Sunday, January 04, 2004
"After watching a string of editorial attacks on America both at home and from abroad in the aftermath of Saddam's capture, I thought back to the actual record of the last two years. In 24 months the United States defeated two of the most hideous regimes in modern memory. For all the sorrow involved, it has already made progress in the unthinkable: bringing consensual government into the heart of Middle Eastern autocracy, where there has been no political heritage other than tyranny, theocracy, and dictatorship.
"In liberating 50 million people from both the Taliban and Saddam Hussein it has lost so far less than 500 soldiers, some of whom were killed precisely because they waged a war that sought to minimalize not just civilian casualties but even the killing of their enemies. Contrary to the invective of Western intellectuals, the American military's sins until recently have been of omission, preferring not to shoot looters or hunt down and kill insurgents, rather than brutal commission. While the United States has conducted these successive wars some 7,000 miles beyond its borders, it also avoided another terrorist attack of the scale of September 11, and all the while crafting a policy of containment of North Korea and soon-to-be nuclear Iran.
"Thus by any comparative standard of military history, the last two difficult years, despite setbacks and disappointments, represent a remarkable military achievement. Yet no one would ever gather even the slightest acknowledgment of such success from our Democratic grandees. Al Gore dubbed the Iraqi liberation a quagmire and, absurdly, the worst mistake in the history of American foreign policy. Howard Dean, more absurdly, suggested that the president of the United States might have had foreknowledge of September 11."
Read the whole thing. I certainly wish I could write so well.