Now Who's Politicizing the War?

I am getting more incredulous by the day. What started out as a long-shot Democratic strategy to damage President Bush’s credibility as commander-in-chief (CIC) through preposterous allegations has now ripened into faux legitimacy. This destructive nonsense has got to stop.

Remember when Senator John Kerry and his Democratic colleagues hammered President Bush for allegedly politicizing the War on Terror? Those charges were entirely bogus; it is the Democrats who have been doing the politicizing.

They accused Mr. Bush of exploiting the War on Terror when he made a jet landing onto an aircraft carrier to congratulate the troops on their initial victory in Iraq. President Bush’s mere donning of the uniform sent Democrats into convulsions. But they were positively mortified over his audacity in prematurely celebrating when we were still incurring casualties at the hands of terrorists in Iraq. Toppling Saddam and his murderous regime was apparently insufficient cause to rejoice.

When that silly Democratic anxiety largely fell on deaf ears, they tried another angle to prove Bush was politicizing the war. They seized on a report that Team Bush intended to make the president’s performance as CIC an issue in the presidential campaign. They went ballistic.

How dare the president make his performance about the most important issue in his presidency an issue in the campaign! Don’t you know it’s dirty campaigning for Republicans to invoke their candidate’s successful record or their opponents’ shameful one? The Republicans’ sheer impropriety in informing voters on the very issues they will be voting on was stunning.

Notably, though both these Democratic charges concerning the president politicizing the war were unfounded, even if they had been true, they wouldn’t have been detrimental to our war effort. Yet all the while, these very same Democrats, with Kerry leading the charge, have been politicizing the war, and in a way that has and continues to undermine our cause.

Their latest foray has been their exploitation of the 9-11 “bipartisan” investigative commission. The ostensible purpose of these hearings is to determine if there were any preventable breakdowns in our intelligence or any other factors that could have enabled us, in retrospect, to avert the 9-11 attacks.

The Democrats, instead of treating the hearings as an opportunity for fact-finding and remedial action, if necessary, have turned them into a partisan witch-hunt. Talk about politicizing! Until recently no one would have even whispered the unthinkable slander that President Bush ignored detectable signs and let 9-11 happen, either intentionally or through gross negligence.

But let’s be honest. That’s the whole point of Richard Clarke’s book and current testimony. It’s a Hail Mary effort to destroy the president by encouraging the American people to believe that Mr. Bush was indifferent or worse to terrorism prior to 9-11 and incompetent or worse in dealing with it afterward. You see, because our intelligence services and military can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, Bush was wrong to divert their attention from al Qaeda to Iraq — even after we’d destroyed the Taliban and the al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.

With the help of the hapless Mr. Clarke, John Kerry and his buddies at “60 Minutes” and the rest of the partisan media have tried to create a presumption that President Bush has acted recklessly and in furtherance of a personal agenda in the war on terror.

This presumption furnishes the basis for their demand that Bush apologize to the 9-11 victims’ families and that Condoleezza Rice ignore the separation of powers and testify under oath before the commission.

But folks, neither Ms. Rice nor President Bush have anything to prove. It is the Democrats who are desperate to divert attention from their dangerously myopic view toward evil generally and terrorism specifically.

Just as they insist that we accord enemy combatants due process as if terrorism were a law enforcement matter, they demand strict proof that Saddam was directly involved in the 9-11 planning. It’s not enough that he was a rogue enabler of terrorists throughout the world and continually violated U.N. resolutions.

The Democrats have presidential military leadership envy. They just can’t stand that President Bush has so masterfully taken the war to the terrorists. How they wish they could revise history to show they are tougher and wiser.

But, alas, we have them on the record every step of the way, and it’s just not going to fly. They must live by (their refusal to use) the sword (against terrorism) and die by it.