Thursday, August 23, 2007

Why we lost the war.

George Will writes today, in anticipation of the September progress report:
"After the First World War, politics in Germany's new Weimar Republic were poisoned by the belief that the army had been poised for victory in 1918 and that one more surge could have turned the tide. Many Germans bitterly concluded that the political class, having lost its nerve and will to win, capitulated. The fact that fanciful analysis fed this rancor did not diminish its power."
Of course we know that this fanciful analysis led to extremism, scapegoating and persecution of the innocent, but what Will does not discuss is the fanciful analysis that has fed the still unbridged divide in the US that followed upon the Viet Nam war. We would have won that one of course, if only or if it hadn't been for Fonda, Hippies, flag burners, the Liberal Press, unpatriotic dissenters, etc. We would have "won" but for the lack of resolve and the "emboldenment" of the "enemy" by those who didn't swallow the false reports and fanciful predictions. We were so close to winning.

The fact that containing the spread of Communism by military involvement in civil wars has been largely unsuccessful since the end of WW II doesn't seem to enter the equation or dilute the argument that what every citizen of the world wants is American inspired and all they need is to have is elections for western liberal democracy to flourish. It was never that we jumped into untenable struggles with inchoate strategies without the slightest doubt of our heroism, it is always the fault of some convenient group who never believed the lies.

Nixon's plan to win was of course, to appear resolute, to escalate in secret and to give false progress reports while predicting that the Vietnamese army would soon stand up so that we could stand down and declare victory with honor. That's the same basic strategy of our Decider, Commander Guy, Warpresident: we win through resolve alone and lose through realism - and he still gets applause for it.

Will goes on to speculate that Petraeus' report will convince no one in the two opposing camps, but in typical Will fashion, he avoids having to admit that there is accessible reality outside of political scenarios. It's as though the deluded and the perspicacious are somehow equivalent and so objectivity is illusory. Perhaps George has been studying Zen or perhaps he's designed an interesting way to avoid taking responsibility for his support of the Neocon crusade.

Viet Nam ended badly because we had no plan for orderly withdrawal short of unconditional surrender of all opponents civilian and military and so it will be with Iraq. Of course it's interesting to note that Bush has finally made notice of the lessons of Viet Nam, the conflict he and his cronies avoided, by warning us of the bloodshed that will ensue if we leave, without taking responsibility for the blood already shed in our arriving and remaining. The precipitous end of our involvement in Viet Nam allowed chaos to ensue because we bombed countries into the stone age and destabilized every government in the area and created more enemies than we could count and didn't have time or the means or the plan to get our friends out. Sounds like a familiar story, doesn't it?

No one will be able to perpetuate this war long enough or be able to deploy enough force to change the indigenous religions and tribal affiliations and the ancient animosities they carry. Iraq will not be standing up for the Maliki Government or anything like it. This war will end badly and is likely to spread and of course to the next, remember-nothing generation, it will have gone badly because of the Liberals and their lack of resolve.


d.K. said...

I've said before that I hope Mr. Bush lives a looooong life so that he can see History when it's finally written regarding his foible in Iraq -- but he's now on record as saying (to Karl Rove) that the "real" History will be written after they're dead. So, I don't know that I can wish him a long, healthy life anymore. What's the point?

Capt. Fogg said...

I think people like George are incapable of recognizing error. So many of his sins have been washed away - or at least the evidence has been - that he must think history will reflect his cover story rather than the sad truth.

d nova said...

don' 4get, we went in2 vitnam 2 stop the dominoes from falling 2 the commies.

our loss xplains why the reds won the cold war.