Jewish World Review Sept. 11, 2003 / 14 Elul, 5763
Blame America redux
"I think this President has made a reckless blunder and we are now targets in Iraq….We are in trouble and need the help of all the countries the president insulted before the war in Iraq."
Howard Dean (September 8, 2003)
It's time to take a step back from the smug, sanctimonious "see-I-told-you-so" rhetoric on Iraq that is dominating the media landscape. Opportunistic Democrats, anti-war radicals, and their friends at the New York Times editorial page have been glowing of late. The more the situation in Iraq seems to be deteriorating, the more gleeful these elites are.
Does this dynamic sound familiar? Once Mr. Clinton was safely ensconced in Chappaqua, Democrats seemed to be cheering on the downward economic spiral. Then came September 11th and the American people rallied behind the President for his leadership in the war on terror. That meant that Democrats' political survival hinged upon a sunken economy. But now the pendulum has swung back. Now that the economy is expanding (have you checked your 401(K) lately?), the Democrats are betting the farm on a failed Bush strategy in the Middle East.
They want to convince Americans that we are "humiliated on the world stage," and that it's all George Bush's fault.
While there is no doubt that the Bush's post-war military planning fell short and that his team failed to anticipate the ferocity of Saddam sympathizers, at least the President's intentions in the Middle East were noble. He believed the future of America and the future of Iraqis would be far more secure if Saddam were out of power and the Iraqi people could live in freedom. He was right.
But none of that matters during the political mean season. Most of the Democrat field is falling back on its default position. It's America's fault, Stupid. Once again, the elites in the party underestimate the intelligence of the American people.
The problem with the Bush approach toward Iraq wasn't that he was too arrogant, too unilateralist or too disrespectful of other nations. Rather the problem is that Bush has been too trusting toward the rest of the world. The President went back to the UN a year ago for yet another resolution because he believed that France would live up to its word and support us. He thought there were decent political leaders in France, Russia and the Middle East who would stick out their necks to help advance the cause of freedom and stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. But when it came time to enforce a UN Resolution 1441, which demanded "serious consequences" if Saddam failed to comply, only a handful of countries stepped up.
Alone again, naturally.
So why are American liberals celebrating? Do they really believe that the lessons America will take away from Iraq is that we can and should tie our future to the UN? The French? Non-governmental organizations? If any group can take "comfort" in all this it's the isolationists in the GOP who think we need to take care of business at home and steer clear from most foreign entanglements.
Iraq is broken place because its old murderous regime refused either to admit where it had stashed its weapons or that over time the weapons had deteriorated in usefulness. Iraq is dangerous because its neighbors in the Middle East refuse to stop Islamic terrorists from crossing into Iraq to kill people. Iraq is unstable because the UN allowed Saddam Hussein to flout his obligations year after year with impunity.
The Euro elites and their comrades here in the UN are so busy nay-saying and spreading pessimism that they conveniently ignore many of the positive developments in post-war Iraq that tell us that a stable, secure environment is achievable if we are patient and committed. But then again, those stories don't sell on the campaign trail. And they certainly do nothing to satisfy the bitter, angry anti-American mindset of our "friends" in the international community.
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JWR contributor Laura Ingraham is the host of a nationally syndicated radio show and the author of the just released "Shut Up and Sing: How Elites from Hollywood, Politics, and the UN are Subverting America". Comment by clicking here.
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© 2002, Laura Ingraham