Tags: Good | Democrats | Bad | Democrats

Good Democrats, Bad Democrats

Tuesday, 20 December 2005 12:00 AM

I recently returned from Europe, where I discovered that America is reviled by many Western Europeans.

The main reason is the war in Iraq.

Even in England, friends in the Conservative Party are angry that Tony Blair is standing so staunchly alongside the U.S.

There is no doubt that there is a quiet global boycott of America when it comes to foreign travel.

The dollar is weak right now – it reached an all-time low against the euro late last year, although it has rebounded somewhat since then.

Europeans should be flocking to the U.S., but they are not.

Visits to the U.S. by foreign nationals have not rebounded to pre-9/11 levels. In fact, international arrivals here were down 12 percent last year compared with five years ago.

Travel to the U.S. from Germany was down 26 percent in 2004 compared with 2000; from France, down 28.7 percent; from the U.K., down 8.5 percent. Overall, tourism in the U.S. saw an 11.7 percent decline.

For sure, America needs to launch a global public relations offensive. But Democrats are not helping the situation by showing little support for our president or our troops, helping to undermine America's position abroad.

Before I get to those "bad" Democrats, let me give a nod to those on the "good" list.

Foremost among them is Sen. Joe Lieberman, who recently returned from his fourth trip to Iraq in the past 17 months and insisted that the U.S. must stay in the embattled nation and not abandon "27 million Iraqis to 10,000 terrorists."

Surprisingly, I would add Sen. Hillary Clinton to the "good" list. Say what you will about Hillary, she has been rather steadfast in her support for the White House on Iraq, for our troops and for an orderly exit.

She recently modified her position slightly, saying she wouldn't have voted in 2002 to give President Bush the authority to go to war if she knew then what we know now about weapons of mass destruction.

But she responded to Rep. John Murtha's call for an immediate troop pullout by saying that would be "a big mistake."

Another "good" Democrat, Sen. Joe Biden, has said he, too, opposed an immediate pullout, saying it would lead to "catastrophe" – and called, instead, for a phased withdrawal.

Although no longer an elected official, still influential former New York City Mayor Ed Koch has been perhaps the most resolute in support for an America united by our president in the global war on terror.

Koch went so far as to support Bush against his Democratic opponent in 2004, saying that while he does not agree with the president on one single major domestic issue, he believes "one issue overwhelms all others: the president's strong commitment to fight the forces of international terrorism regardless of the cost or how long it takes to achieve victory."

All these "good" Democrats are paying a price one way or another for doing the right thing. Their party at its base has become radicalized by the likes of Michael Moore and Al Franken.

At the top of the "bad" Democratic totem pole are Howard Dean, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.

Dean, head of the Democratic National Committee, outraged many even in his own party by stating that, despite the progress that has been made in the Middle East, the "idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong."

Gore actually came out and said global warming was a more serious problem than international terrorism – just what the pro-Kyoto accord nuts in Europe love to hear.

Kennedy charged that the Bush administration "misrepresented and distorted" intelligence to justify the war in Iraq, and called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Kerry, who was showing signs of reasonableness during his 2004 campaign, now likens Iraq to Vietnam and said American troops were "terrorizing" women and children in Iraq.

Criticism, even of a war, is a good thing. This is America. I myself have written that we need to develop an exit strategy. But I also think George Bush is a hero for taking on Saddam Hussein and having kept the U.S. safe for a long period following 9/11.

In truth, we need to do a better public relations job with our allies and nations around the world.

But our P.R. offensive should begin at home – and Democrats should remember that they are, first and foremost, Americans.

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I recently returned from Europe, where I discovered that America is reviled by many Western Europeans. The main reason is the war in Iraq. Even in England, friends in the Conservative Party are angry that Tony Blair is standing so staunchly alongside the U.S. There is no...
Good,Democrats,,Bad,Democrats
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2005-00-20
Tuesday, 20 December 2005 12:00 AM
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