As the end of the year always occasions retrospectives, prospectives and resolutions, it might be a worthwhile exercise to consider our experiences with Iraq as a guide to what might happen with Iran, especially since Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's saber rattling has reached a fever pitch.
While comparisons to Hitler (and the world's reaction to him) are painfully trite anymore, it's hard not to notice parallels between Hitler and his apologists and Ahmadinejad and the stubborn appeasers today.
We used to review the world's response to Hitler, uniformly condemn his Neville Chamberlain appeasers and smugly assure ourselves that we would never again ignore such clear signs of malignant aggression. "Never again" would we tolerate the type of infernal anti-Semitism that led to the Holocaust.
But the Iranian president is a professed anti-Semite dedicated to exterminating Jews, he's a devout enemy of the West and freedom, and is quite unapologetically clear about his sinister aims concerning Israel and America, though he mostly pretends he is pursuing nuclear technology for legitimate reasons.
Yet liberals in the State Department and elsewhere -- mostly in the Democratic Party -- still don't seem to get it. They can't quite get their arms around the reality that unappeasable evil exists in the world.
They believe we can reason with despots, negotiate with terrorists and tame tyrants through tepid sanctions. Even when Ahmadinejad mocks the sanctions and defiantly pronounces he is proceeding on course, full speed ahead, the appeasers refuse to yield to their lying ears.
How can this nation possibly consider turning over the reins to politicians with such a recklessly misguided mindset? How can it consider giving the Democratic Party control over both the legislative and executive branches in 2008, notwithstanding the Republicans' regrettable performance on domestic spending and immigration?
If we're smart, we'll treat the Democrats' approach to Iraq as instructive on how they would approach Iran and other aspects of the war on terror and how they can't be trusted with national security.
Democrats would have us believe they are bullish on national security and as tough on terror as conservative hawks. They tell us they are tough, but "smart," which is a clever rhetorical device to disguise their consistent softness on terror -- opposing all the tools to prosecute the war and their absence of a plan on Iraq, other than empty criticism.
But why not? Through the miracle of modern propaganda, they have avoided accountability both for opposing the war in Iraq and supporting it. Who says they can't have it both ways?