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"Winning Is Not an Option

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"Winning Is Not an Option
Chasing the infidel American crusaders out of Iraq is the jackpot. And that is precisely what the Democrats are for.

By Jonah Goldberg
Source NationalReviewOnline
Let me get this straight. For a couple of years now Democrats have increasingly demanded that America get out of Iraq now, soon or by a date certain. The Murtha bug-out chorus says “it’s not our fight,” “let the Iraqis handle it,” “let’s stay out of a civil war,” and, “we can’t win.”

I think I have that right.

So on Thursday the Washington Post ran a front-page story on how the democratically elected Iraqi government is considering offering amnesty for some insurgents as part of a larger “national reconciliation plan.”

In response, the Democratic leadership in Congress went ass over tea kettle.

“The mere idea that this proposal may go forward is an insult to the brave men and women who have died in the name of Iraqi freedom,” shrieked Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez a co-sponsor of the resolution demanding that the amnesty plan be immediately quashed, thundered: “We ask you Prime Minister Maliki, are you willing to have ‘reconciliation’ on the pool of American blood that has been spilled to give your people and your country a chance for freedom?” He continued: “We reject that notion and are outraged that the sacrifice of American troops and the American people could be so devalued.”

Florida Senator Bill Nelson says “Terrorists and insurgents shouldn’t be rewarded for killing American soldiers.” And, Chuck Schumer in a pitch perfect pose of deep regret and sadness lamented that insurgents were getting a “get out of jail free card.”

This is repugnant. Shame on them.

What on earth do these people think cutting and running from Iraq means? When they say, “it’s not our fight” and “it’s a civil war,” how do they envision this non-American conflict to be resolved after we depart?

If America left Iraq tomorrow and then the Iraqi government granted amnesty the day after that, would these sanctimonious champions of military honor protest? I doubt it.

Do they really think that a negotiated peace to this civil war will involve every single Sunni insurgent being put on trial? Of course not. Indeed, if America bugged out and the factions came to just such an understanding on their own, John Murtha would jump up and down shouting “I told you so!” Nancy Pelosi would smirkingly gloat “See? America was a hindrance to peace!”

Look: Bugging out of Iraq is the greatest amnesty possible because it’s the only way the men who’ve shed American blood can not only get off scot-free but actually win the war. But that is precisely what Democrats want to do. These guys talk about how the sacrifices of American troops would be “devalued” by amnesty, but they see no devaluation of such sacrifice in surrender. They say they don’t want to “reward” those who spilled American blood through amnesty. But amnesty is the consolation prize. It is the set of steak knives and coupon to Chuck E. Cheese’s of rewards. Chasing the infidel American crusaders out of Iraq is the jackpot. And that is precisely what the Democrats are for.

This sanctimony is so dishonest it stews the bowels. Most of these Democrats have denounced America’s decision to disband the Iraqi military after the toppling of Saddam. Those Iraqis fired on Americans and now they comprise the bulk of the insurgents. These Democrats wanted to keep many, if not most, of the same fighters in uniform and give them the color of authority in Iraq — not send them off to be ditch diggers and taxi drivers under some amnesty plan. They wanted them to command troops!

Now, it turns out that the story was wrong and the Iraqi government isn’t actually moving ahead with an amnesty plan. I think that’s for the good. But I don’t think America would be wise to tell the Iraqi government they can’t ever find a solution to this conflict that lets insurgents off the hook at all. Wars against insurgencies always involve cooptation. Telling the insurgents - as opposed to the foreign fighters who should be hung from the nearest lamppost — that it’s death or victory is not a path to peace.

The details are obviously complicated. The normal rules of war don’t fully apply, since the insurgents use terror tactics, don’t wear uniforms, etc. But, we didn’t ask that every German be put on trial who had American blood on his hands after World War II and we didn’t ask that every North Vietnamese soldier face a tribunal.

Oh wait, that’s because we bugged out, just like the Democrats want to now.

The Democrats say we can’t win. They also say we can’t find a political solution. In other words, it seems their message to American troops is “surrender or fight to the death.” Winning is not an option.
Entry #391

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