Thursday, February 15, 2007

The House Debate on Iraq

Daniel Henninger suggests the current crop of presidential candidates should pay attention to the House floor debate or Iraq. It's a shame the Democrats are seeking only to humiliate the President rather than doing what's best for our nation. I'd like to think they'll eventually pay a price, but I'm not interested in political revenge; rather, I'd prefer to see the enemy destroyed. To the Democrats and hardcore left that enemy, sadly, is President Bush. Read the whole thing, but this passage is rather informative on where we stand.
In the House debate, it was the calculation of Speaker Pelosi and her leadership to keep the focus on the poll-proven unpopularity of the Iraq war and the 21st century's most famous bogeyman, "George Bush." The GOP calculation was to move the debate off Iraq and onto the broader war on terror.

Politics aside, the result on public view was a Democratic side that looked small, mired in talk of American "failure," while a number of senior Republicans--John Boehner, Pete Hoekstra, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, even Peter King--produced almost stirring speeches on the substance and meaning of the global threat.

Pete Hoekstra, recently chairman of the intelligence committee, gave what must be the severest attack on radical Islam ever by a U.S. public figure. Forget Pope Benedict; there was nary a genuflection to Muslim sensibilities in Mr. Hoekstra's argument that the enemy is not some vague thing called terrorism: "We are not at war with a tactic. We are at war with a group of militant Islamists who hate us and who hate much of the rest of the world."

John Boehner reviewed each Islamic terrorist act directed at the U.S. dating to the Iran hostage-taking of 1979. "Too bad it took so long to open our eyes," he said, "but they are open now." Ileana Ros-Lehtinen quoted the famous blueprint of al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri: "The first stage: expel the Americans from Iraq." Rep. Charles Boustany said plausibly that other Arab nations could never help with a political settlement if the region is engulfed in violence after a U.S. exit.

So one may ask: Where were you guys when we needed you? Republicans lost the election because most of them foxholed the past two years when the going got tough. Instead of this Kissingerian geopolitical vision, they let one guy carry the burden (they would reply that the "one guy" never asked for their help).

Sens. Clinton and Obama should take a long look at Tuesday's videotape of the Democratic House now shaping the party's foreign policy. Is this where they'll want to be next year?
More from the Opinion journal: Awaiting the Dishonor Roll.

No comments: