Category Archive 'Defeatism'
04 Aug 2007

Rangers Do Not Fail

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An Army Ranger Sergeant First Class, who has served 21 months in Iraq, while home on a two week leave, pleads for the US public’s support to let him finish his job on a call to the Neal Boortz show. The video was produced by Noodlehead Studios and SaveTheSoldiers.Com.

7:32 video

03 Aug 2007

Surge’s Success Producing Anti-War Surge Response

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Marc Sheppard observes that good news concerning the success of US operations in Iraq and the continuation of British support under new Prime Minister Gordon Brown has made it a bad week for the democrat anti-war left, but the democrats and their media allies are fighting back.

Warfare is the Way of deception – Sun Tzu

The left’s anti-war forces sustained heavy casualties earlier this week. And, judging from both strategy shifts and painful screams heard throughout the liberal blogosphere, many of the fallen were high value propaganda targets.

It’s no secret that Democratic strategists see failure in Iraq as a blood-soaked red carpet leading them to the White House next year. So much so that even before the president officially announced the initial 20,000 troop surge in January, opposition party leaders were scrambling to denounce it as a doomed and desperate last-gasp effort to save a failing policy. …

(various positive news)

..the now fully implemented surge is working to expectation and the misinformed contrarians were wrong.

No problem – Dems and the MSM will simply toggle between denying and ignoring that fact. Just as they’ve denied the nature of Al Qaeda in Iraq and ignored its recent attempts to use chemical weapons against Iraqi civilians. Ditto requests for their plan to prevent the untold civilian casualties of anti-war associated with cutting and running, which may now include a repeat of what happened to the Kurds of Halabja.

Sure enough — with hopes of an unfavorable review quickly fading, a new stratagem has arisen, with anti-war disinformation brigades launching a surge of their own. Suddenly no longer concerned with military matters, today we are being barraged with statements like those from ABC News (“In the critical, political arena, the picture is bleak”) or from Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), who in April declared “that the troop surge plan in Iraq has failed,” yet today quipped:

“We’ve made some progress in the surge, we’ve made some military progress. But I think [Petraeus will] be honest enough to say we’ve made no political progress.”

As is often said of its counterpart, it’s becoming abundantly clear that truth is the first casualty of anti-war.

Read the whole thing.

01 Aug 2007

Some Historical Perspective

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Tony Blankley compares the minor setbacks in Iraq with the major setbacks early in the Second World War (and the behavior of the British Opposition then with that of the American defeatists of today). As in 1942, changes in military leadership and growing experience in dealing with the enemy may in 2007 be producing a major change in momentum.

On June 25, the following resolution was tabled in the House:

“That this House, while paying tribute to the heroism and endurance of the Armed Forces, in circumstances of exceptional difficulty, has no confidence in the central direction of the war.”

That would be June 25, 1942. The House would be the House of Commons in London, England. And the government in which no confidence was expressed was that of Winston Churchill.

Almost three years into World War II, repeated military failures had induced considerable war fatigue in Britain. In February 1942, Singapore fell to the Japanese with 25,000 British troops being taken prisoner. In March, Rangoon fell. This was vastly damaging to Churchill’s prestige in Washington as Rangoon was the only port through which aid could be shipped to China’s Chiang Kai-shek — a very high priority for the United States in Asia.

In April, the Japanese Navy drove the Royal Navy all the way back to East Africa and shelled the British Indian coastal cities.

Then on June 21, 1942, Tobruk in North Africa fell to Gen. Rommel, with 33,000 British prisoners taken and the Suez Canal (Britain’s lifeline to her Asian empire and oil) threatened.

A week later, Churchill struggled to win that vote of no confidence. But shrewd political observers in London at the time (very much including Churchill himself) believed he was one more lost battle away from being removed from office — or at best stripped of his Minister of Defense cabinet powers and rendered a mere figurehead leader.

But during those months Churchill had been busy firing or re-assigning the generals who were not bringing victories: including Gens. Wavell, Dill, Auchinleck, Ritchie, Norrie, Brooke-Popham, Messervy and Corbett — among others.

Finally he found a general who could win — Bernard Law Montgomery. And at the second battle of El Alamein in October and November 1942, Montgomery beat Rommel and started the drive west across the rim of Africa — finally driving Rommel and his Afrika Corp clear off the continent. Both for Churchills’ government and the eventual victory in WWII, El Alamein was the “hinge of fate.” As Chuchill said: “Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat.”

I wonder whether, perhaps, in Gen. Petraeus President Bush has finally found his Gen. Montgomery. And whether Petraeus’s new strategy and success at beating al Qaeda in Iraq and growing success against the Mahdi Army — may be his El Alamein.

Wars are curious things. Certainly, as President Bush and many of his supporters have cruelly learned, victories cannot reliably be predicted. But as Sen. Harry Reid, the congressional Democrats (and a growing number of Republicans) may soon learn — neither can one reliably predict defeat.

Of course, there are vast differences between WWII and the current Iraq Theatre of the War on Terror (ITWOT). For one thing, in 1942, the British Parliamentarians were not proposing bringing the British troops home and surrendering to Hitler and the Japanese. They merely thought another leader (perhaps Sir Stafford Cripps) might better lead Britain to victory.

Were they more patriotic than the current defeatists in Washington? Perhaps. Or perhaps it was just that they understood (at least by that terrible summer of 1942) that for England, it was victory or death — while for many of the Washington defeatists in this dismal summer of ’07 they are under the delusion that America in all its might and glory can simply surrender to al Qaeda without potentially mortal consequences. …

So this week’s New York Times article by Brookings Institute experts arguing that we may yet be able to win the war has sent a tidal wave of hope through the pro-war camp and a chill down the backs of the Democratic Party defeatist. If it’s true, the hinge of fate unexpectedly may be swinging — knocking over many in its great arc.

Read the whole thing.

25 Jul 2007

Wrong Battlefield?

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Thomas Joscelyn, in the Weekly Standard, refutes the recent democratic justification for defeatism: the claim that “Iraq is the wrong battlefield.”

Those cowards and defeatists would be just as unhappy, and just as eager to press for withdrawal, if the US invaded Waziristan. They just feel safe pointing to it as an alternative, because they feel certain that no US administration would invade Pakistan.

The leading Democratic presidential contenders have voiced a new conventional wisdom in recent weeks: The war in Iraq has little or nothing to do with defeating al Qaeda. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have embraced this view, as has the New York Times. It is dangerously wrong. …

Just last week, the summary of a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) representing the consensus of the U.S. intelligence community was released. It states that the organization “Al Qaeda in Iraq” is the terror network’s “most visible and capable affiliate.” Al Qaeda’s leadership still desires to strike the U.S. homeland and “will probably seek to leverage the contacts and capabilities of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)” to do so. “In addition,” the intelligence estimate notes, al Qaeda relies on Al Qaeda in Iraq to “energize the broader Sunni extremist community, raise resources, and to recruit and indoctrinate operatives, including for Homeland attacks.”

These judgments are obviously inconsistent with Obama’s belief that America is fighting on the “wrong battlefield.” But the judgments of the intelligence community have been wrong before–witness the October 2002 NIE on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. So we should be wary of taking this latest pronouncement at face value.

The NIE’s conclusions are, however, supported by a source that cannot be ignored: al Qaeda’s two principal leaders. Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri have repeatedly called Iraq the “front line” in their war against Western civilization. Indeed, a review of their statements–readily accessible in translation in the anthologies edited by Bruce Lawrence (Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden) and Laura Mans field (His Own Words: Translations and Analysis of the Writings of Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri) and from other public sources–confirms that they have made Iraq their fight. …

Bin Laden and Zawahiri’s own words tell us that the American project in Iraq jeopardizes everything their group stands for: These two top leaders of al Qaeda have promised the people of the Middle East that al Qaeda will protect Muslim soil from the “Crusader-Zionist” invaders, even if the region’s rulers will not, and even if doing so meant cooperating with the “apostate” Saddam.

Zawahiri believes that Iraq is al Qaeda’s best opportunity for establishing a true Islamist state in the heart of the Middle East. Democracy does not belong in the region, the two men say, and only an Islamic government based on sharia law is acceptable in Iraq. The mujahedeen will drive the Americans out of Iraq using the same tactics they used to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan. America’s leaders and soldiers are weak, al Qaeda says. They are looking for a way to run from the fight in Iraq, and they will do so, bin Laden exults, while the “whole world is watching.”

The whole world, that is, except the leading Democratic candidates for president.

Read the whole thing.

18 Jul 2007

Senatorial Surrender Sleepover

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Gateway Pundit has excellent coverage of the democrats’ Senatorial surrender slumber party.

Don’t miss the 2:41 video of Joe Lieberman speaking truth to defeatism.

18 Jul 2007

A Man Addresses the Invertebrates and Pond Scum

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John Hinderaker, at Power-Line, quotes an eloquent remonstrance from John McCain to his despicable colleagues in the Senate. He titled it: A Man Addresses the Boys.

Let us keep in the front of our minds the likely consequences of premature withdrawal from Iraq. Many of my colleagues would like to believe that, should the withdrawal amendment we are currently debating become law, it would mark the end of this long effort. They are wrong. Should the Congress force a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, it would mark a new beginning, the start of a new, more dangerous, and more arduous effort to contain the forces unleashed by our disengagement.
No matter where my colleagues came down in 2003 about the centrality of Iraq to the war on terror, there can simply be no debate that our efforts in Iraq today are critical to the wider struggle against violent Islamic extremism. Already, the terrorists are emboldened, excited that America is talking not about winning in Iraq, but is rather debating when we should lose.

***

Mr. President, the terrorists are in this war to win it. The question is: Are we?

***

The supporters of this amendment respond that they do not by any means intend to cede the battlefield to al Qaeda; on the contrary, their legislation would allow U.S. forces, presumably holed up in forward operating bases, to carry out targeted counterterrorism operations. But our own military commanders say that this approach will not succeed, and that moving in with search and destroy missions to kill and capture terrorists, only to immediately cede the territory to the enemy, is the failed strategy of the past three and a half years.

***

Mr. President, this fight is about Iraq but not about Iraq alone. It is greater than that and more important still, about whether America still has the political courage to fight for victory or whether we will settle for defeat, with all of the terrible things that accompany it. We cannot walk away gracefully from defeat in this war.

What a fine leader and desirable Republican presidential candidate a reliably conservative John McCain could have made!

——————————–

I don’t agree with Harold Meyerson‘s politics or his defeatist view of the situation in Iraq, but I wholeheartedly endorse his characterization of a number of Republican senators:

Anyone searching for the highest forms of invertebrate life need look no further than the floor of the U.S. Senate last week and this. These spineless specimens go by various names — Republican moderates; respected senior Republicans; Dick Lugar, John Warner, Pete Domenici, George Voinovich.

But if weak-kneed Republican bedwetters running for political cover are rightly described as invertebrate, leftist democrats who make a profession and career out of opposing their country’s cause and stabbing American troops in the back are obviously still lower on the evolutionary scale.

15 Jul 2007

Harry Reid: Two Videos

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The Senate Majority Leader ducks a hard question.

0:36 video

And Dennis Miller has some advice for Harry Reid:

2:22 video

Hat tip to MacRanger.

11 Jul 2007

Joe Lieberman Agrees with NYM

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Senator Joseph Lieberman agrees with Never Yet Melted on the proposition that there is no possibility that US forces can be defeated by our adversaries on the ground in Iraq, and that if the war is lost, it will be lost in the domestic war for public opinion.

He said so on Bill Bennet’s radio program. And one of the Talking Points Memo crowd captured Senator Lieberman’s radio comment and packaged it as a YouTube 0:48 video for the left blogosphere to spit and hiss over today.

mcjoan at Daily Kos typically treats Lieberman’s observation as a gratuitous attack on Harry Reid, and (naturally) proceeds to play the left’s sad old tune about the sufferings of the American soldiers they are busily stabbing in the back.

10 Jul 2007

Our Own Worst Enemy

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Alexander M. Haig Jr. pulls no punches in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Donald Rumsfeld’s departure and the decision to pursue counterinsurgency in Iraq required fresh commanders. But the administration overlooked a new source of military talent in, of all places, the U.S. Senate. The Senate Majority Leader, for example, asserts that the war is lost and that Gen. Petraeus is detached from reality in Baghdad. He and other equally qualified lay military experts are busily setting dates certain for troop withdrawal, oblivious of the consequences. Some have questioned the constitutionality of such Congressional resolutions. I question their wisdom. We need a debate on how to win, not how to lose. That would be a good topic for the presidential candidates. It’s certainly not what they’re talking about now.

John Quincy Adams warned us against going abroad “in search of monsters to destroy,” and some argue that the war on terror is just such a case. I disagree. On 9/11, the monster found us asleep at home and will continue to find us inadequately prepared unless we muster more strength and more wisdom. Unless we break with illusionary democracy mongering, inept handling of our military resources and self-defeating domestic political debates, we are in danger of becoming our own worst enemy.

And when domestic defeatism forces US withdrawal, and the religious fanatics spill oceans of innocent blood, the leftwing punditocracy will explain it is all the fault of George W. Bush for disturbing the peaceful idyll of Baathist dictatorship.

13 Jun 2007

Pre-Traumatic Defeatism From a Naval Academy Professor

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Christopher J. Fettweis puts America on the couch for a session of (slightly premature) Post-traumatic Iraq Syndrome counseling in the La Times.

Losing hurts more than winning feels good. This simple maxim applies with equal power to virtually all areas of human interaction: sports, finance, love. And war. …

The endgame in Iraq is now clear, in outline if not detail, and it appears that the heavily favored United States will be upset. Once support for a war is lost, it is gone for good; there is no example of a modern democracy having changed its mind once it turned against a war. So we ought to start coming to grips with the meaning of losing in Iraq.

The consequences for the national psyche are likely to be profound, throwing American politics into a downward spiral of bitter recriminations the likes of which it has not seen in a generation. …

The American people seem to understand, however — and historians will certainly agree — that the war itself was a catastrophic mistake. It was a faulty grand strategy, not poor implementation. The Bush administration was operating under an international political illusion, one that is further discredited with every car bombing of a crowded Baghdad marketplace and every Iraqi doctor who packs up his family and flees his country.

The only significant question still hanging is whether Iraq will turn out to have been the biggest strategic mistake in U.S. history. …

Perhaps at some point we will come to recognize that the United States can afford to be much more restrained in its foreign policy adventures. Were our founding fathers here, they would surely look on Iraq with horror and judge that the nation they created had fundamentally lost its way. If the war in Iraq leads the United States to return to its traditional, restrained grand strategy, then perhaps the whole experience will not have been in vain.

Either way, the Iraq syndrome is coming. We need to be prepared for the divisiveness, vitriol, self-doubt and recrimination that will be its symptoms. They will be the defining legacy of the Bush administration and neoconservatism’s parting gift to America.

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Thank you, Neocons, for returning the USA to the grand old pre-WWII philosophy of Isolationism.

——————————

It seems curious to this reader that Mr. Fettweis, an assistant professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, in his eagerness to snatch defeat, never actually identifies when and where the US defeat occurred.

Where exactly did the American Blenheim, the American Retreat from Moscow, the American Stalingrad, or the American Dien Bien Phu take place and when did it occur?

Traditionally, nations lose wars when they suffer a major defeat in battle resulting in the destruction or surrender of an entire army.

Alternatively, nations lose wars the way the Confederacy did in 1865 and Germany did in WWI via drastic prolonged losses of manpower, economic exhaustion, and civilian starvation.

We lost 3513 men in Iraq over four years, not the 10-13 thousand Grant lost at Cold Harbor, the 100,000 each France and Germany lost at Verdun, not even the 7000 we lost in less than a month at Iwo Jima.

It can hardly be contended that the loss of 3500 men over four years has brought a nation of 300 million to its knees. The United States lost 3% of its population in the Civil War before one side lost the will to continue the fight. Germany lost more than 1,700,000 in WWI before accepting the Armistice. We lose 26,000 lives in highway fatalities per annum, and we’re not withdrawing from the nation’s roads.

We are obviously not really running out of manpower. Have we exhausted our financial resources?

We’re running a deficit, it’s true, but the deficit as percentage of GDP is low: 1.4%. The average since 1970 is 2.3%.

We haven’t lost any battles. No US army has been annihilated or surrendered. We are hardly running out of manpower. We are neither starving, nor broke. So why are we defeated?

What we are running out of is conviction in the justness of our cause and confidence in our success. Those losses did not occur in Iraq. Those losses were inflicted on the homefront in a highly successful propaganda operation which inflicted the death of a thousand cuts upon American support for the War in Iraq by lovingly detailed news coverage of every American casualty, by the systematic magnification of the enemy’s every trivial ambush or booby trap into a major victory, by the obfuscation and denigration of America’s causus belli and war aims.

American military forces cannot possibly be defeated on the battlefield by the inferior numbers of lightly armed irregular adversaries. But we have been brought very close to defeat, with withdrawal not difficult to imagine, by domestic defeatism and treason.

Before Mr. Fettweis undertakes to talk about Post-Traumatic Defeat Syndrome, he is under an obligation to identify the real character of that defeat.

22 May 2007

Iran Planning Summer Offensive to Break Crumbling US Will

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Unidentified “US officials” leak to Britain’s Guardian.

Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say.

“Iran is fighting a proxy war in Iraq and it’s a very dangerous course for them to be following. They are already committing daily acts of war against US and British forces,” a senior US official in Baghdad warned. “They [Iran] are behind a lot of high-profile attacks meant to undermine US will and British will, such as the rocket attacks on Basra palace and the Green Zone [in Baghdad]. The attacks are directed by the Revolutionary Guard who are connected right to the top [of the Iranian government]. …

US officials now say they have firm evidence that Tehran has switched tack as it senses a chance of victory in Iraq. In a parallel development, they say they also have proof that Iran has reversed its previous policy in Afghanistan and is now supporting and supplying the Taliban’s campaign against US, British and other Nato forces.

Tehran’s strategy to discredit the US surge and foment a decisive congressional revolt against Mr Bush is national in scope and not confined to the Shia south, its traditional sphere of influence, the senior official in Baghdad said. It included stepped-up coordination with Shia militias such as Moqtada al-Sadr’s Jaish al-Mahdi as well as Syrian-backed Sunni Arab groups and al-Qaida in Mesopotamia, he added. Iran was also expanding contacts across the board with paramilitary forces and political groups, including Kurdish parties such as the PUK, a US ally.

06 May 2007

The Press Is Not The Public

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David Broder, in today’s Washington Post, claims the left has a mandate for defeat, surrender, and withdrawal.

The gap between public opinion and Washington reality has rarely been wider than on the issue of the Iraq war. A clear national mandate is being blocked — for now — by constraints that make sense only in the short-term calculus of politics in this capital city.

The public verdict on the war is plain. Large majorities have come to believe that it was a mistake to go in, and equally large majorities want to begin the process of getting out. That is what the polls say; it is what the mail to Capitol Hill says; and it is what voters signaled when they put the Democrats back into control of Congress in November. …

The question that naturally arises is why the strongly expressed judgment of the people — responding to news of increasing American casualties in a seemingly intractable sectarian conflict — cannot be translated into action in Washington. …

One way or another, public opinion ultimately will be heeded on the war in Iraq. It is hard to imagine the Republicans going into the presidential election of 2008 with 150,000 American troops still taking heavy casualties in Iraq.

It’s true that the democrats won control of Congress last November, but many other issues and factors besides the war, and a number of Republican scandals, undoubtedly also played a role in that election’s results. The democrats gained a very narrow Congressional majority, and can hardly be described as possessing a mandate to do anything other than avoid taking bribes and molesting pages.

Which mandate alone should represent a more than adequate challenge, requiring all the moral resolve and political will the democrat party can possibly muster, if not more.

One hears the claim a lot these days that public opinion thinks this, and public opinion demands that, as if opinion polls conducted by news organizations represented some sort of meaningful, objective, binding, and official process. This sort of claim represents the grossest sort of attempt by journalists to usurp political authority.

The poll Mr. Broder cites in his own editorial was conducted by two notoriously biased news organizations, the Washington Post and ABC News. And its results are based on the responses of a mere 1082 adults, including an intentional “oversample of African-Americans.”

Opinion polls of 1000 or so of the people willing to talk to pollsters on the phone prove basically nothing. Opinion polls are typically artfully crafted. The questions they contain steer answers in the direction their creators desire.

That WaPo/ABC poll, which Broder cited, asked:

Do you think (the United States should keep its military forces in Iraq until civil order is restored there, even if that means continued U.S. military casualties); OR, do you think (the United States should withdraw its military forces from Iraq in order to avoid further U.S. military casualties, even if that means civil order is not restored there)?

But if I asked instead:

Do you think (the United States should abandon the civilian population of Iraq to Islamic Fundamentalism and sectarian violence, if that means destroying our future credibility in the eyes of both our friends and our adversaries abroad): OR, do you think (the United States should keep its word and implant stable and democratic government in Iraq, even at the cost of US military casualties)?

the poll results would be quite different.

Mr. Broder’s polls never can produce anything resembling a mandate. They only represent propaganda, typically created by dishonest and dishonorable advocates.

The only opinion polls which count occur officially and in November. The last election was inconclusive, as are the war’s current results.

Members of the left and its allies in the punditocracy looking for a mandate for surrender, withdrawal, and defeat need to look for it in the results of the 2008 election, and stop claiming that they already possess it.

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