It was fun watching the Democrats leave another televised hearing with egg on their faces. I'm talking about the congressional hearings last week involving Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. They withstood the nasty barrage from the Democrats, while calmly, professionally, and repeatedly restating the facts to these rather thick-headed Senators, although probably unsuccessfully.
However, they weren't unsuccessful with the Americans who watched the proceedings. Most of them had the common sense and ability to distill the information and see clearly which side was presenting the facts correctly.
Let's see, on one side, we have Sen. John McCain, a veteran who served for 23 years in the U.S. Navy and spent 51/2 of them in a North Vietnamese prison camp, never abandoning his fellow soldiers even when he was given the chance to do so. In other words, an American hero.
Then you have Petraeus, who has been serving in the U.S. military since 1974 and has a very distinguished career. He graduated from West Point in 1974 in the top 5 percent of his class. He was the top graduate in the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He is a four-star general with a master's degree in public administration and a doctorate in international relations from Princeton University. He was confirmed unanimously by the Senate to be the commanding general in Iraq. His list of achievements goes on and on.
On the other side, you have Hillary Clinton, who has zero military service or experience and an utter disdain for our military, with the same being true of the fourth-year senator from Illinois. They have a lot in common in that they simply want to bring everyone home without considering the consequences. They don't seem to care about the security of our country, nor the honorable service put in by our brave men and women in the military. They will instead do whatever is politically expedient for their own self-aggrandizement.
The facts that were presented by Petraeus and Crocker were numerous and impossible to refute. Basically, the surge is working. As Republican Congressman John Boehner points out, "the rate of civilian and coalition deaths has declined by 70 percent since last June, security incidents in the once-dangerous Anbar province have decreased approximately 90 percent."
On top of this, the Iraqi government has made substantial strides. It has met 12 of the 18 benchmarks set for it and has made impressive progress on five others. What more does the Democratic leadership want? The Democratic leadership can't come close to the number of accomplishments made by the Iraqi government. Can someone on the Democratic side please tell me what accomplishments have been made since taking power in 2006? Naming of bridges and buildings as well as harassment of Bush administrative officials don't count.
David Bellavia, a soldier who won both the Bronze and Silver stars for his service in Fallujah, said it quite clearly. "No one sober can look at the progress in Diyala and Anbar and argue that the surge is not working. All the evidence points to many good things happening in Iraq."
Yes, progress is slow and sometimes unsteady, but it is still progress. Yet, what does the Commander-In-Chief wannabe Hillary say? Rather than listen to what the people who are doing the actual fighting are saying _ in other words, the trained professionals _ she listens to her pollsters and says what she erroneously thinks the people want to hear. On ABC's "Good Morning America" last week she said, "clearly, the surge hasn't worked."
Is this another lie Hillary, or just plain ignorance?
Obviously, people want the war to end. Of course, we want our troops out of harm's way. But most responsible thinking people want our troops to win with honor and to come home with pride _ that they were called on by their country and that they and their fallen comrades answered that call and accomplished something honorable and important for their country. Hillary, Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and their ilk don't care one bit for our troops or our country, no matter what they say. All they care about are votes and staying in office.
So libs, let me educate you a little. Webster defines a fact as "something that has really happened, or is actually the case, as distinguished from something merely believed to be so; a truth known by actual observation or authentic testimony."
Instead, you seem to think that facts are Democratic talking points or MoveOn.org sound bites. So wake up. Think for yourselves for a change, take off your blinders, and be proud of your country and our military. You might stop being so bitter and negative and even start to feel better about yourself.
Tom Sears is a professor of accounting at Hartwick College in Oneonta. He can be reached at SearsT@hartwick.edu. His column appears every other week.