A democracy at war is faced with problems dictatorships find avoidable. Its citizens have a responsibility—as the Left never tires of repeating—not to abandon the freedoms they are defending, in order to defend them. The imperative can be abused, however, as the Left’s actions constantly remind us. Justice Robert H. Jackson warned Americans, following the Second World War, that they should be careful not to “convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.” Even in peacetime, the right to other freedoms must be weighed against the primary right to life itself.
Criticism of every war, including the one in Iraq, is warranted and necessary. The military surge that began in 2007 was a belated admission that the war had been launched without sufficient forces. Equally crucial, there had been no planning for the ethnic infighting that plagued the reconstruction effort after the toppling of the Saddam regime. Four years after the initial invasion, Bush acknowledged to journalist Robert Draper that defusing Sunni-Shi’ite tensions was “something we didn’t spend a lot of time planning for.” He had thought that Saddam had been stoking these resentments and that, once he was apprehended, they would resolve themselves. As Vice President Cheney observed privately in November 2003, the Pentagon believed that it was in a “mopping-up phase,” which was an unwarranted assumption. “They fail to see that we’re in a major battle against terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere,” Cheney commented. More
precisely, they failed to see that we were in a war with Islamists who were terrorists, a failure contributed to by the Bush administration’s reluctance to recognize the religious nature of the enemy we face.
– Party of Defeat
If you have a favorite Horowitz quote you want to highlight for others then click here to submit. Please include: “Horowitz Quote of the Day” in subject line. A link to where the quote is from. (No need to include this if it’s from a book.) Any remarks you’d like published explaining what value you take from it. Your preferred name and a link to your blog or homepage (if you have one.)