Todd Manzi

The position of Democrats seems to be that it is easier to hunt down and kill terrorists than it is to make a living flipping burgers. Democrats are telling us we should withdraw from Iraq, so that the Iraqis will have an incentive to stand up and fight for themselves. When it comes to the War on Poverty, however, Democrats want the federal government to continue assisting the needy indefinitely. 

Which is easier, learning how to fight terrorists in Iraq or finding a way to make a living in the United States? Our steady stream of immigrants would indicate the latter, but the rhetoric of Democrats points to the former.

Perhaps it’s time to help the Democrats understand the challenge we face regarding the security of Iraq. Using a football analogy might be helpful. 

Let’s say the U.S. military is like the best NFL team to ever take the field. The terrorists might be like the worst junior college team. The Iraqis who are joining the military are men who have never played football. If you just toss them the ball and tell them to go play football, they will get slaughtered. Literally.

Individually, the Iraqis need to be trained how to fight. Then they need to be trained how to fight as a team. Then they need leadership to direct them so they can properly execute big picture strategies. But that’s not enough. The trainers have to be trained so that Iraq can have a self-sufficient military.

If all the best minds in the NFL were brought together, how long would it take them to teach others how to train, field and coach a team that could compete against an already functioning junior college team? 

Of course, it’s silly to compare war to football. Lives are on the line in Iraq and this is not a game. But it does serve as a reminder that our mission in Iraq is to stand by the brave men who are coming forward and putting their lives on the line to defend their country. The U.S. military provides the stability that gives Iraqi men the confidence needed to commit to the cause. 

Democrats are doing their best to undermine that confidence. 

They are sending the message to Iraqi men that they may lose the safety provided by our soldiers. Those who advocate immediate withdrawal are making the enormously difficult job in Iraq much harder than it already is.

Here at home, Democrats send an entirely different message to welfare recipients.  The message to this group is that the federal government will stand beside them indefinitely.

For these people, Democrats want to provide unlimited support, programs and financial aid. We have a bloated bureaucracy tasked with providing unending handouts.

It is time to admit the war on poverty is a quagmire and the federal government should withdraw. The Constitution never authorized us to enter this war in the first place. Let’s send a strong message to the individual states: we are going to cut and run from the war on poverty. There is no need to point fingers about who lied us into this war. We don’t have to highlight the numerous mistakes that were made. Nor do we have to identify who benefited themselves by getting elected to office under the cover of fighting poverty. All we need to do is assess the situation and act accordingly.

Does anyone want to defend the progress or accomplishments we have made with our efforts fighting the war on poverty? Anyone?

To be fair to Democrats, let’s accurately assess the situation in Iraq and act accordingly. Four years and three months ago, the United States was attacked, and the global War on Terror began. President Bush did not bow to the pressure he was under to initiate a quick response. He acted thoughtfully, patiently and unbelievably competently.

Our first attack in the War on Terror was to cut off much of their financing. Then we took control of Afghanistan. Next, we debated whether President Bush had the authority to invade Iraq. The president asked Congress to provide the authority and they did. Then we debated whether we should go to war in Iraq or not. President Bush even took the time to go back to the U.N. to get another resolution supporting the invasion of Iraq. After all that, we still waited and gave the dictator one last chance to avoid war. That was the first year and a half of our War on Terror.

Next, we defeated the Iraqi army and took control of the country. We hunted down the tyrant and pulled him from his rat hole. We handed over sovereignty of the country to the Iraqi people. We provided stability as they had elections and ratified a constitution. Now, we are training Iraqis in how to train themselves to do the job of keeping their own country safe from future terrorist threats.

Wow.

We have accomplished a lot in a short period. The War on Terror has been much more successful than the war on poverty, but both of these wars should end as soon as possible. How about if we compromise with the Democrats? As we draw down our troop levels in Iraq, we will also reduce the size of our federal welfare bureaucracy.  On the day we are completely out of Iraq, we will also completely eliminate all federal welfare.

Democrats have proposed the theory that a group of people will not become independent and self-sufficient if they can rely on support from the U.S. government.  We should test that theory here at home to see if Democrats might be right.


Todd Manzi

Todd Manzi is a Townhall.com media critic.

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