16 Oct 2007

Buried Victories

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J.R. Dunn explains how the denial of recognition of military success is essential to the process of destruction of national morale and will by the pacifist, defeatist media.

Victory is hated by antiwar types, no matter what their ideology and motivation. (This is not even to mention the agendas of the hard left and the Democrats, which we don’t have space to get into.) They don’t want war redeemed. Anything that lessens its loathsome aspects makes it easier to view war as a possibility. Victory is one of the failings of war that must be gotten rid of. But of course, in any conflict (excepting wars of exhaustion, which we don’t often see) there will be winner and a loser. Victory can’t be denied to that extent. But the rituals, the salutes, the expressions of respect and magnanimity, can be undermined. And so we get buried victories.

A buried victory is one that has been downgraded and ignored, one that has been hedged with so many qualifications and second thoughts that it is scarcely a victory at all any longer. A buried victory is one from which all the human aspects have been drained, and replaced — if that’s the word — with bureaucratic procedure.

We’ve seen this for fifty years or more. U.S. forces had effectively secured most of South Vietnam by 1972. The Viet Cong had been a nullity since being effectively wiped out during the Tet Offensive, and the People’s Army of North Vietnam had to a large extent been chased across the borders into Cambodia and Laos. South Vietnam was a stable political entity, and with adequate support could have remained that way.

But the American left, for purely political reasons, portrayed the situation as a defeat, and in a series of Congressional actions through 1973 and 1974, cut off support for the Saigon government until it was hanging by a string. It fell at last on April 30, 1975, after a heroic final defense at the gates of the city.

In the years that followed, close to 3 million were murdered in Southeast Asia. …

Today we see a similar process occurring in Iraq. None of the achievements of the Coalition or the Iraqis has gained more than momentary recognition. The purple revolution, the elections, the reconstruction — all have been dismissed or ignored. What has replaced them is an endless chronicle of suffering and destruction – of war without victory.

A must read.


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