Monday, November 06, 2006

There is Only One Issue--The War on Terror

Orson Scott Card has this to say over at Real Clear Politics:
There is only one issue in this election that will matter five or ten years from now, and that's the War on Terror.

And the success of the War on Terror now teeters on the fulcrum of this election.

If control of the House passes into Democratic hands, there are enough withdraw-on-a-timetable Democrats in positions of prominence that it will not only seem to be a victory for our enemies, it will be one.

Unfortunately, the opposite is not the case -- if the Republican Party remains in control of both houses of Congress there is no guarantee that the outcome of the present war will be favorable for us or anyone else.

But at least there will be a chance.

I say this as a Democrat, for whom the Republican domination of government threatens many values that I hold to be important to America's role as a light among nations.

But there are no values that matter to me that will not be gravely endangered if we lose this war. And since the Democratic Party seems hellbent on losing it -- and in the most damaging possible way -- I have no choice but to advocate that my party be kept from getting its hands on the reins of national power, until it proves itself once again to be capable of recognizing our core national interests instead of its own temporary partisan advantages.
Here Card takes on cut and run Democrats:
Wherever Islamicism has been tried, the result has been identical to Communism's miserable track record. The people are oppressed; the worst sort of vigilantes and thugs terrorize the population; the new power elite, regardless of their supposed piety and dedication to a holy cause, is quickly corrupted and comes to love the wealth and privileges of power.

When there is no hope of deliverance, the people have no choice but to bow under the tyrant's lash, pretending to be true believers while yearning for relief. In Russia it came ... after more than seventy years. China and Cuba are still waiting -- but then, they started later.

So it would be in the Muslim world -- if Islamicism were ever able to come to seem inevitable and irresistible.

You know: If America withdrew from Iraq and Afghanistan and exposed everyone who had cooperated with us to reprisals.

As happened in South Vietnam. The negotiated peace was more or less holding after American withdrawal. But then a Democratic Congress refused to authorize any further support for the South Vietnamese government. No more armaments. No more budget.

In other words, we forcibly disarmed our allies, while their enemies continued to be supplied by the great Communist powers. The message was clear: Those who rely on America are fools. We didn't even have the decency to arrange for the evacuation of the people who had trusted us and risked the most in supporting what they thought was our mutual cause.

We did it again, this time in the Muslim world, in 1991, when Bush Senior encouraged a revolt against Saddam. He meant for the senior military officers to get rid of him in a coup; instead, the common people in the Shiite south rose up against Saddam.

Bush Senior did nothing as Saddam moved in and slaughtered them. The tragedy is that all it would have taken is a show of force on our part in support of the rebels, and Saddam's officers would have toppled him. Only when it became clear that we would do nothing did it become impossible for any high-ranking officials to take action. For the price of the relatively easy military action that would have made Saddam turn his troops around and leave the Shiite south, we could have gotten rid of him then -- and had grateful friends, perhaps, in the Shiite south.

That is part of our track record: Two times we persuaded people to commit themselves to action against oppressive enemies, only to abandon them. Do you think that would-be rebels in Iran and Syria and North Korea don't remember those lessons?
Then there is this segment about Bush's so-called mistakes in the handling of the war on terror:
Critics of Bush love to cite the many "mistakes" his administration has made. Most of these "mistakes" are arguable -- are they mistakes at all? -- and when you sum up the others, with any kind of rational understanding of military history, the only possible conclusion is that this is the best-run war in history, with the fewest mistakes. And most of the mistakes we've made are the kind that become clear to morning-after quarterbacks but were difficult to avoid in the fog of war.

Worse yet, Bush's opponents invariably depict these mistakes as being the result of deliberately chosen policies -- a ludicrous charge, but one that is taken seriously by an astonishing number of people who should know better. The game, you see, is blame. It's not enough to say, Bush made a mistake. You have to say, Bush deliberately did it wrong for evil purposes and he must be punished.

But let's accept the fairy tale that this war has been badly run. That still does not change the fact that on all of the biggest points, Bush has made exactly the right choice -- and he has been the only one who has even seen the need to make those choices!
Here are a couple of the money lines:
Every action has repercussions. Just as our withdrawal from Iraq would terrify and silence our allies everywhere, and embolden our enemies, so also would the fall of the ayatollahs -- particularly if it is as the result of an American intervention in the Gulf -- make waves everywhere. Democracy would be perceived as the wave of the future. Our friends in many countries would feel free to speak up for democracy and pro-American policies -- and their enemies would be afraid to silence them.

North Korea might go through a paroxysm of defiance -- but they would still understand the lesson. America will not be bullied by tyrants. We will stand for democracy, destroying our enemies at the "time and place of our choosing." Negotiations with North Korea would instantly take on a very different tone; and China's attitude, too, would become considerably more cooperative with us.

This is the victory that awaits us -- and it remains possible for two reasons only:

1. America's brilliant, brave, and well-trained military, which projects not just power but decency and compassion wherever our soldiers go, and

2. President George W. Bush, who, regardless of his critics and detractors, has steadfastly pursued the only course that holds the hope of victory without plunging us into a worldwide war with a united Islam or isolating America in a world torn by chaos.

Those are the scylla and charybdis that threaten us on either hand. If we do not win this containable war now, following the plan President Bush has set forth, we will surely end up fighting far bloodier wars for the next generation.

And the rhetoric of this election proves that we have precious few politicians in either party who have the brains, will, or courage to be taken seriously as alternatives to George W. Bush in the guidance of our nation through this dangerous, complicated world.

It is a long piece, but well worth the read.

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