Cheat-Seeking Missles

Thursday, October 19, 2006

How The Dems Will Defeat Jihadism

There's a curious juxtaposition of two articles on Real Clear Politics this morning that shows just how high the stakes are in this election.

The first, by Will Marshall has an odd title: Democrats can win on National Security. Marshall, president of the Progressive (read Socialist) Policy Institute, lays out six points to "prove" his theory. Curiously, none of the points deals with the most important question: What do we do in Iraq? Marshall only says we need more troops. Why? Obviously, so the Dems can look pro-military but also:
Democrats should step forward with a plan to repair the damage, by adding more troops, replenishing depleted stocks of equipment, and reorganizing the force around the new missions of unconventional warfare, counterinsurgency, and civil reconstruction.
Unconventional warfare and civil reconstruction don't require more troops, but counterinsurgency does. Is Marshall arguing to stay the course in Iraq and even up it by throwing more troops at the Iraqi/al Qaeda/Iranian insurgents? He seems to imply it, but his next point says the opposite and shows that Marshall's holding the cut and run card:
The president says his political goal is to trigger a democratic revolution in the Middle East, but military force is rarely the right tool for that job. Of course, the United States must use force vigorously to stop terrorists who are plotting to kill its citizens. But America can't kill an ideology with guns alone; indeed, the overuse of force risks driving fence sitters in the Muslim world into the jihadist camp.
I happen to agree with much of what Marshall proposes here -- supporting Muslim voices of moderation (all 6 of them), negotiating with the "obnoxious regimes" in Syria and Iran, and putting pressure on Saudi Arabia. But I don't agree with Marshall that we should "stop talking about 'the war on terror.'" Minimizing the threat never leads to solutions.

Marshall also calls for an end to surveillance and productive interrogation because moral authority counts. I'd say we have moral authority already, but in the progressive world of moral relativism, they're confusing beheadings with waterboarding, and suicide bombing with cripplingly conservative rules of engagement.

In other words, Democrats can win on security by having a muddled military policy and once again hobbling the intelligence community, as Clinton had done so masterfully before. If that doesn't make you feel nationally secure, consider the other article: Voting for Impeachment by John Nichols in The Nation.

Nichols can barely contain his glee that in a handful of communities around the country -- San Francisco and Berkely among them -- voters will vote on impeachment referenda in November. They're all just meaningless emotional venting of course, but Marshall is hoping this "impeachment from below" will "raise the volume" of calls for impeachment.

So, where are the Dems? They say they can be trusted on national security, but we shouldn't call this war we're fighting a war, and we shouldn't be provided effective tools to fight it -- tools like a focused military, good intelligence, and the full attention of the president.

Between these two articles, we see their ideal in all the glory of the emporer's new clothes : Abandon Iraq, try to appease and negotiate the jihadists out of existence, and attack Bush instead of bin Laden. Brilliant.

Image: California Conservative
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