Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Stab in the Back watch

Here is what Kevin Baker had to say in his brilliant June article in Harper's:
The right's initial blindness toward first the Axis and then the Soviet threat in Europe; the disastrous military campaign waged by one of its icons; its feckless and even apocalyptic ideas for recouping its previous mistakes—all had been erased in much of the public consciousness by the stab in the back, a vote-winning tale of deviancy, subversion, and intentional defeat radiating from Yalta all the way to Korea.


Once again, we were told that American troops were not being “allowed” to win, if they could not mine Haiphong harbor, or flatten Hanoi, or reduce all of North Vietnam to a parking lot. Yet Vietnam was a war with no real defeats on the ground. U.S. troops won every battle of any significance and inflicted exponentially greater casualties on the enemy than they suffered themselves. Even the great debacle of the war, the 1968 Tet offensive, ended with an overwhelming American military victory and the Viet Cong permanently expunged as an effective fighting force. It is difficult to claim betrayal when you do not lose a battle.

It's definitely worthwhile to read the whole article, if you haven't already. But here's the point: we are once again being told that the troops are not "allowed" to win:

Well, we'll see about that. One difference between the Ethiopians in Somalia and the Americans in Iraq is that the former aren't fighting with one hand behind their back just in case some EU ally or humanitarian lobby group or fictitious Associated Press source leaks some "war crime" or other to the media. In fact, the Ethiopians have the advantage of more or less total lack of interest from the Western media. So they're just getting on with it.

That's Mark Steyn in today's Chicago Sun-Times. Apparently the reason we aren't "winning" in Iraq is because of "some EU ally or humanitarian lobby group or fictitious Associated Press source leaks." I really would love to see one example of any of the above interfering in any way with the prosecution of the occupation in Iraq. But of course there are no examples, only the stab-in-the-back myth, the dolchstosslegende that Baker warned us about.

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