It's official: Iraq is al-Qaida's central front
By Carol Devine-Molin
Media overreaction appears to be the norm, particularly when the subject matter is Iraq. The Los Angeles Times and other publications are questioning whether there's a "disconnect" between Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Bush administration regarding the troop surge strategy and "the way forward" in Iraq. Reportedly, Gates has been warning Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that progress is expected, while underscoring that the window of opportunity "to get it right" in Iraq is closing. So are we to believe that Gates is a loose cannon? That just doesn't sound plausible. In all probability, Gates is operating closely with the president and others in the administration to move the Iraqi government along at an acceptable pace. President Bush is under considerable pressure by the Congress to withdraw our troops if the Iraqi government can't make political strides among the various factions in a rather swift fashion. Unfortunately, the Democrat-led Congress is being shortsighted for reasons to be outlined herein.
When the top commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, was recently in the capital to brief policy makers, he discussed the state of the Iraqi government: "It is not a government of national unity. Rather, it is one comprised of political leaders from different parties that often default to narrow agendas and a zero-sum approach to legislation." Clearly, cooperation among the Iraqi parties needs to improve. But Gates knows that the time for results is now. The duly elected Iraqi government must yield progress on dividing oil revenues and conducting other business including passing a budget. Otherwise the Congress will continue with its political maneuverings and make troop funding difficult if not impossible. Although Iraq is certainly "Jihad Central", for political reasons the Democrats refuse to acknowledge that the Iraq campaign is part and parcel of the war-on-terror.
Which brings me to the unconscionable finagling of Democrats that are purposely obfuscating and redefining words to advance their political agenda and worldview. The following is illustrative of hardcore Leftist tactics: In an April 2007 press release from House Republican Leader John Boehner, the congressman states: "The attempt by Democrats to erase the words ‘global' and ‘terror' from our current war is an absurd effort to deny the fact that America is battling terrorism on a global scale. How do Democrats expect America to fight and win a war they deny is even taking place?"
War? What war? As always, the Left is heavy-handed on the propaganda front. In answer to Boehner's query, obviously the Democrats don't expect us to win against terrorists, and they don't want us to win. The Democrat Party has well-earned its moniker as the anti-war "surrender party", despite its protestations to the contrary. That being said, the political Left is committed to depriving the Republicans of any type of victory in warfare, especially in Iraq. On a broader scale, the Democrats will actively attempt to fend off circumstances that could possibly play out favorably for the GOP and impinge on the Democrat Party's ability to win elections.
One has to ask what's really motivating the Democrats and why they've been obsessed with troop withdrawal from Iraq. The simple truth is that the Democrats and their Leftist cohorts are terrified that our troops might make notable strides in Iraq, which would redound to President Bush and the GOP. That being said, the Left doesn't want our forces where al-Qaida can be successfully engaged, which, of course, is in Iraq. And for this reason, the Republican rank and file cannot stomach the Leftist elites who are willing to sell out this nation for the sake of political expediency. Doesn't the Left realize that sooner or later the American people will get wise to their political chicanery? Our troops are exactly where they should be - in Iraq - which has become something of a cause celeb for members of al-Qaida. It must be remembered that a victory in Iraq, against al-Qaida, is a victory for all of the American people.
As for further context, al-Qaida, aided by Iran and Syria, is orchestrating sectarian violence in Iraq on all sides. They want Iraqis at each others' throats, so that efforts at democracy and a stable government will fail. Moreover, our troops can't leave precipitously, or you can bet your bottom dollar that Iraq will become an entrenched terror haven, run by al-Qaida and Iran, with frightful implications for the US and the West. Left to their own devices, al-Qaida members would regroup, and aggressively launch terror attacks on America. Make no mistake, we're fighting these terrorist in Iraq out of our own self-interests, which is not adequately resonating with the public.
Significantly, not all on the Left are willing to be saddled with the "soft on terrorism" label, which undoubtedly is a political liability in a general election. The most prominent individual on the Left who's thinking as an adept political tactician is Mrs. Bill Clinton, and that's because she's determined to get back into the White House. It goes without saying that her husband Bill Clinton is partnering with her in this effort. Sure, Senator Clinton is pandering to the Leftist Kook-fringe of activists during this primary phase, but she's smart enough to preserve her ability to move to the center in the very likely event that she becomes her party's presidential candidate and standard bearer.
Hillary is poised to run for president and already has one of her salient sound-bites lined up: When asked by Brian Williams (at a recent debate) how she would react as president if two American cities were nuked by al-Qaida, Hillary responded: "I think a president must move as swiftly as is prudent to retaliate. If we are attacked and we can determine who was behind that attack, and if there were nations that supported or gave material aid to those who attacked us, I believe we should quickly respond." That's an excellent response that would appeal to the public at large. Although she's a dyed-in-the-wool Leftist, Hillary Clinton is willing to say whatever it takes to get elected, and she is well aware that this nation expects a tough commander-in-chief to tackle terror. That being said, the GOP presidential candidate will be able to access a treasure trove of sound-bites that will demonstrate Hillary's less than supportive positions toward the military. Most recently, Hillary has been making noises about rescinding the original authorization to wage war in Iraq. Is that even possible? I think not.
Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.