Debra J. Saunders

How is America supposed to win in Iraq, and how are the Iraqi people supposed to reclaim their country, when so many Washington leaders seem to be rooting for failure in Baghdad?
It's bad enough that the peaceniks dismiss interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi as a tool of the CIA -- without acknowledging how courageous his service is -- and refuse to recognize the progress visible in this handover of power (which they call an occupation, even though the Iraqis can throw out foreign troops).

 It is worse that Washington Democrats, who should know better, are undermining the Iraqi mission. It wasn't that long ago -- just four years -- that Democrats were bashing Republicans for "talking down" the economy for political reasons. Now, top Democrats are talking down a war that has cost 800-plus Americans their lives -- with little regard to how their sniping might affect the war effort.

 You would think that Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., never heard of the word "morale," by the way he is bad-mouthing a war he himself voted to authorize.

 While Iraqis have resented America's military presence, even in Iraq, citizens were more upbeat than Kerry about the transfer of power. A Baghdad newspaper, New Morning, wrote a story headlined "America Keeps Its Promise" for its next edition, according to NBC news. Yet in America, Kerry, who voted for the war, looked as if he had lost a bet.

 He couldn't congratulate President Bush. (Maybe it's a campaign decision: no sentences about Bush without the word "worst.") He did salute U.S. troops for what they had accomplished, though he did so with a dig at Bush for the war's "very difficult circumstances."

 Here's another way Kerry talks down the war effort: He says that he would be able to persuade more countries to send their troops into Iraq. But, after Kerry has trashed just about everything concerning Operation Iraqi Freedom, what country (that hasn't already) would want to come to Iraq? Why would new countries join the U.S.-led coalition when Kerry and other Democrats fail to recognize the sacrifices already made by the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Spain and other countries that sent troops -- when the party dismisses Bush's coalition as "unilateral"?

Debra J. Saunders

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