Morgan Liddick: Weak-kneed Congress chooses to speak, not act, on war |

Morgan Liddick: Weak-kneed Congress chooses to speak, not act, on war

Morgan Liddick

“… Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capabilities and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including al-Qaeda members …” – Senator Hillary Clinton, Oct. 10, 2002, approving U.S. action against Iraq.So yes, let’s discuss Iraq. But honestly, with an eye to the profound and dangerous implications of the political jockeying, name-calling and slap-dancing that currently passes for debate in Washington.

To begin, give up the tired canard that “Bush lied.” Faulty analysis is always a possibility when dealing with incomplete information, all the more so when, as the National Intelligence review of 2004 remarked concerning the intelligence products on Iraq during 2002, information is based almost entirely on “National Technical Means” without input from human sources. Douglas Feith notwithstanding, this is the most difficult sort of material to analyze. Significantly, “human source” intelligence was eviscerated during the Clinton Administration, which eliminated – among other things – the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Given Iran and North Korea, possibly not the smartest move – but that’s another story.Understand, too, the Washington Post has been deceiving you about the 2006 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. There is much difference between “the truth” and “the whole truth.” The smack-Bush-at-any-cost scribblers trumpet the NIE’s finding that Iraq is a useful recruiting tool for jihadists, but omit the statement that perceived jihadi success in Iraq would amplify and widen both recruiting and attacks. Nor do they mention the finding that jihadi failure in Iraq would deal a severe blow to future recruiting. That doesn’t fit the message. The chattering classes leave those things out, as well as the NIE’s judgments on the root causes of much of the jihadis’ discontent for a reason: They want to see President Bush embarrassed more than they fear their country’s defeat in an important, difficult and protracted conflict. The more horror, division and despair they can provoke, the closer they will be to their goal. Perforce, they must omit the positive.Consider what the well-compensated weasels infesting the Congress have created with their “Bipartisan Resolution” on Iraq. Note that this resolution fulfills no Democrat promise to end the war or bring the troops home. It is instead a coward’s tool: Congress doesn’t like what’s going on, but will do nothing to stop it. That’s someone else’s job.

Of course Congress could, if it wished, end the conflict in Iraq immediately by the expedient of defunding it. That is Constitutionally well within its power, so why hasn’t the Democrat majority taken that step? Because while they are invested in a strategy of surrender, they cannot be seen to be so. Instead, they raise false flags and argue for a “change of strategy.”What is this change? There are six points, mostly doublespeak. We must not escalate our presence; instead, we must establish an “expedited timeline” for handing over security to the Iraqis, thus giving our enemies a good estimate of how long they must wait to declare victory. We must begin doing things we are already doing, including reducing “regional interference in the internal affairs of Iraq,” except when that involves detaining or shooting Iranians – which causes Democrat congresspersons to squeal in fear. We have to bring Iraqi factions to the table for political compromises and involve the region in Iraq’s “national reconciliation”. Note the words “expedited timetable” above, and tell me how we are to do that. Harsh language? A firmly-worded communiqué? Wishes are poor bases for strategies; effective plans have to have some connection with reality. So to all who think that involving Iraq’s neighbors is the way to solve this problem, a question: Why should they want to speak with us, and what will they want in return? Iran has already announced its plans. Syria’s position is also easily guessed. So, are we craven enough to accept a nuclear-armed Iran and the restructuring of Lebanon as a part of Syria, as a price for peace? And what next?

Instead, why not embrace victory as a goal? If we define it as a stable, relatively democratic and secular state, victory is not yet beyond our grasp. Remember who, and what we are before calling that foolish. And consider the option.Let’s be clear: a timeline for withdrawal is surrender, and pleading with Iran to solve the problem of sectarian violence in Iraq – violence they are actively aiding and abetting – is defeat. Both will be seen as such in the Middle East, where rulers are neither foolish nor suicidal. Expect accommodation to regional hegemony by a theocratic and soon-to-be-nuclear-armed Iran to be swift, and fraught with danger for us, and for our children. And maybe theirs.By the way, two lawsuits and counting on Amendment 41. Good work, everyone.Summit County resident Morgan Liddick pens a Tuesday column. E-mail him at Also, comment on this column at

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