Sunday, June 20, 2004


In Asleep at the Wheel? I lamented the administration's diffident response to the portrait being painted of it in the liberal media. David Horowitz, a former radical leftist at FrontPage has an excellent piece on this same theme. Some excerpts:

"As wars go, the conflict in Iraq was (and is) as good as it gets. A three week military campaign with minimal casualties, 25 million people liberated from one of the most sadistic tyrants of modern times, the establishment of a military and intelligence base in the heart of the terrorist world. What well-meaning person could oppose this? In fact there is none."

"The war has had enormous beneficial effects with minimal negative consequences. A terrible tyrant was taken down. The filling of mass graves with 300,000 corpses was stopped. Plastic shredders for human beings were deactivated. Prisons for four to twelve year olds were closed. A democratic constitution has been drafted. Two-thirds of al-Qaeda's leadership is gone. There hasn't been a terrorist attack in America in more than two and a half years, something no one would have predicted after 9/11. By any objective standard, the Bush war on terror is a triumph."

"The Times 'News Analysis' accompanying the [9/11 Commission report] draws this conclusion: 'In questioning the extent of any ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda, the commission weakened the already spotty scorecard on Mr. Bush's justifications for sending the military to topple Saddam Hussein.' Actually this Times reportage is several lies in one. First, the panel did not conclude that there was no al Qaeda-Iraq tie. It concluded that it could not find an al Qaeda-Iraq tie in respect to the attacks of 9/11. This is entirely different from the claim that there were no links between al-Qaeda and the Iraqi regime."

"These real world considerations are why the campaign waged by the Democratic Party and a Democratic press against the Bush war policy is based not on any analysis of the war itself, but on maliciously concocted claims about the prewar justification for military action. For purely political agendas, the Democrats hope to attempt to convict the Administration of 'misleading the American public' and wasting American lives through deception and fraud, and thus to defeat the President at the polls in November."

"This is the campaign of the Big Lie and its success depends on the very fact that it is a big lie. Its aim is to shift the very terms of the argument to a terrain favorable to the critics who have been refuted by the events themselves, a terrain entirely irrelevant to the reality of the war itself. To respond to this campaign would require of its targets candor and courage, because the only way to confront it is to impugn the integrity, honesty and goodwill of those who so maliciously prosecute it. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration does not seem up to this task of calling its critics to account. This is why it is on the defensive and in serious trouble in its political campaign."

"The critics of the Bush Administration have used their lies about the rationale for the war to call the President a liar, a fraud, a deceiver and a traitor. These are terms that apply to the critics themselves. But the Bush Administration has not had the gumption to use them (or their political equivalents). The Bush Administration had better rethink this reluctance if it intends on retaining power in November. American voters are not going to be able to sort out these lies for themselves in the absence of a strong case by the Bush team."

"What we are confronting in this spectacle is an unprecedented event in American political life. In the midst of a good war and a noble enterprise, a major American party is engaged in an effort to stab its own country in the back for short term political gain, and is willing to do to so by the most underhanded and unscrupulous means."

It's hard to improve on this. Horowitz has nailed the problem raised in Asleep at the Wheel? Fortunately, there have been signs this weekend that the administration is rousing itself from its slumbers. Time will tell whether this is just a stirring or whether the White House really is going to get serious. Maybe the strategy is to play a kind of political rope-a-dope until the convention and then start swinging furiously. I don't know, but if it weren't for the fact that John Kerry is no Bill Clinton images of 1992 would be filling the mind with foreboding.