Open Post on "Victory In Iraq"
The White House has laid out its Strategy for Victory in Iraq, whose overview may be viewed by following the link. One of the interesting things about the debate over Iraq is that the emotional reaction to President Bush's policies has driven some of his opponents to effectively advocate defeat in Iraq, though some realize that it must be given the appearance of victory. (See the Win Without War coalition website) That's not to say that some of his critics throughout the political spectrum are not equally committed to genuine victory, though they may have deeply felt criticisms over the way the war has been run to date.
The military situation in Iraq has certain attributes -- casualty rates, areas controlled, enemy weapons seized, enemy casualties inflicted, Iraqi Army units deployed, etc -- which are fairly objective. The struggle now is to take those attributes and paint them with either the colors of defeat or victory. Consider the question of troop withdrawals. The withdrawal of US combat units and their replacement with Iraqi forces has been a goal of OIF from the beginning. Yet it will be depicted as a 'failure' or a 'success' according to the political standpoint of the narrator. Which is it then? Which is it really? That's the subject which I hope readers will express their opinions on. One point of view, which I think is corrupt, is that defeat or victory is entirely a matter of perception. That is, that victory or defeat can be disconnected from the reality on the ground. According to that school of thought reality is fundamentally created by news coverage. I don't think that's right. But I may be wrong.