When confronted with an overwhelming body of evidence suggesting that insurgents are gaining power and self-sufficiency in Iraq, there are a number of ways to react. An increasingly popular reaction is to determine that the Iraq War is unwinnable, and conclude that America must disengage from the conflict. But there is another conclusion to be drawn: Islamic terrorists are most pernicious foes.
Such a declaration may come across as stating the obvious, but as we move further from Sept. 11 without an attack, and as the price of war in blood and treasure grows, more Americans will conclude that fighting terrorism is not worth the cost. In a new book, Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them, John Mueller argues that Americans have an exaggerated view of the terrorist threat. “The capacity of al-Qaeda or of any similar group to do damage in the United States pales in comparison to the capacity other dedicated enemies, particularly international communism, have possessed in the past,” Mueller writes.p>This idea — that Islamists have limited military capacity so therefore the threat they pose to us is being exaggerated — is not restricted to Mueller. In an October cover story for the American Conservative entitled “Size Matters,” Gregory Cochran wrote of al-Qaeda: br> /p>
We’re talking about a group with at most thousands of active members worldwide, with little money and no industrial base, an organization that doesn’t possess a single tank or fighter plane or long-range missile. Countries that nobody has even heard of — does Burkina Faso ring a bell? — have more raw military power than al-Qaeda.br> In September, Newsweek ‘s Fareed Zakaria dismissed comparisons between Nazi Germany and contemporary Iran by contrasting their relative military strength. “At the time, Germany had the world’s second largest industrial base and its mightiest army….Iran does not even rank among the top 20 economies in the world…America’s annual defense outlay is more than 100 times Iran’s.”
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?