2007 will be the Year of the Jackal, or so it seems. Even as they insist that they 'support the troops', leading Democrats are demanding that our military abandon everything they have accomplished and are pursuing in Iraq. One may not question the patriotism of those on the Left, although if one looks for evidence of said patriotism, there is much greater support for the flag of Syria than the flag of America, more support for the plans and goals of President Ahmadinejad of Iran than for the twice-elected President of the United States, or even for the war which Democrats overwhelmingly supported in 2003. But fashions change we are told, and even some who would claim the name Republican have deserted the effort to bring a Democratic Republic to Iraq, or to stabilize the region so the next generation might be able to escape the sort of madness which has plagued the civilized world this past half century. To that end, many liars and idiots have assigned Iraq to the same condition as Vietnam. That is a false claim, often repeated but never true to any sense of reality.
The first dispute must begin with the fact that in Vietnam, the United States entered by condition of a treaty with France, exactly the sort of multi-lateral approach which Leftists and morons of many stripes demand America revert to now. In the case of Iraq, the United States weighed the threat of Saddam's support of Terrorism, the threat his aggressive behavior meant to the region's stability, and the utter failure of Saddam's regime to abide, in letter or spirit, with the terms of the 1991 Cease-fire from the first Gulf War, and determined that the removal of Saddam from power should not only be United States policy, as it had been since President Clinton signed such a law into effect in 1998, but the active campaign of the United States military. Unlike Vietnam, where the United States was alone except for indigenous allies, the change in Iraq was and is the work of an International Coalition, led by the United States but each member state free to act according to its moral and political necessities; the decision by Spain to quit the fight, therefore, is proof of the voluntary nature of the Coalition, a fact long ignored by the media because it controverts their campaign of disinformation. As for that, it must also be noted that the media has shamefully ignored and distorted the sacrifice and commitment of the armed forces engaged in the enterprise to bring a Democratic Republic to Iraq.
It must also be noted that the United States utterly failed to create a representative government in South Vietnam, which created the intense distrust of American intentions. In Iraq, the very instability of the government comes from the fact that the United States allowed the infant democratic system to work; even the Sunnis who now so vigorously protest that government, in relatively large numbers participated in the elections to elect that government, because they understood that the future of Iraq rests on the shoulders of such men.
I must also stop at this point and observe that the effort in Vietnam was initially supported by both major political parties, and the media initially reported the conflict in relatively fair standards. In Iraq, the Democrats abandoned the war almost immediately after they realized the President would do exactly as he said he would, and the media became the enemy of the U.S. military even before the conflict began; the decision by CNN to cover-up atrocities by Saddam's government demonstrate their intent to oppose American interests, and the systematic betrayal of American secrets and the non-stop slander of U.S. troops by the New York Times and other newspapers are poisonous proof of perfidy which even the narcissistic media of the 1970s would have found beyond the pale.
Another significant difference between Vietnam and Iraq are the stakes. In Vietnam, the United States initially failed to understand that where North Korea had been as much a Chinese client state as a Soviet client state, in Vietnam there was animosity between Hanoi and Beijing; so long as the United States made no move indicating an action against China, offensive actions against North Vietnam would likely have been allowed by China, because it would improve their regional position relative to the USSR. Evidence of that can be seen by Chinese restraint in response to U.S. actions against North Vietnam through Cambodia and Thailand. The Beijing government found it useful for the Americans to sap the strength of their Soviet rivals in the region. In Iraq, the United States understood as a strategic goal the need to break the network of a number of terrorist organizations, especially those which were technically non-governmental organizations (NGOs), but who received support from anti-Western states. The United States also pursued the course, vindicated by the resulting events, or attacking terrorist interests in the Middle East in order to pre-empt attacks by Middle Eastern terrorists in Western cities, especially the United States. A simple examination of the number, type, and casualty numbers of terrorist attacks since 2001 proves the success of that strategy. I should also note that removing Saddam and the Baathists from power in Iraq led directly to Libya abandoning its own WMD programs, encouraged Lebanon to demand independence from Syria, and served notice to the region's aggressors, who scaled back their plans for aggression until the Democrats resumed running interference for them. If the United States had remained united in this effort, the extant dictatorships and family-based oligarchies would have been slowly but inexorably replaced by democratic republics, which would have stabilized the region, checked Islamofascism, and created an economic power to balance hegemonist ambitions in Asia.
Granted, things have changed in Iraq. Emboldened by the Democrats' refusal to address the threat from Islamofascism and their pathological hatred of President Bush, the enemies of Democracy march ahead towards objectives long planned; the acquisition of nuclear weapons, the drive to push the West out of the region, the abolition of personal rights and liberty, and the inevitable next war against Israel. The new fascists of Islam can not only count on the Left getting out of their way in these ambitions, but when they are done the Left will not hesitate to blame their personal political opponents, rather than address the threat in reality. The party which blames the police for crime, the churches for immorality, and successful businesses for economic concerns, can be counted on to attack anyone who dares to address the problem or meet the threat with any sort of effective plan of action.
But again, things are different this time around. In 1974, the Democrats chased out Richard Nixon on the grounds of his actual actions against the law, assisted by outraged Republicans. This time the Democrats have built a case on lies and false accusations, perpetuated by rabid fanaticism and no more. In 1974, the Democrats could and did vilify the brave servicemen who fought in Vietnam, but this time around even those cowards who care nothing for the fate of millions of honest Iraqis who desperately want to live in the same freedom we enjoy, do not dare say in words their true contempt for our troops. Instead, they promise they "support the troops", though in actual fact there is never much evidence of it. They run a decorated veteran as their champion, never addressing the serious questions about how he allegedly earned his medals, and to say nothing of his despicable conduct against his fellow servicemen when he thought he could spit on them with impunity. But there was no mistake in their selection; a backbiter who lied to get his medals, is just what the Democrats thought would make a winner. I think a lot of folks forgot that fact when the 2006 elections rolled around.
Of course, it must be admitted that the Democrats grabbed both chambers of Congress in the last election. Doubtless this condition does not bode well, either for Iraqis who want their government to be a bit more like ours, nor for the Marines and the other services who have given so much for Iraq to have that chance. But there are still a number of surprises the Left does not see coming. And top on that list is the fact that Iraq has irrevocably changed. No matter what the Democrats want to try, the Hussein family regime has been wiped from Iraq.
Also, while it is possible that the Democrats will succeed in their desire to abandon Iraq, even they understand that they cannot do so in a way which undeniably demonstrates their hostility to freedom for Iraq and the commitments made by the United States. Also, while despots may hope for a less resolute America, the events of the last several years have quite proven bin Laden's "paper tiger" claim to be very much in error. If it remains an annoying possibility that Osama bin Laden is still drawing breath, it remains nonetheless a fact that Osama may only do so in caves and temporary residences; no one wants to be around a man who is so eagerly hunted, and who is so obviously impotent in true capability these days.
Zarqawi is dead, along with countless thousands of soulless men who chose to follow his method. Those particular monsters will not be coming back.
It should also be understood that Iraq marks, for the whole world to see, the difference between a Democratic Party government and a Republican Party government. Democrats may back down from challenges, and test the wind with a wet finger before announcing their course, but Republicans will not forget their commitments so easily, nor desert their allies because the trendy people want to change their mind halfway across the river. The next time that an election returns the Republicans to control of the American government, an air of soiled trousers will again emanate from Damascus and Teheran, because those regimes will understand and fear the resolve of the United States once again.