"Where are you going?" According to the Apostle (John 16:5), Christ urged his followers to ask that question shortly before the tumult of his arrest, trial, execution and resurrection. In the aftermath of this turbulent week, it's a relevant line of inquiry for President Bush and the new leaders in Congress.
Notwithstanding all the pre-vote hype, post-election polls show that it wasn't just a wave of anti-war sentiment that swept Democrats into power. Three out of four American voters apparently voted for Democrats because of corruption and scandal in Washington. Fewer than half of those who cast a ballot claimed to be motivated by the prospect that a change in Congress would result in a new approach to the war in Iraq. And it now appears that the war isn't at the top of the new majority's agenda, either.
Since the results of Tuesday's election became obvious, Speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly made clear her party's priorities are: "Jobs, healthcare, education, energy independence, a safer America, a dignified retirement -- that's what the Democrats are all about." What about Iraq? Answer: The Democrats don't have an easy answer and they have no prescription.
Though some, like Majority Leader wannabe Jack Murtha, made "Get Out Now" a mantra and others advocated "de-funding" U.S. involvement in Iraq, neither is going to happen. Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Harry Reid want to lead the Congress -- and recapture the Oval Office in two years. They don't want responsibility for a potential failure in Iraq.
Throughout the long congressional campaign season, the only consistency among Democrats was that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had to "go," and there had to be "change" in Iraq. Now that the honorable Rumsfeld has tendered his resignation and removed himself as the Bush administration's lightening rod -- and former CIA Director Robert Gates has been nominated to replace him -- there has been a sudden awakening in Democrat ranks that they will have a share of the outcome in Iraq.
All that begs the question as to what happens now. If the new majority in Congress wants to tie the Bush administration in knots with investigations and a flurry of subpoenas, they can surely do so. That of course will do nothing to deter Wahabbi terrorists, Shia radicals and the Muslim Brotherhood from pursuing their jihad against us. Nor will it do anything to help the Iraqi government establish security and stability in Mesopotamia.
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.
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