Politics & Policy

Connecticut? This is London Calling.

Al Qaeda reminds us to hang on to our patriots.

We are reading only about 24 arrests today. If we were already in the heralded antiwar world of Ned Lamont and the war-against-the-war crowd, it could be much different. We could just as easily be reading about ten jumbo jets exploded out of the sky. Or 3,000 murdered innocents — mostly American and British citizens.

Reality has once again inconveniently burst the antiwar, anti-security, anti-American balloon, just as the November victory ballrooms were being booked.

Just as central casting was whipping the articles of impeachment into shape. The high crimes and misdemeanors of George W. Bush include: hunting down terrorists, detaining them, interrogating them, penetrating their communications, and following their money.

These damn jihadists just won’t cooperate. Can’t they read the polls?

As British authorities continue trying to round up around 50 — fifty! — mostly homegrown Muslim militants who were attempting to execute over the Atlantic the very plan master terrorists Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed nearly pulled off over the Pacific a dozen years ago, it’s worth reminding the triumphalist antiwar Left of an important point.

As much as they sometimes seem to have in common with jihadists when they speak about America, its government, its military, and its president, the two are drastically different in one crucial particular.

The antiwar Left wants to wield American power. The jihadists want to destroy it … and us. All of us.

The antiwar Left has a conveniently flexible moral compass. Consequently, the Clinton era Echelon program was fine, but Bush’s NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program is an impeachable offense.

Mishandling classified information by a Clinton CIA director was worthy of a pardon, and destroying classified information (and lying to investigators about it) by a former Clinton national-security adviser was worthy of a pass, but leaking the unremarkable fact that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA is the crime of the century.

Bombing Kosovo without U.N. approval was a moral imperative; invading Iraq after over a dozen U.N. resolutions is a violation of international law.

Renditions conducted between 1994 and 2000 were just good national-security sense; renditions conducted between 2001 and 2006 are war crimes.

Indicting Osama bin Laden in 1998 and then doing nothing to capture him while he bombed two American embassies and an American naval destroyer, killing hundreds, was aggressive yet intelligently modulated counterterrorism; allowing Osama bin Laden to evade capture in Tora Bora while killing and capturing hundreds of his operatives and decimating his hierarchy is irresponsibly incompetent.

Wet fingers firmly in the wind, the Left looks you in the eye and tells you that what is depends on what the definition of “is” is, then votes for it before voting against it. The object of the game is power, and they are willing to gamble, even with our lives, to get it or keep it.

Jihadists are very different. When it comes to our national security, they’re not partisan politicizers. They wanted to kill us when Reagan was in charge, when Clinton was in charge, now that Bush is in charge, and tomorrow no matter who is in charge. They want to kill us where Tony Blair is in charge, where Ehud Olmert is in charge, and — no matter how he contorts himself — even where Jacques Chirac is in charge.

They are not foul-weather fiends. Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Shebaa Farms, Gitmo, flushed Korans, Salman Rushdie, the Crusades, etc., etc., etc…. These are not causes. They are excuses.

Jihadists believe passionately — many of them passionately enough to die for it — that they are commanded by their religion to kill us. They won’t be reasoned, cajoled, moderated, Westernized, modernized or democratized out of their views.

They have to be defeated. They have to be defeated in Iraq — whether or not one agrees that we should have gone there in the first place, and whatever one thinks of how competently the post-Saddam occupation has been managed. They still have to be defeated in Afghanistan. They have to be defeated in Lebanon — and ultimately Iran. They have to be stopped in Sudan. They can’t be allowed to set up new command-and-control beachheads in Pakistan, Somalia, and elsewhere. They have to be monitored throughout the West — including in our own country — because the operatives here are the ones who pose the greatest threat to our safety.

This is a daunting task. It’s a job for adults and patriots, not opportunists and power-mongers.

On Tuesday, Democrats in Connecticut showed the door to Senator Joe Lieberman, a patriotic adult who happens to be a liberal, and ushered in an antiwar Left opportunist who, until about five minutes ago, was a Lieberman supporter.

On Wednesday, al Qaeda reminded us that it will gladly kill opportunists of any political stripe.

The Democrats need to hold on to their patriots. The nation needs to hold on to the Democrats’ patriots.

This is going to be a very long haul.

 Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

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