Saturday, October 07, 2006

Let's Concentrate On More Pressing Things

Fire of Liberty
I think Charles Krauthammer put the whole "Iraq makes us less safe" so we should "redeploy" nonsense to bed with his most recent column in the Washington Post. Here's a sample:
How important is Iraq in this calculus? The vaunted National Intelligence Estimate -- unspun -- offers a completely commonplace weighing of the relationship between terrorism and Iraq. On the one hand, the American presence does inspire some to join the worldwide jihad. On the other hand, success in the Iraq project would blunt the most fundamental enlistment tool for terrorism -- the political oppression in Arab lands that is deflected by cynical dictators and radical imams into murderous hatred of the West. Which is why the Bush democracy project embodies the greatest hope for a reduction of terrorism and why the NIE itself concludes that were the jihadists to fail in Iraq, their numbers would diminish.

It is an issue of time frame. The bombing of the Japanese home islands may have increased short-term recruiting for the kamikazes. But success in the Pacific War put a definitive end to the whole affair.

Moreover, does anyone imagine that had the jihadists in Iraq remained home they would now be tending petunias rather than plotting terror attacks? Omar Farouq, leader of al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, escaped from a U.S. prison in Afghanistan a year ago and was apparently drawn to the ``cause celebre'' in Iraq. Last month, he was killed by British troops in a firefight in Basra. In an audiotape released on Sept. 28, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq said that 4,000 of its recruits have been killed there since the American invasion. Like Omar Farouq and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, they went to Iraq to die in Iraq.

It is clear that one of the reasons we have gone an astonishing five years without a second attack on the American homeland is that the most dedicated and virulent jihadists have gone to Iraq to fight us, as was said during World War I, ``over there.''

Does the war in Iraq make us more or less safe today? And what about tomorrow? The fact is that no definitive answer is possible. Except for the following truism: During all wars we are by definition less safe -- and the surest way back to safety is victory.
Ah, It's always so fun to go to the Washington Post op/ed page every Friday to read such sage advice from Mr. Krauthammer.

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