Day By Day

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Shawcross Takes on the Sheehanites

William Shawcross has a terrific piece in Sunday’s LA Times titled “Peace is Not the Answer”

In it he eloquently argues that “[anti-war] demonstrators think of themselves as moral, but it is hard to think of any policy more amoral than abandoning Iraq….”

Our opponents in Iraq, he points out, are not “romantic nationalist insurgents (as some liberal journalists and marchers like to pretend).” Rather they are “an unholy grouping of Saddamite gangsters furious at losing power, Syrian and Iranian agents intent on creating mayhem, and then theocracy, and Islamo-fascists who want to enslave the world and whose local Pol Pot, Abu Musab Zarqawi, boasts of seeking to murder as many of Iraq’s majority Shiite population as he can.”

Shawcross notes the continuing political dialogue that is taking place in Iraq. “Three hundred conferences on the constitution have been held throughout the country, allowing 50,000 people to express their views. The 150 new, uncensored newspapers, the scores of radio stations and half a dozen TV channels that have been set up are all talking about this and other matters of political progress.”

”The constitution may not be perfect. But, as the commentator Amir Taheri points out: ‘This is still the most democratic constitution offered to any Muslim nation so far.’”

In the face of these facts, Shawcross argues, the anti-war position is indefensible – “shortsighted and self-indulgent.” To withdraw from Iraq would be to doom the Iraqi people, and the people of the region to even greater atrocities than they have already endured. “We in the West,” he writes, “have a vital stake in delivering on our promises and ensuring that terrorism does not move on to other victims, with even greater bloodlust.”

“The sacrifice of U.S. soldiers, of their coalition allies and of Iraqis is horrifically painful. But if we can stay long enough to enable the Iraqis to lay the firm foundation of civil society, their deaths will not be in vain. We should leave when the elected Iraqi government asks us to do so.

“It is the promise of freedom that the [insurgents] want to destroy. It is astonishing and discouraging that those who think they were taking the high ground in marching [against the war] do not understand this.

Read it here.

Well said..., very well said!

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