Tuesday, November 15, 2005

By what measure?

Democrats recognize that a successful War on Terror would mean that they would have no chance of gaining power in Congress or the White House. For this reason, they are hell-bent on convincing the public that the war is going badly. By doing this, they are emboldening the enemy and putting our soldiers in greater danger.

I have to ask the question: by what measure is the War on Terror going badly?

In the four years since terrorists crashed airliners into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, the Taliban has been removed from power, most of the command structure of al Qaida has been dismantled, with dozens of high-level terrorists captured or killed, Iraq is liberated from an evil dictator and is beginning to establish a working democracy, Saddam Hussein is in prison facing trial and he no longer controls stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons. Five years ago would anyone have believed that in 2005 Iraq would hold a free election to approve a Constitution establishing a democratic government? Even a year ago few people believed that the election would come off smoothly and the Constitution would pass.

The foreign terrorists and Iraqi Baathists who profited under Saddam's rule do continue to fight us, but did anyone really believe that they wouldn't? They think that there is a vacuum to fill, but freedom and democracy has already filled that vacuum, and it is a matter of time until it defeats the Islamofascists. The last thing we should do at this point is abandon the Iraqi majority who want freedom and let the Islamofascist minority impose their will on the majority. The insurgency does provide an opportunity to do significant damage to the forces of terror worldwide, as terrorists from throughout the middle east have converged on one spot, ready for our fine military to wipe them out. While our losses have been high, theirs have been much higher.

When you destroy a hornet's nest, you invariably stir up a bunch of hornets. The fact that they were not stirred up before doesn't mean that they were not there, or that they would not have stung you if you ignored them. Stirring them up is a necessary first step to wiping them out.

So I repeat the question: by what measure is the War on Terror going badly?

Let's talk about casualties. We won World War II, and along the way we lost 295,000 fine American soldiers. Our allies lost millions more. In Vietnam we lost 58,226 American servicemen. In the Civil War, at least 618,000 Americans died. By any historical standard, 2,000 casualties is a small number. Our modern society has had a major shift in expectations regarding the number of casualties we are willing to accept. We expect a Desert Storm style victory every time, when the reality is that a land war involves greater risk and more casualties. Not all objectives can be accomplished by air power alone. Although we never want to see any American soldier killed, it is a fundamentally American principle that freedom is worth fighting for. The winner is not always the side with the fewest casualties. In WWII, many more Allied soldiers died than Axis soldiers. In the Civil War, more Union soldiers died than Confederate soldiers. The key factors which lead to victory are the will to win, and the resources to win. Democrats who try to score political points by calling the war a failure are eroding away the will of the American people to win the War on Terror. Along with the liberal media, they have done more to help the terrorists and endanger our soldiers than you can imagine. CNN, the DNC, and the New York Times are the propaganda branch of al Qaida. We certainly have an advantage in terms of resources, so if we maintain the will to win, we have the opportunity to defeat one of the greatest threats in history and make the world a safer, freer place.

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