Democrats have no plan for keeping America safe, or winning the war against the fanatics. They have opposed most of the Bush administration's domestic surveillance methods. They have opposed aggressive interrogation tactics designed to get information to protect us, including opposition to the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where detainees are treated better than they could expect if they were detained in their homelands.
This election isn't about House pages; it's about survival. In his new book, "America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It," columnist Mark Steyn states this irrefutable fact about the importance of winning in Iraq: "Being seen not to run - or, if you prefer, being seen to show Œresolve' - should be the indispensable objective of U.S. foreign policy. Were these colors to run from Iraq, it would be the end of the American era - for why would Russia, China, or even Belgium ever again take seriously a superpower that runs screaming for home at the first pinprick."
For all of their promises to do a better job of fighting this war, Democrats have no plan, other than retreat. That is the plan the terrorists have for us. Retreat is not in their playbook. The terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere don't speak of timetables for withdrawal or bringing their fighters home in time for Ramadan. They're in it for the long haul. They believe we are not. A victory by Democrats next month will validate their view and encourage them to fight harder.
Republicans have been far from perfect in this war. They have barely approached mediocrity in their handling of domestic issues. But to change horses and leaders mid-war is a prescription for a longer engagement, because this is a confrontation that will end only in victory or defeat for one side or the other. That's why the Republicans need to keep their majority and conservatives need to keep the pressure on them to get back to the original GOP principles that brought them that majority. That's a better strategy than Republicans acting like Democrat-lite.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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