Liberals in the media and in Congress have made many ill-rationed arguments against the war in Iraq. Among them is the contention that our presence in Iraq foments anti-Americanism and breeds more terrorists than it destroys. Not true says, of all sources, the New York Times: “After almost five years of war, many young people in Iraq, exhausted by constant firsthand exposure to the violence of religious extremism, say they have grown disillusioned with religious leaders and skeptical of the faith that they preach.”
Let that sink in for a minute. Not only do young Iraqi’s not want to join al Qaeda in Iraq (that’s the group’s own name, mind you) or any other militant Islamic terrorist group, they blame the clerics for the violence in Iraq.
The article goes on to frame the debate in terms of religious participation rather than what is, in my view, a rejection not of Islam, but of Wahabiism. The article does not report the kind of pro-American flag-waving gratitude you might expect to see from a liberated people, but we are talking about the New York Times reportage. They have rules about displaying American flags when they are not on fire.
The article does, however, expose as untrue one of the primary arguments liberals have for “getting us out of Iraq now.” If young Iraqis are turning away from violent Islam, we are decreasing the popularity of al Qaeda and Islamofascism, not increasing it. Yes, it is true that there is violence in Iraq, and it is true that our military personnel are still at risk, but as this blog has often noted that it took us almost four years of combat in Iraq to lose as many Americans as we did in one day of terror in America. Where is the acknowledgment that our efforts in Iraq are reaping rewards?
We are creating a democracy in a part of the world that has never seen one. We are attracting and killing foreign terrorists by the thousands. We are preventing attacks on American civilians by focusing the battle in Iraq. And, to top it all off, we are exposing Muslims to the realities of Wahabism and they are clearly rejecting it.
Where, exactly is the downside?