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As the worm turns

I share Tony Blankley’s frustration with pandering politicians for whom the ballot box is paramount (“The Senate: chamber of shame,” Op-Ed, Wednesday).

That politics and Bush-bashing (some on target) should trump national security is, as he indicates, both a disgrace and a menace. Politicians thirsting for the prerogatives of national office are rendered deaf to the cries of the slaughtered innocents in Iraq and blind to the dangers of precipitous defeat. But, in the interests of fairness, let’s apportion the blame for our dismay where it truly belongs.

The loyal opposition — now courting certain battlefield and public relations defeat by ill-advised withdrawal, distracted by the clarion call of an executive branch victory in November 2008 — has had a relatively easy time of it.

The skids toward defeat have been greased by remarkably bad decision-making by the Bush administration following the striking military victory at the beginning of the war. The mismanagement of the effort has achieved mythic status, visiting some of the mistakes of Vietnam which were never learned on top of such novel ideas as the disbanding of local forces because, after all, we will be greeted as saviors rather than oil-obsessed conquerors.

And what could have fueled the American penchant for instant gratification more than the egregious “mission accomplished” celebration aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, a disaster that the president and his handlers will never live down.

There is only one domestic party to this evolving calamity that will emerge blameless when the dust settles — our intrepid military from which much has been asked and much received.

PAUL BLOUSTEIN

Cincinnati

After reading Tony Blankley’s column “The Senate: chamber of shame,” I have a few comments.

In closing his column (which discusses all of the hand-wringing about Iraq currently going on in the Senate), Mr. Blankley states: “But the worm will surely turn. And senators who today proudly call for retreat will then be hiding their faces in shame. And deservedly so. And the public will remember.” I would suggest that the politicians to whom he is referring will no more be hiding their faces in shame than President Clinton is about any of the garbage that went on during the eight years of his administration.

Especially and most importantly about the fact that he was the person most responsible for leading terrorists to believe that they could get away with killing Americans with impunity because the United States was too cowardly to do anything in response — other than talk and protest, of course.

In my opinion, the greatest enemy the American forces in Iraq have to face and fear is not the terrorists in Iraq, but the “national will” of Congress. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was right on target when he called the Democrats “girly men.” (Too bad he lost his nerve and became one of them himself.)

I have no doubt that if Congress had adopted the positive, can-do attitude of Sen. Joe Lieberman, Iraq would be a different place than it is today, and we would be well on our way to winning the global war on terror.

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