Saturday, December 16, 2006

Tet for Tat

A common refrain from war-bots is that the media lost Vietnam by obscuring our victories. The most obviously example, of course, being the Tet Offensive, which the media supposedly presented as a loss for our side when it was actually a victory.

But think about it for a second. We were in Vietnam until 1973. Tet occurred in January of 1968. Are we to believe that it was the media that prevented us from finally defeating the Viet Cong Communists for good during those five years?

In addition, according to this Wikipedia article and this one, the press coverage of the Tet Offensive did not greatly influence public support for the war (Ameican casualty counts did that) and the major negative effect on American public opinion from the Tet Offensive was their realization that the U.S. government, which had prior to Tet reported the Communist side as a spent force, had badly underestimated the enemy.

Largely, that is what is bothering the public about Iraq as well. During the first two years or so of the war, we were constantly assured that the insurgency was almost defeated, that there were only a few dead-enders, or that we were fighting 5,000 disgruntled "Islamists," and once we killed or captured them democracy would break out. Instead, there has been a gradual uptick in the amount of violence, and for a year and a half or so, in American and other coalition casualties.

When the predicted pacification did not happen, the public slowly began losing confidence in this war and in how we were fighting it.

Some true believers, unable to comprehend that the leaders of the country either lied to them or were grossly mistaken, have taken to denying that the people fighting in Iraq are Iraqi at all. But tales of foreign fighters have mroe to do finding an excuse for the violence that allows the initial predictions to be accurate than with actual facts. That is, they can claim that we did defeat the Iraqi insurgents by denying that those we fight now are Iraqi insurgents:

But it really hasn't been. It was dead enders, just as Rumsfeld said, at first. Then the jihadists joined in, then Iran and Syria were able to build an insurgent war machine within the country.

Ultimately, the goal is to to never admit a mistake and to blame those who expose your errors for your errors' inevitable results.

That is all.

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