Thursday, October 26, 2006

Uninterested in Winning (in Iraq)

The Left has long insisted that the President needs to admit mistakes about Iraq and redo our approach.

I personally think that tactics must change but the overall approach of standing up Iraqis is correct. Unfortunately, a well-financed and bloody insurgency by various groups is making the need for patience difficult to provide in order to apply the strategy long enough to win.

So, when the President retools some tactics, abandons the slogan "stay the course," but reaffirms the need to win by standing up the Iraqis, one would think that the Left would applaud such changes. Or at worst say the changes aren't enough to win. But you would be assuming that the Left wants America and the Iraqi government to win the war.

Instead, the changes described by the President are merely seized upon as proof that we are losing, that the President hasn't been forthright with the public, and that we should just extricate ourselves from this "mess" and come home.

This has been my basic problem with the complaints of the Left. Yes, they have the right to complain. (And conversely--this one is tougher for the Left to accept--those who disagree with the Left have the right to actually say the Left is wrong.) And yes, if there are problems I want to know about them. We can't adapt if we don't know that something isn't working. So even when I've disagreed with some conservative complaints (mostly on troop levels), I've taken them as sincere desires to correct perceived mistakes to win the war.

But I've always feared that Left complaints about the conduct of the war are not based on a desire to win the war but by a desire to win Washington, D.C. The glee that the Left is displaying while seizing on the mere retirement of a phrase that the Left itself has misinterpreted is proof enough to me that I am correct to mistrust the Left's complaints as merely partisan mudslinging. Even Secretary Rumsfeld addressed this:

"It's a political season and everyone's trying to make a little mischief out of this, and make, turn it into a political football," Rumsfeld said.

Actually, the complete ignorance of military matters that most on the Left display and the Left's failure to offer alternatives to their complaints have always been pretty solid proof of their lack of interest in winning.

But it is always nice to know for sure.