It's time to take the gloves off, and push back -- hard -- against the dishonest and deranged rhetoric of the left. Thanks to their relentless Bush-bashing and their reckless condemnations of how we are fighting the war, the latest polls say that only about one American in three says the nation is headed in the right direction and only 44% say the president is doing a good job. The hyperlib rhetoric not only flies in the face of the facts -- the economy is booming and the war is being won -- but it has enormously negative effects at home and overseas.
The libs are in the business of giving strength and hope to our enemies and making our allies doubt our intentions. At home, the liberals are fighting to take away the president's powers to fight this new kind of war in innovative ways. Congressional libs -- when they're not thinking wistfully about impeaching the president -- are trying to take away his power to order the NSA, outside the framework of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, to intercept calls and e-mails overseas and domestically. They want to close Gitmo, end the rendition of terrorist suspects to other nations cooperating in the war, and, most of all, they want to cut and run from Iraq. In short, the libs in Congress want to make sure we lose this war. We should not say the libs are unpatriotic. They are so much worse than that. They sound like Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's #2, whose latest rant demands the president admit defeat in Iraq.
Since 9-11, the president and most of us who support aggressive and innovative actions against the enemy have taken the high road. We have said that the enemy is evil, that he will strike again without warning and that America has the moral duty to protect its citizens from violence by preemptive action, but have not condemned the liberals for their hampering the war effort. As the war goes on the liberal community rises to its challenge by offering nothing more than incendiary rhetoric that encourages our enemy, discourages our troops and threatens legislation to prevent the president from fighting the war as it must be fought: with every device and weapon at our disposal.
It's not just that the Democrats don't have a policy to fight and win the war. They take pride in that lack. More than four years after 9-11 their party chairman proclaims it is not their duty to offer an alternative to what President Bush is doing. It's not just that they have no moral values or core principles to guide them other than an overwhelming desire to retake the White House. The Democratic Party is dominated by people who do not believe America is worth fighting for, do not support our troops and see enemies only in the White House, not abroad. Let's not call them names. Let's shame them publicly, and relentlessly reveal them for what they are.
WE SHOULD LAUGH IN THE FACES of the Democrats who say they support our troops. Last year Illinois Dem Dick Durbin compared Gitmo to a Nazi death camp and our soldiers to Pol Pot's murderers. He never apologized. His statement (which the media immediately bought as an apology) was really a plea to wait until Durbin might later be proven right. In a CBS interview last month, Vichy John Kerry said, "And there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the -- of -- the historical customs, religious customs." This is nothing new for Kerry. He's merely regurgitating the vicious falsehoods he told about our troops in Vietnam in his infamous 1971 Senate testimony. He said then that our troops were committing war crimes "on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command," and that they had "raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam." Kerry never retracted those lies. Now he has more to be ashamed of and so do the Dems who -- unanimously -- have failed to call Durbin and Kerry to task. Republican senators and congressmen should be standing at the podium in both houses condemning Kerry and Durbin and their ilk as the destroyers of our troops' morale and as people such as Jack Murtha who give our enemy hope that we will cut and run.
Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a formerly respectable member of the House, has been calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq. He, like every American, is free to speak his mind no matter how absurd his views. But he cannot be immune from criticism for his defeatism and outrageously misleading statements.
At a recent town meeting hosted by Virginia Democrat Rep. Jim Moran, Murtha said that all our military leaders told him we can't win in Iraq militarily. I was in Iraq during the first week of December, and met with almost all of the top commanders, including overall commander Gen. George Casey, Lt. Gen. J.R. Vines (his operational commander), MGen. Stephen Johnson, commander of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force in Fallujah, MGen. William Webster (then commander of the 3rd Infantry Division), and Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, commander of the Multinational Security Transition Command -- Iraq. To a man, they all said two things. First, they said we are winning the military war in Iraq and that the Iraqis are taking more and more responsibility for the fight. Second, they said that the Iraqis will have to preserve the military accomplishments by establishing a functioning government that its people will have confidence in. Why, then, would Murtha make such a misleading statement? Because Murtha, like the other Dems, wants us to lose in Iraq.
At the same town meeting he made his misleading statement about the military commanders' views, Murtha made clear his motive: to ensure that any withdrawal from Iraq is viewed as a defeat. He said, "I worry about a slow withdrawal which makes it look like there's a victory when I think it should be a redeployment as quickly as possible and let the Iraqis handle the whole thing." That is as clear a statement as we will ever get from the liberals. Let's leave, says Murtha, in a big hurry so everyone understands we've been defeated. Murtha, by his own words, is a defeatist. And worse. He's a reckless, irresponsible partisan.
MURTHA HASN'T YET SUNK to the level of the Hollywoodenheads who are the Dems' staunchest supporters. When Alec Baldwin said that the leaders of the Republican Party were "sociopaths" and when comic Kathy Griffin says that the president is "a moron" and that the vice president is "evil," they speak for their entire community. And when Howard Dean says the war in Iraq is unwinnable, he makes clear that the Dems and the fools of Hollywood are one and the same.
The hyperliberal Dems condemn the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and want it closed. What I saw there last July made me proud, not ashamed. The Dems -- always failing to offer an alternative -- leave us to conclude that they prefer the German approach. The Germans released the terrorist murderer Mohammed Ali Hamadi in December. In the 1985 TWA hijacking, Hamadi and his companions murdered U.S. navy diver Robert Stetham.
Now the NSA eavesdropping on suspected terrorist conversations abroad, some of which were with people in the United States, is under fire. It was legal, regardless of Sen. Boxer's declamation that it wasn't. The Dems want it stopped. They apparently don't care that legal operations such as that are a large part of the reason that we haven't suffered a major terrorist attack since 9-11.
We have taken the high road too long. We -- all of us, from the president to everyone who writes letters to the editor of their local paper -- should be going right at these people with every fact we can muster and be none too gentle about it. In 302 days, we will go to the polls. Let's see how many of these liberals we can send back to private life. They have proven public life is too great a responsibility with which they can be entrusted.
TAS contributing editor Jed Babbin is the author of Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe Are Worse Than You Think (Regnery, 2004).
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