Day by Day

Sunday, September 28, 2003

"On the Right Side of History"
The Iraqi people are sensing one party is blowing up its pipelines and roads, and one is protecting and rebuilding them. That is why even in the middle of postbellum chaos, in a recent Gallup poll almost 70 percent of Iraqis thought things were far better now than under Saddam. For all the media hysteria, the American people will accept that in history's terrible arithmetic of conflict, the United States achieved an historic victory at an historic minimum of lives lost — and improved both its own security and gave hope for 50 million in the Middle East.
Finally, the president's critics have got it entirely backwards. The
easy, the safe — the amoral — path after September 11 was one of cruise missiles, grimacing with the nodding Europeans, and empty rhetoric, braggadocio that for the moment would have pacified angry Americans without disturbing their calm or hitting their pocketbooks. In contrast, the really hard choices were to ensure not that such horrific regimes ceased their killing for a moment, but that they ceased to be altogether. Critics talk of promoting "perpetual war," but our past conduct, not the recreation of the present deterrence, alone would have guaranteed that scary scenario.

To ask brave soldiers to go into the inferno of Afghanistan and Iraq and by virtue of their skill and courage, under the televised scrutiny of a global audience, end the rule of murderers was not easy. Nor was staying on to help the helpless. Yes, the truly frightening alternative was the blustering inaction that we have seen for the past 20 years that led to September 11 and the real quagmire in the Middle East.
Scope it out, Weez: Victor Davis Hanson on War on National Review Online

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