Thursday, June 23, 2005

We Are Winning

It pains me to have to say the bleeding obvious, but there seems to be some confusion in the press, the public, and our Congress. So here it is: we are winning in Iraq and the enemy is losing.

I simply do not understand how anybody who pays attention to what has happened over the last two years can assert that we are losing and that we need to get out fast.

Oh sure, if you don't really follow what is happening and just rely on impressions from the press that only puts the latest car bombing on the top of the hour, it is understandable that you might be confused. But it is so apparent to me that we are winning that I am stunned at the cries of defeat.

But at least the standard bearers for the defeatists are out in the open. In the past, I distrusted their criticisms of the war not because we make no errors in war, but because I did not trust that the criticism was intended to fight better and achieve victory. It always seemed like they were just itching to screech "Vietnam!" at the top of their lungs, drag out their sandals and dirt wardrobe from their youth, and demand we pull our troops out, try them all for war crimes, and open the money spigot to the Baathists and Islamist jihadis who deserve to win in Iraq.

The key to winning has always been on the policial front and not the military front. Our military is buying time for Iraqis to build up a government and a security force so they can fight the insurgents and terrorists. While we can get tired of the war and go home, Iraqis have no place to go but back to the torture chambers and mass graves. The Iraqis will not get tired and as long as they have the tools, they will beat the minority of Sunni Iraqis who dream of past neck-stomping glory and their foreign jihadi buddies who yearn to kill and die in Iraq.

We haven't won the war yet, but we are winning. Read Max Boot (via Real Clear Politics), who concludes:

The biggest advantage the insurgents still have, aside from their total disdain for human life, is that they can get reinforcements from abroad to make up for their heavy losses. The coalition needs to do a better job of policing the Syrian border and pressuring Damascus to crack down on the influx of jihadis.

But even if the border gets sealed, pacifying Iraq will be a long, hard slog that will ultimately be up to the Iraqis. The U.S. needs to show a little patience. If we don't cut and run prematurely, Iraqi democracy can survive its birth pangs.

The situation in Iraq has progressed tremendously since April 2004 when a lot of people were worried that the enemy had just pulled off a Sepoy Mutiny and rallied the Iraqi people against our troops. The enemy is divided, the Iraqi people back the new government and hate the jihadis, and the Iraqi military is stepping forward to assume more responsibilities.

Have patience. Victory is ours to lose.