“By the time we reached the embassy, the gates were shuttered and armed Marines were standing guard above the concrete walls . . . Thousands of desperate Vietnamese, screaming and begging, were trying to climb the walls and get through the coils of barbed wire, only to be pushed back into the street by none-too-gentle rifle butts,” wrote Newsweek reporter Loren Jenkins of our countrmen's ignominious cut-and-run exit from Saigon when the city fell to the North Vietnamese in April of 1975. (Photo unattributed)
"Wolf, Wolf, I simply don't accept the premise of your question. I just think it's hogwash," Dick Cheney told Wolf Blitzer yesterday in a vintage Cheney interview that left CNNs top dog running for cover with his tail between his legs. Dazzled by the meretricious controversy-lite surrounding lesbian Cheney daughter Liz's pregnancy, MSM outlets widely reported the interview, citing the wrong soundbite. The real story was our Dick's observation that grandstanding congressional opposition to the President's course correction in Iraq -- popularly known as "the way forward" -- gives aid and comfort to you-know-who:
The pressure is from some quarters to get out of Iraq . . . If we were to do that, we would simply validate the terrorists' strategy that says the Americans will not stay to complete the task, that we don't have the stomach for the fight.
The Vice President recounted to a nervously blinking Blitzer the cause-and-effect dynamics of a cut-and run policy (video available here):
Remember with me what happened in Afghanistan. The United States was actively involved in Afghanistan in the 80s, supported the effort against the Soviets. The Mujahideen prevailed, everybody walked away, and in Afghanistan within relatively short order the Taliban came to power, they created a safe haven for al Queda, training camps were established where some 20,000 terrorists trained in the late 90s. And out of Afghanistan, because we walked away and ignored it, we had the attack on the USS Cole, the attack on the embassies in East Africa and 9/11 . . . That is what happens when we walk away from a situation like that in the Middle East.
As we wrote in the comments to Jules Crittendon's rousing review of the President's SOTU at Pajamas Media yesterday:
Did you notice the irony of the words "it would not be like us to leave our promises unkept, our friends abandoned, and our own security at risk"? It would not be like GW, but it is all too reminiscent of recent administrations.
Our friend Neo of neo-neocon -- a member of PJMs therapeutic Sanity Squad -- picked up on the irony in her own excellent analysis of the President's speech:
Unfortunately, one of the reasons we are facing the situation we're in today is that, in recent decades, too often it has been exactly "like us" to do just that. Vietnam, for example. The aftermath of the first Gulf War. And now the constant drumbeat in Congress about Iraq. Our enemies are neither blind, deaf, nor dumb. That's why Saddam played footage of those helicopters on the Saigon roof before our recent invasion of Iraq. He knew that America lacked patience, and he wanted his people to know it. And he was correct.
In the same blogpost, Neo diagnoses the patient and worries about the prognosis:
I wonder whether the unrelentingly gloomy prognostications in the press, the short attention span of modern life, the lack of knowledge of history, and the frivolity reflected in the overheard comments with which I began this piece ["I'm not going to watch Bush tonight. It offends me to hear him. I'll just listen to Al Franken tomorrow and he'll tell me all I need to know."] don't make it impossible to sustain anything like the sort of mindset we are going to need for this battle.
"Of course the enemy would take comfort from any Senate declaration that Mr. Bush lacks domestic support," notes the Wall Street Journal in another must-read for those of us disgusted with the shenanigans of our so-called leaders who continue to fiddle while Rome burns:
If they were serious and had the courage of their convictions, they'd attempt to cut off funds for the Iraq effort. But that would mean they would have to take responsibility for what happens next. By passing "non-binding resolutions," they can assail Mr. Bush and put all of the burden of success or failure on his shoulders.
This is not to say that the resolution won't have harmful consequences, at home and abroad. At home, it further undermines public support for the Iraq effort. Virginia Republican John Warner even cites a lack of public support to justify his separate non-binding resolution of criticism for Mr. Bush's troop "surge." But public pessimism is in part a response to the rhetoric of failure from political leaders like Mr. Warner. The same Senators then wrap their own retreat in the defeatism they helped to promote.
A vicious circle of shortsighted sanctimony. We're still steaming from the stupidity of the CW that tells us there's something wrong with "staying the course." Thank God General Petraeus will be promoted to four stars and confirmed by the full Senate today. Just in time to keep her steady as she goes.