Choosing Sides in America’s War on Terror
se-di-tion n. 1. conduct or language inciting to rebellion…
Not since the end Viet Nam conflict in the 1970s, have Americans witnessed, with some prominent exceptions, the majority of U.S. news organizations actively and openly attempting to undermine a U.S. war effort. As embedded Iraq war correspondent, Oliver North has indicated, “… the media is guilty of chipping away at our Commander-in-Chief’s ability to lead.”
Newsweek makes no attempt at news objectivity or to hide with whom it sides. Its cover screams—BUSH’s $87 Billion Mess, Waste, Chaos, Cronyism: The Real Cost of Rebuilding Iraq. Typical of most editorialists across the country, Ruth Rosen, of the San Francisco Chronicle, outs herself as an ardent anti-U.S. operative with her recent article titled, Soldiers Ripe to Resist? This and the Newsweek cover story are not just cases in point in our news media’s anti-war/anti-Bush campaign that dishonors the 3,000 killed on 9/11; our soldiers killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq theaters, in the Saudi’s Kobar Towers, in Somalia, and on the U.S.S. Cole. But they dishonor all the families who grieve the loss of their beloved ones and they border on sedition.
Classicist, Victor Davis Hanson, has pointed out that no civilization has long endured once its citizenry had concluded it would not go to war to defend its culture. This was a concept well understood by the Romans of 216 BC who raised an army of 80,000 to face Hannibal’s Carthaginians which had crossed the Alps and who were attacking Rome’s allies on the Italian peninsula. The Roman army raised that year was composed of commoners, men of means, and even middle-aged senators. Later that same year, Hannibal, one of history’s military geniuses, outnumbered three to one, destroyed the newly formed Roman army. By nightfall on a single day, 40,000 men and boys lay dead or dying on the plain outside Cannae. Although the Carthaginian general remained in Italy, Rome never sued for peace and Hannibal never gained enough allies on the peninsula to lay siege to the heavily fortified city.
Fourteen years later, Rome commissioned new armies and sent the young and brilliant general, Cornelius Scipio, to invade North Africa. His strategy worked as perfectly as the boy general and magnificent orator had convinced his elders in the Senate it would. Hannibal was finally lured out of Italy to defend his homeland. And then at the battle of Zama, Scipio defeated the great Hannibal and the empire that was Carthage was dispatched to history.
Perhaps due to blind partisanship, the Newsweek editors, Ms. Rosen and their-like minded media colleagues clearly fail to realize the seriousness of our situation. Radicalized Islamic militants have been at war with us and have been killing Americans for over ten years. Ramsi Yousef, convicted in the first 1983 World Trade Center bombing, almost succeeded in collapsing one of the towers which, had it fallen according to his plan, could have been our Cannae and cost us at least 50,000 of our countrymen.
In Ms. Rosen’s piece, with transparent relish, she tries to gin up support for the notion that there is a revolt within our armed services and quotes that pillar of the military, James Skelly of the Baker Institute for Peace Conflict Studies at Juanita College of Pennsylvania. She reports that the former Navy lieutenant has launched an Internet campaign that instructs our soldiers as to how they can register their moral objections to this war and basically encourages them to resist orders. In tracking him down in Denmark where he’s presumably hiding, she reports that although Skelly’s site has not received one single letter, anonymous or otherwise, from an American service person, he has heard from a smattering of families. Could it be that she doesn’t understand that, in war, some soldiers’ spirit will break? Nah. Her message is a thinly veiled attempt to do her part to breakdown of our military spirit.
What Ms. Rosen and much of the news organizations are having trouble processing is the fact that the vast majority of our men and women in the armed services not only have great respect for their current Commander-in-Chief, but that know that they have already achieved vast and historic humanitarian achievements in their war on militant Islam and their spirits are not flagging.
For the first time since Alexander and the Macedonians did so 2,500 years ago, Afghanistan was invaded and conquered. The British tried and failed. The Soviet Union tried for ten years and failed. Medievalist misogynist thugs who killed 3,000 of our innocent citizens were ruling Afghanistan. The U.S. military conquered and liberated the country in six weeks with minimal loss of civilian life.
For their encore, brave U.S. fighting forces invaded Iraq and took Baghdad in twenty-one days. With precision weaponry and a brilliant battle plan, they conquered that country also with amazingly little loss of life among their own ranks, the civilian population and even the enemy combatants.
Since Ba’athist party resistance has ended, to understand the breadth of our ongoing accomplishments in Iraq I would recommend to Ms. Rosen and the editors of Newsweek the fine article by Amir Taheri, Iraq As It Stands (see National Review, Oct. 13, ’03) an article they won’t read as it might disabuse them of their fervent believe that Bush is an evil frat boy and that the war was a fraud. Mr. Taheri who is the author of ten books on Islam and the Middle East writes, “The thick fog of fear that hung over all the schools, indeed all of Iraq, under Saddam has been lifted…A society where people hardly spoke to one another, let alone strangers, is bustling with talk, debates, disputes, and demonstrations for every cause under the sun. Thousands of banned books are on sale in the streets, and over 200 new newspapers and magazines have started publication.” Moreover, the genocidal murderer is out of power. But the supposedly objective news organization, Newsweek, calls this “Bush’s mess.”
Outside the Sunni triangle where roughly 75% of the country is either Shiite or Kurdish, life is already far better than it was under Ba’athist tyranny and positive developments envisioned by the Bush administration prior to the Iraq war have already begun to unfold throughout the Middle East. An Iraqi governing council has been established. A new constitution is being drafted. And Taheri reports, “…all political forces have agreed to end Baghdad’s traditional policy of hostility to Israel, the new Iraqi government will establish full diplomatic ties with Israel as soon as possible with 20 of the 53 Arab States likely to follow.” A democratized Iraq is already changing the Arab world immeasurably. We may be seeing the early beginnings of the “domino effect” where Arab populations will want to throw off the status quo dictatorships, and partner with responsible western powers, based on the Iraqi model emerging now. Many believe that the spontaneous regime change in Iran will be the next shoe to drop.
In the Iraq war, our troops found many Saudi, Syrian, and other Islamic-country passports and identification papers among the dead and wounded. And inside the Sunni triangle where hostilities are still present, Mr. Taheri reports that there are “several hundred Islamic militants who have infiltrated from Syria, and Iran…and have linked up with the remnants of the 20 or so Arab and Islamist terrorist organizations that had been sheltered by Saddam Hussein since the mid 1970s.” If Taheri is accurate, this also put a lie to incessant anti-U.S. media mantra that there was no evidence that Iraq had any connection terrorist organizations.
While we’re looking at our military’s historic achievements list, we should consider the fact that we haven’t had any new attacks on U.S. soil in the two years since 9/11? Just as in 202 B.C. the boy general, Scipio, executed a brilliant strategy that drew Hannibal out of his Italian campaigns and onto a North African battlefield, could it be that our Commander-in-Chief, was prescient enough to know the terrorists would be drawn out of their lairs and would fight and die to save one of their corrupt patrons? Instead of doing their parts to undermine our military operations, Ms. Rosen and the employees of Newsweek might consider feeling some gratitude that the war is now being fought in Middle East and is not yet erupting on the Streets of New York or San Francisco.
Perhaps the bulk of our left-leaning journalists have forgotten that the U.S. was conceived in war and that some wars can last for generations, testing people to the limits of their endurance and fortitude. Roosevelt said December 7, 1941 was a day that would live in infamy. Perhaps our press corps has forgotten that we lost more Americans on 9/11 then at Pearl Harbor.
During the Clinton years, the press, the public, and the administration failed to recognize the obvious, that a formidable enemy, radical militant Islam was waging war against us. As for the Democrat candidates running for president and the journalists who make common cause with our enemies by dampening our resolve while they aver that criticism of a sitting president in wartime is an exercise in patriotism, I suspect that history will judge them harshly.