Belmont Club


Why do people still expect us to lose in Iraq? Because they themselves can't imagine victory. Yet the Belmont Club outlines exactly what victory looks like:

By the time the uprising was over, silenced in a cease-fire June 4, the U.S. military success appeared decisive. While 19 U.S. soldiers had been killed in combat and scores wounded, military officials estimate that 1,500 insurgents were killed. Sadr's militiamen had been driven from positions many had died defending.
The US estimates that 20 civilians were killed in operations around Najaf. The Najaf hospital claims 81. When the Russians retook Grozny after a disastrous first foray, they returned to the operational formula of Marshak Konev in Berlin and rained down 8,000 artillery shells per hour on the town, killing perhaps 27,000 before attempting it again. The vastly more powerful Americans did not, yet triumphed. They are inept, as everyone knows.
Indeed, it does seem that people believe this. American 'heavyhandedness' is said to have turned Iraq into a "terrorist-breeding hellhole." Yet, when our enemies slaughter civilians in multitudes, with car-bombs aimed at the innocent, we are told that this too moves the world against us. If we kill the innocent, people turn to terrorism to get back at us. If our enemies kill the innocent, people turn to terrorism--why, exactly?

The truth is otherwise than what is reported. Heavyhandness does not belong to America, but to our foes. Victory will be ours, because we merit it. In the end, mercy is a quality that moves hearts. It will be recognized among those who suffer from the bombs, even if it is not recognized among those who have never, themselves, looked death in the face.

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