Winning: It's What You Want To Believe That Counts

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May 23, 2007: The U.S. Congress, now controlled by the Democratic Party, is insisting that American troops be withdrawn from Iraq if the Iraqi government does not meet specific goals. Many Democratic politicians say the war is lost. How that loss is defined appears linked to the level of violence in Iraq, American casualties, and who is causing the violence. It's been known, since shortly after Saddam was driven out of power in 2003, that his followers had a "Plan B" that involved a sustained terror campaign. It was believed that this would eventually drive the Americans out (based on the Vietnam experience), and allow the Sunni Arab minority to regain power. This is an eerie repeat of the Vietnam experience, where the South Vietnamese rebels were crushed in the late 1960s, at the same time the many American politicians (mainly Democrats) were saying the war was lost. South Vietnam eventually fell to a conventional invasion from North Vietnam in 1975, as the guerillas in the south never recovered.

The Iraqi Sunni Arabs are talking about history repeating itself. But there's a nasty catch. The Sunni Arab terror campaign has made the Sunni Arabs even more hated than they were in 2003. If the American troops left, the retribution from the much more numerous Kurdish and Shia Arab troops would be a disaster for the remaining Sunni Arabs of Iraq. Over have of them have already fled the country. But the hardcore who are still carrying on the fight, believing that neighboring Sunni Arab nations (especially Saudi Arabia) would rather invade, than see the Sunni Arabs driven out of Iraq. Saudi Arabia has said, publicly and privately (via diplomatic channels) that they would not invade. The main reason for this is Iran, which would be compelled to support the Shia majority that now runs Iraq. Now the Sunni Arabs could call on the United States to come back and help keep the Iranians out of Iraq, but American voters are pretty fed up with Middle Eastern politics at this point.

These realities don't play well in American politics. Democrats don't want to admit there is any reason to keep American troops in the Persian Gulf. The reality of the continued Sunni Arab resistance to a democratic government in Iraq never caught on with the Western mass media, although troops in Iraq realize pretty quick what's happening. Thus winning in Iraq is complicated not by what is happening there, but by what a lot of different groups outside of Iraq want to believe is happening.

 


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