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6/22/2006
DEMOCRATS GO OUT WITH A WHIMPER ON IRAQ

For a party that has made a lot of noise over the last three years about what a mistake we’ve made in Iraq, how immoral it is being there, how Bush lied and misled the country into war, and what a tragedy all our young men dying in a lost cause is, the Democratic party in the Senate rolled over and whimpered today like the whipped curs they truly are.

In an 86-13 vote, the Senate turned back a proposal from some Democrats that would require the administration to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by July 1, 2007, with redeployments beginning this year.

Minutes later, the Senate rejected by 60-39 the proposal more popular with Democrats, a nonbinding resolution that would call for the administration to begin withdrawing troops, but with no timetable for the war’s end.

As I pointed out here, their position is immoral. Not having the political guts to declare that the war is a total failure, a massive defeat for the US and that we should leave immediately before another American soldier loses his life, they opt instead for the kind tortuous withdrawal that hides their belief that the war is lost while at the same time giving aid and comfort to the enemy and demoralizing our troops.

In short, they are giving us the worst of both worlds; defeatism and cowardice.

If the war is lost, what is the point in staying one minute longer? Iraqi stability? Baloney! If you’re going to set an arbitrary timetable for withdrawal regardless of what the security situation is in Iraq, what in God’s name is the difference between withdrawing immediately and withdrawing one year from now? I’ll tell you the difference. The difference is more dead American soldiers one year from now while you’re slapping yourselves on the back, congratulating yourselves for having put one over on the electorate.

Both resolutions presented by the Democrats were exercises in wishful thinking. Kerry’s resolution calling for withdrawal a year from now is a chimera, a fantasy that seeks only to embarrass Bush and is not grounded in either reality or military strategy. The Levin alternative was even worse. It was such a milquetoast resolution, it was in danger of disintegrating while the clerk was reading it.

Both resolutions failed to note the most important consequence of enacting them; Democratic Senators going on record believing that the war is lost. Funny how that got lost in the shuffle. There is nothing wrong or even unpatriotic in believing the war is lost. It is dishonest not to come out and say so - especially when your rhetoric over the last 3 years has made it absolutely crystal clear that you believe the war has been lost already.

If you believe that the war is not lost and are still supporting this resolution, then one can come to no other conclusion that you wish the US to be defeated. We used to call that treason but today, it guarantees you an appearance on Meet The Press.

War is about victory or defeat. Those are the choices. When history came calling today, the Democrats tried to split the difference between the two and hope at the same time that by November, either the voters will have forgotten or that things will have gotten worse in Iraq as the insurgents, emboldened by the thought of a Democratic takeover, ratchet up the violence there in hopes of swinging the election to their patroni in the Senate.

It would have been politically unpalatable to do so, but if the Democrats had insisted en masse on an immediate pullout of American troops, they at least would have been standing on firm moral ground. But their weasel resolutions only served to make them look like spineless jellyfish, unwilling to stand up for their true beliefs.

The lot of them - those that are running - should be soundly defeated in November.

UPDATE

Allah has the Senate roll call and points out that Kerry’s resolution gained 6 votes compared to last week for pushing back the deadline for withdrawal six months.

Now that’s what I call a “nuanced” vote.

Also, surprised to see “Dugout” Mark Dayton voting against his own caucus and siding with the Republicans. The other Dem defectors are all predictable including poor Joe Lieberman who is in the primary fight for his life with the Kos Kreature Ned Lamont. Joe has been bleeding lib support (despite a very high ADA rating) thanks to the netnuts who are stinking up the Nutmeg State like they were cartons of rancid egg nog left over from last Christmas, flooding the airwaves and phone lines with anti-Lieberman ads. It seems to be having its intended effect as Lamont - a nobody that Kos has apparently anointed in his “Anybody but Lieberman” campaign - creeps into the high 30’s and low 40’s.

I expect Lieberman to win whether he runs as a Democrat or independent. As a member of the truly loyal opposition, he is an indispensable man. I know that if I lived in Connecticut, I’d vote for him myself.

By: Rick Moran at 2:19 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (14)

THE COUNCIL HAS SPOKEN

The votes for this week’s Watchers Council are in and the winner in the Council category was ME! for my post “Spinning their Way to Defeat in November.” Finishing second was “Outer Darkness” by Gates of Vienna.

Coming out on top in the Non Council category was A Newer World’s “One Liberal’s Argument for Still Staying in Iraq.”

If you’d like to participate in the weekly Council vote, go here and follow instructions.

By: Rick Moran at 1:20 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (0)

TEAM USA JUST NOT READY FOR THE BIG TIME
CATEGORY: WORLD CUP

In the end, Team USA showed that despite an increase in the talent and skill of its roster, it still has a long way to go to compete on the world stage.

The individual skills of US players by and large are inferior to not only the very best players, but the rest of the world in general. This lack of skill is hidden when we play against the relatively week Caribbean and Central American teams during World Cup qualifying rounds. But when playing against sides that play disciplined, close defense, the individual weaknesses of the US team are exposed and exploited much to our detriment.

The 2-1 loss to Ghana is illustrative of both this lack of skill and the inferiority of our coaching. Most observers think that Bruce Arena was badly outcoached against the Czechs. And the curious lethargy of Team USA on offense during most of the tournament can be directly traced to his insistence on playing Brian McBride alone up top where he forces the mediocre striker to make plays all by himself while dropping his best skilled player, Landon Donovan, into a roaming midfielder role who then must depend on crisp, accurate entry passes that simply were not there the entire tournament. Known as a great motivator, Arena’s boys never had the sense of urgency that may have made them competitive in either the Czech or Ghana losses. It looked like they were playing at altitude so slow a foot they appeared.

Perhaps there is no US player who disappointed more than Donovan. He was invisible for long stretches. But the same could be said for Beasley and McBride as well. In Donovan’s case, so much was expected of him that one could fairly say that his effort and performance was far below world class standards. He has eschewed playing in Europe for the last few years. Now it would be an open question whether or not any decent European club would want him.

Nothing should be detracted from the play of Ghana. The Black Stars flew around the field playing with an energy and abandon that made the US side look for all the world like they were stuck in the mud by comparison. But their next opponent is Brazil, a match that should be entertaining but one where the Stars will be huge underdogs. By any stretch, the Ghanaians are the surprise of the tournament.

I will continue to write occasionally about the Cup over the next fortnight. And I plan on doing a report card this weekend, grading the individual American players and reflecting on the future of Team USA as well as soccer in America.

By: Rick Moran at 11:29 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (2)

THE POLITICS OF WMD

Senator Rick Santorum is in a race for his political life. This could explain why he is trumpeting a 2 year old report he requested to have declassified that confirms the fact of chemical weapons found in Iraq.

There are several caveats that have to be listed when discussing this report. First, there’s nothing new in it:

The U.S. military announced in 2004 in Iraq that several crates of the old shells had been uncovered and that they contained a blister agent that was no longer active. Neither the military nor the White House nor the CIA considered the shells to be evidence of what was alleged by the Bush administration to be a current Iraqi program to make chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

Last night, intelligence officials reaffirmed that the shells were old and were not the suspected weapons of mass destruction sought in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

Secondly, I agree with Allah who says simply “WMD is WMD, but finding a shell here and there when Iran’s about to get the bomb next door leaves me somewhat … underwhelmed.”

Third, the WMD argument ended years ago. Despite tantalizing evidence that Saddam moved his stockpiles to Syria and Lebanon prior to our invasion as well as anecdotal evidence of Russian collusion in spiriting WMD out of the country, from the standpoint of making a difference in the minds of the American people, this most recent evidence of Iraqi WMD will hardly be a blip on most people’s radar.

To be sure, the MSM at least gives the appearance that it is taking no chances that this story will change anyone’s mind on the war or on the President. One would think that a Senator reading from a declassified report on the Senate floor that our forces found 500 artillery shells containing deadly chemicals might be considered in some quarters to be news. The New York Times doesn’t even mention it. And even more curiously, the Washington Post buried the story by their national security correspondent Dafna Linzer on Page 10 (I wonder when the last time Linzer had his byline buried that deep in the paper?). And just to feed my conspiratorial nature even further, WaPo no longer links to the story in their on-line edition. I had to retrieve it by going through my “history” this morning.

But even if this was front page news, the political impact would be negligible. The politics of the war have moved beyond WMD and the liberation of Iraq and now center on the ongoing occupation and insurgency. We could find hundreds perhaps even thousands more of these pre-Gulf War chemical munitions and there still would be no impact on the President’s popularity or Republican chances in November. The fact is, the narrative of the war has been appropriated by the President’s political enemies. “Bush lied, people died” still resonates with a sizable portion of the electorate, judging by the numbers we see about support for the war as well as the fact that a majority of Americans see the war as a mistake and not worth the cost. And for that to change, the political and security situations in Iraq will have to improve dramatically. Or, underground bunkers filled with WMD created after the Gulf War would have to be discovered in Iraq or elsewhere.

This is the unfortunate dynamic at work when the politics of the war is assessed by voters. I am heartened to see Republicans standing behind our troops and the President this week as they beat back attempts by the Democrats to cut and run. I think it reflects good instincts about where the American people stand on the war. Even if they think it may have been a mistake to invade in the first place, I think that voters still believe that there is no substitute for victory and that the Democrat’s plan smacks of defeatism. I also think that the debate this week in Congress shows that the tipping point is far from being reached and that Democrats who seek to make their critique of the war an issue in November do so at their own peril.

This may change over the summer and into the fall if the Iraqi government fails to get its act together and the carnage continues. But at the moment, the Democrats, it seems to me, may have miscalculated. It should be interesting to see how many of them support Kerry’s resolution on withdrawal in the Senate. If Reid can’t get half his caucus to support the measure, it would indicate to me that the Democrats also see their harsh critique of the war as a loser of an issue and will back off unless the situation on the ground changes for the worse.

From an historical standpoint, the issue of WMD may be important. But politically, it’s a non-starter. What the American people want is not confirmation of the justification for going into Iraq but rather progress by the Iraqi government that would help get us out.

That spells victory both for our troops and for Republicans in November.

UPDATE

Michelle Malkin links to Powerline who received an interesting email from NRO’s Michael Ledeen:

Please point out to your readers that Negroponte only declassified a few fragments of a much bigger document. Read the press conference and you will see that Santorum and Hoekstra were furious at the meager declassification. They will push for more, and we all must do that. I am told that there is a lot more in the full document, which CIA is desperate to protect, since it shows the miserable job they did looking for WMDs in Iraq.

The CIA may not be very good at intelligence work. But when it comes to protecting their behinds in turf wars, there appears to be no agency better at putting their own narrow interests ahead of the national good.

By: Rick Moran at 7:20 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (20)

6/21/2006
SITE DOWN
CATEGORY: General

Sorry for the inconvenience. My site was down for about an hour and a half earlier today.

Every time it happens, I begin to wonder why liberals hate me so. Obviously, the down time is the result of a leftist conspiracy. And one of these days, I’m gonna prove it…

First, I’ll have to buy some more Reynolds aluminum. Liberals broke into my house and stole it all.

By: Rick Moran at 9:07 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (4)

“TELL THOSE DIRTY FASCISTS TO STOP THE NAME CALLING!”
CATEGORY: Moonbats, Politics

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This will be something of a confessional post in that I have seen the error of my ways and wish to make amends.

For all the times I referred to liberals as “loons,” I am heartily sorry for having offended thee.

For all the times I have called liberals “lickspittles,” I am heartily sorry for having offended thee.

For all the times I have referred to the left as “a gaggle of idiotic, self-important nitwits,” I am heartily sorry for having offended thee.

I could go on and on, of course, But like a sex addict who has forgotten the names of most of their scores, the herculean effort required to recall all the slights, the insults, the downright nasty things I’ve said about liberals over the years would tax the memory of an elephant and the patience of a conservative trying to explain capitalism to a lefty.

OOOPS! There I go again. I’m sorry, that one kind of slipped out. I wonder if there’s something I can take to help with the withdrawal symptoms…

If only I had realized how thin skinned my leftist brothers and sisters truly were, I would never have tried to marginalize them politically by coming up with ever more hurtful and inventive invective to describe their cockamamie ideas or unpalatable personalities in such a way as to cause the kind of psychic pain evinced in this post from Hume’s Ghost at Unclaimed Territory.

This is life altering stuff. Maybe I’ll run away in shame and join a Zoroastrian monastery. Maybe I’ll join the Peace Corps. Or the Foreign Legion.

I’ll have to stop laughing first:

Not too long ago a friend of mine told me she was trying to become more politically informed. To do so, she continued, she had begun reading Ann Coulter’s How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must). Think about that for a moment. This was an individual who did not know much about politics, was a non-ideological independent and the first person she could think of to learn more about politics from was a hate-mongering hack. This should have never happened, because Coulter should have been exposed for the vile, bigoted, intellectually bankrupt propagandist that she is by journalists a long time ago. In this regard, my friend was failed by a mainstream media which is more interested in using Coulter as a figure to drive up ratings than they are in doing their jobs of promoting a responsible national discourse.

First of all, I’m calling out the poster as a prevaricator. If there is anyone in America so stupid, so naive as to think that they can become “more politically informed” by reading Ann Coulter, I will eat my size 11B Floresheim Wingtips. How about picking up a frickin’ newspaper? Or a magazine?

No, sorry - I don’t buy it. That “friend” is a figment of the poster’s imagination. And only an idiot liberal would believe that anyone with half a brain would fall for such a transparent literary device.

Yes Coulter is vile. Bigoted? Perhaps. Intellectually bankrupt? Hardly. Coulter may be many things but even her enemies concede she has a first class mind. Certainly she’s smarter than the bozo who wrote this post in that Coulter would never underestimate the intelligence of her readers the way this fellow has by simply making stuff up.

But why invent someone so stupid? Why someone who has the brains of a marmoset and the political awareness of my pet cat Aramis?

SO THAT THE LIBERAL CAN RIDE TO THE RESCUE AND SAVE HER!

This is why I respond to Coulter and her apologists like Malkin, because I don’t want their hate corrupting people like my friend. In the comments of Glenn’s post, I linked to this entry I had previously written about why eliminationist rhetoric is not a joke as an explanation of why I write about extremists. You’ll notice that it contains a link to a post that Alonzo Fyfe wrote after his wife was sent an e-mail from a co-worker which fantasized about the deaths of liberals. The co-worker thought it “too good not to pass along.”

We must answer Coulter and her ilk, because unanswered their hateful rhetoric creeps into society, meant to divide us from our friends, family, and fellow Americans. The reason these pundits are incapable of disagreeing with someone without first labeling an opponent as liberal, Democrat, socialist, far left, moonbat, communist etc. (and the same can go for those who do the reverse) is because their tribal binary logic requires them to identify an outgroup, a “them” to be excluded, or worse, eliminated.

Wait a minute….hold the phone. My tribal binary logic circuits are corrupted. I wonder if Rush Limbaugh has a spare?

I should point out that there is nothing hateful in calling someone a liberal, or a moonbat, or a socialist, or even a Democrat. And while “eliminationist” rhetoric is vile and disgusting, only certain types of polemicists use it - those without the intellectual gifts to form complete sentences or close their mouths when breathing. As for the vile “jokes” coming from the likes of Coulter, Savage, Randi Rhodes, and half the posters at the Democratic Underground, poor taste in humor is not a danger to the republic. I would suggest the poster grow up a little and recognize that jokes about assassinating the President or Supreme Court judges are impolitic and ignorant - not yet crimes in America, though give liberals 20 years and they very well could be.

Few people on the web are more shallow in their thinking than Glenn Greenwald, quoted admirably here along with “The Propaganda Critic” who instructs us What It All Means:

This is why Glenn discovered that he was a “leftist” and/or a “liberal” for his opposition to the Bush administration. Sarcastically explaining this tactic, Glenn wrote

[T]hey label the argument and the person making it “leftist” and “liberal” and - presto! - no more need to address the arguments or consider its substance because it’s all been shooed away with one fell swoop of name-calling cliches.

In a post commenting on this I noted that the name-calling tactic is actually a common propaganda technique. The Propaganda Critic website describes name-calling thusly:

The name-calling technique links a person, or idea, to a negative symbol. The propagandist who uses this technique hopes that the audience will reject the person or the idea on the basis of the negative symbol, instead of looking at the available evidence.

Sorta like calling me a “racist” or a “fascist” because I disagree with you. But liberals are above that sort of thing, right? I mean, it’s not like calling me a racist in order to delegitimze any countervailing arguments made in opposition to the dominant leftist worldview is the same thing. Coming from someone who obviously speaks with superior moral authority on the subject of race having felt the black man’s pain and sympathized with the oppressed, any arguments that run counter to the prevailing liberal position on race can automatically be tossed into the intellectual dustbin.

What. A. Crock.

And then, to prove how really clueless the author of this shallow piece of drivel truly is, I present Exhibit 15:

The rhetoric of these media transmitters, both by repackaging extremist views for mainstream consumption and by engaging in the ritual defamation of those with whom they disagree, serve to shift mainstream political discourse towards the extreme. I’m passing over this subject briefly but will direct your attention to Dave Neiwert’s seminal essay Rush, Newspeak, and Fascism: An exegesis (from which the transmitters link is taken) which exhaustively explains why and how American values are being transformed and corrupted by the right-wing extremism that the likes of Coulter and Malkin help to diffuse into every day discussion.

That’s right. No, you did not read it wrong. The author of a post skewering conservatives for name calling has approvingly linked to a post that refers to conservatives as fascists.

I am at a loss for words in trying to describe that kind of ignorance. It is beyond belief, beyond rationality. What’s worse, is that the post he links to by Dave Neiwert contains the jaw dropping notion that modern conservative issues have been stolen (or “transmitted”) from neo-Nazis and the Kluxers.

I took the time to debunk Neiwert’s idiocy here. I’ll give you the money grafs:

It is monstrous calumny to accuse conservatives thusly. Especially dressing his screed up, as Mr. Neiwert does in this piece, as some kind of psychological analysis of the motivations and deeply held beliefs of conservative bloggers. At bottom, the way conservatives are attacked in this piece says more about the arrogant, smug, self-righteous, self congratulatory left than it does about the people it seeks to deliberately defame.

What are we really discussing here? Nothing less than the ability to debate public policy issues without one side having recourse to use blood libel terms like “racist” in order to delegitimatize the thoughts, words, and deeds of one’s opponent. This is the reason “race” as a matter of public policy cannot be discussed rationally. The left starts with the premise that any deviation from its base assumptions on race is non-negotiable – an advantage they see as set in stone as the Ten Commandments. Hence, one cannot discuss reforming affirmative action because to do so is, by definition, racist.

Finally, not content with throwing a tantrum about conservative name calling (and then identifying conservatives as fascists) only one thing remains to be done in order to completely legitimize his argument; he must make liberals victims:

Coulter talks about “liberals” the way racists talk about blacks, the way the Nazis talked about Jews. Her “jokes” are predicated on the notion that the elimination of a set of humans are funny, her “jokes” are funny the way anti-Semitic “jokes” like this were funny, which is to say, they are not not funny. They are disgusting and deadly serious.

In the clip of her appearance on the Tonight Show, Coulter mentioned that she let her “smartest liberal friend” whom she told would be “smarter than any liberal I’m going to be on tv with” read her book. Could her bigotry be any plainer? Substitute in any other group that’s been hated against in history and see how that sentence sounds.

Where does one begin to deconstruct this bilge? Why would we want to substitute the word “liberal” for the word “Jew” or “black” or any other racial or religious group ? How can anyone be so incredibly arrogant and self-righteous to think that mocking someone for their political beliefs are in any way, shape, or form similar to making fun of one’s race?

This is identity politics run wild. It should now be out of bounds to criticize or make fun of a liberal because he’s a…a…LIBERAL!

I’m convinced that the author of this piece is not serious, that all this highfalutin language and flowery rhetoric is just an exercise in comedy writing. May I suggest that if the poster wants to audition for the Stephen Colbert show that he pick another subject, something more illustrative of his talent and peculiar intellectual gifts.

I hear they have an opening at Hallmark Cards.

UPDATE: 6/22

To all those who have taken me to task in the comments (and especially Mr. Ghost who authored the the original piece) you have a point of sorts when you criticize me for engaging in the very thing I am criticizing in the author’s piece.

The point of my piece was not to point out that “liberals do it too” - and if you could put yourself in my shoes for a few hours and have to read the vile, disgusting, ignorant claptrap I get in comments and emails you’d know that, in fact, they do it in spades. What disgusted me about Mr. Ghost’s piece was his puerile attempt to put a psychological gloss on his critique. That, and the usual liberal whining about mean, nasty Republicans spreading hate when all the left wants to do is spread love and understanding.

BULLSH*T!

Politics is a game for grown ups. To equate making a joke about the intellect of liberals (people laughed at that statement on the tonight show - it was a joke Mr. Ghost) with the stereotyping of blacks and Jews is outrageous demagoguery and an extraordinarily cynical attempt to piggyback the faux, hand wringing, whining left on the victimhood of the truly oppressed. It is wrong. It is identity politics at its worst. Not content with calling people Nazis, now people like Mr. Ghost wish to enable the left to do it and then be able to cry “Victim” if someone dares respond.

It won’t wash. And even though most conservative bloggers don’t bother with in-depth fisking of people like Glenn Greenwald, Jane Hamsher, Bilmon, Neiwert, and the cadre of liberals who regularly accuse conservatives of being hateful, seeing it as an exercise in futility, I firmly believe that a record must be made that attempts to counter their illogic, misrepresentations, and even out right lies. At the very least, it lets them know that someone besides their fawning, drooling, mouth breathing fans are watching.

UPDATE II: BOZO SPEAKS

Dave Neiwert has joined the fray with a typical post that misrepresents everything I say while claiming that he doesn’t think conservatives are fascists - they just walk, talk, think, breathe, eat, and fornicate like them:

Moreover, as I went on later to explore in depth, mainstream conservatism is not fascist in the classic sense; what it has done, instead, is gradually adopt a series of appeals and memes that are classically fascist, but overall it lacks certain major traits, especially the violent thuggishness that really is the beating heart of fascism.

Note, also, that while Moran is grossly mischaracterizing what I wrote, he neglects to provide his readers any link to the work in question so that they may judge for themselves the accuracy of his charge. This kind of brain-dead dishonesty is something I’ve encountered before with right-wing bloggers, and again lays waste to the rosy-lensed notion that the blogosphere is “self-correcting.”

Did I mischaracterize what he wrote here?

What was most disturbing was, even in 2000, the way the mainstream conservative agenda was beginning to resemble the politics of longtime racists like David Duke and Richard Butler, the Aryan Nations leader: bashing welfare recipients, attacking affirmative action, complaining about “reverse discrimination,” calling for the elimination of immigrants. Since then, this trend has only accelerated, to the point that old-fashioned haters like Duke and the National Alliance are finding their ranks thinned by followers who just become Republicans.

I see the error of my ways. I’m just not nuanced enough of an intellect to detect the subtle differences in logic on display here. Republicans believe what David Duke believes but hey! They’re not racists. Even if Duke defectors are now mainstream Republicans, I’m still not calling Republicans racists, says Davey.

What a joke.

And, of course, I linked to the post that quote came from at the very top of my piece debunking his childish, amatuerish, and vapid attempts at psychoanalyzing conservative motivations. The fact that Davey and Mr. Ghost both are oblivious to their stupidity only makes their earnestness and seriousness all the more laughable.

By: Rick Moran at 8:32 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (35)

6/20/2006
THE IMMORALITY OF THE DEMOCRATS’ POSITION ON THE WAR
CATEGORY: Politics

“There is no substitute for victory.”
(Douglas MacArthur)

Anytime, anyplace Americans are sent to fight, there must be clearly defined strategic goals that, once reached, constitute the essence of victory. Any other reason to put our men and women in harm’s way must be considered immoral. You cannot ask people to fight and die for anything less than recognizable and measurable strategic yardsticks which would constitute ultimate triumph.

The Iraq War has always been, to my mind, a close call which is why readers of this site have seen my support waxing and waning over the last two years. Achieving the goals of overthrowing Saddam and negating his ability to deliver WMD to terrorists (or, originally, to find and destroy the WMD) were noble and achievable goals, met in spectacular fashion by our military. But that third strategic goal of creating a democracy smack dab in the middle of jihad country to serve as an example to others in the region (its very democratic nature posing a threat to the autocracies and dictatorships in the Middle East) has proven to be depressingly elusive.

The litany of mistakes made by the Administration of George Bush in trying to achieve this last goal is long. But that statement is made with 20/20 hindsight. Each step taken seemed reasonable at the time. As in every war ever fought, mistakes are too numerous to count. And I daresay that there is ample evidence that for every mistake ever made in any war, there were voices warning of dire consequences if that particular plan were followed. Just as there were voices warning of catastrophe when there was a spectacular success. Funny how we never hear of the naysayers when that happens.

Viet Nam was, at bottom, an immoral war because the United States was asking its young men to fight and die not to win but to avoid losing. This was clear as early as 1968 when President Johnson halted the bombing and sought peace talks. In practical terms, it meant that 22,000 more American soldiers were killed between 1968-73 in a war that we had no intention of achieving victory. Our leaving in 1968 would not have altered the final outcome. All we did was kill hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese civilians and those thousands of additional American boys. The “peace treaty” that the North Vietnamese broke the minute they thought they could get away with it only put a disastrous coda on a war fought in what we can see with 20/20 hindsight was the wrong place at the wrong time.

Would it have been better to leave in 1968? My own personal feeling is that if we had pulled out then, we would have saved lives and perhaps avoided the worst of the rending, tearing battles that made the 1960’s and 70’s so turbulent. As long as we had no intention of fighting through to victory - and there was no definition of victory ever announced in the first place - there was no sense keeping men there to die.

This is apparently the rationale being used by anti-war Democrats as they seek to put a “timetable” for withdrawal before the Senate this week:

Trying to bridge party divisions on the eve of a Senate debate, leading Democrats called Monday for American troops to begin pulling out of Iraq this year. They avoided setting a firm timetable for withdrawal but argued that the Bush administration’s open-ended commitment to the war would only prevent Iraqis from moving forward on their own.

Coming the week after partisan and often angry House debate over the war, the Senate proposal, a non binding resolution, was carefully worded to deflect any accusations that the Democrats were “cutting and running,” as their position has been depicted by Republicans. The Democrats behind the measure did not even use the word “withdrawal,” and talked about how to guarantee “success” for Iraq, not about any failures of the war.

Weasel words from weaselly men and women. Using as a cover the idea that the Iraqis can get along without us if only we tell the government when we’re leaving and how many of us will be going (strangely forgetting that the insurgents will get the exact same information and adjust their activities accordingly), the Democrats are engaging in an exercise of breathtaking immorality.

Any timetable for withdrawal necessarily obviates any thought of victory. And if you don’t believe that victory is achievable then clearly you believe we have lost already. Trying to split the difference between victory and defeat in war is not possible. One side wins and one side loses. Hence, by offering this “timetable,” the Democrats are saying that we have lost the war and should leave in order to cut our losses.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with this position, by the way. It is defeatist. It is cowardly. But there is nothing necessarily incorrect in admitting defeat and pulling out.

But what makes the Democrats position immoral is that they are not advocating this timetable to get our troops out of harms way as fast as possible. In fact, they are terrified of the political consequences of doing so. Instead, they opt for the Viet Nam approach. According to them, the war was a mistake to begin with, it was fought incompetently, it was illegal, and we’ve already lost since there’s no way we’re ever going to say that George Bush won the war. But instead of advocating an immediate withdrawal of all American forces, we are going to advocate that more young men die in a losing cause just so that we don’t appear to be “cutting and running” and thus, lose badly at the polls in November.

If there has been a more cynical, immoral ploy in the last half century of American politics, I can’t think of it.

The Democrat’s supporters on the far left have no such timidity. They state in no uncertain terms that the war is lost and that the troops should come home immediately. Bully for them. In this, they show more guts than their representatives in Congress. Of course, it’s easy to have guts when your sitting on your fat ass in an air conditioned room at mommy’s house pecking away at a keyboard about how the country is turning into a dictatorship and whining about the war. Real patriots would have been off their duffs long ago, filling American jails to overflowing with their bodies as they did everything in their power to stop what they considered an immoral war.

Why are the Democrats so scared of cutting and running? Are they afraid the Republicans will make political capital out of this position? It’s not like they can make a case that they want to “win” the war. In fact, their advocacy for withdrawal before the job of helping the Iraqis with their security problems is done proves that they have no interest in victory. Their leading spokesmen have declared the war “unwinnable” and therefore already lost. Not standing behind that principle smacks of both political cowardice as well as having a depraved indifference to the lives of American soldiers.

Are they right? Is the war already lost?

What is happening in Iraq at this moment is deadly chaos. A memo from our embassy in Baghdad tells the horrific details of life in the capitol city:

* Two of the three female Iraqis in the public affairs office reported stepped-up harassment since mid-May….”some groups are pushing women to cover even their face, a step not taken in Iran even at its most conservative.” One of the women is now wearing a full abaya after receiving direct threats.

* The overall environment is one of “frayed social networks,” with frequent actual or perceived insults. None of this is helped by lack of electricity. “One colleague told us he feels ‘defeated’ by circumstances, citing his example of being unable to help his two-year-old son who has asthma and cannot sleep in stifling heat,” which is now reaching 115 degrees.

* Another employee tells us that life outside the Green Zone has become ‘emotionally draining.’ He lives in a mostly Shiite area and claims to attend a funeral ‘every evening.’”
Fuel lines have grown so long that one staffer spent 12 hours in line on his day off. “Employees all confirm that by the last week of May, they were getting one hour of power for every six hours without.

While all of the “evidence” in the embassy memo is anecdotal, the information jibes with other sources about the almost total breakdown in society that has occurred in the last several months since the bombing of the Samarra Shrine. Hundreds of thousands have either fled the country or have left their homes in fear of being murdered or kidnapped. There are problems with militias, with training Iraqi security forces, with corruption, with the dual loyalty of some to both Iraq and Iran, and of course, the insurgency itself.

Daunting problems, indeed. But do they add up to defeat with no prospect of turning the situation around? Emphatically no. And while there may be days where Iraq takes one step forward and two back, there are also days where the opposite is true and real progress is made. The point is, that some trends - especially political ones - are moving in a positive direction. And I have a hunch about this fellow Prime Minister Maliki. I think he will surprise. He seems very determined to succeed as well as being committed to the Constitution. If we can stay long enough, I think there is a very real chance that by election day, there will be ample evidence that things are flowing in the right direction.

So what the Democrats want to do is snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Just when most of the political pieces to the puzzle are in place, they want to yank the rug out from underneath the Iraqi government and leave them to the tender mercies of the insurgents. And the way they advocate doing it will only mean more Americans dying in what they consider a lost cause.

Having the courage of one’s convictions seems to be lacking on the Democrats’ side of the aisle. Will none of them stand up for what they truly believe? Or will they hide behind weasel words in hopes that no one notices how truly wretched they are

By: Rick Moran at 1:20 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (40)

“ENDEAVORING TO PERSEVERE”
CATEGORY: Media

In some ways, I feel badly for Marc Ash, Executive Director of Truthout.Org.

Thanks to Jason Leopold, he finds himself in quite a pickle. You may recall last May 13th that Mr. Leopold wrote in Truthout that Karl Rove had been indicted, that he had told the President that he would resign, that his lawyer Mr. Luskin met for 15 hours with Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald the previous Friday, and that God didn’t make little green apples and it don’t rain in Indianapolis in the summertime…

All of this was to be splashed across the front pages of America’s newspapers and become fodder for the screamers on cable news within 48 hours. When the 48 hours came and went, we heard from Truthout that it must have been “business hours.” And when the 48 business hours came and went, I was half expecting the folks at Truthout to tell us that they had it wrong, it was actually doggie hours Fitzgerald was working on.

Needless to say, Leopold and Truthout became something of a laughingstock on the right with Jeff Goldstein satirizing the situation unmercifully. (Yeah, I know. The words “Goldstein” and “mercy” used together where a lefty loon like Leopold is concerned is a little farfetched.)

Then, in what has to be considered one of the most striking examples of the Gods piteously toying with us mortals, playing us for the fools we truly are, the night before Fitzgerald informed us that Fitzmas had been cancelled due to his refusal to indict The Evil One, Marc Ash wrote in Truthout that they were standing by their man Jason and that we were right and the whole rest of the world was nuts.

They based this defiant conclusion on their anonymous sources who were insisting that Rove indeed was being measured for the orange jumpsuit and a curious “sealed indictment” (whether it is an indictment is a matter of dispute) that came for the same grand jury that Fitzgerald has been manipulating (as all prosecutors do) for months.

I would have loved to have seen the look on Ash’s face less than 24 hours later when Rove’s attorney announced that Fitzgerald was not going to indict his client. Again, Truthout was left with egg on its face and its bare bottom exposed for all the world to see. One would think these developments would bring a quick and contrite mea culpa from Ash and Truthout. After all, this would be the responsible thing to do, something that any publication with an ounce of integrity would do in a heartbeat.

I guess that lets out Truthout.

In a series of startling development yesterday and last night, after a week of silence on the matter, Marc Ash came out with both barrels blazing, insisting that his anonymous sources were right, that Truthout was right, that Leopold was right, and that the facts themselves were somehow wrong.

He granted an interview to Justin Rood of TPM Muckracker, a much more responsible lefty journal, and insisted, like Kevin Bacon in Animal House, that “all is well:”

So does Truthout stand behind Leopold’s reporting — or does it “defer. . . to the nation’s leading publications”?

Ash doesn’t seem to think it’s an either/or proposition. “There is a perception here that Jason misreported facts, didn’t report facts accurately, wasn’t candid with his editors. None of that is true,” he told me. Right now, the publication is “reviewing all our sources. . . and trying to confirm, confirm, confirm.”

One would think before going to print with the biggest story of the young century that a responsible publication would have already tried to “confirm, confirm, confirm” but, hey! That’s just me. I mean, I could have gone with my bat boy story a couple of weeks ago but couldn’t confirm that the little bugger was actually related to James Carville. Looks like Weekly World News scooped me again.

Also in the interview with Mr. Rood, Ash made the rather tactful assertion that his staff is in hysterics:

“We’re suffering from hysteria here,” Ash said of the reaction to the mainstream press accounts which appear to contradict Leopold’s reporting. “And I don’t find that attractive and I don’t find it in the best interests of our readers. We are expressly endeavoring to mitigate hysteria,” said Ash.

One wonders if by “hysteria” Ash means that Truthout’s employees are rolling around on the floor laughing uncontrollably or shaking with palsied fits at the prospect of actually having to go out and get a job somewhere.

And don’t you just love “endeavoring to mitigate” the panic? Reminds me of the scene in the film Outlaw Josey Wales” where Chief Dan George playing the Indian Lone Watie was describing a meeting between the President of the United States and the Cherokee Chiefs who had come to Washington to negotiate. Watie says that the President told them to “Endeavor to persevere:”

LONE WATIE: We thought about it for a long time, “Endeavor to persevere.” And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union.

Ash has apparently decided to declare war based on this defiant missive he published last night:

After spending the past month retracing our steps and confirming facts, we’ve come full circle. Our sources continue to maintain that a grand jury has in fact returned an indictment. Our sources said that parts of the indictment were read to Karl Rove and his attorney on Friday, May 12, 2006. Last week, we pointed to a sealed federal indictment, case number “06 cr 128,” which is still sealed and we are still pointing to it. During lengthy conversations with our sources over the past month, they reiterated that the substance of our report on May 13, 2006, was correct, and immediately following our report, Karl Rove’s status in the CIA leak probe changed. In summary, as we press our investigation we find indicators that more of our key facts are correct, not less.

That leaves the most important question: If our sources maintain that a grand jury has returned an indictment - and we have pointed to a criminal case number that we are told corresponds to it - then how is it possible that Patrick Fitzgerald is reported to have said that ‘he does not anticipate seeking charges against Rove at this time?’ That is a very troubling question, and the truth is, we do not yet have a definitive answer. We also continue to be very troubled that no one has seen the reported communication from Fitzgerald to Rove’s attorney Robert Luskin, and more importantly, how so much public judgment could be based on a communication that Luskin will not put on the table. Before we can assess the glaring contradiction between what our sources say and what Luskin says Fitzgerald faxed to him, we need to be able to consider what was faxed - and in its entirety.

What appears to have happened is that - and this is where Truthout blundered - in our haste to report the indictment we never considered the possibility that Patrick Fitzgerald would not make an announcement. We simply assumed - and we should not have done so - that he would tell the press. He did not. Fitzgerald appears to have used the indictment, and more importantly, the fear that it would go public, to extract information about the Plame outing case from Rove.

Mark Coffey, in his usual calm, collected, and understated manner, responds:

In other words - we weren’t wrong! We’re heroes! Don’t you see, you fools? It was us - we forced Rove’s hand! We control space and time! Bwwwaaaaahaaaaaaahaaaaaa! And you thought we would apologize! And how do we know? By relying on our original mistaken sources and a sealed case with contents we have no earthly way of knowing about! BWAAAAHAAAAAHAAAA!
Suckers…

Yeah, well…I think that covers most everything.

The sane left is a little more circumspect:

Truthout claims that their sources for this information are “career federal law enforcement and federal government officials.” Truthout also claims that their senior editors have confirmed all this with their sources. They’re not just relying on Jason Leopold.

Is this true? I don’t have a clue, but I figure I should pass along the latest scuttlebutt regardless. And for what it’s worth, there is one thing that makes me wonder if Rove is really in the clear: the fact that he refuses to make public the letter from Fitzgerald saying that he “does not anticipate seeking charges” against Rove at this time. Rove’s spokesman says they won’t release the letter because they have an agreement with Fitzgerald that they “wouldn’t disclose direct communications or any documents between his office and ours.” This is a pretty laughable excuse, and it’s hard not to wonder just what’s in that letter that they don’t want anyone to see.

I suppose following the orders of a Special Prosecutor not to release direct communications between his office and Rove’s attorney could be considered “laughable” if there was no possibility that by disobeying that order you could find yourself once again in the prosecutor’s sights. That would seem to include Kevin Drum in the laughing category but not Luskin or Rove.

Regardless, Drum points out that Truthout is relying on “career federal law enforcement and federal government officials” and not just Leopold. I would wager that somewhere in the mix of sources for Leopold’s article are Larry Johnson and/or Ray McGovern. Given the violent reaction that Johnson had to the news Rove would not be indicted as well as his assuring the left in the immediate aftermath of the May 13th article that all was well, that Fitzmas was on the way, one wonders whether or not Larry the Loon had a personal stake in that story being true.

While some on the left continue to “wait and see” about the Rove indictment until Fitzgerald makes a formal announcement, Ash actually upped the ante by stating that it is possible Rove flipped on Cheney:

Our sources provided us with additional detail, saying that Fitzgerald is apparently examining closely Dick Cheney’s role in the Valerie Plame matter, and apparently sought information and evidence from Karl Rove that would provide documentation of Cheney’s involvement. Rove apparently was reluctant to cooperate and Fitzgerald, it appears, was pressuring him to do so, our sources told us.

In other words, Fitzy dangled the sealed indictment in front of Rove and threatened him with it unless he rolled on Cheney.

Interesting speculation. That’s not what the original Truthout article said nor did the follow-up article mention it either. I guess in this case, third time’s the charm. And lest ye be unbelievers in this matter, I would like to point out that every responsible individual who has covered the Plame affair has said that it would be a huge stretch for Fitzy to go after Cheney. And the fact that Rove is still working at the White House would seem to indicate that either Cheney has a death wish or that once again, Ash is talking out of his nether regions.

This is actually sort of a sad story in a way. Marc Ash has been had. And he is either too stupid or too naive to see it. Or, he may know the story is wrong but is scrambling to save the reputation of himself and his publication.

If I were him, I wouldn’t worry about that. As long as he keeps up with the Bush-bashing, he’ll have a massive audience. For on the left, sometimes leaving the “Truthout” really doesn’t matter.

UPDATE

Can you stand more Goldstien?

Of course, I suppose I should mention, for purposes of full disclosure, that it is TruthOut who has exonerated itself—citing the accuracy of its own earlier reporting as proof that its earlier reporting was, in fact, completely accurate. But then, that’s just nitpicking, really—and we shouldn’t get hung up on the niceties of the reasoning when what is at stake here is speaking Truthiness to Power, namely, the now-confirmed (albeit not yet quite “confirmed” confirmed) revelations that Karl Rove is a fat-assed liar who drove his own mother to suicide and who flipped on Dick Cheney.

And when the world sees Evil Dick with a pair of teardrop tats lifting weights in a federal pen alongside those Enron bitches, Jason Leopold will laugh and laugh and laugh!

Given the proclivities of Mr. Leopold, perhaps he will be spotting for his new buddy Karl?

By: Rick Moran at 7:10 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (19)

6/19/2006
WHY JOHNNY CAN’T FIND RAMADI ON A MAP

Lori Byrd has an interesting follow up to her excellent column from last week in Townhall about why the war has proven to be so difficult to explain to the public. She posits the notion that this is due to a lack of a good education in history, specifically the almost total absence of learning any military history.

She identifies correctly the current emphasis on “social history” (stressing the role of various minorities who feel previous texts ignored their accomplishments) rather than a straight narrative of chronological events, highlighting major historical mileposts and the players involved. This has led to ludicrous “history” texts that devote several chapters to the women’s rights movement while including only a couple of paragraphs on Washington’s presidency.

This kind of idiocy is the result of textbook manufacturers needing to sell books to a wide variety of school districts. Wanting to sell textbooks to both Berkley, CA and Houston, TX has made a mish mash of textbook writing and has ended up pleasing no one while giving an extraordinarily skewed picture of our past.

There is something to be said for “social history” as both Page Smith and Howard Zinn could tell you. After all, it was people who made the United States. And learning about Carrie Nation and Margaret Sanger is important to teaching our national story. But when other, equally important (or vastly more important) people and events are given short shrift thanks to the limitations of what a student can learn in a semester, serious problems arise in how our national narrative is absorbed by students.

I doubt that too many students today are forced to memorize Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address as I had to when I was in 6th Grade. By the same token, I hope that many of them are forced to learn long passages from Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The point being, there is little effort on the part of textbook manufacturers or school district authorities to teach history in a coherent manner. In trying to please everyone by including minor or even irrelevant historical events and characters, they have muddied the American narrative and downplayed the significance and accomplishments of other, more worthy historical players.

But I disagree with Lori about the teaching of military history and why this may be a proximate cause for people’s lack of understanding of what’s going on in Iraq. There is no comparison, as Lori points out, between what is happening in Iraq and what occurred in previous American wars.

During World War II, American kids would wake up every morning to a newspaper that invariably had one or more maps on the front page. The kids (and parents who also poured over the maps looking for evidence of where their loved ones were in harms way) would hang on to those maps, listening to the radio and trying to follow the march of our armies through towns and cities with place names that were foreign and unfamiliar. They would use those maps in geography class in school. Mothers and wives would carefully cut the map out of the paper and carry it around so that she could show her friends where her son or husband was in combat. When talking over the back fence, neighbors would drop the names of towns and cities where our men were fighting knowing that the person they were talking to knew exactly what he was referencing.

The war was a truly national obsession where almost every waking moment, one was reminded of the conflict. Rationing, bond drives, scrap drives, tire drives, victory gardens, air raid drills, the USO - all were part of everyday life in America during World War II. And with so many young boys scattered to the four corners of the earth, everyone seemed to have a brother or a husband or a son far, far away. And this on a world that was much, much larger than the one we inhabit today. No jet aircraft and it was 5 days from New York to Liverpool by ocean liner.

As far as military news, the strategic goals of our armies were no secret and widely known; unconditional surrender of the Japanese and Germans. With the American people united and committed to both the goals of the war and to making the material sacrifices necessary to achieve victory, the outcome was truly never in doubt.

Americans back then knew the Generals, knew the battles, knew what taking Caan meant to the invasion, knew that Operation Market Garden could shorten the war - they knew all these things because they had a living, breathing, stake in ultimate success or failure of our troops.

And that’s the huge difference between then and now. Where George Bush has failed miserably as President is in not offering to make the American people full partners in this conflict, sharing the sacrifices and giving all of us a stake in the outcome. It doesn’t matter very much that most Americans know little of military history or how to read a map. What matters is that the burden of sacrifice has fallen on so few of us. Part of this is a consequence of having an all volunteer, highly professional army. But while most Americans “support” the troops, they have no personal stake in the success or failure of our war policy.

I’m not sure how he could have or should have done this. I know that after 9/11 he could have tried. Congress, the press, the people were all with him. If this is truly a war for our survival - and I am absolutely convinced that it is - then our Commander in Chief has done a piss poor job of making the war our number one national priority. He has, in fact, tried to do the exact opposite. He pushed his domestic agenda, hoping that the war would drift off the front pages, forgotten by all but the families of our military who bear the bitterest fruit from this strategy. It is they who wait anxiously for their loved ones to come home.

You can bet they know where Falluja or Ramadi, or Tikrit is even if the rest of us don’t.

I appreciate what Lori is saying. And she has a point of sorts that a good grounding in history would perhaps give a little context to the war and help the American people understand what we’re trying to accomplish in Iraq . But I think it’s time we face the fact that this is a war that suffers from a lack of shared sacrifice and that is why people seem so disconnected from the consequences of failure.

By: Rick Moran at 12:50 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (14)

MURTHA: OLD SOLDIERS SHOULD JUST FADE AWAY

John Murtha’s sad descent from honored Viet Nam war veteran to anti-war shill for the ideological left is now complete. For many of his 32 years in Congress, Murtha was a reliable Democratic vote for vital funding of the military as well as an advocate for veterans rights and benefits. He resisted the trend in the Democratic party toward defeatism and spineless hand wringing, oftentimes breaking with his caucus to support President Reagan’s military buildup in the 1980’s.

But Murtha, a decorated Marine Colonel, was also horribly scarred by his Viet Nam experience (as were many high ranking officers from that war). For many of his generation, the prospect of sending young men into battle without an “exit strategy” became an anathema. One can certainly admire his obvious concern for the troops. But when “exit strategy” is substituted for victory, one has to call into question Mr. Murtha’s judgment.

I will not descend to the level of some of my friends on the right and accuse Murtha of cowardice or anti-Americanism. I think the Congressman has proved on the battlefield as well as in most of his many years of service in the House that this is not the case. Rather, it is entirely appropriate to question his judgement on matters of national security as well as allowing the hard left of his party to hijack his persona and reputation for their own electoral ends.

Certainly with statements like this one, we can question the Congressman’s grasp of military knowledge. In response to a criticism by Presidential adviser Karl Rove regarding Murtha’s “Over the Horizon” plan to withdraw American troops, host Tim Russert wondered just where those troops would be positioned in order to take advantage of the kind of intelligence that led to the Zarqawi raid:

REP. MURTHA: There’s many countries understand the importance of stability in the Middle East. This is an international problem. We, we use 20 million barrels of oil a day. China’s the second largest user. All these countries understand you need stability for the energy supply that’s available in the Middle East. So there’s many, many countries.

MR. RUSSERT: Who?

REP. MURTHA: Kuwait’s one that will take us. Qatar, we already have bases in Qatar. So Bahrain. All those countries are willing to take the United States. Now, Saudi Arabia won’t because they wanted us out of there in the first place. So—and we don’t have to be right there. We can go to Okinawa. We, we don’t have—we can redeploy there almost instantly. So that’s not—that’s, that’s a fallacy. That, that’s just a statement to rial up people to support a failed policy wrapped in illusion.

(HT: Michelle Malkin)

The Milblogs jumped on this instantly:

The straight yellow line extending across the middle of China and Iran is the distance from Okinawa to Baghdad as the crow flies which is approximately 4200 nautical miles. Obviously, the Chinese and the Iranians wouldn’t be cool with that, but let’s just roll with it. The max combat range for the F-16 with external fuel tanks and 2000 lbs of ordnance is 740 nautical miles so that’s like a minimum of SIX midair refuelings in EACH direction.

This little display is hardly worth putting together, but I did it to demonstrate that this man is dangerously deluded and not at all serious about an issue of critical national security significance. He is out there in the MSM just winging it and not being called to account whatsoever for statements that are so outlandish and absurd that they defy all attempts at comprehension.

The New York Times and liberal blogs failed to note that fantastical misstatement. Oliver Willis - in this jaw dropping piece of idiocy - actually praised Murtha for articulating a “coherent” policy:

The right again demonstrates their capacity for selective hearing. The current target of their ire is Rep. John Murtha, about the only Democrat around who’s been able to articulate a coherent assessment and policy for Iraq.

Willis then cites conservative criticisms of Clinton for withdrawing from Somalia, a strategy supported by Murtha and a move that the 9/11 Commission said contributed directly to the attacks on 9/11. He also curiously notes Vice President Cheney’s criticism of Reagan’s withdrawal from Lebanon following the bombing of the Marine barracks in 1983 and the wonders why conservatives aren’t criticizing Reagan (?) for getting out of Beirut!

No mention, of course, of the Okinawa redeployment suggested by Murtha. In fact, most lefty blogs concentrated on Murtha’s description of Karl Rove on the same program:

MURTHA: He’s in New Hampshire. He’s making a political speech. He’s sitting in his air-conditioned office on his big, fat backside, saying stay the course. That’s not a plan. … We’ve got to change direction. You can’t sit there in the air-conditioned office and tell troops carrying 70 pounds on their backs, inside these armored vessels hit with IEDs every day, seeing their friends blown up, their buddies blown up — and he says stay the course? Easy to say that from Washington, DC.

Since we can assume Rove is speaking on behalf of the Commander in Chief, I fail to see Murtha’s point except as an attempt at partisan sniping. And given the Congressman’s statement regarding Okinawa, perhaps it best that he keep his mouth shut about any alternative to “staying the course” since his prescriptions have made him a laughingstock to all except the left wingers in the Democratic party who are desperately trying to hide the fact that they support a cut and run strategy in Iraq. Why the Democrats insist on obscuring their defeatist strategy given the level of dissatisfaction with the President’s handling of Iraq in the electorate is beyond me. Why not just come out and say that the war is lost and we should pull the troops out?

This is the crux of Murtha, Kerry, and the Congressional Democrat’s critique of the war. If they honestly believe that keeping troops in Iraq is a futile exercise, why not run on that idea in November and see if the American people agree with it? What are they afraid of? They constantly tell us that the American people agree with them in the polls. Well, let’s put that idea to the test and have them run on their belief that every American who dies in Iraq is a waste and that the troops should hightail it out of there.

They won’t do it, of course. Already, Senator’s Feinstien and Kerry are crafting a resolution that would put Democrats on record calling for “phased withdrawals” over a set period of time. This would be fine except why draw out the agony? If we’re not going to stay as long as it takes to achieve victory, it smacks of immorality to me to keep our troops there one minute longer. Why not admit defeat and bring the boys and girls home now?

Murtha’s “coherent” Iraq policy is a crock. As is the Democrat’s plan for “phased withdrawal.” This is electoral gamesmanship played at with the lives of our troops. Unwilliing to stand on principle (as I pointed out here) and run on their defeatist policy in fear that the American people, tired and dispirited as they are of the war, would reject their fancy strategy of cut and run and opt for achieving our goals in Iraq of sheparding the nascent Iraqi government through its infancy until it is able to defend itself and create a democratic government in the heart of the Middle East. This is victory, any which way you cut it. The “plan” of the Democrats means defeat.

Let’s give the American people a clear cut decision to make in November.

By: Rick Moran at 8:08 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (16)