Skip to comments.Peggy Noonan: We Can Take It: The benefits of the long haul.
Posted on 03/30/2003 9:04:25 PM PST by WaveThatFlagEdited on 04/23/2004 12:05:26 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
Unanticipated good can come from misfortune. When the war began 11 days ago, on that Thursday morning that began with the big bunker blaster hit on the famous target of opportunity, it seemed possible, if only for 48 hours, that this just might be an easy war. What surprise and relief. There were reports that Saddam Hussein might be dead or injured, and the Iraqi command seemed in chaos.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...
It has nothing to do with sparing civilian casualties. This is a complete myth. During World War II, neither Hitler or Churchill made any effort to spare enemy civilians, and the war still lasted in five years. What it has to do with is not escalating the war to WMD exchange -- the same motif which characterized all our proxy conflicts with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. When your enemy has the power to hurt you really really bad, you make sure you don't piss him off too much too fast. There's nothing very complicated about this concept.
This is a classic CNN tactic by the way. You can bet that if Clinton or Gore were president, they would give the choices as very well, moderately well, well and badly. Then they'd add the first three choices together and trumpet the results (this is how they maintained Clinton's approval ratings).
Anyway, Peggy Noonan is a real treasure. Pity that President Bush doesn't use her as a speechwriter.
I heard today that Purple Hearts were given to our heroes on the Comfort Ship out at sea. I thought it was both strange and interesting that they didn't wait until they got back, and have a ceremony with the Commander in Chief. Then I read Peggy's words above, and realized why.
Because our military leaders have the forethought to let these men know they are heroes before they are ever spit on at the airport when they come home. God Bless them. The grown-ups ARE in charge.
There's a basic flaw in this statement. Clinton didn't have the guts to take on Saddam, and Gore wouldn't have had the guts either. There wouldn't have been a poll about the war with them in office, as there wouldn't have been a war.
Can anyone supply some expertise here
Don't underestimate the necessity of this in order to maintain domestic support for the war. Massive Iraqi civilian casualties would galvanize the antiwar left and would cause many marginal Bush supporters to turn against the war. (This will no longer be true, however, if there is a major terrorist attack against our civilian population.)
Nobody said 3,000 missiles would hit Baghdad; that was for the entire country -- and it was bombs and missiles, not just missiles. And If you add up the number of reported sorties over the last 10 days, you get much more that.
But that isn't the point. You claimed loudly and vociferously that we'd never attack Iraq for fear of WMDs. Now you're trying to salvage your obliterated theory by claiming in the face of all available evidence that we really aren't trying all that hard -- as though a crazed dictator would watch 100,000 troops take over half his country and say "Well, they seem to be holding back a bit, so I'll put away the anthrax."
A more honest approach would be to simply admit you were wrong.
I don't believe President Bush would succumb to hubris and risk American lives unnecessarily or threaten war in the future if one was not necessary, but there was an exceptional amount of braggadocio on threads before the war started.
We are not taking out Saddam because he has no power to hurt us. We are taking out Saddam because he has the power to hurt us, and because has been hurting us and would continue to find ways to hurt us worse if he weren't disposed of.
We are having the war now, not because we thought the casualties would be light, but because we believed they would have been a lot worse if we had waited.
Americans will feel the price of this war. And that is "good" only in the sense that it will mean that we will not commit to war in the near future for reasons of hubris. We will know the price, and judge whether the reason is sufficient to pay the price. And maybe people watching will know that they are not watching a football match or playing a video game, but that real and precious people are dying. And we will come to know that it wasn't just our military might that got us through, but the mercy of God.
I am still praying that the price isn't extraordinarily high, as it still may well be. When WMD are involved, no war can assumed to be a cake walk.
I would imagine it looks a LOT like 'Shock and Awe' if you live in a Baghdad neighborhood that's near a Govt. Building or Military installation. Fortunately, I believe they trust that the US will not blow up their houses. What damage Iraqi anti-aircraft missles do when they come down is another story.
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