Monday, February 19, 2007

Frum & Perle: Five

My favorite part of AETE (starting on page eleven): The Sneer Chapter! Or, put another way, The Counting Your Chickens Before They Hatch, Flog You, And Then Shit On Your Head Chapter! Enjoy!

Pessimism and Defeatism have provided the soundtrack to the war on terrorism from the beginning [...] Remember how the Iraq War was "bogging down" [...]? In Iraq, U.S. forces overthrew Saddam Hussein's entire regime with half the troops and in half the time it took to merely shove Saddam out of Kuwait in 1991. It did not matter: The gloomsayers were unembarassable. Having been proven wrong when they predicted the United States would sink into a forlorn quagmire in Iraq, they reappeared days later to insist that while military victory had been assured from the beginning, the United States was now losing the peace: There was looting throughout the country; the national museum had supposedly been sacked; the hospitals had been stripped bare by thieves; power was blacked out; the sewage was running into the Euphrates.

Now the pessimists are quivering because the remnants of the Baath Party have launched a guerilla war against the allied forces in Iraq [...long diatribe insisting that guerillas are only mercenaries and bitter Baathists, not -- emphatically not -- nationalist or tribalist or sectarian opponents of an occupation they percieve, rightly or wrongly, as imperialist generally and looting and humiliating specifically.]

The aftermath of war is always messy and often bloody [...WW2 analogies... blah blah blah]..

Post-Saddam Iraq has emerged from more than three decades of totalitarian rule [...] Should anyone be surprised that it took the United States a few weeks to get the lights working?

Yet a good many people who ought to have known better did claim to be surprised. And they claim more than that. They have claimed that the Iraq campaign somehow detracted from the overall war against terror -- and that Saddam's success in concealing his weapons of mass destruction program somehow proves that he should have been left in power to build those weapons. These critics complained that President Bush weakened the case for war by offereing too many justifications for it. It never seemed to bother them that they had more than one reason for doing nothing -- and that unlike the president's, their reasons contradicted one another:

-- Opponents of the Iraq War like German foriegn minister Joschka Fischer protested that they were "not convinced" that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction at all. Meanwhile, former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft warned that if attacked, Saddam would retaliate with weapons of mass murder "unleashing an Armageddon in the Middle East."

-- Opponents of the war insisted that Saddam had no connections with terrorism. Then they fretted, in the words of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, that if the United States attempted to overthrow Saddam, the United States could instead "precipitate the very threat that we are intent on preventing -- weapons of mass destruction in the hands of the terrorists."

-- Like General Barry McCaffrey, they predicted a military disaster in which the United States could potentially suffer, "bluntly, a couple to 3,000 casualties." And then they accused the United States of picking on a country too weak to pose a threat.

-- They insisted that action against Iran and North Korea should take priority over the defeat of Saddam Hussein's regime. Now that Saddam's regime has been defeated and the Bush administration stands ready to follow their advice about Iran and North Korea, their enthusiasm for action against those other rogue regimes has suddenly withered away.

-- They swore that nobody deplored Saddam's crimes more than they. As House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said in March 2003, "Those who [suggest] that there is any sympathy for Saddam Hussein in the world do a grave disservice to the debate." Yet as U.S. forces uncover what may prove to be more than a hundred mass graves containing upwards of three hundred thousand victims, they showed virtually no interest."

-- They were shocked and offended whenever anyone questioned their patriotism or good faith. And since the war ended, they have followed the example of former vice president Gore and accused President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair of "bending our entire national security policy to fit their political designs."