Wednesday, October 12, 2005

JUDITH APTER KLINGHOFFER on why we are winning the war on terror in Iraq.

The vast majority of Muslims and even Islamists recoil from the daily pictures of Sunni mass murder of Shia in Iraq. Even Al Qaeda's number two understands as much and "in a letter made public last week, Al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, cautioned Mr. Zarqawi against particularly gruesome executions and attacks on Iraqi civilians for fear of their negative impact on the global jihadi cause." It also encouraged Sunni leaders to cut a deal about the constitution. Why do you think Nazi sympathizers try to deny the Holocaust? Is it because they are proud of it?

Blowing up Westerners may seem like romantic justice to ideological radicals. Blowing up hapless fellow Muslims less so. In other words, the Islamists may have to give up on Iraq and permit an establishment of a democratic form of government there which would accelerate significantly the reform process already underway in the Greater Middle East.

A BUZZFLASH READER on why the U.S. cannot win in Iraq.

There is some insight about our government's detour into Iraq in its faux-War on Terror in a scene from the movie Godfather II. The scene is set in the Cuba of 1958 and mob boss Michael Corleone is on a mission to Havana to check on the family's very lucrative business interests. He witnesses a rebel cornered by the authorities scream out "Viva Fidel" and detonate a grenade that kills himself and a police captain.

Later Corleone meets with Hyman Roth, a character based on mobster Meyer Lansky, and the following exchange ensues:

Corleone: A rebel was being arrested by the military police, and rather than be taken alive, he exploded a grenade he had hidden in his jacket. He killed himself and he took a capital of the command with him -- it occurred to me the soldiers are paid to fight, the rebels aren't.

Roth: What does that tell you?

Corleone: They can win.

Recent polls indicate that the vast majority of the American people believe the U.S. cannot or will not win in Iraq. These Americans are simply drawing from that same well of common sense as the fictional Michael Corleone did in the film.

Our youth are locked into this deadly imperial war in Iraq based on loyalty to their Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush. Otherwise they have no stake whatsoever. They are motivated only by the common peril they face. U.S. soldiers are fighting for their own survival and for their brothers and sisters-in-arms next to them in a hostile place far from home.

This past April one of Iraq's insurgent groups issued a statement that concluded, "We are coming." A tidal wave of attacks, suicide and otherwise, followed that turned May and June of 2005 into unspeakably bloody months for U.S. and Iraqi government forces. Who will win in Iraq? Try to imagine any American, military or civilian, willing to enlist in a suicide mission, much less shouting "Viva Bush" as they perished for the noble cause he has fabricated. Compare the act of gladly giving up your life for an insurgency with the government of an occupation force that will not even slightly discomfort its rich with higher taxes.

You decide which argument is more convincing. I'll say two things, though. First, it's not just Sunnis killing Shiites.

And second, while it's true that the vast majority of Muslims in Iraq and elsewhere recoil in horror from the daily reports and pictures of sectarian violence (Sunnis killing Shiites and Shiites killing Sunnis), it does not follow that the vast majority of Muslims in Iraq and elsewhere are sympathetic toward the U.S. war in and occupation of Iraq. In truth, large numbers of Iraqis always blamed the American military presence for the insurgency, and that number is steadily increasing the longer Americans stay in Iraq.

This is a distinction that the Bush administration is apparently incapable of grasping (or, more likely, they don't care): Iraqis hate the insurgent violence, and they also hate the Americans in Iraq -- and the two are inextricably connected as far as they are concerned.

No comments: