By Joseph Klein
Leftists will be the last to acknowledge the truth about the war in Iraq. Obsessed by their hatred of President Bush and suffused with self-righteousness, they are blind to the fact that we are slowly but surely winning the war and bringing about a fundamental change in the region that has the terrorists running scared.
The terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is dead. His legions of insurgents are decimated and demoralized. Democracy is beginning to take hold, which is like kryptonite to the Islamofascists who thought that the U.S. would back away from a real fight. Key compromises have been reached among the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds to enable a unified national government to begin asserting control and bringing the country back from the brink of civil war that the terrorists have tried to foment from day one. Coalition casualties have been declining, while daily life for Iraqis has improved since the fall of Saddam Hussein according to polls taken of the Iraqis themselves.
These are singular accomplishments of the United States and its coalition partners. The Islamofascists wantonly kill fellow Muslims in mosques, wedding ceremonies or on the street while our brave young men and women put their lives on the line to save the innocent from slaughter and enable them to have better lives in freedom.
Of course, total victory is not assured. There will be more struggles ahead, with more casualties. War is hell, no doubt about that. But sometimes it is necessary to prevent an even more hellish future under tyranny — a reality of life that many liberals are constitutionally unable to accept. They want the United States to lose in Iraq so that they can say “I told you so.” They accuse their own government and troops of committing war crimes, while giving a free pass to the terrorists who revel in death and mayhem. But when the opportunity in the Senate to stand up and be counted for their cut and run philosophy presented itself last week, most of the left-wing appeasers ran for cover. At least in the House, more leftists were willing to show their true colors in voting against a resolution which, among other things, “declares that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary”, recognizes the fact that “the terrorists have declared Iraq to be the central front in their war against all who oppose their ideology”, and “declares that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq” (Democrats, 42 in favor, 149 against; Republicans, 214 in favor, 3 against).
The leftists have a powerful ally, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who stubbornly continues to defend his unsupportable assertion that the United States started an “illegal” war in Iraq since it was not formally approved by the Security Council. In a press conference held at UN headquarters on June 15th, he tried to maintain the veneer of impartiality while continuing to take potshots at our country:
“Q: Mr. Secretary-General, Warren Hoge picked up a little bit on this question. This is just going a little further. A big debate opened up recently on the issue of the impartiality of UN officials. You yourself have come out with statements — for instance, back in 2004, ahead of the election, you mentioned that the war in Iraq was illegal. Recently you defended?
SG: What is [partial] about that? How does that take sides?
Q: It would be interesting to hear your definition of impartiality, but be that as it may, you defended Mark Malloch Brown recently for his speech, in which some critics said that he criticized the United States. How do you view impartiality and what do you say to some of your critics who are saying that, actually, the timing of, for instance, your remarks about Iraq and Mr. Malloch Brown’s remarks are coming ahead of some crucial elections in the United States?
SG: First of all, as international civil servants, we don’t get involved in national politics. I have been here many years; I have watched many elections and I have not been involved in any of the elections or the campaigns.
We deal with world events. Events happen and this Organization is sometimes required to act on them. Depending on the direction of events, you may say something that may not necessarily fit the position of one party or the other. They may take it amiss and think you are criticizing them or taking sides, but that is never the intention. For example, the example you gave, that when one says that something is illegal or the war is illegal, one is taking sides. That is very difficult to accept…”
Of course, Annan was taking sides — against President Bush and with the murderous Saddam Hussein whom he once described as a man he could do business with. Similarly, our homegrown anti-war liberals, who relentlessly attack the President’s veracity and motives for prosecuting the war in Iraq, would have preferred to let Hussein continue his genocide against his own people and to let al Zaqarwi strengthen al Qaeda’s foothold in Iraq under Hussein’s protection rather than give the benefit of the doubt to our own President. Despite his opponents’ carping, the President acted in accordance with the United Nations Charter and the authority already granted by 12 years’ worth of prior Security Council resolutions which Saddam Hussein chose blatantly to ignore.
Many leftists have an aversion to America’s exercise of military power without international approval, no matter how noble America’s purpose and how cynically manipulative the reasons for other countries’ obstructionism. If Annan said the Iraq war is illegal, then it must be so according to the far-Left MoveOn.org crowd. When United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown insulted the American “heartland” recently for not understanding the true value of the United Nations and asked rhetorically “Who will campaign in 2008 for a new multilateral national security?”, he was speaking to the choir — an elitist audience of progressive globalists, including the multi-billionaire George Soros and an assortment of Clinton loyalists. Many liberals, like John Kerry, are all too happy to join Malloch Brown’s United Nations cheerleader squad, believing that America’s actions in Iraq or elsewhere must pass a “global test” in order to be legitimate and that the United Nations is the sole arbiter of global legitmacy. During the 2004 Presidential campaign, John Kerry said that if elected “(W)ithin weeks of being inaugurated, I will return to the UN and I will literally, formally rejoin the community of nations and turn over a proud new chapter in America’s relationship with the world.’” Fortunately, the American people rejected his obsequious bow to the UN alter, but he is back again for another run for the White House with even more apologist rhetoric.
What many liberals desperately hold onto is the untenable position that in order to support the principle of multilateralism in Iraq or elsewhere one must wholeheartedly support the United Nations as its only legitimate manifestation. It is time to break the romantic fiction of the UN — where there is no threshold for membership and functioning democracies are outnumbered by autocratic states — as the only claimant to multilateral ‘legitimacy.’ When the United Nations is paralyzed by its own dysfunctionalism from taking effective action to combat a widely acknowledged threat like Saddam Hussein or Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the choice is not between UN multilateralism and U.S. unilateralism. A coalition of democracies is certainly one alternative. After all, how can any rational democracy entrust its security to a ‘world organization’ that has not only consistently failed to halt grave threats to peace, but allows overt aggressors to pervert its founding principles to suit themselves?
The United States acted legally and morally in removing Saddam Hussein from power, with the full backing of the United Kingdom and its other coalition partners, and is winning in an important battle against the destructive forces of global terrorism. Too bad that intelligent liberals are such an endangered species. Otherwise, they would understand that the United States remains a force for good in the world, and they would support our valiant troops in Iraq wholeheartedly.