At the core of the Democrats' incessant carping about the war in Iraq is their oft-stated belief that our attack on Iraq and our continued presence there are fueling the terrorist movement. But when you hear them arguing the point, you can't help coming away with the sense that it is not the terrorists' moral outrage over Iraq they are concerned with, but their own. They just don't dare go so far as to admit it.
You've heard them say our presence in Iraq is inciting otherwise peaceful Muslims to don their suicide bomber belts, and, "The Iraqi people view us as occupiers, not liberators." And how about their enthusiasm for the highly dubious (and patently absurd) poll that 80 percent of Iraqis want us out?
Surely they know that Islamofascist terrorists, who declared war on us years before they attacked us without provocation on 9/11, don't need any prompting to hate us infidels, capitalists and cultural decadents.
But if we were to turn tail and run out of Iraq, they would hate us even more, because their hatred would be compounded by a profound disrespect for our weakness and cowardice. If you truly want to incite further terrorist action against America, adopt the Democrats' Neville Chamberlainesque approach to aggressive and brutal enemies, or emulate Bill Clinton's precedent in Mogadishu.
Yet the Democrats can't possibly afford to say what they really think. It would be politically suicidal for them to express sympathy for the terrorists' ostensible moral indignation at our intervention in Iraq, so they couch their objections in pragmatic terms: Our actions are leading to the recruitment of more terrorists. But their own moral objections to the war are too overpowering for them to successfully mask.
Why else would they deliberately overlook America's accomplishments in Iraq and the historic progress of Iraqis toward constitutional self-rule? Why would they rush to embrace innuendo, propaganda, rumors and lies about American misconduct, from allegations about American torture of terrorist detainees to those of our troops terrorizing Iraqi citizens? Why would they eagerly spread the lie that we've killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis? Why do they downplay the atrocities and oppression of Saddam's reign of terror?
Indeed, if it's America's perceived misdeeds that spawn terrorism, why are Democrat leaders devoted to destroying our image abroad? Why do they, against the advice of Sen. Joe Lieberman, undermine our wartime commander in chief?
Whether or not Democrats like it, Saddam has now been deposed, and we have limited options going forward. We either withdraw before we're confident the Iraqi forces can protect the newly formed government, which would greatly increase the likelihood that Iraq would turn into another terrorist staging center and that our fallen soldiers would have died in vain. Or we remain until Iraqi forces can go it alone.
As any reasonable person can see, we have no real choice -- unless you disagree with our mission. We have to stay until the job is completed.
As for Democrats disagreeing with our mission, you have to wonder when no less than the recently sainted Congressman John Murtha said, "When you fight an insurgency, you have to win the hearts and minds of the people, and we've lost the hearts and minds of the people."
It's pathetic that we've allowed the terrorists, malcontents and nihilists in Iraq to be euphemized as "insurgents," as if any of them want what is best for the Iraqi people as a whole. It is offensive that we even flirt with the preposterous suggestion that there is moral equivalence between these barbarians and the vast majority of the Iraqi people who appear committed to a republican government. And it is outrageous that leaders, such as Murtha, are lending credence to the idea that the hearts and minds of global terrorists or Saddamist rejects are "winnable."
It is also pathetic that Democrats had to convene a closed-door meeting to come up with a plan for Iraq. You mean they have been crucifying George Bush for the last two years over the deficiencies of his plan when they never had an earthly idea themselves as to what alternative they'd recommend? Yes, that's precisely what I mean, and Democrat spokesman Howard Dean admitted as much, saying it is not the Democrats' responsibility to come up with a plan.
Democrats simply have no plan beyond Sen. Biden's gratuitous refrain, "We've got to train Iraqi soldiers faster." Until they have the guts to openly admit their moral opposition to the mission, they'll be reduced to bogus arguments about terrorist recruitment, destructive obsessing over their mythical creations that Bush lied and tortures, or the unintelligible psychobabble of John Kerry calling for nonspecific, specific timetables and the setting of benchmarks.