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Специально для зафрендившего меня товарища [info]saccovanzetti (самого упертого и заидеологизированного левака, которого я когда-либо встречал) по случаю их огромной радости - долгожданного перехода контроля над Конгрессом США в руки демократов.


Enjoy, comrade!

America falters
by Melanie Phillips

 

I am currently in America. The Republicans I have been meeting are remarkably upbeat about the Democrat victory in the mid-term elections. Partly, this is because they are so disenchanted with President Bush who they think has long lost the plot. Partly it’s because at this stage in the electoral cycle the President – whoever he is – has generally run out of steam anyway. But mainly it’s because they have a win-win view of the Democrats’ dilemma. Either, the Republicans think, the hard realities of coping with defending the country against terrorism at home and facing up to the terrible consequences of defeat in Iraq will force the Democrats into largely following the Bush agenda – thus in all likelihood tearing themselves apart in the process; or the reality-challenged wing of the Democratic party will be dominant and proceed to open the country’s borders, go soft on terror and wave the white flag in Iraq – in which case they will lose the Presidential election hands down.

Hmmn. I think something different: that the most likely outcome of these mid-term elections is another major terror attack on America. Whatever the smart analysis of the likely shape of domestic American politics over the next two years, America has now signalled a faltering of resolve; and that’s the cue for a redoubled Islamist attack.

The widespread popular disaffection with the war in Iraq, which was clearly a significant (although by no means the only) factor behind the loss of Republican control, is not the same as the anti-war feeling in Britain. That is founded upon the view that the war was illegitimate from the start, that Saddam was never a threat and all the rest of it. The American public, by contrast, does not by and large seem to think the war was illegitimate. President Bush’s crime was simply not to have won it. The Americans never expected a fight in Iraq; now they’ve got one, and it’s messy and bloody and mistakes have been made and there seems to be no end to it, they want to cut their losses and get out.

Such an attitude shows an absence of either maturity or historical awareness. Insurgencies take a long time to defeat. As I have previously written, the British took four years to work out what they were doing wrong in trying to defeat the insurgency in Malaya, and when they finally arrived at the right strategy took a further eight years actually to wrestle the insurgency to the ground. The US has been in Iraq for only three years. It is in the nature of such things that they take a long time, and that there are inevitably many mistakes and wrong turnings along the way. To vote in a bunch of people who have no stomach at all for fighting for the country’s defence, simply through impatience that the country hasn’t fought for it effectively enough, betrays serious confusion and lack of resolve. And it is precisely that which will now give such heart to our enemies. Have they not said, over and over again, that the west no longer has the determination or staying power to fight for its beliefs?

Europe proves the truth of this analysis every day. America proved it during the Carter and Clinton years, when it suffered attack after attack from the Islamists but never even understood that a war was being waged against it, let alone had the gumption to do anything about it. After 9/11, America finally seemed to have got the point. Now it has faltered again; and a desperately perilous world just got a lot less safe.

 

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