Bush Basics; First, Stop the Jihadists in Iraq

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 19, 2005 | Go to article overview

Bush Basics; First, Stop the Jihadists in Iraq


Byline: Diana West, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

It's not enough to say that world affairs are in a crazy state and leave it at that - which is exactly what I did last week in outlining how the United States is effectively boosting the spread of sharia law and the Iranian sphere of influence in the Middle East. It's easy to say this is nuts. But what do we do now?

It's time to get back to basics. And by basics, I mean getting back to First Term W., back to when the president's strategy to defend and protect the United States was to take military action against terrorists and the nations that sponsor them. By unfortunate contrast, the security strategy of Second Term W. is best described as bringing universal suffrage to these same terrorists and the nations that sponsor them. Getting back to Bush basics requires a re-reckoning of what and why we fight - and, just as important, for what and why we don't fight.

Do we fight to spread democracy? Or do we fight to stop jihad? Far better to fight to stop jihad. Second Term W. believes democratic principles will neutralize jihad - a.k.a. "extremism" in the strangled parlance of political correctness. It may not be polite to notice, but the nasty reality is that jihad is neutralizing democratic principles. The fact the administration must reckon with is that the concept of human rights - the ideals of liberty and justice for all - isn't a natural by-product of majority rule. Islamic terrorists still support Islamic terrorism, even when, as in the Palestinian Authority or Lebanon, they are democratically elected; and sharia erodes human rights even when, as in Afghanistan and likely Iraq, it is implicitly mandated by a constitution.

It's time for the administration to consider the possibility that the democratic process alone - constitutions, legislatures, ballot boxes - doesn't result in Jeffersonian democracy. Such a re-reckoning doesn't mean abandoning Iraq. But it does mean reordering our goals. Forget the Iraqi constitution for now. More important is a single-minded effort to eradicate the death squads that destabilize the country and threaten to exhaust our staying power. Getting back to Bush basics, that means taking action against the nations that sponsor these terrorists: Iran, for instance.

Tragically for the human race, the strategy articulated by First Term W. is a novel, never-before-implemented doctrine. Re-reading Claire Sterling's "The Terror Network," a 1980 work of careful analysis that unraveled the Soviet-sponsored tangle of terrorists from the Baader-Meinhof Gang (now defunct) to various Palestinian terror groups (now approaching statehood), drives home the shocking fact that throughout the 1970s the first real "fright decade" of terrorist kidnappings, assassinations, embassy takeovers and bombings designed to destabilize mainly Europe, often in the name of Palestinianism - the Western democracies never took action against, never even mentioned the names of, terrorism's state sponsors. …

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