Regardless, the antiwar crowd will cite the intensified violence as proof that we should never have invaded Iraq. (The insurgents are well aware of the importance of American resolve and, like the Communists before them, will play our doves like idiotic fiddles.) And John Kerry's gladiators will continue to beat this antiwar drum through the November elections.
In addition to rehashing complaints about WMD exaggeration, they'll continue to harp on the supposed absence of a connection between Saddam and Osama. And they'll keep saying that our invasion of Iraq set back our war on terror by diverting critical resources from the objective of capturing Osama and alienating the Arab street.
Once again, they'll be off base. The issue isn't simply whether there was a direct connection between Saddam and Osama. The more relevant question is whether military action against Iraq furthered our cause in the War on Terror.
Even if we don't have taped transcripts evidencing collusion between Saddam and Osama, we know beyond doubt that Iraq was a terrorist-sponsoring state and a safe-haven for Islamo-fascists.
Indeed, the terrorists' desperate and persistent efforts to thwart Iraq's transition to democratic self-rule vindicate the Bush Administration's conclusion that Iraq was and remains a pivotal target in the war. The violence fomented by Iraqi Shiite leader Moktada al-Sadr, and his brazen overtures to Hezbollah and Hamas, support President Bush's broader view that there is worldwide solidarity among international terrorists.
Moreover, it is cynical sophistry to argue that we diverted resources from Al Qaeda by attacking Iraq. We didn't pursue Iraq until we had disposed of the Taliban and destroyed the Al Qaeda training camps. We continued (and continue) to pursue Osama during and after attacking Iraq. And President Bush's resolve in the war and diplomacy with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has encouraged Pakistan to cooperate with us against Al Qaeda.
As for the notion that attacking Iraq inflamed the Arab world and spawned more terrorists, we need only remember that Osama attacked us without provocation to the spontaneous cheering of the "Arab street."
You can't escape evil by turning away from it or appeasing it. Recent events show this will be a protracted, difficult and costly war that demands firm American commitment and resolve. President Bush is on the right path.