In the email reprinted below, Reader Daniel Mayes cuts to the heart of President Obama’s refusal to credit President Bush for the Iraq surge. But it is the well-justified outrage Mr. Mayes expresses in the remainder of his email that really caught our attention:
President Obama is unwilling to grant any credit to President Bush because opposition to the war was the wave he rode to office, and, in fact, the wave the left rode to its current governing majorities. The financial collapse greased the skids, but President Bush’s approval rating had collapsed long before, during times of low unemployment, solid growth, and low inflation. Support for Bush collapsed mainly because of the growing unhappiness about the war. Giving him credit now would put the lie to the whole left/liberal/democratic antiwar campaign.
As an aside, I will never forget or forgive the way the left behaved during this episode. For those who voted against the war (the majority of Democratic representatives and a minority of Democratic senators), I can at least credit them with consistency. But for those whose opposition came only after public opinion had shifted, I have nothing but contempt.
The antiwar wave did not arise spontaneously, but was the conscious effort of the left, including the Democrats, and for most, was opportunistic. They sacrificed the national interest in order to gain political advantage. Nothing is easier than building opposition to a war. Wars are appalling, whether necessary or morally justifiable. They create death and mayhem, last longer than most people anticipate, and are usually plagued by unanticipated difficulties and setbacks.
The left/liberal/Democrats took full advantage of all of these inherent difficulties in prosecuting a war. They cynically, opportunistically, and dishonestly carried out a campaign to undermine support for the war, attacking President Bush’s honesty and motives in pursuing the war, and vilifying anyone, in fact, who continued to support the war.
The full page ad taken out by MoveOn.org during General Petraeus’ appearance before Congress captures the spirit of this campaign perfectly. It is a miracle that President Bush, General Petraeus, and the US military perservered in the face of this vicious campaign of vilification and brought us to the point at which we now find ourselves. How can the left behave this way? Well, it helps to remember that many Democrats are internationalists anyway, and don’t really care much about US national interests. For a “citizen of the world,” patriotism is an anachronism, something we need to overcome.