August 14, 2006

Play the hand you are dealt, or fold and wait for a better one...

I recommend this post, by Dafydd. I won't try to summarize it, but it's the first thing I've read that really makes some sense out of the confusing and disappointing developments in Lebanon.

He makes an analogy to the first and second battles of Falluja, and his post is also the first thing I've read that makes sense of that...makes sense of our withdrawal after partial success during First Falluja. And I take comfort from it. The handwringers back in April 2004 were quick to declare that we had been defeated, lost our nerve, blown our last chance, etc etc. But we went back when the time was right, and crushed the terrorists.

It's going to be a long war. That's not surprising, what with sneaky guerilla/terrorist enemies, fifth-columnists within, and various "allies" in deep moral decline...BUT, we've been there before. Abe Lincoln fought a long messy war that makes this one look like a sunday-school picnic. And, notably, we got better at it as we went along! We learned. We learned cruel and ugly lessons, to be sure. But that's what war is like. And we didn't start this war, we didn't ask for it.

I read somewhere that many of the successful generals of the Civil War got their start in the pitiless guerilla fighting in Missouri. As a result, they didn't have any of the illusions of chivalry and gentlemanly conduct and restrained war common among our Victorian soldiers. (Any Civil War buffs out there know more about this?) And no, I'm NOT saying that what worked in the Civil War is what's needed now. I have for instance, argued many times that the countless acts of humanity and decency by our troops are weapons in this war. (And I'd say that the concealment of these deeds by our vile press, and by leftist bloggers and politicians, is a weapon used by the other side.)

Posted by John Weidner at August 14, 2006 8:28 PM
Weblog by John Weidner