Wednesday, November 16

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS ON WARNER AMENDMENT

I remain following a good night's sleep thoroughly outraged over the conduct of Senate republicans yesterday and convinced as ever that they, first and foremost, undermined the president and the Bush administration in its conduct of the war in Iraq (and at a time the Commander-In-Chief wasn't even in Washington D.C., but overseas) and, secondly, gave encouragement to terrorists that America's Congressmen are thinking less about "winning" and more about "withdrawing" these days. Senator John Warner (R-VA) can stand on the floor of the Senate chamber and tell Americans that his amendment shouldn't be construed as a rebuke of the president, but, tell me: why did he feel compelled to defend his sponsorship of this misguided resolution in that manner?

The Democrats, of course, waxing as the Party of Amnesia, have fanned the despicable meme that President Bush lied to the American people in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq and purposefully distorted intelligence to suit his determination to go after Saddam Hussein and gain approval from the Congress for his administration's military action in the Middle East. As preposterous as that characterization is and as ludicrous as many Democratic Party leaders appear in recanting their earlier public support of the war and unequivocal belief that WMDs existed, worse is watching the majority party -- the party of the president -- parrot the Party of Amnesia and fold their cards leaving George W. Bush high and dry and isolated, and most certainly the terrorists in Iraq and throughout the Middle East invigorated. Indeed, it appears that the anti-war effort, originally symbolized by the muddle-headed, Soros-funded Cindy Sheehan, has now found its newest incarnation in of all places the United States Senate and not on the streets of America.

In this disposable age, in a nation that has an attention span born of sound bytes, video clips, and 30-second commercial spots, the notion of seeing through a difficult campaign against a ruthless enemy in a non-traditional war without rules and benchmarks has no more legs in the United States Senate than Hollywood's effete elite have in honoring wedding vows. They're like a pack of southern California gardeners practicing the mow-blow-and-go art of doing a job badly and as quickly as possible and moving on to the next yard.

The Warner amendment -- a Senate resolution grounded in taking the president to the woodshed over the conduct of the war in Iraq -- is a low water mark for the Republican Party. The party that showcased Democrat-turned-Republican Zell Miller at its 2004 Republican National Convention, showcased its pusillanimous disloyalty to George W. Bush and the American Armed Forces yesterday when 41 Republican Senators tucked tail and joined the Party of Amnesia in reducing to writing its impatience with the war in Iraq and the manner in which the Commander-In-Chief is conducting it.

It's fitting, I think, to look back to President Bush's September 20, 2001, speech before a Joint Session of Congress, and in the context of the U.S. Senate's betrayal of him.

Excerpts follow:

Tonight, we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.

I thank the Congress for its leadership at such an important time.

All of America was touched on the evening of the tragedy to see Republicans and Democrats joined together on the steps of this Capitol singing "God Bless America."

On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country. Americans have known wars, but for the past 136 years they have been wars on foreign soil, except for one Sunday in 1941. Americans have known the casualties of war, but not at the center of a great city on a peaceful morning.

Americans have known surprise attacks, but never before on thousands of civilians.

Americans are asking, "How will we fight and win this war?" We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy,every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence and every necessary weapon of war -- to the destruction and to the defeat of the global terror network.

Now this war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes visible on TV and covert operations secret even in success.

We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.

From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.

Even grief recedes with time and grace.

But our resolve must not pass.



FOLLOW-UP: Good, comprehensive post with links from Hugh Hewitt on GOP Senators' slap at President Bush yesterday.

FOLLOW-UP II: Captain Ed has had a change of heart after re-evaluating his initial position. He now has a problem with the GOP Senators who voted passage of the Warner amendment. I'm glad to see this. The president was blind-sided while he was overseas.

FOLLOW-UP III: Jonathan R. at GOPbloggers writes a good post and a first-rate headline on the scandalous action in the Senate yesterday.

FOLLOW-UP IV: Paul Mirengoff at Power Line thoughtfully takes the time to point to the good guys -- the Republican Senators who didn't fold their cards and go with the flow on the Warner Amendment.

FOLLOW-UP V (11/17/05): I agree with Betsy Newmark, who agrees with Senator McCain's opinion that passage of the Warner amendment was a setback for the war effort in Iraq. The observation of Betsy's I like most is this one: "An exhausted public is one of the main advantages that a weaker power has in fighting a war. Think of Vietnam. The terrorists in Iraq have learned the lesson well that a democracy will only fight as long as the will of the people is behind the fight. So, they must weaken that will. The Senators voting for this amendment have just given them a victory."

FOLLOW-UP VI (11/17/05): Leon H. at REDSTATE.ORG doesn't mince words, calling what the Gang of 41 did a "craven capitulation." I couldn't agree more with you, Leon.