May 26, 2008
There's a little Jimmy Carter in all of us....
John at PowerLine:
On the stump, Barack Obama usually concludes his comments on Iraq by saying, "and it hasn't made us safer." It is an article of faith on the left that nothing the Bush administration has done has enhanced our security, and, on the contrary, its various alleged blunders have only contributed to the number of jihadists who want to attack us.
Empirically, however, it seems beyond dispute that something has made us safer since 2001. Over the course of the Bush administration, successful attacks on the United States and its interests overseas have dwindled to virtually nothing.
Some perspective here is required. While most Americans may not have been paying attention, a considerable number of terrorist attacks on America and American interests abroad were launched from the 1980s forward, too many of which were successful. What follows is a partial history.....
He has a very interesting timeline of terror attacks inside America or against American interests abroad. And a very interesting list of possible reasons why attacks on us have dwindled to nothing.
And yet I think he misses the real explanation.
Terrorist attacks are done for a reason. The terrorists hope to get something out of them. The normal reaction in the West is to give them what they want. They want to sow fear, so we become fearful. They want publicity, so our "journalists" hasten to oblige. They want to demonstrate that we are not really dangerous, and so we lash out ineffectually. They want concessions, we run to the negotiating table. They want a break, we give them a truce.
It's like our collective mind has a little Jimmy Carter whispering in its ear.
2002 and 2003 was the first time we responded to terror attacks by doing something they REALLY don't want us to do. We cold-bloodedly and effectively brought democracy and freedom to two Islamic countries, and most importantly, one of them right in the Arab heartland. If our project in Iraq succeeds, al-Qaeda and its project are locked out of that country forever. They know it, they've said it, they've thrown their best efforts into the counter-attack.
And they fear that if they attack us we may do something like Iraq again
That's why they have not hit us.
Update: And also, what has been our reaction to al-Qaeda's bloody counterattack in Iraq? It should have been: "YES! We've stung them! Let's do more of this! Faster, please."
Instead, for many of us, including almost all Democrats and leftists, and much of our government, it's been, "Give them what they want!" And who has done the most to resist the pressure to cave in Iraq? To resist the pressure to give the terrorists what they want? President George W. Bush. We are gonna miss this guy, I predict. We're gonna miss him once he's gone. [My thoughts on WHY the left is so desperate to lose in Iraq are here.]
(This is just an old photo from 2003, from my Iraq archives.)
Iraqi schoolgirls show off their new chalkboards donated by friends and family of U.S. Navy Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Four. Navy Seabee units have been participating in extensive reconstruction of schools, hospitals and bridges throughout Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Brandon Harding [From DefendAmerica's Sept.'03 Photo Archive]