Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Home Front

As the Vietnam War illustrats, wars can be lost on the homefront, as well as the battlefield. Fueled by the anti-war movement and televised images of dead and wounded American soldiers, public support for Vietnam War eventually dissipated, leading to our military withdrawal and the ensuing bloodbath in South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Will the same thing happen in Iraq? It's too early to say, but a new CNN-Gallup poll shows 59% of Americans now oppose the War in Iraq, and 47% said they were "not satisfied" with the War on Terrorism. Those numbers suggest a shift in opinion from similar polls taken earlier this year, and in 2004.

What's prompting the change? Consider those images you see on your TV--lots of blood and gore from the latest car bomb, video of insurgents seemingly operating at will, and reports of more dead Americans. Collectively, they suggest a war that isn't going well.

But is that the ground truth? Contrast the observations of Austin Bay or Michael Yon, a former Green Beret-turned-freelance journalist, who's spent the last six months in Iraq, and reporters from the New York Times or Washington Post, who cover the beat in Baghdad.

BTW, I'm looking forward to Yon's interview with Command Sergeant Major Jeffrey Mellinger, the senior Army enlisted man in Iraq. When Yon met him a few months ago, CSM Mellinger asked him point-blank: "you're not one of those journalists who sits in a Baghdad hotel room and writes about the war?" Mellinger travels around Iraq--by himself--in a HUMVEE. His thoughts on the war and our military should be a great read. Yon's interview with CSM Mellinger should be up in a few days.

According to Yon, a few MSM types have declined invitations to accompany CSM Mellinger on his travels around Iraq. Afterall, it's a lot safer to cover the war when room service is close at hand.

One final thought: our troops will win the war on the battlefield, given time and the proper resources. But to win the war on the homefront, we need to hear more from men like CSM Mellinger, and less from the retired generals and twits representing liberal think-tanks. The Bush Administration also needs to remind Americans that we have a genuine stake in winning the war in Iraq. If we cede the media war to the jihadists and the MSM, we will be forced to withdrawal from Iraq, and the War on Terrorism will return to American soil.

1 comment:

Ron Wright said...

I agree. See my most over at WOC on a similar discussion thread.

*****

OK I'm all for debating this but perhaps we can swing some of this energy in the Blogos to a useful purpose.

Yes, President Bush could have done better in stating his position but couldn't we all. Give the man a brake. FDR did not have a MSM which was rooting for the enemy. I believe he is sincere when he says we will assist the people in the ME to secure freedom.

President Bush in the past and Secretary Rice yesterday delivered a message to the ME leaders. A strategic shift in our strategic foreign policy in the region. We will no longer support repressive government for the sake of regional stability. This is a radical change from our past policy over the last 50 years followed by both Rep and Dem administrations alike including Bush II:

[...]

The biggest challenge has been the expectations of the American people that has been generated by the false perception of the GWOT as protrayed by the MSM.

[...]

I'm with Grim that the recent rise in "insurgency" and suicidal bombers in Iraq is drawing down the enemies resources that they can't afford to lose. After all the majority of the recent bombers in Iraq have been Saudis on a Jihad mission. Also see the post re Red on Red here at WOC. This is significant as it demonstrates this is being driven by the enemy's resources pouring into Iraq.

[...]

The next key battle front in the GWOT is the Mad Mullahs of Iran. This administration will not blink as this as the strategic consequences of the mullahs going nuclear are unimaginable. See this thread here at WOC re Iran and AQ and ship launched e-bombs

[...]

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