Iraq: Reid's political opportunism is showing
By Frank Salvato
If you needed anymore proof that Democrat leaders in Congress are playing politics with the war against Islamofascism all you had to do was listen to a recent Capitol Hill press conference where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was fielding questions. When asked repeatedly whether the Iraqi people would be safer as a result of the anti-war/troops-out-now lobby getting its beloved US retreat, Reid responded by asking if there were any more questions. The Democrat Party that championed freedom, liberty, honesty and civil rights for the everyman, everywhere, is dead. The Progressive-Left has killed it and buried it in an unmarked grave somewhere in the deserts of Iraq.
As stunningly callous as Reid's elitist response was, that wasn't the half of it. In fact, the short exchange between Reid and ABC News correspondent Jack Tapper could very well serve as the defining moment for the 110th Congress's Democrat leadership.
As Reid and his anti-war allies prepared to embark on the Madison Avenue PR stunt that was the Capitol Hill "all-nighter," he made the fatal mistake of dropping his guard, removing his pacifist mask so that the entire world – or at least those who were paying attention – could witness, definitively, the true motive behind his embrace of the anti-war/troops-out-now movement – politics.
When Tapper asked the question initially, it seemed like a straightforward question, "Do you think the Iraqi people will be safer with US troops out?"
The obvious answer to this question is no. Whether the Iraqi army is completely trained and up-to-speed is of little relevance. If you had to choose between being protected by the US military and any other military in the world I believe the choice is pretty clear. You would choose the most effective, efficient and lethal fighting force the world has ever known: the US military. Israel's IDF would probably come in a not too distant second but hands down, the premier choice would be the US armed forces.
But leave it to a politician to be too full of himself to answer an obvious question with an obvious answer.
In response to Tapper's question Reid said:
When Tapper replied that Reid hadn't really answered his question Reid said:
And when Tapper re-stated his question Reid simply ignored him, asking if there were any other questions.
Maybe it wasn't a debate but it was certainly a press conference. In press conferences reporters ask questions and those holding the press conferences provide answers. Reid failed at providing an answer to a very simple question. He seems to be failing a lot lately, although you wouldn't know for his arrogance.
It is unclear what polling company Reid employed to canvas the Iraqi people about their desire to see US forces leave Iraq. In fact, the only people in Iraq who make it perfectly clear they want the US and coalition forces to leave are those slaughtering innocent men, women and children in the name of al Qaeda, albeit with less frequency since the initiation of Operation Arrowhead Ripper. I haven't heard that al Qaeda has a public opinion polling cell but it is an evolving entity that adapts to its surroundings. Perhaps we should take a look into Senator Reid's rolodex and PDA.
Equally as unclear is where Reid is getting his real-time information regarding the situation on the ground in Iraq. By most accounts – many from those with boots on the ground – the "surge" is most definitely working. Violence at the hands of al Qaeda terrorists has been dramatically reduced in Baghdad. Al Qaeda has been defeated and routed from their stronghold in Baqubah. In Anbar Province, once likened to the American "wild, west," local tribal leaders have banded together to battle al Qaeda, fighting alongside US and coalition forces.
Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) has made the astute observation:
What is crystal clear in all of this is that time is not on the side of the anti-war/troops-out-now Progressive-Leftists in Congress. As the surge gathers momentum and progress in the Iraqi theater is made, the Progressive-Left needs to expedite their political agenda of troop withdrawal so they can execute it before the window of opportunity closes, before they lose their leverage over the anti-war/troops-out-now voting block.
You see, the Democrat leadership in Washington has never accepted what even al Qaeda has declared, that Iraq is the central battlefield in the global war on terror, the war against Islamofascism. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) has gone as far as to banish the term "global war on terror" from use in his committee. In their simplistic view, they see this global conflict, this violent clash of ideologies, as compartmentalized individual confrontations rather than the related battles of a larger war. Somalia was a peacekeeping mission gone bad. Bosnia was a regional conflict. The bombing of the USS Cole was a criminal act at the hands of a splinter terror group as was the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the bombing of the Khobar Towers.
Progressive-Left, anti-war Democrats are still content to believe that terrorism isn't a war issue but a law enforcement issue. In their twisted, abused and morally relativistic world, if we stop going after al Qaeda the threat will "go away." This "hide under the blanket" mentality may work for three-year-olds trying to hide from imaginary monsters but it doesn't work for political leaders facing terrorist groups who have issued declarations of war against their countries.
Harry Reid's political opportunism is so blatant only the blind and the illiterate can't read between the lines. Those who buy into his escalating line of bovine feces are uneducated on the facts, too lazy to seek them out or dishonest. For the record, it isn't unpatriotic to legitimately question those in power, to honestly and openly debate the facts as they present, untainted by special interests and agenda-driven miscreants. It is unpatriotic, however, to play politics with the security of our nation during a time of war or ever.
As the US military continue to achieve on the field of battle in this global war against Islamofascism, as our forces continue to win the hearts and minds of those made skeptical by past decisions forced at the hands of American politicians, as our brave men and women in uniform continue to fight and defeat the worldwide terror of al Qaeda, I would love to ask Senator Reid one question: How can you live with yourself?
Then, I already know his response:
Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal. He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education initiative. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, and is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network, as well as an occasional guest on numerous radio shows coast to coast. His organization, Basics Project, is partnered in producing the first-ever national symposium series on the threat of radical Islamist terrorism. His pieces have been recognized by the House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org