RUSH: Marty Peretz, the founder of The New Republic, is saying something I’ve been saying for a long time. It’s nice to see somebody else say it, particularly a Democrat. In fact, more and more left-wing commentators are beginning to say this. His headline, Marty Peretz, the New Republic: ”The Democrats, Hoping for Defeat’ — Is the war won? Probably not. Is it going much better for Iraq and for us? Certainly. This was certified by the big three-column headline in last Tuesday’s New York Times. And even big-time opponents of what they had come to think of as the president’s own demented enterprise are beginning to admit it. The news is very difficult for those folk because many of them had drawn outlandish conclusions about the future of American power in the Middle East. Actually, about its passing. The New Yorker was, as recently as September, already ‘Planning for Defeat,’ telling its readers how we should ‘withdraw from Iraq.’ Would it, unplanned and reckless, be a ‘Saigon moment,’ as other seers predicted? The front page of this Sunday’s Times carries a headline, ‘As Democrats See Security Gains in Iraq, Tone Shifts.” I told you about that.
‘Forgive another reference to Vietnam. I believe that, in 1972, when George McGovern had been anointed the Democratic candidate, the nominee and many of his devotees actually wanted a North Vietnamese victory over the South and its U.S. allies. The American electorate had an intuition that this was the case, and it repelled them. Hence sanctimonious George winning in only one state. There is no exact parallel to this for 2008. But I suspect that many Democrats are so deeply hostile to a forward foreign policy and their minds so deeply embedded in the notion that you can negotiate successfully with fanatics and tyrants that they wouldn’t mind a prophylactic victory for the enemy. Which raises the question: is this enemy their enemy? I suspect not. And so here is the timeless wisdom of the Speaker of the House: ‘The fact is, we can no longer sustain the military deployment in Iraq.”
Here’s Marty Peretz lamenting the fact that Democrats are hoping for defeat. (interruption) He’s a what? He’s not a neocon. This is the New Republic. No, no, no. He’s a lib. This guy is worried about the Democrat Party and where they’re headed, and there are others, Financial Times, Clive Crook: ‘Up to now, Democrats have been stinting in their recognition that the situation in Iraq has improved: ‘Yes, violence is down a bit, but…’ That is the wrong posture. They need to celebrate the success, as long as it lasts, as enthusiastically as the Republicans. They also need to stop harrying the administration with symbolic war-funding measures demanding a timetable for rapid withdrawal, as though nothing has changed. This would take little away from their larger valid criticisms of the war and of its conduct until very recently.’
Newsweek’s Charles Peters, who is founder of the Washington Monthly: ‘I have been troubled by the reluctance of my fellow liberals to acknowledge the progress made in Iraq in the last six months, a reluctance I am embarrassed to admit that I have shared. Giving Gen. David Petraeus his due does not mean we have to start saying it was a great idea to invade Iraq. It remains the terrible idea it always was. And the occupation that followed has been until recently a continuing disaster. … Still, the fact is that the situation in Iraq, though some violence persists, is much improved since the summer. Why do liberals not want to face this fact, let alone ponder its implications?’ More and more of these liberal commentators are starting to see this and write about it, and they are echoing what I have been saying for months now. The Democrat Party crossed over the cliff when its leadership declared the surge to be lost. They’ve been invested in defeat for way too long, and it will come back to haunt them.
By the way, the New York Sun had a fascinating story today. Headline: ”Talks Are Set on Ending Battle of Iraq — Quiet Announcement Signals Start of US, Iraq Parley’ — And so the Battle of Iraq is to be brought to an end, in T.S. Eliot’s phrase, ‘not with a bang but a whimper.’ With the eyes of the world focused on the Middle East peace talks in Annapolis, Md., President Bush’s war tsar, Lieutenant General Douglas Lute, quietly announced that the American and Iraqi governments will start talks early next year to bring about an end to the allied occupation by the close of Mr. Bush’s presidency. The negotiations will bring to a formal conclusion the U.N. Chapter 7 Security Council involvement in the occupation and administration of Iraq, and are expected to reduce the number of American troops to about 50,000 troops permanently stationed there but largely confined to barracks, from the current 164,000 forces on active duty. … Bringing the war to a close by the end of 2008 will ensure that the next president will face a fait accompli in Iraq, a fact that will further remove from the presidential election the Iraq war as an issue of contention.’
Do I know what I’m talking about? Yes. Don’t doubt me. Fifty thousand troops remaining at the end of the Bush presidency.