Monday, March 10, 2003

Dangerous Game
Many leading Democrats are playing a dangerous game with regards to their recent comments about the impending war with Iraq. As every day passes, more Democrats are adding their voices to the opposition, even though some of them voted in favor of the Congressional Resolution authorizing the use of force (yes, I'm talking about you, Tom Daschle). As noted in today's WSJ op-ed,
"We don't recall hearing last fall that Democratic support was contingent on the right of French first refusal. We've re-read the Joint Resolution on Iraq and nowhere can we find the words "France" or "Germany." Nowhere does it say that the President has to clear his decisions with Gerhard Schroeder or Vladimir Putin.

The Joint Resolution, which passed less than three weeks before the election, does refer to the U.N. Security Council. But it does so only in the context of "support for United States diplomatic efforts." The pertinent section declares support for "the efforts by the President" to "obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq

But now, to hear leading Democrats talk, the US cannot go to war absent the approval of France, Germany and Russia. At no time in US history has the United States conditioned its national security on the approval of others. And it seems especially unwise at this time given the countries who oppose military action lack any moral authority. Russia slaughters Chechneyan rebels; France hosts dictators like Robert Mugabe and her firms sell equipment to Iraq; Germany helped re-arm Saddam. Not to mention the UN's own impotence in the face of genocide in Rwanda, Bosnia, etc.

It is understandable for Democratic leaders to pander to their constituency and polls show most Democrats oppose a war with Iraq. But the time for judgment was last fall, not now as we lead up to war. True leadership means standing up for principle, something that very few Democrats now seem capable of (Joe Lieberman stands out as being one of the few). The WSJ closes with this--
"...what should be questioned is their judgment. So close to war, and often in stark contrast to their previous votes and positions, the leaders of the party of JFK and FDR now see fit to side with France and Russia against an American President. No wonder voters are reluctant to trust Democrats with the responsibility for ensuring American safety and liberty".


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