Victory in Iraq Day

Today is Victory in Iraq Day!

Originally called by Zombietime, and echoed by bloggers around the world, today is the day to celebrate the end of a long, hard-fought, and contentious war.

Let us salute the men and women — soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines — who executed the single most stunning blitzkrieg assault in the history of warfare.

Let us salute the men and women who defeated the Baathist diehards; probaby the best-financed, best-armed insurgency without a foreign sponsor ever.

Let us salute the men and women who defeated the Sadrist uprisings; who fought a battle to the death among religious monuments without destroying them.

Let us salute the men and women of the Second Battle of Fallujah, where they made clear that against a determined and angered American foe, resistance truly was futile.

Let us salute the men and women who defeated the al Qaeda terrorism campaign, who refused to merely play defense but invented new methods of information warfare to dig into a covert operation and atomize it into detectable, defeatable pieces.

Let us salute the men and women who defeated the last ditch diehards and death squads, by proving that Americans wouldn’t leave their friends unprotected.

We will undoubtedly see violence — even spectacular violence — in Iraq in the future. And we need to help the Iraqis guard and protect against Iranian and Syrian provocation. But occasional communal violence does not equal civil war.

Zombie reminds us of the words of John F. Kennedy:

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

This has been a great victory for American arms, and the for martial spirit, civic virtue, and basic American-ness of those who have fought.

Their efforts have been a success. Let us honor them by celebrating their victory.

9 thoughts on “Victory in Iraq Day

  1. Pingback: Victory In Iraq Day, Nov. 22, 2008 « American Truths

  2. Rob

    I’m fine with declaring victory if it gets us the hell out, as the old saw about Vietnam went, and there’s no doubt that a counterinsurgency campaign was the way to go in Iraq- the important parts being buying off the Sunnis and Shia. Pity that it took us several years (and a large number of Iraqi dead and refugees) to figure this out.

    That being said, we are about as “victorious” in Iraq as the Israelis have been “victorious” in Lebanon, or King Pyrrhus’s “victory” against the Romans. There are going to be big problems and significant costs issuing from the Middle East for years to come as a result of this war, and it behooves us to be significantly more thoughtful about the use of American arms in the future. We were sold this war as having little cost to the American people, and that’s definitely not how it turned out.

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  3. Bryan Lovely Post author

    I’m fine with declaring victory if we’ve beaten all the forces arrayed against us and we stick around for fifty years to help our new allies and guard our national interests (see, e.g., Germany and Japan).

    I for one never believed that this war would be cost-free, because I am a student of military history. Nevertheless, I supported it, since wars aren’t about balance sheets, they’re about what’s important enough to fight for.

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  4. TouchStone

    Rob, you seem to have little grasp of the actual situation on the ground in Iraq – likely from reliance on media sources like msnbc and the like.

    Visit some milblogs – by people who actually have sand in their boots – then see if your naivete retains its luster.

    Better yet, get sand in your own boots.
    This nation has too many armchair generals already.

    BTW, as for the “sold to Americans” thing, consider this:
    In war, the enemy gets a vote in the outcome, too.

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  5. Rob

    “I’m fine with declaring victory if we’ve beaten all the forces arrayed against us and we stick around for fifty years to help our new allies and guard our national interests (see, e.g., Germany and Japan).”

    Quick question- how many suicide bombings happened in Germany and Japan after WWII?

    I love how “students of military history” compare very, very different wars to arrive at their prepackaged conclusions (the US needs to continue stupid occupations regardless of consequences, because, um, if we leave we are surrendering, you traitorous dirty fucking hippie).

    The occupation is a proximate cause of Iraq’s instability, by giving militants easy propaganda to recruit with plus endless opportunities for innocents to be killed by mistakes (and yes, they do happen in war). We couldn’t keep our troops and the surrounding populations safe in Saudi Arabia, a fairly effective police state. The idea that somehow we’re going to have a 50+ year occupation in Iraq that isn’t going to be bloody and destabilizing is fantasy. Thank God the Iraqis are telling us to get the fuck out, per the recently negotiated SOFA, because once THEY are the ones handling their polity and having a legitimate monopoly on state-sanctioned violence, they might have a fighting chance.

    Again- the correct comparison is to things like Lebanon. Which is still a problem, but not the complete clusterfuck it was when the Israelis occupied it in the 1980’s. The bonus is that we don’t share a border with Iraq, so at least we won’t have the Iraqi version of Hezbollah lobbing a rocket at us every so often. We’ll have problems coming out of there, for sure, but thankfully they will be less than the Israeli problems on their border.

    “Rob, you seem to have little grasp of the actual situation on the ground in Iraq – likely from reliance on media sources like msnbc and the like.”

    Yeah, how dare the traditional media report bomobings? We should be celebrating the fact that we have ALWAYS been victorious over Euras-I mean, Iraq.

    “Visit some milblogs – by people who actually have sand in their boots – then see if your naivete retains its luster.”

    Perhaps you should talk to my friends who’ve served, and explain to them why their experiences are trumped by your milblogs, if you’re handing out gratuitous advice.

    “Better yet, get sand in your own boots.”

    Yeah, that “civilian control of the military” thing? Forget about it. My job is to write checks and mindlessly cheer when we celebrate our land war Eastasia, unless I’m willing to sign up.

    As for naivete… read some Chalmers Johnson (I spent the summer doing that, with Robert Kagan and Michael Scherer to boot). I submit it’s the “the US is a force for good, and how dare you say otherwise, your traitorous hater” folks that are naïve. All the libertarian/conservative skepticism regarding government as a means of perfecting human relations seems to slip out of some people’s ears when it comes to matters of war, and they become as insensible to reality as a hard-core Marxist, and end up doing things like declaring “victory” when the carnage levels in Iraq are simply appalling rather than catastrophic.

    See, MY reading of military history is that it’s pretty frequent that war is not always a permanent solution (see: WWI and WWII, aka WWI, Let’s Get It Right This Time, or the multiple instances of Israeli occupations of Lebanon). Hell, the Kosovars are STILL fucked up from a 600+ year old war. But what do you expect from a government program?

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