I don?t know about you, but I?m tired of the steady drumbeat of bad news and defeatism from Iraq. The truth of the matter is that this has never been justified, and it?s certainly not justified this week.
On Tuesday the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the end of the occupation of Iraq on June 30, transferring sovereignty to the Iraqi interim government, and authorizing the U.S.role providing security?a huge victory. This vote came on the heels of Monday?s announcement that nine of the independent Iraqi militias agreed to disband. This is good news, but just part of a pattern of good news that simply hasn?t been prominently reported.
The press coverage of Iraq reminds me of when I was a kid during World War II. The Allied campaign in Italy, for example, was going off the track, and everybody was wringing their hands that we were losing the war. And after D-Day, sixty years ago this month, American forces were bogged down at the Battle of the Bulge during the winter of 1944. Remember the American general?s famous response when the Nazis told him to surrender? One word: ?Nuts.? Sure, things were uncertain and messy, and there was plenty of talk about the gloomy state of the war.
The fact is, you see, that uncertainty and mess are unavoidable elements of war, but if that?s all you hear, you begin to think the sky is falling. And that?s what has been happening in Iraq. But as Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard writes, ?To share the Iraq-is-lost sentiment, one must ignore a spate of good news.?
For example, while there is trouble in the Sunni Triangle, Victor Davis Hanson notes that in Kurdistan, the northern third of Iraq, ?seven million people live under humane government with less than 300 American troops.?
Add to that the interim government of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. It?s a balance between the ethnic, regional, and tribal groups?a balance many thought would be impossible to achieve.
As the interim government takes control on June 30, Iraq gets a bill of rights, and the first Arab democracy in the Middle East will be born with elections seven months later.
Addressing the Iraqi people, Allawi said, ?Targeting the multinational forces, led by the United States, to force them out of Iraq, would be a catastrophe for Iraq. . . ?
And there?s more. First, in Iran an emerging middle class is becoming increasingly restless and wants democracy. Pressures will build for democracy with our successes in Iraq. Second, apart from Spain, major terrorist attacks have been confined to the Middle East . Third, Libyahas discontinued its nuclear program. To sum it up, when I had lunch with Ehud Olmert, Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, he told me that things were changing dramatically throughout the region precisely because of the U.S. presence in Iraq.
Will things continue to be uncertain and messy? Sure?this is war. As Hanson writes, ?Anyone who thinks thousands of Islamic fascists and out-of-work Baathists won?t want to stop the region?s first consensual government is unhinged. But, again,? he adds, ?for all our mistakes of omission there was and is a plan?and it is now slowly coming to messy fruition.?
But the big question is: Is our effort in Iraq morally justified? Indeed it is. And it?s the front line of our war against terror.
For further reading and information:
Edith M. Lederer, ? UN Endorses Iraq Sovereignty Transfer ,? Associated Press, 9 June 2004 .
Robert H. Reid, ? Nine Iraqi militias will disband ,? Casper Star-Tribune, 9 June 2004 .
?Iraqi Gratitude ,? Wall Street Journal, 8 June 2004.
Paul Wolfowitz, ? The Road Map for a Sovereign Iraq ,? Wall Street Journal, 9 June 2004.
Fred Barnes, ? The Caravan Rolls On ,? Weekly Standard, 7 June 2004.
Victor Davis Hanson, ? The New Defeatism ,? National Review Online, 4 June 2004.
William Safire, ? Progress in Iraq ,? New York Times, 31 May 2004. (Reprinted by the Arizona Daily Star.)
Cal Thomas, ? Recent Iraq history ,? Townhall.com, 9 June 2004.
BreakPoint Commentary No. 030813, ? A Just Peace: The Need for Religious Liberty in Iraq .?
BreakPoint Commentary No. 030326, ? A Shield?s Story: Face-to-Face with Saddam?s Iraq .?
BreakPoint Commentary No. 040531, ? A Soldier?s Valor: Helping and Healing in Iraq .?
Oliver North, War Stories: Operation Iraqi Freedom (Regnery, 2004).
William Bennett, Why We Fight: Moral Clarity and the War on Terrorism (Doubleday, 2002). Call 1-877-322-5527 to order.