The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Democrats and the Politics of Defeat
Read the rest here.
Peter J. Wallison, senior research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, explores the politics of the war and why Democrats want to set a date for withdraw now, before a September report likely to show that the "surge" is, indeed, working.
Finally, if—as seems apparent now—the surge is succeeding, opponents of the war are going to be hard-pressed to make the case for abandoning Iraq, even if there is no Shi'ite-Sunni political settlement in sight. The inconvenient truth here is that, apart from the irreconcilable Left, the American people's support for withdrawal has been based on an assessment that we were losing the war. If that no longer seems true, support for withdrawal will melt away. The Democratic leaders know this; that's why they made a concerted effort last week to get a vote on withdrawal in July. September, which will likely see a favorable report by General Petraeus, will be too late. Claims that the inability of the Iraqis to reach a political settlement is a reason for us to leave will ring a bit hollow in the face of a possible military success. After all, the American people have noticed that our Congress, unthreatened by anything more serious than an upcoming election, couldn't pass an immigration bill, can't eliminate earmarks or adopt ethics rules, and can't agree on energy legislation when gasoline is $3.50 a gallon. Politicians, they know, will be politicians, but that doesn't mean we should hand our enemies a victory instead of a defeat.
Understand this: The Democratic Party's political success in the 2008 election cycle is based on American defeat in Iraq. If the current military strategy known as "the surge" - which involved a profound change in tactics not just increased numbers of soldiers - works, the cry of Democrats like Harry Reid that the war is already lost will be seen for what they really are - a hollow attempt to create that result based on purely cynical political motivation.
The war has not been lost. American forces on the ground are in the process of winning it. The American military has never lost a war that the American people and its politicians have vowed to win.