- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Democrats announced a new national security policy five years after 9/11. What took them so long? Were they waiting for the recommendations from the French? It’s unclear but they propose to: (1) Get rid of Al Qaeda; (2) Finish the job in Afghanistan; (3) Increase intelligence; (4) Secure our seaports; (5) Eliminate dependence on foreign oil; and (6) Withdraw from Iraq US forces and “redeploy” them somewhere else.

What is wrong with this picture? Everything. They want to get rid of Al Qaeda but won’t let us intercept their communications to find out where they are. They cheered when the Patriot Act was nearly killed, but now want us to believe they really, really, want to use its provisions to catch the terrorists.

They want to finish the job in Afghanistan, but 62 House Democratic members have just endorsed cutting $62 billion a year from the U.S. defense budget which, of course, would make “finishing the job” impossible. They want better intelligence, yet supported the Clinton-era dismantling of some 40 overseas intelligence networks. Four times the previous administration had a chance to capture Osama Bin Laden but each time they didn’t pull the trigger.

They want to send our troops to “finish the job in Afghanistan”, but have proposed crippling the missile defense systems that would protect our soldiers overseas and our Americans here at home. In fact, in the first defense budget of the Clinton administration, even theater missile defense programs-which they now say they support — were cut some 40 percent from the levels proposed by the outgoing Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney.

They want to protect our seaports, but one of their key allies — unions — have fought tooth and nail against the port security measures now being implemented by the Bush administration. They want to protect our seaports, but during the previous administration they turned operations at some of our key ports over to the communist government in China.

The recent national-security track record of the Democratic Party is simply not credible. Eight years after the terror attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993, their chief counterterrorism adviser, Richard Clarke, told the House of Representatives that having a “comprehensive plan” to combat terrorism was a “silly idea.” Similarly, in the same June 2000 briefing he noted the administration “would think about” developing a homeland security strategy.

In 2001-2, they held the majority in the US Senate but the President’s energy policy proposals languished. They want to use less foreign-produced oil but refuse to allow Americans to produce more oil in the United States. They want a more secure supply of energy but won’t agree to curtail the very government regulations that prevent the efficient construction of new refineries or atomic power plants.

During the Clinton administration, Republicans repeatedly warned of missile threats from Iran and North Korea. They also warned of nuclear programs in Libya, Iran, North Korea and the role of China in proliferating such weapons and missiles. All these concerns were repeatedly rebuffed by the administration and its Democratic boosters in Congress. One high-level State Department official actually blamed these concerns on certain “Jews” who were “always stirring up trouble.” From1993-2000 they sent American soldiers overseas over 40 times, but failed to request the necessary funding to support the fine men and women they sent off to combat.

But it is on Iraq where their proposals fall on their face. Uncertain as to their real policy they call for some ill-defined “redeployment,” which is nothing more than a fancy term for surrender. Their leaders, including Minority leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, along with Rep. John Murtha, have all called for “immediate” withdrawal from Iraq to places such as Okinawa. If our soldiers in Iraq are the problem — which they claim — how is sending them back after they have been withdrawn in the first place going to help anything?

Despite the distorted coverage by the drive-by media, the liberation of Iraq is making sound progress. Over 40 percent of all operations are being conducted by Iraqi units. They are standing up and taking charge as the coalition reduces its role. A government is in the making. “Redeployment” is simply withdrawal which on an artificial timetable amounts to surrender.

The Democratic Party had eight years between 1993-2001 to support the fight against the terror masters and secure our future. They failed then. Since September 11 they have continued to fail the test. Why would we give them chance to fail again?

Peter Huessy is president of GeoStrategic Analysis.

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