- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 24, 2005

As an American and former intelligence analyst, I can’t remember when I’ve been angrier as I watch those who should know better toss good people into the shark-tank that is Washington, D.C. The leaders of the Democratic Party have decided promoting the party is more important than supporting President Bush’s efforts to win the war against global terrorism. Not only are they prepared to see us defeated, but they lack the wit or care to ponder the consequences.

Nothing shows this skewed thinking more clearly than the Joe Wilson affair. A shameless self-promoter, Mr. Wilson has used his notoriety to enrich and ingratiate himself with the left. Like most on the left, he believes using American military power in the post-World War II era is generally suspect. (By their actions and votes, the Iraqi and Afghan people have shown they disagree.) He has tried to elicit sympathy from the uninformed by holding sacrosanct his wife’s so-called covert status when he has a history of being cavalier about it.

In reality, the Wilson affair makes it seem there was a “fifth column” in the CIA intent on sabotaging White House policy and conduct of the war. How else can one explain a CIA employee being able to suggest her husband, an unqualified, antiwar diplomat, go on a sensitive mission to Niger, with no confidentiality safeguards, no written report required, and no action by the CIA when, in a New York Times article, he contradicted what he is said to have told the CIA privately after his return?

The Democratic Party leaders were stunned by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s indictments of Lewis “Scooter” Libby, because he maintained the indictments said noting about the validity of the war in Iraq and didn’t also indict Karl Rove.

They had hoped to use those indictments to criminalize the administration’s prosecution of the war in all its phases and thereby paint George W. Bush as a liar and a traitor. They had hoped to duplicate the situation of President Nixon, who, weakened by Watergate, couldn’t carry out our commitments to the South Vietnamese.

The antiwar argument boils down to whether Saddam Hussein should have been allowed to stay in power and could have been contained as the Soviet Union was until it was brought down. The Iraqi people know the answer to both questions is no, and they’re risking their lives to work for a better future than Saddam would have offered them.

The jihadists we face are religious fascists. They are a cancer on the global body politic; they will prevail if not cut out.

Even some of the war’s supporters are seduced by the idea of taking half-measures, such as restricting how prisoners are interrogated, so we can regain the moral high ground. History, however, shows only the victorious can choose to be merciful.

The Democratic Party’s leaders seem, at best, oblivious to these facts or, at worst, willing to make a deal with the current devil if it puts them closer to regaining power.

In the past, the American people had the guts to punish those people and politicians unwilling to protect the country’s vital national interests. Today it’s the Democrats who, craven before the onslaught of tyranny, don’t merit the people’s support.

The Democrats who make common cause with Mr. Wilson deny recent history just as he does. The principled and nonimperialistic use of U.S. power went a long way to securing victory in World War II and the Cold War. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan lay a large part of their claim to greatness on achieving those victories.

Now a third president is asking the American people to help him destroy another menace to human liberty and prosperity, Islamic religious fascism. In this task he is beginning to succeed.

Mr. Bush’s enemies fear his success, because they know that, if his reading of the war on terror turns out correct, the electorate, at best, could exile them to political limbo for a generation or two, just as they did after the Civil War.

They seek to undermine his leadership by trumpeting the length of the war (2 years) and the number of our dead (more than 2,000) as if those statistics had ultimate significance. They conveniently forget it took us four years and 400,000 dead to win World War II and more than 40 years and maybe 150,000 dead to defeat the Soviet Union.

Few deny that victory in World War II and the Cold War, despite their costs, was crucial to halting the spread of tyranny and perhaps even securing human survival. Likewise, the great endeavor in which we’re now engaged, the war on terror centered in Iraq, must not and cannot end in a stalemate. If we fail, a new dark age will block people’s dreams and achievement of a better future. If we succeed, our future will be worthwhile.

So, who speaks for us? Whose voice will we heed? The embittered pretenders to power at any price, or the determined achiever of victory?



Mr. Goldcamp is a diplomatic historian and former intelligence analyst. Nancy Goldcamp, his wife, is a former analyst and editor.

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