Wednesday, August 10, 2005

and another thing

While I clearly beleive the war in Iraq a success and an important one at that--the war on terror is not about stabilizing Iraq or, even more difficult, turning it into a functional democracy. Those things are subordinate goals. It would be nice to have them, or at least to tilt things in that direction since they may take years and years to accomplish. But they are not the imperative. They are not the reason we went to Iraq. We went to Iraq, like we went to Afghanistan, to eradicate the network of jihadists and their state supporters. It does not mean that you have to kill every last jihadist, but the goal of the mission is to leave militant Islam unable to project power. Here is some of what the President said in the speech to Congress right after the 9/11 attacks:
Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them. Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated. ... Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime


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