01 August 2007

A Few Good Democrats

Never say we don't give credit where credit is due.

On Monday, an Op-Ed by two long-time Democratic critics of the war in Iraq was published in the New York Times. It bears repeating that Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack are neither neoconservatives nor Republicans. They are Democrats. Add them to the short list of Democrats* who recognize the importance of winning in Iraq and see the progress made by Gen. Petraeus' surge strategy--the positive results of which we noted yesterday.

Their Op-Ed is worth the read. We also suggest reading a review of their article by a number of writers over at National Review Online.

Among the best responses to the article was one written by Senator John McCain, Republican Presidential candidate. We quote in full:
Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack have uncovered a truth that seems to escape congressional Democrats: General Petraeus’s new strategy has shown remarkable progress. Earlier this month, on my sixth trip to Iraq, it was evident that our military is making dramatic achievements throughout the country.

Despite this progress, Democrats today advocate a precipitous withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. They are wrong, and their approach portends catastrophe for both Iraq and the United States. To fail in Iraq risks creating a sanctuary for al Qaeda, sparking a full scale civil war, genocide, and violence that could spread far beyond Iraq’s borders. To leave prematurely is to ensure just one thing: that we will be back, in more dangerous and difficult circumstances. We cannot and must not lose this war.

We must prevail. General Petraeus and his troops have asked Congress for just two things: the time and support they need to carry out their mission. They must have both, however much the congressional Democrats seek to withhold them. That is why I will keep fighting to ensure that our commanders have what they need to win this war.

I cannot guarantee success. But I do guarantee that, should Congress fail to sustain the effort, and should it pay no heed to the lessons drawn by Mr. Pollack and Mr. O’Hanlon, then America will face a historic and terrible defeat. Such a defeat, with its enormous human and strategic costs, will unfold unless we do all in our power to prevent it. I, for one, will continue to do just that.
If even some Democrats are willing to acknowledge the improvement in Iraq, we are left to conclude that the surge must be working.

*Isn't Senator Lieberman great?

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1 comment:

raisin said...

Jake, last month you posted a pic of Matt holding The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. I thought I'd include a few passages in case you or your readers hadn't read it:

Some might ask, Why be compassionate at all? Why keep any fat, friction, or barriers? Let me put it as bluntly as I can: If you are not a compassionate flatist- if you are just a let 'er rip free-market flatist- you are not only cruel, you are a fool. You are courting a political backlash by those who can and will get churned up by this flattening process, and that backlash could become ferocious if we hit any kind of prolonged recession.

(You of course will recall some of our converations in which you railed against my belief that safety nets not only benefit society as a whole, but also prevent political threats to free markets. Not to mention that they are Christian in nature, unlike your supposed Christian positions on homosexual discrimination and a woman's right to choose.)

Another quote from The World is Flat: If you want to live like a Republican (or Captain Republican), vote like a Democrat- take good care of the losers and left-behinds.

And another:

I believe that history will make very clear that President Bush shamelessly exploited the emotions around 9/11 for political purposes. He used 9/11 emotions to take a far-right Republican domestic agenda (Jake, your agenda) on taxes, the environment, and social issues from 9/10- an agenda for which he had no popular mandate- and drive it into a 9/12 world. In doing so, Mr. Bush not only drove a wedge between Americans, and between Americans and the world, he drove a wedge between America and its own history and identity. His administration transformed the United States into "the United States of Fighting Terrorism." This is the real reason, in my view, that so many people in the world dislike President Bush so intensely. They feel that he has taken away something very dear to them- an America that exports hope, not fear.

This book is full of positions that contradict your ideaology Jake. I would highly recommend you read the section on the education gap and America's shortage of tech and math grads. I once argued that taxing and spending on education was a wise national investment and your position was to de-fund education and let free markets handle the problem. See also: let 'er rip free-market flatist.

I would dare say that the only similarities I found between Thomas Friedman's position and yours is that you both agree that capitalism works better than any other economic system and terrorism is a threat- positions I also agree with. However the more extreme partisan stances that give you your flavor are exactly what Friedman sees as part of the problem- as do I.

Dununt dunt! (Reading Rainbow sound bite.)