Anti-war arguments reek of contradiction and hypocrisy

The flailing of local and national Democrats on the foreign policy front is reminiscent of those halcyon days of the 1970s, when Jimmy Carter ran United States foreign policy into nearly every shoal imaginable, succeeding only at brokering peace between Egypt and Israel.

Thankfully, unlike the Carter Administration, these Democrats do not run American foreign policy as it faces the first major threats of the post-Cold War world. And unlike Carter and his crowd, Democrat foreign policy pronouncements lack even the coherence albeit acute naivete of the foreign policy vision guiding the thirty-ninth President.

The tune of the pro-appeasement, Blame America First crowd is ponderous, since it hasn’t changed much. But trying to make sense of their nonsense is a frustrating proposition.

Witness Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Sunday’s ABC talking head show, “This Week.” The new House Minority Leader treated us to her unique insight, which amounts to the proposition that the United States should not go to war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq because President George W. Bush and his administration have not proven that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction. According to Pelosi, making war on Iraq poses too much of a danger that, if we take action, Iraq will use weapons of mass destruction on our troops.

Huh? No, you didn’t misread the above paraphrase of Pelosi’s comments. But if it seems that she espouses two mutually contradictory propositions, then you get the point.

And what of Democrat talk that “the case hasn’t been made,” or that “the administration has not proven its case”?

Can this position truly be taken seriously? After all, it was just five years ago shortly after l’affaire Lewinsky commanded national attention that the Clintonistas were launching cruise missiles against Iraq, citing its continuing efforts to develop and manufacture weapons of mass destruction. Is there any “case” that would satisfy them?

The dirty little secret of those national Democrats most vocally opposed to the impending war against Saddam Hussein and his Iraq is that there is no “case” that will satisfy them, short of the explosion of a nuclear weapon or the release of poison gas or a biological agent in the middle of the Capitol Building. And even then, some of those most virulently opposed to all things American would argue against retaliatory action.

But specious and sometimes self-contradictory argument is nothing new for Democrat foreign policy “experts,” partisanly opposed to the Bush Administration’s foreign policy.

Of course, as usual, there’s the “chicken hawk” argument, suggesting that, because the President and some of his top foreign policy advisors didn’t serve in the military, they lack the moral authority to lead American troops into battle. And where, oh where were these commentators during the Great Prevaricator’s interregnum, when it was a draft-dodger running American foreign policy? Conspicuous silence defined the far Left’s response when the Clinton Administration was sending more troops into ill-advised “peace-keeping” missions than any administration in recent history.

Then there are those still trying to make hay out of George W. Bush’s relative inexperience in foreign affairs prior to his ascendancy to the Presidency. Never mind that he was wise enough to assemble a group of first-rate advisors to compensate for that inexperience. And never, ever remind critics that the Great Prevaricator’s international experience was, in 1992, “limiting to having breakfast at the International House of Pancakes,” in the words of George Bush the Elder.

And then there’s the “bring back the draft” argument, raised by Representative Charlie Rangel, D-NY. Possessed of perhaps the most recognizable voices in Congress, gravel-voiced Rangel complains that our military is not sufficiently representative of American society, because the economically privileged are largely absent from it.

But before we bring back the draft to satisfy the diversity police, let us also recall that Rangel has no problem with and indeed celebrates an unrepresentative income tax code. Like virtually every Democrat, Rangel is perfectly satisfied that the poor are severely under represented among those who pay federal income taxes, and in fact, wants the economically privileged to bear the greatest burdens. For Rangel and those of his ilk, there is no problem at all that the top 10 percent of income earners bear 50 percent or more of the federal income tax burden. Thus, while former Navy Secretary John Lehman shares some of Rangel’s concerns about the “uniform” state of the U.S. armed forces with regard to social, political and economic diversity, he rejects Rangel’s proposed solution.

And finally, there are the anti-war protesters, out in force in Washington over the weekend before Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. Many in the media attempted to portray the group as mainstream Americans, but just as Americans should pay heed to the European admonition that “the Green tree has Red roots,” so too should we recognize that these protesters were anti-Americans led by dyed-in-the-wool Marxists. Thus, as documented by Byron York in the National Review, the protest was put together by a group called International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), a group closely allied with the Workers World Party, a small Marxist-Leninist organization. WWP has a long history as an apologist for Communist repression; today, it supports the regimes in Iraq and North Korea.

To be sure, there were few marginally “mainstream” individuals involved, but it is difficult to conclude that they are anything other than what Lenin called the “useful idiots,” people heedless of the nature of those with whom they were allying themselves and for who they serve as apologists. As York observes, what seems to unite them is not so much their love of peace or of America, but their hatred for George W. Bush.

While many loathed Clinton and everything about him, there was always a strong intellectual basis for opposition to his policy, not merely hatred of the man. But such is the stuff of which today’s opposition to the Bush Administration and American foreign policy is made. Don’t expect consistency. And don’t ever demand logic and reason.

An attorney, Young lives with his wife and their two sons in Montclair.

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