Does it bother you at all that Democratic leaders and liberal opinion peddlers are increasingly splitting semantic hairs in our war on terror, as if we don't have enough trouble negotiating this war as it is?
The latest obfuscation is their mantra that military action against Iraq would be inconsistent with our war on terror. Let's be clear. An action against Iraq would not only be consistent with our war on terror; it would be part and parcel of it.
President Bush emphasized from the very beginning that Iraq is a terrorist regime. In first articulating the Bush Doctrine he delineated between good and evil -- causing no small amount of consternation among moral relativists -- and said that nations would have to take sides. "Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists," said Mr. Bush. "From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."
Well, there's very little doubt that Saddam Hussein is himself a terrorist -- he even terrorizes his own people. There's also little question that he harbors terrorists; Donald Rumsfeld recently disclosed that Saddam provides sanctuary for al Qaeda members. Nor is there any dispute that Saddam supports terrorists; just consider his support of the families of suicide bombers.
Also remember Bush's axis of evil speech wherein he designated Iraq by name as one of three evil regimes who, "by seeking weapons of mass destruction, ... pose a grave and growing danger." President Bush did not make these remarks in a vacuum, but in the context of our war on terror. So it has been abundantly clear all along that any action we might choose to take against Iraq would be in furtherance of our war on terror.
Yet Democratic leaders are behaving as though Mr. Bush, by considering an attack on Iraq, is conflicted and confused. Senator Daschle, perennial presidential hopeful Albert Gore, and our ubiquitous ex-President Clinton, to name just a few, have repeatedly criticized Bush's contemplation of action against Iraq as disruptive of his war on terror.
As far back as April, Daschle spoke of the war on terror, our military operation in Afghanistan and action against Iraq as three separate things. "We've got to win the war on terror; we've got to stabilize Afghanistan. We have to do all that we can to ensure that we succeed there before we take on another mission," said Daschle.
More recently Daschle questioned whether an attack on Iraq would damage America's relations with countries that are assisting in our war on terror, such as Pakistan and Indonesia. "Is this now more important than the war on terror?" asked Daschle, as if America must make the false choice between attacking Iraq and pursuing its war on terror.
And former President Clinton is doing his best to blow smoke and erect mirrors for his colleagues. "We know (al Qaeda members) still have a terrorist network around the world," said Clinton. "And we're already kind of changing the subject here, looking at Saddam Hussein, who's not going anywhere." We're not worried about Saddam leaving the comfort of his palatial surroundings, Mr. Clinton, but his weapons.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who can always be counted on to gratuitously slam President Bush, added her voice to those seeking to create confusion. She concluded her latest column by asking, "Does America have conflicts of interest? Are we fighting one war in two places, or are the two wars tripping each other up?"
This is all very strange. The Democratic leaders and their media mouthpieces surely understand that Iraq has been part of the game plan all along. And we know that in 1998 these same Democrats were beating the war drums against Iraq themselves. They weren't cautioning restraint or demanding more proof at the time.
So what's changed since then to cause their about-face? Answer: We no longer have a Democrat president. While they claim that President Bush is playing politics with the war, it is Senator Daschle and his cohorts who are fomenting undue confusion, at the potential expense of the national interests.