Monday, January 29, 2007

Why they oppose the "surge"

Tigerhawk spells out what should be obvious to all but the most blinkered leftists, namely that many (but not all) Democrats clearly want the "surge" and the war in Iraq in general to fail. And he explains why:
New York Senator Chuck Schumer seemed to give away the game -- at least implicitly -- on "Meet the Press." He quite obviously does not want the next election cycle to be "about" Iraq. One gets the sense that this sentiment is even more pronounced among the Democrats who will be vying for their party's presidential nomination. It is easy to see why: the problem of Iraq will be nothing but trouble for leading Democrats. The party activists who hold sway during the primary season will demand that candidates embrace the so-called "anti-war" agenda without reservation, but if Democrats do that too enthusiastically they will remind voters that their party has been all about defeat since 1972. Since none of them want to be caught in that Liebermanesque trap, leading Democrats are desperate for Iraq to be off the table by next fall. [UPDATE: Hillary's new and bizarre demand that all American troops be out of Iraq by January 2009 is the new, best evidence in support of my suspicions. This was a mistake on her part, for it reinforces the impression that in opposing the surge the Democrats are motivated by electoral considerations rather than an honest appraisal of the national interest.]
Do read the whole thing. Some people argued that the Democrats' coming to power would be a good thing, because it would force them to share responsibility for the war on terror. Increasingly, these hopes seem to have been vain. I am quite open-minded about the 2008 presidential election, but if this is the attitude going forward, it is increasingly unlikely that I will view the election of a Democrat with anything other than horror.

Post Scriptum:

Robert Kagan dedicated his latest Washington Post column to the political maneuvering over Iraq. It is absolutely obligatory reading:
Back in Washington, however, Democratic and Republican members of Congress are looking for a different kind of political solution: the solution to their problems in presidential primaries and elections almost two years off. Resolutions disapproving the troop increase have proliferated on both sides of the aisle. Many of their proponents frankly, even proudly, admit they are responding to the current public mood, as if that is what they were put in office to do. Those who think they were elected sometimes to lead rather than follow seem to be in a minority.
Those who call for an "end to the war" don't want to talk about the fact that the war in Iraq and in the region will not end but will only grow more dangerous. Do they recommend that we then do nothing, regardless of the consequences? Or are they willing to say publicly, right now, that they would favor sending U.S. troops back into Iraq to confront those new dangers? Answering those questions really would be honest and brave.
Of course, most of the discussion of Iraq isn't about Iraq at all. The war has become a political abstraction, a means of positioning oneself at home.
I would think that anyone wanting to be president in January 2009 would be hoping and praying that the troop increase works. The United States will be dealing with Iraq one way or another in 2009, no matter what anyone says or does today. The only question is whether it is an Iraq that is salvageable or an Iraq sinking further into chaos and destruction and dragging America along with it.
A big part of the answer will come soon in the battle for Baghdad. Politicians in both parties should realize that success in this mission is in their interest, as well as the nation's. Here's a wild idea: Forget the political posturing, be responsible, and provide the moral and material support our forces need and expect.
I'm hoping President Bush's tenacity will yield just such a result, but the breathtaking mendacity and short-sightedness of so many politicians and commentators is simply revolting.
Also see this MSM video, where similar sentiments are expressed by the troops themselves (via Instapundit):

Politicians should at least be honest: if they don't support the troops, their mission and what they believe in, they should at least say so.

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