August 25, 2005
Perpetual critics of President Bush’s initiation and prosecution of the war in Iraq are displaying a perverse glee over his currently low approval ratings and the public’s waning support for the war.
Do you not detect their palpable air of triumph at the apparent success of their endless carping? They seem determined to persist and even ratchet up their rhetoric until George Bush is finally bludgeoned into submission and, with his dying political breath, grudgingly issues the order to withdraw every last soldier from Iraq before resigning in shame.
They rise in indignation at any criticism of their criticism, and especially at the suggestion that they are not exhibiting characteristics, shall we say, of the model patriot. How dare anyone imply they are anything but super-patriots?
Super-patriots, after all, are those who prove their love for America by wrapping themselves in the First Amendment as they tear down this nation, its troops and their commander in chief in the middle of a war.
How dare anyone accuse them of undermining the troops? Oh, sorry, I must have misunderstood when I heard their venerated representatives and read their hate-gorged websites likening the Gitmo detention camp to the Soviet Gulag and attempting to show that the relatively isolated incidents there and at Abu Ghraib were widespread.
I must be misperceiving their efforts to establish a moral equivalence between our side and the terrorists, between our occasional and unauthorized harassment of terrorist detainees and the terrorists’ suicide bombings and beheadings of innocent civilians.
I must be misinterpreting their knee-jerk sympathy for the anti-American criticism of the European Left and their condemnation of President Bush instead of the European pacifists for failing to make our action against Iraq more of a “multilateral” enterprise.
I must have been wrong in thinking I’d noticed an extra spring in their step when they “discovered” that the Iraqi people consider us “occupiers” rather than “liberators.”
I must have misapprehended their ultra-shock and disappointment that the Iraqi elections went so well. Likewise, I must have misread their transparent incredulity at our soldiers’ robust expressions of high morale when being interviewed.
I must be in error in assuming the Left is serious when it portrays our volunteer soldiers as having been conscripted in some draconian draft and dragged to their deaths in Iraq.
I must be misconstruing their mantra that Cindy Sheehan has “absolute moral authority,” for example, to call the murderous freedom-saboteurs in Iraq “freedom fighters.”
I must be hallucinating when I hear them comparing Iraq with Vietnam, when the only reasonable comparison is that in both wars the work of relentless antiwar protestors has been our enemies’ best (probably only) chance of defeating us.
I must be misinterpreting their seeming joy at every morsel of bad news that makes its way out of Iraq. I must be imagining that the mainstream media virtually conspire to ignore and suppress good news and sensationalize the bad.
I must be crazy to read enthusiasm into their reaction over failed deadlines for the completion of the Iraqi constitution. I must be unfair in disapproving their glib reference to imported international terrorists in Iraq as “insurgents” — as if Iraq is experiencing a civil war.
I must be taking them the wrong way when I hear them spouting slanderous inanities such as that the action in Iraq is President Bush’s war for oil.
I must be mistaken in assuming they are anxious to label America’s actions in Iraq as imperialistic when everyone knows that our purpose, having deposed Saddam and liberated Iraq, is to help to launch her new government and establish stability and security before we withdraw.
Of course I am not saying that all those who oppose the war in Iraq are unpatriotic. Without question there are legitimate reasons to oppose our action in Iraq, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.
We’re talking about a large group of people who wouldn’t be behaving much differently if they were being paid by our enemies to hurt our cause. And I’m not even saying (SET ITAL) they (END ITAL) aren’t patriotic, just that their actions certainly make them seem otherwise.
The relevant political question surrounding this subject is whether the Democratic Party is going to be able forever to satisfy these people without alienating almost everyone else. How will Hillary Clinton thread this needle in 2008? What games will she have to play either to keep them in tow or, conversely, to fool everyone else?
But 2008 is a long way off. In the meantime, President Bush will proceed on the path he considers in our best interests and that of the Iraqis, regardless of the unrelenting criticism. Now, if he would just take action to tighten our borders …