Friday, June 15, 2007

Reality check: Defeat In Iraq, Losing a War

A national trauma very much like the trauma after the Vietnam War will soon be upon us. Christopher J. Fettweis does an excellent job setting the stage and giving us a perspective on losing a war.

Christopher J. Fettweis: Coming loss in Iraq will long plague us
The Vietnam syndrome divided this country for decades, and the Iraq syndrome will be no different.

Christopher J. Fettweis
Published: June 14, 2007
Losing hurts more than winning feels good. This maxim applies to virtually all areas of human interaction: sports, finance, love. And war.
Defeat in war damages societies quite out of proportion to what a rational calculation of cost would predict. The United States absorbed the loss in Vietnam quite easily on paper, for example, but the societal effects of defeat linger to this day. Defeats can have seemingly inexplicable consequences.
And as any sports fan can tell you, the only thing that feels worse than a loss is an upset. An upset demands explanation and requires that responsible parties be punished.
The endgame in Iraq is now clear, and it appears that the heavily favored United States will be upset. Once support for a war is lost, it is gone for good; there is no example of a modern democracy having changed its mind once it turned against a war. So we ought to start coming to grips with the meaning of losing in Iraq. Read entire article here

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