Debating The War With The Democrats
Not exactly smashing stereotypes of liberals as mincing pantywaists, the left’s entire contribution to the war effort thus far has been to whine.: — Ann Coulter
The latest line from the left about the ‘War on Terrorism’ has been that we need to ‘have a debate’ about invading Iraq. Of course, Conservatives have been holding up their end of the debate since shortly after Sept 11th. Here’s a quote from a: column: of mine that I wrote on Sept 16, 2001′
‘The Osama Bin Ladens of the world have declared war on the United States. If we do not have the courage and the resolve to face and defeat them, then September the 11th will be repeated over and over again. It’s time to stand up and do whatever it takes to stop these monsters and the people that support them. If not now, when?’
You’ll notice that I didn’t limit my comments to Osama Bin Laden and al-Queda alone and the phrase ‘the people that support them’ was meant to include nations like Iraq, Iran, and Syria among others. Four days later in his September 20th speech, President Bush made his own case to the American people about the need to go after not just Osama bin Laden and al-Queda but the governments that support them’
‘The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends. It is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them.
”And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.’
Now after ten and a half months of listening to Conservatives beat the war drums the left wants to join in the debate. Well come on in guys, the water’s warm! Although I’m not exactly sure who we’re supposed to be debating. The fringe-left may have been against the war since the beginning but prominent Democrats have been doing everything they possibly can to a throw a monkey wrench into the ‘War on Terrorism’ without actually coming out against it. Every new security measure that the President suggests is used by the left as either an opportunity to shout ‘police state’ at the top of their lungs or as an excuse to expand the size of government (i.e. airport security). They don’t want us to put foreign terrorists in front of military tribunals because it may be a violation of their rights or even worse, it might upset Europe’s delicate sensibilities. Despite winning the war in Afghanistan with minimal American and civilian casualties the left thinks the invasion was a flop because we don’t know whether Bin Laden is dead or alive. Then in Israel where eight years of Clinton nannying produced nothing but an Intifada, the left is still desperate to go back to the same useless ‘peace process’ that has failed miserably for almost a decade.
Now most of the Democrats in Congress would probably like to ‘declare victory’ already and call it a war but that would be a risky thing to advocate BEFORE the November elections. Most of the American people and even the majority of rank and file Democrats support doing whatever it takes to win the ‘War on Terrorism’ so the Democratic Party wouldn’t have a prayer of keeping their hold on the Senate if they came out against the war now. Worse yet, if the Democratic Party strongly opposed a war in Iraq and then some Iraqi armed terrorist did plant a nuke in an American city can you imagine the political fallout? The Democratic Party might be willing to risk millions of American lives by not being serious about the war, but they’re much less likely to risk locking themselves out of power for the next decade by being associated with that sort of catastrophe.
Another reason the Democrats in Congress are calling for a ‘debate’ instead of just opposing the war outright is because they’re torn between their ideology and common sense. Whatever you may think about FDR, the patron saint of today’s American left, he had absolutely no moral qualms about defending America when we were attacked. But the post-Vietnam, American-left doesn’t have the same perspective. The fact that it’s in America’s best interests to remove Saddam Hussein from power makes the left reflexively reluctant to do so. On the other hand, even someone who once wrote that he ‘loathed the military’ like Bill Clinton can get behind going after Slobodan Milosevic because America would gain little by getting rid of him. Hussein may be a bigger SOB than Milosevic ever was, but since America would be better off if he were dead and gone, left-wingers feel that wiping him out would be an immoral use of force.
This is where things get tough for the left. Saddam Hussein does hate us, he does support various terrorist groups, and even liberals know he hasn’t been forgoing billions of dollars in oil revenue by refusing to submit to inspections for nothing. Pre-911 they could convince themselves that he wouldn’t dare give a biological or nuclear weapon to terrorists but that no longer seems like a certain bet in these days and times. Furthermore, Saddam is an oppressive dictator who has savagely starved, murdered, and gassed untold numbers of his own people. We know Democrats oppose these sorts of thing because it’s not unusual to hear the Democrats claiming that their Party is the only thing stopping Republicans from doing that sort of thing to our nation’s poor, social security recipients, and minorities. Now when the Democrats actually have a real-life bogeyman like Hussein in front of them who not only brutalizes his own people but threatens America as well, they want to have a ‘debate’ so they can figure out what to do about it.
Well if it’s a debate the Democrats want, it’s a debate they’ll get. Removing tyrants like Hussein, Khamenei in Iran, and if necessary Assad in Syria and Kim Jong-il in North Korea among others is preferable to repeating Sept. 11th over and over again in the US with progressively more devastating attacks. If these nations want to stop supporting terrorism and want to cease pursuing weapons of mass destruction, then there will no longer be a need for us to take military action against them. But to assume that these hostile regimes with connections to global terrorist groups would not dare to attack us seems like nothing more than wishful thinking after Sept 11th. Furthermore, when you factor in the damage that could be done with nuclear or biological weapons, it becomes clear that literally MILLIONS of American lives are at stake. If the Democratic Party wants to argue that it’s worth the risk of seeing LA or NYC destroyed in a nuclear blast when we are fully capable of stopping the regimes that would help make it happen, let them make their case to the American people. But speaking for the individuals on this side of the ‘debate’, it’s time to do whatever it takes to defend America before it’s too late.