Sunday, March 19, 2006

On winning

I was up for a couple hours last night trying to get the little boy to go back to bed, as apparently he's on Seoul time and thought 1:30 was a great time to play hide and seek. I put him back in his crib and got to listen to him complain (read: cry) very loudly about it until 3:30. While I was listening to this, I had an epiphany. I knew ultimately, I would win, and he would fall asleep again, but until he actually fell asleep, he was taking up my time and my resources (read: energy). I realized that, while he was awake, he was winning, and it wouldn't be until he finally gave up that he would lose.

Over the last year, I've read and heard plenty of talk regarding Iraq, the war, the aftermath, the insurgency, etc. Much of the talk revolves around the president's party line of "we're winning." The thought process is that the insurgents are losing their resources, their manpower, places to hide, etc. I conclude, as I did with my son, that this line of thought is incorrect.

We are not winning in Iraq. So long as there is an insurgency, we can't win, as our goal is to establish a free, safe Iraq. Until that happens, then we can't be winning. Anything that leaves insurgents in place, or a civil war in the wake of the government we overthrew, or a country where all Iraqis aren't equally free is a loss. This has turned into a battle of wills, and the question now is who has more patience? Are we more willing to stay as long as it takes? Are we willing to do what is necessary? Or even more importantly, is this war winnable?

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