Skip to comments.Santorum defends Iraq war (uses Lord of the Rings analogy)
Posted on 10/18/2006 2:26:04 PM PDT by Stone Mountain
Santorum defends Iraq war
By ALISON HAWKES
Bucks County Courier Times
Embattled U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said America has avoided a second terrorist attack for five years because the Eye of Mordor has been drawn to Iraq instead.
Santorum used the analogy from one of his favorite books, J.R.R. Tolkien's 1950s fantasy classic Lord of the Rings, to put an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq into terms any school kid could easily understand.
As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else, Santorum said, describing the tool the evil Lord Sauron used in search of the magical ring that would consolidate his power over Middle-earth.
It's being drawn to Iraq and it's not being drawn to the U.S., Santorum continued. You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don't want the Eye to come back here to the United States.
In an interview with the Bucks County Courier Times editorial board late last week, the 12-year Republican senator from Pennsylvania said he's a big "Lord of the Rings' fan. He's read the first of the series, The Hobbit to his six children.
A spokesman for Democratic opponent Bob Casey Jr. questioned the appropriateness of the analogy.
You have to really question the judgment of a U.S. senator who compares the war in Iraq to a fantasy book, said Casey spokesman Larry Smar. This is just like when he said Kim Jong II isn't a threat because he just wants to "watch NBA basketball.'
According to a Harrisburg Patriot-News editorial, Santorum said the North Korea dictator doesn't want to die; he wants to watch NBA basketball as a reason why Iran is the bigger nuclear threat.
Faced with a no-fantasy re-election battle against Democratic challenger and state Treasurer Bob Casey Jr., Santorum has positioned himself as strong on national security.
To counter Casey's claims that Santorum voted with President George Bush 98 percent of the time. Santorum pointedly mentioned their areas of difference, specifically on Iran and its nuclear weapons program.
He called the Bush Administration's policy to negotiate with Iran at worst appeasement and at best constructive engagement, either of which are wrong.
They believe you can negotiate with [Iran President] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mullahs on the issue of nuclear weapons and you cannot, Santorum said. You cannot negotiate something away from someone who has a messianic vision to a religious conviction that they need this weapon.
Santorum said he managed to work out an agreement between Congress and the White House on a plan to toughen sanctions and fund Iranian pro-democracy groups. But he seemed frustrated by questions about U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.
I don't think you ask that question, he said. I know that's the question everybody wants to ask. But I don't think anyone would ask that question in 1944, "Gee, how long are we going to be in Europe?' We're going to be in Europe until we win, Santorum said.
Asked whether he thinks U.S. troops will be in Iraq a half-century later, as they still are in Germany, Santorum said potentially.
Having a presence there as we have since the Gulf War in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait is certainly not against the interests of America if, in fact, we're welcome to be there, he said.
Santorum insisted the U.S. needed to take out Saddam Hussein because he by all accounts, had weapons of mass destruction ... he was fomenting terrorism, he was paying for terrorists to kill Israelis and he was supporting terrorist objectives.
To say we're being bogged down in Iraq, I disagree with you, he said in response to a question. We are fighting the war that we are engaged in Islamic fascism in Iraq. We are fighting those people right now, the people who, if we left, would come here and destroy us.
The 911 Commission report found that while Saddam had been in contact with al-Qaida, there was no evidence the contacts ever turned into a collaborative operational relationship or that Iraq cooperated in the attacks against the U.S.
Santorum demurred on the growing strength of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the U.S.'s first post-9/11 nation-building effort, and the failure to capture Osama bin Laden.
You know, what we have is a lousy enemy, Santorum said about the Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan. This enemy is really tough. And I underestimated this enemy ... and the problem is [the] American people underestimated this enemy.
According to his campaign and published news reports, Casey also doesn't support a timeline for troop withdrawal. Casey criticized Bush for going first to Iraq, the weakest link in the Axis of Evil, while Iran and North Korea have developed nuclear capabilities.
Casey has been invited to meet with the editorial board, but hasn't yet agreed to do so.
Were you that wag?....Anyway, I've used the LOTR analogy myself.
Not me - I wish, though! I saw it in some letters to the editor section...
Why is that picture making me hot? : )
As Polybius wrote in his history, the Romans thought it was better to fight Hannibal's ally Philip V of Macedon in his own country than to wait around until they had to fight him in Italy.
He'd do better to argue about the merits of the analogy, rather than the source. At any rate, the "fantasy book" is a classic, an epic tale of the battle between good and evil. Not too long ago it was made into three blockbuster movies. So don't bash LotR.
I've used that analogy too. With some lefties I met because we were both fans of the LotR series.
You have to use John Lennon songs! What was Santorum thinking?
Casey's just mad because he rooted for Sauron in the movie.
I think it's a fantastic analogy.
Casey is one to talk. He's a low wattage bulb.
He's right. It's not America that's being bogged down in Iraq... it's the Islamic fascists of the world being drawn there as predictably as bugs to a flame.
It's working pretty well, too.
Ring ping... :-)
Hold your ground! Hold your ground!
Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me!
A day may come when the courage of men fails. When we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day. An hour of wolves, and shattered shields when the age of men comes crashing down!
But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear... on this good earth... I bid you stand! Men of the West!