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Sunday, April 20, 2008

The NYT wonders why the media-consensus "winner" simply refuses to "win".

There is little that puzzles the savants at the NY Times since they know everything. They just can't figure out why
Mookie" Sadr, who they and the rest of the MSM declared the winner in Basra, is fading away.

Via Belmont Club
Despite the apparent concession of Basra, Mr. Sadr issued defiant words on Saturday night. In a long statement read from the loudspeakers of his Sadr City Mosque, he threatened to declare “war until liberation” against the government if fighting against his militia forces continued.

But it was difficult to tell whether his words posed a real threat or were a desperate effort to prove that his group was still a feared force, especially given that his militia’s actions in Basra followed a pattern seen again and again: the Mahdi militia battles Iraqi government troops to a standstill and then retreats.

Why his fighters have clung to those fight-then-fade tactics is unknown.

The problem for the Left is their certainty. When they are united, their voices are virtually he only ones heard and no rational alternatives are explored. That was the case in Basra. The Iraqi army meeting resistance was immediately interpreted and trumpeted as a defeat - it was virtually willed as a defeat. To the Left it MUST be a defeat for the Iraqi government because for it to be a victory, it would imply that the Iraqi army is now capable of taking on a real fight. It would imply that the US military is actually succeeding in training the Iraqi army to stand up to the militants. It would mean that we are succeeding which - to the Left - is simply not a possible outcome to the war in Iraq. The war has been declared lost and winning is simply unthinkable.

One of the reasons the Fall of the Berlin Wall came as such a surprise to the Western intelligensia is that they had dismissed Ronald Reagan's strategy as a losing one. Therefore no one was more astounded than the newspapers when the former Soviet Union collapsed. Like Sadr's pathetic retreats, it wasn't supposed to be that way. None of this is to say that the US War on Terror, which has had committed many mistakes, should be compared to Reagan's push. But surely it is rational to argue that it has gotten some things right.

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