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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

How to lose a War

This Ralph Peters op-ed is pretty brutal on those advocating immediate retreat from Iraq. Except:

Yes, we've been told lies about Iraq — by Dems and their media groupies. About conditions on the ground. About our troops. About what's at stake. About the consequences of running away from the great struggle of our time. About the continuing threat from terrorism. And about the consequences for you and your family. What do the Democrats fear? An American success in Iraq. They need us to fail, and they're going to make us fail, no matter the cost. They need to declare defeat before the 2006 mid-term elections and ensure a real debacle before 2008 — a bloody mess they'll blame on Bush, even though they made it themselves. We won't even talk about the effect quitting while we're winning in Iraq might have on the go-to-war calculations of other powers that might want to challenge us in the future. Let's just be good Democrats and prove that Osama bin Laden was right all along: Americans have no stomach for a fight.
To an extent, I think it is both true and unfortunate that Democrats have made the war in Iraq a partisan issue and that failure there is needed for them to succeed. Politically this strikes me as very foolish. Even if they manage to 'succeed' in the short term, it is likely that there will come a time, probably not too far away, when the American people will decide that we need a strong pro-military President. The world is, and will remain, a dangerous place. While the anti-war rhetoric may indeed weaken the Bush administration and allow Democratic gains in 2006 and 2008, it will also further cement the Democrats as being anti-military and weak on national defense. That will be a tough perception to overcome and weaken the party further in the long term.


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