The November elections are fast approaching, and we still don't have the faintest idea what the Democrats would do in Iraq. That's because they have no earthly idea and certainly no consensus. That's why we should call their bluff and make this the issue of the campaign and debate it every day.
For purposes of argument let's assume as true their debatable allegation that attacking Iraq has set us back in the war on terror because terrorists have used it as a recruiting tool. How should we use this information constructively?
We first have to ask why our attack has driven terrorist recruitment. The antiwar left's unspoken insinuation is that our attack was immoral, perhaps even criminal, and terrorists, being morally sensitive creatures, are justifiably outraged at our alleged neoconservative imperialism.
Without question, Democrats have been trying to paint America's invasion of Iraq as criminal. How else can we interpret their endless allegations that Bush lied about Iraqi WMD and about a relationship between Saddam and 9/11 to fabricate an excuse for war?
Shouldn't we, then, just disgracefully withdraw from Iraq, apologize to the terrorists and make amends to the Iraqi people? Of course, that would be problematic, given that we liberated the Iraqi people from a brutal dictator, are helping them to establish constitutional self-rule and are defending their new government against terrorists who seek to stifle the people's will and incite a civil war.
But our invasion was neither immoral, nor criminal for a multitude of reasons I'll not rehash here. Yet we are told that terrorists are nevertheless having a recruitment heyday over it. If so, why? Because they can. They hate the United States -- they've been teaching this hatred in their mosques and madrassas long before Iraq, long before 9/11 -- and they have exploited our justifiable intervention by warring against us in Iraq and enticing others to join their cause with their (and the Democrats') Bush-and-America-slamming propaganda.
They appeal to those who share their hatred for the United States and for pluralistic and free societies such as the evil, capitalistic, Israel-supporting American empire is helping to establish in Iraq. To thwart this would both weaken the United States and smother a Muslim democracy, which to them is much worse than a secular tyranny.
Continuing with the assumption that our invasion of Iraq, even if morally justified, swelled terrorist ranks, does that mean -- using the full benefit of hindsight -- that we shouldn't have attacked?