Apr 252007
 
Authors: TREVOR SIDES

Well, it’s official now. The Democratic Party is now the party of defeat, softness, utter senselessness, complete hopelessness, and knee-knocking spinelessness. Democrats are the sovereigns of surrender, the potentates of pansiness. They make “Brave” Sir Robin look like Patton.

Last Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, speaking about conditions in Iraq, announced, “This war is lost.”

Thanks for the optimism, Harry. We’ll be sure to tell all the troops whom you and other Democrats “support” how little faith you have in their abilities to win this war. I’m going to send the senator the movie “Stripes” and cue it to the scene where Bill Murray says, “But we’re American soldiers! We’ve been kickin’ ass for 200 years! We’re 10-1!”

Sen. Reid also levied the charge that President Bush’s troop-surge plan “is not accomplishing anything” due to the deaths of 230 people the day before in Baghdad.

It’s a good thing Reid wasn’t Senator during World War II. At the Battle of the Bulge, 19,000 American soldiers were killed. That was just one battle. Since the War on Terror shifted to Iraq, only a little more than 3,000 American soldiers have died.

I am not trying to trivialize or marginalize the 3,000-plus American deaths in Iraq over the last four years. Any loss of life is saddening and sobering. But the America 63 years ago had much more fortitude and stamina than our America does today.

But it is beyond me how people like Sen. Reid can lament that we’ve “lost” the war after everything our brave service men and women have accomplished. Saddam and his al-Qaeda-friendly government are gone; the people of Iraq held free elections; and since the War on Terror began, America has yet to suffer another attack on her homeland.

More recently, the troop-surge has been working (why else would Iraq’s al-Qaeda leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, retreat to Iran?), evidenced, for example, by two U.S.-led raids in early February that captured 40 suspected terrorists, a death squad leader and a weapons cache.

Obviously, it’s discouraging when 230 people die in one day. But according to the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Patraeus, the troop-surge has been working.

CBS News reported Patraeus as saying, “Yesterday (April 18) was a bad day, there’s no two ways about it. And a day like that can have a real psychological impact, and it came at a time where frankly . . . we felt like we were getting a bit of traction.”

Other generals besides Patraeus are seeing positive outcomes to the troop-surge. Continues the CBS story, “Brig. Gen. Mark Gurganus, commander of ground forces in al Anbar province, said he has seen progress in western Iraq, including a decrease in attacks and an increase in recruitment of Iraqi police and army soldiers.”

Robert Kagan, who writes for the Washington Post, corresponds with a couple of Iraqi bloggers, and these bloggers “are starting to see results in their own Baghdad neighborhoods. The sectarian checkpoints disappear, the insurgents are less likely to brazenly assert authority over a neighborhood, people out and about.”

A CBS correspondent noted that U.S. and Iraqi military commanders were “starting to see some improvements” and that the deadly attacks that took place last Wednesday “show a turn in the initial success of President Bush’s Baghdad crackdown plan.”

What? You mean President Bush was right about his troop-surge plan? What were you saying about the troop-surge, Senator Reid?

Gen. Patraeus was still optimistic in the face of the latest attacks, saying that after meeting with Iraqi commanders, they are “determined to calm their people and move on.”

Democratic congressional leaders should take notes on the balance the U.S. generals are showing: Yes, deaths are terrible, but we still have to have the courage to fight on. Can you even imagine the Democratic leadership at the time of the Battle of the Bulge bemoaning the war as “lost” and giving up the fight against the Nazis because a lot of people were killed? But that’s the stance Democrats in Washington are taking now on the war against terrorism.

Speaking of fighting on.Brig. Gen. Gurmanus doesn’t think too highly of reducing or withdrawing American troops. “Would it have an adverse impact? Absolutely,” he said.

As long as Democrats control Congress, they’re going to keep waving the white flag and drawing parallels between Iraq and the Vietnam War. How can they “support the troops” when they think the troops have already lost?

War is tough and trying yet sometimes necessary, but Democrats get woozy at the sight of blood; they’re quitters. Wars are also never perfectly executed. WWII was hardly blunder-free, but I think we would all agree that the efforts and lives were worth the freedom and security gained. Well, except for maybe Sen. Reid.

Democrats don’t care about winning the war. They want to lose. They’d rather play nice with terrorist, thug tyrants in Syria, like Nancy Pelosi did. They’d rather reminisce about how wonderful it felt to lose in Vietnam and long for the same sensation now.

I love the smell of defeat in the morning.

Trevor Sides is a senior speech communication major. His column appears every Thursday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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