Friday, December 08, 2006



It's an argument I've made myself. The total American casualties in the War on Terror - an unfortunate tag for a struggle with far wider implications - so far don't approach the toll of a single battle in the American Civil War or Iwo Jima or any of a host of other military engagements. This is not to say that I minimize the life of even one American serviceman, but I believe that some perspective is needed, as does Victor Davis Hanson.

...we need some perspective on this new assessment of “lost” {Iraq} What would these same critics {of the war} say to Abraham Lincoln in May-June 1864 (“Each hour is but sinking us deeper into bankruptcy and desolation.”) when Grant’s Army of the Potomac tottered at the brink (Spotsylvania [ca. 18,000 casualties]; Cold Harbor [ca. 13,000 casualties]; Petersburg [ca. 12,000 casualties), prompting calls for an armistice on the basis of a status ante bellum, and the real prospect not just of Lincoln not winning the election of 1864, but perhaps not even receiving the Republican nomination? Or what would the pundits of the Kennedy School of Government or the Council on Foreign Relations have said about retreat from the Yalu River in November 1950 (ca. 14,000 casualties)? Korea is lost? We destabilized the Korean peninsula? We only empowered the real enemy Russia in Europe?

Could you imagine fighting the Civil War for three years at such an enormous cost in blood and then just disengaging and walking away, almost assuredly laying the groundwork for a far more brutal conflict in the future?

If anyone wishes to understand the ripples of an immediate American withdrawal from Iraq, try reading Raul Castro’s public address in Havana, in which he announces the end of American global influence as evidenced by our inability to defeat the terrorists (e.g., “In the eyes of the world, the so-called “crusade on terrorism” is unavoidably heading down the path to a humiliating defeat.”). My favorite line is the enforcer of the Cuban Gulag sermonizing on Americans’ “secret prisons.”

I don't disagree that some rethinking of American stategy was necessary, but we'd better be aware that the sharks are sensing blood.

Sometimes I find myself thinking that maybe the barbarians should win. After all, Alaric's posterity built a pretty decent civilization on the rubble of Rome. But while I have to say that the world would be improved by the enclosure of Pelosi or Rodham - that would be sweet - in a burkha, or that the prospect of watching the French pray in the direction of Mecca 5 times a day would be highly satisfying, I don't believe that a Muzz or atheistic world order could possibly be an improvement over the Christian West.

When we do leave Iraq,we should make our withdrawal through Damascus.*

*The first moron to suggest we stay and help the Muzz build a democracy should be immediately shot. Smash them and leave. And when the next head of the Hydra presents itself...well, there's no shortage of burning firebrands, is there?

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