The Corner

Safire On Iraq

I think Bill Safire hits just the right note today on Iraq. He acknowledges the victory for the other side that the helicopter downing represents. He rightly notes that, despite the problems in the Sunni Triangle, we are making great progress in the North and the South. Then he explains in detail the disaster that a pull-out from Iraq would represent. Finally, Safire explains that we have only barely begun to fight the battle on the airwaves for hearts and minds in the Sunni triangle. Failure, he concludes, is not an option. But of course, failure is what the Democrats and much of the media are hoping for. Failure is what they’ve been hoping for since the very first days of the war in Iraq. Saddam, his loyalists, and Al Qaeda outsiders are now waging a sophisticated battle on the American airwaves for the hearts and minds of Americans. America is being tested, and the outcome is anybody’s guess. The Democratic left wants, needs, and believes this to be Vietnam. They want this not only because they see it as their key to political victory, but because they have a near-religious longing to recapture the spirit of the sixties. But Iraq is not Vietnam. The consequences of failure would be far greater, as would the benefits of success. Above all, with Korea on the verge of becoming an export engine for nuclear terror, and proliferation threatening around the world, the context of this battle is very different than Vietnam. The question is, will we see that, and cast off our Vietnam syndrome, or will our memories of Vietnam prevent us from doing what we must to protect ourselves?

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