Is Lady Liberty Weeping?

Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President whose birthday we celebrate in February, set forth this dictum during the Civil War to save the nation: 

"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged."*
Years later America became engaged in another unpopular war in Vietnam.  General Bui Tin, who served on the general staff of North Vietnam's army, had this to  say: 
"America lost because of its democracy:  through dissent and protest it lost the ability to mobilize a will to win." 
America is now involved in yet another fractious war where dissent is defined as a positive force and a necessary component of democracy.  Shamefully the House, after a 4-day marathon debate, passed a non-binding, anti-surge resolution that runs counter to the way forward in Iraq.  The vote was 240 - 182.  Troubling is that 17 House Republicans chose to vote the way of the Democrats. Although non-binding, the resolution will undermine the war effort.  And the enemy is listening and being encouraged.  May the upcoming Senate debate not mirror that of the House.   

But will the Democratic House majority stop after passing their anti-surge resolution?  I don't think so.  John Murtha (D-PA) is already talking about introducing legislation that would place limits on troop deployment and funding.   Even more pressing is this question:   Should Congress be involved in battlefield decisions (micro-managing the war)?  If attempted, might this country be moved toward the brink of a constitutional crisis which America can ill afford in these dangerous times?

What Lincoln proposed during the Civil War would not be condoned today.  But it is appropriate to ask:  Have our cherished freedoms of press and speech been used responsibly in Iraq War?   Furthermore:  Might victory in war ever again be possible as long as rampant and virulent dissent continues to dominate news coverage and irresponsible rhetoric continue to flow unchecked from politicians?

Our enemy (militant, radical Islamic groups) hate us because we are infidels--non-Muslims.  Their goal is to destroy the global head of the non-believer and through jihad achieve world domination.   As such America is fighting to preserve its culture and way of life.    It is a global war that must be won; Iraq is center stage.  Lady Liberty must be weeping with past patriots and freedom-loving Americans whose love of country did not include the option of defeat.

Nancy J. Thorner   
Lake Bluff, IL

* This quotation has been disputed. Thanks to an alert reasder for directing us to
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