Thursday, November 29, 2007

The irrelevance of "bringing the troops home" 

Don Surber righteously skewers Chris Matthews for defining victory in Iraq as "bringing the troops home":

Interesting way of redefining victory. For thousands of years, you take over a country, you’re the winner. Matthews wants to change that, saying, “As long as we‘re stuck over there, it seems we‘re losing.”

Let’s see. We still have troops in Kuwait, so we must have lost the Gulf War.

But we pulled our troops out of Mogadishu so we beat Somalia.

No American troops in Vietnam. Yeah, we won.

But we still have troops in Korea. Darn it, we lost the Korean War.

Troops still in Japan? We lost World War II.

The casualties in Iraq are now de minimis by historical standards, even if traumatic for those personally connected. No amount of historical perspective, though, will change the fact that we are not yet in a state of peaceful occupation comparable to that which prevails in all the examples that Surber cites. He is right, though, that it is absurd to define victory by the speed of the retreat following the battle. The question is whether our continuing presence in Iraq confers geopolitical advantage that is worth the cost; if it does, then that is victory. However, many on the left and in the internationalist chattering classes believe that our continued presence in that country will inflame the jihadis against us much as our garrison in Saudi Arabia did following the Gulf War. If they are right -- and I do not believe they are -- then Matthews might be closer to correct than Surber allows.

CWCID: Glenn Reynolds.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Nov 29, 09:42:00 PM:

The post Saddam goal was to put a democratically elected government in place. To have a well trained police force able to maintain order and a well trained army capable of protecting the new government and their country. The intent is also that Iraq would become an ally in fighting (denying a safe haven) for terrorists.

Regardless of the paths (some wrong turns) taken by the administration, the goal has always been the same. The surge was a different path on the way to the goal and it appears to be working better than earlier paths.

The rhetoric used by the left to change direction (AND get out) supports the premise that they do not want to see any of the goals achieved.


If they were to claim that a different path to achieve the goal was needed - and specifically tell us what it is- it might make sense, but they choose to pull out totally. What form of government do they intend to leave behind then?  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Fri Nov 30, 12:17:00 AM:

What form of government do they intend to leave behind then?

Taliban style.  

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