Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The Unholy Coalition of Defeat

Norman Podhoretz has a new essay in Commentary called: "The War against World War IV"(hat tip: Powerline). In order to appreciate this article, I recommend you read Podhoretz' article from Commentary dated September, 2004 titled "World War IV: How it Started, What it Means, and Why We Have To Win".

In this new piece, Podhoretz discusses the gathering forces of defeatism that threaten to overwhelm our resolve. First, the corrupt, totalitarian regimes of the Middle East:

In Iraq, the insurgents—a coalition of diehard Saddamists, domestic Islamofascists, and foreign jihadists—have a simple objective. They are trying to drive us out before the seeds of democratization that we are helping to sow have taken firm root and begun to flower. Only thus can the native insurgents hope to recapture the power they lost when we toppled Saddam; and only thus can the Iranians, the Syrians, and the Saudis, who have been dispatching and/or financing the foreign jihadists, escape becoming the next regimes to go the way of Saddam’s under the logic of the Bush Doctrine.
The despots tyrannizing these countries all know perfectly well that an American failure in Iraq would rule out the use of military force against them. They know that it would rob other, non-military measures of any real effectiveness. And they know that it would put a halt to the wave of reformist talk that has been sweeping through the region since the promulgation of the Bush Doctrine and that poses an unprecedented threat to their own hold on political power, just as it does to the religious and cultural power of the radical Islamists.
But the most important thing the insurgents and their backers in the neighboring despotisms know is that the battle for Iraq will not be won or lost in Iraq; it will be won or lost in the United States of America.

Then comes the defeatist voices of the "paleoconservative right":

Consider—to begin once more on the lowest rung of the ladder—the isolationists of the paleoconservative Right. Their line is that a conspiracy of "neoconservative" (i.e., Jewish) officials holed up in the White House and the Pentagon is dragging this country, against its own interests, into one conflict after another with the sole purpose of "making the Middle East safe for Israel."

And the isolationists of the hard Left:

So, too, with the isolationists of the hard Left. These—exactly like their forebears in the late 1930’s who fought against America’s entry into World War II—have made common cause with the paleoconservatives at the other end of the political spectrum. True, the isolationism of the Left stems from the conviction that America is bad for the rest of the world, whereas the isolationism of the Right is based on the belief that the rest of the world is bad for America. Nevertheless, the two streams have converged, flowing smoothly into the same channel of fierce opposition to everything Bush has done in response to 9/11.
In the years before 9/11, Noam Chomsky, Buchanan’s counterpart on the Left, was very largely forgotten. After achieving great prominence in the 1960’s, he had come to seem too extreme—or perhaps too naked in his hatred of America—to serve the purposes of the New York Review of Books, through whose pages he had first made his political mark.

In like fashion he runs through the "Superhawks", the "Liberal Internationalists"; the so-called "political realists", and the mainstream media. This unholy, coalition of defeat has formed in parallel to the emergence of the Bush Doctrine after 9/11. Podhoretz points out something that, I think is important:

Suppose, then (as I do), that in a year or so, a duly elected coalition government is in place in Baghdad; that it is guided by a constitution guaranteeing political freedom and minority rights; that the economy is improving; that Iraqi soldiers and policemen have taken over most of the responsibility for dealing with a severely weakened insurgency; that the number of American troops has been reduced to the size of a backup force; and that fewer and fewer Americans are being killed or wounded. What then? Will the realists and their liberal allies bow to this reality? Will they be mugged by reality?
I think not. I think they will do unto a success in Iraq what they did when Hamid Karzai was sworn in as the president of Afghanistan this past December.

In other words, even if our efforts succeed in Iraq, this coalition will not be appeased or comforted. They had the same defeatist attitude towards Afghanistan, and are unwilling to acknowledge the remarkable success that is occurring there. The freeing of millions of people and enabling Afghanistan to have the first democratic government in its history is not enough. Freeing millions is not enough. Liberating the women of two countries is not enough. Enabling Democracy is not enough. Preventing attacks on the homeland for 3 years is not enough. In other words, success is simply not enough for this unholy coalition.

This coalition of defeat will only be happy if America loses. Period.

Podhoretz has much more to say--about Iran, Syria and North Korea--so take a look. The two articles are long, but very worth your while.

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