Yes, it's been a great couple of weeks for President Bush and therefore, America. But not for some folks. It seems every time they turn around, Democrats have another cruel door of reality slam them in the face. Their efforts to paint the GOP with the culture of corruption brush met with a slim but bitter defeat in California; and at the highest levels of the administration where Karl Rove remains at large, free to plot and plan against them at will.
Worse yet, just as they were trying to make the Iraq War disappear from their "New Direction for America" platform and thus from the national psyche, news of the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi dropped like a 500-pounder squarely in their lap. Zarqawi's death and the subsequent discovery of documents at his place of demise give new meaning to the term "safe house"; as in Republican chances in the '06 elections.
Zarqawi's own words demolish the Democrats' talking point that we need to leave Iraq now in order to avoid defeat. Shortly before U.S. forces helped him shuffle off his mortal coil he said, "Here in Iraq, time is now beginning to be of service to the American forces and harmful to the resistance." It seems plain to all who have ears to hear that, although there will be setbacks, staying the course will eventually bring victory in Iraq.
In many ways, it seems the terrorists have a better understanding of U.S. culture and politics than does the Democratic Party. Nearly four years ago, Osama bin Laden penned a "Letter to the American People" demonstrating a remarkable grasp of the democratic process:
[T]he American people are the ones who choose their government by way of their own free will; a choice which stems from their agreement to its policies...The American people have the ability and choice to refuse the policies of their Government and even to change it if they want.
Our enemies have spoken to us on numerous occasions; it's just that not everyone is listening. By happy coincidence, one fellow who is listening happens to be the man twice-chosen by his fellow citizens to command the Armed Forces of the United States of America:
I know there is an international jihadist movement that desires to do us harm and they have territorial ambitions. The reason I know that is that's what they've told us. And part of their territorial ambition is to have safe haven in Iraq. That's what they've said. That's what the enemy has clearly said. And it seems like to me that the Commander-in-Chief ought to listen to what the enemy says. And they believe capitalists and democratic societies are soft and it's a matter of time before we pull out.
As bin Laden famously once said, "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse." In 1998, he saw that the American warhorse was growing a bit long in the tooth and relished what he saw as an opening:
We have seen in the last decade the decline of the American government and the weakness of the American soldier who is ready to wage Cold Wars and unprepared to fight long wars. This was proven in Beirut when the Marines fled after two explosions. It also proves they can run in less than 24 hours, and this was also repeated in Somalia. We are ready for all occasions.
Though our enemies in the War on Terror may be bloodthirsty, murderous thugs, they do possess real insight in matters of propaganda. A recent communique released by Zarqawi's apparent successor reads like a Republican review of the DNC playbook, "The Enemy is Helpless, Defeated, and Begging to Pull Out of the Iraqi Quagmire."
Tone deaf though they might be, Democrats must realize that more good news from Iraq could doom their hopes of retaking Congress, so their continuing insistence that we cut and run seems to imply that we must leave Iraq now in order to avoid victory; something that the guy with the big ears isn't buying:
And that's why one message that I will continue to send to the enemy is, don't count on us leaving before the message is complete. Don't bet on it; don't bet on American politics forcing my hand, because it's not going to happen. I'm going to make decisions not based upon politics, but based upon what's best for the United States of America.
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