One of the most unfortunate bits of coincidence, ever, befell the New York Times (although, if you believe in karma, it was richly deserved.) On one Tuesday morning the Times ran a profile of '60s terrorist Billy Ayers, quoting Ayers as saying, “I don’t regret setting bombs…I feel we didn’t do enough.” The Tuesday in question was, of course, September 11, 2001.
So for some at the Times it may have felt like déjà vu all over again last Thursday. Opinion columnist Bob Herbert raised his white flag on Iraq:
How long is it going to take for us to recognize that the war we so foolishly started in Iraq is a fiasco — tragic, deeply dehumanizing and ultimately unwinnable? How much time and how much money and how many wasted lives is it going to take?
On the very same day, our troops captured Ali Hassan al-Majid, a.k.a. Chemical Ali.
However, that is not the only way “bad timing” afflicts Herbert’s lament. It’s been barely five months since we dropped the first bombs on Baghdad, and it is already, for Herbert, a quagmire of Vietnam proportions. It seems that many liberals want to use every enemy action in Iraq as validation of their initial opposition to the war.
And use the truck bombing on U.N. headquarters Herbert does:
At the United Nations yesterday, grieving diplomats spoke bitterly, but not for attribution, about the U.S.-led invasion and occupation. They said it has not only resulted in the violent deaths of close and highly respected colleagues, but has also galvanized the most radical elements of Islam.
“This is a dream for the jihad,” said one high-ranking U.N. official. “The resistance will only grow. The American occupation is now the focal point, drawing people from all over Islam into an eye-to-eye confrontation with the hated Americans.”
There is more than a hint of the blame-America-first mentality in those paragraphs. If America just hadn’t invaded Iraq, it wouldn’t have provoked the Islamo-fascists. One wonders if Herbert remembers the Bali bombing. Perhaps even September 11 is becoming a dim memory?
Those paragraphs also contain a big dollop of myopia. If Islamo-fascists are inundating Iraq, they will be encountering the types of Americans who can shoot back. In the long run it will take a heavy toll on their numbers, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, there will be more deaths-both military and civilian-before it is over. But that is why we must stay the course, to root out those who would do such killing. The last thing we should do is throw in the towel in the first round.
Then there is the presumption:
The American people still do not have a clear understanding of why we are in Iraq.
No, it is just the liberals at the Times who don’t have a clue. The American people, at least a majority of Americans, understand perfectly well what we are doing there. We went there to take out a brutal despot with a Weapons of Mass Destruction program who employed people like Chemical Ali who is reported to have once said about the Kurds “I will kill them all with chemical weapons! Who is going to say anything? The international community? F—- them!” We are there to take the fight to the Islamo-fascists, not wait for them to take it to us. We are also there to establish a democracy in Iraq that will threaten the tyrannies in the Muslim world which enable Islamo-fascists.
Herbert also misses the broader significance of the U.N. bombing:
The carnage from riots, ambushes, firefights, suicide bombings, acts of sabotage, friendly fire incidents and other deadly encounters is growing. And so is the hostility toward U.S. troops and Americans in general.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?