First, the world defines victory of the stronger party -- in this case, Israel -- as either total victory or as a loss. Israel did not destroy Hezbollah, therefore it lost. Second, the world's news media said Israel lost; and the media now determine reality. Some 40 years ago, Marshall McLuhan made his prophetic statement, "The medium is the message." It is truer than ever. Man-made global warming is deemed the greatest threat to mankind's future because the media have announced it to be so. Anna Nicole Smith's death was significant because the media said it was. Genocide in Sudan is insignificant because the media don't much report on it. The Chinese decimation and annexation of Tibet is insignificant because the media have ignored it.
The Israeli army and defense establishment made grave errors, which have been the focus of a devastating Israeli government report. But those errors do not negate the fact that Hezbollah lost that war.
Likewise, America is said to have lost the war in Iraq. As with Israel, the stronger party -- America -- has not achieved total victory. Since no one has surrendered and there are still terrorists and insurgents, America is deemed to have lost. And the media -- and its ideological ally, the Democratic Party -- have been announcing the American defeat for years.
One lesson to be learned from these two wars is that victory as we have understood it in the past may not be possible when fighting terror organizations. There will be never be an equivalent to the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri in 1945. There is no way to completely stop suicide terror against "soft" targets or to stop car bombs in public places. The only total victory over Islamic terrorists will have to come from within the Muslim world. There will have to be a theological and moral revulsion so great that no Muslim would dare risk hell and universal Islamic opprobrium by targeting innocents for murder. Unfortunately that day seems quite distant.
In effect, then, America will have lost in Iraq when America decides it has lost. And then it becomes what is known as a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”