ON SECURITY, FACTS MATTERBY Ralph Peters NY Times
THE facts about your security are being torn to shreds by activist liars. And they think that you're too stupid to know the difference.
Let's lay out the worst current examples of media make-believe and election-year truth-trashing:
Whopper No. 1: America is less safe today than it was on Sept. 10, 2001. Oh, really? Where's the evidence? The Clinton years saw New York City attacked and Americans slaughtered by terrorists around the globe. Nothing was done to protect us.
And the true end of the Clinton era came on 9/11.
A record to be proud of.
Countless aspects of the Bush-Cheney administration deserve merciless criticism. But fair is fair: Since 9/11, we haven't suffered a single successful terrorist attack on our homeland. Not one.
Explain to me, please, how this shows we're less safe. What factual measurement applies, other than the absence of attacks?
God knows, the terrorists desperately wanted to strike our homeland. And they couldn't. Are we supposed to believe that was an accident?
Whopper No. 2: Al Qaeda is stronger than ever. Al Qaeda just suffered a strategic defeat in Iraq that may prove decisive. It can't launch attacks beyond its regional lairs. The cowardly Osama bin Laden can't show his face (remember his Clinton-era pep rallies?).
Yes, terrorists can still murder innocents on their home court. I personally prefer that to them killing Americans in Manhattan and Washington. Even in Iraq, al Qaeda's been beaten down to violent-fugitive status.
By what objective measurement is al Qaeda stronger today than it was when it had an entire country for its base and its tentacles reached all the way to Florida and the Midwest?
Whopper No. 3: Success in Iraq is an illusion - the surge failed. Folks, this is something only a New York Times columnist could believe.
Every single significant indicator, from Iraqi government progress through the performance of Iraqi security forces to the plummeting level of violence, has changed for the better - remarkably so.
If current trend-lines continue, it may not be long before Baghdad is safer for Iraqi citizens than the Washington-Baltimore metroplex is for US citizens. Iraq's government is working, its economy is booming - and its military has driven the concentrations of terrorists and militia from every one of Iraq's major cities.
And our troops are coming home. Where's the failure?
Whopper No. 4: Iran is stronger than ever. Tell that to the Iraqis, who've rejected Iranian meddling in their affairs, who've smashed the Iran-backed Shia militias and who didn't take long to figure out that Tehran's foreign policy was imperialist and anti-Arab.
The people of Iraq don't intend to trade Saddam for Ahmadinejad. Iran has lost in Iraq. At this point, all the Iranians can do is to kill a handful of innocent Iraqis now and then. Think that wins them friends and influence?
Whopper No. 5: The US-European relationship is a disaster. In fact, Washington and the major European capitals have built new, sturdier bridges to replace old ones that badly needed burning.
The Europeans grudgingly figured out that they need us - as we need them. The big break in 2003 cleared a lot of bad air (there was no break with Europe's young democracies). Relations today are sounder than they were in the fiddle-while-Rome-burns Clinton era.
Oh, and NATO has become a serious military alliance - fighting in Afghanistan, patrolling the high seas and conducting special operations against terrorists. The Germans announced this week that they're sending another thousand troops to Afghanistan. France is re-engaging with NATO's military side. Where's the disaster, mon ami?
Whopper No. 6: As president, Barack Obama would bring positive change to our foreign policy - and John McCain's too old to get it.
Hmm: Take a gander at Obama's senior foreign-policy advisers: Madeleine Albright (71), Warren Christopher (82), Anthony Lake (69), Lee Hamilton (77), Richard Clarke (57) . . .
If you added up their ages and fed the number into a time-machine, you'd land in Europe in the middle of the Black Death.
More important: These are the people whose watch saw the first attack on the World Trade Center, Mogadishu, Rwanda, the Srebrenica massacre, a pass for the Russians on Chechnya, the Khobar Towers bombing, the attacks on our embassies in Africa, the near-sinking of the USS Cole - oh, and the US bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.
Their legacy climaxed on 9/11.
You couldn't assemble a team in Washington with more strategic failures to its credit.
Whopper No. 7: Our troops are all coming home as psychos victimized by their participation in military atrocities.
Tell it to the Marines.