Iraq: Reid’s Political Opportunism Is Showing

Iraq: Reid’s Political Opportunism Is Showing
The Fifth Column Frank Salvato, Managing Editor
July 20, 2007
URL: http://www.newmediajournal.us/staff/fsalvato/07202007.htm

If you needed anymore proof that Democrat leaders in Congress are playing politics with the war against Islamofascism all you had to do was listen to a recent Capitol Hill press conference where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was fielding questions. When asked repeatedly whether the Iraqi people would be safer as a result of the anti-war/troops-out-now lobby getting its beloved US retreat, Reid responded by asking if there were any more questions. The Democrat Party that championed freedom, liberty, honesty and civil rights for the everyman, everywhere, is dead. The Progressive-Left has killed it and buried it in an unmarked grave somewhere in the deserts of Iraq.

As stunningly callous as Reid’s elitist response was, that wasn’t the half of it. In fact, the short exchange between Reid and ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper could very well serve as the defining moment for the 110th Congress’s Democrat leadership.

As Reid and his anti-war allies prepared to embark on the Madison Avenue PR stunt that was the Capitol Hillall-nighter,” he made the fatal mistake of dropping his guard, removing his pacifist mask so that the entire world – or at least those who were paying attention – could witness, definitively, the true motive behind his embrace of the anti-war/troops-out-now movement – politics.

When Tapper asked the question initially, it seemed like a straightforward question, “Do you think the Iraqi people will be safer with US troops out?”

The obvious answer to this question is no. Whether the Iraqi army is completely trained and up-to-speed is of little relevance. If you had to choose between being protected by the US military and any other military in the world I believe the choice is pretty clear. You would choose the most effective, efficient and lethal fighting force the world has ever known: the US military. Israel’s IDF would probably come in a not too distant second but hands down, the premier choice would be the US armed forces.

But leave it to a politician to be too full of himself to answer an obvious question with an obvious answer.

In response to Tapper’s question Reid said:

“It is clear that the Iraqi people don’t want us there. It is clear that there is now a state of chaos in Iraq. And it is up to the Iraqi people to make themselves safe.”

When Tapper replied that Reid hadn’t really answered his question Reid said:

“This isn’t a debate.”

And when Tapper re-stated his question Reid simply ignored him, asking if there were any other questions.

Maybe it wasn’t a debate but it was certainly a press conference. In press conferences reporters ask questions and those holding the press conferences provide answers. Reid failed at providing an answer to a very simple question. He seems to be failing a lot lately, although you wouldn’t know for his arrogance.

It is unclear what polling company Reid employed to canvas the Iraqi people about their desire to see US forces leave Iraq. In fact, the only people in Iraq who make it perfectly clear they want the US and coalition forces to leave are those slaughtering innocent men, women and children in the name of al Qaeda, albeit with less frequency since the initiation of Operation Arrowhead Ripper. I haven’t heard that al Qaeda has a public opinion polling cell but it is an evolving entity that adapts to its surroundings. Perhaps we should take a look into Senator Reid’s rolodex and PDA.

Equally as unclear is where Reid is getting his real-time information regarding the situation on the ground in Iraq. By most accounts – many from those with boots on the ground – the “surge” is most definitely working. Violence at the hands of al Qaeda terrorists has been dramatically reduced in Baghdad. Al Qaeda has been defeated and routed from their stronghold in Baqubah. In Anbar Province, once likened to the American “wild, west,” local tribal leaders have banded together to battle al Qaeda, fighting alongside US and coalition forces.

Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) has made the astute observation:

“The surge is working. . .So you might say that, in Iraq, we’ve got the enemy on the run. But for some reason, in Washington, a lot of politicians are on the run to order a retreat by our troops even as they are beginning to succeed.”

What is crystal clear in all of this is that time is not on the side of the anti-war/troops-out-now Progressive-Leftists in Congress. As the surge gathers momentum and progress in the Iraqi theater is made, the Progressive-Left needs to expedite their political agenda of troop withdrawal so they can execute it before the window of opportunity closes, before they lose their leverage over the anti-war/troops-out-now voting block.

You see, the Democrat leadership in Washington has never accepted what even al Qaeda has declared, that Iraq is the central battlefield in the global war on terror, the war against Islamofascism. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) has gone as far as to banish the term “global war on terror” from use in his committee. In their simplistic view, they see this global conflict, this violent clash of ideologies, as compartmentalized individual confrontations rather than the related battles of a larger war. Somalia was a peacekeeping mission gone bad. Bosnia was a regional conflict. The bombing of the USS Cole was a criminal act at the hands of a splinter terror group as was the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the bombing of the Khobar Towers.

Progressive-Left, anti-war Democrats are still content to believe that terrorism isn’t a war issue but a law enforcement issue. In their twisted, abused and morally relativistic world, if we stop going after al Qaeda the threat will “go away.” This “hide under the blanket” mentality may work for three-year-olds trying to hide from imaginary monsters but it doesn’t work for political leaders facing terrorist groups who have issued declarations of war against their countries.

Harry Reid’s political opportunism is so blatant only the blind and the illiterate can’t read between the lines. Those who buy into his escalating line of bovine feces are uneducated on the facts, too lazy to seek them out or dishonest. For the record, it isn’t unpatriotic to legitimately question those in power, to honestly and openly debate the facts as they present, untainted by special interests and agenda-driven miscreants. It is unpatriotic, however, to play politics with the security of our nation during a time of war or ever.

As the US military continue to achieve on the field of battle in this global war against Islamofascism, as our forces continue to win the hearts and minds of those made skeptical by past decisions forced at the hands of American politicians, as our brave men and women in uniform continue to fight and defeat the worldwide terror of al Qaeda, I would love to ask Senator Reid one question: How can you live with yourself?

Then, I already know his response:

“Are there any other questions?”

Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal. He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education initiative. His organization, Basics Project, is partnered in producing the first-ever national symposium series on the threat of radical Islamist terrorism. His pieces have been recognized by the House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor. He hosts NMJ Radio airing on BlogTalkRadio and heard around the world on NetTalkWorld global talk radio. He is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network and The Captain’s America on the World Internet Radio Network, heard in Camp Victory, Iraq, as well as numerous radio shows coast to coast. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements... [read more]
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Guantanamo Releasee Blows Himself Up In Pakistan

Guantanamo Releasee Blows Himself Up In Pakistan

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Pakistani militant wanted for Chinese kidnap blows himself up

One of Pakistan’s top Taliban militants, wanted for the kidnapping of two Chinese engineers in 2004, blew himself up during a clash with security forces, the interior ministry said Tuesday.

Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Abdullah Mehsud killed himself with a hand grenade after troops raided a hideout in southwestern Baluchistan province late Monday, interior ministry spokesman Brigadier Javed Cheema told AFP.

(Read More)

Posted by Pat Dollard 6 Comments

Jul 23rd 2007

August Attack: GOP Plans Hit On Reid And Company

August Attack: GOP Plans Hit On Reid And Company

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Washington Times
By S.A. Miller

July 24, 2007

Senate Republicans are preparing to take aim at Majority Leader Harry Reid over the August recess for being “all talk but no action” and helping drag the Democrat-led Congress’ approval rating to a historic low, according to a document distributed to caucus members.

Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, is meeting with members yesterday and today to disseminate a message critical of Democrats for endlessly debating the Iraq war, stalling judicial nominations and squandering time on at least 300 investigations of the Bush administration.

(Read More)

Posted by Pat Dollard 9 Comments

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Iraq Report: Taji Tribes Turn On Mahdi Army And Al Qaeda

Iraq Report: Taji Tribes Turn On Mahdi Army And Al Qaeda

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Bill Roggio:

Operation Phantom Thunder and the Baghdad Security Plan continue to place pressure on al Qaeda in Iraq, allied Sunni insurgent groups, the Mahdi Army and the Iranian-backed Special Group. In Baghdad, junior al Qaeda in Iraq operatives are reportedly cooperating with Coalition forces and a series of car bombs hit a Shia area of the capital. In the Belts, U.S. and Iraqi forces maintain aggressive operations against al Qaeda and insurgent cells as both Sunni and Shia tribal leaders in and around Taji have banded together to fight the Mahdi Army and al Qaeda. Meanwhile, the U.S. captured two more members of the Special Groups and have indicated that Iran is now smuggling Chinese made weapons into Iraq.

Read Full Report

Posted by Pat Dollard 5 Comments

China Promises EU Action on Product Safety

China Promises EU Action on Product Safety

The European Union Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Meglena Kuneva, told reporters Tuesday that Chinese officials have said they will follow through on their agreement to provide quarterly reports on investigations into dangerous Chinese products exported to the EU.

“I received a political commitment of the highest level, and I will watch how this political commitment will be translated into practice,” Kuneva said.

Kuneva said China is obliged by a memorandum of understanding, signed with the EU in early 2006, to fully investigate EU complaints of unsafe Chinese products and to provide a summary of enforcement efforts in quarterly reports. However, in the last year, she said, China has provided only two reports.

“The first report was very poor in respect of tracking down, the second was better but still not sufficient,” she said. “That’s why I’m here.”

Half of all unsafe exports last year to the EU came from China. The EU is China’s largest trading partner and one in four products imported to the EU come from China.

But those products include children’s toys with high lead or chemical content or small parts that posed a choking hazard, batteries that may explode and lamps that could electrocute.

China is under pressure to better enforce product safety standards after a series of revelations about tainted and deadly exports.

Chinese officials last week announced the closure of a company that exported mislabeled chemicals that were used in cough syrup in Panama, resulting in the deaths of dozens of people there in the last year.

Two other companies were closed for using toxic chemicals in pet food ingredients believed to have killed hundreds of dogs and cats in North America earlier this year.

The United States has refused exports of Chinese farm-raised fish and seafood after drugs banned in the US were found in shipments.

Chinese officials acknowledge some Chinese companies are responsible for unsafe exports, but insist the vast majority of products are safe.

Taliban hostage deadline looms: South Korean Christians face death

ELECTING ALLAH

Why The Democrats are Ducking Fox News

Why The Democrats are Ducking Fox News

Rick Moran
If there was any question as to why the Democrats were refusing to hold a debate sponsored by Fox News, last night’s broadcast of the YouTube debate on CNN should be self explanatory.

Many of the questions chosen among thousands of YouTube submissions appeared to be selected more for their entertainment value than for the way the question addressed a specific issue. And those questions that did confront an issue were so general in nature it allowed even the dumbest of candidates (Biden) to hit it out of the park. In the midst of a war involving 160,000 Americans in Iraq, there was no question – not one – about terrorism. And given the recent eruption on Capitol Hill over immigration, not one question was directed toward that issue either.

Instead, you had people asking questions in costume. Or with props as the poor fellow who asked a question about gun control while cradling his rifle and calling it “my baby”. Senator Biden, not getting the joke, called the young man “mentally unbalanced” and suggested he shouldn’t even possess a gun. Most of the questions were the kind of earnest citizen kinds of questions you hear at a televised town hall meeting. And Anderson Cooper obliged the Democrats beautifully by doing his earnest reporter shtick which may not be very deep or penetrating as far as getting at the truth but sure looks good on TV.

I have yet to see a Democratic debate moderated by anyone who actually wants to hold these politicians feet to the fire and get them off their talking points in order to address the substance of an issue. Contrast CNN’s kid gloves treatment of Democrats with Chris Wallace’s boring in on Giuliani’s abortion flip flops or Romney’s switcheroo on gay marriage when the Republican candidates debated on Fox News last month. Their answers left them wide open to criticism by other candidates on the stage which made for a somewhat more lively night.

The problem is that the public won’t give the GOP any credit for going on CNN nor will they penalize the Democrats for not going on Fox. It’s a shame because the Democrats are not only losing out on twice the audience they would get appearing on Fox but would also benefit by delineating and sharpening their differences a little bit.

Just the facts, Ma’am

Just the facts, Ma’am

By Miguel A. Guanipa

Perhaps I missed it, but I have yet to read if the Associated Press, the spigot from which virtually every news media outlet fills their vessel, posted a retraction after hastily — and erroneously — reporting that none of the benchmarks the Bush Administration and Congress set for the Iraqi government had been met. Coupled with the reluctance with which news of any progress in Iraq are proffered and the glaringly biased reports downplaying the recent thwarted terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow, these seemingly habitual transgressions are sobering reminders of the Main Stream Media’s apparent complacency with its devolving image as a cultural entity that has been irreparably tarnished by ideology.

Add to this the rather disappointing revelation that so many reporters are involved in contributing profusely to one or the other political parties and you have a media that has been highly compromised to say the least. It’s not so much that the majority of reporters chose to contribute to one party instead of the other, but rather that they have contributed to any party at all.
Not surprisingly, when those in the MSM are leveled with the charge of bias they are quick to denounce their accusers as promoting censorship and to seek refuge behind the often legitimate excuse that the public has a “right to know”. But the nature of the MSM’s sin lies not in its failing to report events as they happen but on their exclusive devotion to bits and pieces of a larger story that surreptitiously validate their previously arrived-at conclusions.
Granted, in cases when the potentially deleterious effects of disclosure outweigh the presumed right of the public to know, information sources may have to decide whether or not some information should be withheld. As of late the MSM has seldom found itself in a moral quandary over when to apply this principle.
Perhaps reminding those in the field of Journalism of the very simple task they are required to perform is in order.
The job of a reporter is to be performed as an emotionally disinterested agent. It should be a very high calling indeed, and news organizations risk betraying an awesome trust when they fail to demand strict adherence to this simple rule from their employees.
News reporters will invariably have to confront the challenge of maintaining objectivity by virtue of the fact that they are human like everyone else, and as such they have to consciously jettison any temptation to allow their personal prejudices to fraternize with the information they are providing others with. Failing to do this will obviously affect not only how news is reported, but also what news is reported. This is how many reporters with an inflated sense of self-importance end up transforming the public’s right to know into the public’s privilege to know; this privilege is confined to only what the MSM chooses to report. 
Nevertheless, reporters have a solemn responsibility to provide accurate information, and a free society is ill-served by false or inaccurate information, as it bases many of its most important decisions upon the information it receives from the sources that have been entrusted to perform this noble task.
When news outlets allow their ideology to taint the manner in which information in disseminated, they have in effect compromised their calling. When reporters lie to those who count on them for the information they need to make their daily decisions – many of which could have very serious repercussions – they betray a sacred trust; and when information sources are compromised, the potential for people in power to make the wrong decisions increases exponentially.
Those in the MSM are swift to express outrage when others question the premise that the war in which we are presently engaged owes its genesis to specious information the government relied on to mount a preemptive offensive; but they fail to glean from the same argument that their own broadcasting of incomplete, biased and often grossly inaccurate information has the same potential of misleading others into wrongful decision making.
Frankly, it is shocking to witness how today’s MSM continues to compromise its integrity by persistently engaging in one-sided reporting. Why they continue to do so, in an age when the internet provides such an abundance of media watchdogs, is somewhat of a mystery.  
From falsely reporting about the desecration of a sect’s holy text prompting its adherents to engage in homicidal behavior to the deliberate distortion of information central to the accuracy of a story, yielding decisions upon which countless of lives hang in the balance, reporters need to understand that strict adherence to the clear and rather uncomplicated rules of their profession is vitally important to the functioning of a stable society.
This type of misinformation on the part of the MSM is also a form of tyranny, as they are the ones we count on to provide us with the unadulterated truth. Were it not for the plethora of alternative news sources with the same ability to gather and disseminate information which are – thankfully – available in a free society, we would be at the mercy of the MSM’s skewed perspective. Given the perilous times we live in, that would not be a good thing.

The Surge Succeeds

The Surge Succeeds

By J.R. Dunn

God looks after children, drunkards, and the United States of America
- Otto von Bismarck
It’s now quite clear how the results of the surge will be dealt with by domestic opponents of the Iraq war.
They’re going to be ignored.
They’re being ignored now. Virtually no media source or Democratic politician (and not a few Republicans, led by Richard “I can always backtrack” Lugar) is willing to admit that the situation on the ground has changed dramatically over the past three months. Coalition efforts have undergone a remarkable reversal of fortune, a near-textbook example as to how an effective strategy can overcome what appear to be overwhelming drawbacks.
Anbar is close to being secured, thanks to the long-ridiculed strategy of recruiting local sheiks. A capsule history of war coverage could be put together from stories on this topic alone – beginning with sneers, moving on to “evidence” that it would never work, to the puzzled pieces of the past few months admitting that something was happening, and finally the recent stories expressing concern that the central government might be “offended” by the attention being paid former Sunni rebels. (Try to find another story in the legacy media worrying about the feelings of the Iraqi government.) What you will not find is any mention of the easily-grasped fact that Anbar acts as a blueprint for the rest of the country. If the process works there, it will work elsewhere. If it works in other areas, that means the destruction of the Jihadis in detail.
Nor is that all. Diyala province, promoted in media as the “new Al-Queda stronghold” appears to have become a death-trap. The Jihadis can neither defend it nor abandon it. The Coalition understood that Diyala was where the Jihadis would flee when the heat came down in Baghdad, and they were ready for them. A major element of surge strategy – and one reason why the extra infantry brigades were needed – is to pressure Jihadis constantly in all their sanctuaries, allowing them no time to rest or regroup.

A blizzard of operations is occurring throughout central Iraq under the overall code-name Phantom Thunder, the largest operation since the original invasion. It is open-ended, and will continue as long as necessary. Current ancillary operations include Arrowhead Ripper, which is securing the city of Baqubah in Diyala province. Operation Alljah is methodically clearing out every last neighborhood in Fallujah. In Babil province, southeast of Baghdad, operations Marne Torch and Commando Eagle are underway. (As this was being written, yet another spinoff operation, Marne Avalanche, began in Northern Babil.)      
The Coalition has left the treadmill in which one step of progress seemed to unavoidably lead to two steps back. It requires some time to discover the proper strategy in any war. A cursory glance at 1943 would have given the impression of disaster. Kasserine, in which the German Wehrmacht nearly split Allied forces in Tunisia and sent American GIs running. Tarawa, where over 1,600 U.S. Marines died on a sunny afternoon thanks to U.S. Navy overconfidence. Salerno, where the Allied landing force was very nearly pushed back into the sea. But all these incidents, as bitter as they may have been, were necessary to develop the proper techniques that led to the triumphs of 1944 and 1945.
Someday, 2006 may be seen as Iraq’s 1943. It appears that Gen. David Petreaus has discovered the correct strategy for Iraq: engaging the Jihadis all over the map as close to simultaneously as possible. Keeping them on the run constantly, giving them no place to stand, rest or refit. Increasing operational tempo to an extent that they cannot match (“Getting inside their decision cycle”, as the 4th generation warfare school would call it), leaving them harried, uncertain, and apt to make mistakes.
The surge is more of a refinement than a novelty. Earlier Coalition efforts were not in error as much as they were incomplete. American troops would clean out an area, turn it over to an Iraqi unit, and depart. The Jihadis would then push out the unseasoned Iraqis and return to business. This occurred in Fallujah, Tall Afar, and endless times in Ramadi.
Now U.S. troops are remaining on site, which reassures the locals and encourages cooperation. The Jihadis broke (and more than likely never knew) the cardinal rule of insurgency warfare, that of being a good guest. As Mao put it, “The revolutionary must be as a fish among the water of the peasantry.” The Jihadis have been lampreys to the Iraqi people. Proselytizing, forcing adaptation of their reactionary creed, engaging in torture, kidnapping, and looting. Arabic culture is one in which open dealings, personal loyalty, and honor are at a premium. Violate any of them, and there is no way back. The Jihadis violated them all. The towns and cities of Iraq are no longer sanctuaries.
The results have begun to come in. On July 4, Khaled al-Mashhadani, the most senior Iraqi in Al-Queda, was captured in Mosul. On July 14, Abu Jurah, a senior Al-Queda leader in the area south of Baghdad, was killed in a coordinated strike by artillery, helicopters, and fighter-bombers. These blows to the leadership are the direct outgrowth of Jihadi brutality and the new confidence among the Iraqis in what they have begun to call the “al-Ameriki tribe”.
We will see more of this in the weeks ahead. The Jihadis have come up with no effective counterstrategy, and the old methods have begun to lose mana. The last massive truck-bomb attack occurred not in Baghdad, but in a small Diyala village that defied Al-Queda. An insurgency in the position of using its major weapons to punish noncombatants is not in a winning situation.
You will look long and hard to find any of this in the legacy media. Apart from a handful of exceptions (such as John F. Burns of the New York Times), it’s simply not being covered. Those operational names would come across as bizarre to the average reader, the gains they have made impossible to fit into the worldview that has been peddled unceasingly by the dead tree fraternity. What the media is concentrating on – and will to continue to concentrate on, in defiance of sense, protest, and logic, to the bitter end – is peripheral stories such as the Democrat’s Senate pajama party,  reassertions of the claim that the war has “helped” Al-Queda, and the latest proclamation from the world’s greatest fence-sitter.
The situation as it stands is very close to that of the final phase of Vietnam. Having for several years confused that country’s triple-layer jungle with the rolling plains of northwest Europe, William Westmoreland in 1968 turned over command to Creighton Abrams. Though also a veteran of the advance against Germany (he had been Patton’s favorite armored commander), Abrams lacked his predecessor’s taste for vast (not to mention futile) multi-unit sweeps. After carrying out a careful analysis, Abrams reworked Allied strategy to embody the counterinsurgency program advocated by Marine general Victor Krulak and civilian advisor John Paul Vann.
Abram’s war was one of small units moving deep into enemy territory, running down enemy forces and then calling in massive American firepower in the form of artillery or fighter-bombers for the final kill.(Anyone wishing for a detailed portrayal of this style of operations should pick up David Hackworth’s Steel My Soldiers’ Hearts. It will surprise no one to learn that Hackworth claims that the strategy was his idea and that he had to fight the entire U.S. military establishment to see it through, but it’s a good read all the same.) This was a strategy that played to American strengths, one that went after the enemy where he lived. By 1970, Abrams had chased the bulk of the Vietnamese communists across the border into Cambodia and Laos.
But Vietnam also had its ruling narrative, one that had no room for successful combat operations. That narrative had been born in 1968, at the time of the Tet offensive. Tet was a nationwide operation intended by North Vietnamese commander Nguyen Vo Giap to encourage the Vietnamese people to join with the Viet Cong and PAVN in overthrowing the government. It was an utter rout, with the communists losing something in the order of 60,000 men. The Viet Cong were crippled as a military force, and never did recover.
But panicky reporters, many of whom had never set foot on a battlefield (not to mention figures at ease with manipulating the facts, such as Peter Arnett), were badly shaken by the opening moves of the offensive, among them an abortive attack on the U.S. embassy grounds at Saigon. Their reportage, broadcast and printed nationwide, portrayed a miserable defeat for the U.S. and its allies, with the Viet Cong and PAVN striking where they pleased and making off at their leisure. The media portrait of a beleaguered American war effort was never corrected, and became the consensus view. (This process was analyzed in detail in Peter Braestrup’s Big Story, one of the most crucial — and overlooked — media studies ever to see print.) After Tet, there could be no victories.
The success of the Abrams strategy was buried for twenty years and more, as the myth of utter U.S. defeat was put in concrete by “experts” such as Stanley Karnow, Frances FitzGerald, and Neil Sheehan. Only with the appearance of revisionist works such as Lewis Sorley’s A Better War and Mark Moyar’s Triumph Forsaken has the record begun to be set straight.
That was how it was played at the close of the Vietnam War. That’s how it’s being played today.
And what do they want, exactly? What is the purpose of playing so fast and loose with the public safety, national security, and human lives both American and foreign?
Generally, when someone repeats a formula, it’s because they want to repeat a result. And that’s what the American left wants in this case. During the mid-70s, American liberals held political control to an extent they had not experienced since the heyday of FDR. The GOP was disgraced and demoralized. The Democrats held the Senate, the House, and the presidency. There was absolutely nothing standing in the way of their maintaining complete power for as long as anyone could foresee… until Jimmy Carter’s incompetence proved itself, which caused the whole shabby and illusory structure to fell apart in a welter of ineptitude and childishness.
The American left wants a return to the 1970s — without Jimmy Carter. (Okay, without disco, either.) They want a cowed GOP. They want control of the institutions and the branches. They want a miserable, defeated country they can manipulate. And they want it all under the gaze not of the Saint of Plains, but of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who can assure that left-wing predominance will continue for a generation or more.
Will they get it? That’s a question worth some thought. Because as it stands, neither of the program’s necessary elements is coming to fruition. The war is not being lost, and their great political scandal has fizzled.
The other half of the equation was Watergate. Vietnam would not have been anywhere near as much a disaster without it. Watergate paralyzed the Nixon administration. It turned Nixon himself from an odd, unlikable, but incredibly capable politician to a half-crazed ghost sobbing in the Oval office in the middle of the night. It transformed his last great triumph — the Paris peace accords that ended the war on an acceptable standoff — into ashes. The left wing of the Democratic Party, shepherded by people like George McGovern and Mark Hatfield, proceeded to undercut the settlement as quickly as they could manage. Two separate appropriations acts passed in June 1973 cut off all further aid to the countries of Southeast Asia. (A third such act passed in August 1974 has gained more attention but it only duplicated the effects of the first two.) From that point on it was a matter of time. Nixon resigned a little over a year later. Less than a year after that, in April 1975, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia all fell.
(The price tag for this, which liberals don’t care to bring up, was over 2 million dead in Cambodia, 165,000 dead in Vietnam, another 200,000 plus drowned and murdered on the high seas during the exodus of the boat people. Laotian numbers can only be estimated but must have been in the thousands. The price of Indochinese “peace” was nearly twice that of the war itself.)
And that, in case you were wondering, is what Plamegate was about. The Democrats needed a scandal – and not merely a run-of-the-mill, everyday scandal, but a mega-scandal, a hyper-scandal, something that would utterly cripple the administration and leave it open to destruction in detail. The targets were Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, held by the MoveOn crowd to be the actual brains behind Adolf W. Chimp. When nothing at all could be dug up on the administration principals, the scandal was effectively over. Knocking off a vice-presidential aide might cause excitement within the Beltway, but nobody in the real world could be expected to care. It may be a bitter thought to I. Lewis Libby that he was taken down through sheer proximity, like a bystander during a drive-by shooting, but it was in the very best of causes. Libby’s sacrifice not only saved the administration, it may well save tens of thousands of Middle Eastern lives in the years to come. (This also explains why the President was so circumspect in dealing with the investigation – he knew exactly what the opposition was up to, and could afford to give them no ammunition whatsoever.)
Plamegate ended last Thursday with a judge throwing Plame’s suit out of court on strictly technical grounds. (This is something of a disappointment – I would really have liked to see what that pair of hustlers would do when cross-examined by a competent defense attorney.) People like John Conyers are trying to create a conflagration by blowing on the embers of the attorney firings and the vice-presidential subpoenas. To no avail. Scandals, like forest fires, occur only when conditions are perfect. Through their failed efforts, the liberals have in effect set a backfire, surrounding the administration with wide barriers of burned-over ground. The Democrats themselves have rendered Bush unassailable, and all the slumber parties, the empty votes, and the rhetoric are intended to camouflage that fact. Bush will have hard days yet, but he will not be Nixonized.  He will be able to fight his war as he sees fit.
That means a continuation of the surge, and of the strategy of General Petreaus. Will that be enough? It’s impossible to say. But the past few months have been the most surprising in the entire Iraq saga to date. I have a feeling that Al-Queda (and the media, and the Democrats), will have a few more surprises coming in the months ahead.
J.R. Dunn is consulting editor of American Thinker.

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