July 08, 2007
Surrender now? Do I have to take that seriously?
In last week's video announcement, Ayman al Zawahiri confirmed what many have long suspected -- that a primary goal of al Qaeda is to establish an Islamic caliphate in Iraq:
In the unusually long video -- at just over an hour and a half -- al-Zawahri depicted the Islamic State of Iraq as a vanguard for fighting off the U.S. military and eventually establishing a "caliphate" of Islamic rule across the region.It didn't take long for the New York Times to make an unprecedentedly bold editorial announcement:
It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit.What's going on? Is the New York Times in a hurry for an Islamic caliphate? Or are they just out of their effing minds?
The argument seems to be that we've been in Iraq for too long, so we should leave right now. While a case could have been made for getting out right after removing Saddam Hussein, we're way past that stage. I don't care how stupidly things have been handled, the dynamics on the ground right now are such that if we weren't in Iraq already, we'd be plumb crazy not to go in -- simply because our most fanatic and dedicated enemies are there. And the Times says we should leave? Are they kidding?
Ever since Mogadishu, Al Qaeda has always banked on American weakness, and they're banking on it again.
I cannot think of a better way to lose the war against al Qaeda than to do as the Times says and leave Iraq.
Of course, maybe the Times doesn't think al Qaeda really intends to establish an Islamic caliphate in Iraq. (Yeah, and Castro had no intention of establishing a Communist state in Cuba, and the Ayatollah Khomeini was a holy man who just wanted to kick out the evil U.S. backed Shah.)
I'd rather not take the New York Times surrender plea seriously, and I cannot believe that any sane human being would. But Don Surber, Jules Crittenden, Glenn Reynolds, and Dave Price make me worry that the Times might have more of a say in these matters than it should, so I thought I should at least weigh in (if only by way of expressing amazement).
However, I refuse to start making it a habit to take things seriously which I shouldn't.
Otherwise, I might have to start taking things like Glenn Greenwald seriously.
MORE: Thank you, Glenn Reynolds, for the link, and welcome all!
From the HotAir analysis which Glenn links:
downplaying Al Qaeda has political advantages for a media opposed to the war and eager for it to end regardless of the consequences.I think that explains the Times' characterization of the war against al Qaeda as a "self- inflicted wound."
Well, there are some people who consider 9/11 a self inflicted wound.
UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan links this post with the following remarks:
The latest "stab-in-the-back," analysis-free, Instapundit-approved grand-standing blog-post on the Iraq civil war. Sooner rather than later, the far right will surely have to accuse Dick Cheney of "surrendering". A better term, I think, would be cutting our losses in a war we never backed with enough resources or intelligence to win.My thanks to Andrew for the link!
But, did Glenn really approve? Considering the complexities (and Glenn's sphinx-like style) I'm not sure that I got 100% approval. What I got was a link, and I'm glad to get one from Andrew too! This is an important debate, and yes, I did use the word "surrender" -- whether anyone likes it or not. I don't think Glenn used that word, nor do I think he would.
So what does "approved" mean? A link? By that standard, I'm now "Andrew Sullivan approved." What is this? An inquisition into what thoughts are approved by whom? (I link Clayton Cramer all the time, btw, and I disagree with him on a variety of things. So what?)
I will say that considering what BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson said about "using the right tactics but two years too late," I think this might be as good a time as any to start the war in earnest.
I think that if we leave now, our enemies will see it as a surrender -- even if we don't. (And if al Qaeda sets up a caliphate in Iraq, history will adjudge our withdrawal as a surrender.)
posted by Eric on 07.08.07 at 11:29 PM
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