Blair Gets It Right; Losing Iraq Spreads Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda, he said, would then be in the "ascendancy" throughout the Middle East, if not the whole world.
To prevent that state of affairs, essentially, is why we are fighting in Iraq. On the one side are our gallant armies, fighting a long, bitter war. On the other is the world's worst scum since the Nazis, a terrorist group that does not scruple to murder thousands of its coreligionists, kidnap and kill opposing soldiers and neutral journalists, and use such exotic weapons as poison gas and suicide bombings to get its way. If the war is lost, it will be a signal to spread these tactics ever more widely, and they are already seen, outside Iraq, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gaza, Somalia, Algeria, Morocco, the Sudan, the Philippines and Thailand, to name the most afflicted countries.
This, I believe, is why the U.S. Senate voted just today 67 to 29 to defeat a resolution authored by Senators Harry Reid and Russ Feingold, and supported by Democratic wimps such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that would cut off funding for the Iraq war as of March 31, 2008. The Senate majority, which included 19 Democrats, 47 Republicans, and one independent, realize, despite dovish public sentiment, that this country simply cannot afford to lose in Iraq. That the vote was significant was clear when Sen. Reid promptly remarked that the Congress would send President Bush an Iraq funding bill he would be willing to sign by the end 0f next week. But the two liberal newspapers which have editorialized we should throw in the towel in Iraq, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, barely mentioned the vote on their Web sites by evening. The New York Times had a line referring to it on its main Web page, and the L.A. Times didn't refer to it on its main page at all. So much for fair journalism.
It is frequently said by the opponents of the war that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was not aligned with Al-Qaeda before the war began. But it cannot be seriously contested that Al-Qaeda is there today and is the principal component of the war against us.
Now, to return to Blair, he is stepping down as Prime Minister after 10 years in power, longer than any U.S. President is constitutionally allowed to serve. And all the people who are ready to see him as a "poodle" to President Bush are ready to say his Iraq policy has failed. The L.A. Times Op Ed Page, dissatisfied with saying this just once today, had two articles belittling Blair, but Ron Brownstein's was so turgidly written that I suspect very few read it.
Regardless what the critics say, as long as freedom continues to exist in the U.S., Britain and other Western countries, as long as the battle in Iraq continues, I do not think Blair and Bush have failed. I am grateful to both of them for carrying on this war to preserve our freedoms. No price is too high to pay to accomplish that.
Also, we should send our best wishes today to the Israeli government, confronted with an unraveling of the Palestinian Authority, locked in its own internecine conflict in Gaza, where Hamas, which is increasingly representing Al-Qaeda in the Holy Land, has welshed on its agreement to enter into a unity government, is now openly murdering members of the more moderate Fatah and continues to send rockets into Israel to wound and kill innocent civilians.
It may well be necessary for Israel to take further military action to make certain Hamas does not prevail.
It would be splendid if this were a peaceful world. Due to the terrorists, it isn't, and we must hold up our interests in the fight.