When it comes to the war in Iraq, some on the left have invested themselves in our defeat. Politically speaking, there are those who simply can’t afford for us to be successful fighting against the turmoil created by terrorists.
There are also those who simply have their heads in the sand with regard to the realities of what we face in the world. We fight Al Qaeda every day in Iraq. Yet these same politicians from the left feel the fight against them is either not taking place or is not necessary in Iraq.
At a recent hearing of the Congressional Armed Services Committee, those two views from the left, which normally run parallel to each other, both headed in the direction of a U.S. defeat at the hands of the terrorists, crossed paths, and became too much for one Congresswoman to fathom or deal with.
Democratic Representative Nancy Boyda of Kansas had to remove herself from the hearing, frustrated and angry with the positive news being delivered about the progress being made in Iraq.
Invested in our defeat, while at the same time having to face the realities of who it is we’re up against in Iraq and the success we’re achieving against them was just too much for her to handle. So she left. She walked out of the hearing.
Retired Army General John Keane, serving as an adviser in Iraq, had been testifying to the Congressional Committee about the positive developments in Iraq. He went on to tell them that, “your actions here in the Congress appear to be in direct conflict with the realities on the ground where the trends are up and progress is being made."
That didn’t sit well with Democrats like Boyda.
But how could it? If you’ve staked your political career on our defeat in Iraq, if you’ve been arguing that it’s not worth fighting Al Qaeda there, and have put yourself into a position where progress can’t be acknowledged, the last few months wouldn’t be sitting well, at all.
Because as this column has chronicled, from journalists and Generals alike, the trends out of Iraq are positive, and the fight against Al Qaeda by Coalition forces and the Iraqi people has achieved remarkable success.
This last weekend, Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institution, a left-leaning think tank, penned a column in the New York Times detailing the progress they’d seen on a recent trip to Iraq.
They have not been fans of the war but they stated, “As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw.” They went on to note that the critics of the war “seem unaware of the significant changes taking place” in Iraq.
They detailed an increase in the morale of our troops, gains in “political and economic arrangements at the local level,” and “civilian fatality rates down roughly a third.” They visited neighborhoods coming back to life and noted increasing civility between different sects. In some areas they witnessed Coalition troop levels being reduced because Iraqi’s have taken the ball and ran with it. There were improvements in Iraq’s security forces which are increasingly religiously integrated. They chronicled how the population has risen up against Al Qaeda and Muqtada al Sadr’s Army. (By the way, he recently fled to Iran in the wake of the uprising by the people against his group). They also noted the success of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams for rebuilding local economies and political structures, as well as the progress toward decentralizing power to the provinces and local governments. Sure there is still a ways to go, but for two previous non-believers, the trends are there for “A War We Just Might Win.”
But if you subscribe to the Nancy Pelosi school of cut and run, then, as her spokesman stated in a Washington Times story after the hearings, you can’t be “willing to concede there are positive things to point to” in Iraq.
That says it all. They can’t be “willing to concede there are positive things to point to” in Iraq, because it would mean they’re wrong and have been. They can’t be willing because it would be in direct conflict with their political ambitions.
They can’t be willing because it would be so disruptive to their unrealistic view of the world it might cause their heads to explode. Or at least cause them to leave a hearing where a picture of reality was being painted in direct conflict with both their world view and political ambitions.
When reality collides with their politically distorted, defeatist attitude, it becomes too hard for some to handle, too much for them to fathom.
So they run from the room, as Nancy Boyda did, providing a perfect representation of liberal views and their best solution for Iraq, terrorism in the rest of the world, or for any other fight not involving a domestic social issue: when it becomes too hard to deal with, deny reality, disengage from the problem, separate yourself from (maybe even try to silence) those they disagree with, and just leave. Cut and run.