Jul 01 2005
A truly excellent commentary in today’s LA Times which is a must read. David Gelernter reminds us that quagmires are not a military situation, they are political state of mind.
“Quagmire” is not a state of war but a state of mind. So the senator’s words aren’t necessarily wrong, they are merely irresponsible and potentially deadly â€” to U.S. interests and Middle East freedom.
When U.S. troops landed on Omaha Beach on D-day, they were pinned down by heavy fire and couldn’t move. If some wiseguy had grabbed a megaphone and announced, “I hate to tell you, but this invasion has been grossly mismanaged and we are now stuck in a quagmire,” he would not have been wrong. But luckily those soldiers decided that Omaha Beach was no quagmire. They fought their way inland and helped liberate Europe.
He goes on to point out that the public perception of a ‘quagmire’ deflates the solidiers’ interest to win. So what Kennedy is doing through word games is trying to convince the soldiers to give up, so Bush will give up. Of course giving up could be deadly to these same soldiers. It has been their fierce determination to win and dedication to the cause that has limited their casualties and thrown the enemy off balance.
What Kennedy appears to dream for is the second coming of Vietnam. Which is not what any sane American wants
Our defeat was catastrophic for Southeast Asia. Tom Wicker â€” a liberal New York Times columnist and leading critic of the U.S. role in Vietnam â€” summed things up four years after our final defeat. “What Vietnam has given us instead of a bloodbath [is] a vast tide of human misery in Southeast Asia â€” hundreds of thousands of homeless persons in United Nations camps, perhaps as many more dead in flight, tens of thousands of the most pitiable forcibly repatriated to Cambodia, no one knows how many adrift on the high seas or wandering the roads.”
We failed to follow through and Asians suffered.
And apparently the liberal democrats’ hatred of Bush now cannot be satiated without a severe loss in Iraq and the ME. Mr Gerernter’s call on Mr. Bush is a call on all of us who want to change the ME to the better and avoid another 9-11.
The Bush administration must explain to the nation that quagmires are created by politicians and pundits, not soldiers.
Consider this my small contribution to the effort.