Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald offers an Exit Strategy:
Listen, some people like to concede defeat. I don’t. I prefer, in Iraq, to concede victory. We won in Iraq; we’ve inadvertently created a situation which will inevitably lead to demoralization and division within the Camp of Islam. If only we have the good sense to recognize it and stop trying to prevent the result that is devoutly to be wished.
It was all inevitable — the day the regime was deposed. It was inevitable whether or not Turkey had allowed in a fourth division to invade from the north. It was inevitable whether the number of troops that went to Iraq remained the same, or doubled, or tripled. General Batiste’s criticism of Rumsfeld’s numbers is wrong and irrelevant — irrelevant because the number of troops could not have changed what became inevitable, and from our point of view highly desirable, after the removal of Saddam and his regime. Forget about the Iraqis, for god’s sake, stop talking and stop thinking about “what’s good for the Iraqis.” Stop being influenced by the handful of plausible, nice, heartwarming “Iraqis” you have had contact with in Iraq — many of those “Iraqis” serving as the staff (cooks, waiters, cleaners) in the Green Zone, or as translators, are the completely atypical Christians. Many, almost all, of the trustworthiest fighters are Kurds. For Infidels, the permanent instability within Iraq, and the worry that has created in both Iran and Saudi Arabia (and other Arab states) is a welcome, and to the Bush Administration still uncomprehended, unappreciated, development. But there it is: Saddam Hussein is out and from that all further blessings flow.
Now we have only to withdraw and watch how the removal of Saddam Hussein plays itself out. Some deplore the idea of civil war. Why? Wasn’t the Iran-Iraq War a good thing from the viewpoint of Infidels? Wasn’t the Egypt-Saudi Arabia proxy war in the Yemen? The hostilities over Polisario between Morocco and Algeria? The dislike of Khaddafy for Egypt, and the expulsion from Libya of all those Egyptians? The brief Syrian incursion into Jordan? The Saudi mischief-making, that worries the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council still, and that helps explain why Oman has British military advisors and some troops, and why Kuwait and Qatar allow American troops (Saudi Arabia being, along with Iran and formerly Iraq, one of the three big local bullies)?
Good God, we’ve won. We won a while ago.
Others may concede defeat.
In Iraq, I think we should concede victory. Bush, for god’s sake, if you would only see things correctly, you would realize that for all your grotesque misperceptions and sentimentality about how all people “want freedom” and essentially are brothers under a very thin skin, you have nonetheless had a victory. But only if you recognize it and act quickly upon that recognition — no more unnecessary squandering of resources to undo that victory allowed. An accident, a series of errors, one goddam unintended consequence after another. But there it is: the Shi’a have the power, the Sunnis will never accept it, the Kurds are drilling for oil and appropriating, as they have every right to do so, the oil of Kirkuk and Kirkuk itself.
Concede Victory, and get out.
It is depressing that so many support Bush because they claim he is better than any “dhimmi Democrat.” Could it be simply that the times require someone more intelligent, more able to take in a large amount of material, more able to concentrate? It has been nearly five years since the 9/11/2001 attacks. How much of that time has Bush spent on learning what one must learn, now, about Islam, and about the history of Jihad-conquest, and the treatment of non-Muslims under Muslim rule? Does anyone think Bush spends his time, at night, or at the ranch, studying, studying, studying?
Think of all the meetings. Think of all the photo opportunities. Think of all the silly things a President has to do. Think of all the many things he must somehow keep track of — Social Security, Katrina, the ice in the Arctic, the level of army re-upping, the Leave No Child behind business, and hundreds of other things.
Then look at Bush. Look at how he led his heedless life before he became President. Do you have the feeling he had studied history? Do you have the feeling that he is now well-versed in what he should be well-versed in? Do you think he can think — beyond, that is, a certain not-adequate-to-the-task level? What do you think of his aides — the ones that so impress him? Do they impress you? Do they strike you as able to have mastered the matter of Islam, and the instruments of Jihad? How much of Bat Ye’or do you think Condoleeza Rice has read? What do you think she thinks of when she hears the word “Hadith” or the phrase “uswa hasana”? Do you think the idea of Jihad through Da’wa and demographic conquest of Western Europe is a subject of constant attention at the White House — or a subject that never comes up? Do you think the Pentagon has an office devoted entirely to propaganda intended to raise the level of awareness among non-Arab Muslims about Islam as a vehicle for Arab supremacism?
You don’t? Of course not. Bush remains both ignorant of the sources, the scope, and the full menace of the Jihad, and he certainly has not allowed the American government to conduct the kind of all-out propaganda, including making use of clever defectors from Islam, that is called for. He lacks imagination. He lacks broad cultivation. He is not able to articulate cleverly the problem — referring to Islam synecdochically, for example, by using the word “Jihad” and claiming to be fighting “only those few Muslims” who “believe in Jihad to spread Islam until it covers the globe.” (What will Muslims do then? Deny it? Own up to it?) He apparently thinks what counts is the level of economic development, the end to poverty, the GDP, the GNP. He’s an economic determinist. And so are those who applaud the war in Iraq (not to mention his sentimentalism and heedlessness about immigration) — David Brooks, My Weekly Standard, the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal. They can’t quite grasp Islam. It doesn’t fit what they know about the world.
As for the complete dismissal of every single Democrat, that too is foolish. It may be that those who want to get off oil want to do so for only one reason (and that reason is a perfectly sensible one): to save the environment. So what? The effect in diminishing Arab and Muslim revenues will be the same. And it may be that some Democrats wish to leave Iraq for the wrong reasons, but so what? If we leave, the right result — those sectarian and ethnic divisions — will start to work their magic. And it will be magic as far as we, the Infidels, are concerned, even if the result does not please even those very nice, very plausible, Shi’a Muslims whose interests diverge from ours, for they do not want to be forced to see Islam for what it is, they do not want to divide and demoralize the world of Islam, they do not want the Infidels to begin to halt and reverse Muslim migration, they do not want to have their views discounted because they are Muslims. Such people as Chalabi and Allawi in Iraq, or Fouad Ajami here, may be very nice. Ajami, after all, has two sons at West Point. And he is wonderful on Edward Said, and a truthteller on Israel. But that is no longer enough. Now the interests of the Infidels, and of even the nicest Muslims, diverge, and we must work to save ourselves, not to redo the Middle East for that handful of entertaining, soft-spoken, funny, altogether delightful Muslims. A different world now. This chase has a beast in view.
Concede victory, and get out. We won.