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Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Don't take the president's word for it - take Zarqawi's by Jonah Goldberg
This is for all of you who claim that terrorists attack us because they hate our policies and not because they hate freedom and democracy...
In short, the notion that America is in a war for freedom over tyranny has elicited bipartisan snickering and guffawing. In the wake of Bush's inaugural, the chorus of complaints intensified. And understandably so, given the fact that his address was the most forceful articulation of his "freedom" vision to date.
But before the cackles could reach their crescendo, the naysayers hit an inconvenient snag. Musab al-Zarqawi, the "prince" of Al-Qaida in Iraq, appointed by Osama Bin Laden, came out and agreed with President Bush. "We have declared a fierce war on this evil principle of democracy and those who follow this wrong ideology," Zarqawi declared in a statement. "Democracy is also based on the right to choose your religion," he said, and that is "against the rule of God."
You can almost hear Cohen and Buchanan snapping their pencils "Darn it, stop stepping on my message!"
Unfortunately, we live in a world where a bunch of antidemocratic and homicidal zealots can make life dangerous for all of us. "Not our fight," the president's critics seem to say. But if they're wrong, thousands or millions could die as a result. And, like it or not, that fight is in Iraq right now.
For the first time in a hard-fought, bloody, and at times metaphysically depressing couple of years, it looks like there's cause for optimism there. Indications are that turnout will be high in Sunday's elections. Sunni leaders now say they want a role in constructing the new constitution. Zarqawi's prized bomb-making lieutenant was captured, and interim Prime Minister Allawi is gaining support.
But the best news from Iraq in a while is Zarqawi's forceful and forthright rejection of democracy and freedom as a principle. He doesn't want a more "authentic" democracy, he wants to kill it. This alone gives Iraqis, particularly the Sunnis he claims to represent, a stark choice: Accept the painful but promising path of elections, or side with the man most responsible for the car-bombings of mosques and markets, who would replace Saddam's nationalist totalitarianism for a new religious one ruled by foreigners like him and Bin Laden. Given that choice, who can doubt the Iraqis will vote with their hearts and ballots for what's behind Curtain No. 1.
The whole thing is definitely worth reading. Not that I think people who subscribe to the blame America first doctrine will "get" it from this one article. Gotta keep hammering away...
wingless was still breathing at 10:35 AM
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