Little good comes when Congress grabs control of American
foreign policy and war-fighting strategies from the hands of a
scandal-weakened White House. Of course it is always possible that there are
51 forward-leaning, shrewd, patriotic, non-partisan senators assembled to
make the tough, unpopular call to push on for victory, no matter how hard
and long the struggle. (Giggle.) But it is vastly more likely that less
noble instincts beat in the breasts of the several senators assembled.
Monday, for the first time, the foul odor of the Vietnam War
denouement wafted through the Senate Chamber during the debate on Iraq. The
Democrats called for "estimated dates for the phased redeployment of United
States Armed Forces from Iraq . " Phased redeployment was the maneuver the
French executed in June 1940, in the days preceding the German occupation of
Paris. Phased redeployment is what the Vietnamese boat people did as they
swam for their lives away from their homeland.
The Republican Senate leadership, sensing they might lose enough
Republican senators (six or more) to let the Democratic amendment pass,
decided to quibble with rather than oppose the infamous document.
So they scratched out the explicit timeline to desertion and
added fine sounding phrases, such as calling for the president to provide
more information and a schedule for reaching full Iraqi sovereignty.
No bureaucratic euphemism can cleanse the air of the stench of
To figure out where this is all leading, look to the intents of
the moving parties, not merely the malleable words being used by them. The
Democratic senators, who are the vital, winning force in the Senate on this
matter, are opposed to the Iraqi war for either principled or unprincipled
reasons depending on the senator. Some, probably many, simply want to
humiliate President Bush by denying him success and then reap the
electoral bonanza that will likely follow. I'm sure there are some senators
who sincerely believe retreat and defeat is in the best interest of our
country. But principled or unprincipled, their objective is the same:
Getting out of Iraq is more important to them, than staying and succeeding.
The Republican senators either no longer believe in the mission,
or fear an unhappy electorate more than they fear the consequences of
failure in Iraq. In all events whether disillusioned or cynical or
principled, whether Republican or Democratic the majority of senators who
are pushing for this want to get us out of Iraq more than they want us to
succeed. Pay no attention to the words. Look to the character of the
players. The infamous summer soldiers and sunshine patriots are forming a
majority on the floor of the Senate and national defeat and disgrace may
soon, and again, find its moment.
It was 30 years ago when Congress last took the reins of
national war fighting. In August 1974, Nixon had been scandalized and left
office. The November 1974 election brought forth the "Watergate babies"
congress filled with young anti-war Democrats. One of the first actions of
the Watergate Congress was to vote to deny an appropriation of $800 million
to pay for South Vietnamese military aid, including ammunition and spare
parts. Historical records now are known that reveal that five weeks after
that vote, the North Vietnamese started planning their final offensive. The
morale of the South Vietnamese was broken by that symbolic Congressional act
of betrayal. The actual dollar cuts forced South Vietnamese President Thieu
to abandon the Central Highland in March of 1975, leading to the collapse of
our ally and the onset of genocide and police state brutalities that killed
more Asians than all the thousand days of the war did.
Now the Watergate babies have grown old and age has not
improved them. They plan to finish their careers as they started them in
defeatism, betrayal and national dishonor. Oh, that America might see the
last of these fish-eyed sacks of loathsome bile and infamy: Unwholesome in
their birth; repugnant and stench-forming in their decline.
Now another Republican president has grown weak and struggles to
hold on to his war-making powers. I am heartened that President Bush is
finally fighting back. He should veto any bill that would grant Congress
even a syllable of war-fighting strategy. Mr. President, don't believe a
word of their legislative prose. They have defeat in their hearts, and they
mean you ill. Stand and fight with veto pen and executive order in hand.
Rally with defiant words those of us who would yet be your honored
supporters. Let the long suffering people of Iraq know that you will fight
furiously for their redemption, and will be deaf to the impleadings of the
weak and defeatist here in America.
Two national betrayals in 20 years is too much for the heart of
the nation to take. Send more troops, not less. Victory may yet be ours.