Coddling The Enemy

June 16, 2005

How can we successfully prosecute the War on Terror when one of the two major political parties in our nation seems to have no concept of the nature of the war or the enemy we are fighting?

What the Democratic Party leadership obviously fails to recognize is that we are in a war of global reach, and there’s no end in sight — literally. And our enemy would be no less committed to our destruction if we immediately withdrew from Iraq or gave every Gitmo prisoner daily bubble baths.

It is mystifying, maddening and outrageous that people like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are demanding a date certain that we will withdraw from Iraq. It’s as if they believe we can turn this war on and off with a spigot simply by removing our troops from Iraq.

Even apart from the monumental waste of American lives and resources, and the catastrophic consequences for Iraq, democracy and the Middle East our precipitous withdrawal would cause, we must understand that pulling out of Iraq will do nothing to end the enemy’s war against us. Indeed, such a move would doubtlessly embolden the enemy, encouraging them to hit us harder because they would know we don’t have what it takes to endure this war.

Democrats scoffed before when President Bush and others said that if we weren’t fighting the terrorists in Iraq we would be fighting them somewhere else. They can laugh all they want, but it happens to be true. To suggest that enemy forces in Iraq are merely Iraqi insurgents, as opposed to part of an international band of terrorists, including Saddam’s Iraqi holdovers, and terrorist imports from Iran, Syria and every other imaginable place, is sheer folly.

The Iraqi people themselves have embraced freedom and democracy, as they demonstrated in spades by their historic turnout at the polls despite the risk to their lives in doing so. Iraq happens to be the primary venue of the War on Terror currently because international terrorists — extremist Muslim fanatics — have enormous incentive to prevent the development and spread of democracy there and elsewhere in the Middle East. If it can blossom there, it can blossom anywhere — and that doesn’t portend well for their vision of a global Muslim theocracy.

Given these realities, the Democrats’ call for a specific withdrawal date from Iraq is incomprehensibly reckless. What American or Iraqi benefit can they conceivably imagine from our telegraphing such a date?

Has this once honorable party completely forgotten what happened on 9-11, when we were attacked without provocation — before we attacked Iraq, by the way? Do they think the terrorists will declare a cease-fire even if we cede Iraq to them?

If they truly understood the nature of the enemy, would they coddle them as if they were their pet criminal defendants on the mainland of the United States? Would they insist on mischaracterizing — to the detriment of America’s image and the demoralizing of our troops — the conditions at the prison camp at Guantanamo?

It is hard to overstate the egregiousness of Dick Durbin’s suggestion that we are torturing and abusing prisoners comparable to the Soviet Gulags, and worse, implying that we are doing so as a matter of Bush administration policy.

Bulletin to Dick Durbin and like-minded America-bashing appeasers: These enemy combatants are not criminal defendants; they are not criminals at all. They are part of an incorrigible war enemy. But they are unlike any enemy we’ve faced before, because they are unattached to any nation state that could be made to surrender. Their cause transcends rationality and will survive the fall of any nation.

If Democrats understood the nature of the enemy, they would know that it is not only not unreasonable for us to hold terrorist enemies in perpetuity, but utterly mandatory. These people — those of them we can confirm through military tribunals are indeed enemy combatants — can never be released back into the world as long as this war continues, and there’s no reason to expect that it will end in the next 50 years.

I’m completely serious about this. Whether we like it or not, the war is going to continue as long as there are significant numbers of Muslim extremists in the world to prosecute it, and there will be, irrespective of whether we do everything we can — short of converting to a Muslim theocracy — to make them like us.

Besides, the Gitmo prisoners, in effect, have the keys to their own jail cells because it is their allies in terror who will decide when to quit waging war against civilization. Until that happens, we cannot afford to give them liberty and a license to come back and kill us.

In moral terms, there is no comparison between us and the enemy, and it would be most helpful if the minority party in the United States would quit feeding the lie that there is.