In times of war, the last person you want in the foxhole with you is a liberal. They are always desperately looking for a white flag to wave. They are always trying to “understand” the enemy and excuse his bad behavior.
In late July, Eugene Robinson, a columnist for the Washington Post, penned a column that is quintessential liberalism. Normally I just dismiss such twaddle, but it occurred to me that it serves as a good study guide to liberalism. He expressed himself on the subject of Lebanon and Israel. Let us dissect it.
The first two paragraphs were devoted to making fun of President Bush as too dimwitted to understand the world. By the third paragraph, Eugene was already at full throttle. “Bush and his folks haven’t just blundered around and created this dangerous mess. They’ve done it on purpose. And they intend to make it worse.”
September 11, 2001. President Bush did not create the destruction of the Twin Towers, nor did he create Osama bin Laden, Hezbollah, or Hamas. The attacks on the United States by Jihadists had been going on for decades before he was elected. In 1983, Hezbollah killed 243 U.S. Marines in Beirut to cite just one instance. In 1979, Iran took U.S. diplomats hostage for 444 days.
To Eugene and his fellow liberals, everything began with and can be blamed upon President Bush. This convenient loss of memory is a common liberal trait.
Another liberal trait is to regard any military response to an attack on the United States or one of its allies as wrong. Still ruminating about Lebanon, Eugene describes Israel’s response as “utterly disproportionate” as if victory over those raining rockets down on its cities, filled with civilians, is not the object of war. Eugene deemed Israel’s response to be “seemingly indiscriminate carnage” which he called “counterproductive.” War is about killing people and breaking things.
Now we get to the most liberal notion of all. “The Israeli campaign is so intense and widespread that it is creating more terrorists than it kills.” This is pretty much the same argument made for U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a liberal article of faith that if only the Israelis or Americans would just stop existing, there would not be a problem with Islamic terrorism.
No. The misnamed “War on Terror” is, in fact, a war against Islamic fundamentalism and the silent consent of more than a billion Muslims who believe that Islam must rule the world and that the five billion Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and other faiths have no right to exist except as Muslims.
The problem is not Israel and is not the United States. The problem is a new world war that must be fought to protect all the freedoms; the scientific and artistic advances of Western civilization.
For Eugene, however, the problem is that “Hezbollah’s stature in the Arab world is growing, and its patrons in Damascus and Tehran must be smugly satisfied.” Tell that to the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and even Saudi Arabia! They all condemned Hezbollah’s kidnapping of Israeli soldiers and its subsequent rocketing of Israeli cities and towns.
“The role of any American president and secretary of state should have been to move quickly to bring hostilities to an end,” said Eugene. How do they accomplish this when Hezbollah is not a nation to whom diplomats can be dispatched, but rather an army funded and supplied by two nations, Iran and Syria, with whom we have virtually no diplomatic relations?
Isn’t this a job for the United Nations? Wasn’t it created to avert and contain wars, large and small? Eugene makes no mention of it. Perhaps because of the outstanding role it played in containing Saddam Hussein after he waged war on Iran and Kuwait, or the “interim” peacekeeping forces it has had in Lebanon for years? And who can forget its remarkable humanitarian efforts with its “Oil for Food” program?
Liberals can and do forget anything that does not fit into their view that dictatorships are a necessary evil and that they need to be understood, not condemned.
Instead, Eugene angrily upbraids the President and Secretary of State who “have staked their Mideast policy on a single incontrovertible idea—that terrorism is bad—and it has led them to the mistaken notion that Israel can achieve long-term security by creating a kind of scorched-earth buffer zone in southern Lebanon.”
Well, Eugene, terrorism is bad. Perhaps you have forgotten—there’s that liberal memory lapse again—about the recent attacks in London, in Madrid, in Russia, and in India? Or the continuing carnage in Baghdad where Islamists are determined that 25 million Iraqis cannot have a democratic government?
A foreign policy based on destroying the Islamist movements that threaten Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the entire Middle East, Africa, Europe, Russia, and the Pacific Basin nations seems to many people to be a perfectly reasonable and rational policy.
Except for Eugene who opined that “It’s hard to imagine a more unpromising course of action.”
Finally, for purposes of this examination of liberal idiocy, Eugene concludes that, “Bush, Rice et al. refuse to see that their crusade against terrorism can never be won by military action alone, because a victory in the war of arms can also be a defeat in the war of ideas.” It is this fascination with “ideas” versus the ugly facts on the ground that fogs the minds of liberals like Eugene Robinson.
Islam will not be defeated by a war of “ideas.” It has been around since the seventh century and has laid ruin to every land in which it dominates. It glorifies death in a “holy war” against “the Crusaders and Zionists.” Hindus, too, get a special measure of hatred. When not destroying the mosques of competing factions within Islam, it destroys the churches, temples, and the artifacts of all other faiths. It beheads people.
“Americans are bogged down in a long-term occupation. This is winning a war on terrorism?” asks Eugene. Short memory again. We waged a Cold War against Soviet Communism, with time out for a couple of hot wars in between, and won that struggle by staying in Europe since 1945 and showing up with guns blazing in Korea and Vietnam.
During all this time, since 1948, Israel has fought its own wars against the Islamists and no amount of concessions—the return of land won in wars against them—has caused their enemies and ours to cease their crusade or changed their mind.
Eugene Robinson needs to Google some of the views of the current President of Iran, read a book about Osama bin Laden, and take a longer look at Islam before he whines about Israel’s response to the latest outrages against its people or America’s removal of a homicidal maniac named Saddam Hussein.
Libya’s dictator has changed his mind about pursuing terrorism and developing nuclear weapons. Saudi Arabia is glad Saddam is gone and worries about Iran. Egypt continues its decades-long internal war against its Islamic terrorists. The Palestinians are the object of ridicule and disdain among their fellow Arabs.
I’d call that progress.
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