I just got off the phone with the moron who wrote this book, and his spouting of one particular form of idiocy is giving me an excuse to rip it into well-deserved tiny shreds.
I challenged him to demonstrate that we are actually “losing” the war on terror. The reasons he had previously cited were 1) the budget deficit is rising; 2) we have no exit strategy, and 3) Bin Laden is still free and laughing at us. I observed that his definition of “losing” seems to be simply “have not yet won.”
But I want to focus on his second point — the lack of a clearly-defined exit strategy. This particular notion has aggravated me ever since I first heard that term.
Having a clearly-defined exit strategy is a singularly bad idea. By outlining the circumstances or timeframe when we intend to leave the theatre, we give our enemies a set of concrete goals that they can use to define their own victory. All they have to do is outlast us, and they win by default. It’s the equivalent of the proposal during Viet Nam of “declaring victory and coming home” — it doesn’t change the fundamental fact that the battle is over, we’re gone, and the enemy is still there.
I don’t recall any war the U.S. has ever lost where we have an exit strategy. In World War II, for example, our “exit strategy” was “win the war, crush the enemy utterly, occupy them, rebuild them, then stick around until they ask us to leave.” It’s been 60 years, and we still have forces in Germany and Japan.
On the other hand, we left the Philippines when they asked us to depart. The same with Saudi Arabia — they asked us to leave, and we did with no fuss.
So, to those who are calling for a clearly-defined “exit strategy” in Iraq: kindly explain how that plan will NOT simply give the enemy a clearly-defined outline of exactly how long they have to survive before we simply abandon Iraq to them.
Ignoring and running from threats was the policy of the Clinton administration, and we paid for that with our dearest blood. It’s not the policy of the Bush administration, and for that we should all be grateful.
Update: My posting in the comments below was in response to one by a cowardly little twit calling himself “anonymous,” and I quoted it in its entirety. I was not addressing AnonymousDrivel, and I apologize for any confusion. Also, I did not delete the comment — it must have been struck down by a Higher Power.