Monday, January 29, 2007

We're not giving up and we're not going away

President Bush could be taking a cue (probably unbeknownst to him) from Shar in Minneapolis, that tenacious opponent of public subsidies for millionaire baseball players and billionaire baseball team owners.

Shar and her anti-stadium tax group are known for their slogan, "We're not giving up and we're not going away." This is exactly the message that those darn terrorist insurgents in Iraq (and by extension, extremists worldwide) need to hear.

As I was trying to catch up on reading my back issues of The Weekly Standard over the weekend, I was pleased to learn that troop surges work. Not only do they work, they have worked in Iraq — twice:
Between November 2004 and February 2005, according to the Brookings Institution's Iraq Index, the number of coalition soldiers in Iraq rose by 18,000. In that time, the number of Iraqi civilians killed fell by two-thirds, and the number of American troops wounded fell by three-fourths. The soldiers were soon pulled out; by the summer of 2005, American and Iraqi casualties rose again. Later that year, the same thing happened again. Between September and November of 2005, another 23,000 soldiers were deployed in Iraq; once again, both Iraqi and American casualties fell. In the early months of 2006, the number of soldiers fell again, and casualties spiraled up. ("Doubling Down in Iraq," by William J. Stuntz, The Weekly Standard, November 20, 2006)
There is even evidence that the latest surge is already producing results, even before it has begun.

President Abraham LincolnHistory, all the way back to Sun-Tzu, indicates that when the enemy preceives that he can't win, he surrenders. The tactics have changed, but the strategy endures. Abraham Lincoln understood this (as the Stuntz story continues):
In a speech delivered a month after his reelection, Lincoln carefully surveyed the North's resources and manpower and concluded that the nation's wealth was "unexhausted and, as we believe, inexhaustible." Southern soldiers began to desert in droves. Through the long, bloody summer and fall of 1864, the South had hung on only because of the belief that the North might tire of the conflict. But Lincoln did not tire. Instead, he doubled the bet — and won the war.
This is not rocket science. Remember Malone's (played by Sean Connery) advice to Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner) in The Untouchables?
Malone: If you open the can on these worms you must be prepared to go all the way because they're not gonna give up the fight until one of you is dead.

Ness: How do you do it then?

Malone: You wanna know how you do it? Here's how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get Capone!
This time, let's clear and hold Baghdad, so the Iraqi political process can work. Give Petraeus a chance. If the enemy understands that we are not giving up and we are not going away until he is pacified, freedom for the Iraqis, and security for the United States, will win. If the Democrats succeed in their nostalgic remake of the forfeit of the Vietnam war, then it truly will be an apocalypse now.

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