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Opening Arguments

Tipping point

I can't add anything to this, except to hope his conclusion is right:

What the Democrats object to, however, is the idea that it is a "global war." In particular, they are trying to sell the fantasy that Iraq is a discrete problem with no relation to any broader conflict--so that surrendering in Iraq would have no deleterious consequences for U.S. national security.

It would be nice for Americans (albeit brutal for Iraqis) if the U.S. could simply cut its losses and abandon Iraq. But it seems to us there is far more wisdom in the holistic approach of the "global war." America has failed to engage its enemies, or tactically retreated when the going got tough, repeatedly since Vietnam: Iran in 1979, Lebanon in 1983, Iraq in 1991, Somalia in 1993.

There is ample reason to think that these shows of weakness--or, more precisely, of irresoluteness--emboldened America's enemies. The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, provided strong--at the time, seemingly irrefutable--evidence that taking the easy way out did not enhance American national security.

America seems dangerously close to a tipping point: a return to the 9/10 mindset that led to 9/11. It may be that President Bush's steadfastness is the only thing standing in the way, and that his departure from the scene in January 2009 will leave a more timid America.

Or, more optimistically, it may be that the current opposition to the "global war" is less about the war itself than about partisanship and Bush-hatred--and that its apparent gain in strength is really only a reflection of the president's political weakness late in his term.

If this is the case, then President Bush's successor, be he Democrat or Republican, will be likely to take a more realistic view of the world than the House Democrats are now doing. Bush's policies, once untethered to Bush himself, may prove more resilient than many of his detractors now expect.

Posted in: Current Affairs


Larry Morris
Thu, 04/05/2007 - 5:05am

Iraq was not part of anything until we stuck our nose into it - yes, at the time, I was concerned by what we were being fed by a group of people who had an agenda to go to war no matter what. When it became apparent the intelligence was flawed (and, badly flawed, it seems) their reason for staying has changed (by my count) 4 times over the past few years, while we get pulled away from the place where it is generally accepted the 9/11 attackers came from. Man, "surrendering in Iraq", "cut its losses and abandon Iraq", "failed to engage its enemies", keep slinging that rhetoric, ... it seems to be working, we aren

Thu, 04/05/2007 - 7:06am

The quoted material is disingenuous crap. The folks who turned Iraq from a minor discreet problem into a big part of the global problem have to be removed from power first. With those bumblers still in charge, we don't have the necessary tools with which to resolve the Iraq problem or the problem of terrorist acts around the world. Every potential solution still has to go through incompetent management, thereby rendering the solution ineffective.

tim zank
Fri, 04/06/2007 - 9:46am

Well Doug, while you may think the quoted material all "disingenuous crap", consider the fact that the current President hasn't really done anything historically "new". Numerous administrations on both sides of the aisle have employed the same tactics of surveillance, invasion (of privacy and nations), perceived discrimination and bumbling etc....The difference is, today you can influence BILLIONS of people in SECONDS.....The various forms of instant communication can make a you hero today and a villain tomorrow.

Your burning desire to rid our country of this administration will happen soon enough as 2008 isn't that far off, and it will all begin again. Maybe you'll get lucky and the next attack (and there will be one) will happen with a Democrat in office and we can all watch as they twist in the wind too....