This article originally appears in The American Thinker
There’s something pathetically childlike about the Bush-hating, anti-war left these days. It’s not just Dick Durbin’s big mouth or John Conyers’ grandstanding about the Downing Street Minutes. The left has been galvanized by poll numbers showing the American people exhibiting war weariness. They’ve been positively giddy about the continued success of the terrorists in killing scores of Iraqis and dozens of our soldiers. Even the autopsy report on Terri Schiavo gave them cause to dance a jig in celebration, gloating over the fact that the poor woman was indeed in a persistent vegetative state, thus allowing them to stick it the “fundies” who they hate almost as much as Bush.
In short, the spate of “good news” for the left over the last couple of weeks has them exhibiting all the symptoms of a child’s anticipation of an approaching birthday or an upcoming Christmas Day. One can almost imagine them clapping their hands together in glee as they watched Senator Hagel call the Administration”completely disconnected from reality” about Iraq or other Republicans criticize Administration war policy.
Am I exaggerating? Read this from The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel. It’s from an email she received from an activist friend:
“I was in Washington yesterday at the rally and at the Conyers hearings. And since I laid a heavy statement on you last week, I just wanted to make a correction. It’s finally over. My despair is over. Something has happened these last ten days that has revived the antiwar issue. It has to do with public opinion polls and casualties and Republicans like Walter Jones and more Democrats standing up. I won’t say how optimistic I am. But something is coming together—you can feel it.”
You can feel it.
Note the celebration of “casualties.” There’s more:
In the House, the International Relations Committee last week voted overwhelmingly, 32 to 9, to call on the White House to develop and submit a plan to Congress for establishing a stable government and military in Iraq that would “permit a decreased US presence” in the country. Congresswomen Maxine Waters (D/CA)—along with 41 Congressional progressives, including Woolsey, John Lewis, Charles Rangel, Jim McGovern, Rush Holt, Marcy Kaptur and Jan Schakowsky—has just formed the “Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus.” Its sole purpose, Waters says, “is to be the main agitators in the movement to bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan.” And Rep John Conyers’ impassioned efforts to bring attention to the Downing Street Memo—on Thursday he held hearings on Capitol Hill and then delivered to the White House letters that contained the names of more than 560,000 Americans demanding answers to questions raised by the British memo—has reenergized and refocused opposition to the war.
All in all, the left thinks that they’ve got the Bush Administration on the run. But in all the celebratory encomiums and congratulatory backslapping, there’s not a word about what they believe the enemy thinks about their campaign to deliberately undermine the war effort. This is no accident as there has been a “word deficit” on the part of the left since the War on Terror and especially since the war in Iraq began.
The word “enemy” has been removed from their lexicon – except as it relates to the President and their political foes on the right. Our enemies are called “insurgents.” They’re called “rebels.” They’re referred to as “the opposition.” Some on the far left have gone so far as to call them “freedom fighters.” Even al Qaeda fighters in our custody are called “detainees.” But to call them “the enemy” opens an intellectual chasm beneath their feet that the left simply cannot look into without blanching in horror.
If the left were to acknowledge that we’re actually fighting an enemy, their entire rationale for opposing the war would disappear. As long as they don’t acknowledge there’s an enemy, the war is “unnecessary.” But if they were to concede that there are people who want to kill our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, they would have to allow that there’s a possibility that a military presence in those countries is essential. After all, the whole point of having a military in the first place is to protect us from, and wherever possible kill our enemies.
Thus, the left’s fascination with Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and civilian casualties. By concentrating on our sins – both real and imagined – they can take the focus off what the enemy is doing both to our troops and the innocent civilians who are increasingly being targeted for death and place it on an impossibly high moral plane that if we were to live up to, our chances of winning in the end would be substantially diminished. Hence, their most recent argument that it’s perfectly alright to refer to American soldiers and the American government as Nazis because we’re not “different enough” from Hitler’s thugs. This kind of sophistry is impossible to answer. Since they never define what “enough” means, the left can paint the military with the broadest brush possible. If an interrogator drops a Koran on the floor, we’re no better than the Nazis. If we turn up the air conditioning, Pol Pot couldn’t have done worse.
The remarks of Senator Durbin and other Democrats comparing the United States to Nazi Germany take on a whole new meaning when placed in this context. Since war needs an enemy, the left has decided that our foe should not be the murderous beheaders in Iraq or the piteous killers of innocents in al Quadea. They’ve decided that the enemy is us – our government, our military, and their fellow citizens who are opposing them.
Also, by agitating for trials in American courts for the terrorists being held in Guantanamo and elsewhere, granting them equal rights under the 5th Amendment and giving them all the constitutional protection that an American citizen would receive, the left furthers its efforts to destroy any rationale for military action. After all, do you go to war against wife beaters or muggers? The very thought of keeping these dangerous men locked up for the rest of their lives draws howls of rage and more Nazi similes.
Thankfully, this new found confidence of the left won’t last very long. The Iraqi army appears to be taking a more aggressive role in combat operations. And by the end of the summer, the Iraqi Government should have a constitution that will be agreeable to all. And while the Administration continues to shoot itself in the foot occasionally there is one constant to this war that neither the left nor the right can deny is true; the awesome performance of the young men and women in uniform who continue to do their jobs despite the inconstancy of some of their supporters and the outright hostility of their foes.