As I watch the Washington D.C. news cycle on the various news channels and the variants of C-SPAN, I keep on seeing and hearing various Democrats barking the same talking points on how the situation in Iraq cannot be handled militarily because it is a political/diplomatic solution. Now while I agree that the problem is only 80% military and 20% political, I'm scratching my head when Democrats(And some wimpy Republicans) are so quick to condemn a group of politicians in Iraq, who work and live under a constant threat and are beginning their journey in democratic self-government, when members of our Congress(Who have a 200 year head start) have the damnedest time in passing laws that secure or borders or bring about earmark reforms. I know that Democrats are quick to bandy the whole non-sense of this being a mere political problem but when push comes to shove the political process won't result in anything if the folks in Iraq aren't safe or feel safe from the marauding members of Al Qaeda and other hostiles that the US military and Iraqi security forces are currently doing. Someone who seems to agree with this but does a far better job at explaining it his current column is National Review's Jonah Goldberg. I'd say the following explains everything:
It's the small businessman, the shopkeeper or tradesman, who wants to feel secure in his property and contracts. He wants to know, as Lindsey Graham says, that he can get a fair shake from a judge. If, down the road, he gets to vote for his preferred politician, that's wonderful. But it's not the first priority.Here's hoping the President and fellow Republicans start using such an argument with regards to Iraq.
In Iraq, security isn't merely the most important thing, it's the only thing. Without security, nothing else is possible. "The good society is marked by a high degree of order, justice and freedom," Russell Kirk wrote in The Roots of American Order. "Among these, order has primacy: For justice cannot be enforced until a tolerable civil social order is attained, nor can freedom be anything better than violence until order gives us laws."
Which is why Democratic talk about how "political solutions" are more necessary than military ones and President Bush's ornate rhetoric about the "universality of freedom" are so irrelevant, even counterproductive. The Arab world doesn't have a great grasp of what democracy is, but it does have a keen sense of justice and order. One significant reason we're having such trouble selling Iraqis on the former is that they were really in the market for the latter.