Why is it important?
Had Russia surrendered then, Hitler would have been able to focus his entire campaign against the Brits, then America, and the Nazis would have won the war.
I say this to illustrate that turning points in history are often dicey things. And we are at another one.
There is a very dangerous minority in Islam that either has, or wants and may soon have, the ability to deliver small nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, almost anywhere in the world, unless they are prevented from doing so.
The Jihadis, the militant Muslims, are basically Nazis in Kaffiyahs. They believe that Islam, a radically conservative (definitely not liberal!) form of Wahhabi Islam, should own and control the Middle East first, then Europe, then the world, and that all who do not bow to Allah should be killed, enslaved, or subjugated. They want to finish the Holocaust, destroy Israel, purge the world of Jews. This is what they say.
There is also a civil war raging in the Middle East, for the most part not a hot war, but a war of ideas. Islam is having its Inquisition and its Reformation today, but it is not yet known which will win ? the Inquisition or the Reformation.
If the Inquisition wins, then the Wahhabis, the Jihads, will control the Middle East, and the OPEC oil, and the US, European, and Asian economies, the techno industrial economies, will be at the mercy of OPEC, not an OPEC dominated by the well educated and rational Saudis of today, but an OPEC dominated by the Jihadis.
You want gas in your car? You want heating oil next winter? You want jobs? You want the dollar to be worth anything? You better hope the Jihad, the Muslim Inquisition, loses and the Islamic Reformation wins.
If the Reformation movement wins, that is, the moderate Muslims who believe that Islam can respect and tolerate other religions and live in peace with the rest of the world and move out of the 10th century and into the 21st, then the troubles in the Middle East will eventually fade away, and a moderate and prosperous Middle East will emerge.
We have to help the Reformation win, and to do that we have to fight the Inquisition, i.e., the Wahhabi movement, the Jihad, Al Qaeda, the Islamic terrorist movements. We have to do it somewhere. We cannot do it nowhere. And we cannot do it everywhere at once. We have created a focal point for the battle now at the time and place of our choosing, in Iraq.
The bottom line?
The real world is not like that. It is messy, uncertain, and sometimes bloody and ugly. Always has been, and probably always will be.
The bottom line here is that we will have to deal with Islamic terrorism until we defeat it, whenever that is. It will not go away on its own. It will not go away if we ignore it.
If the US can create a reasonably democratic and stable Iraq, then we have an "England" in the Middle East, a platform, from which we can work to help modernize and moderate the Middle East. The history of the world is the clash between the forces of relative civility and civilization, and the barbarians clamoring at the gates. The Iraq war is merely another battle in this ancient and never ending war. And now, for the first time ever, the barbarians are about to get nuclear weapons. Unless we prevent them! Or somebody does.
We have four options.
1. We can defeat the Jihad now, before it gets nuclear weapons.
2. We can fight the Jihad later, after it gets nuclear weapons (which may be as early as next year, if Iran's progress on nuclear weapons is what Iran claims it is).
3. We can surrender to the Jihad and accept its dominance in the Middle East, now, in Europe in the next few years or decades, and ultimately in America.
4. Or we can stand down now, and pick up the fight later when the Jihad is more widespread and better armed, perhaps after the Jihad has dominated France and Germany and maybe most of the rest of Europe. It will be more dangerous, more expensive, and much bloodier then.
Yes, the Jihadis say that they look forward to an Islamic America. If you oppose this war, I hope you like the idea that your children, or grandchildren, may live in an Islamic America under the Mullahs and the Sharia, an America that resembles Iran today.
We can be defeatist peace activists, as anti war types seem to be, and concede, surrender to the Jihad, or we can do whatever it takes to win this war against them.
The history of the world is the history of civilizational clashes, cultural clashes. All wars are about ideas, ideas about what society and civilization should be like, and the most determined always win.
Those who are willing to be the most ruthless always win. The pacifists always lose, because the anti-pacifists kill them.
Go read the whole thing.