will be a much bigger bill to pay later. And my children will inherit it.

Here's one of those whose hands are dripping with invisible blood:

I think John Kerry has the background, the war experience, somebody that's seen war, understands war, and the foreign policy experience to give us a new opportunity to see this resolved, where we can bring Americans home with honor. That's what we're all interested in. And I think he's the man to do it. --Senator Kennedy, on Larry King Live [and similar with Kennedy's speech at the Brookings Institution PDF]
Pure essence of Mogadishu. No mention of victory. No mention of doing the right thing however difficult.

No mention of the terrible price that other peoples will pay if we are weak. We saved some American lives (in the short run—and lost thousands in the long run) by running from Mogadishu. But we almost certainly condemned tens of thousands of Somalis to death in the chaos we left behind. That's "invisible blood." And "peace activists" care nothing for those they kill.

No mention, no thought, of the terrible danger to our people in broadcasting a wish to hurry home. It's a lead pipe cinch that terrorists are picking up Kennedy's drift right now, and nodding, and thinking "The Americans are flinching. We've got to keep hitting them." Senator Kennedy is killing Americans and Iraqis with his words. "...bring Americans home with honor." That's what Nixon said of Vietnam. The terrorists are perfectly aware of what it means.

But even worse is the moral vacuum in people like Kerry and Kennedy. I've never heard them suggest that there is anything worth fighting and dying for. They seem to take it for granted that our goal is safety, that life's goal is safety. And they are supposedly Christians! That's just crazy. "Christianity, the Religion of Safety. Join our Church and learn to flinch at the Time of Tribulation."

I mean, I'd love to be totally safe. Danger scares me. But to pursue safety as a goal is choosing to be dead and pickled while you're still alive. Both for individuals and for nations.

Posted by John Weidner at April 11, 2004 8:12 PM
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