June 17, 2011

At Least George W. Bush Won His Wars

Hatched by Dafydd

Anybody who has been following the Libya "war" must have noticed something rather peculiar and depressing, if not altogether unexpected: At the moment, after many weeks of standing up not only to the United States but all of NATO, the only person who is clearly winning is -- Muammar Qaddafi. After all, he can say with absolute truth, "I still seem to be here, señor."

That's a line from my all-time favorite television show, Walt Disney's Zorro: El Zorro, "the Fox," is dueling a professional swordsman who had confidently predicted swift victory; after disarming the man (and cutting free a hanging potted plant to plummet into the duelist's head), Guy Williams delivers the line with just the right mix of aplomb and amusement. While Qaddafi certainly doesn't have Williams' suavity and savoir faire, he is still the winner at this point -- by virtue of not having been visibly defeated.

That is just one of the three major differences between Barack H. Obama's wars and Bush's wars:

  • Whatever one may think of how the peace has gone, it's impossible to dispute that George W. Bush won the "major combat operations" phase of both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. (I argue he also won the peace, as both countries are markedly better off, more democratic, and less a threat to the United States than either was on January 20th, 2001.)
  • When George W. went to war, he led from in front; he didn't try to "lead from behind." He picked the generals, the strategy, he got out front and forcefully defended them, he promised victory, and he delivered. There is no doubt in anybody's mind that Afghanistan and Iraq were America's wars... not NATO's, not the UN's, not France's or Germany's. And Bush stud up like a man and personally took the political hits as the wars "dragged on" longer than the unrealistic expectations of American voters.
  • And again, whatever the merits of Afghanistan and Iraq, and whatever qualms or second-thoughts the Left might have about them now, the indisputable fact remains that Bush got congressional approval for each, as the Constitution requires: A congressional "authorization for the use of military force" has been held to be legally the same as a declaration of war.

As pathetic as the economy is under Obamunism, it's the president's national-security policy that most clearly illuminates how incompetent, inattentive, flighty, hysterical, fickle, and in general, unserious his team is. The entire administration of President B.O. is like unto a ditsy blonde in a TV sitcom -- think Chrissy Snow in Three's Company -- but without the honesty or heart of gold such farcical characters usually display.

I can only say, once again, thank God for Ronald Reagan; if a dolt of the caliber of Barack Obama had been up against a Brezhnev or Gorbachev, we'd all be drinking vodka and whistling "Polyushko Polye."

I suspect that eventually, NATO will simply weary of the war and withdraw, leaving Libya still in the hands of a terrorist dictatorship. Qaddafi himself and his standing within the ummah will be enormously enhanced by the obvious victory, just as Cuba was after JFK bumbled the Bay of Pigs invasion. Obama will parade around the country, thumping his chest in a four-month "victory lap." And the lapdog media will trumpet Obama's claim to be the first American president ever to achieve a military victory against a Moslem despot.

Maybe NATO will eventually turn the tide and take out Qaddafi and his murderous regime; whether or not we should have entered the war in the first place, now that we're there, we'd bloody well better win it. But if we do, I suspect it will only be because the alliance finally gets serious, ignores the Obama administration's advice, and sends in ground forces.

Led by the French, of course. From in front.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, June 17, 2011, at the time of 1:49 PM

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