The Wrong Side Of History

Victor Davis Hanson has yet another perceptive and coherent piece on why the Democrat’s attacks on the War on Terror fall flat. As always with VDH, it’s full of apt historical allusions and exceptionall clarity of thought. A short preview:

With all this in mind, it is hard to understand the Democrats’ logic of disaster. True, we are in an election year — the stuff of predictable hysteria. Politics, of course, is an arena in which there are no laws — a gladiatorial free-for-all that (unless you are Howard Dean) you don’t enter demanding the retiarius leave behind his net or the Thracian dull his scimitar. But still, both history and reason offer no support for the calculus of the candidates’ current invective. The party of Harry Truman has somehow boxed itself into the corner of seeing bad news from the Iraqi theater as good news for them.

The fact is support for the war is high and unwavering. We are better off with the capture of Saddam Hussein. We have made great progress in capturing or killing members of al-Qaeda worldwide. The predicted disasters that would befall us if we attacked Iraq were illusions. Syria, Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Pakistan have suddenly re-evaluated their support for terrorism. The "Arab street" ended up protesting – for more of the freedom and democracy we’ve introduced into the region.

What’s sad is that many Democrats, even many thoughtful ones just simply don’t understand the magnitude of what’s been achieved here. They’re too busy in partisan name calling to stick their heads up and see that they’re on the wrong side of history. Even with the more "sensible" candidates pulling ahead, the vast majority of the Democrats have an inexplicably partisan and negative view of the world that scarcely matches the optimism of the American people.

5 thoughts on “The Wrong Side Of History

  1. We are better off with the capture of Saddam Hussein.

    And in the world of the conservative, where the ends always justify the means, that’s enough, isn’t it?

  2. You know, Jay, it’s really kind of funny that you complain about Democrats’ oversymplifying reasons for the war while simultaneously oversimplifying the war itself. There is a reason for concern about whether or not the world is safer with Saddam out of power, and it should be legitimate discussion in an open society. Think about the dangers that would have come about had the USSR deposed Tito in Yugoslavia–the Balkan crises could have come about during a time when NATO would have been in no position to garrison, and the slaughters caused by the deterioration of an artificially-created state could have happened with no opportunity to provide humanitarian assistance to those suffering. There would be plenty of legitimate reasons for the USSR to want Tito deposed, and there would be little chance of any Western interference more than the CIA’s assistance like happened in Afghanistan, but the benefits of toppling the Tito regime would have been far outweighed by the costs. Juxtapose that with Iraq–the benefits of removing Saddam Hussein from power can’t be judged so concretely without their full costs being revealed, which will not be known until after the US leaves Iraq. There are many risks involved with regime change on this level, and pronouncing a group to be on the “wrong side of history” before the history can possibly be written is the height of bad judgement.

  3. Of course Iraq is not Yugoslavia, and the situation today is radically different from the one that existed then.

    The fact remains that every indication is that the arguments that invading Iraq would destabilize the Middle East have proven to be false. The “Arab Street” never materialized, there was no use of WMDs, India and Pakistan didn’t go to war, North Korea didn’t lob nukes at each other, and Iraq isn’t Vietnam no matter how much some would like it to be.

    All indications point to the invasion of Iraq being exactly what the dreaded “neocons” said it would be, the beginning of a gradual transformative process in the region – a process that will continue as long as we have the will to support it.

  4. Jay, you’re talking like the job is done. You don’t think that any problems could come about from the transition to Iraqi rule, especially when the country borders both secular and fundamentalist Islamic state? Honestly, I can think of more than a few things that can still go wrong, in addition to those countless things that already have.

    Also, I like how you point out that there was no use of WMDs. I’d like to point that out, too. Care to guess why? Maybe it has something to do with the Kay quote that I notice is conspicuously absent from your page (a bit of revisionist history, Jay, or are you cropping intelligence to fit your theories?-j/k).

    You can say that the occupation is going about as well as could be expected. You can even say that it’s going as well as you’d hoped it would. Just don’t try to say that it’s obviously a sign of an impending turn of fortune for the region, because not all indicators point to that, and while everything has to go right for a successful transition, only a few things have to go wrong for the whole thing to blow up again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.