A lot of people are under the impression that the United States is 'losing' the fight in Iraq.
I'm baffled by this thought. I'm a historian. I know what it looks like when an insurgency is actually winning. You see convoys ambushed and wiped out. You see insurgents forming larger bodies of troops an operating in a more conventional manner. You see safe areas established throughout the country. You see successful defensive battles against government units trying to move into safe areas.
This is insurgency theory 101. Little Red Book stuff.
We aren't losing in Iraq, and never have been. As of right now, the only way to lose the fight in Iraq is to pack up and go home. And if we do, it will be because a lot of folks are misinformed by people in the media and in politics who, for what ever reason, prefer to see the United States lose a campaign. Some of these people actively hate the United States and everything we stand for, others hate George Bush to the point that they hope everything he touches falls apart. Others have simply decided that they can make a few more points in the polls with their core constituencies by taking a pro-Insurgent stance.
Are we winning as fast as we might have under ideal circumstances? No. But that's something for historians to wrangle about. Joe Citizen doesn't have enough information on what is going on in Iraq to make an informed decision, just like Joe Citizen didn't know enough about the German defenses in Normandy to be able to make the call whether to invade France in June of 1944 or not. That's why we have a professional officer corps, and don't necessarily submit our tactical plans to public approval.
Case in Point:
The Ferret, on Livejournal, has an excellent post about the idea of cutting funds to the war in Iraq. In this post he makes the valid point that people who say they are in favor of ending the war don't really want to end the war in Iraq, they simply wish to remove US troops so that they no longer feel any obligation to care about the war in Iraq. It will continue without us whether we like it or not.
"It'll be like Darfur with a hangover - that distant genocide with the unpleasant tang that we were somehow responsible for it once upon a time, but hey, not our problem."
But the post is somewhat twisted by the assumption that we are not winning in Iraq, that no progress at all is being made. That, to me, changes the tone of the post a great deal.
Meanwhile, under the heading of "things that just don't surprise me," there's apparently an ammo shortage. I don't shoot in military calibers (9mm sucks, and I don't own any long guns right now) so I haven't noticed it much. But I think it's vaguely interesting that this is, so far as I know, the first impact that the war has had on the US population at large.
We have a new contestant in the contest for 'dumbest terrorist, evah!'. I think it's a little amusing that his defense against charges of terrorism is that he's too disorganized. . .
I'm still laughing up my sleeve at the Democrats, who caved into the Administration's demands that they actually do their job and fund the damn war without the assorted grandstanding nonsense of trying to tell him how to do his job of running the war. Not, mind you, that I think Bush has done a stellar job of it, but then again what President has? Running a country at war is such an impossible task that no President has done so mistake-free. Even Lincoln kept promoting incompetents to command the Army of the Potomac. Bush has done a far, far better job than a Democratically-controlled Congress could. In order to get it past the assorted jackasses on their side of the aisle, Congress included a minimum-wage hike. And these people want to micromanage a war?