The Right Coast

March 15, 2004
Its Democracy in Iraq, Stupid
By Mike Rappaport

Andrew Sullivan writes:
    Now why would al Qaeda want the disintegration of the transition in Iraq? Because they understand how that transition is the most formidable blow to their hopes of transforming the entire Middle East. When clever anti-war types insist there is not and never has been any connection between the fight for democracy in Iraq and the war against terror, they are thinking in terms of legalities and technicalities - not strategy. The only way to meaningfully defang Islamist terror is to transform the region. If we don't, we will simply be putting out small fires for ever, instead of dealing with root causes. The root cause is the lack of democracy in the region, which gives these religious fanatics the oxygen they need. Al Qaeda understand the stakes. So must we. Iraq is the battlefield. We cannot, must not, falter. In fact, we must ramp up the pressure. Alone, if needs be.
These points cannot be made often enough. I have, from the beginning, supported the Iraq War for this reason: because establishing a democracy or something like it in Iraq is the best way to fight Radical Islam and Terrorism. Discussions about whether Atta met with Iraqi officials in the Czech Republic are a sideshow. Sadly, few on the left, and even many on the right, simply do not see this central point.