Monday, July 30, 2007

Gingrich and the New York Times

Chris Wallace (Fox News Sunday): Why do you think that some Democrats want to start pulling out troops even before General Petraeus gets a chance to issue his progress report in September?

Newt Gingrich: The left wing of the Democratic Party is deeply opposed to American victory and deeply committed to American Defeat.

In 1975, when there were no Americans left in Vietnam, the left wing of the Democratic Party killed the government of South Vietnam, cut off all of its funding, cut off all of its ammunition, and sent a signal to the world that the United States had abandoned its allies.

What I would say to any Democrat who wants America to leave is quite simple. Millions of Iraqis have sided with the United States. They are known in their neighborhoods. They are known in their cities. If we abandon them, they are going to be massacred.

How can you, in good conscience, walk away from these decent people and leave them behind to a fate which we've seen, for example, in Afghanistan, where the Taliban recently was machine-gunning girls as they walked to school because the Taliban is determined to stop women from getting educated?

We are faced with evil opponents. Those opponents need to be defeated. And if General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker come back in September and say, "We actually can win this thing," I want to understand the rationale that says, "No, we don't want to let America win. Let's legislate defeat for the United States."

--Parital transcript from Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace on July 29, 2007

Viewed from Iraq, where we spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration's critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms.

--Excerpt from A War We Just Might Win from the New York Times, July 30, 2007

[Emphasis mine]

The New York Times and Newt are agreeing on at least one point, we are making significant progress in Iraq. For an icon of the conservative movement, and a bastion of the liberal left to agree either means there is a coming apocalypse, or we should sit up and take note. Where McCain was laughed at for saying he could stroll through parts of Baghdad without body armor a few weeks ago, the New York Times now makes the same claim. Could it be that the United States is winning in Iraq?

The New York Times tempered their enthusiasm, with this cautious note,"… there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008." But it is still optimism. Optimism seems to be something many of the Democrats in Congress and the Senate seem to lack. And consider what it means that a liberal newspaper is discussing the surge working in Iraq.

Newt is correct in describing the bloodbath that will happen if we leave Iraq. I have written on this site before about the dire consequences of pulling out of Iraq. There is no military force on the planet that can defeat the United States Military. Our enemies know that they can only win by turning public opinion in the United States against our military, by turning us against ourselves. The Democrats seem to have fallen for this tactic. However, if the New York Times can change its opinion, then it is time for Reid, Obama, Clinton, and the rest to reexamine their stance on the war. Will they be puppets to the ultra left wing of their party, or will they put aside their partisan differences and do what's right for the country.


Brandon said...

While it's great that the military tide finally appears to be turning in Iraq, I wonder how much longer it will last.

Gen. Petraeus and Maliki don't get along at all, reportedly Maliki's thinking about demanding that Gen. Petraeus be recalled because of our recent strategy of using former Sunni insurgents to fight al Qaeda.

I'm beginning to think that Iraq's government is a virtual replica of the late South Vietnamese government. That government squandered our military gains due to their corruption and incompetence, I'm afraid that Iraq's government will become a permanent drag on any further progress.

Also, I have yet to see a plan that has the backing of the Democratic party that would lead to a complete withdrawal. The Democratic, and now Republican, proposals would withdraw our soldiers from the streets and have them serve solely in counter-terrorist and training roles, which is probably the best plan long-term.

Kram said...

I find it so interesting that Newt and the NYT can agree, especially on a topic about Iraq. I totally agree with you, Andy, no other military on this planet can defeat us. Al Qaeda and their Terrorist allies can't defeat us either. What I dont' understand is why the Democrats want to be the one's to defeat us. If not for the Democrats and their defeat at any cost, there is a strong possibility the war would be over and our troops on the way home. At least in my opinion.

Here's a quote from O'Hanlan and Pollack with the Brooking's Institute, "Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration's miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily "victory" but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with."

I agree with Brandon, even if we are showing progress the final outcome is dependent on the people of Iraq and the leaders they have chosen.

Andy D said...

All excellent points.

There is no question that the government in Iraq is not the same as the government we might have chosen, or appointed. However, it is the government the people of Iraq chose, for better or for worse. Also, right now, I am not that big a fan of the people running our government.

I haven’t heard anything about the disagreements between Maliki and Petraeus. I can’t imagine our government pulling Petraeus as long as he continues to win. I am sure Maliki has also been worried with the constant demand from the Democrats that we pull out and leave him high and dry. If we can read the history books and draw parallels to the end of the Vietnam war, surely Maliki can do the same.

Brandon said...

Andy, below is a link to the Washington Post story about the tension between Maliki and Gen. Petraeus. Since Iraq is now a sovereign nation again, if Maliki requests that Gen. Petraeus be recalled then I don't know if we can really refuse to do so without further worsening our relations with the Iraqi government.

Andy D said...

I think this is the link you wanted Brandon.

I read the article, and it does present some information I haven’t seen before. I think the more progress Petraeus makes, the harder it is going to be for the Iraqi Prime Minister to ask him to leave. The article also points out that President Bush isn’t very likely to listen to a request to pull Petraeus.

If Maliki wants U.S. involvement in Iraq, he needs to accept the leaders we send over there. If he can’t stomach the people we put in the field, he should decide if he wants continued U.S. involvement.