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Holding Democrats' Feet to the Fire

July 8, 2008

Mary Anastasia O'Grady, in a July 7 Wall Street Journal Editorial Page article entitled, "FARC's 'Human Rights' Friends," makes a convincing case for what many have known for a long time: That so-called "humanitarian" groups around the world are more often than not blinds for terrorist supporters. Under the pretense of monitoring human rights violations, these groups all too often initiate actions that benefit terror groups and work to the disadvantage of, particularly, the United States.

Indeed, one of the questions we must ask, not only of humanitarian groups but of everyone making policy and legislation proposals, is "Who stands to gain from this proposal?" But even more important, we must ask, "Who does this proposal hurt?" The answers to this question lead us to some disturbing conclusions, not just about human rights organizations, but about many in our own government, especially Democrats.

That's because so much of what Democrats propose, if enacted, would harm not only America's business and national security interests, but the interests of a significant majority of American citizens. In every significant legislative and policy action they've taken, and in the many they've managed to defeat, Democrats aren't only acting against big corporate interests, they're acting against America's security interests and the interests of the very middle-class Americans they purport to help.

Among the things O'Grady reveals in her article is that Nancy Pelosi is said to have been working closely with Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba, a well-known terrorist supporter who has a close working relationship with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Pelosi was, prior to the dramatic rescue of six FARC hostages last week, consulting with Ms. Cordoba to negotiate a swap of hostages for FARC prisoners, something that Chavez desired because he saw it as a likely public relations coup for anti-American interests. Pelosi had even recruited U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern to help in this effort.

Now Pelosi, along with a number of other prominent Democrats, including Senator Chris Dodd, has long opposed the free-trade agreement between the U.S. and Colombia, something which would strengthen Colombia's position as a leading South-American democracy and ally of the United States. Pelosi even went so far as to short-circuit the "fast track" path for trade legislation, essentially commandeering House legislative procedure in the service of anti-Colombian interests, in order to insure that this pro-American legislation wouldn't see the light of day.

Who benefits from her highjacking of this legislation and from her support of Ms. Cordoba's pro-Chavez agenda? Hugo Chavez and international terrorism, of course. And a stalwart ally in the ongoing war against terrorism and in favor of democracy, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, would have been the loser. The freeing of the hostages, accomplished in no small part because FARC terrorists readily believed that the "human rights" group under whose auspices the daring operation was ostensibly conducted were on their side. It's not a stretch to assert that Ms. Pelosi was right there with the terrorists as well.

The pending energy legislation in the U.S. Congress is another example of Ms. Pelosi's and her party's working against the interests of the United States. Once again, Democrats prevented legislation that would have paved the way for oil drilling in the ANWR region of Alaska and off America's coasts (pending approval by the people of the states affected by such drilling) from even being presented for a vote. The legislation would also have made less cumbersome the process for approval of new nuclear plant construction.

Who stands to benefit from the Democrats' refusal to even allow a vote on this important legislation? First, economies such as those of Venezuela, Russia, and Iraq, oil producing countries who decidedly do not have America's best interests at heart. But other beneficiaries of this legislative tyranny are the anti-environmental interests. The United States is by far the most responsible country in the world in its drilling practices. American oil companies know how to minimize risk and environmental damage, and they would do the cleanest job possible in exploiting our oil reserves. To leave the job of drilling off our coasts (which is happening now) to other less technically sophisticated operators representing governments whose interests often run directly counter to ours, is not simply irresponsible, it's anti-American.

When you add Democrats' relentless (although, thankfully, unsuccessful) two-year assault on funding for the War in Iraq and La Pelosi's ill-advised, not to say embarrassing, Middle East meeting for the purpose of making nice with Syrian Dictator Bashar Assad, the answer to the question of who benefits becomes even clearer: In both of these cases, had Pelosi and the Democrats achieved their implicit objectives, tremendous victories for terrorists around the world would have been won.

We've got to begin to hold Democrats' feet to the fire regarding the consequences of their actions. At best, many of the legislative and policy initiatives they've proposed have been irresponsible. At worst, they reflect Democrats' insistence on giving, however indirectly, aid and succor to our international terrorist enemies.

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