At this writing, the war in Iraq is going smoothly, and we pray that our success, along with the limited number of casualties continues, and that the effort can be both decisive and brief.
It is comforting, and not at all surprising, that a large majority (well over 70 percent in most polls) of Americans support the military action, even as the domestic antiwar demonstrations receive disproportionate media coverage. Dissent, and war for that matter, are salient features of American history, so the protests are not unexpected. What was unexpected, perhaps, was that the biggest antiwar demonstration in British history, occurring a week or so ago, would be against an action to topple such a brutal and vile regime as Saddam Hussein’s.
Sadly, it was not at all a surprise either to hear the words of the pathetic Tom Daschle virtually as the attack began:
“I’m saddened, saddened that this president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we’re now forced to war,” Daschle said in a speech to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. “Saddened that we have to give up one life because this president couldn’t create the kind of diplomatic effort that was so critical for our country.”
While one is tempted to merely mock this quote by invoking the sarcastic “shocked, shocked” line of Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains) in the film Casablanca (1942), I am not about to let this sniveling dweeb from South Dakota off quite so easily. Surely diplomacy failed, but given the guaranteed “nay” votes of Germany, France, and Russia, one can hardly blame the president. Moreover, when has diplomacy, at the United Nations or anywhere else, actually accomplished anything, in the last 50 years–or even the last 100 years?
And please, spare me the “give up one life” crocodile tears. Where was this obnoxious creep when Clinton gave up plenty of lives in Somalia and the former Yugoslavia? Beyond all this is the striking imprudence of making this statement when he did. There is a time for dissent, and there is a time for silence. Tommy Daschle simply hates George W. Bush a lot more than he loves America. With any luck, the good people of South Dakota will remember all this when he comes up for reelection.
Speaking of crocodile tears, we were also treated to the bizarre ruminations of one Robert Byrd, reformed Klansman and long-term (way too long-term) senator.
“Today I weep for my country.” “No more is the image of America one of strong, yet benevolent peacekeeper. … Around the globe, our friends mistrust us, our word is disputed, our intentions are questioned. “We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance,” Byrd said, adding: “After war has ended the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America’s image around the globe.”
I guess the senile pork barrel champion of the world has finally lost it. One wonders exactly who these “friends” are. France? When was the last time since World War II that France did something friendly toward us besides saying on September 12, 2001 that “Today we are all Americans”? Germany? Germany could have been a friend until Gerhard Schroeder squeaked into office on the back of the votes in the former communist east, and a sick anti-Americanism.
If we had really wanted to flaunt our superpower status, we would have scarcely messed about for months and years with the UN. As for America’s image, I suspect it will improve dramatically when doddering, demented relics such as Mr. Byrd depart the Senate for that elusive pork barrel in the sky.
Daschle and Byrd would do well to call to mind the history of America’s most infamous traitor—Revolutionary War General Benedict Arnold. Although Arnold conspired with the British to give up West Point, the plot failed, and ironically, the patriot cause was summarily energized. Arnold went to his grave despised by both sides, even though no real harm was done.
There are more ways to betray your country than giving up a strategic fort. There is also sedition. I suggest that these two miserable excuses for US senators familiarize themselves with this word—seldom uttered in these effete, politically correct times.