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Iraq War – Bush Surge Policy and Why the Administration Cannot Admit Defeat and Failure

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Steven Leser       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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In the late 1920's and throughout the 1930's, the official position of Hitler and Germany's Nazi party was that Germany lost the First World War because of "treasonous Jews". If not for those "treasonous Jews", Germany would have won the war and attained the heights of geopolitical dominance Germany and Germans deserved, went the train of thought. It cannot be that the world banded together to oppose German aggression and the combined weight of the world's armed forces were too much for Germany and her allies. It had to be the Jews. Of course, the strategy was evil genius. It allowed German nationalism to rise to a fevered pitch ultimately benefiting the Nazis who engineered the propaganda to begin with and it gave the people of Germany a convenient scapegoat for their economic and geopolitical problems.

Conservatives believe the same thing with Vietnam but instead of Jews, it is Liberals, Democrats and the media they blame for the loss. On any conservative website or Blog when the topic of Vietnam comes up, a litany of posts follow with the theme, 'If only those traitorous Democrats and the Liberal media would have let the military "do what they needed to do" we would have won'. My favorite Conservative Blog with which to illustrate the mindset of Conservatives, Free Republic, has a plethora of threads that drive home the point, here are a few with some of the many choice quotes therein:

"Never forget that in the last days of Vietnam hillary clinton was right in there, helping with the nailing, while her husband-to-be was over in London dodging the draft, organizing peace marches, and betraying his country. And John F'n Kerry was in Paris, helping to advice the North Vietnamese how to win the struggle."

"In these later years the press simply missed the war. Maybe it wasn't exciting enough. But it was what the American soldier had done for South Vietnam; hamlets in which the population remained secure, refugees able to return to their villages, distribution of land to the peasantry, miracle rice harvests, roads kept open for farm-to-market traffic, the election and training of village governments. Some of what the press did see in Vietnam never got to the public back home ". They didn't want the American people to know the war was being won. Nor did the anti-war forces.

The American media is to blame for "the countless assassinations and torture visited upon Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians

I will never forget the rage and overwhelming shame and sadness I felt as the last helicopter left Vietnam, after the liberal Democrats in Congress pulled the plug on our troops and turned an unbroken series of military victories into an inglorious defeat. They covered their dishonoring of 58,239 killed in action and 128,000 wounded in action by enlisting Walter Kronkite to help them spread the lie that American-South Vietnamese forces had lost the Tet offensive. Everyone now knows that the American Army won every engagement including Tet. Recent interviews with former North Vietnamese generals also confirm that a favorable peace treaty was at hand.

The consequences of this belief system are that Bush cannot appear to countenance withdrawal without some achievement of victory. He can only seem to 'give in' to withdrawal demands after fighting the Democratic congress tooth and nail so that the conservative base can go on thinking about Iraq as it has fantasized about Vietnam, "Winnable, except for the Liberals."

If Bush were to prevail in the public debate and be allowed to execute his 'Surge' policy, it would allow him to spend the remainder of his term continuing to assert that victory is just around the corner, we just need to give the newly augmented troops a chance to achieve it. Of course, this would leave his successor with the unenviable task of admitting defeat and bringing home the troops.

Bush, or any other Republican who would withdraw in a situation as we have now in Iraq would deal a serious blow to the illusion conservatives like to maintain for themselves regarding such wars. The consequences of harming or destroying that illusion would be significant erosion in the support for the Republican Party among the farthest right of its base. It would not cause them to vote Democratic by any means, but it would cause some of them either not to vote or to vote for a third party. Bush is willing to do just about anything to maintain support of this group for him and for future GOP leaders. That is what the surge is about.


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A political blogger for the International Business Times, Steve Leser is a hot national political pundit. He has appeared on MSNBC's Coundown with Keith Olbermann, Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Russia Today's (RT) Crosstalk with (more...)

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