Tuesday, November 18, 2008

All We Are Saying ... Is It's Over and We Won

... (crickets chirping) ...

Zombietime says the war in Iraq is over, and we won. This is a very dangerous thing to say in today's America. It goes against all the existing narratives that our helpful media dishes out daily, ie., that the war was lost a long time ago, and only a moron or a President who doesn't listen to his advisers -- but I repeat myself -- would continue the charade.

Turns out, the war was not lost a long time ago (though it was trending that way). But winning wars requires a Commander-in-Chief with both fortitude and judgment to, ahem, listen to the advice of an adviser, Gen. David Petraeus, who is an expert on counter-insurgency, and who convinced President Bush in December 2006 that changing our strategy was worth a shot, even though it would require another 20-30,000 troops to make it work. So President Bush, to his great credit, and despite just having been rebuked by the November 2006 elections, and despite constant calls for swift withdrawal by poll-watching Congressmen, decided to up the ante, and send more troops, and make Gen. Petraeus the commander of the Multi National Force Iraq to implement his strategy.

This was a very daring move. And it worked. And here we have an object lesson in why the military is under the command of the President, and not Congress.

I know all this because I read military and pro-defense blogs. And it would be awfully nice if more people knew why we won the war. They'll study the Petraeus doctrine in military schools for decades, because it was a revolutionary solution to an age-old problem, but the American people are too ill-informed and self-absorbed to notice; yet they know how much money Sarah Palin's wardrobe cost.

Can you say "culture in decline"?

So Zombietime is declaring November 22, 2008, Victory in Iraq Day. I'll gladly participate, keeping in mind those who have died to make this happen, and the leadership of President Bush in committing to winning the damn war.

But lots of people don't like President Bush, so by their tortured logic, that means we didn't really win, after all. Or if we did, it isn't very important. After all, he talks funny.

So never-you-mind that today, Iraq is mostly peaceful, due to both the change in strategy and the people of Iraq finally turning against Al-Qaeda in Iraq about two years ago, after realizing that terrorists care about nothing except killing innocent people by the truckload in order to gain power. And give the people of Iraq credit -- lots of credit -- because they risked their lives (including the lives of innocent women and children) in order to actively start fighting against terrorist scumbags who blow up little kids running for candy and strap bombs to kids with Down syndrome and then detonate them via remote control.

Just don't expect much comment on this historic victory over the terrorists and the unmitigated evil they represent. Nah, we live in a post-modern bubble here, where such things can be ignored, because they don't fit the narrative. It's cool. You just make up the facts you wish to be true, and ignore the true ones, and voila! A new reality is born.

So no front page headlines in 72 point type announcing victory, no victory parades, and no admission from the 20-30% of the country that suffers from Bush Derangement Syndrome, that they were wrong. That would require intellectual honesty, and in a post-modern world, well ... who has time for that silliness?

And they fought so hard, for the other side, these rabid Bush-haters in the media and Congress and various leakers at State and CIA. During wartime, too! How exhausting for the poor dears. Of course, normally, this is borderline treason, but somehow we've gotten to a place where it's "the highest form of patriotism". Um, sure. OK.

Despite their efforts, we won anyway. And we'll remember who puts petty political squabbles over the nation's interests. And we'll teach our children all about the shameful conduct of the various factions that worked against our ultimate victory, and the way they advanced the cause of terrorists the world over for political gain at home. And how they then tried to spin it later, and then learned to avoid the topic when it wasn't a political winner for them.

Once we started winning, lots of people stopped pretending to care about the war. When we were losing, it was vitally important to them. Does that sound like patriotism to you? Me neither.

And we all know people who belong to this club. I'm not sure what to say to them, except that arguing about being lied into war is silly, because every war starts due to lies of some sort or another. Even a benevolent government has no real duty to tell the full truth to its people, in matters of war. Calling a press conference to announce that the real reason behind the Iraq war -- to increase pressure on neighboring countries, particularly Saudi Arabia and their terror-supporting ways -- is just giving away strategic information for free. And this was, in fact, the long-term goal, and so far, at least in part, it's working. If you didn't like that plan, what was your plan? Continue to pursue terrorists as individual criminals, in the courts, instead of the organized para-military force that they are? That doesn't work, for all kinds of reasons, and it led to 9/11.

And the best thing to do -- when you yourself are safely at home while others are fighting in a war you don't support because you don't understand it, or because you don't like the President -- is to keep quiet and support it anyway, at least outwardly. Do everything you can to keep national morale up, so we can win quickly, both to honor the memories of those injured and killed in that war, and to send messages to our enemies that yes, there is a serious price to pay for messing with us. War is like a classroom, and everybody in the world is learning from it; you want those lessons to be to your advantage in the future. Which also means, conversely, that giving up and running away when the going gets tough emboldens those who in the future, might not otherwise attack. This is basic Geo-Politics 101.

One more thing: undermining the Commander in Chief during a war works to accomplish the goals of the enemy during wartime, by actively killing morale and sapping the national will. Whether intended or not, that's what happens. So knock it off; we're lucky enough to live free due to the sacrifices of others, and so we owe them at least that little bit of gratitude, that little bit of humility, to do what we can to help them, so we can pay them back by quickly bring them home, victorious.

So, to all those elected officials, bureaucrats, and other lemmings who took principled stands that undermined our cause, congratulations. This means you, Dick Durbin.

And, to all the private citizens who took a principled stand, and refused to let a lack of good information stop them from trying to re-live 1969 all over again, congratulations. Someday you'll figure out that anti-war protests are nearly always full of crap.

To some of us, it looked an awful lot like putting partisan politics before the national interest.

But hey, if you say it was a principled stand, I believe you. And since taking a principled stand is about principles, not image and politics, I anxiously await all those drinks and meals you're going to enthusiastically buy when you run into somebody in uniform.

Or, you could admit it was all about trying to gain political advantage. Totally up to you.