Emmett Tyrrell

But there are differences in the two groups' views on the Iraq war. The Democrats want us to get out, the sooner the better. Zawahiri is not so brash. In his message over the weekend he declared, "We ask Allah that they (the American and other coalition forces) get out after losing 200,000 to 300,000 killed." That means he wants our forces to remain in Iraq until 2207 and possibly 2307. Even President George W. Bush would not go that far. And Zawahiri believes that the casualties he envisages would constitute a dreadful "lesson," giving "the blood spillers in Washington and Europe an unforgettable lesson." That is how he put it over the weekend. What does he have against "blood spillers"? His dirty-necked galoots are wanton blood spillers. Frankly, I find the Rev. Zawahiri even more incoherent than Reid.

Pronouncing the American endeavor "lost" in Iraq is probably a good idea for those who hate America, but I do not think it is a very good idea for the Democrats. They did the very same thing toward the end of our military engagement in Vietnam, and that led to a decade of setbacks for American interests around the globe. It also led to some dreadful setbacks for the Democrats. In fact, with the exception of Bill Clinton's two elections and the recent mid-term elections, it has mostly been downhill for the Democrats since they bugged out on Vietnam and solemnized that war a "loss."

The war itself was not a military loss, though we certainly suffered a diplomatic defeat in Vietnam. Our military won every large engagement and most small ones. Our losses were in the range of 50,000, but the communist Vietnamese lost two and a half million, some 900,000 in combat. For two years after we evacuated the country, the South Vietnamese army held its own. What led to its defeat was a massive communist assault that went unopposed by American airpower when the Democrats in Congress pulled a Harry Reid and refused to support the use of airpower or even to re-supply the South Vietnamese.

Now we see the Democrats reenacting their Vietnam bug-out in Iraq. They cannot give us a military defeat there. Our army is too powerful. Yet they can give us another diplomatic defeat. If they do, my prediction is years of electoral defeats for the Democrats. As to a decade of setbacks for American interests abroad, that is a matter too terrible to contemplate.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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