“And the Winner Is…” by Jack Kinsella

“First, a word for our brave American fighting men and women on the battlefield. The war is lost. Your cause is hopeless. Your country has abandoned you. Lay down your arms and go home — while you still can.”

One might be forgiven for thinking I am paraphrasing enemy propagandists Hanoi Hannah, Tokyo Rose or Lord Haw Haw. But I am not. I wish I were.

Instead, it was the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid of Nevada preaching defeat on the battlefield.

“This war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week,” Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters, referring to the US-led security push in Baghdad.

So, the war is lost. If America lost the war, then that means that somebody else won it. And, if the war is lost, who lost it?

Was it America’s armed forces? Was it the Marines? The Army? Was it the British forces in southern Iraq?

Nobody in their right mind would argue that al-Qaeda and the other terrorists are capable of defeating the United States of America on the battlefield. The enemy has been decisively defeated in every single engagement with US forces.

There are no exceptions. There were no battles in which our forces were beaten back or forced to withdraw militarily. Reid’s declaration of defeat in Iraq is analogous to the LAPD chief declaring the war against gang violence a lost cause because there are still gangs roaming the streets of LA.

LA’s street gangs haven’t disbanded, surrendered, joined the LAPD, or given up their criminal behavior. The cops still complain they need more men on the street to combat the gangs, and LA’s citizens still proceed with caution in certain parts of town, and absolutely avoid other parts.

There are parts of LA that even the LAPD hesitates to go without calling for back up before they get there. But the LAPD hasn’t declared defeat. What do you suppose would happen if they did? Would the gangs then disband and go home?

If America has lost the war, then it means that al-Qaeda won it. And they aren’t going to disband and go home, either.

One conservative blogger, Jeff Emmanuel, attempted to make sense of the Left’s argument that Reid’s statement did not ’embolden the enemy’.

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s pronouncement yesterday that “the war is lost” was made solely to Congress and to the American people, right? I mean, it’s not like our enemies actually care or pay attention to what is said by those in leadership positions in our government (such as Bush Lied, US troops are Nazi storm troopers, etc., etc.) — right?”

Emanuel, then citing coverage of the story in Al Jazeera and Iranian press , answered himself. “Oops.”

If America has lost the war in Iraq, yet American forces remain undefeated on the battlefield, then we must return to the question, “Who lost it?” together with the followup question of, “How?”

During the early days of World War II, Germany launched the “Battle of Britain” in which Goering’s Luftwaffe sent wave after wave of heavy bombers across the English Channel to bomb civilian targets.

Why did Hitler concentrate his forces on civilian, rather than military targets? In 1940, Great Britain was dotted with airfields, munitions factories, shipyards and heavy manufacturing, but Hitler’s bombers concentrated their attention on London and other large English cities.

Indeed, the RAF was successful in beating back the Luftwaffe BECAUSE the raids were focused on civilian targets instead of RAF airfields. In all, the Blitz claimed 27,450 civilian lives. Hitler believed breaking the British will to fight was more important than destroying their ability to fight.

Later, when British and American bombers attacked German targets, they also concentrated on civilian targets. The firebombing of Dresden killed more than 35,000 German civilians.

In 1945, as American forces closed in on the island of Japan, it was feared that a US invasion of the home island could result in as many as a million casualties. Instead, the US dropped the world’s first nuclear weapon on Hiroshima, and followed up with a nuclear attack against Nagasaki.

The civilian death toll in those attacks was estimated to top 100,000 civilians. Neither Hiroshima or Nagasaki had any more military value than did London, Coventry or Dresden. Why did all sides expend millions of tons of high explosive ordnance on targets that had no military value?

The answer is simple.

To break the will of the civilian population and destroy their will to fight in the hope that domestic pressure would force the government to surrender. That’s why Hitler bombed London. It is why Dresden and Tokyo were firebombed, and why America dropped the Bomb on Japan.

Militarily, the Germans could have fought on for years, had the will of the people not been broken. So could the Japanese. Both sides could have engaged in guerilla war against the Allies, even after the surrender.

But they didn’t, because their will to fight had been broken. Their losses were too great to sustain. They surrendered unconditionally.

Returning to the question of how America ‘lost’ the war in Iraq, assuming Senator Reid’s assessment is accurate, the answer must be the same. The terrorists have broken America’s will to fight. The enemy has won. But it wasn’t the terrorists who defeated America. It was Harry Reid and Company.

And it wasn’t the carnage inflicted on Americans that defeated America. It was the political ambitions of the Left and its hatred of George Bush and the ‘neocons’. The distinctions between right and wrong have been blurred by the differences between Right and Left.

If Harry Reid is correct, al Qaeda wins. And all our losses and all the sacrifices made by our troops were for nothing. All the post-9/11 yellow ribbons, all the American flags, all the rhetoric and bravado were just a sham.

And all the claims of supporting our troops in harm’s way? A lie. So, if Harry Reid is correct, al Qaeda wins. And may God have mercy on America.

Because al Qaeda won’t.

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