In just one short week the tide of anti-war rhetoric in both the mainstream media and among Democratic presidential candidates has done a 180 degree turnabout, with former doom and gloomers now saying a military victory just might be possible!
To what or whom do we owe this sudden turn of events?
First, let's give credit where it is due, to the troops who are taking the fight to the terrorists and doing it with obvious success. In that light we should also give a big chunk of credit to Gen. David Petraeus and his revised strategy dubbed The Surge. The troops actually have been whacking terrorists in massive numbers ever since the war began, but the Surge seems to give the media a chance to change direction without being overly obvious.
With an influx of troops working in conjunction with increasing numbers of Iraqi forces, and a clear and hold strategy now in place, our forces also are keeping the newly pacified neighborhoods free of returning bad guys.
But this has been ongoing for some time now, too. So why the sudden change of heart?
Two words. Political expediency.
Last week President George Bush gave a speech in Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. that was reminiscent of the speech he gave at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT in June. In both speeches the president outlined in great detail just who we are fighting, how, why, and the efforts the terrorists have been making to wreak havoc on our country since 9-11, so far unsuccessfully.
In Charleston the president tracked the movement of the late terrorist leader Abu Al Zarqawi from the Taliban forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan where he was wounded fighting against the US, to Iraq and the welcoming arms of Saddam Hussein where he was setting up a new terrorist network in conjunction with Al Qaeda. President Bush showed exactly how the Al Qaeda terrorists are and were established in both places well before we invaded Iraq.
As I have written here numerous times before, the terrorists shifted their base of operations from Afghanistan to Iraq after coalition forces beat the stuffing out of them in Afghanistan. Some commentators said the president was releasing newly declassified information to explain why they hadn't written this before.
Actually, all of this information was in author Stephen Hayes' book The Connection several years ago.
This information also was available to any news sources that chose to print or broadcast it rather than the WMD mantra that was so easy to repeat and so irrelevant to the real reasons we were in Iraq. The connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime was well known and openly discussed prior to 9-11 but then conveniently forgotten when it was seen as an opportunity to attack the Bush administration.
Right on the heels of the president's speech came Democratic Sen. Joe Biden's honest appraisal of the war during the last Democratic 'debate,' the one where questions were asked by a bunch of UTube contestants, some of whom were dressed in costumes reminiscent of the old Gong Show.
Biden, and only Biden, had the courage to state outright that regardless of which party wins next year's presidential election no one can, nor will, be able to drop what we are doing in Iraq and suddenly withdraw all our troops as the Democrats in Congress have been screaming for several years now.
Faced with irrefutable evidence that their main claim against invading Iraq was false - that there was no link between Saddam and Al Qaeda - and a realistic appraisal of what we are going to have to do in Iraq for the next two or three years, and how, the position taken by the Democrats and some turncoat Republicans in Congress folded like a house of cards.
The last place any candidate wants to be is on the losing side of a winning war. It is obvious that many candidates who only a week or so ago were claiming the war is lost and unwinnable now want us to forget that and see them only in their newly created aura of pro-troop patriotic zeal.
I should note that not every Democrat and turncoat Republican has jumped on the victory bandwagon - yet. Or maybe not every Democrat and turncoat Republican in Congress got the memo in time.
For instance, even as the New York Times was reporting successes in battle, Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold was saying on Fox News Sunday that he had access to secret information showing our side is getting its ass kicked something fierce. He couldn't reveal the source of this information, or course, and there is nothing other than his word to support it, but he said it and he is stuck with it.
When pressed hard by Chris Wallace, Feingold said he is willing to listen to Gen. Petraeus's report to Congress in September, but since he has numerous other, and presumably contradictory, sources of information, they will be the factors that have the most impact on his point of view. In other words, regardless of what is happening in the war in Iraq, Feingold and his buddies, like New York Sen. Chuckles Schumer, fully intend to give the General a fair trial, and then they'll hang him.
But the General has a hole card. The Gathering of Eagles, Move America Forward, Purple Heart association, and many other veterans organizations have again joined forces to sponsor a huge pro-troop rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 15, to coincide with the General's report to Congress.
The pro-terrorist, communist and anarchist group ANSWER also is staging a pro-terrorist rally the same week, complete with a scheduled 'die-in' on the Capitol steps to commemorate all the terrorists killed fighting against coalition troops or or who committed suicide while murdering thousands of civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, and numerous other countries around the world.
In March at the first Gathering of Eagles vigil to support the troops and protect our nation's Memorials from planned acts of vandalism by ANSWER participants, the the Eagles vastly outnumbered the pro-terrorist faction in a wildly successful peaceful event. That was without the support of the mainstream veterans organizations or so much as a word of pre-publicity by the mainstream media, and damn little mention afterward.
But a major statement was made by the Eagles, Move America Forward and the other pro-troop groups in March and they are working hard to have even more Americans attend the September 15 rally. Move America Forward will again host a caravan of pro-troop forces, the Fight For Victory Tour, from California to DC, and will be hosting a series of pro-troop rallies along the way.
This time, the gathering also should be able to expect support from the major veterans organizations including the 3 million member American Legion, which did a major article in its monthly magazine on the March gathering. Presumably, having been duly exposed for its pro-terrorist agenda by its lock-step non-coverage of the Eagles in March, the mainstream media just might do an occasional news brief.
Regardless, the Internet is again buzzing with information on the Sept. 15 gathering, and conservative talk radio hosts are gearing up to provide heavy coverage.
The goal is to again hold a peaceful pro-troop vigil in D.C., to show the country and the world that the pro-terrorist point of view is not the only point of view in this country.
Personally, considering that Gen. Petraeus is walking point position for the rest of us, I want him to be able to look over his shoulder and see not a squad, not a platoon, not a company, regiment or even division. I want Gen. Petraeus to look over his shoulder and see an entire army of patriotic pro-troop, anti-terrorist supporters, providing a visible and effective backup for his words and his winning strategy!
Who knows, maybe he'll even see a few presidential candidates supporting him too!
Tuesday, July 31, 2007