Plain Lies, War Lies and Partisanship

August 31, 2006

Democrats are outraged over President Bush’s new series of national security speeches. There he goes again, politicizing the war.

The Democratic leadership obviously believes the president should muzzle himself so close to the November elections because what is important for national security might also help Republicans, and that must be avoided at all costs.

Democrats are furious over Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s speech to the American Legion this week, in which he compared today’s appeasers to those of the World War II era and warned that we mustn’t turn a blind eye to today’s terrorists like many did to yesterday’s Nazis.

Such talk is off limits because it offends the appeasers, who, by the way, deny they’re appeasers, insisting they’re “tough and smart” scavengers on the hunt for the only terrorist on the planet, Osama bin Laden. His capture or death, they imply, will shut down terrorism in its tracks like a redheaded stepchild and put an end to this reckless, recreational neoconservative global gallivanting.

So, let’s cease further discussion of the most important issue of the day. Let’s put our history books back on the shelves and consign ourselves to repeat the painful and costly mistake of ignoring the relentless march of evil in the world.

In fact, Democrats are the ones politicizing the war and who view it exclusively through a partisan prism. When they stop hyperventilating, they might consider that it is the commander in chief’s duty to rally popular support for the troops and their mission. Of course, the president’s task wouldn’t be nearly so urgent if Democrats hadn’t been undermining the war effort in Iraq almost since it began with a steady stream of disinformation, focusing on the false charge that he lied us into war.

They explain their sudden affinity for the truth — in contrast to their cynically dismissive attitude toward it during the Clinton years — as a matter of the singular importance of the war. While lying per se isn’t particularly wrong under their relativist standards — and lying about adulterous relations is even virtuous to protect one’s family — lying about war, at least by a Republican president, is so evil it pretty much drives them to the obnoxious Christian state of moral absolutism.

This distinction is interesting given their own pattern of deceit concerning all aspects of the war. Let’s review, shall we?

— They said Bush attacked Iraq “unilaterally,” when he built a coalition of over 30 nations, including Great Britain and tried hard to persuade the rest of Old Europe to join. To their discredit, they refused. A unilateralist wouldn’t have bothered.

— They deny Iraq is part of the war on terror, never mind that terrorists demonstrably disagree. Never mind that the Bush Doctrine clearly defines the enemy to include terrorist-sponsoring nations, like Saddam’s Iraq.

— They claim Bush asserted a connection between Saddam and 9/11, when he explicitly said otherwise. He said Saddam had close ties to terrorists, including Al Qaeda and the Taliban, which is undeniably true and which Democrats also persist in falsely denying. Indeed, Iraq was on Clinton’s watch list of terrorist nations.

— They say Bush called Iraq an “imminent threat,” when he called it a “great and gathering threat.” The Bush Doctrine called for attacking threatening nations before they could become an imminent threat, when it would be too late. But some anti-war Democrats, like Jay Rockefeller, did call Iraq an “imminent threat.”

— They say Bush’s sole reason to attack Iraq was its WMD. In fact, David Horowitz notes there were 23 “whereas” clauses in the Iraq War resolution, only two of which mentioned WMD and 12 of which concerned Saddam’s violations of U.N. resolutions.

— They say they were duped into voting for the resolution by administration hype on WMD. But the intelligence Congress received in the National Intelligence Estimate was much less alarmist and more nuanced than the intelligence the president received in the Presidential Daily Briefings. But, hey, they had to give their anti-war base some excuse.

— They say we had Osama surrounded in Tora Bora and let him go, outsourcing the job of capturing him to Afghan warlords so we could pursue our quixotic junket in Iraq. General Tommy Franks put the lie to all of this malicious nonsense.

— On the hyped Wilson/Plame nonscandal — don’t get me started.

— Most unforgivably, they’ve lied in painting President Bush as a liar on Iraqi WMD.

— There’s much more — like their simultaneous condemnation and advocacy of preemptive strikes — but no space left.

Next time you hear Democrats say they abhor lies “about war,” remember a few of these gems.