So, in military lingo, a “situation report” (SITREP): Regarding Iraq, the past months have brought these developments. . .
OK. What to do?
We have this July 8, 2005, observation by al-Qaida’s second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri: “We are in a battle, and more than half this battle is in the (U.S.) media.” That was the circumstance during Vietnam, as well, when U.S. battlefield victories (e.g., Tet) were written as defeats, and when American reporting emphasized body counts, failure and alleged free Vietnamese lack of determination to fight.
Today, as then, we hear the government we are there to help — indeed, helped create — is inept, the locals’ have no heart, the U.S. military has the wrong equipment and the wrong tactics in the wrong sort of engagement, and we have no legitimate business in what is, let’s face it, a civil war. Already, as we instigated repeatedly in Vietnam — even including the murder of President Ngo Dinh Diem — there is talk of the compelling need in Iraq for regime-change if the American enterprise is to persist.
In the face of all this, let us remember a few things:
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
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