Dick Cheney Was Right: Defeatists owe VP an apology
By: Daniel Clark
Just over a year ago, Vice President Cheney told CNN’s Larry King, “I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.” The media reacted to this not only as if they thought he was incorrect, but as if they found something distasteful about the suggestion that America was succeeding. Greg Mitchell of Editor & Publisher magazine went so far as to compare Cheney to Baghdad Bob, Saddam’s Minister of Information, who whimsically declared victory as coalition tanks closed in on the Iraqi capital.
Mitchell listed a couple dozen of the minister’s most absurd quotes, and instructed his readers to see “if you can imagine them coming out of the mouth of our vice president speaking to the press today.” In reality, it’s Mitchell and his fellow defeatists whose pronouncements are reminiscent of the Baghdad Bob. If only you reverse the pronouns in some of the quotes, so that they read, “We are a superpower of villains,” or “Yesterday they slaughtered us, and they will continue to slaughter us,” they could easily be mistaken for excerpts from a New York Times editorial.
Unfortunately for Cheney’s detractors, our terrorist enemies are not following the script. According to a document found in Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s safe house, al-Qaeda in Iraq acknowledges that “time is now beginning to be of service to the American forces and harmful to the resistance.” It goes on to worry that the coalition has succeeded in arresting large numbers of terrorists, restricting the terrorists’ financial transactions, and securing international recognition for the new Iraqi government.
The news media responded by casting doubt on the memo’s authenticity. However, that unfounded suspicion denies the fact that the document’s content echoes previous terrorist communications. In early 2004, an intercepted letter purportedly written by Zarqawi to Osama bin Laden bemoaned “the paucity of supporters, the desertion of friends, and the toughness of the times.”
Last summer, about a month after Cheney’s “last throes” remark, Ayman al-Zawahiri wrote to Zarqawi, lecturing that his attacks against civilians were alienating the majority of the Muslim people. Zawahiri also asked Zarqawi to send money, because “many of the lines have been cut off,” and warned him to be careful when scheduling meetings, due to the threat of infiltration by the U.S. and its allies.
In the months before Zarqawi was killed, he desperately lashed out at Iraqi Sunnis for their participation in the new government, knowing that they were foiling his plan to destroy that government by fomenting sectarian war. He made it clear, as he had on previous occasions, that the establishment of a representative republic in Iraq meant defeat for those he euphemistically called “the resistance.”
These bleak assessments predated the bombing of Zarqawi’s safe house, and the subsequent series of raids which netted hundreds. Yet American defeatists continue to insist that our enemies cannot be defeated, because they have an inexhaustible supply of manpower. Even the death of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq has been treated by the press as little more than a momentary inconvenience.
Considering the morale problems our enemies have expressed, what Dick Cheney said was exactly the message we should expect from our vice president. Victory is ours. Resistance is futile.
By contrast, it is neither realistic nor responsible for the Greg Mitchells of the world to contradict Cheney, by suggesting that victory is impossible, and that any expectation of it is foolish. If there’s anything that’s boosted the morale of “the resistance,” it’s the stream of defeatist rhetoric coming from the domestic enemies of the Bush administration.
When Cheney sees a headless chicken running around the barnyard spilling blood, he assumes it will soon fall over and expire. To his detractors, however, the chicken’s sudden burst of energy is proof that it didn’t really need a head at all. In fact, it has only become more violent since being beheaded. It must have lured us into a trap, daring us to chop off its head, which is what it had secretly wanted all along. Now look what we’ve done, the defeatists say. We’ve perturbed the invincible chicken! Everybody run for the hills!
Even with Zarqawi dead, Saddam on trial, and the legitimate Iraqi government assuming control, the Baghdad Bobs of the American Left remain eager to declare the American war effort a failure. There’s nothing that Cheney could possibly say to match those people’s absurdity, unless he said he actually expected them to give him the apology they owe him.
Daniel Clark is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.
Daniel Clark is a writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the author and editor of a web publication called The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press, where he also publishes a seasonal sports digest as The College Football Czar.