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Old 12-03-2005, 07:24 PM   #1
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White flag Democrats

White flag Democrats
Author: Max Boot

November 30, 2005
Los Angeles Times

And the democrats wonder why they are considered weak on national security? It’s not because anyone doubts their patriotism. It’s because a lot of people doubt their judgment and toughness.

As if to prove the skeptics right, Democrats have been stepping forth to renounce their previous support for the liberation of Iraq even as Iraqis prepare to vote in a general election. Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, John Kerry, John Edwards, John Murtha—that’s quite a list of heavyweight flip-floppers.

Clinton characteristically wants to have it both ways. He says the invasion was a “big mistake” but that we shouldn’t pull out now because “there’s a lot of evidence it can still work.” (You mean, Mr. President, that we should continue sacrificing soldiers for a mistake?) The others are more consistent. Because they now think the war is wrong, they favor a withdrawal, the only question being whether we should pull out sooner (Murtha) or slightly later (Kerry).

There are some honorable exceptions to this defeatism—Joe Lieberman, Hillary Clinton and Wesley Clark have remained stalwart supporters of the war effort—but they are clearly in the minority of a party steadily drifting toward Howard Dean-George McGovern territory.

Just a few years ago, it seemed as if the Democrats had finally kicked the post-Vietnam, peace-at-any-price syndrome. Before the invasion of Iraq, leading Democrats sounded hawkish in demanding action to deal with what Kerry called the “particularly grievous threat” posed by Saddam Hussein. But it seems that they only wanted to do something if the cost would be minuscule. Now that the war has turned out to be a lot harder than anticipated, the Democrats want to run up the white flag.

They are offering two excuses for their loss of will. First, they claim they were “misled into war” by a duplicitous administration. But it wasn’t George W. Bush who said, “I have no doubt today that, left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons [of mass destruction] again.” It was Bill Clinton on Dec. 16, 1998. As this example indicates, the warnings issued by Bush were virtually identical to those of his Democratic predecessor.

The Democrats’ other excuse is that they never imagined that Bush would bollix up post-invasion planning as badly as he did. It’s true that the president blundered, but it’s not as if things usually go smoothly in the chaos of conflict. In any case, it’s doubtful that the war would have been a cakewalk even if we had been better prepared. The Baathists and their jihadist allies were planning a ruthless terrorist campaign even before U.S. troops entered Iraq. Their calculation was that if they killed enough American soldiers, the American public would demand a pullout.

So far the terrorists’ plan seems to be working. Even most Republican senators are demanding a withdrawal strategy. But it is the Democrats who are stampeding toward the exits. Apparently the death of about 2,100 soldiers over the course of almost three years is more than they can bear. Good thing these were not the same Democrats who were running the country in 1944, or else they would have pulled out of France after the loss of 5,000 Allied servicemen on D-day.

The Democratic mindset—cakewalk or cut and run—has already had parlous consequences. It is the reason why President Clinton did not take meaningful action against Al Qaeda in the 1990s. He figured that a serious military response—an invasion of Afghanistan or even a covert campaign to aid the Northern Alliance—would run steep risks, like body bags coming home. So he limited himself to flinging a few cruise missiles at empty buildings, leading our enemies to think that we were, in Osama bin Laden’s words, a “paper tiger” that could be attacked with impunity. A precipitous withdrawal from Iraq today, aside from sparking a Balkans-style civil war in which hundreds of thousands might die, would confirm this baleful impression and encourage Islamo-fascists to step up their predations.

“Things may develop faster than we imagine,” Al Qaeda’s deputy commander, Ayman Zawahiri, apparently wrote to Abu Musab Zarqawi, the top terrorist in Iraq. “The aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam—and how they ran and left their agents—is noteworthy.” Even more noteworthy is that so many Democrats seem so sanguine about letting history repeat itself.


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Old 12-03-2005, 07:32 PM   #2
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Oh I entirely agree that most of the leading Democrats are cowardly craven flip-floppers. They were absolutely cowardly for going along with this criminal oil grab in the first place. But at least many of them have seen the light.

I would have much more respect, for example, for the people who opposed the invasion from the start i.e. Howard Dean for example and the Libertarian party also. And good old Pat Buchanan the so called 'anti-semite' (anti-semite by Washington standards is defined as when you express any criticisms of Israeli foreign policy or express the heretical point of view that maybe American teenagers' lives needn't be sacrificed for the sake of a far off foreign country that keeps getting into rows with its neigh bours and likes to pretend it's a peace loving democracy)

As for the WWII comparison only people with a very tenuous grasp of history and human nature buy into that particular fantasy.

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Old 12-03-2005, 07:49 PM   #3
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Pat Buchanan doesn't have a great reputation based on past comments, which is why most people will look suspiciously on everything he writes. A lot of it is a matter of the messenger, rather than the message with him.

Nonetheless, Buchanan has remained consistently isolationist. This time around, however, I think the global sentiment is leaning more towards isolationism again. The American public is tired of getting involved in foreign conflicts, and most of the nations we're "liberating" don't want us there either. Iranian dissidents, for instance, want nothing to do with the U.S. They would rather deal with it themselves, even if it takes longer.

And I am getting tired of articles like this. A few Democrats talk about a "cut-and-run" type strategy, and now the whole party is being painted in that brush. Notice how, when the GOP called their bluff and put it up for a vote, that the "cut-and-run" resolution was defeated by an overwhelming margin? That would not have happened had the vast majority of Democrats voted against it too.

People are right to question what seems like a go-nowhere strategy with the Bush Administration, particularly after Bush's infamous "mission accomplished" speech on the aircraft carrier--two years ago. But I do believe that, while many Republicans and Democrats are growing tired of the Bush Administration's notorious secrecy and hollow, misleading rhetoric, they are both interested in victory.

Articles like this do nothing but fuel more division in this country, and offer absolutely nothing new and constructive to the existing discourse.

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