The Moose praises the resolve of the British PM.
Yesterday, Tony Blair presented the progressive case for winning the war against Jihadism. At a time when many progressives press for retreat, Prime Minister Blair forcefully argued that there is an inseparable link between the conflict in Iraq and the greater war against the forces of Islamic reaction.
"They know that if they can succeed either in Iraq or Afghanistan or indeed in Lebanon or anywhere else wanting to go the democratic route, then the choice of a modern democratic future for the Arab or Muslim world is dealt a potentially mortal blow. Likewise if they fail, and those countries become democracies and make progress and, in the case of Iraq, prosper rapidly as it would; then not merely is that a blow against their whole value system; but it is the most effective message possible against their wretched propaganda about America, the West, the rest of the world."
Unfortunately, American progressives rarely speak about the stakes in the war against Jihadism. They are far too preoccupied with complaining about the Administration's failures in the war. Of course, there is much to criticize. But, the enemy is not this President, but a profoundly reactionary faction that seeks to defeat America in Iraq and then move on to other triumphs. Whatever one's position on the wisdom of removing Saddam's tyranny, that fact should be apparent.
"Which brings me to the fundamental point. "We" is not the West. "We" are as much Muslim as Christian or Jew or Hindu. "We" are those who believe in religious tolerance, openness to others, to democracy, liberty and human rights administered by secular courts.
"This is not a clash between civilizations. It is a clash about civilization.
"It is the age-old battle between progress and reaction, between those who embrace and see opportunity in the modern world and those who reject its existence; between optimism and hope on the one hand; and pessimism and fear on the other."
Defeatism prevails in the Democratic Party. While that stance may appear to have short-term political benefits, the party will and should pay a stiff price with both the American people and history if it presses for retreat at the moment our enemy is on the offensive.
Zarqawi understands the stakes. Blair understands the stakes. It's time for Democrats to grasp the stakes, as well.