Bring them on
President Bush correctly challenged the Islamists to attack American troops in Iraq. CNN quotes the President as saying on July 2, 2003:
"There are some that feel like if they attack us that we may decide to leave prematurely. They don't understand what they are talking about if that is the case. Let me finish. There are some who feel like the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring them on."
On June 22, 2003, the Belmont Club wrote in Come on Down that, "while the death of every American soldier is a tragedy, in the calculus of war, the Arabs must lose. By congregating in Iraq, the Islamists are unilaterally giving up their advantages of dispersion. The convoy system during the Battle of the Atlantic was designed to bring the U-boats to the destroyers. Now the Islamists are coming to the US Armed forces. Let them come."
President Bush's challenge, which essentially makes the same point, makes perfect military sense. Iraq is an ideal place to engage the Islamists because it develops in the US Armed Forces exactly the capabilities necessary to defeat them globally. Moreover, a defeat of Islamic fundamentalists inside an Arab country, right next to Iran will manifestly show that the Jihadists can be beaten anywhere, even in conditions most favorable to them. As the previous post puts it, "A United States defeat in Iraq will be a setback, but an Arab defeat will be a catastrophe."
Democratic Presidential candidate Dick Gephardt said "the president should stop with the phony, macho rhetoric. I have a message for the president," Gephardt said in a statement. "We should be focused on a long-term security plan that reduces the danger to our military personnel." Gephardt's idea is rank idiocy. The purpose of a nation's armed force is to seek out and destroy the enemy. It has no other function. If he were the Commander of the Western Approaches during the Battle of the Atlantic, Gephardt would anchor every destroyer and corvette in harbor. He would save every destroyer and in the process, lose the entire war.
It is Gephardt's rhetoric that is phony -- and stupid besides. The Democrats had better field a candidate that understands national defense real soon. The Gephardts, Pelosis and Howard Deans are promising to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.