Much has been made about President Bush's recent comments comparing the known fallout in SE Asia after our precipitous withdrawal from the Vietnam War – genocide in Cambodia, re-education camps and mass exodus from South Vietnam. And yet defeatists continue to use the Vietnam War as their case for comparison and the foundation for their call for immediate withdrawal.
Because they are defeatists, they ignore the better comparison, Korea, and choose Vietnam and its unspoken message of defeat.
First let's get the definition of defeatist put into context.
Webster's concise, straightforward and simple definition - Defeatist: an attitude of expecting, accepting, or being resigned to defeat.
It should also include a second variation – Defeatist: one who has more invested in defeat than they do in victory. The Democrats, and some doddering Republicans are beginning to define themselves as defeatists by possessing traits of each of the definitions listed above.
Virtually every Democrat has voted to withdraw troops from Iraq on a timetable not tied to victory, and every Democrat Presidential candidate is running on a withdrawal promise, so they both convey the attitude of defeat and they have more to gain by ensuring defeat than they do victory. So easily, they are defeatists.
Even some Republicans (Warner, G. Smith and the like) seem to believe that they have more to gain (re-election) from defeat, than they do by seeing our mission in Iraq come to some kind of conclusion in the field. They too are hoping for defeat, they, as with the Dems, have already wagered on it.
Which brings us back to Korea, Vietnam and Iraq.
Korea. Overwhelming approval for intervention, initial success in turning the North Koreans back north, Home-by-Christmas attitude, failure to anticipate and defend against Chinese intervention, major setbacks, change in leadership, eradication of defeatist attitude, victories that put us on the precipice of total victory, political intervention, stability. Clay Blair’s book Forgotten War provides, in great detail, the dramatic struggles in Korea that we were eventually able to overcome and put us on the route to victory. (for quick reference, no snickering, but the Wikipedia entries for Forgotten War, General Walker and General Ridgeway, do a credible job in capturing the essence of the Korean War).