Jewish World Review Dec. 17, 2003 / 22 Kislev, 5764
Perspective in a Post Saddam World
In the complete information overload since the capture of Saddam Hussein, a few things are clear. The capture of Saddam is one of the events that will define the War on Terror and the Democrats in leadership will try to move the bar on success every time this administration accomplishes a goal in the War on Terror.
The President has said the War on Terror will last many years, possibly beyond his tenure. He had to move American foreign policy back to a leadership role. The left will say that he said he did not support nation building as a candidate in 2000. America's perspective changed on 9/11, but the leadership of the left did not.
Twice since the capture of Saddam, President Bush has reminded the press of the significance of September 11th. The President has shown in actions and commitment that he understands the Attack on America and the commitment we need to win the War on Terror.
The Democrat Party leadership has been in a complete tailspin over this. It is disheartening that with the exception of Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wa), it has been women in power in the Democrat Party who have made the most outrageous statements. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) said "we would diminish the opposition and resentment that is fueling whatever remains of the insurgency if we had been willing to move to internationalize our presence and further action in Iraq. I believe that today. And in fact, I think that we now have a new opportunity for the administration to do just that." Does she really think that the insurgency cares who toppled Saddam? They want power and chaos, that is all.
Further, and the President made this point twice in the press conference on Tuesday, there are 60 countries involved in this process. It is amazing that this champion of "the little people" thinks so little of the list of countries that are helping us. We liberated most of Eastern Europe, either through the end of the Cold War or through our presence in Bosnia. These countries can still taste the bitterness of oppression and they are the allies of the future.
To make matters worse (for the Democrats), Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca), Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and highest ranking elected woman in America, wrote this in a fundraising letter just days after the U.S. forces apprehended Saddam, "We need to get the 'war on terrorism' back on track by refocusing our efforts on the terrorists who started it." She goes onto say, "We need new leadership to get us out of the mess in Iraq that the Bush administration's reckless, go-it-alone approach and lack of planning have gotten us into." This is the leader of the same party where many of its members said we haven't won if we don't have Saddam. Now we have Saddam and they want to change their own guidelines.
Rejection of this kind of thinking by mainstream America is what has made the Zell Miller's book, A National Party No More, a New York Times bestseller. Based on the 2002 mid-term election results, the country is moderate to conservative, not moderate to liberal and the leadership of the Democratic Party does not get it.
The real mirror into the soul of Democrats comes in the statements of Madeline Albright, former Secretary of State. You can say Sen. Clinton and Rep. Pelosi are remnants of the days of protests and flower children, but Secretary Albright is a diplomat and has navigated the Washington inside for many years. While in the Green Room preparing for an appearance on the Fox News Channel, she said to Mort Kondrake, "Do you suppose that the Bush administration has Osama bin Laden hidden away somewhere and will bring him out before the election?" Albright maintains that she was kidding, but Kondrake and the two make up artists in the room agree that she did not appear to be kidding. This is how the die hard Democrats really think and as Sen. Daschle (D-SD) would say, "it concerns me."
Finally, the mainstream press continues to be complicit in this atmosphere of distrust. The Fourth Estate should be cynical and questioning but this has gone beyond that. The President is consistently criticized for not going before the press often enough so when the President called a press conference on Monday to discuss the capture of Saddam, the Associated Press had this to say, "Capitalizing on the powers of incumbency, Bush overshadowed his rivals' criticism with a hastily arranged news conference in which he discussed Saddam's capture and dismissed questions about his 2004 re-election campaign." On one of the biggest workdays of the Bush Presidency, the press conference is called "hastily arranged" and accuses the President of "capitalizing on the powers of incumbency."
The key to the winning the War on Terror is to stay the course. We must celebrate the victories and mourn the losses, but it is essential that we have patience and commitment to this cause. The President's detractors have said that Afghanistan has been abandoned and they are closer than ever to a permanent, free government. They said the road to Iraq would be strewn with thousands of American casualties and while the losses have been great, it would take 15 years for the losses in Iraq to equal what we lost in one day on September 11th. They said that Saddam would not be taken alive or that he would never be found and they were wrong. Now they are saying we will never get Osama. Maybe we should hold our judgment on that one.
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JWR contributor Martha Zoller is a radio talk show host in Georgia. Comment by clicking here.
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© 2003, Martha Zoller