Monday, August 6, 2007

Democrats Find Religion and Pray for Defeat

The news these days is that the Democratic Party has found religion. So what do these newly baptized holy rollers pray for? Defeat on the battlefield, it they can bring home the troops (whom, of course, they fully support) and, on the basis of this victory, ride a wave of public approval into the eventual control of all three branches of government. If don't see the mutilation of human reason in that, you must have just returned from the Yearly Kos Convention.

A week ago, on the New York Times op ed page, Michael E. O'Hanlon and Kenneth M Pollack (both at The Brookings Institution) wrote up their report on the apparent success we (yes, "we") appear to be having in the president's 2007 counterinsurgency, the so-called "surge" ("A War We Just Might Win," July 30, 2007). Dems are panicking at the news. We are not supposed to win. It's supposed to be a quagmire, Vietnam all over again. The reputations of respectable presidential candidates are at stake. Furthermore, if we are to have any hope of liberating America, the liberation of Iraq must fail. And on it goes.

Commenting on the shock waves this report has sent through Washington, Michael Barone says in today's New York Sun ("Shifting Perceptions of the War"), "It's not often that an opinion article shakes up Washington and changes the way a major issue is viewed. But that happened last week, when the New York Times printed an opinion article by analysts of the Brookings Institution, Michael O'Hanlon and Ken Pollack, on the progress of the surge strategy in Iraq."

His basics points are these: In February 2006, Al Qaeda bombed the Shiite mosque in Samarra and something approaching sectarian civil war broke out. Reality changed, and the president's failure was in not responding. Hope springs eternal when things have been going well.

But after the November 2006 election, President Bush changed our approach to the Iraq war, appointing the author of the Army's new counterinsurgency manual, General David Petraeus, to prosecute the war based on a different set of assumptions and with new goals corresponding to actual conditions. Reality changed once again, but the Democratic opponents of the war (what seems like the whole party, except for "independent" Joe Lieberman) are now failing to recognize it and change their approach to the domestic political war.

Barone concludes, "Democrats could find themselves trapped between a base that wants retreat and defeat, and a majority that wants victory." Politics are not the faint hearted.

Also look at Ralph Peters' "Winning in Iraq and Losing in Washington" from the New York Post, July 26, 2007, and, on the same page, Victor Davis Hanson's "Architects of a Poison 'Peace.'"

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