Now that the Democrats suspect that the U.S. is not only not losing Iraq, but may well “win”—victory being defined by stabilizing the country with a radical cessation of violence—expect the critique suddenly to morph as well.
We will soon hear that the war, while granted that it may be winnable, was not worth the commensurate cost, from liberal critics who have embraced much of the realist and neo-isolationist creed of the past (at least apart from Darfur). That is a legitimate debate—as long as opponents accept that it is a fallback position, and Harry Reid was mistaken when he announced the war “lost”.
Also expect Democrats to find ways to exaggerate the aggregate costs (like counting the rise from 20-100 dollars a barrel for oil entirely due to the Iraqi war without notice of the new Chinese/Indian demand, unrest in Africa, and declining production from the UK to the US), while Republicans will claim that Iraq is part of a larger existential war against Islamic extremism. How to resolve the dispute?
It depends on whether Iraq is stable—and the effect it has on Lebanon, Iran, Syria, the Palestinians, etc. I know such thinking is now dubbed “Neocon” warmongering and worse, but should the constitutional government in Iraq encourage reform in the region, then it would be impossible to compute all the multifarious ways in which that would contribute to world stability and US security. We’ll see, and 2008 for a variety of reasons will be interesting to say the least.
Personally, I don't see it as debate, so much as the usual rhetoric whose primary purpose is to distort and obfuscate reality. The Democrats have never shown the slightest interest in debating policy--especially if the purpose of the debate would be to come up with better ways to win the war in Iraq. From the beginning, they have only been interested in losing that war and discrediting President Bush.
The latest congressional Democatic insanity is so cut off from reality; so destructive and so typically pathetic, that you begin to suspect Code Pink must be holding Harry Reid's balls (assuming he has any) hostage.
The Code Pink lsdies and their comrades in anti-war arms cannot be bothered to concern themselves with true evil and oppression or with those whose barbarism is on display day in and day out.
Meanwhile, Gagdad Bob can't help noticing an important fact about all this:
Sometimes I think that if the liberal media just reported accurately what these monsters actually do, there would be much more support for the war. As it stands, they shield Americans from the horrors they perpetrate, so the only way to be informed is to consult websites such as LGF on a daily basis.
After all, there is a proper use of propaganda in wartime -- and any other time, really. For some reason, the word has taken on wholly negative connotations, but obviously there is good propaganda and bad propaganda. We couldn't have prevailed in World War II without a great deal of positive propaganda that helped Americans keep the nature of the enemy at the forefront of their minds. Our present enemies are no less evil, but you would never know it from the MSM. If you relied upon them, you would likely think that America in general and George Bush in particular are uniquely evil.
On Labor Day I watched Saving Private Ryan again. In the beginning, there was a scene in which a few Germans wanted to surrender, but the American GIs casually shot them and chuckled about it. Now, it would take a far better -- or possibly worse -- man than I to have not done the exact same thing. After all, these were men who, just moments ago, were creating all the carnage on the beach below, leaving your living and breathing friends to die on the sand and in the water.
Today, because of the insane "moral perfectionism" of the left (which we have been discussing in recent posts), the behavior of these American GIs would have, in the words of Senator Dodd, given Hitler the "moral high ground." After all, Dodd and his ilk insist that the Islamofascists can claim the moral high ground based upon our three instances of waterboarding terrorists, while the New York Times published dozens of front page articles about the hijinks at Abu Ghraib, explicitly arguing that we had morally sunk beneath our enemies.
Again, it is not hyperbole to say that these people are literally morally insane.
Indeed, Moral Insanity is the perfect phrase to describe the behavior of the leadership in Congress; in the Media and on the political left these days.
Let's recall, shall we, what the likes of Pelosi, Kennedy, Kerry and Rockefeller said a few short years ago (assembled from Power Line and an earlier post of my own) :
Nancy Pelosi, December 1998:
"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
Ted Kennedy, September 2002
"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
John Kerry, October 9, 2002:
I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.
Jay Rockefeller, October 10, 2002:
There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.
And, how about those Democratic presidential wannabes past and present:
Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002:
In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members .. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.
We could go on and on, but I'll close with one more from
John Kerry, January 23, 2003:
Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real...
That was then, I guess, and this is now. Democrats seem to have short memories.
John Edwards, 2002
“I think Iraq is the most serious and imminent threat to our country. And I think Iraq and Saddam Hussein present the most serious and most imminent threat.”
Al Gore, September, 2002:
"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country" and "Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
As I have mentioned before, the Democratic Party has lost whatever anchor it once had in the real world and is blowin' randomly in the wind. It has become the party of nothing; led by vapid nothings, who stand for nothing, and whose opportunism appears to know no bounds. They have said and will say whatever they happen to think in any given moment is necessary in order to obtain or keep political power.
As they continue to intellectually approach the complete moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the leftist base they pander to, we will have the continuing pleasure of watching these moral pygmies, currently even more intoxicated with power because they have a majority in Congress, as they actively undermine (all with the help of their media propaganda wing) any and all American interests around the world; impede and vilify US military actions (while saying they "support" the troops), and generally behave as prototypical leftists are wont to do--all, of course, in the name of "peace".
Though they have been prattling and whining about the use of executive powers by President Bush for some years now, please note that they actually have no real understanding or appreciation of the constitutional separation of powers and have no problem with trying to usurp that of the other branches.
Hanson, in an post from earlier this year had this warning:
Democrats and liberals should likewise realize that for all their hatred of George Bush and the partisan points to be gained by coddling up to the libertarian and paleo-conservative Right, George Bush’s embrace of freedom was far closer to their own past rhetoric than almost any Republican administration in history. And such an effort to foster democracy was in the long run smart as well, since ultimately a free Iraq would be the worst nightmare of the Islamic jihadists — as we read repeatedly in the rantings of Dr. Zawahiri.
In short, the next Democratic president who wishes to do something about the genocide in Darfur or another mass murderer in the Middle East, will find no support from Republicans, or — in no small part due to liberals’ slurs against the war they voted for — from the country at large.
Yes, we may see thousands killed, displaced, and maimed if the United States flees from Iraq. And that tremor in the foundations of American power may embolden everyone from Hugo Chavez to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
But that is only the half of it.
Leaving Iraq prematurely will also damage the credibility of the Democratic party, the reputation of American ground forces, and the idealism of American foreign policy — just those principles that the critics of the war oddly claim they will be saving by fleeing.
I predicted back then that the politically opportunistic and hysterical leaders of of today's Democratic Party were already too far gone to heed that warning.
Clearly, I was correct.
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is just another day's work for the Democrats who suffer from a compulsion to lose the war at any cost.
Hanson accepting the Humanaties Medal from President Bush, November 15, 2007.
The Democratic leadership in Congress, November 15, 2007