Dover Bitch

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A central front except when it isn't

For years, the Republicans have been telling us that Iraq is a "central front" in the Global War on Terror. Just last month we heard it from the President.

There's an interesting debate in the Democrat Party about how quick to pull out of Iraq. Pulling out of Iraq before we accomplish the mission will make the world a more dangerous place. It's bad policy. I know it may sound good politically; it'll endanger our country to pull out of Iraq before we accomplish the mission.

See, Iraq is a part of the global war on terror. It's not the global war on terror, it's a theater in the global war on terror. --George Bush, June 14, 2006

The Republicans in Congress completely agree and even made it law when they passed their sham of a hip-hip-hooray resolution in lieu of an actual plan for Iraq.

Whereas the United States and its Coalition partners will continue to support Iraq as part of the Global War on Terror

Now we hear from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki:

I know that some of you here question whether Iraq is part of the war on terror. Let me be very clear -- this is a battle between true Islam, for which a person's liberty and rights constitute essential cornerstones, and terrorism, which wraps itself in a fake Islamic cloak; in reality, wages a war on Islam and Muslims and values -- (applause) -- and spreads hatred between humanity.

Contrary to what's come in our Koran, which says we have created of you -- of male and female and made you tribes and families that you know each other, surely noblist of you in the sight of God is the best conduct. The truth is that terrorism has no religion. Our faith say that who kills an innocent as it has killed all mankind. Thousands of lives were tragically lost in September 11th, where -- when these impostors of Islam reared their ugly head. Thousands more continue to die in Iraq today at the hands of the same terrorists who show complete disregard for human life.

Your loss on that day was the loss of all mankind, and our loss today is loss for all free people. (Applause.)

And wherever human kind suffers a loss at the hands of terrorists, it is a loss of all humanity. It is your duty and our duty to defeat this terror. Iraq is the front line is this struggle, and history will prove that the sacrifices of Iraqis for freedom will not be in vain. Iraqis are your allies in the war on terror. (Applause.)

But don't tell that to "Republican Strategist" Ed Rogers. Suddenly, everything that's happening in the Middle East is now a "side show" and the Democrats are trying to make Maliki a part of it, despite the fact that he's been critical of Israel.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: What do you make of the fact, Ed, that it took a half-dozen Democratic Senators and Congresspeople to squeeze this guy's arm -- to pull it back behind his back practically -- to get him to stop saying things against Israel and to promise, at least, to his foreign ministry that he will say something against Hezbollah soon?

ROGERS: I think it was petty. I think it was in poor form. I think it was against American interests for them to drag Maliki into this. He doesn't have a dog in the Israel-Hezbollah fight...


MATTHEWS: Is the prime minister that we installed as head of Iraq through the process we undertook, is he pro- or anti-Israeli as far as you know?

ROGERS: As far as I know, it is irrelevant for his task at hand. His day job is to bring peace and security and Democracy to Iraq. We shouldn't make him part of the side show that is taking place right now in Lebanon... in Southern Lebanon. It's unfair. It's unfair to him.


MIKE BARNICLE: First of all, the Israeli conflict is not a side show.

ROGERS: It is for the Prime Minister of Iraq. Sure it is.

BARNICLE: Second... Well, then why did he inject himself into it?

ROGERS: Maybe he made a mistake.


ROGERS: He was here to say thank you. Thank you to America. Let's give him that


BARNICLE: Ed, Ed, could you please take a breath, Ed?

ROGERS: I'm breathing.

BARNICLE: Before he got here to say thank you, he injected himself into this "side show" as you call it...


The worst part of that exchange was the way Rogers said "So? So?" with his head shaking at the camera like the wife in that horrible Century 21 commercial. Close second was when Rogers suggested Maliki didn't answer a reporter's question about Hezbollah because "he's not an English-speaker." Never stopped Bush.

But whatever you think about the current Israel-Hezbollah conflict, if you accept that Iraq is part of the GWOT then you cannot choose to detach it from parts you don't like.

Especially if you are going to praise Maliki for having the courage to come to the United States, which is hated for its support for Israel. If Israel's actions and U.S. support is putting him at risk, then Democrats have nothing to do with his relationship to that conflict.

The bottom line is that the big plan Rogers and the GOP supported -- to bring peace to the Middle East by invading Iraq -- is failing and watching them verbally construct and then deconstruct the region to further their rhetoric is migrane-inducing.

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