He’s spoken out against Rumsfeld’s incompetent handling of the Iraq war, but he’s still putting Democrats between a rock and an anti-war base.
This should be the Democrats’ moment, if they can translate the national anger over Iraq into a coherent strategy for that country. But with a few notable exceptions, the Democrats are mostly ducking the hard question of what to do next. They act as if all those America-hating terrorists will evaporate back into the sands of Anbar province if the United States pulls out its troops. Alas, that is not the case. That is the problem with Iraq — it is not an easy mistake to fix.
An example of the Democrats’ fudge on Iraq was highlighted yesterday by Post columnist Dana Milbank in his description of retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste’s appearance before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. Senators cheered Batiste’s evisceration of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld but tuned out Batiste’s call for more troops and more patience in Iraq, and his admonition: “We must mobilize our country for a protracted challenge.”
What a lot of Dems don’t appreciate is that it takes a hell of a lot of patience to fight these enemies, and their base simply does not have it right now. We live in a time of immediate gratification, and that’s what Rumsfeld and company tried to deliver. Shock and awe. But the only shock and awe we’ve truly experienced from this boondoggle is how poorly handled it’s been.
In short, if the Dems are going to applaud Batiste for sticking it to Rumsfeld, they should also seriously consider that we need to send more troops in there and wait it out until the Iraqis can mend their own fences. Otherwise, it’s civil war time…and you can bet that terrorists will be streaming into Iraq and trying to radicalize the various factions. We know this in our hearts to be true, and yet we don’t have the collective stomach for it. And I believe this impatience will ultimately lead to a far worse fate for the Iraqi people and the free people of the world.
What are your thoughts?