Sullivan Fisks Kerry And Clark

Andrew Sullivan has a spirited fisking of John Kerry and Wesley Clark on Iraq in The New Republic.

Sullivan does an excellent job of skewering the completely inconsistant positions of the Democrats on the war. The Democrats are trying to play to a radical anti-war base on the assumption that the American people see Iraq as another Vietnam. What they fail to understand is that the attitude of the American people has radically changed since September 11.

The September 11 incident wasn’t the Gulf of Tonkin – it was a Pearl Harbor. No one who saw what these radical Islamists did can argue that there is no threat from the Middle East anymore. It was bad enough when those attacks were going on over there, it is something else entirely when they’re hitting our own cities.

The Democrats argue that Iraq didn’t have anything to do with September 11 – which is an assertion that is not entirely proven. It is unlikely that he had any significant involvement with the September 11 attacks, but he did have links to al-Qaeda and Iraqi agents were involved in at least the planning stages for the attacks.

The fact is that the American people understand that we can’t just ignore the problems of the Middle East. We have to do something before the situation there explodes unto our shores. That means we have to actively engage with the Islamic world and bring democracy to the region. This is essentially a liberal (in the classical sense) mission – we have not only pressing interests of national security, but a moral obligation to improve the world as well.

The American people understand that Iraq is only one step in a much larger war. The Democrats don’t understand this. They would prefer that national security be what we do after the next attack has wiped out Boston or Los Angeles. The Republican plan is to make sure that doesn’t happen. Until the Democrats can present a coherent, rational, and effective national security strategy they will not, nor should they, be a party that is capable of leading this nation in this time of war.

4 thoughts on “Sullivan Fisks Kerry And Clark

  1. I don’t know that the issue is that Iraq didn’t have ties to al-Qaeda, but more that going to war with Iraq and riding the coat tails of 9/11 was wrong. Let’s face it, North Korea is more of a threat than Iraq ever was.Bush wanted to kick Saddams ass and too many people had their political carrers tied to doing the same.

    Do I think we needed to do something about Saddam? Yes, most definitely, but I didn’t think going to war was the right move because it would entail having to stay there and rebuild the country, which would be expensive and long – something we Americans wouldn’t find too popular. 🙂

    Had we definitvely killed Saddam and Bin Laden, there would be no touching Bush. He would be untouchable. The fact that they both appear to be at large just leaves an opening for the Democrats to attempt to re-claim the presidency. This is simply a chink in Bush’s armour that the Democrats are exploiting to build their platform and win popular opinion.

  2. North Korea is a threat, but it’s a different threat. North Korea isn’t tied to a massive regional problem. China, Russia, South Korea, and Japan all have reasons of self interest in containing Pyongyang. (China especially, since they don’t want a nuclear arms race on the Korean peninsula any more than we do.)

    Iraq was also a threat, but it was also an opportunity. Iraq is one part of a larger strategic plan to reform the Middle East. (Stephen Den Beste has a very detailed outline on this plan that provides much of the background on this.)

    The fact remains that we cannot simply ignore the problems in the Middle East or we really will be playing a game of whack-a-mole in which every terrorist cell we eliminate is quickly replaced. We have to bring democracy to the Middle East, and we cannot hope that it emerges there on its own. The people of the Middle East overwhelmingly want a free and democratic society, but they cannot do so unless the political situation in the region changes.

    The only way of doing this is to start cutting away at the Gordian knot of the Middle East – and that means making some very bold moves, like the war in Iraq. If anything, I agree with Secretary Rumsfeld, the problem isn’t that we’re doing too much, it’s that we’re doing too little.

    As for Saddam and Osama, they will be found sooner or later. Sa’ad bin Laden is in charge of al-Qaeda, and it’s quite possible that Osama is either dead or close to it. As for Saddam, it’s only a matter of time. Getting them would be a major psychological boost, but it wouldn’t change the overall situation – al-Qaeda will still be around and the Iraqi resistance is coming mainly from Syrians and Iranians rather than Saddam’s forces.

    This war is going to be long and difficult, and even I’ve had to adjust my worldview in order to do what must be done. However, the price of not going through with this is September 11 being only the first of many such attacks – given that 3,000 can be killed in less than two hours, and a WMD attack would kill tens of thousands more, the lives of less than 200 soldiers in the line of fire are a difficult, but ultimately necessary price. Every casualty is a tragedy in itself, but that sacrifice must be weighed with the fact that we are engaged in a fight that is just as important as the battle against Nazism was fifty years ago.

  3. When you say “We have to bring democracy to the Middle East” that just scares me a little. Just because we’re the king of the hill at the moment, doesn’t mean that our form of government is right for everyone. The very idea that we have to force our method of government onto other countries is apalling.

    Yes, I think that everyone should be a free individual, but I don’t think that the American way is the only way to have freedom.

    The problem isn’t that the Middle East isn’t a democracy, it’s the fact that it’s a religeous hotspot. The road to peace in the middle east means that countries have to make some very hard decisions and those countries have been unwilling to do that as of yet.

    The Bush agenda was/is to force democracy as a solution. With Iraq taken over, if we can demonstrate that “democracy is the way” and make them the halmark of democracy, then it’s on to Iran and so forth. I don’t agree with this way of thinking at all, but you said you want comments to be short. 🙂

    Suffice to say that the Middle East is a completely different culture from ours. We’re already flooding them with our music, tv, movies, books, etc. If another culture doesn’t agree with ours, then we become despised. How does subduing a country and forcing our style of government on them going to help things?

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