Friday, August 24, 2007

Definition of "defeatist"

According to David Reinhard, associate editor for the Oregonian and republished in the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington, a "defeatist" is a fellow hell-bent on arguing that we have already been defeated in Iraq so let's go home now. Indeed a person who for political reasons is even betting and counting on our inevitable defeat in Iraq. Then Mr. Reinhard turns around and talks up Rep. Brian Baird, a Democrat who offers this rare "insight" that we are making real [military] progress in Iraq. I wouldn't know how "rare" such insight is because you can find such "insights" on message boards and blogs. You can visit websites devoted to making the same proclamation as Rep. Baird and by people who have probably never visited Iraq for even a day. Sure, we have made [military] progress in Iraq; but the National Intelligence Estimate that came out (defeatist, according to Reinhard) that the Iraqi government is too shaky to govern and there is a definite future of increased bloodshed. But then, watching Michael Ware on CNN, a guy who isn't a member of the U.S. Congress that pays a "Green Zone" visit for a day or a week, Ware can precisely tell us well in advance the same conclusions that the NIE finally admitted to as well. We are already defeated in Iraq--politically, when the government we set up for the Iraqis to vote on, need our green zone protection, help undermine any pretense toward democracy by participating in illegal arms trades (Washington Post article) and do nothing to end what is after all a civil war. That is facing facts. We can make all kinds of military progress but we can not prop up a government or a people who are hell-bent on not having a country to our liking. As to the instability in the rest of the middle east? It already exists, and has existed for the last many thousands of years. We can make it worse, but being western, how do we begin to make it better? Read the bible, it is chock full of middle eastern instability.

Then moving on to Froma Harrop, who discusses at length that former Gov. Mitt Romney, now running as a presidential candidate, has never served in the military, never served in war, got a draft deferment from the Vietnam war (shades of Clinton) and who's sons "serve their nation better" by getting their dad elected. And get this, if this had been a Democrat with enough connections to get out of Vietnam and who's sons weren't about to sign up and get their butts blown off in Iraq, there would have been squawks of outrage from the new lefties. But their response to Romney, "yawn." That would seem to be the better definition of defeatist; when you don't believe enough in the war your dad as draft dodger wants to continue safely in the oval office to even sign up for it. The only reason anyone is signing up now into military service--is practically on a mercenary contingent--a megabucks signing bonus. But Romney's sons, won't sign up, even for 10s of thousands of dollars. So, is defeatist facing the facts in Iraq? Or is defeatist, unwilling to fight for your country even after 9/11/2001. Reinhard doesn't care to comment...

And by the way, this military veteran is all too familiar with terrorism. Having faced a close call as a member of the active Army, in Germany, when terrorism was state sponsored and one of the states sponsoring terrorism was the Soviet Union. Munich, Germany, one of their famous Oktoberfests, and "red" terrorists set off a suicide attack in the middle of that national party. They targeted tourists in their willingness to bring down the west German government. I was there, with my mother and a friend. Had we come a day later, or if the suicide bomber struck a day sooner, we might have been among the casualties or the witnesses of a horrorific act. So yes, I know fully about terrorism. Enough that it is a menace that must be fought against at every turn. But can we socially engineer societies away from terrorism? GW seemed to think so and was already defeated when that did not happen in Iraq. If facing facts is "defeatist" then I have to pity Reinhard.

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