I just finished watching a special on TV. The Discovery channel aired a program where Jesse James went to Iraq on his dime and took a little goodwill with him.
Darn good show. Very well done, focusing on the troops and the teamwork that goes into building and maintaining equipment. Jesse focused on the troops and as I watched it, I was struck by one simple fact. The troops never questioned the mission. Granted, it may have been an issue of editing, but I doubt it. The show highlighted lonliness and heartbreak and I feel that Jesse tried to acurately show what it is like for our soldiers over there, but I never heard one word doubting the mission.
If the troops aren't questioning the mission, why is it fashionable in some quarters to question it? This isn't an issue of patriotism, it's an issue of perspective. We lost Vietnam, not on the battlefield, but here at home. If we lose Iraq, it'll be because we lose the will here to fight a global campaign.
I will grant that we have suffered defeats and we have experienced victories. Our path ahead is uncertain. It is one thing to eschew all wars, all conflict. That in itself is a great and noble prayer. I join in that prayer. We should be reminded of the words of Robert E. Lee, who said "It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it."
However, when joined in a war that was brought to us, we should also remember the words of Ulysses Grant, "In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins." Such is the nature of the battle we find ourselves in today.
My liberal friends are calling for an end to our commitment to the Iraqi people and a common viewing of the news from that front is enough to try any mans resolve. Yet the message I get from the troops is that they do not question the mission. I have to ask myself which set of eyes is best positioned to judge.
Happy 4th, everyone.