Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Giap: The Victor in VietnamThere's a guy I know named Mike. Mike believes himself a patriot, yet won't hesitate to spout a Moore-ism or Hollywood canard ("WMDs!", "War-for-Oil!", "Halliburton!") at the drop of a hat. Mike thinks, for example, that the Associated Press is credible, that the mainstream media is distinct from the Democratic National Committee, and -- apparently -- that Santa Claus really does live in a toy factory near the North Pole.

Bryan Preston, posting at Michelle Malkin's blog, provides one of the best history lessons regarding the nature of "Infowar" and why the rhetoric of the hard Left is not only the antithesis of patriotism... but essentially borders on the original definition of sedition.

Mike, exactly what would be worth fighting for?

1) To defeat Communism, which killed approximately 100,000,000 and threatened to "bury" the West?
2) To defeat Nazism, which killed tens of millions and threatened to slaughter and enslave the West?
3) To defeat the current brand of religious fascism, which is currently waging war in Indonesia, Lebanon, Chechneya, Yugoslavia, Jordan, Israel, Iraq, the Phillipines, etc. etc. and has promised to kill 4,000,000 Americans?

Mike, how many innocents have to die before you think it's worth getting involved? And, if a vision of democratizing the crossroads of terror represented by Iraq isn't the right strategy... what is the Left's grand plan for defeating religious fascism? I'm still waiting for an answer.

In the meantime, immerse yourself in the spa of wisdom and read both articles:

...General Vo Nguyen Giap... commanded the North Vietnamese army from the 1950s through the 1970s. In that time he defeated in succession France (at that time a world power), the United States (a superpower) and China (a rising regional power)...

How did Giap do it? In short, he discovered how to make his own troops expendable proxies, while he waged the actual war in the mind of his opponent... [against the US], he played to the US anti-war movement, using it as a psychological nuclear weapon to devastate our will to fight... It can happen again today. We premised this war... on our moral superiority over the enemy... our war premise had the effect of leaving us vulnerable to any flimsy charge either the caliphascist enemy or the anti-American agitators in the West could throw at us, and they have managed... quite a lot...: Abu Ghraib, false allegations of mistreatment at Gitmo, old charges of US crimes in the MidEast, our support for Israel... Once our moral superiority is punctured, our rationale for war loses much of its steam. And absent a coherent and consistent counter message from our own leadership, the enemy's narrative begins to take hold: We're bogged down in a fruitless war in Iraq, we should never have invaded in the first place, our leaders are liars, etc...

John at Powerline polishes the message in splendid fashion:

...The sins of the news media in reporting on Iraq are mainly sins of omission. Not only do news outlets generally fail to report the progress that is being made, and often fail to put military operations into any kind of tactical or strategic perspective, they assiduously avoid talking about the overarching strategic reason for our involvement there: the Bush administration's conviction that the only way to solve the problem of Islamic terrorism, long term, is to help liberate the Arab countries so that their peoples' energies will be channelled into the peaceful pursuits of free enterprise and democracy, rather than into bizarre ideologies and terrorism...

One wonders how past wars could have been fought if news reporting had consisted almost entirely of a recitation of casualties. The D-Day invasion was one of the greatest organizational feats ever achieved by human beings, and one of the most successful. But what if the only news Americans had gotten about the invasion was that 2,500 allied soldiers died that day, with no discussion of whether the invasion was a success or a failure, and no acknowledgement of the huge strategic stakes that were involved? Or what if such news coverage had continued, day by day, through the entire Battle of Normandy, with Americans having no idea whether the battle was being won or lost, but knowing only that 54,000 Allied troops had been killed by the Germans?

...We are conducting an experiment never before seen, as far as I know, in the history of the human race. We are trying to fight a war under the auspices of an establishment that is determined--to put the most charitable face on it--to emphasize American casualties over all other information about the war.

...Even in peacetime. The media's breathless tabulation of casualties in Iraq--now, over 1,800 deaths--is generally devoid of context. Here's some context: between 1983 and 1996, 18,006 American military personnel died accidentally in the service of their country. That death rate of 1,286 per year exceeds the rate of combat deaths in Iraq by a ratio of nearly two to one.

That's right: all through the years when hardly anyone was paying attention, soldiers, sailors and Marines were dying in accidents, training and otherwise, at nearly twice the rate of combat deaths in Iraq from the start of the war in 2003 to the present. Somehow, though, when there was no political hay to be made, I don't recall any great outcry, or gleeful reporting, or erecting of crosses in the President's home town. In fact, I'll offer a free six-pack to the first person who can find evidence that any liberal expressed concern--any concern--about the 18,006 American service members who died accidentally in service of their country from 1983 to 1996.

...What is the President's responsibility? To expend our most precious resources only when necessary, in service of the national interest. We would all prefer that our soldiers never be required to fight. Everyone--most of all, every politician--much prefers peace to war. But when our enemies fly airplanes into our skyscrapers; attack the nerve center of our armed forces; bomb our embassies; scheme to blow up our commercial airliners; try to assassinate our former President; do their best to shoot down our military aircraft; murder our citizens; assassinate our diplomats overseas; and attack our naval vessels--well, then, the time has come to fight. And when the time comes to fight, our military personnel are ready. They don't ask to be preserved from all danger. They know their job is dangerous; they knew that when they signed up. They are prepared to face the risk, on our behalf. All they ask is to be allowed to win.

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