Given the liberals' endless drumbeat against the War on Terror -- Iraq theater -- and their preoccupation with indicting America, the Bush administration and the military for our treatment of prisoners in Gitmo and elsewhere, it's just a little silly that they would take umbrage with Karl Rove's "controversial" remarks.
Instead of debating whether Rove meant to indict the entirety of liberaldom in his speech to the New York Conservative Party, or just the Moveon.org types, to which he specifically referred, we should be careful not to miss the thrust of his message.
Regardless of whether most liberals and Democrats initially supported military action against Afghanistan -- and even Iraq after being led kicking and screaming by overwhelming popular support to endorse the attack -- far too many of them have been fighting President Bush over almost every other aspect of this war since it began.
But we can even set that aside for the moment. Instead, let's just fast forward to the present. Is there any doubt that liberals recommend a radically different approach to the war than most conservatives?
The liberals' general attitude toward the war and the treatment of prisoners both seem to flow out of their blind spot concerning the nature of war and of our enemy -- and that's being charitable.
The war on terror is global in scope with Iraq being its current primary venue. The terrorists are not a criminal gang, but a war enemy of the worst kind. This enemy doesn't honor the normal rules of war, such as trying to minimize casualties to civilians by not mixing in with them (wearing uniforms) and not targeting them for attack.
Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who served under George H.W. Bush, in a recent interview with Fox News' Brit Hume set the record straight on our historic treatment of war prisoners, whom we've never treated as criminals entitled to constitutional rights. In fact, Barr noted, the maligned Bush administration has insisted on conferring far more rights on these prisoners than the law requires.
The Framers, said Barr, wrote the Constitution "not for the world, but … the American people." They provided that when the government is enforcing laws against its own citizens, those citizens should have maximum protections to ensure that innocent people are not incarcerated -- even at the risk of letting guilty people go free.
"But when a foreign enemy comes and attacks the people there is no neutrality." Our concern then is to win the war and "we cannot hamstring the military by imposing all the standards that we apply domestically to law enforcement."
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