Victor Davis Hanson and Max Boot have articles which neatly dovetail today and explain why the smarter members of the Democratic party aren't joining their party's call for what I call the premature evacuation strategy.
Boot notes the experts say we are winning in Iraq:
WHEN IT COMES to the future of Iraq, there is a deep disconnect between those who have firsthand knowledge of the situation — Iraqis and U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq — and those whose impressions are shaped by doomsday press coverage and the imperatives of domestic politics.
A large majority of the American public is convinced that the liberation of Iraq was a mistake, while a smaller but growing number thinks that we are losing and that we need to pull out soon. Those sentiments are echoed by finger—in—the—wind politicians, including many — such as John Kerry, Harry Reid, John Edwards, John Murtha and Bill Clinton — who supported the invasion.
American soldiers are also much more optimistic than American civilians. The Pew Research Center and the Council on Foreign Relations just released a survey of American elites that found that 64% of military officers are confident that we will succeed in establishing a stable democracy in Iraq. The comparable figures for journalists and academics are 33% and 27%, respectively. Even more impressive than the Pew poll is the evidence of how our service members are voting with their feet. Although both the Army and the Marine Corps are having trouble attracting fresh recruits — no surprise, given the state of public opinion regarding Iraq — reenlistment rates continue to exceed expectations. Veterans are expressing their confidence in the war effort by signing up to continue fighting.
Hanson observes the Democrats consistently ambivalent stance on Iraq and concludes:
[I]f we forget the banality of New York Times columnists, the admonitions of NPR experts, and the daily rants of a Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, or Al Gore, more sober and street—smart Democrats are in fact not so sure of these answers.
So these wiser ones wait and hedge their wagers. They give full rein to the usefully idiotic and irresponsible in their midst, but make no move yet to undo what thousands of brave American soldiers have accomplished in Iraq.
What exactly is that? Despite acrimony at home, the politics of two national elections and a third on the horizon, and the slander of war crimes and incompetence, those on the battlefield of Iraq have almost pulled off the unthinkable — the restructuring of the politics of the Middle East in less than three years.
And for now that is still a strong hand to bet against.
I think they're both right.
Clarice Feldman 11 23 05