Saturday, September 02, 2006

Winning and Losing is all in the Definition

Our Vicar of Victory over at The Real Ugly American points out Secretary Rumsfeld's opinion piece in the L. A. Times. You should read the whole thing, but here are a few key sections.

• Can we truly afford to pretend that the threats today are simply “law enforcement” problems rather than fundamentally different threats requiring fundamentally different approaches?

• Can we truly afford to return to the destructive view that America — not the enemy — is the real source of the world’s troubles?

These are the central questions of our time, and, as in all periods of conflict, we have no choice but to face them honestly.
The answer is all in the definitions by which you determine winning and losing. If your metrics are limited to the number and location of terrorist attacks, then the Secretary is dead wrong. Putting on your blinkers, there is no evidence that we could ever lose this war, if there really is one, and all of this sending troops thither and yon is just military adventurism. No sane person would ever invade Iraq because some nut went and shot up a Jewish community center.

If your metrics include the kinds of things Mark Steyn writes about, we're in real trouble and we need to get serious.

On the broader cultural front, where this war in the end will be won, there's little evidence of any kind of will.
Venomous moonbat Eleanor Clift over at Newsweek embodies the "there's no war" mentality.

The same people who beat the war drums for invading Iraq are now leading the way within the administration and in the media for a preemptive strike in Iran. Crazy as it sounds with U.S. troops mired in Iraq, it could happen.
With a dismissive wave of her hand, Ms. Clift dispells all of Secretary Rumsfeld's concerns. There is no war, there is no problem and all of this concern is just crazy talk. I'm sure that if you confronted her with Iran's genocidal rhetoric about Israel, she'd dismiss that just as easily. Those zany Arabs are always saying wild things.

I would suggest that the political battle is not over Iraq, per se, but over your definition of the scope of the war. If it includes the French mulsims' riots, then we have got to get serious. If it stops at the Jersey shore, then we don't.

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