In my Townhall column today I go into the reasons I believe many Democrats are more concerned with politics and the destruction of George W. Bush, than they are the outcome in Iraq.
Over the past months and years, those on the left have gone to great effort to paint the mission in Iraq as "failed," "doomed" and a "disaster." They have failed to acknowledge the accomplishments of the U.S. military in Iraq, but have been quick to talk about those in our armed forces as child victims of a failed policy or (worse) as bloodthirsty thugs engaging in torture and terror.
It is certainly not a pleasant thing to accuse fellow Americans, particularly ones entrusted by the citizenry with the nation's well being, of playing politics with American lives or of providing moral support to her enemies, but I think it is time to ask some hard questions.
Why have so many critics of the war spent more time talking about alleged abuses at Gitmo than they have talking about the new freedoms being enjoyed by those in Afghanistan and Iraq as a result of actions taken by the U.S. military?
Why is it that many war critics seem to believe the U.S. is capable of addressing the conflict and genocide in Darfur, but that they are not capable of achieving victory in Iraq?"
Why is it that when generals, or more frequently former generals, express a lack of confidence in the President, the Secretary of Defense, or our policy and mission in Iraq, their word is not only accepted without question, but their opinions are treated as absolute fact, but when other generals say that it is still possible to win in Iraq, and that condemnations of the President and his policies encourage the enemy, they are ignored?
Why, when given a choice between defeat through surrender or the possibility to pursue victory, there are so many so eager to choose the former?
It is difficult to answer those questions without considering what victory in Iraq would mean.
Victory in Iraq would not only be a positive development for those in the Middle East with effects being felt around the world, and a huge success for those in the U.S. military, but success in Iraq would be seen as the ultimate success for the Bush presidency. For too many politicians considering the options in Iraq, and the choice between defeat through surrender or pursuit of victory, that is a huge problem.
Read Ben Shapiro's column about Jim Webb's response to the State of the Union speech for additional examples of the Democrats' inability to offer anything of substance to the debate on Iraq, preferring to attack the man who, like it or not, is still the Commander-in-Chief in charge of the war effort.
But this is what today's liberals call "muscular liberalism." Commentators on the left raved about Webb's speech. Though Webb called for a "new direction" in Iraq, he offered not a single practical word about how to tackle the situation on the ground. Calling for "regionally based diplomacy" will not solve much in a region including the likes of Syria and Iran -- and it is certainly not "muscular."
What, then, makes Webb a "muscular liberal"? His absolute loathing for President Bush. Democrats believe that it takes more courage to obstruct President Bush and Republicans than to fight Islamism. Webb offered nothing but vitriol, and Democrats lapped it up.
President Bush is not a perfect president or a perfect man. But he is a man, not a child. On a night when President Bush spoke maturely about serious issues, Webb graphically illustrated that Democrats are simply angry adolescents not to be trusted with national security.
Destroying a president is not much of a strategy to win a war, but it's all the Democrats have.
The churls of the left don't seem to care whether their country wins the war, the important thing is to "keep hate alive." If hate worked in '06, maybe it will work again in '08, when the stakes will be considerably higher.
The president's tormentors in Congress, some old and some new, insist they don't have anything against the fine young Americans with their lives on the line in Iraq, but the troops are dispensable to the larger partisan goal of destroying George W. and abdicating the responsibility that comes with being the world's only superpower. If the troops are hurt, too, well, that's just a risk the critics will have to endure.