Jim Antle wrote a really smart and insightful article describing how Iraq had become the sole unifying element holding the GOP coalition together, and how that issue would help bring down the party.  For rank and file conservatives, this is largely true, but for the conservative elite of the major newspapers and magazines of the movement the grand, unifying cause really is…Scooter Libby.  As if to confirm E.J. Dionne’s somewhat overwrought column, the Wall Street Journal editorial page today has come out with a disgraceful op-ed written by Fouad Ajami entitled (I kid you not) “Fallen Soldier.”  The despicable nature of this title is obvious.  Here is Libby, a convicted perjurer, being likened to the honoured war dead and those wounded and missing in the service of their country.  Libby has indeed “fallen” as a partisan footsoldier who did the bidding of an administration responsible for sending Americans to war based on lies that Libby and his cheerleaders embraced, promoted and defended.  While Libby faces a maximum of 30 months in jail, 3,500 actual American soldiers have fallen and over 20,000 have been wounded, their lives ended, ruined or severely damaged.  Mr. Bush has no power to recall them from death and injury.  There can be no comparison between an administration lackey and patriotic soldiers, unless it is the purpose of that comparison to demonstrate how completely different they are.  

These scoundrels, the unspeakable moral villains at the WSJ have the gall to use the rhetoric of soldiering and war on behalf of a man who broke the law, who lied under oath and who worked to subvert the course of justice.  Ajami does not use this soldier image passingly or briefly.  It is the core of his argument:

In “The Soldier’s Creed,” there is a particularly compelling principle: “I will never leave a fallen comrade.” This is a cherished belief, and it has been so since soldiers and chroniclers and philosophers thought about wars and great, common endeavors.  Across time and space, cultures, each in its own way, have given voice to this most basic of beliefs.  They have done it, we know, to give heart to those who embark on a common mission, to give them confidence that they will not be given up under duress.  A process that yields up Scooter Libby to a zealous prosecutor is justice gone awry.

Ajami is not done insulting the dignity of American soldiers.  He continues to taint and dishonour them by association with a criminal:

Scooter Libby was a soldier in your–our–war in Iraq, he was chief of staff to a vice president who had become a lightning rod to the war’s critics.

And again Ajami insultingly tars the honoured war dead with yet another association with Libby:

He can’t be left behind as a casualty of a war our country had once proudly claimed as its own.

These are the words of a patriot and a supporter of the military?  They are the most depressing partisan trash I think I have ever seen.  Certainly, it is the most despicable thing I have seen coming from the War Party in some time.