Posts Tagged ‘World War II’

Looming War In Eastern Europe: Deja Vu All Over Again

August 15, 2008

For the historically literate, the picture of Eastern Europe today is disturbingly reminiscent of the view circa 1939. That was the year that Nazi Germany – having provided pseudo-justifications based on staged provocations – invaded first Czechoslovakia and then Poland. Throughout the entire period leading up to these military invasions, the Western world weakly stood by and did nothing but “dialogue.”

As hundreds of Russian tanks poured into his country, CNN reporter Susan Malveaux asked Georgian President Saakashvili:

MALVEAUX: Have you reached out to them? Do you feel there’s any room for negotiation or at least to begin a dialogue or discussions?

The problem has been that Russia has done its “negotiating” with tanks.

The UK Telgraph runs a story by Josh Bolton the editors titled, “The US fiddled while Georgia burned.” And this is undoubtedly true (as Bolton himself acknowledges). But at least the US’ “fiddling” involved doing something (in the sense of trying to get Georgia admitted to NATO, which would have circumvented this entire sad affair). Europe stood by and did absolutely nothing while Georgia burned.  And the so-called “cease fire agreement” that France proffered essentially allows Russia to remain in Georgian territory for as long as they like.  Many believe that the presence of Russian forces only a few miles from the Georgian capital is a naked attempt to topple the democratic government.

Just as with Iraq, European intransigence to sound diplomatic policy led to war. By refusing to accept the United States’ demand to require meaningful weapons inspections on Iraq, the U.N. in general and France and Russia in particular took every option but open war off the table for America. And by refusing to allow the U.S.-backed Georgian bid to join NATO, our European “allies” left a democratic and pro-Western former Soviet State vulnerable to precisely the sort of attack that totalitarian Russia launched.

Josh Bolton describes the European diplomatic initiative in shades of the infamous Munich Agreement:

The European Union took the lead in diplomacy, with results approaching Neville Chamberlain’s moment in the spotlight at Munich: a ceasefire that failed to mention Georgia’s territorial integrity, and that all but gave Russia permission to continue its military operations as a “peacekeeping” force anywhere in Georgia. More troubling, over the long term, was that the EU saw its task as being mediator – its favourite role in the world – between Georgia and Russia, rather than an advocate for the victim of aggression.

After Neville Chamberlain returned from signing the infamous agreement with Hitler, and appeasing an evil tyrant in the name of “peace in our time,” an embittered Winston Churchill observed:

“You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”

Josh Bolton believes that “the extent of the wreckage [of Georgia] reaches far beyond that small country.” He goes on to write:

The West, collectively, failed in this crisis. Georgia wasted its dime making that famous 3am telephone call to the White House, the one Hillary Clinton referred to in a campaign ad questioning Barack Obama’s fitness for the Presidency. Moreover, the blood on the Bear’s claws did not go unobserved in other states that were once part of the Soviet Union. Russia demonstrated unambiguously that it could have marched directly to Tbilisi and installed a puppet government before any Western leader was able to turn away from the Olympic Games. It could, presumably, do the same to them.

Fear was one reaction Russia wanted to provoke, and fear it has achieved, not just in the “Near Abroad” but in the capitals of Western Europe as well. But its main objective was hegemony, a hegemony it demonstrated by pledging to reconstruct Tskhinvali, the capital of its once and no-longer-future possession, South Ossetia. The contrast is stark: a real demonstration of using sticks and carrots, the kind that American and European diplomats only talk about. Moreover, Russia is now within an eyelash of dominating the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, the only route out of the Caspian Sea region not now controlled by either Russia or Iran. Losing this would be dramatically unhelpful if we hope for continued reductions in global petroleum prices, and energy independence from unfriendly, or potentially unfriendly, states.

It profits us little to blame Georgia for “provoking” the Russian attack. Nor is it becoming of the United States to have anonymous officials from its State Department telling reporters, as they did earlier this week, that they had warned Georgia not to provoke Russia. This confrontation is not about who violated the Marquess of Queensbury rules in South Ossetia, where ethnic violence has been a fact of life since the break-up of the Soviet Union on December 31, 1991 – and, indeed, long before. Instead, we are facing the much larger issue of how Russia plans to behave in international affairs for decades to come. Whether Mikhail Saakashvili “provoked” the Russians on August 8, or September 8, or whenever, this rape was well-planned and clearly coming, given Georgia’s manifest unwillingness to be “Finlandized” – the Cold War term for effectively losing your foreign-policy independence.

And now we are already beginning to see not only “how Russia plans to behave in international affairs for decades to come”, but right in the here and now.

In a statement about Poland that ought to send shivers up the spine of any thinking human being, a top Russian general added to the rhetoric of President Dmitry Medveded:

Only 24 hours after the weapons agreement was signed Russia’s deputy chief of staff warned Poland “is exposing itself to a strike 100 per cent”.

General Anatoly Nogovitsyn said that any new US assets in Europe could come under Russian nuclear attack with his forces targeting “the allies of countries having nuclear weapons”.

He told Russia’s Interfax news agency: “By hosting these, Poland is making itself a target. This is 100 per cent certain. It becomes a target for attack. Such targets are destroyed as a first priority.”

Russia’s nuclear rhetoric marks an intense new phase in the war of words over Georgia. The Caucasus conflict has spiralled into a Cold War style confrontation between Moscow and Washington in less than a week.

The stand off between the two cold War powers was underlined by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, who dismissed US claims that the silo is a deterrent against ‘rogue states’ like Iran as “a fairy tale”. He told reporters at the Black Sea resort of Sochi: “The deployment of new missile defence facilities in Europe is aimed against the Russian Federation.”

Poland and a few other former Soviet Republicans who do not want to become future Russian republics are moving toward official relationships with the United States and Western alliances such as NATO. We must stop attempting to appease rogue and tyrant states for the sake of going along to get along in the short term and clearly and strongly back Western-leaning democratic states.

Again, Bolton is right on target:

Europe’s rejection this spring of President Bush’s proposal to start Ukraine and Georgia towards Nato membership was the real provocation to Russia, because it exposed Western weakness and timidity. As long as that perception exists in Moscow, the risk to other former Soviet territories – and in precarious regions such as the Middle East – will remain.

Obviously, not all former Soviet states are as critical to Nato as Ukraine, because of its size and strategic location, or Georgia, because of its importance to our access to the Caspian Basin’s oil and natural gas reserves. Moreover, not all of them meet fundamental Nato prerequisites. But we must now review our relationship with all of them. This, in effect, Nato failed to do after the Orange and Rose Revolutions, leaving us in our present untenable position.

By its actions in Georgia, Russia has made clear that its long-range objective is to fill that “gap” if we do not. That, as Western leaders like to say, is “unacceptable”. Accordingly, we should have a foreign-minister-level meeting of Nato to reverse the spring capitulation at Bucharest, and to decide that Georgia and Ukraine will be Nato’s next members. By drawing the line clearly, we are not provoking Russia, but doing just the opposite: letting them know that aggressive behaviour will result in costs that they will not want to bear, thus stabilising a critical seam between Russia and the West. In effect, we have already done this successfully with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Diplomacy is always worth pursuing. But diplomacy that is not backed with power and the willingness to use it is meaningless, and will always be recognized as such by tyrants and terrorists.

As we look at Russian totalitarian imperialism in Eastern Europe, and contemplate the looming menace of a nuclear-weapons-armed Iran, we must realize that much of the world is in the same mindset that the world was in in 1938. Only by recognizing that we must stand strongly against such developments will we be able to avoid the next catastrophic global harvest of death.

This is as certain as the fact that World War III follows World War II.

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Supreme Court Gitmo Verdict Shows Liberals, Obama Unfit for Power

June 21, 2008

Liberals have proven yet again that they are absolutely not to be trusted with power.

In a decision stunning for it’s breathtakingly counterproductive stupidity, liberal Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens, Stephen Breyer, David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg ruled last Thursday “that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts.” Conservative Justices John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito held the very different view that foreign enemies of the United States captured while trying to kill American soldiers on foreign soil should not have the right to access American courts.

At its heart, the 70-page ruling says that the detainees have the same rights as anyone else in custody in the United States to contest their detention before a judge. [Justice Anthony] Kennedy also said the system the administration has put in place to classify detainees as enemy combatants and review those decisions is not an adequate substitute for the right to go before a civilian judge.”

Senator Linsey Grahem (R-SC), who helped Senator John McCain write the military commissions law, said, “What happened yesterday was unprecedented. Americans are going to be shocked to find that that mastermind of 9-11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, now has the same legal standing as an American citizen.”

Solicitor General Paul Clement has pointed out that the process in place already provided “combatants being held at Guantanamo Bay, [the opportunity to] enjoy more procedural protections than any other captured enemy combatants in the history of warfare.” Congress had already given Guantanamo Bay prisoners more rights than any prisoners of war, in any war, ever. Congress provided enemy combatants the the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act (DTA); they provided a Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT); and a bi-partisan Congress (by 65 to 34 in the Senate) had already previously mandated that the 270 Guantanamo detainees were not free to avoid these procedures by filing habeas petitions in whatever federal district court they choose.

But the detainees’ lawyers have contended that the current law fails to protect the constitutional rights their clients were entitled to receive. They have demanded full habeas corpus rights, a constitutional protection that forces the government to justify in an open courtroom legitimate reasons an individual needs to be behind bars.

And now they have those rights. Yeah for them.

The decision also reveals the enormous divide between the two presidential candidates:

John McCain said Friday that the Supreme Court ruling on Guantanamo Bay detainees is “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.”

“We are now going to have the courts flooded with so-called … habeas corpus suits against the government, whether it be about the diet, whether it be about the reading material. And we are going to be bollixed up in a way that is terribly unfortunate because we need to go ahead and adjudicate these cases,” he said.

“Barack Obama released a statement Thursday saying the Supreme Court decision “ensures that we can protect our nation and bring terrorists to justice while also protecting our core values.”

“The Court’s decision is a rejection of the Bush administration’s attempt to create a legal black hole at Guantanamo – yet another failed policy supported by John McCain,” he said. “This is an important step toward re-establishing our credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law and rejecting a false choice between fighting terrorism and respecting habeas corpus.”

Notwithstanding the most liberal member of the Senate’s incessant attempt to demonize President Bush, the real “black hole” is the sheer number of questions this decision necessarily creates that must yet be answered. As Solicitor General Paul Clement pointed out, no nation has ever before in history granted so many rights and protections to its enemies as the United States now has. Just how many unintended consequences will this decision cause?

In order to get us to this point, the Supreme Court first had to toss out the principle of stare decisis (the abbreviated form of “stare decisis et non quieta movere” which means “stand by decisions and do not move that which is still.” No Supreme Court had ever before allowed an alien who was captured fighting against the United States to use its own courts to challenge his detention. Not until now.

As University of California at Berkely law professor John Yoo points out, “In World War II, no civilian court reviewed the thousands of German prisoners housed in the U.S. Federal judges never heard cases from the Confederate prisoners of war held during the Civil War. In a trilogy of cases decided at the end of World War II, the Supreme Court agreed that the writ did not benefit enemy aliens held outside the U.S. In the months after the 9/11 attacks, we in the Justice Department relied on the Supreme Court’s word when we evaluated Guantanamo Bay as a place to hold al Qaeda terrorists.”

One of the Justices who participated in the World War II decisions was the late Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson. His worldview was further shaped by his incredible experience as Chief War Crimes Prosecutor at Nuremburg. In the 1950 opinion that was tossed out into the dustbin of history last week, Jackson denied habeas to a Nazi prisoner because in all of history there had been “no instance where a court has issued habeas corpus to an alien enemy who…has never been within its territorial jurisdiction.”

Ponder for a moment Jackson’s admonition in a free speech case heard by his Court:

If the Court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.”

Today we have too many liberals and Democrats who would argue that the sacrifice of an American city of tens of millions is surely preferable to the water boarding of a single terrorist who knew of an impending attack but refused to communicate with US intelligence. Why? Because such a sacrifice of American blood would be preferable to the sacrifice of a single Constitutional principle (such as the penumbras and emanations that were used to justify abortion?) as liberals (mis)understand it. Realize that for all the pompous posturing and self-righteous indignation over water boarding, it was a non-fatal, non-harmful, and non-invasive interrogation technique that was used only two or three times at most when it was determined to be absolutely necessary by intelligence professionals.

The second thing tossed out was the Constitutional principle of the separation of powers, “which grants all war decisions to the president and Congress. In 2004 and 2006, the Supreme Court tried to extend its reach to al Qaeda terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay. It was overruled twice by Congress, which has the power to define the jurisdiction of the federal courts. Congress established its own procedures for the appeal of detentions.”

Joel J. Sprayregen, a former general counsel of the Illinois ACLU who finally saw the light of judicial sanity, put it this way in his article, ‘It Will Almost Certainly Cause More Americans to Be Killed‘ (available at):

The smallest of majorities is disregarding judicial history and pretending we live in a world where captured deadly enemies can be granted an advantage, without it affecting the likelihood of victory. I can’t say it better than Justice Scalia:

“America is at war with radical Islamists. The enemy began by killing Americans abroad: 241 at the Marine barracks in Lebanon, 19 at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, 224 at our embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, and 17 on the USS Cole. On September 11, 2001, the enemy brought the battle to American soil, killing 2,749 at the Twin Towers in New York City, 184 at the Pentagon and 10 in Pennsylvania… It has threatened further attacks against our homeland; one need only walk about buttressed and barricaded Washington, or board a plane, to know the threat is serious… Last week, 13 of our countrymen in arms were killed.”

In his blistering dissent, Justice Scalia said the decision “will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.”

There are a couple of points that simply must be considered.

First of all, the practical impossibility of releasing Guantanamo detainees:

LONDON — More than a fifth of the approximately 385 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been cleared for release but may have to wait months or years for their freedom because U.S. officials are finding it increasingly difficult to line up places to send them, according to Bush administration officials and defense lawyers.

Since February, the Pentagon has notified about 85 inmates or their attorneys that they are eligible to leave after being cleared by military review panels. But only a handful have gone home, including a Moroccan and an Afghan who were released Tuesday. Eighty-two remain at Guantanamo and face indefinite waits as U.S. officials struggle to figure out when and where to deport them, and under what conditions.

The delays illustrate how much harder it will be to empty the prison at Guantanamo than it was to fill it after it opened in January 2002 to detain fighters captured in Afghanistan and terrorism suspects captured overseas.

In many cases, the prisoners’ countries do not want them back. Yemen, for instance, has balked at accepting some of the 106 Yemeni nationals at Guantanamo by challenging the legality of their citizenship.

Second (and related to the first), the sheer absurdity that results from granting our enemies captured on the battlefield our legal protections:

David Rivkin, a lawyer who worked in the administration of former President George H.W. Bush, concedes that some Guantanamo detainees may be innocent, but if the system for evaluating people seized as terrorists becomes any more stringent, he said, “we wouldn’t be able to hold most of these people, not because they’re innocent but because we don’t have enough information to establish that level of rigor because, in war, you rarely have this kind of information. So, we would be releasing all of them; the system would be broken from the other side.

Rivkin said he does not believe the U.S. government could justify detaining most of the Guantanamo detainees if it were put to the more rigorous test of a habeas corpus hearing in U.S. courts. Moreover, “I’ve been told, back when I was at Guantanamo, that Guantanamo itself has become a gigantic al-Qaida training cell — it’s like a graduate school, if you will, for these guys.”

And despite the best efforts of the U.S. government, in many cases, Rivkin said, countries don’t want to take back the detainees.

“Let’s assume quaintly that they’re not innocent shepherds. We cannot hold them, and we cannot send them to any other country. What are we supposed to do — give them political asylum here? Let them walk the streets?” Rivkin said.

At least six former detainees have been killed or captured after their release. As many as fifty have returned to fight against American forces. Considering that we’re talking about fewer than 400 detainees, that’s a large number. And it was military tribunals which released them; how many more murderous fighters will be released when civilian courts become involved?

We have moral idiots like Erick Goldstein, who wrote, “The United States can begin to regain its moral authority in combating terrorism when the Guantanamo Bay detention facility is closed. But that’s only if the government stops sending detainees back to places like Tunisia.”

The fact of the matter is that many of the countries that have been most vociferous in critizing Guantanamo have privately refused to accept their own citizens back. Most of these people are extremely dangerous.

When Guantanamo is closed because of liberal policies and strategies, mark my words, they will start ending up in places like Tunisia, and places much worse. The American soldiers’ only alternative would be to execute their enemies in the field. But the liberals who create this total disaster will certainly never admit their stupidity.

Third, how are we to legally proceed against enemies captured on the battlefield? Could we have possibly won World War II if our soldiers and Marines were ordered to collect forensic evidence of German and Japanese soldiers’ firing upon them to present in court? Could we have brought non-American witnesses to American court to testify? Could we have defeated our enemies when, following every battle, American servicemen had to return home to testify against the captured enemy?

How are our forces supposed to proceed when the liberals on the Supreme Court now implicitly order them to become Crime Scene Investigators gathering evidence instead of soldiers fighting a war?

And how do we keep the terrorists from using the discovery process that must necessarily result from granting them habeas corpus rights in U.S. courts against us?

Sprayregen writes:

Scalia detailed how prisoners released from Guantanamo — because they were not considered combatants — had returned to murder Americans and our allies. Scalia is foreseeably correct in concluding that the decision “will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.”

The Court is basing its decision — disregarding two centuries of decisions holding that habeas is unavailable to aliens captured abroad — on the fact that Gitmo is “functionally” under U.S. control. But so are U.S. bases in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Terrorists captured there are now invited immediately to compel our military to reveal its basis for detentions; this is the meaning of habeas. It gets worse. Justice Kennedy explained in invalidating the DTA — which provides wider access to Government evidence than the Geneva Convention – that

“the detainee’s ability to rebut the Government’s evidence is limited by the circumstances of his confinement and his lack of counsel at this stage.”

If you do not comprehend that the ACLU and its fellow revelers are preparing petitions in blank to seek — on behalf of every terrorist captured overseas — to compel the Government immediately to disclose its evidence, then you understand nothing.

Chief Justice Roberts pointed out in his dissent what the Court is opening the door to:

“free access to classified information ignores the risk the prisoner may convey what he learns to parties hostile to this country, with deadly consequences for those who helped apprehend the detainee.”

Roberts noted that our troops are not equipped to handle subpoenas on the battlefield. Information given to defense lawyers in the first World Trade Towers trial on a restricted basis quickly appeared on al-Jazeera.

The alleged shoplifter at a suburban mall is entitled to see the prosecution’s file because she needs it to defend herself. The terrorist wants his file so he can arrange to slit the throats of intelligence operatives and informants. The Court’s decision undermines that result.

These are not theoretical dangers. In the United Kingdom, two dangerous terrorists are being released for lack of sufficient evidence to criminally prosecute them. An article titled “Abu Qatada: Terror chief next to be released on bail” by Security Correspondent Duncan Gardham illustrates what we have opened ourselves up to in this Supreme Court decision.

The release of terrorists known only as “U” and “Y” (in order to protect their oh-so-important privacy rights) due to lack of sufficient evidence reminds me of one of those cases of a terrified woman who is denied by the court of legal protection against a stalker due to lack of sufficient evidence until after he murders her.

President Abraham Lincoln famously suspended habeas corpus for two years during the Civil War.

In 1862, when copperhead democrats began criticizing Lincoln’s violation of the Constitution, Lincoln suspended habeas corpus throughout the nation and had many copperhead democrats arrested under military authority because he felt that the State Courts in the north west would not convict war protesters such as the copperheads. He proclaimed that all persons who discouraged enlistments or engaged in disloyal practices would come under Martial Law.

Among the 13,000 people arrested under martial law was a Maryland Secessionist, John Merryman. Immediately, Hon. Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States issued a writ of habeas corpus commanding the military to bring Merryman before him. The military refused to follow the writ. Justice Taney, in Ex parte MERRYMAN, then ruled the suspension of habeas corpus unconstitutional because the writ could not be suspended without an Act of Congress. President Lincoln and the military ignored Justice Taney’s ruling.

This Abraham Lincoln – regarded by many liberals and conservatives alike as the greatest American president ever – is the same Lincoln who disregarded the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision. In issuing the Emancipation Proclamation and freeing the slaves, Lincoln in effect said to the Supreme Court, “You are wrong.”

The Supreme Court has been terribly wrong before, and it is terribly wrong now. Alas, we don’t have a Lincoln who will stand up against the moral stupidity of the Court today.

Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”

Which is a more legally-precise way of saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Liberals live in a world of theory, and whenever the facts conflict with their theory, they simply ignore the facts. It doesn’t matter how idiotic their ideas are; it doesn’t matter how disastrous are the consequences: it only matters that they have good intentions.

We have placed ourselves at a significant disadvantage voluntarily. For the last several years, Democrats repeatedly threatened to prosecute telecommunications companies that assisted the Bush Administration with information following 9/11. The Democrats recently caved in on the new FISA bill after a lengthy and determined campaign to hold telecommunications criminally responsible for their cooperation with their government. Don’t think for a second that these companies will ever be so willing to assist the United States again. We will be more blind in the future thanks to Democrats.

And now judicial liberals have issued this stunningly stupid and self-defeating ruling. And they’ve done this terrible thing with all the “beneficent purposes” that Justice Brandeis warned about. Our valuable and vital national security secrets will go to the terrorists who would kill us, even as we are forced to free more and more of them to fight again due to lack of sufficient evidence to stand up in a civilian court of law.

The fact that Barack Obama has cheered their verdict is another powerful proof that he should never be allowed to become our president. If elected, you can count on Barack Obama to appoint Justices and judges who will go even further in undermining our ability to defend and protect ourselves. A vote for Obama is a vote for baring the nation’s throat to those who would slash it in a nanosecond.

Democratic Debate: Promising Armageddon

April 18, 2008

As a conservative, I obviously found difficulties in a number of issues and statements raised in the Democratic debate last night (April 16). But the candidates response to the issue of the war in Iraq – particularly framed as it was against the even greater issues of a looming nuclear Iran and the threat of a nuclear arms race in the most violent, terrifying, and paranoid region in the world – was downright disturbing.

As I listened to the Democratic candidates, I had a dizzying moment of “deja vu all over again” as I recalled the historic lessons of the disasterous liberal failures that enabled World War II. And I could not help but remember the biblical narratives prohecying that total future apocalypse commonly known as “armageddon.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/16/us/politics/16text-debate.html?pagewanted=13.

MANDY GARBER of Pittsburgh asked the following question: “So, the real question is, I mean, do the candidates have a real plan to get us out of Iraq or is it just real campaign propaganda? And you know, it’s really unclear. They keep saying we want to bring the troops back, but considering what’s happening on the ground, how is that going to happen?

CHARLES GIBSON followed up: “Let me just add a little bit to that question, because your communications director in your campaign, Howard Wolfson on a conference call recently was asked, “Is Senator Clinton going to stick to her announced plan of bringing one or two brigades out of Iraq every month whatever the realities on the ground?” And Wolfson said, “I’m giving you a one-word answer so we can be clear about it, the answer is yes.”

So if the military commanders in Iraq came to you on day one and said this kind of withdrawal would destabilize Iraq, it would set back all of the gains that we have made, no matter what, you’re going to order those troops to come home?

SENATOR CLINTON replied: “Yes, I am, Charlie. And here’s why: You know, thankfully we have a system in our country of civilian control of the military. And our professional military are the best in the world. They give their best advice and then they execute the policies of the president. I have watched this president as he has continued to change the rationale and move the goalposts when it comes to Iraq.

And I am convinced that it is in America’s best interest, it is in the best interest of our military, and I even believe it is in the best interest of Iraq, that upon taking office, I will ask the secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and my security advisers to immediately put together for me a plan so that I can begin to withdraw within 60 days. I will make it very clear that we will do so in a responsible and careful manner, because obviously, withdrawing troops and equipment is dangerous.

I will also make it clear to the Iraqis that they no longer have a blank check from the president of the United States, because I believe that it will be only through our commitment to withdraw that the Iraqis will begin to do what they have failed to do for all of these years.

I will also begin an intensive diplomatic effort, both within the region and internationally, to begin to try to get other countries to understand the stakes that we all face when it comes to the future of Iraq.

But I have been convinced and very clear that I will begin to withdraw troops within 60 days. And we’ve had other instances in our history where some military commanders have been very publicly opposed to what a president was proposing to do.

But I think it’s important that this decision be made, and I intend to make it.”

CHARLES GIBSON addressed Senator Obama with the same question: “And Senator Obama, your campaign manager, David Plouffe, said, when he is — this is talking about you — when he is elected president, we will be out of Iraq in 16 months at the most; there should be no confusion about that.

So you’d give the same rock-hard pledge, that no matter what the military commanders said, you would give the order: Bring them home.

SENATOR OBAMA: “Because the commander in chief sets the mission, Charlie. That’s not the role of the generals. And one of the things that’s been interesting about the president’s approach lately has been to say, well, I’m just taking cues from General Petraeus.

Well, the president sets the mission. The general and our troops carry out that mission. And unfortunately we have had a bad mission, set by our civilian leadership, which our military has performed brilliantly. But it is time for us to set a strategy that is going to make the American people safer.

Now, I will always listen to our commanders on the ground with respect to tactics. Once I’ve given them a new mission, that we are going to proceed deliberately in an orderly fashion out of Iraq and we are going to have our combat troops out, we will not have permanent bases there, once I’ve provided that mission, if they come to me and want to adjust tactics, then I will certainly take their recommendations into consideration; but ultimately the buck stops with me as the commander in chief.

And what I have to look at is not just the situation in Iraq, but the fact that we continue to see al Qaeda getting stronger in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, we continue to see anti-American sentiment fanned all cross the Middle East, we are overstretched in a way — we do not have a strategic reserve at this point. If there was another crisis that was taking place, we would not have a brigade that we could send to deal with that crisis that isn’t already scheduled to be deployed in Iraq. That is not sustainable. That’s not smart national security policy, and it’s going to change when I’m president.”

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS then turned attention to the issue of Iran and the threat it represented to the region: “Senator Obama, let’s stay in the region. Iran continues to pursue a nuclear option. Those weapons, if they got them, would probably pose the greatest threat to Israel. During the Cold War, it was the United States policy to extend deterrence to our NATO allies. An attack on Great Britain would be treated as if it were an attack on the United States. Should it be U.S. policy now to treat an Iranian attack on Israel as if it were an attack on the United States?

SENATOR OBAMA responded: Well, our first step should be to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Iranians, and that has to be one of our top priorities. And I will make it one of our top priorities when I’m president of the United States.

I have said I will do whatever is required to prevent the Iranians from obtaining nuclear weapons. I believe that that includes direct talks with the Iranians where we are laying out very clearly for them, here are the issues that we find unacceptable, not only development of nuclear weapons but also funding terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as their anti-Israel rhetoric and threats towards Israel. I believe that we can offer them carrots and sticks, but we’ve got to directly engage and make absolutely clear to them what our posture is.

Now, my belief is that they should also know that I will take no options off the table when it comes to preventing them from using nuclear weapons or obtaining nuclear weapons, and that would include any threats directed at Israel or any of our allies in the region.”

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: “So you would extend our deterrent to Israel?

SENATOR OBAMA: “As I’ve said before, I think it is very important that Iran understands that an attack on Israel is an attack on our strongest ally in the region, one that we — one whose security we consider paramount, and that — that would be an act of aggression that we — that I would — that I would consider an attack that is unacceptable, and the United States would take appropriate action.”

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: “Senator Clinton, would you?

SENATOR CLINTON: “Well, in fact, George, I think that we should be looking to create an umbrella of deterrence that goes much further than just Israel. Of course I would make it clear to the Iranians that an attack on Israel would incur massive retaliation from the United States, but I would do the same with other countries in the region.

You know, we are at a very dangerous point with Iran. The Bush policy has failed. Iran has not been deterred. They continue to try to not only obtain the fissile material for nuclear weapons but they are intent upon and using their efforts to intimidate the region and to have their way when it comes to the support of terrorism in Lebanon and elsewhere.

And I think that this is an opportunity, with skillful diplomacy, for the United States to go to the region and enlist the region in a security agreement vis-a-vis Iran. It would give us three tools we don’t now have.

Number one, we’ve got to begin diplomatic engagement with Iran, and we want the region and the world to understand how serious we are about it. And I would begin those discussions at a low level. I certainly would not meet with Ahmadinejad, because even again today he made light of 9/11 and said he’s not even sure it happened and that people actually died. He’s not someone who would have an opportunity to meet with me in the White House. But I would have a diplomatic process that would engage him.

And secondly, we’ve got to deter other countries from feeling that they have to acquire nuclear weapons. You can’t go to the Saudis or the Kuwaitis or UAE and others who have a legitimate concern about Iran and say: Well, don’t acquire these weapons to defend yourself unless you’re also willing to say we will provide a deterrent backup and we will let the Iranians know that, yes, an attack on Israel would trigger massive retaliation, but so would an attack on those countries that are willing to go under this security umbrella and forswear their own nuclear ambitions.”

Now, I am glad that both candidates want to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, want to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons in the region, and want to promise to protect our allies in the region. I believe these are all very good things.

But I want to focus attention on the fact that withdrawing from Iraq will actually have the very opposite effects from these goals, and will virtually guarantee that none of these goals would be attainable. If the United States abandons Iraq, it will put us on a trajectory toward disaster.

In an earlier article, I attempted to draw some of the parallels between our abandonment of Vietnam between 1973 and 1975, with what would almost certainly happen were we to similarly abandon Iraq. In short, the United States pulled its forces out due to domestic protest after it had painstakingly attained a stable military situation. The 1968 Tet offensive had been a military disaster for the Communist North, and the Viet Cong guerrillas had been annihilated in the American counteroffensive. But the domestic protests, and the scandal that undermined the Nixon presidency, forced the United States to negotiate with the North. Nixon claimed a “Peace with honor,” but the Democratic-controlled Congress refused to honor the American commitment to South Vietnam. Military aid ceased; funds were cut off. And when North Vietnamese tanks rolled on Saigon, the Republic of South Vietnam had nothing to stop them with. A bloodbath of massive proportions followed that spread from Vietnam to Cambodia to Laos. Three million died after the war, and untold numbers of refugee “boat people” perished at sea.

American prestige was terribly undermined as our enemies realized we truly could be defeated, and our allies realized that we would not necessarily keep our promises. The United States soon withdrew its commitments elsewhere, including its backing of the Shah of Iran, who had been the closest American ally in the region. To this very day, our enemies believe that the United States can not stand a prolonged war with casualties, and that we will withdraw – “cut and run” – from our allies and our interests if they can pile up enough bodies.

I think about these things. And I greatly mourn that we may very well be in the process of repeating our same mistakes in nearly exactly the same manner. Only this time the stakes are much, much higher, and the disaster that will surely follow will be much, much worse.

As a student of history, I remember the abject failure of the Western allies to grasp the growing threat of their enemies throughout the 1930s. I remember the refusal of the liberal governments of the Allied powers to comprehend what are now known to have been fundamental realities of naked aggression and looming war. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain abandoned his country’s commitment to Czechoslovakia with a promise from Hitler of peace. The liberal, “anti-war” Chamberlain returned home saying, “I believe it is peace in our time!” Chamberlain saw Britain’s policy as a willingness to compromise and a desire for peace. But Hitler saw only weakness, hesitation, and cowardice, and became emboldened for total war. Again and again, the West had had an opportunity to demonstrate its genuine resolve to Hitler, and again and again the West had failed to stand.

In our present day, the Democratic Party has demonstrated a shocking degree of treachery in regard to Iraq. It is their war as much as it is Republicans’ war – because it should be America’s war.

In his 1998 State of the Union Address before the United States Congress, President Clinton told the world, “I say to Saddam Hussein: You cannot deny the will of the world. You have used weapons of mass destruction before. We are determined to deny you the capacity to use them again.” A week later, President Clinton said, “I will say again, one way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.”

On 31 October 1998, President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act into law, saying, “It should be the policy of the United States to seek to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace the regime.”

After the horror of the 9/11 attacks, the full horror of Islamic terrorists murderous intent was nakedly revealed to a shocked United States. Military and civilian national security authorities alike immediately realized that the attacks would have been far, far worse if the terrorists had been able to obtain WMD capability. And they knew that major terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda were determined to obtain WMD.

President Bush confronted Saddam Hussein over his country’s weapons program, but the Iraqi dictator refused to give the United States a clear picture of his capability. The United States Senate voted 77-23 to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq in 2002; the United States House of Representatives approved the resolution, 296-133. The vote wasn’t even close. The resolution actually passed by wider margins than the 1991 resolution that had empowered President George H.W. Bush to go to war to expel Iraq from Kuwait. That 1991 measure passed 250-183 in the House and 52-47 in the Senate. Furthermore, a clear majority of Democrats in the Senate supported the October 2002 war resolution: 29 Democratic Senators voted “aye” and only 21 “nay.”

On 17 March 2003, Senator Hillary Clinton said on the eve of war, “Tonight, the President gave Saddam Hussein one last chance to avoid war, and the world hopes that Saddam Hussein will finally hear this ultimatum, understand the severity of those words, and act accordingly. While we wish there were more international support for the effort to disarm Saddam Hussein, at this critical juncture it is important for all of us to come together in support of our troops and pray that, if war does occur, this mission is accomplished swiftly and decisively with minimum loss of life and civilian casualties.

Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on 15 December 2003 after celebrating the capture of Saddam Hussein, she declared, “I was one who supported giving President Bush the authority, if necessary, to use force against Saddam Hussein. I believe that that was the right vote” and was one that “I stand by.” The speech she gave that evening is noteworthy given the abject treachery she would come to show in repudiating everything she said that evening.
http://www.cfr.org/publication/6600/remarks_by_senator_hillary_rodham_clinton_transcript.html

Democrats can’t just walk away from a commitment to a war that this nation elected to undertake, can they? But that is exactly what they did. To paraphrase the famous John Kerry flip flop of his failed 2004 presidential campaign, “I voted for that war before I voted against it.” We were at war, but the Democrats turned and ran on Republicans the moment the fighting got fierce. And for simple political opportunism they have spent the five years since talking about Republican war-mongering rather than their own moral cowardice.

UPI reported on story titled, “Negative U.S. media linked to increased insurgent attacks.” The article begins: “Researchers at Harvard say that publicly voiced doubts about the U.S. occupation of Iraq have a measurable “emboldenment effect” on insurgents there. ‘We find that in periods immediately after a spike in anti-resolve statements, the level of insurgent attacks increases,’ says the study, published earlier this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a leading U.S. nonprofit economic research organization.”
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080324/FOREIGN/259963993/1003

Can anyone believe that when major Democrats say things such as, “The war is lost” (Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid) that this doesn’t embolden our enemies to stay in the fight?

Somehow, both Democratic presidential candidates as well as the very nearly the entire Democratic political apparatus believes that they have absolutely no responsibility for the war, or to the people of Iraq. They believe they can simply blame it all on Bush and the Republicans and count on an ignorant and increasingly amoral America to go along with their revision of history.

But when they abandon the commitment to Iraq that better and more honorable Americans made to that country, they will be undermining the future of America.

Democrats will be mouthing the mantra, “I believe it is peace in our time!” Even as they set the stage for total Armageddon. Iran – just as Nazi Germany – will see what the Democrats view as high-minded liberal foreign policy as weakness, hesitation, and cowardice. And the next Democratic president will either see that Armageddon arise during his/her own administration, or else he or she will set it up for the next presidential administration just as Jimmy Carter set up the modern state of Iran by betraying the Shah and enabling the Ayatollahs to take over in his stead.

Both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama agreed that we must not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. But how will the Democrats – who now universally and roundly condemn President Bush’s decision to attack Iraq without total proof of WMD when he had used WMD repeatedly on his enemies – arrive at the threshhold of certainty? The fact is, we can never be certain what is going on iside a totalitarian state such as Iran (or Iraq). Further, when the Democrats have spent the last five years proclaiming that the war in Iraq was a mistake, how are they now going to be able to say with a straight face, “And we’re willing to make the same mistake with you” to Iran?

Iran will know that 1) all they have to do is continue to develop their nukes in some degree of murkiness, because Democrats can’t go in unless they are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN Iran has such weapons. So we won’t ever be able to go in there under a Democratic administration. And 2) Iran will know that even if Democrats DID go in (Which they won’t!), they wouldn’t stay the course if the fighting got tough (which it most certainly would). All Iran has to do is keep piling up bodies – even if its just the bodies of their own – and Democrats will turn and run. It is what they do. More than anything else in our generation, cutting and running defines the Democratic Party.

Clinton and Obama also let it be known that Sunni countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt will trust them when they pledge to defend them from Iran, making their own nuclear programs unneccessary. The problem of a nuclear Iran goes beyond a nuclear Iran: it creates an imbalance of power that will force Sunni nations such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt to develop their own nuclear programs to balance the Shiite Iranians. Think of a nuclear arms race going on in the most radical, terrifying, murderous, and paranoid region in the world. And Sunnis – who we know DON’T get along real well with Shiites, will trust the United States to stick by them through thick and thin? Yeah, right; the Democrats who have spent five years vowing to cut and run from staying in Iraq will now stand by their word to help you, Saudi Arabia and Egypt? (“But we really mean it this time!”).

Allow me to guarantee you that a Democratic administration will see a nuclear Iran. Given their policy on Iraq, it becomes an implicit campaign promise. And it will see a nuclearized Middle East. Democrats have spent forty years proving that they are cowards who will not stand by their allies, and their actions will come home to roost.

A Republican president can say to the Iranians, “We went in to Iran when we thought they might attack us, Iran. And I promise that will do the same to you if you continue your weapons program.” And no one can question that. A Republican president can say to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt, “We stayed with Iraq and defended them even when it was difficult, and we’ll do the same for you.” and no one can question that.

Petraeus, Clinton, Obama, and All Democrats: Will The One With Credibility Please Stand Up?

April 9, 2008

As General David Petraeus returns to the US Senate to report on the war in Iraq, it is worth reminiscing on what occurred last time he appeared.

Yes, we had our front page ad “General Betray Us?” in that appeared in the New York Times with a sweetheart rate that violated the papers’ own standard of ethics.

But we also had that bastion of personal integrity – the junior Senator from New York – question the honesty and credibility of the general.

I cite a 12 Sep 2007 New York Sun story that appeared under the headline, “Clinton Spars With Petraeus on Credibility.” The first two paragraphs of that story by staff reporter Eli Lake read as follows:

“WASHINGTON — Senator Clinton squared off yesterday with her possible challenger for the White House in 2012, General David Petraeus, and came closer than any of her colleagues to calling the commander of the multinational forces in Iraq a liar.

Using blunter language than any other Democrat in the last two days, Mrs. Clinton told General Petraeus that his progress report on Iraq required “a willing suspension of disbelief.””

Well, let’s reflect on that a bit. Hindsight being what it is and all.

We now know that Senator Clinton is a documented liar on numerous fronts (her story of coming under sniper fire in Bosnia has been refuted by video of the event; her story of playing a role in the Ireland peace talks has been refuted by a Nobel Prize winning participant in addition to other participants; her story of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” was refuted by that stain on the blue dress, etc. etc.).

I saw a biography of General David Petraeus on Fox News after he was named to command the multinational forces in Iraq, and was frankly awed by the man’s history of character and integrity. His entire life is a study in character and honor. He took control over a situation that had been presented as hopeless and turned it around in a manner that can only be described as stunning. By the time he appeared before the Senate last year, he had come through for this nation in a way that merited the gratitude of every American, and in particular every parent who sent a son or daughter to Iraq under his command. And as a reward this true American hero was attacked by demagogues who will never even begin to understand the character and integrity that David Petraeus has demonstrated throughout his life.

Mind you, Senator Clinton has hardly cornered the market on vicious attacks against American heroes:

Jay Rockefeller, the Senator from West Virginia, launched an incredibly hateful statement against Senator John McCain in an interview with the Charleston Gazette. He said McCain has become insensitive to many human issues. According to the paper, Rockefeller said “McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they get to the ground? He doesn’t know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues.”

Rockefeller later apologized for his comment, but you can’t just take back a statement like that, can you? It was inexcusable, and frankly unforgivable. Rockefeller not only attacked JohnMcCain; he attacked every American serviceman who ever fired a weapon against an enemy during time of war.

This Senator Jay Rockefeller, by the way, is the same Jay Rockefeller who has positioned himself as a major Barack Obama supporter, and who recently urged that – for the good of the country – Senator Clinton should drop out of the Democratic primary and support Barack Obama. You can thus add him to the list of associates of Barack Obama who have said and/or done terrible things against America (e.g. Obama’s pastor for twenty years’ [Jeremiah Wright] racist charge that America created the AIDS virus to kill black people; his wife Michelle Obama’s statement that “America in 2008 is a mean place” which itself followed a similar statement that she had never been proud of America in her adult life; Barack Obama’s friend (as acknowledged by Obama’s own strategist David Axelrod) and former Weatherman Terrorist Professor William Ayers – who openly acknowledged bombing attacks after 9/11 – and claimed to have no regrets over them).

[As to William Ayers, it is frankly amazing that this man – who has openly acknowledged bombing the New York Police Headquarters as well as the Capital building and other locations and said on 9/11 that his only regret is that he didn’t bomb enough – is now an honored member of the liberal education establishment and a significant member of his community in Chicago, Illinois. You begin to see more clearly the absolutely toxic political environment that Barack Obama has emerged from].

Now, that last paragraph will be immediately dismissed by those who argue that you can’thold one’s associations against someone. So it doesn’t matter that Barack Obama sat in a pew for twenty years under the teachings of a documented America-hating racist. But it certainly goes to his judgment and his integrity. Michelle Obama has clearly been influenced by her pastor’s teachings, and Barack Obama has whitewashed several of Reverend Wright’s sermons and teachings – by removing the anti-white rantings but holding on to the substance – for mass consumption. Wright railed against “white greed” in his “Audacity of Hope” message. Obama rephrases it to say, “The greatest problem in America is greed.” Obama leaves it up to you to recognize that he’s talking about “white” greed.

And also mind you, Senator Clinton has hardly cornered the market on telling self-serving lies or padding her resume.

A Snopes.com article details some of Barack’s lies and provides their refutations. While Hillary Clinton’s lie can be seen exposed in vivid, hillarious color, Barack Obama is an even bigger documented liar than she when it comes to rewriting history to fabricate his own story. Barack Obama massively fabricated his association with President Kennedy: his father did NOT come to the United States with Kennedy money. And his mother were NOT inspired to marry and have a child by the Selma march as Barack Obama claimed: the first of the marches did not occur until at least five years after Barack was born!

Furthermore, Obama has lied about numerous aspects of his past in an attempt to bolster his credentials. He claimed on numerous occasions that he was a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago: he was no such thing. He was a lecturer only. There is as gigantic a distinction between “professor” and “lecturer” as there is between “sniper fire”and “there had been reports of possible sniper fire in the area.”

Obama has also boasted of having passed legislation that in reality never even left committee. And fellow organizers have said that Sen. Obama took too much credit for his community organizing efforts.

An 8 April 2008 Time Magazine article by Mark Halperin details the above “misstatements” and many others. Basically, it chops Obama’s credibility down like a tree.

Another clear Obama lie has been his profound mischaricterization of John McCain as saying that McCain “wants the war to last for a hundred years.” Asked whether he would support U.S. troops staying in Iraq for fifty years, McCain said, ““Make it a hundred. We’ve been in Japan for 60 years. We’ve been in South Korea for 50 years or so. That would be fine with me, as long as American, as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.” The non-partisan Factcheck.org says Obama’s claim that McCain wants 100 years of war in Iraq is a “twisted” and “serious distortion of what McCain actually said. So much for the candidate of hope and change, and so much for claiming to run and honest campaign.

Barack Obama’s biggest lie of all may well be the central promise of his entire campaign that – as the candidate of undefined “hope” and “change” – he can bridge the gap between liberals and conservatives. In reality, Barack Obama – winner of the prestigious “Most Liberal Senator of 2007 Award” handed out by the National Journal as determine by voting record – has established himself as a radically left of center politician. He is currently having to distance himself from his own views. An Illinois voter group’s detailed questionnaire, filed under his name during his 1996 bid for a state Senate seat, presents extremely liberal stands on gun control, the death penalty and abortion – positions that appear completely at odds with the more moderate image he’s projected during his presidential campaign. Yet another lie, I believe. In running for president, Barack Obamama must literally run away from himself.

Thus the Democratic primary becomes a question of “Which liar told bigger lies?” And, “Which group cares more about which lie?”

Meanwhile, General David Petraeus’ character, honesty, and integrity stands out like the giant Gulliver must have stood out among the Lilliputians.

But let’s not be too harsh on Senator Hillary Clinton or Senator Barack Obama. They are Democrats, after all. What do you really expect? They come from the Party of Bill Clinton, who sought to become our Commander in Chief in spite of his letter directly expressing his “loathing the military” (a direct quote completely accurate in context).

The Democratic Party is the party of Senator John Kerry, who said of American soldiers:

“I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command….

They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal andvery particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.”

The Democratic Party is the party of Senator Dick Durbin, who – on the floor of the U.S. Senate – compared American soldiers to Nazis, and the Guantanamo Bay Detention facility with Soviet Gulags. Durbin’s comment resonated in perfect pitch with actress Jane Fonda’s calling U.S. soldiers war criminals during her visit to North Vietnam in 1972. And I give as my source an al Jazeera article to demonstrate just how harmful to the United States – and how helpful to our vicious enemies – statements such as Durbin’s really are.

The Democratic Party is the party of Representative Jack Murtha, who went on record as the first on-the-record U.S. official regarding the events that took place with U.S. Marines in Haditha. Before any investigation – and certainly before any trial – Murtha said, “Well, I’ll tell you exactly what happened. One Marine was killed and the Marines just said we’re going to take care – we don’t know who the enemy is, the pressure was too much on them, so they went into houses and they actually killed civilians.”

In another interview Murtha said, “There was no firefight. There was no IED that killed those innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them. And they killed innocent civilians in cold blood. That is what the report is going to tell. ”

The aftermath should demonstrate just how despicable Murtha was in publicly convicting these young Marines without a trial. Charges have been repeatedly dropped. Others have been acquitted. One Marine – clearly believing the zealous prosecution line – agreed to testify against another Marine. Thus far, the Marines have been vindicated. The results of subsequent investigations have clearly exonerated the Marines. Again and again, the details provided by Marines confirmed their story; again and again, the details alleged by the Iraqi witnesses have been demonstrated to be false.

I have heard Murtha apologists claim that Murtha himself was a Marine and therefore his character should be beyond question. Well, so was Lee Harvey Oswald! Should we therefore not question his character?!?! As a further observation, I find a former Marine railroading fellow Marines to be even more contemptible than a non-Marine railroading Marines. It’s like finding out that the man who publicly and maliciously framed you was your own father; there’s just something profoundly wrong with the moral wiring of a man who does this kind of thing.

The Democratic Party is the Party of Representatives Jim McDermott of Washington and David Bonior of Michigan, who, back in 29 Sep 2002 appeared on This Week from the foreign (make that enemy) soil Baghdad and blasted U.S. foreign policy. Their clear point was that Americans should believe the documented torturer and murderer Saddam Hussein and distrust Republican President George Bush. During the course of this on-air fiasco, a clearly stunned George Will said of McCermott and Bonior’s vicious remarks, “”Why Saddam Hussein doesn’t pay commercial time for that advertisement for his policy, I do not know.”

Well, it turns out he did.

We now know that – in the opening words of a recent AP article – that “Saddam Hussein’s intelligence agency secretly financed a trip to Iraq for three U.S. lawmakers during the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. An indictment unsealed in Detroit accuses Muthanna Al-Hanooti, a member of a Michigan nonprofit group, of arranging for three members of Congress to travel to Iraq in October 2002 at the behest of Saddam’s regime.” See the full article at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080326/ap_on_re_us/iraq_junket

Even if these Democratic Congressmen didn’t know they were being used by Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Intelligence, their actions were beneath all contempt. These elected American officials allowed themselves to be used as pawns by the intelligence agency of a ruthless tyrant.

The Democratic Party is the party of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who said “This war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything” on 20 April 2007. Again, I offer as my source al Jazeera to show just how harmful such statements can be to us, and how they can and ARE being used to embolden our enemies.

Anyone who is capable of stepping back from political party partisanship for just a moment ought to have difficulty with a leader who so blithely claims defeat for his country in time of war. Winston Churchill famously said, “We will never give up! We will never surrender!” Henry Reid says, “This war is lost.” Thank God Churchill didn’t think that way, or we’d all be speaking German. As it is – if the terrorists and over a billion Muslims have their way – we might well all end up speaking Arabic.

And the Democratic Party is the party of House Majority Whip Representative James Clyburn, who acknowledged in an inverview on 30 July 2007 before General Petraeus’ first report that good news inIraq amounted to a problem for Democrats.

As General David Petraeus wraps up his visit to the snake pit of Washington, don’t forget who the Democrats are. They are the Party that is invested in American failure, the Party that roots for bad news in Iraq and Afghanistan for the sake of opportunistic political advantage.

Christopher Hitchens has a piece in Slate.com titled, “Flirting With Disaster: The vile spectacle of Democrats rooting for bad news in Iraq and Afghanistan.” It’s definitely worth reading.

I often wonder: had the Democrats continued to support the war that was authorized by a vote of 77-23 in the Senate (with 29 Democrats supporting [Senator Clinton among them] and only 21 opposed) and 296-133 in the House, and presented the world with a united front, how different could things have turned out? Would our enemies have remained emboldened in the face of steadfast American resolve? Would our allies have continued to refuse to help us had we presented a united face determined to prevail against the forces of international terrorism?

Imagine what would have happened in World War II had Republicans done everything they could have done to undermine, question, distort, and misrepresent Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt? Imagine what would have happened had Republicans en masse called for a withdrawal from the war against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan? Had they characterized American fighting men as war criminals? Had they demanded that Generals Eisenhower and MacArthur come to Senate and defend themselves against charges that they were dishonest and incompetent? Do you think it would have helped or hurt the war effort? [This amounts to an IQ test, Democrats: and you have failed horribly].

For the Democrats to turn against the President in time of war and work to undermine American efforts to attain victory out of political opportunism is both craven and cowardly.

If good news in Iraq is bad news for Democrats, then Americans should hope for nothing less than really, really bad news for Democrats this November.