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The Party of Defeat By: Phil Orenstein
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, April 28, 2008


At no other time in our nation’s history, other than the period of the Civil War when Democrats supported secession and slavery and Republicans championed freedom, have we been so politically divided. Political unity in wartime has always been an article of faith as rival political parties during the Cold War era upheld the axiom “politics stops at the water’s edge.” Bipartisan unity prevailed even during the Vietnam War as both parties supported the war effort for over a decade and were in accord on military withdrawal when victory seemed no longer possible. Whether we are for the war or against it, we can all agree that it should not be used as a political football for the advantage of one political party over another.

Yet for the first time, opposition to the War in Iraq has become an obsessive partisan effort to lose the war and discredit our Commander in Chief. Wartime bipartisanship has been thrown under the bus. The Democratic Party leadership has crossed the line from constitutionally protected dissent and opposition to willful sabotage. The antiwar opposition is not just the radical fringe and loony leftists marching in the streets burning effigies of President Bush, but has now morphed into the Democratic Party in toto. This is the thesis of the new book The Party of Defeat, by David Horowitz and Ben Johnson.

In 2002 the vast majority of Democrats voted to authorize the use of military force in Iraq and Senators Kerry, Clinton, Kennedy and many other Congressional Democrats made impassioned speeches warning of the “real and grave threat to our security” that we face from Saddam Hussein if the “deadly arsenal of WMD in his hands” is not disarmed. Al Gore vouched for the “secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.” Soon after the Gulf War II began, and the first operation ended with the triumphant march into Baghdad, Democrats joined in bipartisan unity celebrating the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime. However, the pro-war strategy of the Democratic Party soon made a U-turn, as a little known governor, Howard Dean unexpectedly captured the spotlight in the 2004 presidential campaign becoming the Democratic frontrunner as he galvanized the antiwar crowd into a frenzy of Bush hatred and blame America rhetoric.

The Democratic sea change was not prompted by any fact on the ground in Iraq. It was the Dean campaign channeling the mounting rage of antiwar radicals into a political movement of vehement opposition to the War in Iraq and the Patriot Act, which triggered the sudden change in Democratic strategy to oppose the war and brand the President a liar and a traitor. Presidential candidates Kerry and Edwards abruptly changed their positions on the war, and the balance of the Democratic leadership vied with one another to show off their new found antiwar credentials.

The Democratic Party crossed the line from mere opposition to undermining a war in progress. They divided the nation in a time of war and emboldened an enemy by proclaiming from the highest offices of our Capitol that President Bush deceived the American people by sending their sons and daughters to die fighting an unjust, unnecessary war for political gain. The antiwar chorus of the 2004 presidential contenders and Democratic leadership thundered to a climax as they vied for the $ millions offered by MoveOn.org, and George Soros and his vast cabal of radical 527 organizations, which deem that America is the enemy.

Senator Kennedy called the war “a catastrophic failure,” and a deliberate fraud telling the press: "There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically.” Kerry attacked the President declaring that “he misled every one of us.”   Gore who lost the presidency in 2000 blasted Bush at a Democratic rally for “betraying the nation” by taking us into a war “that was preordained and planned before 9-11.”   Rep. John Murtha accused the Marines of killing innocent Iraqis in cold blood.

The deafening chorus of defeat and surrender has continued unabated up until the present day turning a deaf ear to the news of progress on the ground due to the recent successes of the troop surge and defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Still they continue to declare the war unwinnable, illegal and a failure. Senator Edwards called the War on Terror a “bumper sticker slogan” and candidates Clinton and Obama relentlessly call for a premature withdrawal, oblivious to the glowing reports of victories.

General David Petraeus returned from Iraq April 8th to face a hostile reception on Capitol Hill. He delivered a sterling presentation on the growing cooperation of Sunni tribes, the Iraqi people’s desire for freedom, growth of the Iraqi security forces by 100,000 in the past year, sectarian violence down 70% throughout the country since June, decimation of al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and Iraq’s Shia Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki finally confronting the Shia militias in Basra trained, funded, and armed by Iran, which had been waiting to explode into mayhem since the recent precipitous withdrawal of British coalition troops.

The bloodshed in Basra is a preview of greater atrocities to come should U.S. forces stage a premature withdrawal as advocated by the Democrats.  Petraeus cautioned against such a move saying that the victories are “fragile and reversible” and AQI would rush in to fill the void of a hasty withdrawal should the Democrats prevail.

General Petraeus reported the heartening news of the Anbar Awakening movement which started in the terror capitals of Fallujah and Ramadi and is now spreading throughout the country. A year ago these cities were the most violent places in Iraq. But today the overwhelming majority of residents and Sunni sheikhs renounced their allegiance to AQI and have “now aligned themselves with the Marines and the American-backed city government” realizing that “America is the lesser of evils,” writes Middle East reporter, Michael Totten in City Journal.   

The insurgency arose in Fallujah in 2004 after a violent mob mutilated four Blackwater security contractors. U.S. troops launched an assault but quickly retreated, fearing Iraqis would perceive America as oppressive occupiers and violence would spread. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his band of foreign terrorists, al Qaeda in Iraq triumphantly marched in and were welcomed as liberators from the American “occupiers”. But instead of liberating, they seized power in order to establish the Islamic State of Iraq, and imposed Taliban-style rule more oppressive than anything Fallujans had ever encountered. Three years later, Fallujans had had enough and allied themselves with the hated Americans and eventually every tribal sheikh in Anbar came over to the American side. The Anbar Awakening coincided with the troop surge and General Petraeus’s strategy shift to aggressive counterinsurgency operations. Marines are now embedded in Fallujah’s communities, living, eating, studying and patrolling together with the Fallujan security forces. AQI is on the run, normalcy has been restored to Fallujah, violence is virtually nonexistent, and this successful model is being duplicated throughout much of Iraq.

It is apparent that the war is being won in Iraq by our brave men and women soldiers in the United States Military. But the war on the home front that has divided our nation, sabotaged the war effort and undermined our Commander in Chief and America’s moral, rages on and on. These are the great battles to be fought here on the home front by American patriots who dare to challenge the conventional wisdom that the war in Iraq has been lost. This is our challenge to the Democratic Party – the Party of Defeat.


Phil Orenstein is a manufacturing systems manager at Orics Industries Inc. based in Queens, NY, and formerly an adjunct lecturer of Computer Aided Manufacturing at Queensborough Community College and Farmingdale State University.


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