Fantasists in Congress
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.:
Wherever they are, I hope the authors of our Constitution are pondering the spectacle now bedazzling Capitol Hill.The Democrats' desperation for defeat will become their ownership of defeat if they are successful. The suggestion that the US military is losing the war in Iraq is absurd. While the enemy has persisted, he is much weaker and his main hope is that the Democrats will get a win for them in Washington that they could not get on the battlefields of Iraq. The Democrat fecklessness is becoming apparent to both those who support victory and those who support defeat. The incoherence of their posturing is also becoming more apparent.
In the admirable governing document that the Founding Fathers fashioned, they made the president "commander in chief" of our military. Yet, according the novel reading of the newly elected Democratic majority, the Founding Fathers denied the president the instrumentalities to be commander in chief. For more than two centuries, through wars large and small, American presidents have been equipping armies, deciding strategy and sending those armies into battle. Now, however, along come the Hon. Nancy Pelosi, the Hon. Harry Reid, and the incomparable Hon. John P. Murtha with their exegesis of the Constitution.
Past presidents were in error. They acted unconstitutionally when they in their impertinence had their generals and admirals train and equip our forces. Those duties, according to this trinity of fantasists, were to be left to committees on Capitol Hill, even committees dominated by a president's opponents. Thus Speaker of the House Pelosi has charged Mr. Murtha to divine the conditions under which reinforcements will fight in Iraq. The Democrats approved of putting Lt. Gen. David Petraeus in charge of Coalition forces in Iraq, but they do not approve of his strategy of "surge." Thus he will apparently have to sit tight until Mr. Murtha, an opponent of the war, decides how Gen. Petraeus' troops will be armed and trained.
Does this sound a bit fla fla? Has any war ever been fought this way? What are the Democrats thinking of? They are thinking of more electoral victories in 2008. If they can effectively hamstring our efforts in Iraq, they somehow think the American electorate will blame the whole thing on the Republicans. The worse the sectarian violence becomes, the better for Democratic prospects. The more Iraq descends into anarchy the more likely the American people will whoop it up for the political party that, as The Washington Post has put it, linked "support for President Bush's war-funding request to strict standards of resting, training and equipping combat forces."
Frankly I think the Democrats are taking reckless chances with their fate. For a certitude, they are treating our military even more recklessly. The Democrats' political meddling in this war is obviously dragging it out and endangering our troops. In fact, the rancorous way they have moved from support of the war to opposition has to encourage our enemies in Iraq and elsewhere.