September's thirty days have passed all too slowly. They must have seemed a lifetime to Floridians who have hunkered down through a hurricane onslaught that isn't over yet. To Dan Rather, September must have seemed like a decade. His credibility has sunk to a level equaled by a select few: the U.N. Security Council, the EUnuchs of the European Union, and Vichy John Kerry.
A friend of mine, ruminating about Rather's misfortune, gave forth a long sigh. Said he, "Jed, I was raised a good Catholic. But I didn't believe I'd lived a good enough life to be rewarded so well." Though he isn't going to be led out of CBS headquarters in handcuffs, Rather's future is behind him. Arrogance and bias have been Rather's downfall. The EU's is being cut from the same cloth. After forcing the Turks to prostrate themselves at the feet of the EUnuchs for more than a decade, and having an all-too-compliant Turkey do virtually anything asked of it to gain admittance to the EU, the Turks only last week passed what should have been the final obstacle when their parliament passed a list of legal reforms. In answer to this, French Finance Minister Nicholas Sarkozy -- the Mr. Bean-like Chirac protégé campaigning to succeed his mentor -- said that Turkey's application for EU membership can't succeed for at least another fifteen years. If the EU took ten years to plan a way to strengthen the hand of Islamic radicals in Turkey, they couldn't have come up with anything better.
That stupidity is equaled by the same Europeans' calls for "reform" of the U.N. Now that they have helped prevent any U.N. action against terrorists and the nations that support them, the EUnuchs are backing a proposal to add Germany, Brazil, India, and Japan as permanent members of the Security Council. Even the Brits, who should know better, are backing this proposal.
U.N. reform is on the minds of all the U.N.'s pals. The U.N. is sinking in its own diplomatic quagmire, and they're desperate to paper over the problems. Adding India to the Security Council is a good idea. It's a democracy and represents a huge population, with military and economic power. But adding Germany? Brazil, even Japan?
In truth, nothing can fix the U.N. Its charter prevents it from distinguishing between good and evil, and its membership reflects that very problem. Of the 191 members, fewer than 50 are democracies. What Vichy John Kerry and the rest of the Dems won't admit is that for the U.N. to have legitimacy in anything, its voice must be the voice of free peoples speaking through duly-elected governments. Unless you toss about three-quarters of the members out of the U.N., you can't fix it. No matter how many members may be added to the Security Council, its paralysis and inaction will only continue. And to this, Mr. Kerry will devote his presidency if, heaven help us, he has one.
IT'S NOT FLIP-FLOPPING anymore. Mr. Kerry shouldn't be hiring more Clintonistas to help him find a message. Better to replace his campaign manager with Indiana Jones to penetrate the dark caves where ideas breed. Perhaps Mr. Kerry can't help it. When he views any conflict, he sees Vietnam. When Iraq's interim prime minister Iyad Allawi addressed Congress last week, Kerry was quick to criticize him for putting too-good a face on what Mr. Kerry insists is the ongoing disaster there. Kerry is all about schedules for withdrawal. Allawi, to his undying credit, is all about winning.
Mr. Allawi is, undeniably, an enormously brave man. Having survived Saddam's murder squads' attempt on his life, Allawi lives with constant personal danger. Mr. Cheney had it right when he blasted Kerry for his outrageous remarks. But as outrageous as Kerry's remark was, it betrays his true feelings and gives us an important insight to what Kerry will do.
Mr. Kerry has made up his mind about the Iraqi election to be held in January. No matter the result, no matter how many Iraqis have to die to achieve it, Mr. Kerry will hold the Iraqis to an unreasonable standard. He -- and most others of his party -- will join the EUnuchs and the U.N. in condemning the result as illegitimate. He -- and they -- will demand continued "supervision" of Iraq, denying its newly elected government its place in the world. Kerry sees Allawi and his successors as the new versions of the Thieu, Ky, and Diem regimes in Vietnam: American puppets, to be cast aside at the first chance.
Allawi apparently sees this coming, and is now giving more cooperation to American commanders. Our operations in Najaf are over. According to my sources, al-Sadr's militia was not destroyed entirely, but about two thousand were killed, which is a mighty good start. In Ramadi, Fallujah, and elsewhere operations are continuing, and will grow in size and intensity. Terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al Qaeda chief in Iraq, is the man who beheads hostages. Our spec ops guys are on his trail, and they may get him soon. If not, he's very likely to be killed by the increasingly-paced air strikes around Fallujah. He, and others like him, aren't the source of the insurgency in Iraq. As I have written often before, Syria and Iran are. September hasn't been good for at least one of them.
BASHAR ASSAD'S HOPES MUST be sinking as fast as Dan Rather's ratings. Last week, Hamas leader Izz El-Deen Sheikh Khalil died in a car bombing in Damascus. It's more than reasonable to believe that his death is the handiwork of Israeli intelligence. If Khalil is a legitimate target in Syria, so are the hundreds of other terrorists who openly base themselves there. Mr. Bush should be pounding Assad's government in the press, and telling Israel to do whatever it can to destabilize the Assad regime. The UK's Daily Telegraph reported that Assad is trying to get Iran to take about a dozen mid-level Iraqi nuclear weapons experts off his hands. He doesn't want the attention he's attracting from Washington. As well he shouldn't.
Assad, like the rest of the bad guys, is watching our polls. If Bashar thinks September was bad for him, in the immortal words of Leo Durocher, wait'll next year.
September has been a terrible month, as months in war must often be. October will likely be worse. In Iraq, violence will grow as it will in Afghanistan where an election is to be held. Terrorists -- especially al-Qaeda -- have been anxious to disrupt our elections. But they don't get it. They may kill some of us, even many of us. What they don't understand is that we're not yet a people at war, with the single-mindedness we have always achieved in pursuit of victory. If another attack comes to America, the response will be something they never conceived.
TAS Contributing Editor Jed Babbin is the author of Inside the Asylum: Why the U.N. and Old Europe Are Worse Than You Think (Regnery Publishing).
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