New Sisyphus – The President’s Case and 9.11

Thus, for the NY Times and liberals at large to say that Iraq had “nothing whatsoever to do with the terrorist attacks,” is to miss the larger point the President is making, made last night and will continue to make for the rest of his term. Iraq is central to the President’s war aims in that he seeks to inject a radical new order in the heart of the Middle East, one that will present an alternative and democratic space that will deflate the appeal of the fascism that gave rise to 9.11 and similar attacks.

For liberals to pretend not to understand all this—for them to lose their vaunted sense of nuance and understanding—reveals a profound and distasteful dishonesty on their part, as well as a whiff of desperation. Beyond indicting Bin Laden in District Court for the Southern District of New York, liberals have been without a strategic plan on how to win the War on Terror. In fact, they would deny such a war even exists.

Such is their right. But their standard-bearer, Senator Kerry, took that argument to the American people a mere 7 months ago and they soundly rejected it in favor of the strategic vision advanced by President Bush and his team. Disagree with him, argue with him, advance a competing vision: that is the American way and we welcome it. But you cannot fence off 9.11 and declare it out-of-bounds in the President’s reasoning as to why we are in Iraq today.

Etc. Thanks to Bruce at Between Worlds for sending this to me. I actually missed it in my morning blog reading. He adds in his own blog:

One important point, which I readily concede to antiwar friends, is that the Iraq War was a war of choice. Indubitably. But that’s like trying to decide where in the house to lay the roach traps, or even trying to decide whether to merely mop up after roach attacks, or proactively going after the roaches, or even worse, doing nothing at all. Similarly, Iraq was a crossroads of Islamofascism (of which bin Ladenism is only a variant), was already in a state of hostilities, and had provided plenty of legitimate reasons for the resumption of military operations.

Except I don’t actually agree with that “war of choice” thing. We can’t forget that whole UN Resolution that was unanimously passed which Saddam basically used as a shower mat. I mean, I guess we “chose” to not look as foolish and ineffectual as France, but that’s not quite the same thing. While I’m on the subject of stuff I don’t agree with, there’s this from the original article:

There are a number of obvious objections to this argument. One could argue that it is not at all clear that Muslims share our love for our concept of democracy and liberty and thus the project in Iraq is doomed to failure.

If that were true, there wouldn’t be all those Muslims driving cabs and selling falafel in American cities. And:

One can argue that Saudi Arabia, as the font and treasurer of Islamist Wahhabism, presents a greater threat than the largely secular, if fascist, state of Saddam’s Iraq.

I disagree with that one slightly less than the others, but it is sort of like punishing the parents when the spoiled kid sets the principal’s car on fire. I mean, no matter what sorts of poison they put in his head, as long as the official parenting policy wasn’t setting principals’ cars on fire, it’s kind of hard to make them responsible for the irresponsible behaviour of their kids. Bad analogy? Yeah well I was a design major.