NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Bush was looking beyond bin Laden

Victor Davis Hanson’s latest insight on Iraq is up at NRO.

However dire were the threats of the autocracies of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, and despite their long-proven record of harboring terrorists of all sorts, the administration always talked in a larger strategic context of freedom and democracy in the Middle East. Thus rather than seeing the events that led to September 11 in a narrow frame of bin Laden alone, strategists rightly diagnosed the pathology of something far more insidious and of a much longer pedigree: a deep-seated anti-Americanism that transcended September 11 and was explicable in terms of who were, rather than what we did. We ignored, in other words, Bill Clinton's post 9/11 apologies for everything from slavery to General Sherman and his most recent praise of the murderous Iranian mullahcracy, as well as cheap shots like "taking our eye off bin Laden."

We also rejected the communis opinio of the CIA and "experts" such as "Anonymous" or Richard Clarke. Instead, the administration rightly listened to a much deeper wisdom promulgated by the likes of Fouad Ajami, Bernard Lewis, Daniel Pipes, and Amir Taheri. Their correct view was that failed autocrats deflected popular outrage onto Americans in state-censored media, often through a devil's bargain with Islamicists. The latter were given subsidies or freedom of action to whip up hatred of us — in exchange for keeping their terrorists distant from a royal family, Saddam Hussein, Assad dynasty, Iranian theocracy, or their kindred spirits in the other Arab dictatorships. This larger American embrace of a radical and systematic political solution was the most debated of all the decisions of this war — and the most critical — since democratic reform alone led to the only antidote to the entire Arab cycle of failure.
Terror is the enemy, freedom is the solution.

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