Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The central front in the war on terror

Tony Blankley makes a very good point today concerning the war on terror--note that in doing so, he's dissing Senator Obama, who (today, anyway) thinks the focal point is Afghanistan:

"...his idea that the central front of the war on terror is in some geographic location is simplistic. The central front is in the minds of Muslims around the world. If we lose Iraq and Islamist radicals are seen to win, we lose a strategic battle in the war -- just as in the Cold War the strategic front was not in Greece in 1947 or Berlin in 1948 or China in 1949 or Korea in 1950 or Cuba in 1962 or Vietnam in 1965 or in Eurocommunist countries in the 1970s. The central front was always the minds of men. When the idea of Soviet-style communism was defeated by Reagan, the war ended. When virtually all Muslims see terror to be a dead end to their aspirations, the war on terror will be over."

Note the parallel to the Cold War--that conflict has much to teach us.
And make no mistake, America's defeat in Vietnam gave momentum to the communist side for a time after 1975. Soon Cuban meddling in Africa grew, as did Soviet influence in world affairs in general; and U.S. alliances in Southeast Asia wobbled. The same kind of shudder would go through U.S. foreign policy should we give up in Iraq.