The Democrats keep scrambling to make a preemptive strike against Gen. David Petraeus’ report to Congress tomorrow. Apparently the Democrats have already made up their minds and don’t care to listen to what the General has to say. Of course, The New York Times is also joining the fray. The Democratic Party is invested in failure. Anything that signals victory in Iraq hurts their political chances, and the party as a whole — led by a group of political extremists — has chosen to side with political advantage over national unity.
Even if the Democrats do get short-term political advantage through their position on this war, they’ve done so in a way that is repugnant to political responsibility. Deliberately trying to push this country towards surrender in Iraq is a betrayal of American values and American interests. If the Democrats wonder why some are questioning their patriotism, it is because of precisely this — the Democrats seem more interested in achieving power than in honestly looking at what is in the best interest of this country.
The reality is that Iraq is not a failure. Progress is being made. The security situation is better, and there’s already some movement on the political side. The Democrats have no viable alternative to the current plan, other than to leave and hope to hell that the outcome doesn’t plunge the entire region into war. That is not a plan. The Democrats accused the Bush Administration (and rightly so) or entering this war with a naive plan that just assumed that everything would go well. To exit this war based on an even greater sense of naivete is foolish — what would the Democrats have us do when al-Anbar ends up as an al-Qaeda enclave and the Shi’ite south becomes an Iranian vassal state? Does anyone really believe that the US won’t end up drawn back into the region? Does anyone really believe that when we are, that the situation in Iraq or elsewhere won’t be worse than what we’re facing now?
We must, as a country, face up to the challenge of the 21st Century. Iraq is a model for the sort of conflicts that we will face throughout this next century. If we fail now, if we’re unwilling to bear the sacrifices necessary to get it right now, we will pay for that later. Our enemies aren’t going to take a break just because we’re tired of war. They will keep pushing whether we are willing to engage them or not.
Our troops in Iraq bear days of unbearable 120 degree heat, long patrols, enemy fire, and distance from home. They make extraordinary sacrifices every single day in service of a cause. If we stop believing in that cause, if we’re telling them that they can’t succeed in their jobs, then we don’t really support them. Then, quite frankly, we are undeserving of their sacrifices.
This country defeated two of the most horrendous regimes in human history nearly simultaneously. This country defeated the evils of Soviet Communism. This country in the last 6 years has liberated 50 million people from oppression. We as a nation can perform the impossible — and we have. If we lose faith in that, not only is democracy in Iraq doomed to die, but democracy right here at home will follow. If we are unwilling to endure sacrifice for our values, we do not deserve them, and we will surely lose them.
UPDATE: Col. Joe Repya, a fellow Minnesota and true patriot in every sense of the word has a great rejoinder to the anti-Petraeus smears from radical leftist groups like MoveOn.org. He lays it all on the line:
This week our enemies gleefully will watch this public display of political theater unfold, complete with repeated partisan attacks on a good and honorable man. General Petraeus is an impeccably honest leader and soldier, a man who has dedicated his life to the service of this great nation in time of war and peace. His family has suffered the same long and painful separations all military families have endured. Yet Senate Democrats have already questioned his honesty and others will attempt to shed him of his dignity. Meanwhile, their accomplices in the media will attempt to raise questions as to the accuracy and validity of his report and testimony. This is the shameful state of American politics today. For General Petraeus and the men and women in our military that he represents to be subjected to this circus during wartime is beyond the pale of human decency. Is there any wonder when polled that the American people claim so little faith in our Congress?