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Wolfowitz on the War on Terror
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By etrigan - Last updated: Monday, March 29, 2004 - Save & Share - 11 Comments

“NY Post”:http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/17287.htm

Part of it echoes the Salam Pax video linked to here a while back (couldn’t find the link, sorry), in saying Iraqis are taking advantage of modern technology to give voice to their newfound freedom. One such site shows Iraqi women demonstrating … (They) were exercising their right of free speech to demonstrate for women’s rights – were dressed in very conservative Muslim fashion. Yet, as one of them put it: “We didn’t wait all these years without the most basic rights to be denied them now.” … likeminded Iraqi women – and men – are making it clear they expect basic rights. People are listening. Not only did this pressure force the repeal of Resolution 137 (which threatened women’s rights), but, when the new Iraqi interim constitution was signed March 8, it contained assurances of equal rights – and substantial representation – for women.”

… LAST March, Iraqis were suffering under the thumb of one of the most brutal dictatorships of the last hundred years – a regime that industrialized brutality, tortured children to coerce their parents and raped women to punish their relatives. A U.S. Army commander in Iraq told me last July about the excavation of one mass grave where they discovered remains of 80 women and children – with little dresses and toys.

Today, Iraq’s era of systematic savagery is over. Thanks to the dedication and courage of American and Coalition military and civilians, the support of the U.S. Congress and the American people, life in Iraq is improving steadily:

* Electricity reached pre-war levels last October, and is on track to reach 150 percent of pre-war levels, despite an infrastructure devastated by Saddam.

* Oil production has reached 2.5 million barrels per day, well ahead of projections.

* Funding for public health care is up 26 times the level under Saddam. … Today, Iraqis who are fighting and dying for the “New Iraq” are numerically the largest member of the Coalition. While they are not as well-trained or equipped as American forces, they have many advantages because they know the country and the language. They’re the “home team” and enjoy tremendous popular support – to the terrorists’ frustration.”


The part of the piece with which I wholeheartedly agree, and think that the Administration has been somewhat negligent in making a case for is here:

“What happened in lower Manhattan, at the Pentagon and in Shanksville meant we could no longer allow the world’s most brutal tyrants to traffic with terrorists – or allow the Middle East to breed terrorists on a massive scale.

Today, nothing is more important to world security than fighting these terrorists where they live. Or sustaining progress in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Winning in both countries is imperative. But it is only part of the larger war on terrorism. It won’t be over with one victory in Afghanistan or another in Iraq – important as they are. It won’t be over when we capture or kill Bin Laden.

The recent homicide bombings in Spain … warn us that every free and open society is vulnerable. Free nations must remain united in fighting for freedom against a threat that is as evil and as dangerous as the totalitarian threats of the last century.

(I)t won’t be quick and it won’t be easy. Saddamist killers and foreign terrorists are doing all they can to stop progress. However, a recently intercepted letter from … a major terrorist mastermind in Iraq – to his al Qaeda associates in Afghanistan suggests that he is getting discouraged: The geography is unfriendly and Iraqis are too, the writer laments. Every time they mount an attack to drive Iraqis apart, they come together instead.

“Democracy” in Iraq, he writes, “is coming,” and that will mean “suffocation” for the terrorists. (The mastermind) says his best hope is to start a Shi’a-Sunni civil war by killing Shi’a.”

There are signs that that won’t work. One of the women Wolfowitz quoted responded thusly when asked about her religion: “I’m an Iraqi citizen first and foremost, and I refuse to be asked such a question.”

That’s huge. And it’s something that WOULD NOT have been said if we’d waited for the UN last year. Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas would still be cooling their heels in Baghdad. $20,000 per suicide bomber would be going to Gaza and the West Bank. And people would still live every day under the threat that Sadaam’s Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction (which we know now may not have been the case), and the weapons to deliver them (which even the “NYT”:http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50811F73B5B0C768CDDAA0894DC404482 admits, and the “Heritage Foundation”:http://www.heritage.org/Research/MiddleEast/wm453.cfm among others has recorded).

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11 Responses to “Wolfowitz on the War on Terror”

Comment from etrigan
Time March 29, 2004 at 10:52 am

We can’t deny the good that’s been done for the Iraqi people, but don’t break an arm patting yourself on the back. I know several of you think I’m crazy when I say that God spoke to me about the invasion of Iraq, easing my fears over whether it was the right thing to do. My faith continues to support me in that belief but my faith is not a suitable reason for the rest of the world. W’s faith is not suitable, either, and the international community is unsatisfied with the reasoning he has presented so far. This kind of article is undermined further when the 9/11 commmision is, to date, revealing that our attack on Iraq was predicated on W’s obsession with a country that had no ties to Al Qaeda or any terrorist organizations outside Palestine. (And the Palestinian’s assertion that their attacks are directed at Israel alone are hurting the U.S. using that as grounds for attacking Iraq.) Include the administration’s refusal to allow Condi to testify — plus her recent statement that she was the policy filter between Richard Clarke and W — and it gets worse.

The war in Afghanistan was unavoidable and generally unquestioned other than among extreme pacifists. The war in Iraq is creating a push from terrorists organizations to make their mark or go out in flames. I am starting to think that in a “destined fate” way W was put in the White House to bring the Terrorist battle to the forefront of International Politics — to create a “make or break” scenario on the conflict — but I don’t think he’s the man to bring it to a close. W’s support from the extreme Christian right wing will only be a detriment in trying to negotiate with the Muslim community a peaceful coexistence.

Comment from KMc
Time March 29, 2004 at 10:59 am

>And people would still live every day under the threat that Sadaam’s Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction

You should send that one in to Rove (I can probably find out where he lives for you).

I’m currently living every day under the threat that our next door neighbor is loading her apartment with dynamite and is about to blow us away. We’d better take her out first.

But other than that, yes, Iraqis are better off now, and that’s a good thing.

Comment from KMc
Time March 29, 2004 at 11:02 am

>but my faith is not a suitable reason for the rest of the world

John, If all religious wackos were as reasonable as you are, The world would be just fine.

Comment from Jank
Time March 29, 2004 at 11:56 am

> the 9/11 commmision is, to date, revealing that our attack on Iraq was predicated on W’s obsession with a country

Who, other than the guy with the book to sell, has made this allegation?

> trying to negotiate with the Muslim community a peaceful coexistence.

There is a largely peaceful co-existance with a large part of the Muslim community. Treating Al Quaeda as their spokespeople is a mistake.

The model to emulate is the one that GWB’s state department has established with Pakistan, enlisting their vigorous support in hunting down and killing those within their own borders who would take Islam and make it a wedge between Muslims and the rest of the world. I am fearful that the actions proposed by the new Spanish administration (and I’m assuming a Kerry administration would take similar steps) would elevate Al Quaeda to the same level as legitimate Muslim governments, making cooperation such as exists with Pakistan and with the emerging Iraqi government extremely rare.

Negotiating with terrorists is an extremely bad tactic. Once someone has decided that a small group of people (as opposed to a democratically elected government) has the right to wage war to advance an agenda, they have, IMO, given up further claim to work within existing social contracts. Why? Because if and when negotiations start contradicting former terrorists’ desires, the terrorists will revert to their old ways.

I know that JRO will vehemently disagree with me, but I place the lion’s share of the blame in the current situation in Israel on Yassar Arafat’s shoulders. I have little doubt that even in his position as the head of the Palestinian Authority (PA), he is still at least somewhat involved in both the suicide bombings undertaken by Hamas and Fatah, and surely involved in attacks on Israeli settlements. While Israel negotiated the Oslo Accords in good faith, Arafat never gave up his desire to drive the jews back into the sea. And, since he had used similar tactics while grabbing power in the ’70s and ’80s, his (half hearted) admonitions against terrorism carried no weight.

This is our fate if we do not continue to draw a hard line against those who have espoused terror in the past. Tony Blair was an idiot to go to Lybia and recognize Quadaffi. A better strategy would have been to lead off the meeting with “Well, giving up your weapons is a good start. When are you stepping down and calling elections?” By recognizing him, Blair gave up some of the leverage we’d gained by ousting Hussein in Iraq.

Comment from KMc
Time March 29, 2004 at 12:12 pm

>Who, other than the guy with the book to sell, has made this allegation?

Does anyone have to? Take the PNAC worldview and couple it with the “tried to kill my dad” speech and you’ve convinced me.

Comment from Jank
Time March 29, 2004 at 12:30 pm

Where in the PNAC screed does it call for overthrowing Iraq specifically?

But, count me in with the PNAC crowd. I can dig this:

The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.

we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;

we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;

we need to accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition! Plus, they throw a bone to Reagan.

Comment from KMc
Time March 29, 2004 at 12:47 pm

here

here

here

here

here

Nothing wrong with that, mind you, it’s just that what we have here is a non-governmental cabal that decided Iraq needed overthrowin’ (among its other goals) and went about getting it done in a completely Machiavellian fashion.

I am not currently wearing a tinfoil hat, FYI.

Comment from etrigan
Time March 29, 2004 at 2:35 pm

> Yassar Arafat’s shoulders

I’ve gotta throw my vote in for current Israeli P.M. Ariel Sharon, former [“terrorist”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haganah%5D, “ethnic cleanser and foreign lands occupier”:http://www.fmep.org/feb94.html — though I’ll accept that both Sharon and Arafat should be tossed out on their keisters and face an international court.

Comment from Jank
Time March 29, 2004 at 2:51 pm

> tossed out on their keisters

See, we’re all on the same page here…

Comment from etrigan
Time March 29, 2004 at 4:37 pm

I may get to add “genocide”:http://www.hipakistan.com/en/detail.php?newsId=en58846&F_catID=&f_type=source to the list of Sharon’s crimes if he keeps preventing the UN from delivering food and medicine to the Gaza strip. What makes this so painful to see is a Jewish leader comitting crimes that the Nazis were derided for.

Comment from etrigan
Time March 31, 2004 at 11:06 am

More news on “Sharon’s attempts to starve the people of Gaza”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3582617.stm by impeding UN aid.

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