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RUSH: I want to get this news in during our first hour today, because this is the hour broadcast around the world on the Armed Forces Radio network. It’s from the Times of London. ‘Al-Qaeda Leaders Admit: ‘We are in Crisis. There is Panic and Fear’ — Al-Qaeda in Iraq faces an ‘extraordinary crisis.’ Last year’s mass defection of ordinary Sunnis from Al-Qaeda to the US military ‘created panic, fear and the unwillingness to fight’. The terrorist group’s security structure suffered ‘total collapse.’ These are the words not of Al-Qaeda’s enemies but of one of its own leaders in Anbar province — once the group’s stronghold. They were set down last summer in a 39-page letter seized during a US raid on an Al-Qaeda base near Samarra in November. The US military released extracts from that letter yesterday along with a second seized [letter] in another November raid that is almost as startling. … US intelligence officials cautioned, however, that the documents were snapshots of two small areas and that Al-Qaeda was far from a spent force.’

Now, the story does mention here on page two, ‘The Anbar letter conceded that the ‘crusaders’ — Americans — had gained the upper hand by persuading ordinary Sunnis that Al-Qaeda was responsible for their suffering and by exploiting their poverty to entice them into the security forces.’ So the point of the story is: Hey, the Iraqis didn’t get to this conclusion all by themselves. They had to be talked into it by the Americans, and that isn’t fair in a time of war. The Americans talked the Sunnis out of being with Al-Qaeda in Iraq! So whenever there’s good news, it has to be sprinkled and peppered with pessimism. At the same time, Nancy Pelosi has called Iraq a failure. She said twice yesterday — we’ve got the audio on this, ”Iraq is a failure,’ adding that President Bush’s troop surge has not produced the desired effect. ‘The purpose of the surge was to create a secure time for the government of Iraq to make the political change to bring reconciliation to Iraq. They’ve not done that.’ She then hastened to add, by the way, ‘The troops have succeeded. God bless them.’ Let’s go to the audio sound bites, just near the end of the stack here. It’s number 20. Here it is. This is from Late Edition, Wolf Blitzed yesterday, who said to Pelosi, ‘You’re not worried all the gains that have been achieved over the past year in Iraq might be lost?’

PELOSI: There haven’t been gains, Wolf. The gains have not produced the desired effect, which is the reconciliation of Iraq. This is a failure. This is a failure! The troops have succeeded. God bless them. We owe them the greatest debt of gratitude, the sacrifice, their patriotism, and for their courage, and to their families as well. This is a — a disaster, and we cannot perpetuate it. We have to make decisions. And this is — the loss of life of nearly 4,000 of our troops, an average of 800 a year, tens of thousands injured; some of them permanently, blind, amputations.

RUSH: Thank goodness. I’m so happy the Democrats are back on page on this. Here we are in the middle of Iraq. I want to send out a hearty congratulations with sincere love and devotion and awe and respect to all of you wearing the military uniform of this country, in whatever branch in which you serve. Those of you in Iraq, those of you in Afghanistan, those of you who have been, those of you who are back, those of you who are back and going back; God bless you. You are succeeding. You are achieving victory — and let it be heard, the Democrat Party leadership today has no desire for your victory to be known. They have no desire for your victory to be proposed and accepted by the American people. You keep on, because Americans understand that you are succeeding and we understand this because Iraq is not even on the table as an election issue. Nobody is even talking about it on the Democrat side here. Now, one thing about this. Bill Kristol wrote a piece, his most recent piece in the Weekly Standard, and he really took after Rick Santorum in this piece, and I have to bring this up.

Rick Santorum was excoriated by Bill Kristol as a Reagan conservative, and Kristol is making the point that we need a new conservatism now that has a new definition that includes a big and activist government doing the kind of things that the new conservatives want it to do. He says, I’m paraphrasing here, ‘We can’t rely on the old conservatism. I mean, look at Santorum! Santorum lost by 17 points. Don’t tell me that that’s the way conservatism needs to go.’ One thing about this that needs to be pointed out: One of the reasons — and I say, one of the primary reasons that most supporters of McCain; I don’t care if they’re independents, liberals, Democrats, or Republicans — one of the reasons that people support McCain is because of his leadership on foreign policy and his support of the surge, correct? People say, ‘He’ll keep us safe. He’s a war veteran. He’s a POW. He’s got honor. He’s got integrity.’ Well, let me tell you something. Rick Santorum may have lost by 17 points in Philadelphia. But let me remind you what his number-one campaign issue was. His number-one campaign issue, in a liberal state, was to try to tell voters of that state — the residents of Pennsylvania — that the big threat we faced was the threat of Islamic Jihad, radical Islamofascism; and he lost by 17 points on it, in a liberal state, that didn’t want to hear it.

To excoriate Santorum for losing by 17 points when he was using the same issue McCain has used to get the nomination, is disingenuous. It is unfortunate, and it’s unfair. It was not just Senator McCain, by the way, if I can insert myself here who supported the president during the surge. Those of us on talk radio who are being excoriated by members of our own party led the way in supporting the president throughout the Iraq war. Throughout four years of Democrats attempting to destroy it, to secure defeat, to own defeat, to prevent the president from succeeding, trying to bog the president down when it comes to his prosecution of the war, who was there every day defending it, supporting the president, and encouraging him to go on, despite what the media was saying, despite what Democrats were saying, despite Harry Reid, despite Pelosi? It was those of us on talk radio. Yet somehow Senator McCain is getting singular and sole credit for having supported the surge and seeing to it that it was successful. Don’t forget Rick Santorum. He went down in defeat trying to alert the people of his state what was most important.

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