Today we have David Ignatius
and Rich Lowry
(!) and others criticizing the President's insistence on victory in Iraq. I'm not aware that any of them has any special expertise in fighting insurgencies, Iraq, or Muslim nations in general, let alone how to fight a war.
You can't criticize this on the ground of high casualties. They're lower than any war in history. Half the "experts" are calling for more troops. Half are calling for draw-downs. Until very recently, nobody even mentioned the fact that there's such a difference between Sunnis and Shiites. The fact is that we have overthrown an oppressive Sunni regime, albeit a secular one, and given millions of Shiites hope for controlling their own lives and practicing their religion.
The only real failure here is one of patience. It took us far longer than this to pacify and re-establish civil governments in Germany and Japan, but in the 21st Century, that's not good enough. We have to go in, overthrow the evil regime, establish a working Democracy and be home before the next election. Sectarian violence? Nobody told us there'd be sectarian violence! Iiiaaggh!
This is a prelude to what we're in for for the next 50 to 100 years. Terrorists have shown that we are not immune anymore from the kind of atrocities that regularly occur in the Middle East. That won't change, unless we are willing to spend more to keep foreigners out of our homeland, which nobody seems to seriously want.
We can't seem to stand violence except in our entertainment. Even a violence between sects of Islam which have been fighting for a thousand years unnerves us. Are we responsible for their inability to work out their differences? We seem to think so.
The one thing that's essential to defeating terrorism is that we impress them that we are not to be messed with. Instead they have found that our media are the perfect allies. We suffer from a lack of confidence so far out of proportion to our actual power, that it's laughable.
How about this? All of us know-it-alls need to shut up, and let the president do his job without having to deal with a second front at home. We used to understand that you can't fight a war when your leaders are being villified in the press and sniped at by Congress. We should support a long-term strategy of strength and resolve, like we had during the Cold War, as expressed by John F. Kennedy:
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
This much we pledge—and more.
To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do—for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.
To those new States whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom—and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.
Read the whole thing. Yet by the time we had accomplished his challenge of sending men to the moon, his own party was repudiating his pledge, his own successor having seriously bungled the real test of it.
I for one, support the President, and the efforts we've made in Iraq and I don't wish to see it all squandered because our media elites don't have the stomach for a fight.
We elected him, but we've allowed ourselves to be convinced that this enemy, so weak they don't dare stand up and fight us face to face are just too scary to oppose.
I am beginning to seriously doubt whether we civilians are worthy of our magnificent military and their warrior spirit. Maybe we'll have to suffer many more and greater shocks like 9/11 before we get the message, and even then, I suspect that we'll have to decide whether to listen to the Wormtongues in our media any longer. There don't appear to be any Churchills in the wings to step in when the defeatist party has failed, and pick up the fight.
I keep hearing whiners complain that this isn't a real war because we haven't had to make personal sacrifices. OK. Starting tomorrow, we ration energy to eliminate all imported oil and gas. I expect to see Jon Stewart out there leading bond drives. Will it make them happy if we reinstate the draft? Fine. If that's what it take to make us understand the stakes, I'm for it. But I don't believe for a minute that we have the guts.