the price of surrender

andrew cline in the american spectator:

Generals often make the mistake of fighting the last war. On Iraq, Democrats are doing exactly that. They just cannot get past Vietnam. Someone might want to remind them of two important lessons of Vietnam they seem to have forgotten: 1) In the absence of U.S. troops, the Communists slaughter of innocents continued unchecked; 2) Our retreat taught the world what the North Vietnamese already knew: To defeat the United States you don’t have to win a single battle, you just have to kill enough Americans to turn public opinion against the war.

The irony is that only if Democrats have their way and U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq before the mission is complete will Iraq be another Vietnam.

we lost in vietnam. we didn’t consider the consequences of withdrawing our troops from vietnam and surrendering to our enemies in this war. public opinion changed the course of this war. we thought that vietnam was unwinnable, just like iraq seems to be. the situation couldn’t possibly have gotten any worse there than what the american people were seeing on the evening news. then we left vietnam to destroy itself and learned a painful lesson for our efforts there. we weren’t defeated because our military couldn’t do the job. we were defeated because we lost the will to fight the battles necessary to win that war.

we are learning the wrong lessons from vietnam. iraq won’t become more stable if we pull our troops out tomorrow. it could get much worse than it is now. the insurgents believe that we are close to giving up on iraq. the results of the election might point them in that direction. the increased violence certainly doesn’t hurt their attempts to make that case to the american people. that said, i still think that we want iraq to succeed, even though most of us are not convinced that the bush administration had the best plan to do that.

nibras kazimi, hudson institute, writes:

There are legitimate concerns over where things stand in Iraq. Those who are genuinely worried about the welfare of the Iraqi people as well as about America’s long-term interests should be commended for fretting over what is a fatefully decisive issue. However, these anxieties are being preyed upon and manipulated by dark and cynical forces whose affirmed goal, from the very beginning, was to declare the democratic experiment in Iraq a “failure.” Within Iraq, the jihadists and Baathists are among these forces, joined by the intelligence services and news bureaus of regional state actors such as Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. Inside Washington, these forces include some who are in the pay of the Saudis, and bureaucrats safeguarding their careers. Coming in third are those who would rather win local congressional elections than a very serious battle in Baghdad.

there are serious consequences to losing iraq, just as there were serious consequences to losing vietnam. that’s why we need to find a resolution to this conflict that will stabilize iraq before we start withdrawing our troops.

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