True to their heritage in foreign policy, 40 out of 45 Democratic senators voted last week to demand a timetable for withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. As in every conflict since Vietnam, Democrats are hoping not to succeed but to skedaddle.
Imagine if the Democrats held a majority in the Congress. The cut and run impulse -- can you call it anything else? -- would become law. Well, the Democrats protest, we cannot condone this war for another minute because we were deceived into supporting it in the first place.
We'll return to that risible claim in a moment. But first let's assume for the sake of argument that it is true. Democrats were given faulty intelligence by President Bush and voted for the war based entirely on those misleading representations. Okay. But now we are in Iraq. The full prestige and credibility of the United States is on the line. Iraq has been liberated from Saddam, yet remains under assault from jihadists, dispossessed Tikritis, and a variety of other assassins and terrorists. Al Qaeda's ringleader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, maintains a network of suicide bombers and saboteurs who blow our people up when they can and cut off hostages' heads when they require added amusement.
If we were to withdraw in the face of this onslaught, the message to al Qaeda and to the world would be obvious: defeat. Osama bin Laden took credit for chasing the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan and gloated that his forces had frightened the U.S. out of Somalia. How much more decisive would it appear to the jihadists if they were able to chase the U.S. out of Iraq? And not just to them, but to any potential adversary anywhere on the globe? Don't Democrats ever consider these matters? If they do not, can they really be considered mature or responsible?