It is only with the most intense horror that I heard and read about the brutal beheadings of Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley. It is horrifying stuff indeed. And I feel no less regret or sadness for Kenneth Bigley, the third remaining hostage. We can only hope and pray for Bigley.
And it’s also depressing news that two Italian aid-workers were recently killed.
Now, as an ardent war supporter, I feel uneasiness with these beheadings. I will admit this. Also, anti-wars had a point when they said the War in Iraq was launched with no thought as to the ramifications and the aftermath. I’ve not admitted that until now, but I will finally cede that they’re right. Post-war planning seemed a mere afterthought.
The Louisville Courier-Journal puts it bluntly, and, initially, what they write can’t be denied: “Daily car bombings, beheadings of foreign hostages, insurgents’ control of key cities and rising public outrage are hardly markers on a road to a peaceful and prosperous democracy,” so say the editors.
But again, I said initially it makes sense to any thinking person about the situation in Iraq. But ultimately, all “analysis” like this amounts to, is preaching to the choir.
President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi have defended the war, and so they should. We must remain vigilant and not give in to the terrorists. Beheadings and car-bombs have indeed made a mess of things, but the terrorists must be made to understand that we will not back down. There will be no negotiating with them. They don’t even want negotiations; they want our destruction. Evil cannot be reasoned or bargained with.
But, at the very least, we have taken the battleground to the terrorists, they have been coming out of the woodwork like carpenter ants since the fall of Saddam. To fight them on their ground is much more preferable to battling them on ours. As President Bush said, “If we stop fighting the terrorists in Iraq, they would be free to plot and plan attacks elsewhere, in America and other free nations.”
Sean Hannity writes in his excellent book Deliver Us From Evil:
The Bush administration saw early that we could not repeat the mistake of 9/11; we could no longer wait for the enemy to attack us once again. From this point on, we would have to take the action to the enemy, before he had the chance to strike. And we would have to be willing to strike “pre-emptively” when necessary – at both the terrorists and the nations sponsoring them – in order to preserve our national security.
As the chief U.S. weapons inspector David Kay made clear, the intelligence about WMDs cited as an excuse for the war was flawed only to the extent that “the Iraqis tried to deceive us and in part they tried to deceive us and others into believing that they really did have those weapons,” and that evidence on paper of their weapons program definitely existed.
Furthermore, I don’t care what the anti-wars say, Saddam Hussein was interested in working with al-Qaeda. As for the charges that the Ba’athists were secular and couldn’t give a damn about jihad, Saddam saw himself as a grand Arab ruler, with the full blessing of Allah. Given his desire to see America humiliated and his grand design to control the Middle East, despatching with Saddam was the only sane thing to do. As Tony Blair said in 2002, “I for one do not want it on my conscience that we knew the threat, that we saw it coming and that we did nothing.” Nor would I, Tony.
Would the anti-war agitators prefer that we gave Saddam time to investigate further ways to work with al-Qaeda, to implement his planned weapons programs, to acquire a nuke? How would they feel then? Yes, that’s right, the old “No Nukes” folks would blame Bush and Co. for not acting: “You see, Iraq’s got a nuclear device now, and it’s all Bush’s fault!”
We must stay the course in Iraq and not give into the terrorists. Given time, we will eradicate more of the likes of Al-Sadr and al-Zarqawi and all of their jihadic followers than they will of us. That may be what this war’s become, but however regrettable, it is the right thing.