The Judgment of History

The U.S. Senate is scheduled today to take up an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill, proposed by Senators John Kerry and Russ Feingold, that sets a deadline of July 1, 2007, for all American forces to be redeployed out of Iraq. It will not pass.

It will not pass for three reasons: Republicans want to use Iraq, and its 21,000 American casualties, as an election year bludgeon against "cut and run" Democrats; some Democrats still can't bring themselves to admit their original mistake in voting for the war; and Congressional Republicans have abandoned their constitutional duties to oversee the operations of the war.

Karl Rove can persist in his deceitful characterizations of Democrats as soft on terrorism. But Americans must remember that this man, and his boss, totally and completely ignored the warnings of the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century of terrorist threats at the cost of 3,000 American lives, then took a year and a half to finally, but reluctantly, support creation of a Department of Homeland Security, then sent the backbone of homeland security, the National Guard, to Iraq, and then put the new Department into the hands of political incompetents.

We must await the judgment of history as to who was, and who was not, truly concerned with national security. For the ever quiescent media refuses to hold the Bush administration to account for its pre-9.11 lassitude.

Thinking that they took an oath to support the president rather than an oath to uphold the Constitution, the Republican Congressional majority is hopeless. But the real spotlight of history now rests on those Congressional Democrats who support sinking deeper into the Big Muddy of Iraq out of fear of Karl Rove and greater concern for their own reelections than the lives of U.S. service personnel being destroyed by roadside bombs. What will history say of them? How will they account for their own silence, their own weakness, their own careerism?

There is something in life a lot more important than holding on, at all cost, to a Congressional seat. There is integrity, there is conviction, and there is courage. History's jury will sit in judgment today on those Democrats and will find wanting those without the conviction and courage to say "enough".