Monday, November 12, 2007

L.A. Times Renews Call For U.S. Surrender In Iraq

Sonni Efron and Jim Newton at the L.A. Times editorial page are determined upon an American defeat in Iraq, even though they acknowledge in an editorial this morning that U.S. troops have begun to prevail there.

This is, quite simply, a disgrace. These editorial writers would sell out the nearly 4,000 brave American military officers and men who have given their lives in Iraq, and the editorial position is all in the interest of validating the writers' hatred of President George W. Bush and his Middle Eastern policies.

That an American withdrawal would cede not only Iraq but other parts of the Middle East as well to the terrorists of Al Qaeda and greater Iranian influence and open the way to even more outrageous oil prices affecting every single American does not seem to matter to Efron and Newton in the least. They want surrender above all else. And since, he supervises the editorial page, the Tribune Co. toady who is publisher of the L.A. Times, David Hiller, must be with them.

At least with Andrew Rosenthal, the editorial page editor of the New York Times, there is a belief, I think mistaken, that the war is being lost. That is some excuse for him, no matter how mistaken he may be. But with Efron and Newton, they believe, on the one hand, that Mr. Bush's "surge" of soldiers has worked. Yet, they still want to put our tail between our legs and scurry home.

They must go out of their way, on their respective ways home at night, to avoid any sight of the graves of American soldiers who have died in this effort. Or the sight of their families. They dare not look.

The fact is, as the L.A. Times editorial acknowledges this morning, that casualties are down in Iraq and suicide bombings down as well. Thousands of Iraqis who fled to other countries are beginning to return. Sectarian clashes are diminishing. (Just this morning, an Associated Press dispatch from Baghdad quotes the U.S. military as saying that rocket and mortar attacks in the country have dropped to a 21-month low).

It is true, as the editorial says, that many political difficulties remain. But the political difficulties will diminish as the U.S. success begins to sink in.

The indication is that the reprehensible Al-Qaeda has begun to shift the war to the east, to the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater where, recently, things have gone better for them.

They are bugging out of Iraq. But why should we?

Certainly not so the weak-kneed liberals in this country can sell America down the river.

If the 2008 election does bring a quitter to power, that will be the settled decision of the American electorate, and it must be honored, regardless of the consequences. But all three leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards, recently declared at a Democratic debate that they would keep troops in Iraq through their first term. They are apparently not the quitters Efron and Newton are.

President Bush has fought on, and Congress has declined to reverse his course. Now, that it is beginning to look like his stubborn optimism is about to be validated is no reason to listen to those who would throw in the towel.

Last year, my "Mistaken Journalist of the Year" was Michael Duffy of Time magazine, who predicted in a Time cover story at the end of 2006 that the President would reverse course and withdraw from Iraq.

This year, the finalists for that designation may be Sonni Efron and Jim Newton. They are gaining an edge over Andrew Rosenthal, because they believe the war is being won, yet they still want America to surrender.

In their editorial this morning, they say, "Still, now is the moment to praise the U.S. military for doing what it said it would do when it embarked on the surge: reducing the violence so as to allow Iraqis breathing space to work out the modus vivendi that has so far eluded them. We salute them and hope that their blood and tears are not squandered by whatever comes next."

But how mistaken these two editorial writers are! They do want to squander these gallant lives, and hurt American interests in the process.

In a second editorial this morning, the editorial writers defend the religious nuts who have been out picketing the funerals of soldiers killed in the war. They say this is part of American freedom. Nonsense! This violates the old edict expressed by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes that "your rights stop where my nose begins," and it demonstrates once again that the dilettantes at the L.A. Times don't care a hoot for the soldiers who have been defending the USA.

--

L.A. Times sportswriter Chris Dufresne is quite a bit more realistic than Efron or Newton in his continuing coverage of this topsy-turvy college football season. Dufresne was in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday when the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes were defeated by unranked Illinois, and his story described precisely how Illinois held the ball at the end for eight minutes and prevented the Ohio offense from again taking the field.

Then, this morning, Dufresne questions whether Kansas, the most prominent undefeated team left, really is qualified for the BCS National Championship game, pointing out that Kansas has yet to play either Texas or Oklahoma in Big 12 competition.

Dufresne seems to know winners from losers, and not confuse the two. Maybe, he should move to the Times editorial pages.

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