The article opens with the following statement:
Al-Qaeda is back in Fallujah and Ramadi, where we defeated them in the recent past. Everyone in the Middle East knew it, and they all knew al-Qaeda was on the ropes. Recruitment was more difficult, fund-raising likewise, and the cult of bin Laden was decidedly wobbly.
Mr. Ledeen reminds us that instead of seizing the moment, the Obama Administration chose to leave the country without securing its victory.
The article continues:
So we walked away, abandoning those who had staked their future to America’s commitment to freedom, and giving hope and time to our enemies, who regrouped and attacked again. Thus, Iraq, where the slaughter often exceeds the death toll in Syria. Thus, Syria itself. And Lebanon.
Al-Qaeda, and others like them, can now say, “You see, Allah is indeed with us. We are stronger than ever. Much stronger. We used to have bands of terrorists, but today we have armies. The Americans have run away from Iraq, where our flag now flies, and they are running away from Afghanistan, where the Taliban are preparing to impose God’s will. The future is clear. We will win. Join us, or perish.”
That is the meaning of Fallujah. And everyone in the Middle East knows it. These Americans can win some battles, but they do not have the stomach to win the war.
Unless we are determined to finish a war we start, we have no business starting it. We went into Iraq because Saddam Hussein brazenly ignored all the sanctions and limitations the United Nations had imposed on him to prevent him from any further attacks on his neighbors and his own people. The question of whether or not he had nuclear weapons has never been resolved (despite what you may read in the mainstream media). He was a threat to peace in the Middle East. Looking back, Iran was probably a bigger threat, but they had not invaded any of their neighbors. Had the United Nations oil embargo on Iraq been handled by honest people, it probably would have crippled Iraq enough that America might have avoided the war, but the corruption in the oil for food program only complicated the situation.
The article at PJ Media concludes:
Here in Washington, some pundits are saying that things are actually going well, since radical Sunnis and Shi’ites are killing one another. The problem with this cheery outlook is that eventually one of them will win, and the winner won’t be good for us. Moreover, Sunnis and Shi’ites have demonstrated they can work well together when the mission is killing Americans.
They can do that even when they’re killing one another. Just wait.
Until we realize that the goal of radical Islam is a world-wide caliphate, we will continue to lose Americans and essentially lose the war on terror. We are up against a theology that worships death–not life. While we fight according to our rules of war, the radicals train children to hate the ‘infidels’ and to become suicide bombers. We can’t afford to walk away from the radical Islamists in the Middle East–if we do, they will come here.