“Factually Correct, Not
THE IRAQ QUAGMIRE: PART THREE
THE WEEK THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY FELL TO EARTH;
AND THE WEEK THE REPUBLICANS MAY HAVE WON THE 2008 ELECTION
THE DEMOCRATS’ DELUSION IS PUNCTURED BY REALITY
(CHICAGO)(September 29, 2007) The Democrats fell to earth this week. Thud. The great shell game, the great con game they were conducting with their “base” finally ended. Their grand illusion and great delusion exploded in New Hampshire.
This column has been in preparation for several weeks. I watched the Democrats campaign for president with increasingly flatulent promises to withdraw our troops, when it was becoming increasingly obvious that the troops could not be withdrawn with the stroke of a pen. I believed that the Democrats were conducting a con game with their voters, promising something they could not deliver and knew could not be delivered. Ever. How long could it last? It ended before I could write this column.
In New Hampshire.
At a candidates’ debate the three leading candidates all admitted there could be U. S. troops in Iraq at the end of their “first” administration in 2013! In other words, there are no easy solutions to the Iraq quagmire. All of the Democrats bluster and all of the fatuous promises about withdrawing tomorrow or next week at the latest, have exploded.
This is not to say that efforts to end the war should be suspended. Beneath all of the Washington preening and posturing there is a healthy debate going on about what our tactics and strategy should be in the Middle East. Indeed, in our democracy that is what politics and policy should be about: challenging opponents, combating errors, proffering new ideas. I have never hesitated to disagree with and castigate the Bush administration even though I am a Republican. That’s my job. Pity they didn’t listen. I bet now they wish they had. My unpopular reporting both before the war and from Iraq in 2003 looks pretty prescient. My claim to be an "expert" is based on a solid foundation of public commentary and analysis.
Were Democrats were listening this week? I am sure they were. The base must have cracked. They heard Barack Obama say the troops were not coming out yesterday. Ditto for Clinton. Ditto for Edwards. The three “Dittoheads.”
Moveon.org, the new furhur of the Democratic Party, has not been heard from, yet; but they can’t be happy to hear the troops are staying. That admission ends the best rationale for a change in Washington.
The Republicans may have won the 2008 election this week. By accident. My guess is that when the history of the 2008 election is written, we will identify the Democrats’ debate as the turning point, the precise time when reality began to set in with the Democrats, and when reality began to sink in with the electorate. After all, if the troops are staying, whom do you trust to best support them? Not that either party really does right by our men and women in uniform, but would you rather have Dick Durbin or a Republican overseeing the welfare and well-being of our troops abroad? The upshot? More divided government.
The Democrats were always selling an illusion. This week they had to face their own delusions and admit they were bunkum artists.
Don’t get me wrong, I favor bringing our men and women home as quickly as possible, as rapidly as feasible. But I also realize that running for the door, leaving behind a bloodbath would destroy long-term prospects for American policy. Colin Powell was right. We broke it; now we own the mess.
I was an opponent of the war when Obama was an opponent, in 2002. Barry O and I have that in common. And I have openly and publicly challenged Republican leaders to face the same reality on their side that Democrats have now had to confront on theirs. The right-wing base does not like reality any more than left-wingers do. That they have in common. But cheap talk is just that, in both parties.
Politicians, of course, never want to face reality. They prefer complacency to reality. Always. Their own illusions are so much more comforting. That’s why we have elections on a set schedule. To make people confront reality. And make decisions.
And that’s where the Moveon.org types now play a role. Are they going to accept a nominee for president who admits U. S. troops may be in Iraq in 2013? Is that going to be the bipartisan base-line of the presidential debates next year? Or is Moveon.org going to seek to inflate the electoral prospects of one of the other presidential candidates who promise “immediate” withdrawal. I don’t know.
What I do know is that by admitting the troop withdrawal issue is not a simple one, the Democrats have given Republicans an opening. And as Republicans are known to do, they will exploit that opening, probably winning the White House in 2008.
My guess is that when the congress convenes in 2009, and the new president is sworn in, we will see divided government, again. Democrats will control congress, and Republicans will retake the White House. All because of a little campaign candor that began this week in New Hampshire.
On to Tehran? Anyone?
Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of ContrarianCommentary.com. © Copyright by Andy Martin 2007. Martin covers regional, national and world events with forty years of experience. He is America's most respected independent foreign policy analyst. Andy has been reporting from the Middle East since 1970; he became involved with the study of revolutionary warfare under Professor Bernard Fall during the mid 1960’s, and later became a founder of the Revolutionary War Research Center, a consortium in Washington and New York. He served as a Baghdad Bureau Chief in 2003.
Columns also posted at ContrarianCommentary.blogspot.com and ContrarianCommentary.wordpress.com. Comments? E-mail: AndyMart20@aol.com. Media contact: (866) 706-2639. Web sites: ContrarianCommentary.com; AndyforUSSenator.com