Insurgency or opportunity?

How should the current “insurgency” in Iraq be seen? Safire in today’s NY Times:


But now that the Saddam restorationists and Islamic fundamentalists have made their terrorist move on both fronts, we can counterattack decisively.

Notwithstanding defeatist cries, the answer should be strong to anyone who tries to derail the plan for freedom in Iraq.

We should break the Iranian-Hezbollah-Sadr connection in ways that our special forces know how to do. Plenty of Iraqi Shiites, who are Arab, distrust the Persian ayatollahs in Iran and can provide actionable intelligence about a Syrian transmission belt.

And we should coolly confront the quaking quagmirists here at home.

Does Ted Kennedy speak for his Massachusetts junior senator, John Kerry, when he calls our effort to turn terror-supporting despotism into nascent liberty in Iraq "Bush's Vietnam"?

Do the apostles of retreat realize how their defeatism, magnified by Arab media, bolsters the morale of the insurgents and increases the nervousness of the waverers?

Does our coulda-woulda-shoulda crowd consider how it dismays the majority of Iraqis wondering if they can count on our continued presence as they feel their way toward freedom?

Another lesson to be learned: showing softness in critical times only worsens the situation and emboldens fringe elements. Before the horrible killings, the US military was pulling out of, and "armoring down", in Fallujah, in an effort to appear more friendly.

Posted by Vivek at April 7, 2004 1:02 PM