January 1, 2005


JCoke, guestblogger at Bill Quick's, puts his his finger on it:

....Regardless of the faults and problems of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, they flipped the battlefield from where we were weak--- law enforcement--- to where we are strong, while escaping the shackles our foes had doubtless hoped would restrain us. The only true defense we have against another 9/11 is the credible threat that we will use our military to overthrow governments that support them. Bush, for all his faults, has created that threat...

In war, it doesn't help much to have good tactics if your strategy is wrong. And the right strategy is less important than having the right Grand Strategy. Much of the justification for the Iraq Campaign, and much else we are doing, lies in the realm of Grand Strategy. It has changed the terms of the entire War on Terror.

We've "flipped" the worldview of terror-supporting regimes. The tyrants no longer think of the US as, what was that old phrase, "a pitiful helpless giant," running from Somalia and Lebanon to avoid casualties. Now they are picturing themselves being extracted from a hole in the ground, like Saddam (Or like Dan Rather). Pretty soon, they will get a chance to imagine themselves in the trials in Iraq they will be watching on TV.

And they've also got to be noticing that the frenzied and desperate attempts of their allies in the UN and the Democrat Party and the world's newsrooms have failed utterly to stop the forces of freedom. Everyone now knows that Chirac told Saddam that he could prevent the Coalition from invading Iraq. Failed. Every remaining genocidal dictator in the world, including Kofi, was praying for a Kerry victory, and had it rubbed in his face that this ain't no "parliamentary democracy" we're running here. Winner takes all, Tranzi losers get nothing.

And all these things have also had the positive effect of encouraging those around the world who long for democracy and reform.

One of the big frustrations I've had as a blogger is the difficulty of having a real debate with those who oppose our efforts, because of their their refusal to even admit that there is a Grand Strategic element to discuss. I would, for instance, argue that even if Iraq is "the wrong war at the wrong time and the wrong place," (I don't agree) it would still be a much better move than inaction, just because it has changed the terms the war is being fought on, and forced everyone else to react to us, rather than us reacting to them.

Posted by John Weidner at January 1, 2005 11:28 AM
Weblog by John Weidner