Call it surrender

This week’s Iraq proposals would pull out American troops and leave only a surrender flag.

This week, Senators will consider a variety of Iraq-related initiatives euphemistically dubbed "redeployments," "withdrawals," "regional negotiations" and "changes in strategy."  These legislative gambits will result in something very different, however. Call it surrender.

A Bill of Particulars

  • This is most obviously the case with respect to a proposal to begin removing U.S. forces from Iraq advanced by Democratic Senators Carl Levin of Michigan and Jack Reed of Rhode Island.  The first units would have to come out within 120 days, irrespective of conditions on the ground.  Nearly all troops would have to be out by April, except those responsible for what would likely become missions impossible, such as protecting the U.S. embassy and countering al Qaeda.[More]  

At work here seems to be a determination to hand President Bush a defeat, irrespective of the implications that the associated, literal defeat of our forces will have in Iraq and far beyond.  Incredibly, an actual majority of the House of Representatives b including four Republicans b has now embraced this disastrous course.

  • Some of Capitol Hill’s other arm-chair generals propose to "relocate" the forces removed from Iraq to Kuwait or some other, "over-the-horizon" location.  We are told that they could then be reintroduced if things get ugly in Iraq b say, if al Qaeda’s friends or Iranian-backed groups fill the vacuum of power created by our bailing out.  Fat chance.  

First of all, it is a certitude that one or both of these predictable results will eventuate.   Few, if any, of those currently insisting on our troops’ extrication from a less-bad mess will be willing to support their renewed exposure to even-greater dangers.  And who’s to say Kuwait will be willing to take our displaced legions, making the emirate the next battleground for the Islamofascists’ "liberation" of Arab and Muslim lands?

  • Then, there are the admirers of the blue-ribbon Iraq Study Group chaired by James Baker and Lee Hamilton.  Currently, fourteen Senators led by Lamar Alexander (Republican of Tennessee) and Ken Salazar (Democrat of Colorado) have embraced language that would impose on the President nearly one hundred recommendations cooked up by this unelected, unaccountable gaggle of former this-es and thats.  Baker and Company earned the sobriquet the "Iraq Surrender Group" with their report issued last December, which dressed up the U.S. retreat from Iraqi territory with "regional negotiations."

In such negotiations, the foreign policy establishmentarians have in mind enlisting specifically Iran and Syria in the hope of securing their help with our extrication from Iraq. This proposition amounts to ignoring and, worse yet, rewarding the direct role played by the Islamofascist mullahocracy in Tehran and its Syrian proxy in the murder of hundreds of Americans and vastly larger numbers of Iraqis, and the ongoing subversion of the government in Baghdad.  It is hard to imagine an outcome that would be more certain of failure, not only in Iraq but in the wider world, to say nothing of a more lasting stigma.

  • Most recently, Republican Senators Richard Lugar of Indiana and John Warner of Virginia have come up with a "compromise."  They would not explicitly require the President to remove any forces from Iraq, either at the moment or according to some arbitrary deadline.  Instead, they propose to tell Mr. Bush to begin planning now for the failure and/or congressional repudiation of his "surge" plan in September.  

For good measure, these two veteran legislators propose to take a page out of Hillary Clinton’s playbook b repealing the authority previously given the President to wage war and requiring him to come up with a new basis for doing so by October 16.  Should the Lugar-Warner deal somehow become law and no new war authorization is enacted, we would presumably have to surrender not just in Iraq, but globally.

Now, a Word from our Heroes

This lemmings’ rush to embrace one form of surrender or another is the response of politicians to a disciplined, well-financed and mainstream media-amplified campaign to defeat George Bush, in Iraq and elsewhere, at any costs.  Fortunately, those who have a more realistic understanding of how unacceptably high those costs could be to the Nation are beginning to mount a concerted effort of their own.

For example, last Thursday, Paul Morin, the national commander of the 2.7 million-strong American Legion, declared:

This movement to withdraw our troops, before they’ve had the chance to finish the mission they are well capable of finishing, amounts to an impatient political media stunt I’d call bOperation Turncoat’….Premature withdrawal and timelines severely jeopardize our national security. This is not a war without end.  Our men and women can be victorious.  And there is no greater way to honor our fighting men and women in uniform than by ensuring they have the resources, time, patience and support of the American people as they can complete this mission.

Another veteran, Peter Hegseth, an Army National Guard officer who returned from Iraq in 2006 and now leads Vets for Freedom, observed in a Wall Street Journal op.ed. on July 9:  

For some members of Congress, there is a growing fear that Gen. David Petraeus just might have a winning strategy in Iraq.  Despite four years of failed policy, the strategy we have in Iraq today is sound, both in principle and in practice, as my combat tour in Iraq confirmed. Gen. Petraeus is bringing safety and stability to Baghdad and Anbar Province, putting insurgents on the run. Now it’s a question of whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and wobbly Republicans will give him the time and resources he needs.

The Bottom Line

The alternative is surrender.  Let’s call it what it is and reject it.

About Frank Gaffney, Jr.

Frank Gaffney is the Founder and Executive Chairman of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. Under Mr. Gaffney's leadership, the Center has been nationally and internationally recognized as a resource for timely, informed and penetrating analyses of foreign and defense policy matters. Mr. Gaffney formerly acted as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy during the Reagan Administration, following four years of service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy. Previously, he was a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee under the chairmanship of the late Senator John Tower, and a national security legislative aide to the late Senator Henry M. Jackson.

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