View Full Version : When good news is bad news

06-21-05, 05:55 AM
The Washington Times
When good news is bad news
By Wesley Pruden
Published June 21, 2005

Here we go again. Maybe.
Some of the naysayers among us -- the hirsute dregs and burnt-out leftovers from the '60s and those who wish they were -- yearn for one more round of "Vietnam." There's a cult of wannabes among us who imagine that paradise will be one endless antiwar rally "for sex, drugs and revolution."
Others rally around the suicide craters of the war in Iraq as the focus of their hatred of George W. Bush. They don't necessarily have anything against the goal of making America safe from Islamist jihad, but they hate George W. more than they love their country. They endlessly pursue the loveless political orgasm. Dick Durbin, the goofy gnome of Illinois, comes to mind.
Still others only want attention, eager for the warmth of the spotlight and willing to settle for the shadow of others just to make the scene. Chuck Hagel, who wants to be John McCain when he grows up, comes to mind.
Chuck tells U.S. News & World Report magazine that he's confident that we're losing the war to make America safe from jihad, that things aren't getting better in Iraq, they're only getting worse. "The White House is completely disconnected from reality," he says. "It's like they're just making it up as they go along." Only Chuck is real.
Gallup says 6 in 10 Americans polled think it's time to start bringing the troops home, which is no surprise because Americans, to the everlasting credit to the home of the brave, don't like war. Abraham Lincoln learned that, and but for the gimmick of the Emancipation Proclamation (which was not really intended to free the slaves, and didn't), his war might have gone sour. Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson endured similar headaches. But large numbers of Americans also tell pollsters that they're not of a mind to cut and run, either. So go figure.
The Democrats and their acolytes in the media, a few old enough to remember and the others merely dreaming dreamy dreams, salivate at the prospect of monster antiwar parades down Pennsylvania Avenue, 1969 all over again. They're eager to crown Teddy, Chuck and Dick and their like-minded colleagues the heroes of the summer soldiers. They're terrified that the war in Iraq might actually end in success. Anyone who was in Vietnam knows this is bunk.
Douglas Wood, 64, an Australian engineer who was held by Islamist thugs in Iraq for seven weeks, does know what he's talking about. When the misbegotten legion of Allah held guns to his head he said, in a video message for George W.'s eyes, that the Americans ought to get out and leave Iraq to the tender mercies of the insurgents. Free at last, yesterday he told the world what he really thinks.
"Frankly, I'd like to apologize to both President Bush and Prime Minister [John] Howard [of Australia] for the things I said under duress. I actually believe that I am proof positive that the current policy of training the Iraqi army works, because it was the Iraqis who got me out."
A radio interviewer asked Don Rumsfeld the other day whether Chuck, Ted, Dick and the panicky old women of Washington are right, that all is lost. "On the political portion of it, that's obviously not the business of this department," he said, "but I can comment on it ... the election was held January 30. It took a number of weeks to put a government together. Not a number of years, but ... a group of people, with no experience in democracy at all, took a number of weeks ... a few months, to put together a government. ... This is amazing. This is historic. This is a gigantic step forward. This ought not to be dismissed or trivialized. This is a big deal. Can I guarantee anything in life? No, I can't. No one can. It's their country."
Our grandfathers, pressed down by the news of disasters from North Africa to the Philippines and all across the South Pacific in the winter of '42, would have cheered news like this as sent from heaven. But this is not your grandfather's country. What a bunch of spoiled brats we've become. We don't deserve the men and women we've sent to destroy the jihad.

Wesley Pruden is editor in chief of The Times.