A friend emailed me a comment:
Bill Clinton just said in an interview that America has proven we can’t win a land war in Iraq. Too bad he omitted: “Because we won’t let our military win it.”
I agree with my friend, and I want to examine a little further what he said, and I’ll do so via a series of links.
Charles Krauthammer argues convincingly that ISIS is yanking at America’s tail right now, because it knows that Obama will not fight the war to win. It needs to prove itself regionally, and there is no better way to do so than to watch America retreat.
We can tell that Obama doesn’t want to win the war because he can’t even get himself to call it a war. We’re assured that it’s a not-war, or maybe a not not-war. Whatever it is, no matter how many kill shots Obama personally orders, there is no war, except when there’s not a not-not war.
Jon Gabriel says that the reason behind Obama’s reluctance to go to war is grounded in his jaundiced view of America. If we say ISIS is terrible and that we’re going to protect the world from ISIS, the implication is that we’re the good guys. Except that Obama cannot have America be good. Therefore, America cannot fight a war against evil.
I agree with Gabriel, but I want to go back to what my friend said, about our refusal ever to let the military win a war. That wasn’t always the case, even when Democrats were president. American won WWI under a Democrat and repeated that feat with WWII. It was only after WWII that America became embarrassed to win wars. (For one theory behind that embarrassment, check out this history of the UN.) It’s only a short step from “has not won a war in 60+ years” to “cannot ever win a war.”
Whenever I go to my mother’s place, I see a car with a Bush-ear bumper sticker, stating that “War is not the answer.” And every time I see it, I say to myself, “That depends what the question is.” For example, if you start talking to people about Nazis and other seriously bad actors, many of them will start agreeing with you that war can indeed be an answer. If you’re the anti-war type, you don’t people’s thoughts to head in that direction. How much better, then, to have a bumper sticker saying “Wars cannot be won,” or “There is no victory with war”?
Average Americans are so ignorant that, if the Democrats lose just a few more wars, voters won’t remember that victory is possible, and that it only matters that the right person or party should be in charge. Instead, they’ll just remember that wars cannot be won . . . ever!