"To what will you look for help if you will not look to that which is stronger than yourself?" -- C.S. Lewis
Thursday, March 10, 2005
MoDo: Maureen Dowd is so lame. Remember her Pulitzer? She spent a season during the Lewinsky scandal cracking harmless jokes at Clinton's expense. Voters on the Pulitzer committee (with more than its fair share of thin-skinned Clinton enthusiasts) mistook her jokes for genuine hostility towards Bubba. So when she revealed her true conviction that Clinton was being persecuted by the right, many on the Pulitzer committee thought her column was an awful good representation of the struggle in which the American people had found themselves--a struggle to discern the proper and just consequences for Clinton's actions. And then, bada-bing, bada-boom: Hello, Pulitzer.
What the administration doesn't acknowledge, as it crows about democracy blooming in the Iraqi desert, is that our defense against terrorists who want to attack here is full of holes, and that the war in Iraq may have made it even worse. Despite the promising election, the war has created more insurgents and given them a training ground. It has siphoned off attention, money and troops that could have been used to catch Osama, pursue Al Qaeda and secure our own country. And it has alienated not only many Arabs, but also allies who were eager, after 9/11, to help us fight Al Qaeda - even Italians are mad now.
And what Dowd isn't acknowledging is that our homeland will always have holes in its defense--its borders and coast lines are too vast to defend against isolated entries by hand fulls of terrorists. We can't do it all, and to neglect our offensive strategy in favor of more defense would be folly. Now, I certainly favor more resources for homeland defense if they aren't taken at the expense of the offense. But in her column, I think, Dowd isn't too concerned about that nuance.
And what of her criticism that the war in Iraq has created more of the enemy? I'm sympathetic to it, actually. Not because I think the choice to go to war was wrong, but because Dubya's post-war strategy is allowing pockets of insurgents to linger and fester.
But the risk of creating more insurgents was never a valid pre-war argument. By bringing down the WTC towers, Al Qaeda had already demonstrated an ability to inflict incredible damage on America. That attack, by doing something exciting that had never been done before, was likely to breed recruits for Al Qaeda. And any retaliation in the Middle East, whether in Afghanistan or Iraq (or wherever), would inevitably cause a backlash in certain Muslim communities--a backlash that would increase recruits. No, we must reject critics who counsel against any move that could swell Al Qaeda's membership. We don't have nearly enough influence over that to let it worry us.
Wednesday, March 9, 2005
FYI: This guy just announced his retirement, and it's currently my job to pour over 40 years of his radio tapes and find "best of" moments for him to feature on his morning show between now and late June. I'm still bloggin', but I might miss a day here and there. Listening to and editing 40 years of tape can be time consuming.