Forget that we mostly bend over backward to treat enemy combatants with kid gloves, feeding them better than our own troops, providing them with copies of the Koran and enforcing special rules to ensure it is treated respectfully. Forget that the toughest interrogation techniques to which many objected only lasted two weeks, and still did not result in the 20th 9-11 hijacker being physically assaulted. But they did result in the ascertainment of critical information that may have saved many American and Iraqi lives.
The Left steadfastly chooses to ignore the positive, hype the negative and presume American culpability. They deny their reflexively anti-American instincts and congenital softness on terrorism, insisting they are more committed to winning the war than even the evil "neocons." It's just America's methods they disapprove of.
But where did they get this rarely challenged, counterintuitive and nonsensical idea that terrorism is spawned primarily by American misconduct -- or America's cavalier image? How can anyone with the slightest hint of objectivity conclude that Islamic terrorism is a reaction to, or a byproduct of, evil emanating from the United States? Who, besides the terrorist themselves could possibly take such garbage seriously?
Leave it to the American Left, which bristles at the slightest insinuation that it sometimes goes to extensive lengths to conceal its patriotism, to figure that the outcome of the war will be determined by means of a popularity contest -- America's image abroad -- rather than bombs, guns and bullets.
Indeed, the Left and squishy moderates are now saying we should close down Gitmo, even if it is clear no mistreatment of terrorist prisoners is occurring there -- because such a gesture will show the world our goodwill and rehabilitate our image.
Such thinking is pathetic and promises disastrous consequences. Of course we should comport ourselves consistent with our high moral standards -- because it is the right thing to do. But we must not delude ourselves into thinking the war is a PR contest and place ourselves and our troops into a PC straightjacket in order to score higher on the next international poll.
The notion that our success in the war will depend on our image is appeasement-driven psychobabble. But if the Left is so convinced of it, isn't it time they ceased and desisted doing everything in their power to destroy our image?