Saturday, November 11, 2006

Why is al Qaeda happy over the election results?

As I prepare to teach the Civil War and talk about politics in the North during the War while I'm blogging about the election this week, the parallels keep jumping out at me. There was definitely a so-called peace party in the North during the war of Copperhead Democrats. The Confederates definitely planned military campaigns in 1862 and 1863 culminating in the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg with one eye on the election calendar in the North. The peace Democrats of that period sought to find a negotiated settlement to the war regardless of what that meant for holding the Union together and their efforts culminated in the party platform in 1864, a platform that even the Democratic candidate that year, George McClellan repudiated.

Read these resolutions from the platform and see if they sound at all familiar to you.
Resolved, That this convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the American people, that after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretense of a military necessity of war-power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private right alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired, justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with a view of an ultimate convention of the States, or other peaceable means, to the end that, at the earliest practicable moment, peace may be restored on the basis of the Federal Union of the States.
They were full of criticism for how they felt the administration was running roughshod over civil liberties. There was even the criticism of how the Union treated its prisoners.
Resolved, That the shameful disregard of the Administration to its duty in respect to our fellow citizens who now are and long have been prisoners of war and in a suffering condition, deserves the severest reprobation on the score alike of public policy and common humanity.
Guess which party the South was pulling for in every election held during the War? The Copperhead Democrats never seemed to feel qualms about being the party supported by the Confederates. They were so sure that they were right and that Lincoln was inutterably wrong in everything he did during the war.

And now we come to 2006. And we have clear indications that our enemies were pulling for the Democrats to win. As John Hinderaker points out, both al Qaeda in Iraq and the Iranian government have expressed their approbation of the election results. And he wonders if the Democrats are at all concerned that terrorists were pulling for their victory.
Do the Democrats feel at all sheepish at having their victory hailed by al Qaeda? Do they feel any pressure to demonstrate to the American people that they are not a de facto ally of the terrorists? Not as far as we've noticed so far. But when the Democrats stop celebrating, they may want to pause long enough to consider a simple question: Why are the terrorists so happy that they won?
A good question and one that I would like to see posed to the Democrats as they make their victory laps around the capital. Did they notice the uptick in violence preceding our election and ever wonder if there was a connection and feel any qualms that innocent Iraqis were dying in order to create the right circumstances to favor a Democratic victory? Do they think that it is a coincidence that their victory is met with approval among our enemies? Or is that canceled out by the great joy with which their victory was met in many European cities this week?