The Left in this country is in full retreat mode. I wish I was speaking about the fact they are retreating from their "let's give Iraq over to the terrorist" strategy but alas, I am talking about their constant drum beat for a complete pull out of American forces. Listening to the rhetoric coming out of Washington these days is a surreal experience. We are a nation at war with Islamic Fascists who would like nothing better than to end our existence. In the middle of this life or death struggle we are witnessing another war between the democratically controlled Congress and the White House. President Bush, love him or hate him, is the Commander in Chief of America's armed forces. I didn't give him that title…. The United States Constitution gives him that title. In the wake of the unprecedented 911 attacks, President Bush was authorized by Congress to wage war against the terrorists. He has done so aggressively first by invading and liberating Afghanistan and then by invading and liberating the people of Iraq. By taking the battle to the terrorists he has prevented them from bringing the battle to us. We should all remember this as we close in on the six year anniversary of 911 without another attack on U.S. soil.
Last week Senator Reid joined the growing number of Democrats who slip up every now and then and tell us what they really think. Senator Reid first said emphatically that the war in Iraq was lost. He then pretended to be some kind of mind reader by suggesting that "the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense also know the war is lost." When his comments created an immediate firestorm of criticism from both sides of the aisle he backpedaled faster than a cyclist in a 200 mile-an-hour headwind saying that he meant to say something like if we continue to follow the President's policy the war is lost.
This should remind us of John Kerry, who blew his chance to be a viable candidate for president in 08' with his supposed joke about American soldiers being "stuck in Iraq" if they don't get a good education. It should remind us of Joe Biden who had to backpedal after describing Barack Obama as "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." The spin-misters and damage control experts leaped into action after each one of these gaffes which were actually not gaffes at all but true insights into the mindset of the left.
A few days after his "the war is lost" speech, (what an inspiration….for our enemies) Senator Reid said President Bush was in "a state of denial." He went on to say Bush, "is the only person who fails to face this war's reality – and that failure is devastating not just for Iraq's future, but for ours."
Since Senator Reid brought up the subject of reality let's conduct a little reality check. The reality in Iraq is slow and steady progress in the face of a determined enemy who knows what it takes to create mayhem and grab a depressing headline in this country. Our enemy knows we don't have the stomach for a protracted war so all he has to do is cause enough death and destruction for us to cry uncle. Just like in the Vietnam conflict, it will be politicians and their media counterparts and not the men and women of the U.S. military who run for the high grass.
The reality is last month the Iraqi southern province of Maysan became the fourth province to come under full Iraqi security. Speaking about the peaceful transfer of power, Gen. David Petraeus said the handover "demonstrates another step toward a stable and secure Iraq." I don't know about you but that sounds like real progress to me. I wonder why it wasn't the lead story on CNN or on page one in The New York Times.
Another reality Senator Reid might want to consider is the report of his fellow Senator Lindsay Graham who just returned from Iraq. Senator Graham appeared on my radio show (Christian Worldview Today on Christian Talk 660, M-F from 7 to 9am) last week and said the surge is already showing dividends. He said the security situation in An bar Province is much better with the leading Sheiks actually calling for people to join the police force. Many Sunni leaders are beginning to openly reject Al Qaeda and recently the Iraqi justice system brought a Shia police official to trial for torturing a Sunni. Senator Graham concluded by saying, "We must not allow car and suicide bombers to dictate our foreign policy."
That is exactly what the terrorists hope will happen. They hope their headline grabbing suicide attacks will finish off our already weakened resolve forcing us to leave Iraq so that it can become little more than a platform from which they can export their terrorist tactics. The American Left has hitched their political wagon to failure in Iraq. If the war were to turn around with demonstrable progress giving the Iraqi people a chance at democracy it would greatly reduce their chances of winning the White House and maintaining their congressional majority.
America cannot afford to lose Iraq to the control of Islamic extremist. It would fast become a puppet nation with its strings pulled by Iran and Syria. This would completely destabilize the region giving a huge victory to our enemies. It would embolden Al Qaeda, proving that Osama Ben Laden was right to label us a paper tiger. We must find the resolve to stop the surrender and find a clear path to victory.
Dr. Tony Beam is Director of the Christian Worldview Center at North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina.