American liberals need to face these truths: The demand for self-government was and remains strong in Iraq despite all our mistakes and the violent efforts of al Qaeda, Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias to disrupt it. Al Qaeda in particular has targeted for abduction and murder those who are essential to a functioning democracy: school teachers, aid workers, private contractors working to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure, police officers and anyone who cooperates with the Iraqi government. Much of Iraq’s middle class has fled the country in fear.
With these facts on the scales, what does your conscience tell you to do? If the answer is nothing, that it is not our responsibility or that this is all about oil, then no wonder today we Democrats are not trusted with the reins of power. American lawmakers who are watching public opinion tell them to move away from Iraq as quickly as possible should remember this: Concessions will not work with either al Qaeda or other foreign fighters who will not rest until they have killed or driven into exile the last remaining Iraqi who favors democracy.
The key question for Congress is whether or not Iraq has become the primary battleground against the same radical Islamists who declared war on the U.S. in the 1990s and who have carried out a series of terrorist operations including 9/11. The answer is emphatically “yes.”
This does not mean that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11; he was not. Nor does it mean that the war to overthrow him was justified–though I believe it was. It only means that a unilateral withdrawal from Iraq would hand Osama bin Laden a substantial psychological victory.
Isn’t it interesting that the voice of sanity on the issue of Iraq coming out of Nebraska is not from the current Republican Senator but a former Democrat Senator?
Sean Hackbarth calls Kerrey’s political position “liberal realism.” Whatever it’s called, it sure would be refreshing to see a lot more of it from the left. I have said often in discussions with friends post-2006 election that I hoped that there would be enough moderate Democrats (in spite of the fact that the Nutroots are targeting them) in the House to keep the liberal wing in check. Sadly, that hasn’t been the case, and as a result of the House and Senate’s attempts to bow down at the feet of their ultra-anti-war base, the far left has become even more emboldened. Which means the few sane voices in the party like Kerrey are indeed voices in the wildnerness.
Speaking of Democrat voices in the wilderness, Joe Lieberman is warning the Democrats on their game-playing with the Iraq war. I’m not sure what good this latest ‘warning’ (the last one was here) will do. If he’s issuing some sort of ultimatum (like “straighten up or else!”) well, I’m afraid he’s far too late on that one because at this point there is no turning back for the liberalcrats in Congress. They’ve made their beds over the issue of Iraq, and now they’ll have to lie in them (pun intended).