Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Talking one way, voting another
"[Bush's] best option is bringing peace and security to Iraq," says Darrell West, a political scientist at Brown University. "If he can accomplish that, people will think the war's going well and that he made the right decision. But that's proving almost impossible to achieve."
Pollster Daniel Yankelovich, writing in the September/October 2005 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, states that "in my judgment the Bush administration has about a year before the public's impatience will force it to change course."
The 403-3 vote demostrates that most Democrats are aware of the fact that withdrawal would be disasterous for the United States. Or they fear the political fallout of a vote against the war. Either way they have chosen to continue this line of attack. So why the rhetoric? Because it hurts President Bush and makes it harder for him to achieve his agenda, of course. It is politics and I am sure that many Democrats see nothing wrong with trying to change public opinion. But it has consequences.
Commanders are telling Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that ground troops do not understand the generally negative press that their missions receive, despite what they consider significant achievements in rebuilding Iraq and instilling democracy.
The commanders also worry about the public's declining support for the mission and what may be a growing movement inside the Democratic Party to advocate troop withdrawal from Iraq.
"They say morale is very high," said a senior Pentagon official of reports filed by commanders with Washington. "But they relate comments from troops asking, 'What the heck is going on back here' and why America isn't seeing the progress they are making or appreciating the mission the way those on the ground there do. My take is that they are wondering if America is still behind them."
I cannot honestly say that I believe the political debate in the US will lower our troops moral and hurt our war effort. It is a terrible message to send to men and women who are risking their lives. I am much more concerned with how Al Qaeda in Iraq and the terrorists they are recruiting look at the calls for withdrawal. The left has said that the invasion of Iraq has acted to increase the number of young Muslims who are willing to become terrorists. That is a valid argument. But if this argument is accepted you would have to say that calls for withdrawal which are nothing more than playing politics also encourages terrorist recruiting. The radical Muslims have always believed that the US did not have the will to fight an enemy that "loved death" the way that the west loves life. If the left doesn't think losing this war is important to American influence in the world it is time they took it up with the Democratic party. If the left doesn't want the US to withdraw from Iraq and plunge that country into chaos they should seriously consider marching for victory. A united American polity will do far more to end the war quickly and bring our troops home.