Angry New Yorker

Thursday, April 08, 2004
Outside of New York City...

Pardon the interruption, but the ongoing put-down of militant Islamist forces in Iraq has been weighing on me these past few days, and the ongoing hand-wringing has gone over the top in my opinion. Put aside Senator Kennedy's shameful and incidendiary comments -- if any one had any doubt it's time for him to retire, his recent conduct should convince otherwise -- the sheer magnitude of pitious bleatings from both the press and others who should know better is not a reflection of the best of America.

No one said Iraq was going to be easy. No one said it was going to smooth sailing. But we need to lance the boil the Middle East has become and Iraq is the starting point. I'll say no more at this point. But I highly recommend reading "The Mirror of Fallujah - No more passes and excuses for the Middle East" and "We Are Finishing the War - Anatomy of our struggle against the Islamicists," two recent essays by Victor David Hanson. He sums up well the Middle East's current pathology, and why our actions are both necessary and right.

And on a parting note, everyone should read the briefing transcript from April 7 with General Mark Kimmitt, Deputy Director for Coalition Operations. The response to a question/statement from Jennifer Glass of the "The World" [a joint BBC-NPR program] was classic. Glass said "it seems that the more the [coalition]forces fight, the more people -- these are just the Iraqis that I speak to -- the more Iraqis want to fight. And it seems to inflame things. I mean, everyone I've spoken to has said, watching what's going on Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, with the fight in Fallujah and pictures coming out, it seems to be creating more fighters."

General Kimmit responded [transcript available here, and streaming Real video here]:
"In answer to your first question, they want to fight; fight for what? Fight for a return to an authoritarian regime? Fight to bring in an extremist regime? Fight to promote civil war? No, the fact is that the fight is for democracy. The fight should be for democracy. The fight should be for a united Iraq. The fight should be for individual liberties, for freedom of the press, for self-governance, for sovereignty. That is the fight that is important.
* * *
So it is important for the majority of people in Iraq to understand that their aspirations -- which is for democracy, sovereignty, liberty and
independence -- is the same fight that the coalition is fighting for. And while it may seem somewhat glamorous to the young every once in a while to pick up the arms and fight against the occupier, ask the furthest -- the next question: Fight for what? What you should be fighting for is for your children, so your children can grow up in a country of liberty, can grow up in a country of democracy, can grow up
in a country where freedom of the press is honored, freedom of expression is honored, freedom of religion is honored. That's the fight that we should be fighting. That's the fight that the Iraqi security forces and the coalition is fighting. And that's the fight we're going to continue to fight until the voices of extremism and the voices of authoritarianism are wiped out from this country."

Now *that's* the American viewpoint, not the sad caterwailing of Senator Kennedy or Senator Byrd, who are both far past their sell-by dates.

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