Saturday, February 14, 2004

The Best Validation of Bush's Foreign Policy

The Coalition Provisional Authority provides a link to the text of a letter from Al Qaeda operative, Abu Musab al-Zarkawi. As David Brooks argues, it seems to validate the approach against terrorism taken by the Bush administration. "Massive retaliation works," according to Brooks' interpretation of the letter.

The letter also expresses fear over the democratization of Iraq and the withdrawal of coalition forces, for then terrorism will be attacking native Iraqis.

Brooks takes this to be an argument for the necessity of the combination of overwhelming force and the U.N., "the sword and the seminar," as Brooks puts it. Both are required for democratizing the Middle East.

Brooks may be right, but we shouldn't forget that it's typically harder for the West to muster the sword. This is why Bush deserves much more credit than blame, no matter what his opponents say about the thinness of the original coalition.

Update 2/15/ 2004 -- Tom Friedman has apparantly read Brooks' piece, as he hopes for a Democrat who will stay the course in Iraq. It remains to be seen whether this is a chance Americans want to take. The Zarkawi letter would seem to bode well for Bush.


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