Thursday, September 6, 2007

What war are they talking about?

I watched a bit of the Fox News republican debate last night (in between checking Red Sox scores and watching anything else that caught my fancy) and had some thoughts that I will post as time permits.

First, I cannot tell what war these folks think we are fighting. In one sentence just about all of them (save Ron Paul, and to some extent Brownback) will say we cannot lose the "War in Iraq" by signaling our "surrender." But in the next sentence they will all say the War in Iraq is simply the current main front in the "Global War on Terrorism" or the "Terrorists' War on Us" or whatever moniker they choose for the day. The contradiction in the two formulations is apparent in that it is entirely appropriate to change strategic or tactical plans and abandon one front of a multi-front war without surrendering in the larger conflict. It is like leaving the Phillipines during WWII. No one thought leaving that field of battle meant we had surrendered to Tojo. Therefore, under the second formulation, leaving Iraq is not a surrender in the "War on Terror;" it is simply a realization that facts require a change in plans. So which is it guys? Maybe, if they want to stick with their "GWOT" formulation, they can argue that Iraq is an important battlefield in the war, but they cannot say that leaving Iraq is a surrender in the war I think they think we are fighting.

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