If you receive most of your information about the War in Iraq, you might conclude we are losing the fight. If you have blogosphere sources of information on the war, you will recognize the immense amount of progress we have made. In just a few weeks now, the Iraqis will be returning to the polls and electing a full fledged government, at which point it will be clear that the terrorists have lost and democracy has won. This raises an interesting question. The Democrats (and their allies in the media) have been insisting that the Iraq war is a quagmire of Vietnam proportions. They also have continued their theme that the nation was lied to and misled into war by Cheney, working his ventriloquist magic through Bush. This leads to a limited number of possibilities:
1) They could be correct; the war is a disaster and Bush lied us into it (the Democrats have been careful to avoid attributing any motive for such lies). If this is the case, the elections will have to be a failure in order to support their case. Why they would tie themselves so closely to Iraq failure is a mystery to me (unless one posits an unconscious need to fail on their part.)
2) They are wrong but don't realize it. Perhaps they are receiving faulty intelligence on the war form their allies in the Media; this means they are tying themselves to a failing industry that has been hemorrhaging money and viewers for several years. This doesn't seem like a winning strategy.
3) They are wrong but do know it. If this is true they would be counting on the media being able to help them spin the war as a disaster story between now and next November, when they imagine it will allow them to win the House and perhaps the Senate. This would be extraordinarily cynical, even by Washington standards, but is not out of the question. They could also believe (and have made such statements in the past) that the electorate has a short attention span and political Alzheimer's Disease so that as we draw down troops in the spring and things quiet down in Iraq, they can just Moveon to the next topic with which to batter Republicans. (While this is also a highly cynical position, it is more in the order of politics as usual in Washington.) I suspect this is partly true; public opinion polls do reflect the moment to moment highs and lows of the war, but the Democrats already entered the arena with the label of being anti-military and anti-defense; I don't think they will be able to shed the label with this approach.
I am of the opinion that we are winning in Iraq on several different fronts. The terrorists have lost favor throughout much of the Middle East, they have had their command structure decimated, and they have continued to make stupid tactical and strategic decisions (bombing a Muslim wedding party in Amman as one stark example.) Michael Yon has been our best reporter in Iraq for the last year, embedded with Deuce Four (the link is to a report on their return home party; go to his site and read any one of his dispatches and you will be edified.) The Sunday Times of London reports on plans by Bruce Willis to make a film about Deuce Four and their incredible bravery and prowess:
Bruce Willis comes out fighting for Iraq’s forgotten GI heroes
Sarah Baxter, Washington
ANGERED by negative portrayals of the conflict in Iraq, Bruce Willis, the Hollywood star, is to make a pro-war film in which American soldiers will be depicted as brave fighters for freedom and democracy.
It will be based on the exploits of the heavily decorated members of Deuce Four, the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry, which has spent the past year battling insurgents in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul.
Strangely enough, a search of the New York Times web site show no mentions of Deuce Four; perhaps one of my readers can offer an explanation that doesn't further besmirch the New York Time's fading reputation, but this does seem like a bit of an oversight when they have written so much about the war. Bruce Willis wondered about the oversight as well:
“I am baffled to understand why the things I saw happening in Iraq are not being reported,” he told MSNBC, the American news channel.
(Michael) Yon was at the soldiers’ ball with Willis, who got to know him through his internet war reports on www.michaelyon.blogspot.com. “What he is doing is something the American media and maybe the world media isn’t doing,” the actor said, “and that’s telling the truth about what’s happening in the war in Iraq.”
In any event, the idea of a pro-America movie coming out of Hollywood intrigued me. The incredible box office success of The Passion of the Christ was not enough to convince Hollywood that they could be successful making movies that appealed to so many religious Christians; I suppose they felt it would not be possible to make a movie that supported those with religious beliefs since they could not find a way to imagine themselves sharing those beliefs. It will be interesting to see how Hollywood will respond when a Bruce Willis movie, in which American soldiers are the good guys fighting against Muslim terrorists, makes upwards of $100,000,000. Hollywood has been suffering at the box office. It has been difficult for them to figure out why they are doing so poorly. They haven't asked me but I have seen several dreadful movies recently and I would be happy to tell them they need 1) better stories and 2) less polemics in their movies, if they want people to see them.
I left this comment on Captain Ed's site:
This brings up an interesting thought experiment: When this movie (if it is at all well done, and with Willis involved, it will be) brings in $100,000,000 what will Hollywood do for an encore?
1) Will they adhere to their "principles" and continue to depict the American military as fascist and corrupt?
2) Will they go for the money and actually make some pro-America movies?
3) Will their heads explode from the cognitive dissonance?
Of course, another possibility is to combine #2 and #3: they could try to make pro-America movies but find it an impossible task and implode.