Day By Day

Friday, June 09, 2006

Light Blogging

Blogger seems to have been having problems for the past couple of days -- hence the light blogging. One thing I have learned is that if something doesn't get posted in a timely manner, it might as well not get posted at all. At least that seems to be the case with most news-related matters. With that thought in mind I've decided to do less headline-related blogging and focus more closely on thought-related issues.

That doesn't mean that I won't be doing occasional impulse posts such as registering my total disgust at the reaction of many on the Left to the death of Zarqawi.

There has been a determined effort by Democrats and the political left to minimize the significance of this event, to deny that Zarqawi was an important figure, and to predict that, if anything, his removal might make things worse. That, and their absolute refusal to accord any credit to the American and British high commands, is childish and absurd.

President Bush, PM Blair, Donald Rumsfeld, and the military commanders, both British and American deserve high praise for having brought this monster down, and the intelligence gathered in the process will prove to be of enormous value in freeing Iraq from the grip of terror and completing the liberation of its peoples.

For an example of what I'm talking about check out this from the WaPo Style section.
In this country, a familiar dynamic played out. Supporters of the war cheered, and criticized the war's opponents (by now a sizable majority of Americans) if they didn't cheer, too. More cautious voices broached the idea -- though at the peril of having their patriotism questioned -- that this may not be the desired turning point in the conflict. They reminded us that we had already seen similar photographs of Uday and Qusay, Saddam Hussein's dead sons, and that Saddam's capture was also supposed to be the beginning of the end of the mayhem.

So will this image, given a strange dignity by its prominent frame, be a defining image of the war? Not likely. Its primary function is forensic. It proves, in an age of skepticism (heightened by a three-year history of official claims about the war turning out to be false), that Zarqawi is indeed dead. But beyond that, the image has little power. Indeed, as with so many images in this war, it is loaded with the potential to backfire.

Among the dissenting voices in the hubbub yesterday were those worried about Zarqawi's status as a martyr. And here, again, the frame plays a very odd role. In many traditions, a framed picture of the deceased suggests something like an icon, something to be venerated. Photographs of journalists photographing the image at the news briefing showed Zarqawi's face looming above them. One might believe, for a moment, that they had gathered to bask in its exalted presence.


The framed image of a head also has a disturbing sense of the trophy to it -- proof of another small victory brought home from battle -- which connects it to what might be called the ultimate self-destructing image of victory: the "Mission Accomplished" photo-op staged on an aircraft carrier on May 1, 2003. Even before the war had definitively turned sour, that single image established a pattern. The war would be politicized.

What began as a war of necessity, premised on the slam-dunk certainty that Saddam Hussein was staring us down with weapons of mass destruction, eventually became a war of ideas. If there were no weapons, then at least it was a war of liberation, bringing freedom and democracy to a land in desperate need of both. And when that war devolved into clouds of dust and pools of blood as the country broke into religious and ethnic factions, and the rule of law was extinguished by terrorists and militias, the war of ideas began to seem more like another thing -- a war of trophies.

We may not have victory. Iraq may be a living hell both for those who are fighting to make it better and for those who live there. But we bring home the occasional politically expedient marker of "progress." Major combat operations are over. We got Saddam's sons. We got Saddam. Now we have Zarqawi. The trophy case fills: elections, a constitution, a new government -- everything but peace and stability for an exhausted nation of Iraqis who have died by the tens of thousands during the evolution of this war....

Read it here.

What is chilling is that there are people, reasonably intelligent ones at that, who actually believe this crap, who look at the death of a monster and see only an opportunity to bash Bush.


Apparently I'm not the only one disgusted by this tripe.

Mark Steyn expresses his disdain for the chorus of naysayers here, and quotes the Great Lady, Maggie Thatcher, who when faced with a similar situation during the Falklands War turned to the idiot journalists and simply said..., "gentlemen, just rejoice, rejoice."

Steyn also says that he's finding it harder and harder to take the constant carping from the left. So do I.

And then Hitch weighs in with his opinion. [here] He notes that had we listened to the defeatists and withdrawn, Zarqawi today would be considered the greatest Islamic hero in history -- the man who had forced a super-power to retreat from Arab lands, the new Saladin. Instead he is dog meat.

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