Diana West

It's not enough to say that world affairs are in a crazy state, and leave it at that -- which is exactly what I did last week in outlining how the United States is effectively boosting the spread of sharia law and the Iranian sphere of influence in the Middle East. It's easy to say this is nuts. But what do we do now?

It's time to get back to basics. And by basics, I mean getting back to First Term W, back to when the president's strategy to defend and protect the United States was to take military action against terrorists and the nations that sponsor them. By unfortunate contrast, the security strategy of Second Term W is best described as bringing to these same terrorists and the nations that sponsor them universal suffrage. Getting back to Bush basics requires a re-reckoning of what and why we fight -- and, just as important, for what and why we don't fight.

 Do we fight to spread democracy? Or do we fight to stop jihad? Far better to fight to stop jihad. Second Term W believes democratic principles will neutralize jihad -- a.k.a. "extremism" in the strangled parlance of political correctness. It may not be polite to notice, but the nasty reality is that jihad is neutralizing democratic principles. The fact the administration must reckon with is that the concept of human rights -- the ideal of liberty and justice for all -- isn't a natural byproduct of majority rule. Islamic terrorists still support Islamic terrorism, even when, as in the Palestinian Authority or Lebanon, they are democratically elected; and Islamic sharia erodes human rights, even when, as in Afghanistan and likely Iraq, it is implicitly mandated by a constitution.

It's time for the administration to consider the possibility that the democractic process alone -- constitutions, legislatures, ballot boxes -- doesn't result in Jeffersonian democracy. Such a re-reckoning doesn't mean abandoning Iraq. But it does mean reordering our goals. Forget the Iraqi constitution for now. More important is a single-minded effort to eradicate the death squads that destabilize the country and threaten to exhaust our staying power. In getting back to Bush basics, that means taking action against the nations that sponsor these terrorists: Iran, for instance.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).