Monday, October 15, 2007

Evil, But Ingenious

For years, Democrats have yelled and screamed and squalled and shrieked and bellowed and hollered cacaphonied and agitated for American defeat in the War Against Islamic Fundamentalism. Finally the American people gave them Congress back, if for no other reason than in the forlorn hope that it might at long last shut them up.

For months the newly re-empowered Donks tried one less-then-entirely inconspicuous anti-war legislative gambit after another; from the "slow bleed" to last spring's fifteen-week game of chicken over emergency funding for military operations in the Iraqi and Afghan theatres of operations, to the endless flurry of non-binding anti-war resolutions, to Dirty Harry's slumber party publicity stunt back in the summer, to the sorry-assed "Betray-Us" showdown in September, the Dems kept bludgeoning away with their PR sledghammer while the Bush Administration's "Surge" strategy steadily turned the tide in Iraq against al Qaeda and in American public opinion against their co-belligerents in the congressional majority.

They say that intelligence is the ability to learn, and that wisdom is the ability to learn from one's past mistakes. Well, it's beginning to look like Crazy Nancy Pelosi, Speakerette of the House, may just have some intelligence rattling around inside that empty skull of hers after all:
A proposed House resolution that would label as "genocide" the deaths of Armenians more than ninety years ago during the Ottoman Empire has won the support of a majority of House members, unleashing a lobbying blitz by the Bush Administration and other opponents who say it would greatly harm relations with Turkey, a key ally in the Iraq war.

All eight living former secretaries of state have signed a joint letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) warning that the nonbinding resolution "would endanger our national security interests." Three former defense secretaries, in their own letter, said Turkey probably would cut off U.S. access to a critical air base. The government of Turkey is spending more than $300,000 a month on communications specialists and high-powered lobbyists, including former congressman Bob Livingston, to defeat the initiative.

Pelosi, whose congressional district has a large Armenian population, has brushed aside such concerns and said she supports bringing the resolution, for the first time, to a full vote in the House, where more than half of the members have signed on as co-sponsors. The House Foreign Affairs Committee, which has passed such a resolution before, is set to vote on it today.
That would be last Wednesday, where it did, indeed, once again pass the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Crazy Nancy is determined to bring this resolution to a vote next month.

Ed Morrissey's initial (and so far, only) take is that this was a pander job for endangered Donk Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), whose southern California district is overrun with Armenian-Americans. One that just happens to have the side-effect of alienating a critical War ally at precisely the time that we have turned the tide in Iraq and are moving toward stamping out al Qaeda there once and for all.

How so, you might ask; Jed Babbin, now late of the American Spectator and now ensconsed at Human Events magazine, has the answer:
According to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Incirlik Air Base near Adana, Turkey is the transshipment point for about 70% of all air cargo (including 33% of the fuel) going to supply US forces in Iraq. Included are about 95% of the new “MRAP” - mine-resistant, ambush-protected - vehicles designed to save the lives of American troops....

Turkey’s Erdogan government has indicated that if the House of Representatives takes action on a non-binding resolution being pushed by Speaker Pelosi, Turkey might revoke our ability to use Incirlik as a waypoint for Iraq supplies....

The timing couldn’t be worse. Not only are we dependent on Turkey for our principal supply line into Iraq, we are in on the verge of a crisis with Turkey, trying to convince the Erdogan government to continue to refrain from attacking the PKK - Kurdish terrorist forces - that have been raiding into southeastern Turkey for years.

While the President and Secretary of State Rice appeal for restraint, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has called upon the Turkish parliament to declare a mobilization against the PKK terrorists.

Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) told me, “We are a nation at war, and our first concern must always be the brave men and women of our armed forces, who I believe are done a great disservice by this symbolic House vote. This is just one more example of Democrats in the House being either oblivious or indifferent to the welfare of American forces serving in harm’s way.”
They're not oblivious or indifferent; they know exactly what they're doing. Think about it: by means of this obscure resolution that touches not a dime of war funding and doesn't demand a single soldier be "redeployed," House Democrats have provoked the Turks into doing their dirty work for them. If Prime Minister Erdogan cuts us off and throws us out, we can't keep our forces in Iraq resupplied, the Surge is halted as though it collided with a brick wall, AQI recovers and rebounds, the "chaos" resumes, and we're right back to square one. Since the resolution is non-binding, it does not require a presidential signature, and therefore cannot be vetoed. And since the provocation is taking place below the public radar, most Americans won't know about it, won't know why the Turks told us to go bleep ourselves, but will only know that Iraq has gone to hell again and that the Surge has "failed" after all, just like Dirty Harry said months ago, because that's what the Donks and their media arms will tell them. And as the 2006 midterms proved, the public will believe it.

Thus the Dems get their reprise of Saigon, April, 1975 to blame on Bush and the GOP, collect their epochal blowout victory in November 2008, and we're all screwed. And not a Dem fingerprint to be found on the corpse.

Think that's alarmist hyperventilation? Turkey has already recalled its ambassador to the U.S., which is one step away from the breaking off of diplomatic relations. Jim Geraghty, who, if you'll recall, spent two years in Turkey after President Bush's re-election, summed it up this way:
When it comes to this resolution, 1.5 million Armenians will love it, eighty million Turks will hate it, and the rest of the world will be indifferent.

Our foreign policy is now in the hands of Pelosi: willing to meet with Syrian dictators, but refusing to meet with Turkish members of parliament.

Is the aim of this to louse up our effort in Iraq? If the upside were bigger, and the downside were smaller, this kind of talk would be easier to dismiss.
As it is, "this kind of talk" is functionally irrefutable; as much so as its object is unstoppable, and its architect is - there's no other word for it - ingenious. Believe me, I know that referring to that Nora Desmondesque hag as diabolical is like describing Ted Kennedy as sober, but there it is. I'll never look at stopped clocks the same way ever again.

Look on the bright side, though; maybe in 2100, the 156th Congress will pass another non-binding resolution condemning the 110th for the Iraqi genocide it unleashed, which led by inexorable succession to the deaths of millions of Americans at Islamist hands. How's that optimistic? You know neither the Republicans (who would be too chicken) nor the Democrats (who would have hung it on Bush decades before) will be in charge of it.

Who will be?

Do you really want to know?