in the identification of the author at the end of the op ed. That is
progress. There must be widespread feelings of relief at the State
Department. For someone previously holding a very senior position in the
Near East bureau she shows an appalling ignorance of that region.
The most outrageous statement is "America faces an existential
threat." From terrorism? A tactic of the weak against the strong? She
has adopted Israeli propaganda, that any actions by "terrorists" (that
is, opponents of Israeli actions toward Palestinians) are an
"existential threat." A threat to the existence of Israel! Give me a break.
I leave you to choose which are the worst of the other
exaggerations after that one. If the existence of the United States is
threatened by terrorists we are in real trouble. But we are in much
greater peril from people like this op ed author.
*Retreat Isn't an Option*
By Liz Cheney
Tuesday, January 23, 2007; A17
Sen. Hillary Clinton declared
this weekend, " I'm in to win
remarkable trajectory can have no doubt that she'll do whatever it takes
to win the presidency. I wish she felt the same way about the war.
In fairness, Clinton, with her proposal for arbitrary caps on troop
levels and hemming and hawing about her vote for the war resolution, has
company on both sides of the aisle. Sen. Joseph Lieberman is the only
national Democrat showing any courage on this issue. We Republicans --
with help from senators such as Chuck Hagel -- seem ready to race the
Democrats to the bottom.
I'd like to ask the politicians in both parties who are heading for the
hills to stop and reflect on these basic facts:
· /We are at war/. America faces an existential threat. This is not, as
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has claimed, a "situation to be solved." It would
be nice if we could wake up tomorrow and say, as Sen. Barack Obama
suggested at a Jan. 11 hearing, "Enough is enough." Wishing doesn't make
it so. We will have to fight these terrorists to the death somewhere,
sometime. We can't negotiate with them or "solve" their jihad. If we
quit in Iraq now, we must get ready for a harder, longer, more deadly
· /Quitting helps the terrorists./ Few politicians want to be known as
spokesmen for retreat. Instead we hear such words as "redeployment,"
"drawdown" or "troop cap." Let's be clear: If we restrict the ability of
our troops to fight and win this war, we help the terrorists. Don't take
my word for it. Read the plans of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Ayman
Zawahiri to drive America from Iraq, establish a base for al-Qaeda and
spread jihad across the Middle East. The terrorists are counting on us
to lose our will and retreat under pressure. We're in danger of proving
· /Beware the polls./ In November the American people expressed serious
concerns about Iraq (and about Republican corruption and scandals). They
did not say that they want us to lose this war. They did not say that
they want us to allow Iraq to become a base for al-Qaeda to conduct
global terrorist operations. They did not say that they would rather we
fight the terrorists here at home. Until you see a poll that asks those
questions, don't use election results as an excuse to retreat.
· /Retreat from Iraq hurts us in the broader war./ We are fighting the
war on terrorism with allies across the globe, leaders such as Hamid
Karzai in Afghanistan and Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan. Brave activists
are also standing with us, fighting for freedom of speech, freedom of
religion, the empowerment of women. They risk their lives every day to
defeat the forces of terrorism. They can't win without us, and many of
them won't continue to fight if they believe we're abandoning them.
Politicians urging America to quit in Iraq should explain how we win the
war on terrorism once we've scared all of our allies away.
What about Iran? There is no doubt that an American retreat from Iraq
will embolden Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, making it even less likely that the
Iranian president will bend to the will of the international community
and halt his nuclear weapons program.
A member of Lebanon's parliament recently told me that Lebanese Sunnis,
Shiites and Christians are lining up with Iran and Syria to fight
against Sunnis, Shiites and Christians who want to stand with America.
When I asked him why people were lining up with Iran and Syria, he said,
"Because they know Iran and Syria aren't going anyplace. We're not so
sure about America."
· /Our soldiers will win if we let them./ Read their blogs
<http://www.blackfive.net>. Talk to them. They know that free people
must fight to defend their freedom. No force on Earth -- especially not
an army of terrorists and insurgents -- can defeat our soldiers
militarily. American troops will win if we show even one-tenth the
courage here at home that they show every day on the battlefield. And by
the way, you cannot wish failure on our soldiers' mission and claim, at
the same time, to be supporting the troops. It just doesn't compute.
I suppose Hillary Clinton's announcement was a sign of progress. In
2007, a woman can run for president and show the same level of courage
and conviction about this war many of her male colleagues have. Steel in
the spine? Not so much.
America deserves better. It's time for everyone -- Republicans and
Democrats -- to stop trying to find ways for America to quit. Victory is
the only option. We must have the fortitude and the courage to do what
it takes. In the words of Winston Churchill, we must deserve victory.
We must be in it to win.
/The writer is former principal deputy assistant secretary of state for
Near Eastern affairs./