Saturday, January 27, 2007

Rally Point

Our troops in Iraq continue to fight brilliantly and honorably against horrible enemies who kill with glee. Congress sent them to Iraq by their votes in 2002, but now many have second thoughts--a luxury our troops do not have. The troops continue to defend us at the risk of their lives.

So with all the talk of how our leaders "of course support the troops," it is time for some real action. The talk of officially expressing disagreement with our war in Iraq has a price:

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said yesterday that Congress' push to oppose President Bush's troop increase in Iraq "emboldens the enemy" and undercuts the commanders in the field.

The House is probably lost. It will pass some type of defeatist resolution regarding Iraq. But the Senate could do something useful by denying this horrible statement the status of an official document.

If 41 Senators will put their theoretical "support for the troops" into real action by fillibustering this resolution, they will shield our troops from a big enemy propaganda coup.

And don't fool yourselves that this isn't exactly what it will be. You can say it is "nonbinding" but that is not how our enemies will see it. It will be trumpeted by jihadis as loudly as any video showing the deaths of Americans. Some will deny this intent and even pretend it is courageous to vote for the resolution, but they are wrong. Having voted for war it is cowardly to vote against the same war--and foolish considering we are winning this war.

Real political courage consists of standing astride the retreating columns of your panicked Senate and House colleagues as they head for the false safety of the rear area, and rallying them to hold by your calm and presence. We only need 41 Senators to stand between our troops and the resolution backers to protect our troops from this revolting statement.

Will 41 Senators rally their retreating colleagues? Even at the price of being condemned by our press corps? That would be real courage.

Am I naive to have hope that enough of our Senators will stand with our troops when it counts?