John Quiggin doesn't like these sort of attacks because they don't matter to the larger policy question of whether Iraq was a good idea or not. And I agree that they don't matter in that way. Anyone who thought we were going to send 160,000 people, most of them fairly young men, to Iraq, and put guns in their hand, and give them power, and not have any of them abuse that power, needs to have their head examined. Nor do I think that the story (whether true or not) gave aid and comfort to the enemy. The Arab/Muslim world already thinks pretty poorly of us. The thing that generates outrage there is accounts of us hurting civilians, not stories about chasing dogs with Bradleys or making fun of contractors. The skull story might hurt, a bit, if anyone hears it, but forgive me if I am sceptical [sic] that Osama et. al. have taken subscriptions to TNR.The point is not that Osama or some other guy who hates the US will hate the US more if they read this article. That is not how something like this gives aid to our enemy, true or not. It gives aid and comfort to our enemies because the American people read it.
I know that I'm not the first to point out that we didn't lose Vietnam militarily, but politically. The images on our TV's and the stories in our newspapers broke the will of the American people and our politician's ceased to support the effort. We did not get forced out in defeat, we just left.
We weren't forced to leave Mogadishu. We just left.
We weren't forced to leave Lebanon. We just left.
No one in the world has the power to force us to leave Iraq. However, if the American people lose confidence in what we are doing over there and politicians like Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid can get their way, we might just leave. And then be defeated.