Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Strategies Only a Jihadist Could Love

Luke 7:31-35 (New Living Translation)

31”How shall I describe this generation?”Jesus asked. “With what will I compare them? 32They are like a group of children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends, ‘We played wedding songs, and you weren't happy, so we played funeral songs, but you weren't sad.’ 33For John the Baptist didn't drink wine and he often fasted, and you say, ‘He's demon possessed.’ 34And I, the Son of Man, feast and drink, and you say, ‘He's a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of the worst sort of sinners!’ 35But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it.”

Do you ever get the feeling that we’re one and a half or two countries headed in opposite directions? Do you get the feeling that our national media is now embarking on a grand love affair with insurgents, terrorists?

I introduced this post with an editorial cartoon by Henry Payne at United Feature Syndicate, dated February, 2005. It expresses perfectly the way I feel about what’s going on in the world of politics and mass media right now. Do you get that same feeling?

The Democratic Party, the Party of my youth, is now engaged in a headlong rush to what it believes is pay dirt. The coveted touchdown is the Presidency of the United States and they are going to pull out all the stops to win it back.

John Kerry, who failed in his bid to win the coveted prize some seven months ago, is at it again. In an op-ed piece in the New York Times he is once again trying to upstage the President, who is going to make a nationally televised speech on Iraq tonight:

“Our mission in Iraq is harder because the administration ignored the advice of others, went in largely alone, underestimated the likelihood and power of the insurgency, sent in too few troops to secure the country, destroyed the Iraqi army through de-Baathification, failed to secure ammunition dumps, refused to recognize the urgency of training Iraqi security forces and did no postwar planning. A little humility would go a long way - coupled with a strategy to succeed.”

“So what should the president say tonight? The first thing he should do is tell the truth to the American people. Happy talk about the insurgency being in "the last throes" leads to frustrated expectations at home. It also encourages reluctant, sidelined nations that know better to turn their backs on their common interest in keeping Iraq from becoming a failed state.”

Does it sound familiar? It should. This is what the junior senator from Massachusetts had to say as he was embarking on his quixotic pilgrimage to power last year:

John Kerry said the threat of terrorism was exaggerated:

“I think there has been an exaggeration,” Mr. Kerry said when asked whether President Bush has overstated the threat of terrorism. “They are misleading all Americans in a profound way.”

“The front-runner for the Democratic nomination said he would engage other nations in a more cooperative fashion to quell terrorism.”

It’s been a Democratic Party theme for over two years now. With one breath they tell the American public how much they support our troops and with the other they castigate the man they’ve learned to hate with refined excellence. Here’s something from House minority leader Nancy Pelosi from May, 2004, for example:

“The situation in Iraq and the reckless economic policies in the United States speak to one issue for me, and that is the competence of our leader,” Pelosi said. “These policies are not working. But speaking specifically to Iraq, we have a situation where -- without adequate evidence -- we put our young people in harm's way.”

“Asked specifically if she was calling Bush incompetent, Pelosi replied:”

“I believe that the president's leadership in the actions taken in Iraq demonstrates incompetence in terms of knowledge, judgment and experience in making the decisions that would have been necessary to truly accomplish the mission without the deaths to our troops and the cost to our taxpayers.”

I think that Ms. Pelosi’s words translated mean that a Democrat would have delivered us a stable, free Iraq and would have done so without any casualties or any cost. I’m trying to think of the best way to describe her statements, and the statements by John Kerry and other Democrats in this regard. The best I can come up with is subsidized stupefaction.

But it’s not just the party of my youth. The media seem to be now putting their full weight behind the terrorists, jihadists, and the insurgents, portraying America and its sons and daughters serving in the Middle-East as the villains in the piece:

“Judgment in journalism is becoming a day-to-day political issue, put there in the arena with everything else we argue about. And lately the bias charges have been getting more serious as the stakes rise in Iraq and the November election. The Washington columnist and pundit Morton Kondracke recently argued that “Congress, Media Could Talk U.S. Into Iraq Defeat.” His parallel--and I have seen others draw it--was the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, to him a military victory for the U.S that was spun a different way at home.”

“The U.S. media reported the episode as a U.S. defeat, helping convince the American establishment that the war was unwinnable,” Kondracke wrote. Bias in the news triggered a failure of nerve. “There is a real danger that Iraq could become like Vietnam--a self-inflicted defeat.” He criticized the press for being “obsessed with the Abu Ghraib prison scandal” when “the decapitation of Nicholas Berg was a front-page story for just one day.” (See PressThink on the Berg video story.)”

And it’s not just Iraq. Just this morning Lisa Myers filed a report on MSNBC TV about the elevated terror alerts from December of last year. Sounding like Breathless Mahoney she revealed her “exclusive” for all of America to hear. The terror alert was a CIA fabrication.

Why would the media file such reports? The only reason I can think they would have been filed would be to undermine George Bush and erode public confidence in him and his administration.

The messages are subtle, but they’re also effective. The media and the Democrats have pronounced it - the Iraq War is now a Vietnam-like quagmire and the War on Terror is a piece of administration fiction.

What are the guiding principles of the press and the Democratic Party in all of this? There are two – hatred of George Bush and lust for power.

Some guiding principles! The media’s hatred of one man, combined with the Democratic Party’s lust for power are aligning in an attempt to derail our effort not only in Iraq, but in the War on Terror.

While the press pursues its policy of hate and the Democrats follow their strategy to re-gain power, what’s at stake for the rest of us? On a very personal, micro, level it’s the lives of our sons and daughters. On a more detached, macro, level it’s our world, our cities, our way of life:

“As in Vietnam, the stakes in Iraq today are much larger than simply allowing millions of people in one country to descend into chaos and oppression. We fought it out for a decade in the jungles of Southeast Asia, losing more than 50,000 American lives, because we knew that handing communist insurgents one country made it more likely that they would soon grow hungry for another. Do we think it is now any different with Islamic insurgents just because there is no longer a Soviet Union out there ready to back them? If the U.S. walks away from this war and leaves it to Europe to hold back Islamic extremists, we might as well just accept right now that the terrorists will topple more of our skyscrapers--or worse.”

And, finally, on a geo-political level, the lives of millions now hang in the balance:

“In the end, South Vietnam was abandoned and conquered, and it descended into poverty and oppression. Some, not content to their fate in the re-education camps, took to the high seas, and many ended up in the U.S. But the oppression hasn't ended for those left behind. Dissidents, Buddhist monks and others are routinely pulled off the streets and out of their homes and tossed into prison. Some of the continuing human rights abuses were chronicled last week in congressional hearings.”

“If this was it, then maybe we could accept a defeat once in a while. But walking away from the overarching moral struggle proved disastrous across the world. After Congress shut off funding to the Republic of Vietnam, U.S. influence receded in the face of communist insurgency, and South Vietnam quickly fell in 1975. The emboldened Soviets were then free to press their interests in Africa, South America and, yes, the Middle East. The shah of Iran fell just a few years after Saigon. Radical Islamic terrorism got a big push from the Soviets.”

I, for one, don’t want to go back to the days of Vietnam, to the days of Richard Nixon’s “realpolitik,” to the days of Jimmy Carter’s vacillation. The Democrats and the press may want it, but I don’t. I realize that I’m just one man, that I’m not a mover and shaker. I don’t have a soap box as big as the well of the U.S. Senate. I don’t have a bully pulpit as large as John Kerry’s or Nancy Pelosi’s. I know that 919 Neosho is not a major news outlet. I can’t dig up dirt as fast as Lisa Myers and her staff. I know that America is not tuning in to me. But that’s alright. I may go down, but I’m gonna’ go down swinging. My loyalties, despite my party preference, are with the President, his administration, and our troops. Those whose loyalties lie elsewhere are, in my judgment, short-sighted, reckless, and foolish. Their hatred and lust for power have blinded them.


James Fletcher Baxter said...

When critics criticize, the thing we should all look for is the exemplified alternative they profess.

The Party of Thomas Jefferson is long gone - in every way. Today's Demo Party is a form of pure Collectivism. The People are seen as a mass. A mass of groups - not individuals. Their descent into mediocrity is raging and awaiting the rule it seeks to obliterate the America individuals love. Their failure is built into their non-value realities and fearful results. Fear not. They will fail.


Jay Rosen said...

"The media seem to be now putting their full weight behind the terrorists, jihadists, and the insurgents."

"Full weight?" As in everything they have? "Behind?" as in: "We're your journalists, Mr. and Mrs. America, and we support the terrorists?"

Have you lost your mind? All sense of proportion? Get a grip please, before you do some permanent damage to your own intellect.

Gone Away said...

To Jay Rosen: To repeat what someone has said and then insult the speaker is hardly an intellectual argument. I am left to conclude that you have no argument and that the original statement was correct.