It's time for truth, not "truthiness."

Heard the Word of Blog?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Responding to a Democrat who talks more like a Repugnican...

Paul Kujawski, who self-identifies as a member of the California Democratic Party Central Committee, threw some red meat to the largely conservative readership of the Los Angeles Daily News this Sunday in the opinion section. I couldn't let him bloviate without addressing his points, so off went my letter-to-the-editor. I have my doubts the GOP-loving Daily News will print it, so I'm reprinting it right here.

How can the Democratic Party woo back the 9-11 Republicans? It won't be easy. The key is for the Democratic Party to adopt the following, or something like it, into our party platform:

There is a war between civilization and the political-religious movement usually called Islamism or Islamo-fascism (not Islam). We didn't seek this conflict, but we cannot avoid it.

While not the only issue facing America, this war is the single most important issue of our generation.

We must unequivocally win this war, however long it takes.
-- Paul Kujawski

My response:

I have no complaint with adding the plank to the Democratic Party
platform Mr. Kujausky suggests. Yes, we are in a war against radical
Islamic fundamentalism. It is indeed the single most important issue
of our generation.

However, Kujawsky continues by citing the lies that got us into what
John Kerry rightfully called "the wrong war in the wrong place at the
wrong time." There was no credible evidence that Saddam Hussein had
restarted his WMD program. And there has never been any proof of
Hussein meeting with Al'Qaeda. There had been contact between Iraqi
Kurds and Al'Qaeda, but the Iraqi Kurds have been agitating for their
own state and had been nothing but trouble for Hussein. Al'Qaeda had
Hussein on their hit list, as well as any other leader of any other
secular state in the area formerly dominated by the Ottoman Empire
before World War I. Saddam and his murderous sons were corked up like
a Genie in a bottle, unable to threaten anyone with their expansionist
ambitions, between two no-fly zones and a blockade.

The war against Al'Qaeda and their Afghani Taliban hosts was fought in
a half-hearted, perfunctory manner. If we ourselves had gone in and
wrenched Osama Bin'Laden and his lieutenants from their ratholes in
Tora Bora instead of "outsourcing" the job to Afghani warlords we
wouldn't be talking about Al'Qaeda in anything but historical terms.
We would still be fighting radical Islamic fundamentalism, because it
is an idea rather than an enemy country. There would be others in the
region to take up the fight, and we would have to prepare ourselves to
do so. But Al'Qaeda would have been history.

Instead, we invaded Iraq. We removed the cork on the Genie's bottle.
We now have to deal not only with marginalized Sunnis who still hold
sympathies to Saddam's Baathist party, but with foreign Al'Qaeda
inspired fighters attracted to Iraq by the chance to kick sand in the
"Great Satan's" face. We also have to deal with growing ties between
Iraqi Shia radical Islamic fundamentalists and the Islamic Republic of
Iran. It is not far-fetched to say that the final outcome of
"Operation Iraqi Freedom" will be Iraq, or at least a large portion of
it, as a client state of Iran.

The Iraq War has made us less safe, rather than more safe. It
destabilized a country that had been forced into stabilization by the
terms of its defeat in the Gulf War. It has provided elements of
Al'Qaeda training camps and target practice. We made a big deal about
destroying Al'Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. We just pushed them
into Pakistan and created an opening which allowed them to be
established in Iraq.

This war between the West and radical Islamic fundamentalism didn't
start with 9/11. Arguably it started with the partition of the former
Ottoman Empire by the Victorious Powers after World War I. A case can
be made that it started when the First Crusade was called by Pope
Urban II in 1095. It will be with us for the forseeable future.
However, the Iraq War was a distraction, a handwave to misdirect the
Western World from our failure in Afghanistan. And it has backfired.
Big time.

The Iraq War has hamstrung us from fighting the real war on terror.
Our inability to deal with a resurgent Iran and its proxy organization
Hezb-i-Allah is proof that this war has come back to bite us. If
anything, the Iraq War has strengthened Iran's hand. It has also given
Osama Bin'Laden more, not less prestige. Osama is now the man who
stood up to the Crusaders, a modern day Salah-ad-din. By failing to
kill him like the cur he is in Tora Bora we have allowed him to
inspire a whole generation of would-be martyrs. Both the London Tube
Train Bombings of 7/7/05 and the thwarted liquid bomb plot were
executed by British citizens of primarily Pakistani descent.

Iraq remains the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time. You
can spin it all you want but those of us who are "reality-based" know
the score.

Michelle Klein-Hass