Thursday, September 08, 2005

Rejecting Isolationism

Today's Washington Post reports that the "anti-war" movement plans to use Hurricane Katrina as part of their campaign advocating that America abandon Iraq to al Qaeda and the Baathists. The damage wrought by Katrina was devastating, and the reconstruction effort will be long and costly. Some will be tempted to believe the argument that if only we pulled out of Iraq we could spend the money helping the gulf coast to recover. This would be disastrously shortsighted.

We remain engaged in a global war against radical Islamists who seek our eventual destruction. As Jeffrey Bell and Frank Cannon pointed out recently in a superb overview of the struggle, Iraq is very much at the center of this war:

Yet the movements and statements of our most indisputable enemies have increasingly pointed in the other direction, toward bipolarity. Organizations claiming to be branches of al Qaeda are currently fighting the United States in Iraq and our key ally, Britain, in London. Like the Madrid bombings of March 11, 2004, which ejected Spain from Iraq, the London terror bombs aim to get Britain out of Iraq and out of its strategic alliance with the United States. Thus the two chief protagonists in the war, the United States and al Qaeda, are in complete agreement that Iraq is the central front of the global war, and that getting the United States' chief ally out of Iraq would thus be an enormous coup for our enemies.

Abandoning Iraq will not appease the jihadists. If anything, it will only confirm them in their belief that we are a cowardly, decadent society ripe for destruction. Having gained a huge victory by driving us from Iraq, Al Qaeda will only redouble its efforts to attack America and the West while also seeking to impose its barbarous brand of totalitarianism in the Middle East.

America remains the richest, most powerful country in history. This does not make us immune to adversity. It does mean that our 11 trillion dollar economy allows us to rebuild after Katrina while still continuing to pursue the defeat of the jihadists in Iraq and elsewhere. The sacrifices now being asked of Americans pale in comparison with those made by the generations that endured the Revolution, Civil War, Depression, and World War II. If 50 combat fatalities a month and having to pay $3.00 a gallon for gas are enough to break America's will to fight, then we have little hope of preserving our freedom in an increasingly dangerous world.


Blogger Norma said...

The money talk is just that. In 1945, 38.5% of GNP went to defense. In 2005, 3.2% of GNP. We could probably even afford Katrina if Congress would just stop awarding itself pork.

12:02 PM  

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