People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Right War. Right Place. Right Time.

Much is made these days - in the warm, soothing comfort of hindsight - that our having gotten involved in the Iraq War was a big mistake. On this everyone agrees. Or nearly everyone. We invaded Saddam Hussein's fiefdom without thought having been given to what we'd do once the dictator was dethroned. And what then occurred - the insurgency and the bloody fighting in the streets of Baghdad and Fallujah with al Qaeda forces who poured in from neighboring Iran and Syria, resulting in the deaths of over 4,000 of America's best and brightest - was unforeseen, tragic, and completely unnecessary.

Tragic to be sure. We will someday wish we had those 4,000 heroes to help guide this country through future crises.

(Instead we're left with mindless idiots who fret over "climate change" - what we once referred to as the weather - and who don't know Afghanistan from Affluenza. But that's for another post.)

Here's the bottom line on that which will go down in the history books:

After 9/11 President Bush vowed to hunt down every terrorist on Earth and kill him. To do that, he could have dispatched American forces to every corner of that Earth to track down the bastards who were plotting to kill our children and grandchildren. (And he did.)

Or he could have had the good fortune to have had the enemy come to him. To us. In Iraq. In the streets of Fallujah. Where we could kill them all.

Came they did. By the thousands. Tens of thousands. And we killed them. We killed them by the tens of thousands. And President Bush broke the back of the al Qaeda terrorist threat, perhaps forever. (That chapter of the history book remains unwritten. Consider though: Obama may help write it, God forbid.)

I've always found it bewildering that critics of Iraq War strategy - including every Democrat in America and the mainstream press - argue that we should have extracted our troops from those bloody and dangerous streets of Baghdad and sent them somewhere else - to Afghanistan, say - where it was less dangerous.

I'm reminded of this quote* from a leading Democrat in Congress on our presence in Iraq:
“Let’s redeploy them immediately to another country in the Middle East. Let’s get out of Iraq and go to another country.

Kuwait’s one that will take us. Qatar, we already have bases in Qatar. So Bahrain. All those countries are willing to take the United States. Now, Saudi Arabia won’t because they wanted us out of there in the first place. So—and we don’t have to be right there. We can go to Okinawa."
Let's send our fighting forces where the enemy's fighting forces ain't. What?

Okinawa? I'm also reminded of another quote, uttered by Confederate General James Longstreet to Robert E. Lee, as they were witnessing the buildup of powerful enemy forces in their front at Fredericksburg:

"General, if you put every man on the other side of the Potomac on that field to approach me over the same line, and give me of plenty of ammunition, I will kill them all before they reach my line."

That was President Bush's approach to Iraq. In his famous challenge to Osama bin Ladin: "Bring it on." Give me enough ammunition and I will kill them all on this field of battle.

The rest is history. Iraq is won.

Charles Krauthammer this morning ("History Will Judge") attempts to assess that which is going to be written in future history books about President Bush and his legacy:
In the hour I spent with the president (devoted mostly to foreign policy), that equanimity was everywhere in evidence -- not the resignation of a man in the twilight of his presidency but a sense of calm and confidence in eventual historical vindication.

It is precisely that quality that allowed him to order the surge in Iraq in the face of intense opposition from the political establishment (of both parties), the foreign policy establishment (led by the feckless Iraq Study Group), the military establishment ... and public opinion itself. The surge then effected the most dramatic change in the fortunes of an American war since the summer of 1864.

That kind of resolve requires internal fortitude. Some have argued that too much reliance on this internal compass is what got us into Iraq in the first place. But Bush was hardly alone in that decision. He had a majority of public opinion, the commentariat and Congress with him. In addition, history has not yet rendered its verdict on the Iraq war. We can say that it turned out to be longer and more costly than expected, surely. But the question remains as to whether the now-likely outcome -- transforming a virulently aggressive enemy state in the heart of the Middle East into a strategic ally in the war on terror -- was worth it. I suspect the ultimate answer will be far more favorable than it is today.

... Bush is much like Truman, who ... ultimately engaged in a war (Korea) -- also absent an attack on the United States -- that proved highly unpopular.

So unpopular that Truman left office disparaged and highly out of favor. History has revised that verdict. I have little doubt that Bush will be the subject of a similar reconsideration.

A final quote. From the man who affected that "most dramatic change in the fortunes of an American war" in the summer of 1864 to which Krauthammer refers - Ulysses Grant, in a lesson he passed on to future presidents of the United States, and to those who he - or she - sends into battle with America's ever-present foes:

"Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike at him as hard as you can and as often as you can, and keep moving on."

We've heard much in recent days about "The Bush Doctrine." If anything, it's this: Okinawa was a refuge for cowards. We'll fight the enemy on the field of battle of our choosing.

Iraq was that field of battle. Al Qaeda is all but destroyed. So let it be written.

* Actually, it's a combination of two quotes from "Meet The Press" from Congressman John Murtha.

Quote of the Day

From Investor's Business Daily:

"The supporters of the first post-racial candidate keep bringing it up. Racism is the new refuge of scoundrels. The real issue is not the color of Obama's skin, but the thickness of it."

"Race To The Finish," September 18, 2008

We Deserve This

I suppose it makes sense in some twisted sorta way. If we elect a president who doesn't have an ounce of experience for the job, we should accept his choice of economic advisors as well:

Michelle Obama discusses economy

We might want to call on God for some assistance though. Lots of assistance.

Where Do They Get This Bull***t

Yesterday I read in the New York Times an article that contends that judges around the planet no longer look to the American Supreme Court for guidance - since the neanderthals there took over. My reaction: What, the "reporter" found a refugee from France living on the Upper West Side who doesn't like Alito or Roberts - or Bush - and from that interview it's determined that all judges across the globe now feel only disrespect for our Supremes?

Today we get more of the same. "Saudi Women Find an Unlikely Role Model: Oprah."

Now, let's have a show of hands: How many of you suppose there are any women - any - who still live in totalitarian Saudi Arabia who have ever even heard of her? Oprah?

Any bets on whether there's a female emigre originally from Saudi Arabia who now lives on the Upper West Side ...

These people crack me up.

Oh, Yeah, We Forgot Mikey

Fed and Treasury Offer to Work With Congress on Bailout Plan


This is amusing. And yet ominously prophetic. When Barack Obama and socialists like him talk of bringing "quality affordable health care" to the USA, they turn their thoughts to Canada and its system that does indeed provide a level of coverage to all citizens for "free."* They want to do for us what the Canadians have done to themselves.

I provide a link to a link to a story about New York Times columnist Paul Krugman - a socialist himself in good standing - asking for a show of hands of all the Canadians in his New York City audience: "How many of you think you have a terrible health care system?"

The immediate response:

"We see—almost all of the same hands going up."


"Bad move on my part."

Telling. Frightening.

Why don't people like Barack Obama ask those who have to put up with it, what they think of socialized medicine? Do we really want him to take the best health care delivery system ever devised by humankind - with all its flaws, it is, hands down - and destroy it?

Let's have a show of hands.

* Free if you don't count their value-added taxes - GST, HST and the provincial PST taxes.