The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Today, members of Congress will vote to express their displeasure with the Bush administration’s “surge” in Iraq. It’s telling that their vote will have no weight—a perfect example of those who pontificate without the need to act, those who recommend without the weight of responsibility, those who look toward their own self-interest (re-election) without regard to a longer strategic view. Perfect!

Wretchard of the Belmont Club sums up the current situation in his inimitable way:
Back in 2002 the public knew relatively little about the real causes of the War on Terror. Both those who diagnosed it as caused by a superficial lack of freedom in the Arab and those who saw it in the classic Leftist terms as poor innocent people fighting big bad America had it wrong. So did those, I think, who saw the world in traditional diplomatic terms of states that could be bought off.

Hence, while the Bush administration objectively made many mistakes in pursuing the War on Terror, it can't be judged against our retrospectively more complete knowledge. Rather, the relevant question to ask is at each juncture in the past, which politically viable alternative [Bush's or his opponents'] was better than the other. ….

In looking at the Surge the same calculus unfortunately applies. When it was first mooted, my first reaction was that is was an exercise in futility with only an outside chance of success as it was publicly characterized. Its only virtue was that it was somewhat better than whatever Obama, Murtha and Nancy Pelosi had in mind.

But I think the public has since learned more on the subject. Some from reading and others by direct experience. And they are no longer happy with the mediocrity served up by their leaders at their best and the arrant nonsense espoused by them at worst. There is in this blog thread none of the enthusiasm of bright-eyed partisans so much as the stoic resignation of diners who have chosen the tough beef over the rancid chicken for the nth time in a roadhouse whose menu never varies and whose cooking never improves.

But however slowly the wheels may finally have begun to move. The public has a clearer idea of what the enemy is. A better view of the long road ahead. A more cynical view of how compromised many of our intellectual institutions are. A reduced willingness to take the politicians at their word.

I don't think the Surge means much in and of itself. But I do hope it indicates that we are coming out of our mental freeze. That we are beginning to realize just what we are up against and what we must do in order to survive. And as always, better late than never.

And so, the vote in Congress will occur, and the MSM will exult in the “renunciation” of the Bushies. But the thing that matters, the War in Iraq and the broader and far more important GWoT will not disappear. And if, as Wretchard states, we “are coming out of our mental freeze,” maybe in the thaw we’ll realize that if we choose to fight, we must also choose to win. And if we choose to win, we must do whatever is necessary to achieve that goal. And if we do what is necessary, the Islamofascist evil that we face will be vanquished. And that would be “perfect.”