Murray and O'Donnell aren't alone. The newly minted Democratic Congress has already demonstrated its willingness to undermine American credibility with regard to Iran. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-California, has announced, "Congress should assert itself and make it very clear that there is no previous authority for the president, any president, to go into Iran." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid agrees: "The president does not have the authority to launch military action in Iran without first seeking congressional authorization."
Meanwhile, the Democratic Congress has continued to pursue a policy of pre-emptive surrender in Iraq, emboldening both violent sectarian militias and the Iranian regime. The Democrats' proposed timetable proposes precisely the strategy that led to devastating defeat in Vietnam -- which is, of course, what the Democrats want, since they can then blame President Bush for "his" disastrous Iraq policy.
Two centuries ago, several Muslim states seized American ships and sailors on the high seas, demanding tribute from the United States. For decades, the Americans complied. Then they created a navy. Under Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, America struck back, forcing Tripoli, Tunis and Algiers to sign treaties forswearing piracy at gunpoint.
One century ago, Moroccan bandit Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli kidnapped supposed American citizen Ion Perdicaris. Teddy Roosevelt famously responded that he wanted "Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead," and dispatched seven battleships and a marine detachment to Morocco. The incident ended with the safe return of Perdicaris.
Today, a dramatically hostile Iranian government -- a government that has sent its soldiers across the Iraqi border to harass Iraqi and American troops, a government that supports terrorism throughout the Middle East, a government that is quickly developing nuclear weapons for use against our allies, a government that kidnaps coalition soldiers and holds them on trumped up charges -- is met with nothing but sighs of indignation and huffy posturing. How long will it be before the West tells Ahmadinejad he has "missed the bus"? And how long after that before the West is forced to face up to the consequences of its own fecklessness?