Thursday, November 15, 2007

Winning invisibly

Military history/commentator Victor Davis Hanson says our recent military successes in Iraq are comparable to key turning points in American military history.

Nevertheless, we may be witnessing one of those radical, unforeseen reversals in America's wars that have often changed our history.

The White House was burned by British forces in late August 1814; a little more than four months later, the British were routed at New Orleans. During the Civil War, the Union army was on the ropes in July 1864 yet outside Atlanta by September. The Germans were driving through France in March 1918, but fleeing toward the Rhine by August. The communists took Seoul in early January 1951, yet were pushed back across the Demilitarized Zone a little more than three months later.
Yet, the turnaround is largely invisible to the American people.

But that dramatic turnabout in Iraq is rarely reported on. We know as much about O.J.'s escapades in Vegas as we do about the Anbar awakening or the flight of al-Qaeda from Baghdad. When we occasionally do hear about Iraq, it is just as likely through a Hollywood movie — In the Valley of Elah, Redacted, Lions for Lambs — preaching to us how the U.S. was mostly incompetent or amoral in fighting a hopeless war.

The Abu Ghraib prison scandal of 2004 warranted 32 consecutive days on the New York Times' s front page. Congressional appeals for timetables and scheduled withdrawals, amid cries of "fiasco" and "quagmire," were regularly reported this summer. Now, though, there is largely silence in newspaper headlines about the growing peace in Anbar province.
Now that things are going well in Iraq, the news media is interested in global warming scare stories, SCHIP scare stories, and the "looming" recession, an agenda oddly identical to the Democratic Party's.

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