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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

More, Tireless Optimism 

An insightful piece from Max Boot in the LA Times today (thanks to Instapundit) worries that defeatism in the MSM and public opinion can become a self fulfilling prophecy -- as Boot suggests it did in Vietnam.

I don't see it that way. In Vietnam, you had an opposing force, well fed and supplied, with large numbers. You had a North Vietnam which eventually overwhelmed an abandoned South Vietnam. Furthermore, it wasn't MSM defeatism or anti-war opinion that got Nixon. It was corruption - a stupid, two bit political break-in - and a subsequent cover-up. It wasn't covert expansion of the war to Laos ad Cambodia, or Tet, or anything else.

I'll repeat what I've said many times. Iraq is already "won." The enemy leader and his heirs are in jail or dead. A new democratic government has been elected, a constitution voted upon and ratified and new elections are upcoming. Boots also cites data which reveals dramatic economic and military progress as well.

The American press doesn't create self fulfilling prophecies im Vietnam or Iraq. That is an immensely arrogant, even ridiculous, concept. Eason Jordon, Dan Rather, the CIA, the Russians and the French couldn't ultimately protect Saddam from his own fetid behavior meeting up with American strategic and moral interests. Iraq is well on its way to its post Saddam existence. This new Iraq may, and may not, align itself with US interests in the future. Its representative government alone will determine this. But it seems to me that there is no significant opposing force which will derail majoritarian rule in Iraq. Could it devolve into a civil war, or Iraqi dissolution? Every day that passes, this likelihood shrinks to vanishingly small, especially post constitution.

If the Murthas and the Democrats were serious about caring for our troops, rather than their obession with Bush, they would stop declaring defeat as a way to bring the troops home; they would instead declare victory as a way to bring the troops home.

9 Comments:

By Blogger james82, at Wed Nov 23, 12:30:00 PM:

Who's really losing the war is the mainstream media. They are bleeding advertisers and readership due to their reactionary loathing of the president's administration and their betting America we'll lose the war while doing what they can to bring that to fruition. Who's going to lose the war are Arab autocrats. One of your favorites, Christopher Hitrchens is in todays WSJ editorial page. Enjoy ...  

By Blogger Lanky_Bastard, at Wed Nov 23, 01:29:00 PM:

Wow, consensus. I'll agree to that. Iraq was mostly won before we even stepped foot in it (ie not a substantial threat to the US). Removing Saddam is nice. Democracy is nice. Call those extra-credit. Give it an A+ if you want. But we don't have any continued business there, beyond ensuring that they can cope with the power vacuum of our departure.  

By Blogger sirius_sir, at Wed Nov 23, 03:44:00 PM:

I wonder if that strategy could work retrospectively for Vietnam as well. Turn it into a mantra: We won the war, we won the war, we won the war... and left. What happened afterwards wasn't our fault.  

By Blogger Papa Ray, at Wed Nov 23, 05:41:00 PM:

Elections and large forces of police and military are not going to wipe out thousands of years of tribalism and corruption.

But if it works better than what was and what is in other ME countries, we should say that we won.

As far as leaving, if the Iraq government will allow it, I would like to see at least two major bases maintained there.

They would make excellent training bases, storage areas, air fields and be ready for what ever other uses we may have for them in the future.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA  

By Blogger Uptown Ruler, at Wed Nov 23, 06:20:00 PM:

don't forget the 10,000 years of irrigation agriculture there, the middle east is fucked completely once the oil runs out, what are we doing there again?

oh yeah, weapons of mass destruction, imminent threat to security of the american people, radio-controlled planes which could drop chemical weapons, mobile chemical weapons labs, yellowcake, and steel rods.

wasn't it reagan who declared a state of emergency because of nicauraga?

hmmmm...

warmongers are people too?  

By Blogger sirius_sir, at Wed Nov 23, 08:08:00 PM:

wasn't it reagan who declared a state of emergency because of nicauraga?

honestly can't recall any state of emergency... however I do clearly remember he declared: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!  

By Blogger geoffrobinson, at Thu Nov 24, 08:25:00 AM:

"In an Aug. 3, 1995, interview in The Wall Street Journal, Bui Tin, a former colonel in the North Vietnamese army, called the American peace movement "essential" to the North Vietnamese victory."

From today's Ann Coulter article. I've heard this before.  

By Blogger Dave, at Fri Nov 25, 10:52:00 AM:

I agree:
"Iraq is already 'won.'" That is we've won what could be 'won.' Talk about victory or defeat in the current contexrt is rhetorical balderdash.

But I disagree with this: "If the Murthas and the Democrats were serious about caring for our troops, rather than their obession with Bush, they would stop declaring defeat as a way to bring the troops home; they would instead declare victory as a way to bring the troops home."

I don't care about Bush: I care about it's ending this stupid, miguided adventure. The problem is that that 'your side' makes it all about saving face for W. In that context, I really am forced to point out that it's an unattractive mug and not worth any consideration.

That said, I agree that we should begin withdrawal on a positive note after the Iraqi elections.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Nov 26, 12:13:00 AM:

Well, the way I recall it is that we pretty much achieved our (sadly) limited objectives in Vietnam; that the press reported victories for the North Viets that didn't occur (like the 1968 "Tet Offensive"); that three years after we pretty much left, the Congress stopped funding the South Viet gov't, which thereupon collapsed because of "insurgent" Viet Cong, backed by the North Viets, backed by the Chinese.

Now think of that in terms of Iraq. We have pretty much achieved our objectives; the press is reporting that we are losing even when we are winning; the left wants us to bring the boys home. All that will remain to do is to stop funding the Iraqui gov't, so that it can collapse in the face of pressure from the terrorists, backed by Iran & Syria.

So it seems to me that the press is an essential part of the recipe for turning victory into defeat in Iraq, just as it was for Vietnam.

It wasn't the downfall of Nixon that lost us Vietnam. It was the inability of the public to sustain any support for the South Viets in the face of the constant pounding of the press about how we were losing, how the SVs were corrupt, how Indochina didn't matter anyway, how the domino theory was bogus, &c &c &c.

Bush's mistake was to think that our adversary press would support a war for very long, where the threat isn't imminent. Well, that, plus thinking that the Democratic party would let politics stop at the water's edge. Anyway, most Americans still get their news from the MSM, and the MSM thinks that if it ain't bad, it ain't news.

harmon  

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