Quote of the Day

Instead of insurgency the talking points have changed to how Sunnis might soon become victims of an ethnically hostile Iraqi army in a Civil War. Going from a boast of conquest to a portrayal of victim is usually an indicator of something. In my view, the shift of meme from the “insurgency” to a “civil war” is a backhanded way of admitting the military defeat of the insurgency without abandoning the characterization of Iraq is an American fiasco. It was Zarqawi and his cohorts themselves who changed the terms of reference from fighting US forces to sparking a ‘civil war’. With any luck, they’ll lose that campaign too.


We are winning in Iraq, slowly but surely. We will know that we have won when today’s critics change the subject yet again, perhaps to the question of how fast we should withdraw our troops or to the Iraqis’ (or even the critics’ own) complete responsibility for the victory. Anybody who doubts this should ask self-described liberals who won the Cold War. Most answers will credit Gorbachev or economic forces — anything but Reagan and US resolve.

6 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”

  1. I’ve always wondered in the various claims for winning the cold war if enough credit was given to family values–parents and grandparents of children in the red zone who wanted a better life for their progeny. Those economic forces at work beneath the surface exert a lot of power.

  2. Wretchard makes some very perceptive analyses of the situation in Iraq and elsewhere on a regular basis. What appeals to me is the firm grasp he has of the importance of context.

    WW4 is a world wide conflict, with an international cast of characters, and events in one locale have effects on a wider scale than just the specific place they occur.

    All too often, people look at bits and pieces without making any of the connections that bring important patterns into focus. The Belmont Club is a good antidote to that type of disjointed viewpoint.

  3. The more the goal posts move, the clearer it becomes that side has lost the argument. As long as the undecided middle can see the goalposts keep moving…

  4. We may win militarily in Iraq- long enough to get out with heads held high. But we will never change the Islamic world or make it see things our way. Muslims can’t modernize. Their religion does not allow for the sort of intellectual freedom that brings modernization or innovation. This is why there is no Muslim industry, no Muslim Nobel Prize winners, no Muslim technology, etc.

    Ever hold a product in your hand- anything- and turn it over to see the words “Made In Iran”? Nobody else has, either. What inventions has the Muslim world come up with? (Suicide bomb vests and IEDs don’t count.)

    And the Muslim world will not- CANNOT- separate church from state. This is their fatal flaw. This is why they’re stuck in the 11th century.

    But one thing the Islamic world is excellent at is a having babies. Babies that will grow up hating the West. And THAT will prove to be the biggest problem of the 21st century. And solving it will be a bloody mess.

  5. Barry,

    Muslims can’t modernize.

    Then how do you explain the Muslims of the Balkans? They are largely indistinguishable from their secular and Christian neighbors. Indeed, historically, the Muslims there were the cosmopolitan city dwellers and the Christians were the hicks. Clearly, Islam and modernity are compatible because some Muslims are already there.

    Everything we say about the backwardness of most of the Islamic world today was true of Christendom up until the mid-1600’s. Our major task is not reforming Islam per se but in bringing cultures out of the medieval ages in mere decades.

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