Thursday, March 15, 2007


We’re Not Losing

Austin Bay does what Bay does best in a morale-building essay up at TCS Daily. It’s really a shame that those who need to read it most – Congressional Democrats -- have already bought their tickets and exited Surrender Station.

I can’t summarize it any better than Bay’s opening:
The chattering class nostrum that Free Iraq and its coalition allies have "lost the Iraq war" is so blatantly wrong it would be a source of laughter were human life and hope-inspiring liberty not at such terrible risk.
Democrats and their media allies don’t even try to consider any alternative view than that they fixed on long ago as a matter of political faith: we lost in Iraq.

As a soldier who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) III, I know first hand that in many important respects, we “won” the war in Iraq in 2003. Consider that the military victory. In other important respects, we “won” the war in Iraq in 2005, when we laid the groundwork for three successful Iraqi elections, the last leading to the first democratically elected government in the history of the Middle East.

This amid a long suffering history of decline, brutalization, and the degradation of ancient civilizations. This decline affected us dramatically on 9/11, and continues to affect us in important ways, not least the epic and multigenerational battles we confront. According to Bay:
The decline did two things that directly affect the War on Terror (which Rudy Giuliani more correctly calls The Terrorists' War Against Us). The decline undermined Islamist utopian notions of theological supremacy. That millennialist disappointment seeds the long list of "grievances" infesting al-Qaida's propaganda.

The far greater consequence (and truly grievous wrong) was arresting Middle Eastern populations. Arrest is the right word. The Middle East was trapped in the terrible yin-yang of tyrant and terrorist, the choice of one or the other -- which is no choice, for both mean oppression and death.
Bay’s written before, and notes again, that the civilized world is in a “’fight for the future’ with terrorists and tyrants.” Bay suggests the irony:
The terrorists and tyrants understand. It's a shame America's chatterers don't.
That’s the most frustrating part of opposition to this war, where opponents seem completely oblivious to the very real threat posed by our enemies around the world, those running states, and others running criminal terror enterprises (and some, running both). It’s one thing to disagree on response, on policy, it’s quite another to look evil right in the face and say, “nothing to see here, let’s move along.”

Even worse, whether out of cynicism, ignorance, or naked political ambition, these same opponents have done an excellent job wearing down the American people, helping them see only blood and loss and ignoring gain. Sapping their will, increasing their frustration, and exhausting their patience, when now is when we most need it. Bay concludes:
The Iraqi people are earning their victory and their liberty. The price for both is inevitably paid in blood, sweat and toil. At this point in history, they need American patience.
(Via National Review)

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