On Harry Reid's planet, America's enemies need only have one objective: to murder, in a sensational, media-magnifying manner, enough of their own citizens to discomfit and distress Harry Reid Democrats.
I distinguish Harry Reid Democrats from Harry Truman Democrats. Between these two Harrys spreads a vast moral chasm that 60 years of history do not fully explain.
"Give 'em Hell" Truman possessed a large quotient of common sense, as well as the courage of his convictions.
Assess Reid for yourself. Last week, the Senate majority leader said, "Now I believe myself ... that this war is lost, and that the surge is not accomplishing anything, as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday."
But within minutes after declaring Iraq lost, Reid returned to the mikes to backtrack. "The (Iraq) war can only be won diplomatically, politically and economically, and the president needs to come to that realization," Reid said,
It's lost, but can only be won, if if what? If "Give 'em Hooey" Harry Reid is in charge?
How refreshing if Reid had the courage of his defeatist convictions, except his convictions aren't convictions, they are postures. Reid tosses a line to Democrat defeatists, then when he discovers his mistake, edges toward reality with an oily pirouette.
There are (and have been) four lines of operation in Iraq: security (military operations and building Iraqi defense capabilities), governmental (political participation and structure building), information (intel, media and political perception) and economic (economic development and infrastructure creation).
Our media tend to favor sensationalism, not contextualism. (If contextualism wasn't a word, it is now.) Reid's attempted political slither relies on "tyranny of the immediate" reporting and headline preference for violence. He's pretending his belated qualifications say something new. They don't. Mayhem and military macho are hot, fast stories. Economic development and infrastructure are incremental and slow.
Ironically, Reid's rhetorical retreat unintentionally acknowledges the hard slog of economic development and political stabilization. However, the man and those for whom he speaks lack the key traits required to achieve those goals: determined will and gutty perseverance.
The War on Terror and its Iraq phase are not lost and certainly haven't been lost militarily. The phase where military operations were pre-eminent ended in April 2003. Since mid-April 2003, the economic and governmental components have been the decisive dimensions. Check Iraq's GDP -- it's growing. It has elected a democratic government. Many critics read Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as weak. I do not. He hung Saddam. He has followed a calculated policy of steel and velvet with Shia radicals. He is, in his own way, reminiscent of Truman, having a heavy burden of history dropped squarely on him.
On the other hand, Saddamists, al-Qaeda and Iran-influenced Shia militias have had enormous information successes, with Reid's rhetorical surrender the latest. One reason for these successes is that they are not penalized by the conventional media and the political left for a campaign of mass murder overwhelmingly directed against Iraqi civilians.
Do you want to help end the terror in Iraq? Condemn the terrorists as the Cho Seung Hui-like psychopaths they are. Deny them the false celebrity they gain when dubbed "insurgents."
Denis Keohane, writing for AmericanThinker.com on Nov. 29, 2006, demonstrated why Harry Reid's planet is a truly dangerous place.
"Thanks to the development of mass media inclined to oppose the nation's efforts to obtain military victory," Keohane wrote, "a new path to victory has opened up for America's enemies."
Though the various terrorist groups in Iraq have failed "to gain even minor real tactical victories against coalition (and now Iraqi) forces, all are targeting civilians, with death squads and bombings that intentionally kill civilians in large numbers."
The death toll, Keohane concluded, is "presented as evidence that we are not winning, and cannot win. That makes the reverse true: that if they can merely kill, even civilians, they are winning tactically and even strategically. Merely killing a lot of civilians is not a high bar to attain, and that lesson will be learned and copied, again and again."
Copied again and again on Harry Reid's planet. Firing Reid as Senate majority leader would send a useful if belated political signal that Harry Truman and FDR haven't been expelled from the Democratic Party.
Austin Bay is the author of three novels. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in June 2003. He has also co-authored four non-fiction books, to include A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (with James Dunnigan, Morrow, 1996).
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