The Democrats' Plan for Retreat Will Have Terrible Consequences

The Democrats want a phased withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

This bulletin arrived over the weekend from Michigan's Carl Levin, the Democratic senator who will soon return to the chairmanship of that body's Armed Services Committee. In his previous tenure as chair, Levin did his best to prevent the deployment here at home of a national missile defense system.

His opinions on Iraq are thus perfectly consistent with his posture toward American national security -- he's not denying the Iraqis anything he hasn't attempted to deny Americans.

Levin is a proponent of strength through vulnerability. If his Democratic colleagues can be persuaded to follow his lead, a new dictator can be expected to emerge in Iraq within a couple of years. The darkness will return, and what happens in Abu Ghraib will go on, free of MSM awareness and thus off our American radar screen and conscience.

"They and only they can decide whether they want a nation or whether they want a civil war," Levin said of the Iraqis over the weekend. It's a very good thing that he wasn't advising the French concerning the Continentals during the Revolutionary War.

Levin and like-minded Democrats aren't interested in what the generals say, or what the Iraqis' elected leadership want. They have heard it all and seen it all before.

Though Levin didn't arrive in the Senate until November 1978 -- more than three years after South Vietnam fell to North Vietnam -- he and many other members of his caucus are products of an age of cut-and-run, and they are gearing up for a replay of the great bug-out from Southeast Asia of three decades ago.

After all, what did it cost the United States, outside of the resettlement of a few hundred thousand Vietnamese?

Hugh Hewitt is host of the nationally syndicated "Hugh Hewitt" show, executive editor of Townhall.com, and he blogs at hughhewitt.com.

If Levin has his way, the carnage will not be limited to Iraqis or their neighbors. Whether Shia or Sunni extremists triumph in the vacuum left by a "phased" (read "rushed") retreat hardly matters.

The victors will quickly set about the tasks of the execution -- by the thousands -- of their opponents and the conceiving of the next generation of plots to attack the United States.

And of the executing of those plots.

If Levin were ever to consent to a real interview, it would be illuminating to ask him what he expects will happen after an American "phased withdrawal?"

Not a passing question, mind you, but a series of serious questions about what will actually transpire: How many will be killed? What will the new government look like? And how will the terrorists act?

We will be "over the horizon" of course -- and out of the picture. It is hard to imagine a more complete victory for the unlikely team of al Qaeda, Sadr and Ahmadinejad.

The Democrats are back in power, and the country is instantly back in 1974-75.

The difference is that President Bush is neither Nixon nor Ford. If Conyers actually dares to mount an impeachment effort, we'll all have a good laugh.

And if Levin bids for Vietnam 2.0, Bush will just say no. We can only hope at that point that Sen. Lieberman or Sen. Webb (or Nelson, or Nelson) recognizes that a hike in the minimum wage isn't worth the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocents, many of them Americans.

Hugh Hewitt is host of the nationally syndicated "Hugh Hewitt" show, executive editor of Townhall.com, and he blogs at hughhewitt.com.

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