Meaningful Distinction:

Patrick S. Lasswell Look outward for something to accomplish, not inward for something to despise.
pslblog at gmail dot com
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Sticker Shock

Anti-War political operatives were discomfited yesterday when their congressional representatives were compelled to vote to lose immediately. This upset the entire notion to purchase failure in Iraq on the installment plan. The price of failure in stark terms was too much to bear as a flat payment. For longer than I have been alive, it has been the driving goal of a lot of people to convert everybody to the faith that nobody ever wins a war. As success comes closer to arriving in Iraq, the religious fervor of the pacifist faithful has become more desperate.

While this war has been hard, the professionalism of our troops has allowed them to buy success with gallons of sweat and only a small amount of blood. We mourn those who were taken from us and those who have suffered lasting harm, but their losses have not yet been in vain. The care taken by our forces to accomplish something significant with the lowest losses possible is about to be repudiated by people committed to losing at any price. While our Generals have certainly learned the lessons of running an effective counter-insurgency campaign, the opposition to the war is utterly committed to repeating the mistake of abandoning the people we try to free like they did in Vietnam. The American Friends Service Committee is trying to support the troops by the peculiar tactic of cutting them off without a cent. Others are subtly and often flatly lying about the level of success in Iraq, when they can't ignore it.

No longer can the opposition groups claim to be opposed to the war, because they aren't paying any attention to the actual conflict. When measurable quantities are mentioned, they are never related to any operational details. The 2,100 deaths are not compared to the hundreds of thousands of raids, searches, sorties, or even enemies captured and killed. Compared to any other modern war, this has been astonishingly effective. Compared to any other counter-insurgency, this is a miracle. The opposition is not mounting a principled campaign to protect our troops, because history shows that our troops are their own best guardian. The opposition is primarily opposed to success, and history has shown that they will grind our soldier's bones without a care to block military success. We are not dealing with an anti-war movement; we are dealing with an anti-success movement.

One of the fears maintained by the anti-success movement is the notion of the deranged combat veteran loose in the world, unable to tell friend from foe, killing at the snap of a twig. While Post Traumatic Stress Disorder exists, the deranged veteran story has been disproved time without number. Regrettably, the same cannot be said about the leftover anti-war activists. Time without number, rational efforts to maintain our national security have been assaulted by purveyors of shame looking for someplace to unload their stale arguments. Now that the anti-war movement has fully distilled itself into the anti-success movement, we have a real concern about ending the war. What successes will they seek to kill next in the most successful nation in the world?
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