Thursday, February 22, 2007


Quagmire for Congress

The war against the war in Iraq is a quagmire, and the US Congress is wallowing in the mud, looking for escape.

So Jules Crittenden describes the worsening political dilemma in which the war’s Congressional opponents find themselves, writing at Pajamas Media. (You have to check out Jules piece, if only to see the World War Two era poster graphic above the caption, “We were — neck deep in the Big Muddy, and the big fool said to push on.”)

Signs abound that the domestic political situation is better (or worse, depending on your politics) than might have been presumed, at least on the part of the mainstream media (MSM), ascendant Democrats, and weak-kneed Republicans.

Polls consistently affirm that Americans don’t want to lose or surrender in Iraq, nor allow Congress to take any action that effectively ensures that the war will be lost, so they can “win.” I often wonder if a large segment of polling responses leading up to the 2006 mid-term elections, showing large dissatisfaction with the war, actually reflected sentiment that we weren’t fighting hard or seriously enough. Disgruntled Libertarians, fiscal or social conservatives, even traditional GOP might well have registered all manner of disgust with the former members of Congress, or even the President, and used the subject of the war in Iraq as the focus of their disappointment. But the steps taken, overtly and covertly by Speaker Pelosi, Congressman and Head Goon Murtha, and uber-liberal Senators Levin, Schumer and Kennedy, must surely inflame these same cross-over poll-takers and voters, if current polls are any accurate indication.

Immediate positive results from the Iraqi surge campaign – Moqtada fleeing Baghdad for his puppet masters in Iran, decreased sectarian violence, several major battle wins, and major terrorist apprehensions – can’t have helped the Democrats in their covert actions against the war.

Jules’ take is right on target, however much his tongue rests in his cheek:

The situation is increasingly desperate.  Americans, who had seen in the Democratic Congress a chance to extricate themselves from an unpopular conflict, appear to be coming to the conclusion that Bush’s war is a more attractive choice than the Democratic peace.  Here are some of the ugly facts on the ground:

Ø      Public Opinion Strategies found that 67 percent of voters think the country is going in the wrong direction and 60 percent think Iraq has no future as a stable democracy.  But 57% believe “The Iraq War is a key part of the global war on terrorism” and that we have to keep our troops there and finish the job. 

Ø      Hillary Clinton, trying out out-Obama Obama, is playing to the hard left in classic pre-primary strategy.  That would be the 17% who favor immediate withdrawal.

Ø      A majority, 56 percent of likely voters, say “Even if they have concerns about his war policies, Americans should stand behind the President in Iraq because we are at war.”  And 53 percent say, “The Democrats are going too far, too fast in pressing the President to withdraw the troops from Iraq.”

Ø      Other recent polls have found support for Bush’s troop surge surging, and while opposition to the war is high, so is opposition to (a) surrender, (b) losing, (c) defeat and (d) compelling the  troops to do any of the same.

Hoisted by their own petard, goes the old saying, or be careful what you wish for. I have heard it identified as an old Chinese curse, “may you receive what you wish for.”

So that leaves much of Congress in a jar of their own pickling. (In the curds from their own cheese-making? In the butter of their own churning? In the mash from their own beer-making? I like the images, but none of them come out right in words.)

Here’s how Jules’ concluded:

Congress is unwilling to shed blood in defense of its own beliefs.  The great, principled Democratic Congress lacks the strength of its own convictions, and all the rhetoric in the world can’t save it now.  It is in a quagmire of its own.

However it’s described, the mess is what it is, and it’s surely more of a mess for those with no principles to guide them, no higher purpose to motivate them, and no recourse left to sympathy. They had none for the Administration, nor the military who serves all of our interests, until it suited theirs. Like the faithless servant in the New Testament parable, who, forgiven a great debt by his master, turns to extract a debt owed by another, with harshness and without mercy. That servant is then retaken for his debt, and thrown into utter darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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