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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Monday, July 17, 2006

There is no Substitute for Victory

In a piece which dovetails nicely with my last post, the incomparable Jed Babbin resurrects his ``endgame conservative`` argument, and puts the current Islamo-Israeli crisis in perspective. My responses to his original piece can be read here and here.

Babbin puts it succintly:

The second school of thought I have labeled, "Endgame Conservatism." Those such as I say that history from Carthage to Vietnam teaches that if we fail to prosecute a war in a manner calculated to win it decisively, we will lose it inevitably. We believe that terrorism cannot threaten us significantly without the support of nations, and that those nations that are preeminent in their support for terrorists -- Iran and Syria -- must be forcibly disconnected from terrorism. We believe that waiting for Islam to reform itself is tantamount to accepting defeat and that radical Islam (an ideology, not a religion) must be defeated just as Soviet Communism and German Nazism were. We believe that our military's job is not to build nations but to defeat those that threaten America. Once they have done so, their job is finished and whatever the people of a nation do thereafter is their business, not ours, unless they choose to threaten America or its allies again. We assert that requiring democracy in Iraq before defeating the Syrian and Iranian regime enables the enemy to control the pace and direction of the war. And we believe that peace isn't about "processes." It's about winners and losers. Until you have each belligerent in one category or the other, the war isn't over.

We, and the Israelis who left Lebanon before us, left without defeating the terrorist regimes that have every day since then used Lebanon as a terrorist base. In Syria, Hafez Assad has been succeeded by his son Bashar and, in Iran, Ayatollah Khomeni has been succeeded by more ayatollahs and their face man, Ahmadinejad, for whom the Apocalypse is a career objective. Syria has been on our list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1979. Iran has been on it since 1984. Neither has suffered any consequence for their dedication to terrorism. Our weakness has become their strength.

WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW in Israel and Lebanon is the direct result of our failure for more than 20 years, and the Israelis' failure, to prosecute this war decisively.

He is 100% correct; we have repeatedly taken the path of least resistance, and now find our inaction has backed us into a corner. Of course, until the `90`s we had to worry about conflict with the Soviet Union, and this tempered any action we were willing to make, but still we have allowed an infected sore to fester, and now our choices are military action or disaster.

Policy can only drift rudderless for so long before events force change-and often that change is far more unpleasant than the original problem. We can stand tough now, or fight at a time and place (and by means) of the enemy`s choosing.



Blogger Always On Watch said...

In Islam, the power filters from the top down (Allah's word to the imams to the people), but in a representative democracy, the power filters from the bottom up. Thus we see that Islam, particularly as a form of government, is incompatible with democracy.

In battles such as we're now witnessing between Israel and Hamas/Hezbollah, decisive defeat of these terrorists is essential. Doing that won't be pretty. Does 21st Century man have the guts for wat it will take? I hate to say it--I'm not sure. Cessation of hostilities, as Kofi Annan puts it [**spit**], will solve nothing without a decisive victory.

6:45 AM  
Blogger Brandon_T_Stanley said...

The Meccan Quraysh who Muhammad fought for control of the Ka'ba ruled in a democratic fashion. Some historians have called their ruling trbial council a Senate. Islam destroyed a democratic impulse in order to control the Arabs and turn them into soldiers for Allah. I like the article, but Ive had enough of people using the phrases "radical Islam" (its really fundementalism, i.e. back to the basics), and "islamo-fascism". These phrases just distract from the reality: Islam is itself the source of these attacks.

Weve all known good Muslim people. But let us not decieve ourselves. Islams objective meaning as conveyed in the Koran is completely antagonistic to everything good and civilized.

While some may say that the Caliphate is required to call offensive Jihad, so the terrorists "violate the laws of Islam" I have to say that the thugs are acting in the Spirit of the 'laws' of Islam if not the letter.

Israel has to get this done. It will defang Hizbullah and open the way for an assault on Iran which is sorely needed.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Aussiegirl said...

Good comments, and good column, Tim. At this point I fear that there is precious little leadership on this most vital issue and that the people are going to have to drag the leadership into doing what needs to be done. Bush is still taken with his Wilsonian dream of transforming the ME through nation-building and spreading democracy. Democracy has brought Hamas, Hezbollah and the Moslem Brotherhood to power, and we still haven't seen how it's going to end in Iraq. But one thing's for sure in Iraq, we have a Shia majority, that is closely allied to Iran. So the one thing that Saddam did provide, which was a secular, Sunni counterpoint to Iran's hegemony over the region has been rendered moot by our invasion. We may have succeeded in toppling Saddam, only to create a wider Persia.

7:25 PM  

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