August 19, 2007
This question is taken from a headline of an article from the July 15, 2007 edition of the Sunday Times UK. Although decidedly left winged, it is an honest question that must play on the minds of people the world over as they hear the constant drone of defeatism and pessimism coming from our country today.
From several corners we hear the constant drone of the War is Lost, Bush’s reinforcement isn’t working, the war has been incompetently managed, the Iraqi’s don’t want Democracy, it is a civil war, we have no business being there, withdraw the Troops now and let the Iraqis solve their own problems, and so on. There is no end to the pessimism we and the rest of the world is hearing.
From what I hear, the majority of our Troops have the will, so it is the American Public, once again, that must not be supporting the Troops. I say again because we have heard this leftist rhetoric before. It is nothing new.
Bear with me, if you will, as I quote a prominent anti-war public figure in a speech just before we went to war,
“There are many viewpoints from which the issues of this war can be argued. Some are primarily idealistic. Some are primarily practical. One should, I believe, strive for a balance of both. But, since the issues that can be covered in a single address are limited, tonight I shall discuss the war from a viewpoint which is primarily practical. It is not that I believe ideals are unimportant, even among the realities of war; but if a nation is to survive in a hostile world, its ideals must be backed by the hard logic of military practicability.”
“It is not only our right, but it is our obligation as American citizens to look at this war objectively, and to weigh our chances for success if we should enter it.”
“Our Army is still untrained and inadequately equipped for foreign war.”
“But everything I mention here has been published in our newspapers, and in the reports of congressional hearings in Washington. Our military position is well known to the governments of Europe and Asia. Why, then, should it not be brought to the attention of our own people?”
“There is no better way to give comfort to an enemy than to divide the people of a nation over the issue of foreign war. There is no shorter road to defeat than by entering a war with inadequate preparation.”
“While we should have been concentrating on American defense, we have been forced to argue over foreign quarrels. We must turn our eyes and our faith back to our own country before it is too late. And when we do this, a different vista opens before us.”
“War is not inevitable for this country. Such a claim is defeatism on the true sense. No one can make us fight abroad unless we ourselves are willing to do so... Over a hundred million people in this nation are opposed to entering the war. If the principles of democracy mean anything at all, that is reason enough for us to stay out. If we are forced into a war against the wishes of an overwhelming majority of our people, we will have proved democracy such a failure at home that there will be little use fighting for it abroad.”
“The time has come when those of us who believe in an independent American destiny must band together and organize for strength. We have been led toward war by a minority of our people. This minority has power. It has influence. It has a loud voice. But it does not represent the American people.”
“Whether or not we do enter the war rests upon the shoulders of you in this audience, upon us here on this platform, upon meetings of this kind that are being held by Americans in every section of the United States today. It depends upon the action we take, and the courage we show at this time.”
Although the words are eerily familiar with what we hear today and heard from those who opposed our action in support of the South Vietnamese years ago, John Kerry, Sean Penn, Jane Fonda or any of the rest of today’s well-known critics did not speak these. No, they were spoken on April 23, 1941 by Charles Lindbergh, Aviation Pioneer and hero.
America was solidly opposed to our entry into “Europe’s War” and the America First Committee propelled Lindbergh to the front of their effort due to his popularity and notoriety. People listened to him and took his words to heart in supporting the U.S. to remain out of “Europe’s War.” That is, until December 7, 1941 when we came under a vicious attack from Japan at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, with Germany declaring war on us shortly after.
During the war, Lindbergh, who was refused reentry into the Army Air Corps by then President Roosevelt, traveled to the Pacific theater to support our Aviators fighting the Japanese, at times flying in missions against the Japanese himself, being credited with shooting down a Japanese Fighter.
Looking back at history, we can see just how wrong Lindbergh was before we entered WW2, late.
Had his anti-war actions continued and had the media supported him instead of Roosevelt, could we have read an article back then titled, “Has America Lost The Will To Win?” I think it very likely.
The Journalists that wrote the Sunday Times article are as wrong as Lindbergh was in 1941 as in the article, they answer their own question in a positive. There is a considerable number in the country solidly opposed to this war, opting for negotiations and a peaceful resolution, who I feel never had the will to win this war in the first place.
Others who were opposed to this war have begun to see the reality of remaining and completing the mission laid out for us in Iraq. One prominent critic is Democrat Representative of Washington State, Brian Baird, who now says an early departure from the war is bad for Iraq. A welcome change that he arrived at after traveling to Iraq and speaking with not only our Commanders there, but with Diplomatic Officers and our Troops as well.
In another article by one of the same Journalists that wrote the subject article of this essay for the Sunday Time, we se another rude headline of Americans doubt General Betraeus over troop surge. Ms. Baxter, his name is “Petraeus,” not “Betraeus” as she so rudely plays with his name to sound like “betray us.”
Of course, this is just a preemptive condemnation of the report General Petraeus is to give to the President and Congress on September 15. Apparently even the anti-war left expects to hear some good news about the war, so they must preemptively counter it before it is even given.
It makes me wonder just why they fear good news of the wars progress?
Returning to the original article, one assertion is made that is sadly true to all too many cases. That being, “After billions of dollars and thousands of lives expended, America, it seems, is back where it started on the eve of September 11, 2001.”
What the authors ignore and neglect to mention is that their own culpability in the constant drone of defeatism and opposition to countering and ending the worldwide scurge of terrorism has been essential to the publics lack of support and complacency about this war.
Returning to after the fall of Saigon, the North Vietnamese Officer who accepted the surrender of Saigon, Colonel Bui Tin, was interviewd after he became disillusioned with the Communist government he helped instill, and asked, “Was the American antiwar movement important to Hanoi's victory?”
He answered, “It was essential to our strategy. Support of the war from our rear was completely secure while the American rear was vulnerable. Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement. Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda, and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses.” (Wall Street Journal, Thursday August 3, 1995)
History records that millions of innocent people were slaughtered in the countries of Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos, after we abandoned those people.
History records that some 12 million innocent people were systematically killed by the Nazi regime of Adolph Hitler, many during the time we preached appeasement and negotiations to end the coming war, as Charles Lindbergh did.
History shows that Saddam Hussein’s Baathist Party slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens that opposed him, many after we left the first Gulf War, Desert Storm unfinished by leaving Saddam Hussein in power.
Abandoning the fight now will just be another repeat of the slaughters we have seen time and time again, this time even worse, as it is misguided religious zealots who believe that God has granted them the right to rule the entire world.
In answer to the initial question asked in the article, “Has America Lost the Will To Win,” this ornery old Viet Nam Veteran says “Hell No!” This fight must be won!
Spineless politicians must be turned out in the 2008 elections. The anti-war left must be ignored and minimized, even if it means media sources go bankrupt.
To quote an historical American, “We have not yet begun to fight!”