web analytics


By ATWadmin On September 10th, 2007

I have always supported the premise behind the war on terror. Ever since 9/11, I have been very clear on the urgent need to win that which Norman Podhoretz calls WW4 – but I fear that six years on from 9/11, the war aims have become confused and this has allowed the liberals out there to chant the surrender song and get away with it. So, I enjoyed reading this formulation by Jed Babbin of what the "real war" is…

"Let’s be very clear: whether Iraq becomes a democracy is not determinative of our success or defeat in this war. Iraq is only one campaign in the war against the nations that sponsor terrorism. Victory isn’t an Iraq that can defend and govern itself. Victory is defined as the end of state sponsorship of Islamic terrorism, which means forcing Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and others out of that business. Nothing more is needed, and nothing less will defeat an existential threat to America."

The same logic applies to the UK, to Australia and to all nations who wish to defeat Islam’s attack on our civilisation.

Now, "building bridges" between Iraq’s warring tribes does not constitute a key war aim. Let the Sunni’s and Shia’s deal with itthemselves, if they are capable of it which I doubt  – but let them also understand that if they ferment terrorism that poses in any way a broader threat, then we will bomb them back to the Stone Age. We can only WIN a war if we understand we are fighting a war. 


  1. So why frame it as something else as has been the case all along then? The strategy is f*****. One of the things I wished had never happened is the reference to war in Iraq as a win or lose situation. It isnt a traditional war that can be ‘won’ and in doing so we have allowed the debate and decisions to be framed in such a way that at any point when US UK troops leave the inference will be ‘retreat’ or ‘defeat’.

  2. So all those folks with the purple fingers are destined to be bombed back into the stone age?

  3. Mahons,

    If they support international terrorism, the sooner the better.


    Fair comment but we need to re-focus and to be clear on what this is all about. Babbin’s description IS a war on terror – Bush is involved in nation-building in Iraq whilst the terrorist supporting nations such as Iran and Syria run rings around us and the MSM loves it all.

  4. I’m afraid I’m with my northern friend Mahons here. For better or worse, we’ve given our word to Iraqi democrats. This is no time for realpolitic and throw them over the side. If we do, what indiginious population will side with us against al-queda again?

  5. David: I suppose then even the innocent would be saluting you with a different finger. Bombing folks into the stone age doesn’t sound like an effective plan as it fails to discriminate among the guilty and the innocent.

  6. Mahons,

    You’re right. Sometimes the policy of ‘no surrender’ can turn those who want to stamp terrorism out into terrorists themselves. Indiscriminate bombing and slaughter is not the answer and building bridges between waring factions in Iraq may not be the main aim, but it is one of the aims. If Iraq is a functioning democracy it can only help in the WOT.

  7. David,

    One of the few positives of the disastrous and illegal intervention in Iraq has been the insistence on building a lasting democracy there.

    I adimre the "democritisation" idealism of certain neo-cons (such as Wolfowitz) which, although wrong-headed, was well meant.

    For the US et al to abandon Iraq and strike out aimlessly at other states (with dubious links to 9/11) would be yet another illegitimate mistake.

    If further intervention is what you want then why not where it is most needed – to halt the ethnic cleansing in Darfur by Islamic extremists. This would be perfectly justified under the doctrine of humanitarian intervention.

  8. Even "democratisation"!

  9. Charles

    ‘If we do, what indiginious population will side with us against al-queda again?’

    What do so now?

    It looks to me like most of the various factions in Iraq are out for their own advantage against the local competition. Similarly in Afghanistan.

    Al-Qaeda isn’t I think a major issue for any of the local groups anywhere.

    There is I suspect only a surface affectation of democracy in either country. Once the surge is over and the US declares victory and leaves then the whole lot in Iraq will I think revert to overt schismatic tribal violence. Later, Afghanistan.

    This does I’m afraid look increasingly a waste of Western lives and money.

    I’m with Jed or he is with me.:)

    Why fight an attritional war against foot soldiers and leave the funding states alone?

  10. I offer the following thoughts as possibly a simplistic explanation for our current dilemma, without any political slant, while being aware that an answer must be found.

    Given that no one, anywhere, seems to have found an effective answer to terrorism, wherever it rears its ugly head, I think that the current attempt has at least the merit of being somewhat different from anything previously tried. Whether it has been given sufficient time to work effectively, or even whether it can be effective, is obviously a moot point.

    Mass annihilation is certainly not acceptable, and neither is a complete surrender to terrorist demands. In this case, the demands that we all convert to Islam, being impractical and impossible.

    There has to be a middle way, without the usual appeasement, – which seems more like bribery, – and seems to have been the only solution to previous such confrontations, but is not the answer to the underlying problems. wherever they have been.

    ‘Hearts and minds’ tactics do not seem to work, principally because the terrorists have a far better, and more unified approach to education and propaganda than we do. Possibly a strange thing to say, but the terrorists do seem to get their message across much more effectively, and comprehensively, than we do. Their majority believe in the war, the same cannot be said for us.

    The one thing that has not been tried is, – at least I don’t think it has, – is to recognise that it is a real army, and a real war that we are fighting – but not in any conventional sense. I know it has been talked about as such, but the idea has had minimal acceptance in the western world. Because of this, we have failed dismally, to present a unified approach to the problem, not only within our own borders, but also on the wider international front.

    It may be quite heinous to suggest that the very immigration of Muslims to the west, ‘in such numbers’, is in itself a threatening and possibly aggressive tactic.

    That Islam has spread so widely in western societies is their strength and our weakness. They have targets to attack, we have little more than shadows.

    As they used to say about boxers; ‘Always bet on the hungry one, they have the edge’. Sadly, in this case the fanatics are the hungry ones.

  11. Ernest,

    I for one could accept your explanation. Very well thought out.

  12. Typhoo,

    Thank you!…

  13. If they support international terrorism, the sooner the better.

    david, a sound basis of argument for genocide, again.

    Victory is defined as the end of state sponsorship of Islamic terrorism

    i couldnt agree more. start at home. that would probably end most of it, overnight.

  14. There is an excellent introduction to Islam at http://www.jihadwatch.org/islam101/ explaining, from Islamic sources, why the cult is implacably and murderously hostile to all non-Muslims, and never can be otherwise. Muslims have never been able to co-exist peacefully on equal terms with infidels and never will be able to. Wishful thinking on our part will not alter this.

  15. Good man, Najistani. Jihadwatch sounds like the perfect place to learn about Islam in a fair-minded, objective manner.

  16. I would suggest to Reg that he buy a copy of the koran. All the bits about Jews and Christians being apes and pigs, beating of women, keeping of slaves, and of course (the moon god) allah’s intense interest in mohamad’s sex life etc. are there to be seen. Note that the koran is the absolute, immutable, timeless, faultless word of (the moon-) god and is not up for negotiation or interpretation.

    Don’t be ashamed when you read it, Reg. Until recently, I too used to be as ignorant as you about the religion of peace(??), but now I’m not.

  17. "Let the Sunni’s and Shia’s deal with itthemselves, if they are capable of it which I doubt…"

    OMG, David. What in the hell has happened to you?
    It’s not a Sunni/Shia civil war – which is sounds as though you’ve bought into that. The Iraqi (no matter what religious persuasion) are standing up and fighting and I think it’s a damn shame that you cannot give credit where credit is due. They risk their lives, and you are questioning whether they are worthy of an Iraq without Al Qaeda Iraq in there killing them where they shop, go to work and school?

    Poo-Poo to them, then. They obviously don’t deserve it. I’m getting sick with the crap I’m seeing come out of the UK these days.

  18. As for anyone who questions JihadWatch, what specifically can you point to that is inaccurate at that website?

  19. Iraq is just a battle in the war on terror on the one hand and a true propaganda tool to win hearts and minds on the other.

    The nation building aspect of it is very important to prove not only to the world but to the Arabs that they can govern themselves without the domination of meglomaniacs.

    What you and a lot of people worldwide are guilty of is underestimating the abilities of the US.

    We can do both create a democracy in Iraq which is the hard part and fight a regional war in the ME, which is the easy part.

    In the 5yrs of this war we have lost less than 4000 good souls. We lost more than that in the first hours of d-day.

    The war part of the equation is about to spiral outward. In october our troop strengths will be higher than at any other time since this began. We now have the equivilant of 3 aircraft carrier groups in the region. The verbal rhetoric out of the Whitehouse has steped upto the next level citing the warning signs of a nuclear holocost of the Jews and the mad little persian is feeding us every excuse we need.

    Iraq has time to sort it’s political problems out as the REAL surge is about to focus on the heart of the problem IRAN

  20. Monica,

    The article I quote from is from The Washington Times and Jed Babbin is a well-known conservative American. I am happy that Iraq makes political progress but we are fighting a war on terror, not a war of nation-building.

  21. "I am happy that Iraq makes political progress but we are fighting a war on terror, not a war of nation-building."

    David, but doesn’t Fukuyama argue that it is failed states that are the biggest threat to stability/peace?

    I know you lot don’t like him anymore as he turned against the "War on Terror". He’s still an insightful chap though.

    "As for anyone who questions JihadWatch, what specifically can you point to that is inaccurate at that website?"

    Monica, I questioned its objectivity. Even the name suggests an inherent bias.

  22. It’s name suggests it is watching the ball.