December 31, 2007
Do Democrats Really Want Us to Fail in Iraq?By Adam G. Mersereau
Any time our government takes us to war, there is bound to be strong disagreement, but Iraq has been particularly divisive. At times it seems as if some Americans -- certain liberal Democrats in particular -- are eager to declare or even hasten our defeat.
Our missteps in Iraq have been numerous enough to discourage any patriot. Yet leading Democrats are beyond the point of discouragement. They are pessimistic; even hopeless. They have been this way for a long time.
At the first sign of difficulty, they deemed the war a mistake and victory impossible. They quickly adopted the language of defeat and surrender. Some declared the surge a failure before it began and General Petraus a liar before he uttered a public word about its effects. Others are quick to believe reports of alleged atrocities by our own troops, as if seeking an American disgrace. Now, leading Democrats seem to believe that recovery from past mistakes is impossible, and that any hint of success can be only illusory.
Why do so many Democrats cling so tenaciously to hopelessness, failure and despair in Iraq, even in the face of important recent successes?
The reason for this defeatism among Democrats lies beneath mere power politics, electioneering or disdain for President Bush. The real source of defeatism is rooted deep within the liberal mind.
Defeatist Democrats oppose the war in Iraq, not so much because they fear failure, but because they believe failure is inevitable. They believe the Bush Administration's goal of helping Iraq establish a democratic government is a fool's errand. They believe that the Western values on which democratic government is based -- and the Judeo-Christian truths from which those Western values are derived -- are not valid for Iraqis.
The Democratic Party is the home of modern liberalism, and modern liberals are deconstructionists. As this appellation suggests, deconstructionists are engaged in an effort to philosophically disassemble traditional Judeo-Christian truths. To the modern liberal, the very idea that traditional Judeo-Christian truths might be true for all men is oppressive, limiting, judgmental, discriminatory and outdated. The deconstructionists will not rest so long as anyone in our society believes that traditional Judeo-Christian truths might actually be universals. They desire a post-modern (and post Judeo-Christian) America, in which almost all traditional values and morality are reduced to the status of mere personal preferences, rendering it nonsensical to extend them beyond one's self or one's own community.
Yet Western civilization is founded on the idea that many Judeo-Christian truths -- and the Western values that spring from them -- are true for all men and women. This idea is especially important in the United States, a nation founded on a distilled set of Judeo-Christian beliefs and values that were declared to be true for all men.
Those beliefs and values are well known to most Americans: That God created all men, meaning that any legitimate government must recognize the fundamental equality of all men before Him; that the affairs of men are guided by the hand of Providence, meaning that government is not the final authority in the lives of its citizens; that the natural corruption of the human heart behooves us place checks and balances on governmental power; that it is best for all people, even rulers, to be subject to the rule of law; that government should protect all religions, leaving a man's conscience free to seek God as he thinks best, rather than constraining the religious urge by tyrannical decree or by force; that the maintenance of justice requires the freedom of the people to assemble and speak freely, even against those in power.
Most importantly, however, America's Founders believed that these Judeo-Christian truths were not true only for themselves but for all people. This meant that, for the first time in the history of the world, a nation would be built in which citizenship was determined primarily by allegiance to a set of declared truths. In other words, because these truths were held true for everyone, American citizenship would be available to anyone. (Even though the application of those truths is sometimes defective, such as in the case of early American slavery, the truths themselves have consistently proven larger than the flawed men who penned them.)
Because traditional Western values are so closely aligned with Judeo-Christian truths, the deconstructionists find it necessary to deconstruct traditional Western values as well. This helps explain the Left's love affair with socialism and communism. The Soviet Union, for example, was unashamedly founded on principles quite opposite those of Western civilization, and particularly those on which America was founded. So long as the Soviet Union appeared strong and robust, it seemed to provide a constant reminder that Western values were not true for everyone, and that mankind could indeed find another way to organize a just and productive civilization.
Those were the glory days for the deconstructionists. They reveled in the apparent success of the Soviet Union, and made it their mission to ignore Soviet communism'a obvious flaws (while disparaging America). For as long as the Soviet Union appeared powerful and healthy, their case against the universality of Western values seemed credible.
Elevating non-Western civilizations to impede the ascendance of Western values led directly to the "multiculturalism" movement. Going beyond the mere study of other cultures, multicularalism seeks to indoctrinate people with the notion that (almost) all cultural values are equally valid. This helps deconstructionists promulgate their claims against Western civilization. After all, if the non-Western world is thriving without Western values, those Western values cannot possibly be true for all people.
To elevate other cultures, the multiculturalists inevitably must strain to find beauty in many cultures that are not so beautiful; some in which children were sacrificed, in which violence is a way of life, in which discrimination is systematic, in which women are treated as property, and in which totalitarianism, ignorance and occultism have resulted in great human suffering. The more lovely they can make other cultures appear, the smaller and less significant appear traditional Western values. This is the multiculturalist agenda.
The deconstructionists not only downplay the failures of other civilizations, they grossly exaggerate the failures of our own.
Proud of your Judeo-Christian heritage? The deconstructionist sees only religious oppression and bigotry in our past.
Inspired by the great sacrifices made by Americans to eradicate slavery on our shores? The deconstructionist will argue that no amount of white men's blood can compensate for the injustice of slavery, upon which, they claim, our illegitimate nation was built.
Grateful for the advancements in the human condition spurred by free enterprise? The deconstructionist insists that free enterprise is singularly responsible for global poverty and the destruction of the planet.
What does all of this have to do with Iraq? Everything.
If traditional Western values of governance ultimately provide the basis for a strong, peaceful and free Iraq, then the world will see that much of what was true for 18th century white European Judeo-Christian colonials is also true for 21st century Muslim Iraqis. The universality of Western values -- and of the Judeo Christian truths that form the foundations of those values -- will gain profound credibility. Deconstructionism and its current political host, the Democratic Party, will both suffer enormously. For deconstructionists bent on discrediting Western values, victory in Iraq is the worst possible outcome.
The most ardent deconstructionists do not believe victory is even possible. Because deconstructionists believe Western values are a sham, they believe President Bush's strategy cannot possibly prevail. How, after all, can we expect Western principles of governance to help heal Iraq if the very foundations of Western governance are flawed?
So they feel duty-bound to say or do whatever is necessary to truncate the violence by accelerating our inevitable failure. In their hearts, they believe they are acting out of humanity, to stop the pointless suffering of a futile struggle. They must bring low all successes, and they must amplify all failures. If enough Americans would only reach the conclusion that Iraq is beyond hope, they will call more vigorously for withdrawal.
Western values would be left bleeding in the streets of Baghdad, and the deconstructionists would win an important victory.
So things are worse than they seem. While our soldiers are fighting on the battlefield, the leadership of the Democratic Party is deconstructing the Western values for which they fight.
Listen closely to Osama bin Laden's recorded monologues, and you will detect at least some subtle similarities to the diatribes of the Democratic Congressional leadership. This is not a coincidence, for the core beliefs that Judeo-Christian truths and Western values are passé, and that Western civilization is therefore a sham, are to some degree shared by both camps. This leads to Democratic anti-war rhetoric that strikes many average Americans as unpatriotic.
But in fairness, the Democrats are not unpatriotic. They love America. They simply define America differently than most Americans. Their America is a very small place. They do not believe that America's greatness is found in the truth of its founding principles, but in their own enlightened leadership, and in a deconstructed brand of "freedom" that more and more resembles license.
They do not believe our founding truths are necessarily true at all. No wonder they want to cut and run.
Adam G. Mersereau left the United States Marine Corps as a Captain in 1995. He is now an attorney in Atlanta, Georgia.