Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Eleven Years in Iraq

We must build a reputation for winning wars.

America's enemies have again gained reasons to doubt whether we have the strength of character to win in the face of difficulties despite our advanced military hardware. While both of our political parties are contributing to this state of affairs, one in particular (via Real Clear Politics) is leading the charge to the rear:

So far the terrorists' plan seems to be working. Even most Republican senators are demanding a withdrawal strategy. But it is the Democrats who are stampeding toward the exits. Apparently the death of about 2,100 soldiers over the course of almost three years is more than they can bear. Good thing these were not the same Democrats who were running the country in 1944, or else they would have pulled out of France after the loss of 5,000 Allied servicemen on D-day.

The Democratic mindset — cakewalk or cut and run — has already had parlous consequences. It is the reason why President Clinton did not take meaningful action against Al Qaeda in the 1990s. He figured that a serious military response — an invasion of Afghanistan or even a covert campaign to aid the Northern Alliance — would run steep risks, like body bags coming home. So he limited himself to flinging a few cruise missiles at empty buildings, leading our enemies to think that we were, in Osama bin Laden's words, a "paper tiger" that could be attacked with impunity. A precipitous withdrawal from Iraq today, aside from sparking a Balkans-style civil war in which hundreds of thousands might die, would confirm this baleful impression and encourage Islamo-fascists to step up their predations.

There is a story I remember, perhaps not even real, that was meant to convey the strength of will the Romans had when facing an enemy (from my memory). Once they began a siege, apparently, they would not lift it short of victory:

A Roman army marched up to a walled city and demanded its surrender. The ruler of the city refused and boasted that he had supplies to last ten years!

The Roman general responded that his army would besiege the city for eleven.

The city capitulated immediately.
If our so-called leaders would have the strength of character to back a war that they actually authorized until we win, we would not tempt enemies to kill as many of our troops as possible in order to drive us from the battlefield. In the long run, a reputation for doing what it takes to win will lead our enemies to learn that resistance is futile.

Remember, it takes a village to raise enemies to believe we're weenies.

We must stay eleven years in Iraq. And our enemies must know this as a fact.