"Slarrow" refers to the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" from Hamlet's soliloquy. Here are the chronicles of such darts and whatever attempt there may be to take arms against such a sea of troubles.

Location: Ozarks, United States

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Kill Our Will, Lose The War

I'm seeing an increasing number of people who are pointing out that we can lose the war in Iraq if we lose our nerve at home (and are chastising the media because they're helping the other side whether they wish to or not.) Tuesday's Best of the Web at cites an analysis by the Belmont Club that acknowledge the emergence of "News Coverage as a Weapon".

David Limbaugh has a piece about the overreaction and unreasonableness of our critics that asks the following question:

"As a body politic, are we so arrogant and foolish as to think we can wage war like a video game with virtually no difficulties and no real-life consequences? I just have to wonder what the critics expect. What do they think is supposed to happen in war?"

As it happens, I wrote an editorial for the local paper that makes the same video game analogy. Keep in mind I wrote this last November. Things haven't changed.

The U.S. incursion into Iraq has been a stunning success. Never before had an enemy like Saddam Hussein been taken out with such speed and precision. Despite the cries of armchair generals, the U.S. military liberated a country of 22 million from a murderous butcher at the cost of fewer than four hundred combat deaths thus far.

The foreign terrorists and Saddam-era fascists have no military hope of taking the country back from our soldiers. In addition, our enemies are attacking warriors who can shoot back instead of focusing on regular people going to work or picking their kids up from school.

Sometimes our boys get killed. We do right to mourn their loss and grieve for their families. But I fear that we may be forgetting how to honor our dead with the constant carping and hand-wringing and irresponsible demands.

Our soldiers cannot lose this war. They are the greatest fighting force ever seen, and our enemies don’t stand a chance against them. Our current political and military leadership cannot lose this war. They know the nature of our enemy and are taking the necessary steps to defeat them. Only we, the American people, can lose this war. The only way for us to lose is to let our will crumble, to become weak and timid, to flee the swamp before our troops can finish draining it.

So those of you who have nothing to constructive to say, stop talking. Quit calling for the U.N. to save us; it has neither the power nor the will to do so. Cease comparing Iraq to Vietnam; such comparisons lack imagination and are entirely false. Don’t complain about the reconstruction cost on the one hand and demand prescription drugs on the other. Stop whining about the lack of a “plan”. This is a war, not a video game, and no plan could assure zero casualties. Above all, stop chipping away at our national purpose to indulge your own bickering impulses.

Dissent if you must, but dissent responsibly. Treat the threat as real and suggest how better to fight it; demand accountability from a media core that can report nothing but bad news. But if you have nothing but complaints and arrows designed solely to tear down a president you don’t like, swallow your pride for the sake of your neighbors. Our country is at war, and only you can lose it.

We have succeeded in Iraq beyond all reasonable expectations. So naturally the critics howl that we have not met unreasonable expectations. This is a dire problem and must be faced quickly.

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