Max Boot on "White Flag Democrats"
Boot is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He states:
Just a few years ago, it seemed as if the Democrats had finally kicked the post-Vietnam, peace-at-any-price syndrome. Before the invasion of Iraq, leading Democrats sounded hawkish in demanding action to deal with what Kerry called the "particularly grievous threat" posed by Saddam Hussein. But it seems that they only wanted to do something if the cost would be minuscule. Now that the war has turned out to be a lot harder than anticipated, the Democrats want to run up the white flag.
The Baathists and their jihadist allies were planning a ruthless terrorist campaign even before U.S. troops entered Iraq. Their calculation was that if they killed enough American soldiers, the American public would demand a pullout.So far the terrorists' plan seems to be working. Even most Republican senators are demanding a withdrawal strategy. But it is the Democrats who are stampeding toward the exits. Apparently the death of about 2,100 soldiers over the course of almost three years is more than they can bear. Good thing these were not the same Democrats who were running the country in 1944, or else they would have pulled out of France after the loss of 5,000 Allied servicemen on D-day.
The Democratic mindset — cakewalk or cut and run — has already had parlous consequences. It is the reason why President Clinton did not take meaningful action against Al Qaeda in the 1990s. He figured that a serious military response — an invasion of Afghanistan or even a covert campaign to aid the Northern Alliance — would run steep risks, like body bags coming home. So he limited himself to flinging a few cruise missiles at empty buildings, leading our enemies to think that we were, in Osama bin Laden's words, a "paper tiger" that could be attacked with impunity.
A precipitous withdrawal from Iraq today, aside from sparking a Balkans-style civil war in which hundreds of thousands might die, would confirm this baleful impression and encourage Islamo-fascists to step up their predations.
"Things may develop faster than we imagine," Al Qaeda's deputy commander, Ayman Zawahiri, apparently wrote to Abu Musab Zarqawi, the top terrorist in Iraq. "The aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam — and how they ran and left their agents — is noteworthy." Even more noteworthy is that so many Democrats seem so sanguine about letting history repeat itself.
If George Bush was as competent in communicating the benefits of aggressive strength as the Democrats are in communicating flacid and insipid weakness... the Republicans and the war effort would be miles ahead.