The Moose reflects on an unfortunate anniversary.
Today, is the third anniversary of one of the most despicable modern photo-ops - the President's fighter jock landing on the aircraft carrier. "Mission Accomplished" was the theme and it was a moment that haunts this Presidency.
Of course, the Mission had just begun - it was only the end of the beginning. And it was a time of monstrous errors - i.e. more troops should have been committed to restore order. But, the public relations gimmick left the impression that the war was over, the victory was achieved. Yet, thousands of brave Americans were still to pay the ultimate price and suffer from the scars of war. And the American public would grow weary and cynical about this war.
The Lincoln landing was one of the Bushies' most grievous errors. It was a victory lap for a triumph that had yet to be achieved. At the time, conservatives were awash in triumphalism for their heroic leader. Three years later, they languish the depths of demoralization.
Having said that, the Moose continues to believe that this is a just war and we cannot retreat. Too many Republicans were triumphant back then and today too many Democrats and some Republicans have abandoned all hope. While the President deserves much blame for the myriad of errors in this war, he rightly deserves credit for not abandoning the Iraqi democrats to the mercy of the Zarqawis and Baathists.
The mission continues. We must help the Iraqis gain a modicum of security so that their embryonic democracy can develop. And this long war does not end there.
We are now faced with another gathering storm. The Iranian martyrdom leadership is banking on the belief that the United States and the West are exhausted and our will is weakened. Yet, the geopolitical sanguine pseudo sophisticates suggest that is is a sign of seriousness not to take the Holocaust rantings of the Iranian ruler seriously.
Everyone knows that when Ahmadinejad threatens to wipe Israel off the map it is just a quaint Persian plea for respect and understanding. And when the Iranians suggest that they will share their nuclear knowledge with their brothers in Sudan - why worry? What is a little arms race in the Middle East anyway?
Please forgive us rubes who take the words from Teheran seriously. This is a state that is a proud sponsor of international terrorism with a track record to prove it. And its leaders who have embraced a suicide death cult might not act like normal rational players responding to carrot and stick international state craft.
Hillary said it well in January,
"But let's be clear about the threat we face now: A nuclear Iran is a danger to Israel, to its neighbors and beyond. The regime's pro-terrorist, anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric only underscores the urgency of the threat it poses. U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal. We cannot and should not — must not — permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. In order to prevent that from occurring, we must have more support vigorously and publicly expressed by China and Russia, and we must move as quickly as feasible for sanctions in the United Nations. And we cannot take any option off the table in sending a clear message to the current leadership of Iran — that they will not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons."
And John McCain made a similar point this weekend to the Europeans,
"There is only one thing worse than military action, and that is a nuclear-armed Iran."
Is America prepared for the challenge? On May 1, 2006 our nation is divided and our political leadership class is increasingly unserious. The mission against Jihadist extremism is not accomplished, but the Capital is awash in demagoguery about gas and the border.
History, however, will not rest. --