The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
One informed peek into next year's Crystal Ball...
Now two critics of the Bush Administration's policies in Iraq have returned from an eight-day visit there and published a piece in the New York Times that sounds very much like the writers have come to Mr. Kristol's point of view. What will happen to our liberal friends if they read it? Perhaps Mr. Conyers will perceive it as satire. It is hard to imagine anything shaking his conviction that Iraq is a lost cause.
The critics writing in the Times are analysts from the liberal Brookings Institution, Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack. They chide the defeatist critics of the administration who they say "seem unaware of the significant changes taking place" in Iraq. "As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush Administration's miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily 'victory' but sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with." They conclude by saying, " ... there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008."
That would take us into an election year with the Democrats saying the war is lost. What will they say if we are, as these analysts seem to think, winning? My guess is that they will continue to say we are losing. Return to Mr. Taranto's insight. The political culture is almost totally befogged by liberal misconceptions and bugaboos. It is, as we say at the American Spectator, a Kultursmog. It pollutes the liberals' minds and renders them oblivious of any evidence contrary to their gloomy views.
Thus they will continue to say we are losing. They may pipe down somewhat, but they are not likely to admit to being wrong. How would they know?
If their calls for retreat gain no support from the electorate, perhaps they will change the subject to another of their favorite misconceptions, to wit, the economy is going to hell.
Actually the economy is chugging along in a healthy and protracted period of growth. For the past five years per capita gross domestic product has grown at 11%. We are living through a vast global economic boom, and the Democrats seem completely unaware.
In 2008 their presidential candidate will be moaning that we have lost a war and are economically in a hell of a mess. The Republican will only have to point to a healthy economy and the success of Mr. Petraeus's splendid army to win. Then the Democrats will whine that the Republicans stole the election from them. That is my prediction, and I base it on the evidence.
The fear of exactly this result might explain Democrat Rep. James Clyburn--the House Majority Whip, told the Washington Post yesterday. I linked it earlier, but the "money line" of the quote bears repetition (also check out the video here; and get a load of Democrat Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's equally telling actions...the very suggestion of recent American success in Iraq was enough to send her scurrying out of a briefing with an American General in great distress...). Meanwhile Mr. Clyburn couldn't help himself either, it just sort of 'came out' this way (emphasis mine):
Clyburn noted that Petraeus carries significant weight among the 47 members of the Blue Dog caucus in the House, a group of moderate to conservative Democrats. [...]
"I think there would be enough support in that group to want to stay the course and if the Republicans were to stay united as they have been, then it would be a problem for us," Clyburn said. "We, by and large, would be wise to wait on the report."
Many Democrats have anticipated that, at best, Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker would present a mixed analysis of the success of the current troop surge strategy, given continued violence in Baghdad. But of late there have been signs that the commander of U.S. forces might be preparing something more generally positive. Clyburn said that would be "a real big problem for us."
Can you imagine if, one month after D-Day--after the American invasion of France finally began to show real progress--a member of Congress going to the press and being asked something like: "well it looks like the American troops have finally broken free in France, despite enormous loss of life, and that for the first time, Germans are in retreat." And then the Congressman coming back with: ...yeah, and if that continues it would be a real big problem for us"??? I mean obviously he is talking about the Party, not the country, He probably would have been impeached on the spot.
The heavy irony of this little slip of the tongue by Rep. Clyburn is that it is completely indicative of where the defeat-mongers of the Democrat Party find themselves. Any good news about the war has been habitually buried by Democrats and their allies in the press for over 4 years now--to the point where they have conditioned themselves to believe none of it; meanwhile the majority of Americans have been spoon fed only negative news about the War--both by Democrats and their allies in the media--leading to a false sense of hopelessness at home which is a far cry from what our fighting men and women (and other embeds) have been saying for over a year now: namely that the military situation on the ground has been improving dramatically. And now even regular Bush critics from the liberal Brookings Institution think tank have issues a shocking (to the Left) positive report after a recent trip to Iraq.
Morale is high with the troops. The Iraqi people are coming around--especially in their unity against Al Qaeda. And the fact that the Democrats have been engaged for months in this "early" Presidential campaign--trumpeting all the while the assumption that an American defeat is a foregone conclusion--has put the Dems even further behind the "8-ball." All of its major candidates have gone on the record ad infinitum about their opposition to the War and desire to pull us out in shame of a War that cannot be won. Harry Reid their leader in the Senate has pronounced the War already lost.
Now these Defeatocrats have a real dilemma: if the Dems pull funding now, just as the effort seems destined for success (and the public knows it...opinion polls regarding the war have already moved appreciably in the last 7 days), the resulting American shame and the genocide that would ensue could result in a Democrat defeat of epic proportions next year; something that no one even dreamed of at the beginning of the year. The American people will clearly see pulling the rug out from a rapidly improving situation in Iraq and handing 1/3 of the world's oil supply to our enemies as a great betrayal instead of an inevitability. Meanwhile the Republicans, who have all along been suggesting "just give the surge time to work" appear to have been borne out, even after 5+ years of persistent, non-stop Democrat derision and personal attacks.
Stay tuned: the events of the last month--and the months to come--may portend as a dramatic reversal of fortune that American politics has seen in a long, long time. Dems are painted into a corner on Iraq now--and any defeatist moves to satisfy the base could result in a landslide against the Dems in a general election. Has the President (and Gen. Petraeus) been "Misunderestimated" again? Time will tell...
In the meantime, to our troops I say: Take heart! And 'Just win, baby'!