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We Win When We Win?

Monday, Dec. 19, 2005 12:12 AM

In a live speech from the Oval Office, President Bush White House Photo pleaded with Americans to stay the course, repeating the victory-or-defeat logic that has become a staple of speeches by the President, Vice-President Cheney, and Secretary of State Rice.

After a brief acknowledgment as to his responsibility for the decision to go into Iraq, President Bush then bestows upon us the same shallow reasons. We're fighting terrorism. The terrorists hate us and our way of life. If we don't fight them, they'll come after us at home.

Too bad war and terrorism aren't that simple. Go read Sun Tzu's The Art of War.

Why is our fight against terrorism framed in terms of military action? President Bush talks of how we will continue to capture and kill terrorists. Is there a finite supply? We're going to run out?

As for the terrorists hating us and our way of life, so? This is a justification for war? What possibly makes you think they're going to change their outlook if we imprison and/or kill a few hundred of them? Life is going to be full of folks who don't like you, don't approve of the way you live your life, or hold radically different religious and social views.

And if they're going to come after us at home, perhaps we should look to the security of our ports, among other issues, and start thinking about security instead of defending against movie-plot threats.

Bush repeats the hollow assurances that he will listen to military commanders, that decisions will be made according to reality, not artificial timetables set by politicians in Washington.

Except when military leaders voiced the opinion that we didn't have enough boots on the ground, they were ignored.

And a sound strategy consists of well-defined goals, not tautology. If Iraqis have been slow to train and replace our troops, it's because we don't have a timetable. A timetable implies accountability. It's like setting off on a road trip; if you have no specific destination, then your trip will be defined by other considerations, such as how much money you have in your wallet, how much gas you have in your car, and whether or not you packed an overnight bag. Nor is anyone asking for a static set of deadlines; they're looking for landmarks by which to measure progress.

As for there only being two options before our country - victory or defeat - Mr. Bush, you're responsible for committing America to this war. Either outcome is a direct consequence of your ability or inability to do the job properly.

Vice President Cheney, on a surprise trip to Iraq, asserts that we're turning the corner in Iraq.

That wouldn't be like seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, would it?

The Ministry has received 2 comment(s) on this topic.

John - 2005-12-19 15:24:09
Something to think about: After the U.S. involvement in WWII, we still have a military presence in both both Japan and Germany. How're those countries doing? Fine. After the Korean conflict, we're still in South Korea. How's South Korea doing? Fine. Bosnia... same. Afganistan... same. We were forced to completely withdraw from South Viet Nam, leaving no U.S. military presence whatsoever, and look what happened: definitely NOT fine. So, we'll probably be in Iraq for decades; and, in light of how things are going in other nations where, post-war, the U.S. is still there, I don't know that that's necessarily a bad thing.

Shadowgm - 2005-12-19 16:38:38
We're committed to staying in Iraq because we now have an obligation to clean up our mess. My primary issue with Mr. Bush is that he isn't exactly inspiring confidence; it's going to take more than slogans and a PowerPoint presentation to win anything in the Middle East. Additionally, your assertion seems to imply that stability is a direct result of an American presence; the challenge would be to initiate the change and NOT have to babysit the country for another 60+ years.