This is nuts.
Within 13 months of 9/11, precisely 29 Democratic senators and 81 democratic Congressmen voted in favor of a resolution authorizing the use of force against Saddam Hussein. The vote was based in large part on the belief - propounded by the U.S. intelligence community for at least the five preceding years - that Saddam was moving toward the development of weapons of mass destruction, indeed that he already was stockpiling such weapons in vast arsenals. Six months thereafter, the U.S. was heading into Iraq.The war occurred; guerrilla war ensued. More than 2,000 Americans have died, as have countless thousands more Iraqis. Yet Iraq has held two historic elections, with a third coming next month, and Iraqi forces are improving.
Testimonies to the spread of Islamofascist terror abound - in the U.S., across Europe, throughout Southeast Asia and Australia, in the Middle East. The most recent example happened in Amman, Jordan, where suicide bombers targeted three hotels - killing 59, including many at a wedding.
(Immediate man-in-the-street reaction in Amman blamed Israel and lamented the particular cruelty of killing and maiming innocent wedding-goers. Never mind that terrorists have randomly extinguished similar innocents in Israel for years. And never mind that subsequently the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, now the terror boss in Iraq, took responsibility for the Amman bombings.)
Oh, and in November 2004, Sen. John Kerry lost his race for the White House. In the run-up to the election, he had difficulty explaining his October 2002 vote for the invasion - saying he voted against it after he voted for it. Or something.
So what happens?
President Bush wins re-election. Nine months later the Democrats begin whipping up a campaign to cut bait and bring American forces home from Iraq. The great philosopher Cindy Sheehan makes her mark by camping out at the Bush ranch in August. Sen. Kerry - evidently forgetting his electoral loss a year ago - demands the quick withdrawal of 20,000 troops from Iraq, terming such a move necessary to get off "the road to disaster."
(This, mind you, in the face of the observation by al-Qaida's chief strategist, Ayman al-Zawahiri, that "the Americans will exit soon" - adding: "The aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam and how they ran and left their agents is noteworthy.")
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
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