Monday, March 19, 2007

 

Peace Democrats

Copperheads. No better historical allusion describes them, the “opposition” to our efforts in Iraq.

Mackubin Thomas Owens, writing at National Review Online, compares current anti-war Democrats with the “Peace Democrats” faced by Abraham Lincoln during the civil war. Owens source is an intriguing and very timely history, Copperheads: The Rise an Fall of Lincoln’s Opponents in the North, by Jennifer Weber, and explains:

The historical record aside, what struck me the most were the similarities between the rhetoric and actions of the Copperheads a century and a half ago and Democratic opponents of the Iraq war today.

I gave an interview today to the local Fox affiliate, answering questions about the war, how it’s going, did I support our efforts, what do I think of vigils and other anti-war demonstrations staged to mark the war’s 4 year anniversary. Regular readers here or those who have seen me in earlier media appearances will know how I responded. It remains to be seen how much of my comments make it on-air.

I keep coming back to this great line by the MILBLOGGER JD Johannes:

Support the troops. Let them win.

Here’s what Owens said about Civil War Veteran’s reaction to the Peace Democrats of their day:

It is certain that the Union soldiers tired of hearing from the Copperheads that the Rebels could not be defeated. They surely tired of being described by the Copperheads as instruments of a tyrannical administration trampling the legitimate rights of the Southern states. The soldiers seemed to understand fairly quickly that the Copperheads preferred Lincoln’s failure to the country’s success. They also recognized that the Copperheads offered no viable alternative to Lincoln’s policy except to stop the war. Does any of this sound familiar?

Yes, it does. What Owens says next sounds even more familiar:

Today, Democratic opponents of the Iraq war echo the rhetoric of the Copperheads. As Lincoln was a bloodthirsty tyrant, trampling the rights of Southerners and Northerners alike, President Bush is the world’s worst terrorist, comparable to Hitler.
These words of the La Crosse Democrat responding to Lincoln’s re-nomination could just as easily have been written about Bush:  “May God Almighty forbid that we are to have two terms of the rottenest, most stinking, ruin working smallpox ever conceived by fiends or mortals…” The recent lament of left-wing bloggers that Vice President Dick Cheney was not killed in a suicide bombing attempt in Pakistan echoes the incendiary language of Copperhead editorialist Brick Pomeroy who hoped that if Lincoln were re-elected, “some bold hand will pierce his heart with dagger point for the public good.” 

Owens remarks on the eternal complaint of the soldier, and notes that soldiers will always see the failures and inadequacies of their leaders. But the “Peace Democrats” of today, like their Copperhead brethren of old, gravely mistake such criticisms as support for their political maneuvers and manipulations to confront, confound, or hamper the war effort. As Owens also observes:

Union soldiers could support the goals of the war and criticize the incompetence of their leaders in the same breath. But today’s soldiers, like their Union counterparts a century and a half ago, are tired of hearing that everything is the fault of their own government from people who invoke Gitmo and Abu Ghraib but rarely censure the enemy, and who certainly offer no constructive alternative to the current course of action.

Support our troops. Let them win.

By the way, I will also appear Tuesday 20 March, 6:50 am EST, for a live on-air interview for the Daybreak program on the same Fox affiliate. Tune in, or check it out online later tomorrow morning!




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