I think ^(link) therefore I err

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Losing in the Middle East

David Broder today has a column suggesting that losing isn't the end of the world. And of course it isn't. But two things to note.
One: Over and over the US is accused of not understanding the Arab mind. We don't get how they work so it goes. Well, we're learning. And that mindset includes a serious respect for strength. So when Mr. Broder notes:
In both cases, the argument is not that continuing on the present course will necessarily or probably yield a positive result. On the contrary, it is basically a claim that it is unacceptable to change -- because the other side will claim a victory.
That may well be true and a problem. Either now, or in the future. Ie, We left Somalia making Al-qaeda think we didn't have the strength we actually have. (ps he then suggests that if we really think that Hezbollah and the Iraqi insurgents are such a threat, then we should use our superior strength to it's utmost. Yeah, right.)

Two: Broder then suggests that losing isn't so bad. He notes that South Korea still hasn't been attacked after we "lost" in Korea and came up with the DMZ. Oddly he doesn't note the actual cost in dollars for us to sit there on that DMZ since the 60s! Nor does he note the actual cost in North Korean lives as they've had to live and/or die in the mess that is North Korea.
He notes that we "lost" in Vietnam but so what? Even though the North moved into the south we now have trade agreements and isn't that nice. Funny how he doesn't even think to mention the costs of us "losing" that war. Southeast Asia may not have all turned communist but Pol Pot arrived on the scene and 2 million Cambodians are dead for it. He arrived shortly after we left. Correlation? Hmmm.

Of course we can walk away from Iraq. To what end? Mr. Broder is not clear on that. He suggests that the only reason we say is the stubborness of the administration and that we "can't afford to let the other guy win". He says not one word about the obligations we have in Iraq after going in in the first place. As to Israel, not one word about their future existence should they decide to back off.