The champion of shameless chutzpah has always been the guy who murders his parents then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he’s an orphan. But White House spokesman Jay Carney might be the new champ, given his response to the House vote not to authorize President Obama’s un-war in Libya: “We think now is not the time to send the kind of mixed message that it sends when we are working with our allies to achieve the goals that we believe are widely shared in Congress.”
A Democrat like Carney has to be brimming with chutzpah to talk about sending a “mixed message” to our allies and enemies. What did his party do for eight years but undercut with “mixed messages” President Bush’s foreign policy? Bush was “working with our allies” in Iraq and Afghanistan to pursue the presumably “widely shared goals” of making us secure by destroying jihadist bases, taking out dysfunctional regimes that facilitated terrorism, and replacing them with democratic governments. And unlike Obama and his Libyan adventure, he obtained Congressional approval for both wars. But once the tin-pot Jacobin Howard Dean gained political traction by exploiting a left-wing-organized anti-war movement, major Democratic politicians felt no compunction in undercutting our efforts, knowing full well that we are fighting an enemy who knows it can not win on the battlefield, but only by destroying our morale––precisely the strategy that those “mixed messages” aided and abetted.
In 2007, for example, then-Senator Barack Obama bitterly opposed the “surge” of troops to Iraq that succeeded in turning that conflict around. Chanelling the antique “Vietnam syndrome,” Obama called the surge a “mistake” and a “reckless escalation,” and introduced legislation to remove all U.S. combat forces by the end of March 2008. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent Bush a letter calling the surge “a serious mistake.” Democrats in both houses of Congress introduced non-binding resolutions rejecting the surge. Harry Reid notoriously announced in April 2007 that “this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything.” Joe Biden agreed a few months later: “We need to stop the surge and start to get our troops out.” After violence in Iraq declined as a result of the surge and General Petraeus’ counter-insurgency strategy, Senator Dick Durbin accuse the General and the President of manipulating statistics, and Senator Hillary Clinton said that the General’s report to Congress required “a willing suspension of disbelief.”
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