by John Hawkins | April 16, 2007 2:26 pm
I can understand being for or against the war in Iraq from the beginning, but the people who have changed their minds since the start of the war have gotten entirely too much of a free pass for their wishy-washiness.
Now, the average person? They may not be familiar with history, but any politician, columnist, or blogger should know that it’s not the least bit unusual for wars to be much longer and considerably more difficult than anticipated.
So while few people anticipated the length and number of soldiers killed in action that we’ve had in this war, any informed person should have known going in that it was possible that we’d lose north of 3,000 soldiers and could be there on the ground, in numbers, for more than four years. In fact, going in, some people predicted that we could lose 10,000 soldiers in the initial fight against the Iraqi military.
Moreover, there are always horrific consequences to “losing” a war. In Vietnam, for example, after the Democrats betrayed the South Vietnamese by withholding the air support and aid we promised them, South Vietnam was conquered, millions of civilians died as a result, America lost prestige around the war and confidence in our military, our enemies were encouraged, and even today, the terrorists in Iraq are emulating the same strategy that the Vietnamese were using. So, going into any conflict, defeat cannot be an option.
…..Which brings us to people like Hillary Clinton, Chuck Hagel, John Edwards, & Andrew Sullivan. Initially, they supported the war, when it was popular; then later, when it turned out to be harder than expected and public opinion started to change, they switched their positions.
Does this mean that they were so ignorant of history that they didn’t realize things could go worse than expected or does it mean that they simply took positions on the war based on little more than its popularity? Either way, if you initially supported the war and have changed your mind since, it doesn’t say much for your judgment.
So, am I saying that once you commit to war, you shouldn’t stop until you win or your country has been utterly decimated until you absolutely can’t continue? Yes. If you’re not willing to go to those lengths, you shouldn’t support the war in the first place.
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