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Bush Says U.S. Not Winning War in Iraq December 20, 2006

Posted by Dan in Middle East, Must Read, News, Politics.
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U.S. Not Winning War in Iraq, Bush Says for 1st Time

President Bush acknowledged for the first time yesterday that the United States is not winning the war in Iraq and said he plans to expand the overall size of the “stressed” U.S. armed forces to meet the challenges of a long-term global struggle against terrorists.

I don’t think this issue is as clear as winning/not-winning, especially since no one has any clear way of defining “victory.” When we fought against the armies of Japan and Germany, we knew the enemy, they wore uniforms. And so, when we met them in battle, and beat them back, we were given very nice, legal, written surrenders from both. Yet today, decades after the conflict of World War 2, antisemitism remains prominent in Germany (enough so to elect officials who feel the same). We had our victory, but couldn’t manage to squash the ideology; individuals are just too complex and far too numerous.

The War on Terror’s concept of “victory” is assumed to be a world without terrorism. Terrorism is defined by the Oxford American Dictionary as “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.” Removing it from the world involves changing an ideology; essentially teaching every single person with those beliefs new, non-violent ways of conflict resolution and political process. This is an impossible task, and one that should never have been declared a war, as all wars inevitably end, but this conflict will last forever. The inability to label “victory” means an almost certain defeat against American moral, and undermines our credibility as a sucessful global conflict mediator.

We must accept that victory can not be found, and work to simply improve things as much as possible. To quote Marge Simpson, “You catch more bees with honey…”

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