- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 26, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

COMMENTARY:

Isn’t it enormously ironic that Sen. Barack Obama now finds himself the unintended beneficiary of the Iraq surge he so vocally — and wrongly — opposed?

It seems that Mr. Obama’s untimely calls for a withdrawal timetable have lingered long enough to have some merit in the eyes of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Mr. al-Maliki told Der Spiegel, a German magazine, that U.S. troops should withdraw from Iraq “as soon as possible, as far as we are concerned. U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right time frame for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes.”

Assuming Mr. al-Maliki said it, and there has been some dispute, it doesn’t make Mr. Obama right — even now. But it’s hard to imagine Mr. al-Maliki would be saying anything helpful to Mr. Obama’s campaign today if the United States had followed Mr. Obama’s disgraceful surrender policy instead of implementing the surge in 2007 — over his strenuous objections.

Obama Democrats have been adamantly opposed to our intervention in Iraq from the beginning, including when they voted for it for political expediency and then later claimed they were duped into it.

Even purple-stained Iraqi fingers, symbolizing the advent of democracy in Iraq, didn’t stir an ounce of empathy, much less sympathy from these capital-D Democrats, who persisted, undeterred, in their demands for retreat, regardless of the consequences.

It seems in this life, anyway, there never will be accountability for those Democrats who opposed this operation every step of the way (following their initial fraudulent support) and continue to do so, no matter the state of the “facts on the ground.”

Their mentality is always the same, and we see it rearing its head again on Iran, which by all accounts is dangerously close to producing a nuclear weapon. They believe it’s always better to negotiate and that the enemy with whom we are to negotiate must always be given the benefit of the doubt - especially against the sinister United States.

Iran, they believe, has legitimate grievances, just like the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists, who might not have attacked us if we had addressed those concerns. So we must always begin with a presumption of the enemy’s good will, then sweet-talk, then cave — anything to avoid violence and at any cost.

Think I’m exaggerating? Then explain Mr. Obama’s statements shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, reported in the Hyde Park Herald Sept. 19, 2001: “We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness. The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine or connect with the humanity and suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy… most often… grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.”

If Mr. Obama’s own words aren’t enough to convince you of his reckless appeasement mentality, let’s look at the position of one of his senior advisers, Richard Danzig. According to the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph, Mr. Danzig told the Center for a New American Security, “Winnie the Pooh seems to me to be a fundamental text on national security.”

Mr. Danzig believes we can draw lessons from the story to help us re-frame our foreign policy toward the Arab world. “Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump on the back of his head behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming down stairs. But sometimes he thinks there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping a minute and think about it.” Mr. Danzig’s other favorite source on terrorism is “Among the Thugs,” a book about soccer violence in Britain.

At the same time, while the United States has reached out in sacred diplomacy to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the dictator has thumbed his nose at us, defiantly refusing to discontinue his uranium enrichment program. I suppose we need more empathy for him, too.

We watched Mr. Obama strut around Iraq with his signature arrogance and bereft of the shame he has earned for his insistence we withdraw in defeat there, pretending that history’s repudiation of his surrender policy is a vindication of his prescience and wisdom. And they tell us President George W. Bush will never admit his mistakes!

How strangely paradoxical it would be if Mr. Obama were to sail into the presidency on the strength of his own failures. Crazier things have happened.

David Limbaugh is a nationally syndicated columnist, lawyer and author. His book “Bankrupt: The Intellectual and Moral Bankruptcy of Today’s Democratic Party” was released recently in paperback.

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