Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
William Hawkins is an extremely thoughtful analyst with whom I often agree. But it is hard to imagine him being more wrongheaded than he is in yesterday's Commentary article "Statesmen don't panic."
Does anyone really believe - as Mr. Hawkins insists - that the September 11 attacks (for which no one has yet claimed responsibility) were "predicated on the belief that a painful rap on the nose was all it would take to make the United States cut and run from the entire Middle East"? I suspect it was predicated on exactly the opposite assumption: that the neoconservatives in the Bush administration would lash out widely, exactly as they have done.
It's hard to imagine many things more fundamentally adverse to U.S. interests and treasure than to divert U.S. forces from hunting al Qaeda and undermining broad U.S. support throughout the world for the unnecessary rush to adventure in Iraq. Can anyone seriously doubt that this misadventure in Iraq is helping al Qaeda and others to recruit vastly more suicide terrorists than we can kill, or than they would have been able to recruit had multinational inspectors continued to encircle Saddam Hussein and degrade his already minimal capacity to make trouble? …