History will find these two small men failed the Pope's test for war.
Russert: There are many in the world asking for more time for negotiations, for diplomacy -- the Vatican -- the pope issued this statement: "Whoever decides that all peaceful means available under international law are exhausted assumes a grave responsibility before God, his own conscience and history."From Lieberman's speech today. Lieberman the only Democrat not to disgrace the party. It's a failure of will the party will never recover from.
Rumsfeld: It's true.
Russert: And you accept that?
Rumsfeld: Indeed. It is a fair statement. War is the last choice. President Bush has said that repeatedly, and he has made every effort humanly possible to avoid it.
Russert: Yesterday in New York City and across --
Rumsfeld: Indeed, he gave a final ultimatum to avoid war: leave in 48 hours -- after exhausting every other step. He is -- I am sure very people could disagree with what the pope said.
Russert: Yesterday in New York City, some 200,000 Americans took to the street and protested -- there's video -- across the world. What would you say to those protestors?
Rumsfeld: Well, I -- this is a free country -- people can have their own views, and they always have. In every war, there have been protestors. The American Firsters filled Madison Square Garden repeatedly with thousands of people before World War II while Europe was in flames, while millions of Jews were being killed, and the chant was, "Don't get involved in a war in Europe." It's a natural human reaction for people to want to avoid war.
When we say that U.S. troops shouldn't be "policing a civil war," that their operations should be restricted to this narrow list of missions, what does this actually mean?If Democrats succeed, this will haunt them forever.
To begin with, it means that our troops will not be allowed to protect the Iraqi people from the insurgents and militias who are trying to terrorize and kill them. Instead of restoring basic security, which General Petraeus has argued should be the central focus of any counterinsurgency campaign, it means our soldiers would instead be ordered, by force of this proposed law, not to stop the sectarian violence happening all around them--no matter how vicious or horrific it becomes.
In short, it means telling our troops to deliberately and consciously turn their backs on ethnic cleansing, to turn their backs on the slaughter of innocent civilians--men, women, and children singled out and killed on the basis of their religion alone. It means turning our backs on the policies that led us to intervene in the civil war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the principles that today lead many of us to call for intervention in Darfur.
This makes no moral sense at all.
It also makes no strategic or military sense either.
Al Qaeda's own leaders have repeatedly said that one of the ways they intend to achieve victory in Iraq is to provoke civil war. They are trying to kill as many people as possible today, precisely in the hope of igniting sectarian violence, because they know that this is their best way to collapse Iraq's political center, overthrow Iraq's elected government, radicalize its population, and create a failed state in the heart of the Middle East that they can use as a base.
That is why Al Qaeda blew up the Golden Mosque in Samarra last year. And that is why we are seeing mass casualty suicide bombings by Al Qaeda in Baghdad now.