Are Americans Fighting for the Sunnis?
The tag line for the latest from Rich Lowry reads:
What happens to a civil war if only one side shows up to fight it?
The question was so odd that I decided to read the latest babbling from Mr. Lowry only to discover this:
This progress might be transitory, but it illustrates the falsity of a key assumption of Democrats. They prefer to talk of Iraq in terms of a civil war because it suggests that nothing can be done about the violence, that it is running its own hermetic course. Well, it clearly isn’t. What the U.S. does matters. If we hadn’t surged, Baghdad already might have descended into the genocidal fury toward which it was headed earlier in the year. The other side of the Iraqi civil war – the car-bombing Sunni terrorists – hasn’t stood down, of course. But these are the people that Democrats express a notional interest in fighting.
Huh? Lowry earlier noted that the “Shia militias that had become the main driver of violence in Baghdad” and concedes that they are ducking the U.S. troops for a while. So aren’t we helping the Sunnis with this surge, wave, or whatever you want to call it? For Lowry to suggest that we Democrats want to fight the Sunnis is absurd. Now if one goes back four years ago, it was his crowd that pushed for the 3/19/2003 invasion to oust the ruling Sunnis. But that doesn’t stop Lowry from writing:
According to a U.S. intelligence report quoted by the New York Times, captured materials from al Qaeda in Iraq say that the group sees “the sectarian war for Baghdad as the necessary main focus of its operations.” So the Democrats profess to want to fight terrorists in Iraq, and al Qaeda in Iraq is making Baghdad its focus. It would stand to reason, then, that the Democrats wouldn’t want to undermine our effort to control Baghdad. Our counterinsurgency mission there is a counterterrorism mission. It aims to squeeze out terrorists, neighborhood by neighborhood. Nonetheless, Democrats in the House and Senate are attempting to force our troops from Baghdad, exactly as al Qaeda in Iraq wants. There is an essential symmetry to the goals of Sunni militants and Democrats here at home with regard to the disposition of our forces — the fewer, the farther away from Baghdad, the better (needless to say, for vastly different reasons). In reporting on al Qaeda in Iraq’s strategy, the New York Times notes, “American forces, instead of withdrawing from the capital as the Sunni insurgents had hoped, prepared plans to reinforce their troops there.” Over the strenuous objections of Democrats.
This sounds a lot like the babble from Tony Snow yesterday:
Do they think that you ought to seek victory. If you ask, if the alternative is creating a power vacuum that will encourage terrorists and also creating a launching pad for terror, people don’t want that. So, again, a lot of times you can frame questions in different ways. But let’s be honest — people don’t like war. But on the other hand, people also don’t like terrorists on our shores, they don’t like a strengthening capability among members of the international terror network, and the President has to keep all those things in mind.
In other words – unless we are in the middle of the Shia-Sunni bloodbath, Al Qaeda will attack us? This is the incredibly stupid “logic” that got us in this mess in the first damn place. Rich Lowry can’t articulate who the real enemy is very clearly. Then again – he and his crowd have always been engaged in a war against Democrats.