You Can’t Change The Channel In War

Mitch Berg notes Rudy Giuliani’s latest address on the global war on terrorism. Giuliani pulls no punches in elucidating just what the stakes are in this conflict:

The former New York City mayor, currently leading in all national polls for the Republican nomination for president, said Tuesday night that America would ultimately defeat terrorism no matter which party gains the White House.

“But the question is how long will it take and how many casualties will we have?” Giuliani said. “If we are on defense [with a Democratic president], we will have more losses and it will go on longer.”

“I listen a little to the Democrats and if one of them gets elected, we are going on defense,” Giuliani continued. “We will wave the white flag on Iraq. We will cut back on the Patriot Act, electronic surveillance, interrogation and we will be back to our pre-Sept. 11 attitude of defense.”

Giuliani is right. The Democratic position on the war is to try and avoid dealing with anything but the political consequences at all costs. The reality is that their idea of how to “win” the war on terror is ultimately counterproductive. As an example of this, Michael Totten spoke with Kurdish leader Mam Rostam. Rostam gives us a prescient warning of what would happen if the US pulls out of Iraq:

“If America pulls out of Iraq, they will fail in Afghanistan,” Mam Rostam said.

Hardly anyone in Congress seems to consider that the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan might become much more severe if similar tactics are proven effective in Iraq.

“And they will fail with Iran,” he continued. “They will fail everywhere with all Eastern countries. The war between America and the terrorists will move from Iraq and Afghanistan to America itself. Do you think America will do that? The terrorists gather their agents in Afghanistan and Iraq and fight the Americans here. If you pull back, the terrorists will follow you there. They will try, at least. Then Iran will be the power in the Middle East. Iran is the biggest supporter of terrorism. They support Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Ansar Al Islam. You know what Iran will do with those elements if America goes away.”

Rostam is right. What would happen to the thousands of foreign jihadis who are now in Iraq once the US pulls out? Some of them may stay to wreak havoc with the Iraqi government — but many of them would continue to fight the United States. We have roughly 20,000 troops in Afghanistan. If the Taliban got the level of support that al-Qaeda has been putting into Iraq, Afghanistan would be the next domino to fall. It’s much more difficult to fight in the mountainous and rugged terrain of Afghanistan than the largely flat desert of Iraq. The jihadis are not going to give up and go home if we leave Iraq. They will continue to fight us until we leave Afghanistan and then they will continue to fight us wherever we are — including the United States. If the Democrats want to make the argument that Afghanistan is the “real” war on terrorism, they don’t get any benefit there by pulling out of Iraq.

The Democrats don’t want to face reality. We’re facing an enemy that is determined to kill as many of us as possible. Diplomatic negotiations with hostile regimes such as Iran and Syria are pointless. They know we can give them carrots, but they have no reason to fear any sticks — certainly not from a Democratic Congress. Groups like al-Qaeda have bet their future on the idea that Americans can be pushed around and forced to retreat. The Democrats would play right into that hand.

Giuliani is absolutely right. The Democrats would make us less safe. We cannot win this war by playing defensively — all it takes is one lucky hit and the terrible events of September 11 would be nothing more than a prelude. We have to offensively deal with the infrastructure and ideology that feeds terrorism. That requires a sustained, vigorous, and unyielding commitment to fighting terrorism on all fronts, political, economic, and military. The Democrats do not wish to do that, and while the Bush Administration has done a poor job in many areas, the Democrats have already shown that they are not only inept, but dangerously inept. We can’t afford a party that lives in a September 10 world, and every day the Democratic Party proves that they’re not cognizant of the realities of the world we live in today. Whether Mr. Giuliani is the right leader or not is a subject for debate, but one thing is certain: whoever leads this country in 2009 must not shirk their responsibility in fighting this war. If they do, the consequences to this country and the rest of the world will be severe.