The Defeatocrat Agenda

The Defeatocrat Agenda
By Peter Brookes
New York Post | October 31, 2006

If the “Defeatocrats,” er, Democrats, triumph next week, taking the majority in Congress, expect U.S. foreign and defense policy to veer sharply left, with little guiding philosophy beyond ABB – Anything But Bush. For many Democrats and liberals, this vengeful approach may provide much-needed therapy after 12 bitter years in the minority. But it’s no basis for a defense or foreign policy.

Other than attacking what the Bush administration is doing, Democrats have done little to articulate foreign and national-security policies of their own. But here are some of the possible outcomes if the majority changes hands on Capitol Hill:

On Iraq, many Democrats – led by Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) – have said they’d push for an immediate “redeployment” (i.e., withdrawal) of U.S. troops, leaving who-knows-what kind of nightmare behind.

A premature withdrawal would cause unimaginable instability in the Middle East. And there’s no doubt that jihadists would chalk up Iraq as proof positive that terrorism works – adding it to other “successes” in Lebanon (1983) and Somalia (1993).

Worse, an ignominious U.S. retreat would prove to countless other troublemakers that America is nothing more than a paper tiger.

A liberal majority would also drastically change course on North Korea, pushing for direct U.S. talks with dictator Kim Jong Il – despite his recent missile tests and nuclear blast. Caving in to Pyongyang’s demands for one-on-one negotiations would reward its nuclear brinkmanship and blackmail. The lesson wouldn’t be lost on its nuclear kindred spirit, Iran.

Speaking of Iran, it’s not clear what a liberal congressional leadership would do. They don’t seem to say much about it – other than carp about the White House’s multilateral efforts to curb the mullahs’ nuclear ambitions.

But you could clearly forget about missile defenses to protect the homeland and troops deployed overseas. Liberals see such defenses as provocative. (In fact, leaving ourselves deliberately vulnerable to ballistic missiles is truly provocative – and foolhardy.)

What would a liberal Congress propose regarding the terrorists/terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay? Some of these prisoners are so dangerous even their own countries won’t take them back. What of the Patriot Act, Terrorist Surveillance Program or the terrorism-financing surveillance efforts that have been so successful in preventing another attack on the homeland for more than five years?

Here’s a clue: 90 percent of House Democrats voted against the NSA’s Terrorist Surveillance Program; 80 percent voted against the terrorist interrogation bill. All these counterterror programs are at risk if House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gets the speaker’s gavel next year . . .

OK, some will say: Don’t worry about Congress. The president holds the real power in foreign affairs and national security. Sure, the prez controls the State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community – the key tools of national security. But don’t constitutional checks and balances give Congress the almighty “power of the purse?”

Through the appropriation process, Congress can fund – or defund – our foreign-policy and national-security efforts, including wars, law enforcement, intelligence, defense and other counterterrorism programs.

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Harlem), who’d become chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, gave us a sneak preview of what the Dems might do: “You’ve got to be able to pay for the war, don’t you?” You get the picture: No money – no war.

Republican National Chairman Ken Mehlman hit the nail on the head: “America faces a critical question, will it elect leaders who recognize we’re at war and want to use every tool to win it, or politicians who would surrender important tools we need to win?”

The Liberals’ plan for our foreign affairs and national security has been to have no real plan at all, other than categorically opposing whatever the administration is doing to protect us. But having no strategy or policy for conducting our international affairs is certainly no way to keep us safe at home – or advance and protect our interests abroad.

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Cheney Warns Iraq Terrorists Trying to Sway U.S. Election

Cheney Warns Iraq Terrorists Trying to Sway U.S. Election

FoxNews.com
Monday , October 30, 2006

WASHINGTON — Terrorist groups in Iraq are stepping up their efforts to spark more deadly sectarian violence as a way of influencing how Americans will vote on Nov. 7, Vice President Dick Cheney alleged Monday in a FOX News interview in which he warned Americans not to fall for suggestions the War on Terror is losing ground in Iraq.

“Whether it’s Al Qaeda or the other elements that are active in Iraq, they are betting on the proposition they can break the will of the American people. They think we won’t have the stomach for the fight long-term,” Cheney told FOX News’ Neil Cavuto.

Cheney added that terrorists are “very, very cognizant of our schedule if you will,” though “they specifically can’t beat us in a stand-up fight. They never have.”

Cheney said the terrorists, who are sophisticated in their use of the Internet and know how to manipulate public opinion, are trying to win the War on Terror by demoralizing the U.S. public.

“They know that the way they win is if they can, in fact, force America to withdraw on the basis that we aren’t going to stay and finish the job, their basic proposition that they can break the will of the American people. That’s what they believe. And that’s what they’re trying to do,” he said.

Cheney also was asked about comments he made last week on a North Dakota radio station in which he was asked whether he’d condone dunking a terror suspect in water if it would save lives — an interrogation torture technique known as waterboarding, which mimics drowning.

Cheney called it a “no-brainer.”

Critics pounced on the vice president for suggesting that he sanctioned waterboarding. The detainee interrogation bill signed by the president last week prohibits CIA‘s use torture, but does not list waterboarding in a list of banned activities.

Asked again by FOX News whether the use of waterboarding was an appropriate interrogation tool, Cheney sidestepped the question by saying he does not discuss specific methods.

On next week’s election, Cheney said that despite the polls and predictions to the contrary, Republicans will maintain control of both chambers of Congress.

He also offered a positive outlook on the economy despite the latest reports that show some weakness in the housing sector, reduced gross domestic product last quarter and other indicators, and said economic successes would be endangered if Democrats take control after Nov. 7.

Hammering home a GOP theme, Cheney said the most liberal Democrats would be in charge if the House majority changes. He cited Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, who is in line to take the chairmanship of the powerful Ways and Means Committee if Democrats win control of the House.

“Charlie has said there’s not a single one of the Bush tax cuts he thinks should be extended. And he could achieve that objective simply by not acting. Unless there’s an affirmative action by Congress, legislation passed to keep those rates low, those rates are going back up, and he’d have a massive tax increase,” Cheney said.

As for his own future, Cheney did not budge on his position that he will not run for president if he were nominated and would not serve if elected.

The vice president did offer support for his wife, Lynne Cheney, who took on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview last week that was supposed to be on the second lady’s latest book.

Referring to a network special earlier this month that showed terrorists attacking U.S. forces, Lynne Cheney asked the anchor why the network was “running terrorist tape of terrorists shooting Americans.”

“Why are you running terrorist propaganda?” she asked.

Cheney said he didn’t encourage his wife to take a stand, but that he was proud of her.

“I thought it was great. We refer to it around the house as the ‘slapdown.’ And she was very tough, but she was very accurate and very aggressive … So she spoke her mind, and I thought it was perfectly appropriate,” Cheney said.