The New York Times has been urgently warning congressional Republicans to abandon the Iraq War or face ruination in the November elections. Of course, for three years now, the Times has predicted that all world leaders who supported the war would be thrown out of office on their ears.
However embattled they are, I don't think Republicans are at the point of taking advice from the mainstream media, but let's look at the facts.
Four major world leaders who sent troops to Iraq have faced elections since the war's inception -- Jose Maria Aznar in Spain, John Howard in Australia, Tony Blair in Britain and Junichiro Koizumi in Japan. Three of them won re-elections in campaigns that centered on their support for the Iraq war.
Only in Spain did voters capitulate to savagery and vote in an al Qaeda-friendly government in response to their trains being bombed the week before the election. Unaware that there is NO CONNECTION between al-Qaida and Iraq, al Qaeda's European spokesman explained that the terrorist attack was intended to punish Spain for supporting the Iraq war. Spanish voters duly complied, making terrorist attacks in the rest of the world more likely. Muchas gracias, Spano-weenies.
But in the three other elections, Iraq war-supporting prime ministers won historic victories. During the run-up to each of these elections, the New York Times described them as referendums on the war and predicted defeat for any leader who had supported war in Iraq. Only when the war-supporting leaders won did the Times change its mind and decide these elections were really about the economy, privatizing the post office, Tony Blair's tie, "The Sopranos" -- anything but the war.
In the run-up to Australian Prime Minister Howard's re-election, the Times noted that he had "made the alliance with Washington a key element of his tenure." The Times was hopeful that Australia would be as pathetic as Spain, noting that "with al Qaeda threatening reprisals for the country's support of the United States in Iraq -- a war that most Australians opposed -- is Australia poised to become the next Spain? Will it become the next country to abandon President Bush?"
On the eve of Howard's re-election bid in October 2004, the Times ran an article titled: "War in Iraq Plays a Role in Elections in Australia," saying Howard's opponents promised to "have the troops home by Christmas."
When Howard walloped the opposition in the election a few days later, becoming only the third prime minister of Australia ever to be elected to a fourth term, the Times headline was: "Australians Re-Elect Howard As Economy Trumps the War."
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