Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Democrat's Strategic Position on Iraq - Shhhh, Go Back to Sleep!

“My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time...Go home and get a nice quiet sleep.”

Neville Chamberlain - 1938

North Korea is on the verge of launching an intercontinental ballistic missile, one capable of hitting the west coast of the United States. Two days ago Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that if the missile were to be launched it would be “a very serious matter and, indeed, a provocative act should North Korea decide to launch that missile.” Then, to further reassure our nervous allies in Asia she declared, “I can assure everyone that it (a missile launch) would be taken with utmost seriousness.”

The language sounds all too familiar. Back in 1998 when North Korea was expanding its nuclear capability and developing long range missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads, Secretary of State Madeline Albright rattled the saber on Bill Clinton’s behalf:

“We are at a critical juncture in our relations with Pyongyang. The choice is for the North to behave in a way that allows for a positive direction in our relations.”

Apparently all the saber rattling didn’t put the fear of God into Kim Jong-il. The Taepo dong 1 of 1998 has now become the Taepo dong 2 of 2006. All that eight years of talking did was buy Kim the time he so desperately wanted. Well, he got it and now we’ve got one helluva’ crisis on our hands.

Of course, back then Bill Clinton had a lot on his mind. Angry Republicans were eagerly roasting him on a political spit. While he may have wanted to focus on Kim, he was stuck with Monica Lewinsky and impeachment like Brer Rabbit to tar. Given that, the security of the American people and the free world must have seemed a trifle.

This morning I listened with great interest to a C-Span interview with Representative Adam Schiff as he pitched some sort of diplomatic settlement with Iran over their nuclear weapons program. His approach, it seemed to me, was reasonable. After all, it is better to talk than fight. But, as it reasonable as it may have sounded, the approach does have its gaps in reasoning. First and foremost among them is the notion that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mullahs in Tehran are going to negotiate in good faith. Second is the notion that Iran’s leadership is concerned with world opinion, which is decidedly against them. They’re no more worried about what the United States, NATO, the European Union, Israel, or the United Nations think than Kim is worried about whether or not his people eat grass and starve while he builds nuclear and missile programs.

There are two bottom lines converging here. The overwhelming majority of us want peace in the Korean peninsula and the Middle East and we’re willing to negotiate for it. Kim, Admadinejad, and the mullahs want to buy time.

And, they’re getting it!

How long do you suppose it will be till our satellite reconnaissance discovers some hybrid of the Taepo dong 2 sitting on a launch pad somewhere in Iran? How much time do we have until the Iranians have nuclear capability and the means to deliver a lethal blow to their enemies in the Middle East? And worst of all, how long do you think it would be until al Qaeda in Iraq would have the same capability if we abandoned Iraq now? How long do you think it would be until Osama bin Laden was the de facto head of Iraq as a failed, then a rogue state? What do you suppose al Qaeda in Iraq would do with nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons if they had them? Do you think they’d be inclined to negotiate? Or do you think they just might use them?

Back in 1938 we had a great ocean protecting us from the dangers of national socialism. But, as Lance Morrow noted in 2003:

“Distance once helped dampen the effects of human wickedness; and of course, weapons once had limited range. But evil has burst into a new dimension. The globalization, democratization, and miniaturization of the instruments of destruction (nuclear weapons or their diabolical chemical-biological step-brothers) mean a quantum leap in the delivery systems of evil. This levels the playing field, so to speak – and the level field has fungus on it. Every tinhorn with a chemistry set becomes a potential world-historical force with more discretionary destructive power at hand than the great monsters from Caligula to Hitler ever had. In the new dimension, micro-evil (the dark impulse to rape or murder, say) and macro-evil (the urge to genocide) achieve an ominous reunion in any bid for the apocalyptic gesture.”

While all of this frightening enough to contemplate, some Democrats are calling for our retreat from the Middle East. Last week on Meet the Press Representative John Murtha recommended that we take our troops from Iraq and stage them in Okinawa. That’s right – Okinawa! As the boys who market Guinness often say, “Brilliant!” And, John Kerry is now advocating a pullout of American troops in Iraq by the end of the year. Thankfully, his amendment attempting to codify that position was defeated in the Senate today.

Murtha’s and Kerry’s positions are tantamount to turning the Middle East over to “tinhorns with chemistry sets.” Brilliant!

It’s hard for me to fathom what’s on their minds. I’d like to think the best, but I can’t. Their positions have much more to do with power than they do with principle. Murtha seems to relish the notion of being majority leader if the Democrats win in the 2006 mid-term elections. John Kerry still has his sights set on the Oval Office.

Finally, and most frighteningly, Kerry and Murtha may get their wishes granted. The Democrats may win the mid-terms. If they do they could then bog the President down in impeachment hearings and find the necessary votes to cut off funding for the work in Iraq. We could find ourselves beating a hasty retreat to Okinawa. Then, just before the fires begin to rain down upon us from the heavens, they can comfort us with the age old words of appeasement – “Go home and get a nice quiet sleep!”

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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

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