Ross Mackenzie

With President Bush's veto of the Democrats' measure to tie funding of U.S. troops in Iraq to stipulated dates for their withdrawal, the Democrats continue outdoing themselves in the realm of shamelessness.

In the hall of fatuous behavior, Nancy Pelosi has taken a seat alongside Jane Fonda. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has declared the war "lost." This is the same individual who has termed (1) President Bush "a loser" and (2) former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan "one of the biggest political hacks" ever spied in D.C.

In Iraq, American lives are on the line to guarantee the future of freedom throughout the world. That includes right here in the U.S. - right here in River City. Says Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: "I can't begin to imagine how our troops in the field, who are risking their lives every day, are going to react when they get back to base and hear that the Democrat leader of the United States Senate has declared the war is lost."

The war probably is not lost.

As Reid's self-appointed explainer Chuck Schumer, New York's other senator, has put it, albeit murkily: "What Harry Reid is saying is this war is lost . . . (but) the war is not lost." Joe Lieberman, who speaks as sensibly as any senator, starkly described the U.S. presence in Iraq during remarks on the Senate floor last Thursday:

"Al-Qaida is not mass-murdering civilians on the streets of Baghdad because it wants a more equitable distribution of oil revenues. Its aim in Iraq is not to get a seat at the political table. It wants to blow up the table - along with everyone seated at it. Al-Qaida wants to destroy any prospect for democracy in Iraq, and it will not be negotiated or reasoned out of existence. It must be fought and defeated through force of arms. And there can be no withdrawal, no redeployment from this reality."

Alas, President Bush possesses little of Lieberman's eloquence. But the president says these things - and they are right:

- (The Democrats have) passed bills that would impose restrictions on our military commanders and set an arbitrary date for withdrawal from Iraq, giving our enemies the victory they desperately want." And . . .

- "This is a prescription for chaos and confusion and we must not impose it on our troops. . . . (The bill would) mandate a rigid and artificial deadline (for troop withdrawals, and) it makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing." And . . .

- "Our troops and their families deserve better, and their elected leaders can do better. Whatever our differences, surely we can agree that our troops are worthy of this funding and that we have a responsibility to get it to them without further delay."

Ross Mackenzie

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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