"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

We Are Winning--Seriously

More on this front from Tony Blankley and Meghan Clyne. Blankley points out that the President must stop the slide into timidity the media and partisan Democrats are so desperately pressing for, and Clyne tells the story of Younadem Kana, the only Christian on Iraq's Governing Council. His story is one of good news and amazing progress.

This brings up a question that I wish somebody would address: precisely how is it that things are so bad? I quit listening to Imus in the Morning because I got sick of hearing the I-Man keep saying what a mess it was over there in Iraq. But is it? Seriously, what are our losses and defeats in the past twelve months that make it so horrible?

Let's look at the hard facts. We now have about 700 fallen American heroes in this war. We have a number of Iraqi democrats who have been assassinated, including a sympathetic religious leader and a couple of members of the Iraqi council. Fallujah, while calming down somewhat, may be interpreted as a defeat because of how we handled it. al-Sadr in Najaf has shaken his fist against us and again may have won a symbolic victory (although even that is in doubt.) Several regions of the country are still in danger of daily terrorist bombings from improvised devices, much like Israel is.

Okay, what am I missing? What's happened that's not on this list that counts as actual bad news? Because if this is all there is, it's mind-boggling how well this is proceeding.

I do not say this to minimize the sacrifice any U.S. soldier makes, but the U.S. casualty count for this conflict is breathtakingly low. A multitude of minor one-day battles in the Civil War and world wars generated more casualties. When Churchill said, "Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few," he was speaking of the debt owed to the Royal Air Force. The same may now be said of the Iraqi and American people to the fallen heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

As for the rest, it is not good that the enemy still exists and targets political leaders and innocent Iraqis and Americans through terrorist means, and the strife in places like Fallujah and Najaf are troubling. But how bad are these things really set against the larger picture? Did we really expect there to be no trouble whatsoever one year after the fall of Saddam? Did we not believe the famous letter that outlined al-Qaeda's plans before the June 30 date for transfer of power?

How have we failed except that the facts on the ground haven't met our wildest fantasies about success?

I have a saying about peace. One side believes that you have peace when people aren't actually shooting at each other. This is the crowd that wails and whimpers about body bags and Vietnam and hearts and minds. The other side believes that peace is what you get when all the bad guys are dead. I'm on this side, and while we don't (yet) have peace, we're a lot closer to it than people think.

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