ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Oh Captain, My Captain

Captain Ed has this great article in the Daily Standard. I believe one of our conspirators out in California has used the term Copperheads extensively over the past year to describe the Democratic Party of the 21st century... it seems that some were listening.

Rally Round the (White) Flag, Boys!
Democrats finally find an Iraq policy they can get behind.
by Edward Morrissey
12/07/2005 12:00:00 AM

THE GOOD NEWS for the Democrats is that their leadership has settled on an electoral strategy for 2006. The bad news is that they have cribbed their game plan from one of the most disastrous campaigns in their history. The Democratic leadership has decided to elevate surrender to a party platform for the upcoming elections, with their national chairman, House leader, and last presidential nominee all running up the white flag as the Democratic war banner.

When was the last time that an entire political party stood for backpedaling the way the Democrats have in the past two weeks? Since Rep. John Murtha made his supposedly stunning announcement that he wanted an immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq, the Democrats have embraced surrender.

Not even during the Vietnam War did a major American party position itself to support abject retreat as a wartime political platform. For that, one has to go back to the Civil War, when the Democrats demanded a negotiated peace with the Confederate States of America and a withdrawal from the South. Celebrating the popularity of former General George McClellan, who had come from the battlefield to represent a party whose platform demanded a negotiated settlement (which McClellan later disavowed), the Confederates assumed that the war could be over within days of McClellan's presumed victory over the controversial and hated Abraham Lincoln. Even some Republicans began to question whether Lincoln should stand for reelection--until Sherman took Atlanta and exposed McClellan as a defeatist

and an incompetent of the first order.

Murtha's demand for a pullout gave the party's leadership a chance to openly embrace defeatism, much as McClellan did for Northern Democrats in 1864, using McClellan's field experience for the credibility to argue that the American Army could not hope to defeat the enemy it faced.

AFTER THE MURTHA COMMENTS, the GOP challenged the Democrats to go on record with a Congressional vote for retreat. Almost the entire Democratic caucus cut and ran from their embrace of the cut-and-run strategy--the House voted against the non-binding resolution for immediate withdrawal 403 to 3. The height of Democratic pusillanimity came when GOP Rep. Sam Johnson, a former Vietnam POW, asked for three extra minutes to complete his remarks. Several Democrats voiced objection. The speaker demanded that the members objecting identify themselves--and none would even stand for their own objection.

Since then, things have only gotten worse. John Kerry insisted that no Democrat had demanded a precipitous withdrawal or a timetable for retreat--and then demanded that the White House provide a timetable with dates for "transition of authority." (In other words, after deciding at the end of last year's election that the United States needed more troops in Iraq, he now demands a withdrawal after he demanded an escalation.)

At nearly the same time, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi held her own news conference demanding an immediate withdrawal of all American troops from Iraq. Her second in command, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, shot back that he wanted no withdrawal and instead wanted the nation to focus on victory. Meanwhile, Senator Joe Lieberman returned from his fourth trip to Iraq and wrote that Bush has a plan in place for winning the war--and that it's was working. Democratic leadership respectfully disagreed with Lieberman's assessment--and then changed course and suggested that Lieberman replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense.

Add to Lieberman the much beloved Wesley Clark who penned this Op-Ed in the NYTimes on Tuesday. Sure, he makes some bonehead comments, but he's not for the cut & run strategy that Pelosi, Murtha, and Kerry (?) are for.
We need to keep our troops in Iraq, but we need to modify the strategy far more drastically than anything President Bush called for last week.

On the military side, American and Iraqi forces must take greater control of the country's borders, not only on the Syrian side but also in the east, on the Iranian side. The current strategy of clearing areas near Syria of insurgents and then posting Iraqi troops, backed up by mobile American units, has had success. But it needs to be expanded, especially in the heavily Shiite regions in the southeast, where there has been continuing cross-border traffic from Iran and where the loyalties of the Iraqi troops will be especially tested.

We need to deploy three or four American brigades, some 20,000 troops, with adequate aerial reconnaissance, to provide training, supervision and backup along Iraq's several thousand miles of vulnerable border. And even then, the borders won't be "sealed"; they'll just be more challenging to penetrate.

We must also continue military efforts against insurgent strongholds and bases in the Sunni areas, in conjunction with Iraqi forces. Over the next year or so, this will probably require four to six brigade combat teams, plus an operational reserve, maybe 30,000 troops.

Sensible...

I wonder how all the DUers & Kossacks that adore Clark feel about this position? Apparently, it was met with a silence that was even surprising for this DUer...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Comments (1)
Monterey John said...

You "blieve" I've drawn the comparison between today's Demcrats and those with whom Lincoln had to deal? You believe???!!! It has been my mantra :)

Seriously, I think it is time for me, the avid amateur Civil War historian to cook up a major post on the subject.

The Captain has opened the box and it is time to develop the theme.

By the way, that anonymous conspirator in California is MontereyJohn :)