|View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Tuesday, September 09, 2003
What Was Missing From Mike Littwin's Column
Anything constructive. Any sense of perspective, memory, judgment, or history.
The most stunning line: "...attacking Iraq seems to have given terrorists a place in which to operate and also given them American targets in easy range."
What world is this guy living in ? First, we're all in easy range now. That was the lesson of September 11. Better the bad guys have to fight a trained military in a country we're getting to know better every day, than that they have free run of the place. Our guys on the ground say they're making progress every day. Arresting bad guys, killing bad guys, getting the country rebuilt, holding local elections. I don't want to tempt fate, but despite Littwin's claims of "daily" killings of Americans, it's been 8 days since any American was killed.
Secondly, Iraq, before we invaded, was already a place where they operated. Hezbollah trans-shipped munitions. Islamic Jihad had training camps. The head of Iraqi intelligence met with 9/11 planners. If Michael Ledeen is right, and Islamic Terror is operating like Murder, Inc., then Saddam wasn't just on the Board of Directors, he was practially COO. (Iran seems to be CEO, Saudi is CFO, and North Korea is CTO, but that's for another day.) We went into Iraq because we have to win this war on their ground rather than ours.
One is tempted to ignore the Littwins of the world. To go all Al Gore and sigh and roll our eyes in the confidence of our rightness, and the thickness of those who Just Don't Get It. But we don't have the luxury. There are disciplined speakers on the Left, people who never question their own rightness, but who take the time to make whatever case they think they have. It's why the debate goes on forever. We need to be jut as disciplined. To explain, patiently, from first principles again and again, why we are doing what we are doing.
We need to be willing to criticize the conduct of the war, but only so that we can win it more quickly. To the Littwins of the world, it's not even worth fighting.