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David Horowitz - Columnist

David Horowitz is a noted author, commentator and columnist. His is the founder of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture and his opinions can be found at Front Page Magazine. [go to Horowitz index]


Stab in the Back
Liberals clamoring to roll back the war on terror...
[David Horowitz]

The fact that the President is now on the defensive over the war in Iraq is both puzzling and ominous. The Democratic attack on the credibility of the Commander-in-Chief has gone on relentlessly for more than ten months, ever since the liberation of Baghdad in April of last year. This ferocious attack would be understandable if the war had gone badly or been unjust; if Saddam Hussein had unleashed chemical weapons on the coalition armies, or had ignited an environmental disaster, or if the war had resulted in tens of thousands of coalition casualties, or become an endless quagmire, or instigated a wave of terror across the Muslim world – as its opponents predicted before it began.

But it did not. This was a good war and relatively costless as modern conflicts go. Its result was the liberation of 25 million Iraqis from a monster regime. Its cost was a third of the economic losses resulting from the 9/11 attack. Its relatively painless victory was a tremendous setback for the forces of chaos. The war destroyed a principal base of regional aggression and terror. It induced a terrorist and nuclear power, Libya, to give up its weapons of mass destruction. It induced Iran to allow inspections of its nuclear sites; it caused North Korea to consider negotiation and restraint. It induced Pakistan to give up its nuclear secrets dealer. It made the terrorist regime in Syria more reasonable and pliant. It sent a message across a dangerous world that defiance of UN resolutions and international law, when backed by the word of the United States, can mean certain destruction for outlaw regimes. In all these ways, whatever else one may say about it, George Bush’s war has struck a mighty blow for global peace.

The Democrats’ attack on the President’s war, then, is an effort – whether Democrats intend it so or not – to reverse these gains. If the President is defeated in the coming election on the issue of war and peace, as Democrats intend, his defeat will send exactly the reverse message to the world of nations. It will tell them that a new American government is prepared to go back to the delusions of pre-9/11, that it will end the war on terror and return to treating terrorists as criminals instead of enemy soldiers. Candidate John Kerry has said this in so many words. It will tell them that the United States will no longer hold governments responsible for the actions of terrorists who operate from their soil, as did Ansar al-Islam, Abu Nidal, and Abu Abbas from their bases in Iraq. Or for supporting terror, as Saddam Hussein did when he financed suicide bombers in Israel. It will send a signal that tyrants like Saddam Hussein who defy UN ultimatums are likely to be appeased – the way they were under the Clinton Administration which had the vision to stop Saddam and the Taliban but not the will to stop them with force. It will announce to the world that the American government is now reluctant to risk even a few American lives to defend international law or stand up for the freedom of those who are oppressed like the people of Iraq.

The Democrats’ personal attack on the President over the war is not only imprudent; it is also unprecedented. Never in our history has a commander-in-chief been attacked on a partisan basis for a war that went well, let alone so well. Never in human history has a leader been attacked on a partisan basis for liberating a people or inducing tyrants to give up their weapons of mass destruction. The Democrats’ attack on the President is an unprecedented partisan campaign over national security in a time of war. It is a campaign that apparently knows no limits, adopting tactics that are as unscrupulous as they are reckless. The commander-in-chief has been called a “deceiver,” a “deserter,” a “breaker of promises,” a “fraud” who “concocted” the war for personal material gain, a leader who risked innocent American lives for a “lie.” And all these accusations are made while the war continues! All these charges are made while terrorists plot to kill thousands of Americans with biological and chemical and possibly nuclear weapons! The Democrats’ campaign is a stab in the back not only of the President but of the nation he serves and which he is sworn to protect.

No one knows what the future will bring. But no one can fail to have noticed that while the commander-in-chief has carried on an aggressive war against terror in Afghanistan and Iraq, there have been no terrorist attacks on American soil. For two-and- a-half years while the commander-in-chief has waged this war that the Democrats have chosen to attack, the American people have been safe.

If the American people were now to elect a candidate who has conducted his campaign as an attack on the very war the President has fought to defend us, no one can doubt that our enemies will be encouraged and our lives will be in greater danger than before. Perhaps there have been elections with higher stakes than the one we are facing this year. But this observer can’t remember one.

This opinion piece first appeared at




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