Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person
Let's face it: Iraq is not going to be America's showcase in the Arab-Muslim world. The president's insistence that he had sent American troops to Iraq to make its people free, "not to make them American" is now — painfully — beside the point. The unspoken message of the speech was that no great American project is being hatched in Iraq. If some of the war's planners had thought that Iraq would be an ideal base for American primacy in the Persian Gulf, a beacon from which to spread democracy and reason throughout the Arab world, that notion has clearly been set aside.If this is truly the case (I for one have not yet given up hope that Iraq can be the "beacon" of democracy in the Middle East), much of the blame for this failure should be placed at the feet of the "anti-war" Left. Undoubtedly many mistakes were made in the execution of the war, winning a war without destryoing the will of the enemy to fight is not really winning. But even this new way of waging war is the result of the new cultural sensitivities imposed on society by the Left. Dissent and questioning of our actions is vital to our democracy, yet this dissent must needs to take into account the realities of the world, and the realization that we are in a war no smaller or less important than the Cold War. But of course, the Left didn't recognize that as a war either.
Back in the time of our triumph — that of swift movement and of pulling down the dictator's statues — we had let the victory speak for itself. There was no need to even threaten the Syrians, the Iranians and the Libyans with a fate similar to the one that befell the Iraqi despotism. Some of that deterrent power no doubt still holds. But our enemies have taken our measure; they have taken stock of our national discord over the war. We shall not chase the Syrian dictator to a spider hole, nor will we sack the Iranian theocracy.
The gains already accomplished in Iraq, and the gains yet to be secured, are increasingly abstract and hard to pin down. The costs are visible to us, and heartbreaking. The subdued, somber tone with which the war is now described is the beginning of wisdom. In its modern history, Iraq has not been kind or gentle to its people. Perhaps it was folly to think that it was under any obligation to be kinder to strangers.