Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Iraq War was a Mistake

I am waiting for the sixth seal. I don't recall what the first three were but surely the fourth and fifth are on display this week. Kirsten Powers of Fox News is using Jonah Goldberg Of National Review Online, who up until today I always considered God's gift to literate conservatives, as a new club to smash the argument supporting the war on terror.

To her credit, Ms Powers, true to her form, doesn't gloat at having found in Mr. Goldberg's recent column a new tool in the liberal jihad to discredit the Bush administration. And it is to his eternal disgrace that Mr. Goldberg has allowed himself to used in this way. It is difficult to know with whom to deal first. I have a new-found respect for Ms Powers as the voice of reason among a Democratic party increasingly influenced, if not dominated by the shrill and obtuse left wing. And one must constantly remind oneself that while she is neither shrill nor obtuse, she is also not a Republican. This simple fact, regardless of her background and current notoriety as a reasonable Democrat, has to stand athwart the blogosphere and shout "She is a Democrat!" to borrow a phrase.

And as a proud Democratic activist, she will work against an agenda supported, up until he fell from grace, by Mr. Goldberg. Not that I am big fan of the Republican Party these days. The only good thing I can say about Republicans is that they ain't Democrats. So it is more than a shock that Mr. Goldberg has joined the ranks of conservative pundits who have willingly and knowingly thrown themselves into the dark and greasy deep part of the liberal tool box. You know, where you put the big tools like the monkey wrench and vice-grips, under the top tray of the smaller, frequently-used ones.

The problem for me and others like me, is that Mr. Goldberg's capitulation makes life that much harder. Yes, I've read his piece, over and over, hoping that I've missed his trade-mark tongue-in-cheekism. No. He is seriously wrestling with all that he knows to be true, and losing out, pinned to the mat by ...Kirsten Powers! Simply by saying "The Iraq war was a mistake," Mr. Goldberg is implicitly calling for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld, who Ms Powers somehow blames for the protracted conflict. Mr. Goldberg throws Rummy to the wolves, a man among men, arguably the toughest and most effective Secretary of Defense this country has ever had and will likely ever have again, thanks in part to Mr. Goldberg's desparate "third-way."

With a stroke Mr. Goldberg joins the indistinguishable blob of "I support the troops" but not the war or the President and "Now that we are there..." And so with that rambling rant, I address Mr. Goldberg:

Dear Mr. Goldberg,
The only mistake we as a nation made in Iraq is waiting until after 9-11 to invade. We should have invaded the first time Saddam fired on our pilots patrolling the no-fly zones established in the aftermath of the Gulf War. But of course, we were being "led" by Bill Clinton who had more important things on his "mind."

After 9-11, all Americans should thank God that Al Gore did not win the election. After 9-11, war was inevitable. We, as a proud nation demanded it and all our politicians except Dennis Kucinich authorized it. We invaded Afghanistan. We were victorious in that engagement. But now the Taliban are still restive....Mullah Omar and bin Laden, still on the lam. Our troops continue to die in Afghanistan. Abject failure? Should we ask the Afghans to vote for continued U.S. military presence there?

The only mistake George Bush made in "rushing" to war with Iraq was "rushing" to war. For nearly two years, we rushed. The Bush administration rushed to the UN, thanks to Colin Powel, three times at least. If anyone is to blame for the problems we are experiencing now in Iraq, it is our former Secretary of State. Not our current Secretary of Defense. Now Saddam may have been a madman, but he was certainly not stupid or naive. The rush was agonizing. I keep thinking of that scene in Monty Python and The Holy Grail, where the murderous knight of the round table is spied rushing the castle gate by an alert guard. Over and over again the alert guard observers the suspicious knight rushing at the gate. Finally, the knight is suddenly upon the alert guard who is put to the sword. Unlike the guard, Sadddam and our other adversaries actually did something when is was apparent to the non-brain-dead that the U.S. would invade.

I am convinced that had we not invaded Iraq, that Saddam's playground would have been taken over much as Lebanon has by Hezbollah. The great difference of course is oil. It is, literally, black gold and would have been diverted to ever more diabolical acts of terror against the West. The terrorists dominated by al-Quiada would have used Hussein's Iraq like they had used the Taliban's Afghanistan. And so Iraq was the next logical step. The only options were 1. wait until bin Laden had set up shop in a quite place such as northeast or western Iraq from which to plan an attack on Chicago after which we could invade with a search warrant while we buried and grieved for thousands more dead American civilians, or 2. invade Iraq BEFORE bin Laden has a chance to set up shop.

These were the only two options. Which one would you pick?

Mike Netherland

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Le Figaro Cave-In - My Posted Comments

*****UPDATE -- The nice folks at Extreme Center have nothing to do with Le Figaro. To confess, I saw a whole lot of French writing and, well, I couldn't resist. I saw (in what I now know are lists of Extreme Center editors' Likes and Dislikes, in French) what looked like a strange contradiction and went wild. I herewith apologize to the three people who read my blog for misleading them.*****

My take on the latest French appeasment of the Islamists at the expense of everything we hold dear. Read Michelle's Malkin's blog on recent editorials published in Europe that are critical of the recent conduct of Muslim extremists, and the comparative history of Islam, Christianity and Judaism by German Professor Egon Flaig.

These editorials come on the heels of the sudden extreme sensitivity to religious adherents by the artistic community. In Berlin, the German Opera House decided to cancel a production of Mozart's Idemeneo. The modern production featured the severed heads of Jesus, Buddah and, you guessed it, Mohammed. The production wasn't cancelled out of respect for Christians or Bhuddists, but out of admitted fear of violence against members of the production company as well as against the Opera House and the surrounding community.

Initially, Le Figaro defended philosophy teacher Robert Redeker who has had to go into hiding under police protection (no word, yet on the fate of German Professor Egon Flaig).

Then a day later came the subjugation. I posted the following comment on the Extrem Center's website. I don't know what, if anything (nothing, see update), Extreme Center has to do with Le Figaro, but the message is clear.

Do the editors of Le Figaro not see the irony? I have to believe that they do. As literate and sentient human beings, how can they not? So they have consciously submitted, like the Vichy before them, to the forces of fear and intimidation, hoping to spare themselves by prostration. They have consciously traded their self-respect, pride, honor, freedom of thought and of speech, and the separation of religion and "l'etat" for.....what, exactly? Their lives? Their livelihood? And what of the lives of their children? And of their childrens' children? I guess they will never know what it was like to publish or read a newspaper like Le Figaro. They will never walk through the Louvre and witness the beauty of the Enlightenment and the Rennaisance. They will be universally reviled first by their masters the Islamists to whom their fathers and grandfathers willfully submitted and second by the remaining free nations whose sons and daughters are forced to fight harder and die in greater numbers to guard the freedoms that their forefathers fought and died to defend and that the French so easily and willfuly served up to their masters on a silver platter.

I beg you, while you still can, stop the inevitable violence with ideas. Do not force my sons and grandsons into uniforms and ranks onto the bloody battlefields of France, again. Because, once liberated a third time, they will not ask your permission to stay. They will stay to defend the frontiers of peace and freedom, whether you like it or not. You have forfeited the right of your own sovreignty and by doing so imperiled the rest of the free world. We will not, I should hope and pray, allow you to do so again.