We Americans have much to be thankful for this year, and yet we also face a challenge that will determine whether we allow a vocal faction to once again snatch defeat from the great possibility of a shining victory. As foreign policy columnist Max Boot notes:
“A large majority of the American public is convinced that the liberation of Iraq was a mistake, while a smaller but growing number thinks that we are losing and that we need to pull out soon. Those sentiments are echoed by finger-in-the-wind politicians, including many – such as John Kerry, Harry Reid, John Edwards, John Murtha and Bill Clinton – who supported the invasion.”
While making it clear that the U.S. faces challenges in Iraq, Boot adds:
“Yet in a survey last month from the U.S.-based International Republican Institute, 47% of Iraqis polled said their country was headed in the right direction, as opposed to 37% who said they thought that it was going in the wrong direction. And 56% thought things would be better in six months. Only 16% thought they would be worse.
“American soldiers are also much more optimistic than American civilians. The Pew Research Center and the Council on Foreign Relations just released a survey of American elites that found that 64% of military officers are confident that we will succeed in establishing a stable democracy in Iraq. The comparable figures for journalists and academics are 33% and 27%, respectively. Even more impressive than the Pew poll is the evidence of how our service members are voting with their feet. Although both the Army and the Marine Corps are having trouble attracting fresh recruits – no surprise, given the state of public opinion regarding Iraq – reenlistment rates continue to exceed expectations. Veterans are expressing their confidence in the war effort by signing up to continue fighting.”
Writing in Tech Central Station, Gregory Scoblete shows what is really behind the attempted Vietnamization of Iraq:
“The Democrats lost the election of 2004 not because millions of bigoted red necks stormed the polls to protest gay marriage, as the self-serving liberal mythology would have it. The Democrats lost because on the crucial issue of national security, their party was tested and found wanting. In the wake of this defeat, a few voices in the wilderness, like The New Republic’s Peter Beinart, argued for a realignment of the Democratic Party to reflect the country’s more hawkish stance on national security. In charging the Bush administration with deceiving the United States into a war with Iraq, it would appear the Democrats have fixed on a more ambitious strategy: realigning the public to reflect Howard Dean’s stance on national security.”
We must not permit this to happen.