The last election, when conservative Democrats were elected in preference to corrupt Republicans, those of us living overseas saw how this was interpreted by much of the local and international media as a defeat by Bush.
As a result, we are seeing Syria taking over Lebanon via their friends in Hezbollah, the Palestinians making a “truce” to stop Israel’s bombing of those behind the rocket attacks on Israel, while allowing the Palestinian government to disclaim responsibility, and we see Iran continuing to build nuclear weapons while funding and supplying bombs and bomb making materials to “insurgents” in Iraq.
There are several forces that oppose democracy in Iraq. The hard core Baathist , lush with Saddam’s money and money from various criminal activities, are working with Saudi funded AlQaeda funded foreigners to quell the Shiites. And if there has been an “upsurge” in violence, it is because Iranian funded Shiite militias are now understandably lashing back in revenge, killing not civilians by random terror but deliberately aiming at young and middle aged Sunni men, sometimes at random but one suspects often targeted for personal revenge.
Such terrorist actions by the defeated and revenge killings occurred in occupied France and the Philippines after World War II; so one would expect historians to remind us these things. Instead we lack context, allowing the situation to be spun for political gain as Bush’s fault for “destabilising Iraq”, and we have a media that seems intent to stress what’s wrong and repeating the word “failure” over and over again,Â rather than to explain why we should hold the course.
The Washington Post has not been the most ideological Anti war newspaper, yet one only has to peruse today’s paper to see how the mainstream media might be part of the problem.
The headlines include:
— a memo (leaked) saying Rumsfeld …well, the implication is that he thought Iraq was a mistake.
—-one on “Gulf war syndrome”…you know, from Gulf War one? (hint hint we shouldn’t have fought that one either). Of course, it was theÂ Clinton administrations’ bureaucrats that denied funding for Gulf war syndrome research, but never mind.
—Then we read “friendly fire” incidents were mishandled.
Yup. All those friendly fire deaths are being spun too. Of course, as Stonewall Jackson could tell you, wars run by good Democrats like Jefferson Davis would NEVER allow anyone be killed by friendly fire.
And finally, a whole bunch of editorials by professors on why Bush is the worst president in the world.
We have Douglas Brinkley at Tulane: ” When 9/11 happened, Bush did too much, attacking the wrong country at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.”.
Well, some would say that we should have attacked Iran, and the UN should have voted to punish Saddam Hussein by sending UN troops into removing him for his breaking the peace treaties of 1991, but never mind. When France and Russia are taking Oil for food bribes and selling weapons to Saddam and Nuclear facilities to the Mullahs, there are no ways that the UN would do that.
Of course, the problem of Islamofascism is not mentioned in the essay.
Then we have Eric Foner from Colombia who claims Bush is the worst president ever.
Foner claims Bush has destroyed the rights granted to Western men since the Magna Carta (yup…tell my Irish ancestors that). Look! even the courts are against him. (ummm a few cases backed the Patriot Act. But never mind).
And of course the good professor cites how the world hates Gitmo, where people are imprisoned without trial complete with lawyers and the ability to see the names of those testifying against them.
His heroes Lincoln and FDR would never do such things…
Except, of course, the Lincoln didn’t suspend “habeas corpus” for foreigners who voluntarily worked with America’s enemies. He suspended habeas corpus for all. One would expect a professor whose web site brags he is one of the foremost American historians and whose expertise is on the Civil war era would be aware that Lincoln was called a baboon and his wife a traitor. There were draft riots in New York City, and large financial scandals. What saved Lincoln’s reputation was that his idea, that the republic was worth saving, won the day.
And FDR didn’t just “imprison” young men associated with people who are sworn to kill Americans, he imprisoned men, women and children because their Japanese ethnicity implied they might cooperate with America’s enemies. And when German Saboteurs entered the USA, they were not imprisoned in a clean camp, but quickly and quietly tried and executed.
As for the courts “rebukes of Bush’s policies”, one wonders how a professor is seemingly unaware that the Supreme Court reversed many of FDR’s policies, and that in revenge FDR attempted to pack the courts in response.
Only Vincent Cannato is allowed to argue that “wait and see” might be a better way to judge things. Yet even he calls the situation in Iraq “black”.
Luckily, Mr. Cannato did not write editorials in 1942, or we Pinoys would be speaking Japanese.
What is missing in all these essays is a true sense of history, placing the conflict in Iraq in the context of a terror war that includes many countries from London to Thailand to Melborne to Mumbai. The war is not about Bush, or oil, or even religion. Indeed, a historian might notice that what some call Islamofascism has more to do with the socialist utopias of the twentieth century superimposed on the ideas of the Persian and Babylonian empires than with Islam.
That is why General Abizaid’s warning that weakness in one battle will translate to a wider future war should be heeded. Some jobs are worth doing.
As General Abizaid stated:”We must defeat the extremism of bin Laden and his associated movement. It’s murderous. It’s ruthless. It’s very capable. It’s got strength as a network unlike any nonstate actor has ever seen before. We’ve got to defeat it,” he said.
“Think of it as an opportunity to confront fascism in 1920 if only we’d had the guts to do it then,” he continued. “I believe that if we don’t have guts enough to confront this ideology today, we will move toward World War III tomorrow.”
One hopes that 100 years from now, the world will not look back on the aggression of the Caliphate that destroyed the European Union, and a Chinese-Persian nuclear exchange that devestated the landmass of Eurasia as the legacy of our elites.
Nancy Reyes is a retired physician who lives in the rural Philippines with her husband. Her blog is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.
A shorter version of this essay was posted to a Town hall Blog.