War and perspective

Washington Examiner Editorial:

The intelligence was bad. Pre-invasion planning was fundamentally flawed, with confusion about what followed the initial invasion’s success. There were severe shortages of critically needed equipment. The field generals lacked confidence in their superiors. The enemy’s strength was underestimated and their tactics surprised U.S. planners, dashing hopes for a quick victory. And more than 4,000 Americans died as the operation dragged on and on.

Sound familiar? No, it’s not Iraq, which has required five years. This was Anzio, the U.S. Army’s bungled landing behind German lines in Italy during World War II. The area they were trying to secure wasn’t 167,400 square miles — the size of California — but a small beachhead north of the fabled Gustav Line in southern Italy. It was supposed to result in a lightning thrust to liberate Rome and the crushing of suddenly outflanked German forces. Instead, it degenerated into a bloody stalemate that dragged on for more than four months. More than 4,400 Americans had died as the operation neared its end.

Now here we are this week with TV news and mainstream dailies beating into our heads the refrain of “4,000 dead, 4,000 dead” in the five years of the war in Iraq. The subtext of tragedy is correct. It is a terrible thing to lose even one of our fine young men and women fighting in a foreign land, much less 4,000 of them — and it is terrible, too, that so many more have been seriously injured. Each one of them is one too many. Nevertheless, the losses mean nothing without context. The American military is securing the peace in a large country halfway around the globe ruled for decades by a terrorist-supporting dictator who invaded his neighbors and used chemical weapons on his own people. Our losses in five years are, by historical standards, astonishingly low. And securing a peaceful democracy in the Middle East will change everything for the better in that unhappy part of the world.

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When I hear Democrats say that Iraq is the worse foreign policy blunder in history I know they are either lying or woefully ignorant. It will only be a blunder if we let the Democrats make it one by withdrawing before we are finished. When I hear Democrat say we have accomplished nothing in Iraq, it is clear that they are either lying or are not paying attention. We deposed a genocidal despot responsible for the deaths of over a million people and Democrats call that nothing? We are crating an ally in the war on terror in the middle of the Middle East and the Democrats call that nothing? It will only be nothing if we elect Democrats who want to retreat from the war the enemy is waging against us on the false premise that they can "end the war."

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