I don’t normally read Mareen Dowd’s column, but the title in my local newspaper (remember those?) caught my eye as I think that “Magnet for Evil” is EXACTLY what’s going on in Iraq. She’s referring to the fact that Isalmic militants are apparently heading to Iraq in droves to kill themselves against the infidels.
They [the administration before the invasion] made it sound as if Islamic fighters on a jihad against America were slouching toward Baghdad to join forces with murderous Iraqis.
There was scant evidence of it then, but it’s coming true now.
Well, actually, there was a great deal of evidence of it then as it was happening, as reported by CENTCOM, the Pentagon, the Kurds, Iraqi civilians, the Arab press, US troops, and embedded reporters. I mean, I think she may have been the only one that didn’t think foreign fighters were attacking US forces at the time. Apparently she’s only catching on just now.
Here’s another classic move:
Before the Iraq war, the Bush team inflated the threats to America; since the war, the Bush team has deflated the threats to America.
Well, maybe the lack of direct threats has something to do with the bad guys worrying about their own backyard instead of taking piloting lessons in Florida. This argument is usually brought to the surface by opponents of the winning plan after something bad has been averted (victoriously) . Sort of along the lines of “Since the USSR never attacked Western Europe, the threat was overblown, and all the money and effort the military spent was such a waste. Silly, really.
And the ever-popular
Even the Bush people, who tend to look at excruciatingly difficult problems and say no prob, were shaken by yesterday’s carnage, which delivered a terrible truth: just because we got Uday and Qusay, Iraqi militants are not going to stop blowing up Westerners.
Really? I never thought of that! Some guys will still keep fighting even though we got Uday and Qusay? The only people I heard expressing the idea that it was over when we got them were a few clueless people in the media and Scrappleface (which was in all probability making a joke). You’ll notice that Dowd doesn’t actually quote anyone as being shocked, she just implies that “the Bush people” “were shaken.” (And never mind that she hasn’t been above manipulating a quote when it helped.
She closes with
So where are we? We can’t leave, and we can’t stay forever. We just have to slug it out.
It seems that she’s forgotten that there is a WAR on.
And make no mistake, Iraq is only one campaign in what will be a long and brutal war. Iraq is something like D-Day in World War 2. We’ve already taken the fight to the enemy in Italy (Afghanistan) but this is the big push. Were the reporters calling for Roosevelts head three weeks after the troops hit the Normandy beaches because they were tied up in the bocage and Monty still hadn’t take Caen? (He was supposed to take the city on the first day. It took a month.)
The invasion of Iraq went WILDLY better than nearly anyone could have hoped for. The US and civilian casualties were WAY below what anyone predicted. Baghdad fell so quickly that everyone, including the Pentagon, wondered where the hell the Iraqi army was. The horrific terrorist attacks opponents of the invasion said would happen never came off. The unequalled ecological disaster never materialized. So all that’s left is to nitpick the occupation.
Excuse me, but how much better could things really be going?
The military has said all along that foreign fighters were in Iraq. The administration has said that we will be there for a while. So why is the media getting all hyped up about this like it’s some big surprise? The president said “Bring them on!” when asked about foreign fighters in Iraq. He’s goading them on, folks. He’s daring them to come to Iraq and fight. These people are difficult to track down and even harder to corner in their caves and sewers. So we’re just egging them on, then waiting for them to come up into the sunlight and fight.
Was this the plan all along? I don’t know. Neither do you. Neither does Maureen Dowd. It may have been the general idea, and if it was they wouldn’t have told us. If it wasn’t, well, that’s war, boys and girls. Assess. Adapt. Overcome. Either way, we have ourselves nice little base smack dab in the middle of the hornet’s nest. We won’t have to beg for basing rights in Iraq. We won’t have to try and bribe Iraq to let us pass an infantry division through on the way to the next campaign. We won’t have to negotiate for overflight rights. Look at the countries around Iraq. Syria. Iran. Saudi Arabia. We aren’t setting up camp there by accident.
This is a war. We are playing to win.
And Roosevelt didn’t go before the American public in 1943 and try to convince them that his plans to invade Normandy the following year were just.