By Alan Nathan © 2006

Again we see why cooking alone and operating heavy machinery aren’t the only things folks should stop doing after they turn 75. The Over the Hill Gang’s assessment of our challenges in Iraq includes a recommendation that we should engage diplomatically with Iran and Syria to help stabilize Iraq. However, we selfishly forget that they have a full schedule. It’s hardly fair to expect them to help stabilize Iraq when they’re so busy destabilizing Lebanon.

Additionally, why should Iran and Syria assist America when doing so runs afoul of their agenda against us? It would be like asking the Confederacy to help the slaves end that “bondage thing.” You never, ever, ever prevail upon those who have a vested interest in your demise.

This isn’t to say that you can’t negotiate with your enemies; however, the enemy’s reward for cooperation must facilitate your success and diplomacy cannot be the mechanism by which the enemy delays that success.

We allied ourselves with the Soviet Union during WWII because our common enemy trumped all other differences. We allied ourselves with Iraq in the 1980’s because of our mutual foes in Iran who, on November 4, 1979, kidnapped more than 60 American hostages for what turned into a rattling 444 days. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” has always been and always will be a factor in global strategies.

But that dynamic is not in play here.

There simply exists no common ambition shared amongst our three countries that carries greater importance for Iran and Syria than their quest for our failure in Iraq. Diplomacy would only allow them to further pursue that end while discouraging our disruption of that pursuit.

The Associated Press reported that the commission members said, “The global standing of the United States could be diminished.” We should cease debilitating ourselves over world opinion because that opinion sours as we increase our fighting and sweetens only when we back down. As I’ve argued before, we cannot subordinate our nation’s interests to the will of other countries in order to gain their approval. Those who have more to gain from our losses than our successes should not be those from whom we seek praise. This is a suicidal measure and should no longer govern us.

We can easily prevail in this conflict providing we’re willing to accept the ugliness of winning and that means brutally removing from the enemy all remaining hope for their victory. More specifically, we must slaughter all the militia leaders including those who are members of the Iraqi parliament such as the firebrand Shi’ite Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. If his Mahdi Army and his Sunni militia counterparts are engaged in the killing of both American troops and the innocent Iraqi’s who voted for their own individual freedom, than they are just as much of a legitimate military target as would be any corporal, captain or general.

Unfortunately, anytime one suggests that we step up our offense, dovish leaders like incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, and Democratic Whip Senator Dick Durban, D-IL, say that such action would result in the killing of too many innocents – otherwise known as collateral deaths. Their position seems to be that we’re only permitted to win a war as long as we don’t defeat the enemy. That can’t be done.

This logic mirrors the United Nations’ belief that both America and Israel are only allowed to defend themselves up to the point where they don’t endanger their enemy’s fellow citizens – even while that enemy attacks from behind those citizens. Ultimately of course, this rationale requires us to put the safety of our enemy’s people before our own. Mindless!

Complicating the war against fanatical jihadists is this global battle at the UN between the de-collectivists and the collectivists, better known as capitalists and socialists. Problems arise when capitalists harm the collective good in the name of individual freedom, and when socialists harm individual freedom in the name of the collective good. Without some regard for each, you’ll very soon lose both. (When might our own Republicans and Democrats learn this lesson?)

Ultimately however, we’ll always have to err on the side of capitalism over socialism. Why? Because it’s easier to amend freedom with social safety nets than it is to amend state owned societies with liberty.