The Democrats' Bad Investment?
The Democrats have invested in defeat in Iraq. Their political fortunes are tied to it more and more each day. Each day seems to bring a new barrage of speeches or press releases from Democrats, particularly of the leadership and/or "running for President" variety and, with the lone notable exception of Joe Lieberman, they revolve around an end to our involvement in Iraq. They use phrases like "immediate withdrawal", "timetable for withdrawal". They claim that the country was duped into going to war in Iraq. That intelligence was misused to promote the war (this being the same intelligence that they had access to).
It is now a matter of record that these are essentially the same Democrats who were entirely in favor of employing the use of force in Iraq. The same Democrats who filled the airwaves with speeches and press releases affirming the danger that Saddam's regime posed and the importance of preventing him from being able to employ (or make available to terrorist) weapons of mass destruction. The same Democrats who voted overwhelmingly in favor of congressional authorization of the use of force. What changed?
In short, politics. The fact of the matter is that no such operation in such a large, ethnically and religiously complex country could be expected to proceed without a hitch. Or that a country with no history of democratic self-rule could be expected to quickly employ the same while under fire from terrorists. Just as no plan ever survives contact with the enemy, this operation faces a real enemy which must be overwhelmed, not by US military might alone, but by a free Iraqi people. And this is something that will not happen overnight.
While patience is surely a virtue, it's not a quality that's always in the greatest supply in our drive-thru consumer culture and twenty-four hour news cycles. Our attention spans are limited and tolerance for a drum beat of the "same old, same old" in the news every day is not well suited dealing with the problems associated with incubating a democracy in the middle of a region of the world more known for terrorism.
This reality has inevitably begun to be reflected in public opinion polls, which has in turn lead to its being reflected in the public position of Democrats looking for political advantage in advance of the 2006 elections. Bad news is the fuel for the opinion, which leads to the polls, which lead to the Democrats' current position. In other words, they are invested continuing bad news and a defeatist mindset.
They have made a bad investment. If there's one thing that Americans like less than bad news, it is losing. We have an innate desire to win and we're an optimistic "can do" people. A fact that has been proven again and again most recently in the aftermath of September 11th, 2001.
While the mainstream media has refused to recognize it, much less promote it, we (and the Iraqis) have enjoyed far more successes than setbacks since Saddam's fall. Most of the country is secure. Commerce is underway. Two free and fair elections have been held. A constitution has been written and adopted and another election for a permanent government will be held next month. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been trained to secure their own country, with thousands more being added to their ranks each month. All of this in the space of less than two years. Hardly a failure.
Further, we've seen communications intercepted from terrorist leadership complaining of their lack of success at destabilizing the country and intimidating its citizens from participating in their new democracy. Further, we've seen increasing numbers of Iraqi, Jordanian and Muslim opinion in general turn against those who have used violence. It is their country that's being destroyed, their relatives murdered and their tired of it. More and more they have begun to come forward and share intelligence on where and how the terrorists are operating. They want their country back.
This is key because just as most democracies have had to undergo various types of struggles, political or military, to secure self-government, the Iraqis are facing their struggle. They're paying the price for their independence and when they've succeeded it will be far more valuable to them. They are investing in their future.
In the meantime, Democrats here at home are investing their political fortunes in failure.