Frank Rich Declares Iraq ‘Box Office Poison!’
Last year, Osama bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, wrote to the head of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, telling him to "be ready starting now" for America to run from Iraq, reminding him how America cut and ran from Vietnam and the "aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam, and how they ran and left their agents."
Alas, Zarqawi never got to implement his Iraq takeover plan because the same troops that are allegedly losing the war right now killed him in June.
But al Qaeda in America isn’t ready to quit, yet!
New York Times theater critic Frank Rich made headlines on the Drudge Report last week by announcing: "We have lost in Iraq." Of course, Rich was saying we had lost in Iraq more than six months before we went into Iraq.
In August 2002, he wrote that Bush did not have the support of the American people for war in Iraq and without that he would "mimic another hubristic Texan president who took a backdoor route into pre-emptive warfare."
In April 2003, one month after we invaded, Rich said the looting of Iraqi museums by Iraqis showed "our worst instincts at the very dawn of our grandiose project to bring democratic values to the Middle East."
About six months into the war he wrote a column about Iraq titled: "Why Are We Back in Vietnam?" You can imagine how writing those words must have brought back memories of Frank Rich’s own valiant service in Vietnam.
In January 2004, less than a year after the invasion, he wrote: "The greater debate has been over the degree to which the follies of Vietnam are now being re-enacted in Iraq." Historians noted that this is the first time Rich ever panned something containing the word "follies."
A month later, he was again comparing Iraq to Vietnam, saying Bush had forced the comparison "by wearing the fly boy uniform of his own disputed guard duty" when he landed on the aircraft carrier. Did Frank Rich win three purple hearts in combat, or was it four? I always forget.
In May 2004, Rich accused Bush of throwing "underprepared and underprotected" American troops in harm’s way in Iraq. OK, I was kidding before. The closest Frank Rich has come to serving in the military was reviewing a revival of "The Caine Mutiny." Though he does know the words to "In the Navy" by heart.
Even after transitioning from musical reviewer to hard-bitten military analyst, Rich couldn’t resist tossing in a quick dance review. He gleefully described "pictures of Marines retreating from Fallujah and of that city’s citizens dancing in the streets to celebrate their victory over the American liberators."
This too, reminded Rich of Vietnam. Right now I’m trying to think of something that doesn’t remind liberals of Vietnam … hmmm … drawing a blank.
In September 2005, Rich wrote that the war in Iraq "resembles its Southeast Asian predecessor in its unpopularity, its fictional provocation and its unknown exit strategy" — interestingly, the exact same words he used years ago in his review of "Miss Saigon." He leeringly anticipated "a Tet offensive, Sunni-style" to tilt the election in Kerry’s direction.
In October 2004, Rich said Bush had "bungled the war in Iraq and, in doing so, may be losing the war against radical Islamic terrorism as well." He didn’t explain how killing tens of thousands of Islamic terrorists constituted "bungling" a war against them. Then again, what do I know about military analysis? I thought "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?" was atrocious.
In May of this year, he said that "the public has turned on the war in Iraq" — the very war that he said the public opposed long before we ever went in.
And in June he said the public knows "defeat when they see it, no matter how many new plans for victory are trotted out to obscure that reality" — though I might be confusing this statement with Rich’s comments on the Times’ plan to charge readers for his column.
Liberals are like people with stale breath talking into your face at a party. You try backing away from them or offering them gum, but then they just start whimpering. They’ve been using the exact same talking points about how we’re losing in Iraq since before we invaded.
It seems they’ve finally succeeded in exhausting Americans and, thereby, handing a victory to al Qaeda.
The weakest members of the herd are rapidly capitulating, trying to preserve a modicum of honor by prattling about how if their plans had been implemented, Iraq would be in tip-top shape and our troops would be home for Christmas.
Well, if my plans had been implemented, the anti-war crowd would be weeping about Iraqi civilian deaths so much they wouldn’t have time to pretend they gave a damn about the loss of American lives.
But the plans that were implemented have deposed a monster, put him on trial — which resulted in his conviction and death sentence — killed rape hobbyists Uday and Qusay, presided over three democratic elections, killed al-Zarqawi and scores of other al Qaeda leaders fighting Americans in Iraq, and kept the U.S. safe from Islamic terrorist attacks for five years now. The least I can do is not capitulate to the left’s endless nagging.