WASHINGTON, D.C. -- This week in Iraq, U.S. Marines came under heavy fire in such cities as Fallujah and Ramadi. Amid gunfire and rocket propelled grenade attacks, their mission was to search for the terrorists who killed and desecrated the bodies of four American contractors killed last week and quell an uprising of radical Shiites, who are being lead by Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr, a fanatical cleric and a pawn of Hezbollah. At least 15 Marines were killed and 20 more were wounded in the battles.
And while some of the Marine Corps' finest were taking gunfire and dying, back at home, Sen. Teddy Kennedy wandered from his palatial Senate office on Capitol Hill to the plush and friendly surroundings of the Brookings Institute, a liberal Washington think tank, to unleash a verbal carpet bombing on the president of the United States. Kennedy, whose own honesty, integrity and judgment have been called into question on numerous occasions throughout his career, charged the Bush administration with "creat(ing) the largest credibility gap since Richard Nixon." Kennedy accused the president of breaking "the basic bond of trust with the American people," and said that Iraq is "George Bush's Vietnam."
It's an effort on the part of John Kerry's hatchet man to exploit one of the more challenging weeks in Iraq since the end of major hostilities nearly a year ago. Though they find it hard to accept, Democrats like Teddy Kennedy know the president continues to enjoy the trust of the American people on matters of national security. Their terrorism czar turned Kerry flack, Richard Clarke, had his day in the Beltway sunshine, but they realize Clarke's testimony and book will barely warrant a footnote in its impact on the president. Based on last week's economic reports, the Democrats' not-so-secret desires for the economy to turn south so they might have an issue to exploit are now a pipe dream.
So they have turned up the rhetoric to try to equate Iraq with Vietnam. And the Senate's resident Klan Man, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, was happy and eager to participate: "Surely, I am not the only one who hears echoes of Vietnam in this development. Surely this administration recognizes that increasing the U.S. troop presence in Iraq will only suck us deeper, deeper into the maelstrom, into the quicksand of violence that has become the hallmark of that unfortunate, miserable country," said the Senate's oratorical Grand Wizard.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.