Monday, November 06, 2006
Comparing our efforts in Iraq explicitly to Vietnam, Carroll asks, “This time, can we accept defeat?”
An easy question for any fool in Boston to ask, since the lives of many brave men and women in Iraq would be the objects of his answer.
Did that get you angry enough? How about this (emphasis mine):
It is one thing to feel uneasy about your nation's war, or even to move to a position of outright opposition. It is another to face the harsh fact that the only way out of the war is to accept defeat. The goal of "peace with honor" assumes that the nation's honor has not already been squandered. During Vietnam, for all the widespread opposition to the war, the American public was never ready to face the full truth of what had been done in its name, and so the martial band played on. And on. The war ended not with a bang, but with a whimper, with the United States whining that somehow it had been the victim. Not incidental to the present disaster is the fact that the men dragging out that shameful last moment of Vietnam, when our nation's abject defeat was made plain for all the world to see, were Ford administration honchos Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.Better intellects than I, and much calmer voices, have explained in great detail how flawed is Carroll’s interpretation of Vietnam.
Rumsfeld and Cheney are prepared to do it to their nation again. The question now is whether America will let them? The general uneasiness with the war in Iraq is mostly tied to how badly it has gone. Tactical and strategic planning have been bungled at every level, and the elusive enemy is yet to be understood in Washington. If the Democrats take power with the elections tomorrow, congressional hearings will have a lot of such questions to consider. But what about the moral question? For all of the anguish felt over the loss of American lives, can we acknowledge that there is something proper in the way that hubristic American power has been thwarted? Can we admit that the loss of honor will not come with how the war ends, because we lost our honor when we began it? This time, can we accept defeat?
But I can say something about how much more flawed Carroll is about our efforts in Iraq.
We did not lose our honor by acting on behalf of the United Nations Security Council and their 17 resolutions against Saddam Hussein, and acting to remove a brutal tyrant who actively supported and sponsored terrorism, and sought weapons of mass destruction.
We did not lose our honor in helping the Iraqi people conduct three successful elections with majority participation that greatly exceeded participation rates in any US elections.
We certainly have not lost our honor in the face of dishonest, manipulated, propaganda media campaigns launched by our sworn enemies and willingly, knowingly, and enthusiastically supported by “journalists” such as you.
You speak of Honor? You never knew what the word meant.
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