Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Reasonable Request

CALL TO ARMS. Democrats keep telling us how offended they are that anyone would question their patriotism. They say they love their country. They say they support the troops. A few modest propositions:

It's not supporting the troops to rant to the world press that all the efforts -- and sacrifices -- of American troops in Iraq have been a waste, an embarrassment, or a crime.

It's not loving your country to side with its enemies at every opportunity, to root for it to fail, and to compare its mistakes with the worst crimes against nations and peoples in recorded history.

It's not patriotic to equate a wrong decision, however wrong you feel it was, with a deliberate deception from which no possible good effect can result -- particularly when all the evidence demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of politicians around the world believed the same data as the supposed deceivers.

Now that the Democrat War Machine -- which is strictly a domestic appliance -- is at full throttle on its mission to destroy the nation's president, Republicans have every right to ask patriotic Democrats to speak up on behalf of the troops, the country, and, yes, the President. Everyone who paid any attention at all during the buildup to the Iraq War knows -- deep in his heart of hearts -- that there was every reason to believe Saddam had stockpiles of WMDs. No mainstream politician doubted it, whether they agreed with the decision to go to war or not. The Clinton administration had never doubted it. And no one at the time ventured to explain why Saddam might be so resistant to allowing UN weapons inspectors free rein if he didn't have WMDs to hide. His policy made no sense. And that's how the intelligence could have been so wrong. In the absence of proof that there were no WMDs, not overthrowing Saddam was riskier than hoping he was sane. And ask yourselves right now, with the full benefit of hindsight, is Saddam sane? Or is he a reckless, cruel, and unpredictable maniac who could never have been fully trusted or understood?

The current lynch mob mentality in the Democrat Party does no honor to those of you who do really love our country. It's absurd to suppose that you really would prefer to put Saddam back in power with all the resources he once had at his disposal. It's impossible to believe that the outcome you would most prefer is for American troops to come crawling home in defeat from a war in which they lost no single battle, leaving Iraq to the certain horrors of religious civil war and inevitable tyranny by the most ruthless combatant. It's reasonable to believe that all things considered, you would prefer to live in a world where millions of moderate muslims had democratically elected governments guaranteeing the same kinds of individual freedoms we Americans take for granted. Yet defeat, humiliation, slaughter, and tyranny, with no real possibility of the advance of human freedom, is the precise outcome that is being sought by your leadership -- all for the narrow partisan purpose of destroying the Bush presidency and Republican power in the Congress.

It is no betrayal to stand up against your party leadership when it goes off the rails and disregards truth in the pursuit of power. It is, rather, patriotism of a high order. In publicly denouncing the rhetoric of Reid, Pelosi, Kennedy, Durbin, Schumer, Levin and all the other Democrats in Congress who favor destruction over national unity, you do not lose your future opportunity to oppose Bush policies and Republican candidates. You have abundant room to argue that Republican decisions have been wrong and damaging without tainting your own integrity. Indeed, you are far more likely to earn credibility with the American public by drawing a firm distinction between profound disagreement and unscrupulous smear.

How many of you are there, really? Patriotic Democrats, I mean. Now is your golden opportunity to show your colors. Write your senators and congressmen. Tell them to put aside the Big Lie and support the troops for real. There should be millions and millions of you, enough to turn the tide. I fear, though, that your cavalry looks more like this.

Time will tell.

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