Sunday, November 27, 2005

Public Not Buying Dem's War Criticism

Independent polls are showing that the criticisms against the War in Iraq being leveled by Democrats are not being publicly accepted. In fact, 70% of Americans believe the criticism is hurting troop morale. That same number - 70% - also believe that the Democrats are only criticising the war, not because they believe what they're saying, but only to gain partisan political advantage. (Washington Post: Sympathetic Vibrations). Only 16% believe that troops should be withdrawn immediately, with a plurality (49%) stating that troops should only come home when Iraq can take care of itself.

These polls will certainly have a ripple effect through the 2006 mid-terms. Democrats were hoping that the increased anti-war rhetoric would improve their chances of gaining seats in both the House and Senate, however these polls suggest that the public at large is seeing through the political double speak.

What is not reflected in the polls is not the impact of criticism on troop morale, it is the impact of criticism on the enemy's morale. Every criticism levelled against the war is another weapon in the hands of Zarqawi. Every senator that accuses the President of lying about going to war is a senator that boosts the cause of Iraq's terrorist insurgency. Every person that screams for a time-table for withdrawal is directly responsible for delaying that very withdrawal they seem to desire.

There was plenty of time for debate before going to war in Iraq. That was the time for open criticisms of the effort. It was a time to argue about the merits of going to war, the reasons for it, the quality of intelligence, the plan to rebuild Iraq, and the criteria under which US troops would be withdrawn. That is the reason it takes both Congress and the President to go to war. Once Congress approved the use of force, however, and once the President committed troops to war in Iraq, that time for debate ended. There is only one proper response for Americans once our troops are in combat and that is to provide 100% support for the war effort. Anything less is a tool in the hands of the enemy.

We have yet, it would seem, to learn the lessons taught by Vietnam. The two biggest lessons we failed to learn are mistakes now being made with Iraq. First, the press has absolutely no business being given uncensored access to the war. An unchecked press played a major role in public opinion towards the war in Vietnam, and it is having the same impact today in Iraq. Rather, the WWII method of dealing with the press is the proper approach. Induct the reporters into the military and closely monitor and censor what is being reported about the war. The goal of the war is to win, not to provide Pulitzer Prizes for embedded reporters.

Second, the greatest enemy our military faces, and the only enemy capable of defeating the US in war is the American public. The NVA did not defeat the US in Vietnam. Neither did the Viet Cong. Rather, it was the American public that turned that war into a debacle. A nation cannot win a war when the public openly withdraws support for that war. Apparently, our esteemed senators and congressmen haven't learned that lesson. Rather than standing firm behind our troops and our war effort, these spineless politicians are trying to ride the ebb and flow of public opinion with an eye towards re-election.

The time for debate ended when the first cruise missile struck Baghdad. The only acceptable response for Americans now is to support our efforts in Iraq. The enemy needs to see an America united in the cause to defeat the insurgency, defeat the terrorists, and stabilize the Iraqi government. Anything less provides aid and comfort to the enemy. Save the Monday morning quarterbacking for after the war is won. To do it now jeopardizes our troops, boosts the morale of the enemy, and prolongs the effort in the field.

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1 comment :

Alan Fraser said...

Perhaps you didn't have time to check out RT Strategies, author of the poll. Here's a quote:

"The new Cook Political Report poll of 1,001 adults nationwide (margin of error +/- 3.1 percent) was conducted by RT Strategies, a newly established bipartisan corporate/public affairs" ... blah, blah...

Note the sample size. Precious, ain't it. (I checked them out as it was a puzzlement to me that their results could differ so much from virtually every other poll.)