In my post two days ago, I opined that Sen. Brownback’s announcement of opposition to a troop “surge” before Bush even spoke — opposition announced from Iraq itself, no less — was merely “pandering to popular opinion in an attempt to bolster his presidential campaign.” James Antle later explained the numbers behind such a supposition. My contention that Brownback has no sincere position was bolstered when somebody from the Romney campaign (which I find intriguing, by the way, but am NOT supporting [I haven’t made up my mind yet at all]) e-mailed me this: Sam Brownback, 12/15/06: “If we need to put in short-term more troops, into the area, to get Baghdad to stabilize – and that’s up to the military leaders and the President’s discretion – I support that.” Here’s the video to back it up.
Gee, Brownno., I mean Brownback, what changed?
I repeat that the problem is not disagreeing with the president. I join Philip Klein, in his superbly written and reasoned column, in believing that this surge still isn’t large enough and that the president in his speech did somewhat less than inspire strong confidence. But to go the the very country where our troops are under the gun, and to know that the terrorists themselves have written to each other that their most important front in this war is the battle to win the American media, and to know that the president has not even had a chance to make his case to the public (private briefings matter not, for these purposes, because the key thing is the final plan laid out IN PUBLIC by the president), and to undercut the president (of his own party, no less) even before the man could speak, is the absolute height (or depth) of irresponsibility, bordering (yes, I will say it) on being unpatriotic. It gives aid and comfort to the enemy. It’s not quite Jane Fonda in Hanoi–indeed, not really close–but it is somewhere in the same galaxy of perfidiousness.
And seeing as how the president’s decision now represents, for good or ill, the only chance to still achieve an actual victory rather than ignominious defeat, it behooves Brownback not to undermine whatever chance (however small) it has for success.
The decision has been made; the die has been cast. The president’s goals are moral and just, and his means are at least plausible. I for one will rally around President Bush. Other conservatives should, too. The alternative is a defeat the likes of which this nation has never had to endure. Brownback seems not to get that point. Methinks all he understands is his own blind ambition.