Some People Spend An Entire Lifetime Wondering If They Made A Difference,
The Marines Don't Have That Problem.
President Ronald Reagan - 1985
We have to accept the fact that the conservatives we sent to Congress in 1994 became the bloated, earmarking, tone-deaf toads of 2006. They thought they could do whatever they wanted, regardless of what their constituents think, and now they have been reminded of just who is working for whom. Remedying that sense of isolation and disconnect and unchecked power is why we have elections in the first place, and as to the consequences of it, we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Over in Tim Blair's comment section, a guy named Dave S. said this:
"The Republicans lost and the Democrats won for the same reason -- they distanced themselves from their base. "
That's the sentence of the year, in my opinion.
Not only do they see "phased redeployment" as a potential disaster, they see an improvement in the situation in Iraq. One New Jersey officer recently returned to Iraq for the first time since 2003 and tells the Post that Iraq had made real progress. A self-proclaimed liberal, he said, "Pulling out now would be as bad or worse than going forward with no changes," and predicted an end to democratic self-government almost immediately.
Worse still, the troops have worked hard to gain the trust of Iraqi civilians for over three years. They have created a network of relationships and intelligence links in the general population and alliances with tribal leaders. It took a long time for Iraqis to forget the betrayal of 1991, when the US failed to support a rebellion against Saddam Hussein after failing to march on Baghdad during the first Gulf War. A "phased redeployment" would abandon those same people all over again to the terrorists within and outside of Iraq.
None of them have any illusions that Iraq will suddenly and miraculously find peace. The soldiers and Marines on the ground believe it will take a long time and much hard work to bring a democratic Iraq to full viablity, at least completely. They tell the Post that the Kurdish region is only about four or five months away from full autonomy and self-sufficiency in terms of security (economically, they're farther ahead than that). Baghdad will be the toughest nut to crack, they all acknowledge, and that might take years of effort. However, all of them believe in the mission and see that the alternative consigns the Iraqis to tyranny and terrorism for decades or more.
There is only one issue in this election that will matter five or ten years from now, and that's the War on Terror.
And the success of the War on Terror now teeters on the fulcrum of this election.
If control of the House passes into Democratic hands, there are enough withdraw-on-a-timetable Democrats in positions of prominence that it will not only seem to be a victory for our enemies, it will be one.
Unfortunately, the opposite is not the case -- if the Republican Party remains in control of both houses of Congress there is no guarantee that the outcome of the present war will be favorable for us or anyone else.
But at least there will be a chance.
I say this as a Democrat, for whom the Republican domination of government threatens many values that I hold to be important to America's role as a light among nations.
But there are no values that matter to me that will not be gravely endangered if we lose this war. And since the Democratic Party seems hellbent on losing it -- and in the most damaging possible way -- I have no choice but to advocate that my party be kept from getting its hands on the reins of national power, until it proves itself once again to be capable of recognizing our core national interests instead of its own temporary partisan advantages.
To all intents and purposes, when the Democratic Party jettisoned Joseph Lieberman over the issue of his support of this war, they kicked me out as well. The party of Harry Truman and Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- the party I joined back in the 1970s -- is dead. Of suicide.
Saddam Hussein, the iron-fisted dictator who ruled Iraq for nearly a quarter of a century, was found guilty of crimes against humanity Sunday and sentenced to death by hanging.
The so-called Butcher of Baghdad, who was president of Iraq from 1979 until he was deposed by Coalition forces in April 2003, was convicted of the 1982 killings of 148 Shiites in the city of Dujail.