The Corner

Re: Lowry and Ford

I enjoyed Rich’s column.  Foreign policy and national security shouldn’t be partisan, and a few Democrats and Democratic-contenders haven’t done the Lemming cliff jump of the Dean-Lamont wing of the party.  Another interesting race is the 10th District of Pennsylvania, where Democrat Chris Carney, a Penn State professor whom, full-disclosure, I knew when he was activated and sent to the Pentagon as a Naval reservist post-9/11, is running a strong challenge in a Republican district both on national security issues and on family values.  I don’t agree with Chris on everything—I think we might have some disagreements as to the nuance of Iraq policy but we certainly agree on the issue of terrorism.  There may be other people like him seeking to fill the Lieberman rather than Lamont wing of the Democratic Party.  Too many Democrats are using Iraq for short-term political gain irrespective of the long-term harm their simplistic prescriptions may cause.  Usama Bin Laden spoke quite frankly about how terrorists used the 1983 withdrawal from Beirut and 1993 retreat from Mogadishu as important motivators.  Elections are about enunciating differences, and many politicians subsequently drift to the center.  What I worry about is that the cynical use of Iraq for short-term political interests may lead many Democrats—unfortunate, now, it seems the majority of the party—to stake out positions that, in the long-term, are irresponsible.  If that’s the case, US security and counter-terror policy are in for serious trouble.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.