By Jim Simpson
It’s official. The war in Iraq is now a “Civil War,” according to our vaunted Fourth Estate. In the Sunni Triangle especially, things have not been going well. Every day, dozens of Iraqis (yesterday it was over 100) are killed in bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and drive-by shootings. Every day U.S. casualties mount.
If you believe the media, this is not and never was a “central front in the ‘Global War on Terror.’” It only provoked Islamic terrorists to take up arms in a country that was stable, if not exactly democratic. Saddam died ignominiously and probably should have been spared. Iraq is descending rapidly into a chaos we can’t prevent in a conflict in which we will never prevail.
Despite these unassailable facts, and the equally unassailable recommendations of the venerable Infirm Seniors, whoops, Iraq Study Group, knuckle-dragger George W. Bush has ignored everyone and willfully proceeded with his plan to “surge” 20,000 plus troops into Baghdad.
Not enough! Won’t help! Too many! Lost cause! Blah, blah, blah…
Meanwhile, the new Democrat led Congress has reliably reaffirmed its status as the Treason Party with a demoralizing resolution of no confidence in the troops’ ability to finish the job. Predictably however, they have also shown their inveterate cowardice by being unwilling to make it a resolution with any teeth. It only serves to demoralize without offering solutions.
Okay, okay, enough already! Instead of drawing battle lines and calling names, let’s really ask the question: Why should we stay?
Finishing the job in Iraq is absolutely critical to our future national survival, but not for the reasons generally cited.
Yes, “Bush Lied” nutcases, Saddam did have WMD, and his connections to al Qaeda were beyond doubt. If Bill Clinton’s 1998 statements don’t convince you, then the many documents since seized in Iraq proving the same thing probably won’t either. But then, why should they? You are nutcases after all. Anyone else interested in revisiting this issue is directed here for an exhaustive treatise on the subject.
Sure, Iraq is a rallying point for terrorists. It was before we invaded, so why not now, when they can practice on real, live targets? Sure, it’s better to kill them over there than over here. Of course, an Iraq left to the terrorists will descend into a horrible bloodbath (as though it wasn’t one now.) Indisputably, an abandoned Iraq will become a new outpost for Iranian aggression. Undeniably, the entire region, including our key ally, Israel, will come under immediate threat.
Absolutely. Without a doubt.
Well, if those aren’t good enough reasons, then why should we stay? Actually, they are good enough reasons. But they are not the critical reason.
The critical reason we must stay is that we are not so much fighting one particular enemy as we are a strategy. This strategy has defeated us multiple times over the years, and we have yet to effectively confront it. No matter the enemy, no matter the circumstance, it has always been the same. It finds succinct voice in the words of Moscow trained North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap, who first articulated it in 1950 as the strategy the communists would use to defeat the French (as quoted in Bernard Fall’s prophetic book, Street Without Joy):
The enemy will pass slowly from the offensive to the defensive. The blitzkrieg will transform itself into a war of long duration. Thus, the enemy will be caught in a dilemma: he has to drag out the war in order to win it and does not possess, on the other hand, the psychological and political means to fight a long drawn-out war.As every American should know, almost every enemy we have faced since Hitler has adopted this strategy in one form or another. Indeed, we would have faced the same thing during WW II as well, had Hitler not made the fatal error of invading the Soviet Union. In doing so, he turned the vocal and widespread American communist movement –- even then disproportionately represented within our media, entertainment and political establishments –- against him. Overnight, prominent American isolationists (read communist sympathizers) miraculously converted into strident patriots clamoring for war. For a full treatment of this untold story, read my article, The Great Unpatriotic War. You won’t find it in many history books, but it is essential to a complete understanding of the problem we face.
What we must realize is our greatest enemy has been ourselves. At critical times, against a myriad of adversaries, we have fallen victim to self-doubt. What we have lacked in all these conflicts is the will to do what is necessary to win. And if we are ever going to successfully defend ourselves against a growing list of deadly foes, we must overcome this chronic failing.
The first time was Korea. Despite their bluster, neither the Soviets nor the Chinese had the wherewithal to defeat us in Korea had we chosen to win. We made plenty of mistakes, but the issue was never really in doubt. We demonstrated our ability first against the North Korean army then against the communist Chinese. But instead of deciding to win, we decided to merely stop and hold. We lost resolve. This critical loss of will against communist aggression set the stage for the many more that were to follow.
We had our next big opportunity in Vietnam, but we blew that too. As in Iraq today, we were winning. The Phoenix Program and other efforts had effectively pacified large portions of South Vietnam. The Communists lost the Tet Offensive. We obliterated the Viet Cong infrastructure, something Walter Cronkite apparently forgot to mention in his defeatist broadcast often cited as the turning point for public opinion against the War. From then on the North Vietnamese had to use mostly conventional forces against us –- forces we almost always defeated in battle.
Realizing that about 80 percent of North Vietnam’s war materiel came by boat, Nixon’s decision to mine Haiphong Harbor brought North Vietnam’s critical military resupply operations to a standstill. Shortly after, the communists came back to the Paris Peace Talks. They had no choice. The instruments of war had been denied them. This idea, like many other good ones, was posed early on, but Johnson, cowardly Democrat, ignored them.
We could have succeeded in Lebanon, Nicaragua, Angola, Somalia and countless other places as well, but in each circumstance we were defeated by our own self-doubt. We can refight those intellectual battles too, if you like, and I will win, because the facts are on my side. But these are irrelevant, because the truth is, we lost. We left, often after some particularly harrowing event, such as the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, or “Blackhawk Down” in Somalia. Or we gave up after some perceived loss, like 1968’s Tet Offensive. We compounded these “losses” into humiliating defeats by walking out. In each case, our decision sprang from national self-doubt.
Like most problems of the twentieth century, the root causes can be traced to the Left. It has been said elsewhere, but cannot be repeated enough: the American Left wants the United States to fail. They are a genuine fifth column, and their stiletto-tongued liars have killed as many American warriors as enemy bullets. Their propaganda machine has enlisted countless millions of our gullible youth, and their subversive tactics undermine the effectiveness of churches, schools, institutions and government, while they divert funds to favored projects and leaders. The Left is a blood-sucking parasite on the body politic, and we are losing a lot of blood.
As American Thinker contributor J.R. Dunn explains:
The Iraq War was a godsend for the American left, something they’d have had to invent if it hadn’t happened on its own. It allowed the entire War on Terror to be chopped and fit into the already existing intellectual template, enabled all the old slogans to be revived, all the dusty concepts to be trotted out anew. It has turned the overall war, one of the most justified conflicts in this country’s history, a belated defensive response against an ugly and murderous enemy, into the traditional shadow play of murderous military officers, bloody-handed CIA operatives, and cackling businessmen, all overseen by a bulging-browed Karl Rove, operating from some Goldfingeresque headquarters buried far beneath the Crawford ranch. The result is a nation slowly edging toward the same paralysis that afflicted it during the 1970s.It is a familiar refrain, easy to recognize and widely understood by practically every one of us.
When things begin to look a bit messy; our stridently Leftist media takes up the mantle for the enemy and pounds home our losses. "My Lai", "Abu Graib", "Guantanamo Bay" become slogans for an opposition determined to vilify our efforts while calling demonic enemies “Minutemen.”
Their hyper-criticism fans the flames of division within Congress, the administration, the military and the country at large. Patriotic politicians begin to quail. Liberal politicians, those self-serving mouthpieces for the treasonous movements who feed them, protest, demand, accuse, hold hearings, press conferences, etc., as they are doing right now, for the sole purpose of reinforcing our self-doubt. Before the war, many of these same critics spoke the popular mantra of “getting behind the president,” but then lunged at the political opportunity created when inevitable and often tragic mistakes of a shooting war started to occur.
This is one of the most revolting demonstrations of the political Left’s utterly self-serving nature. The public’s acquiescence in this behavior also reflects on a broader scale the long-term impact these repeated assaults on our national conscience have had. We should all be out there calling for their heads! Instead we just throw up our hands in a futile gesture of exhausted disgust. People like this should not have a forum, much less a grand place of honor within the fourth estate.
The point is, this problem is entirely of our own making. Quoting J.R. Dunn again:
As we have seen, this is no natural turn of events. There is nothing inevitable or unavoidable about it. It is entirely synthetic, the byproduct of an effort by our intellectual elite to serve an ideology now long dead. Our belief in ourselves as a nation, in our role and mission on the international stage, has been undermined for fifty years and more. There is not a level of society, from day laborer to corporate CEO, who has not been touched by this dogma. Not a single institution (with the professional military perhaps excepted) has been unaffected.Now it has become a well-oiled machine, the victorious champion of many a campaign. The terrorists expect CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, Time, Newsweek, New York Times, Washington Post, and virtually all other major dailies to grossly exaggerate the problems in Iraq while completely overlooking positive developments. They expect Democrats to criticize the President when some operation goes awry. They expect shills like Chris “Softballs” Matthews, Keith "Count Me Out" Olbermann, and William “The Mercenary” Arkin to ridicule the war effort. They expect Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy and the like to take every opportunity to castigate the president when terrorist bombs start going off. In fact, they rely on it. They plan on it. This political equation is the guiding principle behind all their actions.
This strategy must be defeated. It is a strategy that will be used again and again until we have no more places to retreat. It is a strategy that will ultimately bring our enemies finally, irrevocably to our shores, and with it will come the anarchy, mass murder, torture and collapse we have thus far largely avoided. It will signal the end of the world as we know it. For our grand experiment, the only stable counterbalance in an increasingly unstable world, is the last hope for all others, friend and foe alike.
In order to defeat this strategy, we must acknowledge and confront the enemy here at home. Knowingly or otherwise, the president’s critics are aiding and abetting the terrorists by hammering away at our national resolve to see this action through. They are aiding and abetting the terrorists by belittling the hard work and blood sacrifices of our men in uniform.
But they support the troops, really they do.
No they don’t!
They are the voice of a movement that has sought to destroy this country from within ever since their first odious agents crawled out from under some Bolshevik rock in the early part of the twentieth century. Today the Democrat party is the repository of that dogma and Hillary Rodham Clinton its personification. You must be convinced by now that these people are serious.
They are sowing doubt, once again, into the minds of those on active duty, who now have to confront the possibility, as happened in Vietnam, of making all those sacrifices in vain. Families who lost sons in Vietnam and everywhere else also have to confront that bitter pain again as once more, their elected leaders miserably let them down.
It’s bad enough when those in uniform die for a good cause. But now families of those currently in Iraq have to confront the thought that their sons and daughters too might die for nothing.
One former Army intelligence officer recently told me that “we never have won and cannot win a guerilla war.” This statement has to be the most idiotic statement I have recently heard and it has had an awful lot of competition. If we can never win why do we even fight? Why do we even bother with a military? Iraq is a nation of 26 million people. If we cannot win there, where can we win? If any enemy who adopts this strategy can win everywhere and always, why don’t we just get it over with and appoint Osama Bin Laden (or his running mate, Hillary) President for Life?
We must recognize the enemy for what it is and move forward in spite of it. This is what George W. Bush is attempting to do with his troop “surge.” Is it enough? With this gallery of traitors occupying Congress I am not optimistic. We nonetheless would be wise to recognize an ages-old problem that has confronted open societies throughout history. To quote Cicero:
A nation can survive its fools and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly against the city. But the traitor moves among those within the gates freely, his sly whispers rustling through all alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. … He rots the soul of a nation; he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city; he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.Our entire nation is down with this virus. Radical surgery appears to be the only recourse. During the Civil War, Lincoln imposed martial law and ruled by decree. (Read a good summary of the issue by Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Judge Frank Williams, here.) Will that be necessary now? Or will those members of our political class not already given to our enemies finally step up to the plate and pass legislation that effectively deals with agents of influence, agitators, and other traitors? The danger from these people is just as real as any battlefield. More so, for it threatens the very survival of our nation. And as our nation goes, so goes the world.
God save us.
Freelance writer Jim Simpson is a former White House staff economist and budget analyst (1987-1993). His writings have been published in the Washington Times, FrontPage Magazine, DefenseWatch, Soldier of Fortune and others.