In January Mark Steyn wrote in a book review that if you're not "obsessed with victory" then you shouldn't have gotten into the war in the first place. Alas, the newly-elected Democrat majority in Congress is obsessed with many things, none of which involve America winning the Global War on Terror.

Now as [in the 1970s], America seems less a sleeping giant than a helpless one, ensnared by Liliputians and longing for release. Some Republicans distance themselves from the President’s “surge” in Iraq, others dutifully string along with it, but without any great confidence it will make a difference. Democrats, meanwhile, are all but urging on defeat. Explicitly threatening to cut off funds for “Bush’s war”, Senator Ted Kennedy trotted out the old Vietnam “quagmire” analogies but added a new charge, bizarrely formulated: “In Vietnam,” he recalled, “the White House grew increasingly obsessed with victory, and increasingly divorced from the will of the people and any rational policy.”

“Obsessed with victory”? In the history of warfare, most parties have been “obsessed with victory” to one degree or another, ever since Caveman Ug first clubbed Caveman Glug. If you’re not “obsessed with victory”, you probably shouldn’t have got into the war into the first place. It would be more accurate to say that Kennedy and his multiplying ilk are obsessed with defeat, and they’re prepared to do what’s necessary to help inflict it. The famous photographs of the departing choppers lifting off from the US embassy in Saigon with pleading locals clinging to the undercarriage are images not just of defeat but also of the betrayals necessary to accomplish it. “In reality,” writes John O’Sullivan in his splendid new book The President, The Pope And The Prime Minister, “the betrayal was truer than the defeat. America had not been defeated on the battlefield and South Vietnamese ground forces had themselves defeated a full-scale North Vietnamese invasion in 1972 when they still enjoyed US air support. Not only did the United States withhold such support in 1975, but Congress also refused to supply even the ammunition and military supplies that it had promised when the American forces left. For some perverse psychological motive, the American establishment acted as if the United States would not be genuinely free of involvement in Vietnam until its allies were conquered and occupied.”

Only a leftist would consider it a crime for our President to be obsessed with American victory.

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