President Bush addressed this in part in today's speech and beat me to it, but I'm going to post this anyway...
The Democrats are fulfilling Osama Bin Laden's prophecy and living up to his expectations.
This is Osama from 1998:
After our victory in Afghanistan and the defeat of the oppressors who had killed millions of Muslims, the legend about the invincibility of the superpowers vanished. Our boys no longer viewed America as a superpower. So, when they left Afghanistan, they went to Somalia and prepared themselves carefully for a long war. They had thought that the Americans were like the Russians, so they trained and prepared. They were stunned when they discovered how low was the morale of the American soldier. America had entered with 30,000 soldiers in addition to thousands of soldiers from different countries in the world. ... As I said, our boys were shocked by the low morale of the American soldier and they realized that the American soldier was just a paper tiger. He was unable to endure the strikes that were dealt to his army, so he fled, and America had to stop all its bragging and all that noise it was making in the press after the Gulf War in which it destroyed the infrastructure and the milk and dairy industry that was vital for the infants and the children and the civilians and blew up dams which were necessary for the crops people grew to feed their families. Proud of this destruction, America assumed the titles of world leader and master of the new world order. After a few blows, it forgot all about those titles and rushed out of Somalia in shame and disgrace, dragging the bodies of its soldiers. America stopped calling itself world leader and master of the new world order, and its politicians realized that those titles were too big for them and that they were unworthy of them. I was in Sudan when this happened. I was very happy to learn of that great defeat that America suffered, so was every Muslim. ...
Howard Dean and John Murtha are calling for the US to act in accordance with Osama's view of the US.
While they (fortunately) don't control our military, their words do embolden our enemies - in Iraq and around the world. And here's a memo to the Democrats: They can earn the right to make these military decisions. However, this requires that they win at the ballot box (in the US, not Fallujah) and assume the role of Commander-In-Chief. Since they were unsuccessful doing this in 2004 and their "plans" for Iraq were rejected by the electorate, they should stop pushing for an American defeat in Iraq.
Despite continued criticism and low poll numbers, the President has not (and will not) change his strategery. He has reiterated the reasons for his strategy in transforming the Middle East in almost every foreign policy speech in the past 3 years, including the speech today and the one from Monday. Thus, it's important for the Democrats to realize that they are unlikely to persuade Bush to suddenly adopt their vision and pull out of Iraq. It is not going to happen. GIVEN THIS REALITY, it is time for the Democrats to live up to their claims of patriotism and support for the troops and give the President and our military every resource they can - including their vocal support for our mission and objectives in Iraq.
This piece by Norman Podhoretz in Commentary is a must read. Here's a key passage that he opens with:
Like, I am sure, many other believers in what this country has been trying to do in the Middle East and particularly in Iraq, I have found my thoughts returning in the past year to something that Tom Paine, writing at an especially dark moment of the American Revolution, said about such times. They are, he memorably wrote, “the times that try men’s souls,” the times in which “the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot” become so disheartened that they “shrink from the service of [their] country.”
But Paine did not limit his anguished derision to former supporters of the American War of Independence whose courage was failing because things had not been going as well on the battlefield as they had expected or hoped. In a less famous passage, he also let loose on another group:’Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country. . . . Yet panics, in some cases, have their uses . . . . [T]heir peculiar advantage is, that they are the touchstones of sincerity and hypocrisy, and bring things and men to light, which might otherwise have lain for ever undiscovered.Thus, he explained, “Many a disguised Tory has lately shown his head,” emboldened by the circumstances of the moment to reveal an opposition to the break with Britain that it had previously seemed prudent to conceal.
Now, Podhoretz points to many in the Democratic Party that fit these descriptions. Clearly, the Tories of today are Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Cynthia McKinney, and the other nutjob Lefties in Congress. These are the people that openly opposed the war. While I disagree with their position and think they are foolish, these leaders are not the problem. This is because they are open about their objections and the public is free to judge them when they come up for re-election or make a statement.
No, far more destructive are the "Sunshine Patriots" (or "disguised Tories"). These are those in the Democratic Party that voted for the US incursion in Iraq, but now call for our retreat in the face of victory, turning America into the Paper Tiger that Osama so firmly believes us to be. Examples are John Kerry, John Murtha, and many others in the Democratic caucus. These "leaders" are far more destructive to our country than those that are outright opposed to the war. For they confuse the public and weaken our resolve. And the truly unfortunate thing is that for many of these Sunshine Patriots, the question of their support turns on relatively minor issues - pressure from far Left groups (such as International ANSWER, a front group for the Worldwide Workers' Party and Saddam's lawyer, Ramsey Clark) and even perceived slights from the President,
when Murtha tried to write George W. Bush with some suggestions for fighting the Iraq war, the congressman's letter was ignored by the White House (after waiting for seven months, Murtha received a polite kiss-off from a deputy under secretary of Defense). Murtha, who has always preferred to operate behind the scenes, finally went public, calling for an orderly withdrawal from Iraq. In the furor that followed, a White House spokesman compared the Vietnam War hero to "Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party." When that approach backfired, President Bush called Murtha a "fine man ... who served our country with honor." The White House has made no attempt to reach out to Murtha since then. "None. None. Zero. Not one call," a baffled Murtha told NEWSWEEK. "I don't know who the hell they're talking to. If they talked to people, they wouldn't get these outbursts. If they'd talked to me, it wouldn't have happened."
These are not the positions of principled or serious people. Voters are not stupid and will recognize how fickle the Democratic party has become and will recognize that they cannot be trusted with the leadership of our country. If the basis for your rejection of our valiant attempt to transform the Middle East is that you didn't get a personal call from President Bush, you've got the maturity of a 13 year old. (Come to think of it, that IS the maturity of most of the members of Congress.)
In closing, the final message to the Democrats (and the insurgents for that matter) will be delivered this week at the polling booths in Iraq. This Iraqi voter from the US summed up my thoughts exactly. (Visit "The Political Teen for the video):
“Anybody who doesn’t appreciate what America has done and President Bush, let them go to hell”
– Iraqi Citizen, voter Betty Dawisha
Our own MontereyJohn, a fine co-conspirator of the vast right wing cabal, was against the war in Iraq. But like a true patriot, he has recognized that premature withdrawal would be disastrous and now that we're in the fight, we must win. Why can't the Democrats, the Tories and the Sunshine Patriots of our day, do the same? They are the Paper Tigers...
For Related posts, see:
ARC: St Wendeler