Some say Democrats won't have Iraq as an issue for the 2008 presidential campaign due to our dramatic turnaround there. Republicans should take it a step further and make it an issue themselves.
Democrats have accused President Bush of politicizing the war any time he merely reported favorably on our progress or made a speech defining the enemy and explaining our multi-pronged strategy to defeat him. All the while, it was Democrats who were exploiting the war for partisan gain.
They clearly tried to do so in the 2006 congressional campaigns, and when they recaptured their congressional majorities, they proudly declared their victory was a mandate for their position on Iraq (though exit polling data indicates otherwise).
Indeed, until frustrated by our recent progress in Iraq, Defeatocrats had been planning on making Iraq the central issue in the 2008 presidential campaign. But now, even The New York Times ruefully acknowledges that "as violence declines in Baghdad, the leading Democratic presidential candidates … are trying to shift the focus to the lack of political progress there, and highlighting more domestic concerns like health care and the economy.
I think it's even worse that that. Democrats aren't even consistent on whether American casualties should be the criteria to measure our success in Iraq. First, they say the declining figures are just temporary and will return, and that we can't win militarily. Next, they say even one casualty is unacceptably too many to justify our continued presence there. Then they say things won't turn around until we withdraw. Finally, they say that the real yardstick is political, not military, progress.
But for the most part, Democrats are scrambling desperately to change the channel. Republicans should not give them the remote but insist that Iraq be Exhibit A in the long list of exhibits demonstrating why the Oval Office cannot be entrusted to the Donkey during wartime.
It's undeniable that Democrats have been frightfully weak on national security since shortly after the Sept, 11 attacks. They've pooh-poohed the enemy's evil nature and the magnitude of the threat he represents.
They've tried to handcuff us every step of the way and painted the Bush administration and the United States as the bad guys in the war, doing untold damage to our image in the world, all the while falsely projecting that misdeed onto President Bush.
They've consistently said Iraq is not part of the war on terror, though our enemies obviously disagree, have made it the focal point of the war and have been the aggressors following Saddam's ouster.
Throughout, Democrats have been prophets of doom, some even predicting we couldn't remove Saddam Hussein without sustaining enormous causalities. When proved wrong on this, they didn't miss a beat in implying that we weren't justified in dethroning him because we didn't find (and therefore lied about) stockpiles of WMD.
Democrats could find nothing positive in the historic event when millions of Iraqis risked their lives to vote to establish their new government.
As the facts on the ground in Iraq caught up with the Democrats' negativity with the increases in Iraqi civilian and American military casualties, Democrats never once reminded us that war is hell and that we must persevere.
Instead, they ratcheted up their demands that we withdraw. After all, it was just a civil war. Forget the violence and ethnic hatred being fomented by the Iranian and Syrian thugocracies and al-Qaeda and other terrorists.
At every turn, this party of Neville Chamberlains has had only one solution: Embrace defeat, withdraw our forces and negotiate with terrorists. Even last week, Congress passed another resolution to fix a withdrawal date for our troops, the most recent of 40 such measures.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, without the slightest hint of shame or embarrassment reiterated her view that we have lost in Iraq militarily -- revealing her complete obliviousness to reality. She said, "Staying there in the manner that we are there is no longer an option." For whom? America or the Democratic Party?
Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton says the 2008 presidential election will have enormous consequences for America's national security and warned against electing anyone who won't take an aggressive stance toward our enemies. Amen to that.
Democrats have been obstructing our prosecution of the war on terror and strutting confidently, arrogantly and judgmentally against the Iraq War for years. As 2008 approaches, we should play their tapes to the public, over and over. It's time for the tables to be turned and to hold them accountable for change.
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