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Preview: RealClearPolitics - Articles - Orson Scott Card

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Orson Scott Card

Last Build Date: Sat, 02 Dec 2006 00:00:03 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2007

Democrats: Let's Save Some Lives

Sat, 02 Dec 2006 00:00:03 -0600

And many of the new Democrats in Congress were elected because they ran to the right - they coopted many of the stances that are usually identified as Republican. So what, exactly, is our new Congress composed of? Certainly it will be the Democratic Party that organizes both houses this winter, and makes committee assignments, and sets out to harass the White House as much as possible, to punish George W. Bush for being a better president than America had any right to have at this crucial time in our history. What the new Congress most definitely does not have is a majority to enact the Democratic agenda on any point. That is, unless the new crop of quasi-Republican Democrats were pulling a Bill Clinton and lying about their principles in order to get elected. We'll find that out soon enough - if they vote just like other Democrats, then we'll know they were liars, because they promised not to. And the new Congress does not have a majority to force a withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. This is obviously true, because Joseph Lieberman is the crucial vote, and he knows we cannot afford to do anything so stupid, so contrary to our interests and inimical to our allies in the Middle East (of which we have many, despite the claims of opponents of the war). There are also too many Democrats in the House who come from districts where a vote for forcing a troop withdrawal on a timetable (i.e., "surrender") would be the end of that Congressman's career. The trouble is that the people of Iraq don't know that. They only know what our anti-Bush media tell them, which is that our election was an enormous defeat for Bush's war policy, and what their anti-American media tell them, which is that our election was an enormous victory for al-Qaeda and the Sunni insurgents (aka murderers and terrorists) in Iraq. The Sunni insurgents celebrated their victory by slaughtering Shiites. Previously, the Shiites have shown astonishing self-restraint (for Arab countries) when provoked, because their leaders were able to persuade them that the Americans would deal with the Sunnis until the Iraqi defense forces were able to take over the job. But now, because of the way our election has been portrayed, the Shiites no longer have any trust that America will remain. They think - wrongly - that the American people favor a cowardly, selfish retreat from a policy on which the Iraqi Shiites and Kurds have staked their lives. So the result is that Shiite leaders are no longer able - perhaps no longer willing - to restrain the most violent among the Shiites. That was what it meant when Shiites retaliated for the Sunni atrocities with atrocities of their own - burning Sunnis alive. Many Shiites have no choice but to believe that they have to defend themselves - that they have to turn the insurgency into an all-out civil war. Now, the American media and the extreme Left have been claiming it was already a civil war in Iraq. They are being proven wrong now, as it starts to become exactly that and we can finally see what civil war looks like. If there is an open, all-out civil war, the Shiites will win, and they will do it by slaughtering Sunnis or driving them completely out of Iraq and into Syria, which, after all, has been funding and supplying the Sunni thugs. But which Shiites will win? Why, the most violent ones - the ones most likely to establish a dictatorship every bit as cruel as any others in the Middle East. President Bush's policy had led to the best, most peace-loving Shiite leaders being predominant in Iraq; civil war will lead to the worst Shiites rising to leadership. And it looks like anybody in Iraq with any money at all is buying plane tickets and getting out of the country. All because shortsighted, ignorant or malicious "anti-war" Democrats misled the American people into thinking our war effort was a failure and was doing no good. The result is that now our war effort is failing, not because of President Bush, but specifically and directly because of the Democratic victory. People are dying now in Iraq, and fleein[...]

The Only Issue This Election Day

Mon, 06 Nov 2006 00:59:28 -0600

I say this as a Democrat, for whom the Republican domination of government threatens many values that I hold to be important to America's role as a light among nations. But there are no values that matter to me that will not be gravely endangered if we lose this war. And since the Democratic Party seems hellbent on losing it -- and in the most damaging possible way -- I have no choice but to advocate that my party be kept from getting its hands on the reins of national power, until it proves itself once again to be capable of recognizing our core national interests instead of its own temporary partisan advantages. To all intents and purposes, when the Democratic Party jettisoned Joseph Lieberman over the issue of his support of this war, they kicked me out as well. The party of Harry Truman and Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- the party I joined back in the 1970s -- is dead. Of suicide. The "War on Terror" I recently read an opinion piece in which the author ridiculed the very concept of a "war on terror," saying that it makes as much sense as if, after Pearl Harbor, FDR had declared a "war on aviation." Without belaboring the obvious shortcomings of the analogy, I will agree with the central premise. The name "war on terror" clearly conceals the fact that we are really at war with specific groups and specific nations; we can no more make war on a methodology than we can make war on nitrogen. However, there are several excellent reasons why "War on Terror" is the only possible name for this war. 1. This is not a war that can be named for any particular nation or region. To call it "The Iraq War" or the "Afghanistan War" would lead to the horrible mistake of thinking that victory would consist of toppling certain governments and then going home. In fact, it is precisely the name "War in Iraq" that is leading to the deep misconceptions that drive the Democratic position on the war. If this were in fact a war on Iraq, then in one sense we won precisely when President Bush declared victory right after we occupied Baghdad. And in another sense, we might not see victory for another five years, or even a decade -- a decade in which Americans will be dying alongside Iraqis. For a "War in Iraq" to linger this way is almost too painful to contemplate. But we are not waging a "War in Iraq." We are waging a world war, in which the campaigns to topple the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan were brilliantly successful, and the current "lukewarm" war demands great patience and determination from the American people as we ready ourselves for the next phase. 2. We cannot name this war for our actual enemies, either, because there is no way to name them accurately without including some form of the word "Islam" or "Muslim." It is our enemies who want to identify this as a war between Islam and the West. If we allow this to happen, we run the risk of achieving the worst of all possible outcomes: The unification of one or both of the great factions of worldwide Islam under a single banner. President Bush and his administration have shown their grasp of our present danger by stoutly resisting all attempts to rename this war. We call it a "War on Terror" because that allows us to cast it, not as a war against the Muslim people, with all their frustrations and hopes, but a war in which most Muslims are not our enemies at all. That can be galling for many Americans. When, after the fall of the towers on 9/11, Palestinians and others poured into the streets, rejoicing, it was tempting to say, A plague on all of them! But it is precisely those people -- the common people of the Muslim world, most of whom hate us (or claim to hate us, when asked by pollsters in police states) -- whom we must treat as if they were not our enemies. They are the ones we must win over for us to have any hope of victory without a bloodbath poured out on most of the nations of the world. Nation Building Another charge against the Bush administration's conduct of the war is that they are engaged in the hopeless task of "nation-build[...]