Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Kristol: In Times Such as These

Bill Kristol at Weekly Standard today offers less analysis than rallying point. Specifically:
  • General Petraeus doesn't think the war is lost, so why should the rest of us?
  • What's the point of being in political office if not to take a stand on momentous issues?
  • History has notable examples of politicians whose courageous stands were affirmed by events.
Hence, it's time for Republicans and thoughtful Democrats to stop acting as if Iraq were a lost cause.

We say again: everything about the history of warfare argues that the United States can achieve its essential purposes in Iraq if it persists.

And so we quote Kristol's conclusion:

Isn't that what political parties are for? Isn't that why one enters politics--to make a difference at a time of difficulty and uncertainty? Fighting for a good cause is why parties are formed and supported, and why they sometimes prove themselves deserving of loyalty. Henry Wallace and his fellow travelers abandoned Harry Truman in 1947-48. What made the modern Democratic party worth belonging to for the next generation was the fact that the majority of the party rallied behind Truman, and provided--along with public-spirited Republicans--the domestic support needed in the early years of the Cold War. (Today, alas, Henry Wallace's heirs dominate Truman's party). The reason many Americans became Republicans in recent times is that the GOP stood with Reagan (when Democrats in large measure did not) behind the policies that brought down the evil empire.

What better cause is there today, at the beginning of this new century of danger and challenge, than support for victory in a just war? The consequences of defeat would be ghastly. The prospect of victory is difficult but real. This is when a political party proves its worth.

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