Wall Street Opinion Journal Josh Manchester November 14, 2006
Why intellectuals love defeat.
James Carroll, recently writing in the Boston Globe, wondered if America could finally accept defeat in Iraq, and be the better for it, comparing it to Vietnam:
But what about the moral question? For all of the anguish felt over the loss of American lives, can we acknowledge that there is something proper in the way that hubristic American power has been thwarted? Can we admit that the loss of honor will not come with how the war ends, because we lost our honor when we began it? This time, can we accept defeat?
To be frank, no. In Mr. Carroll’s fantasyland, the United States is deserving of defeat, and through some sort of mental gymnastics, that defeat is honorable, because it smacked of hubris to ever have fought in the first place.
I contend instead that the ultimate dishonor will be to leave hundreds of thousands, and perhaps millions, of Iraqis to violent deaths; and that this is far too large a price to pay for Mr. Carroll to feel better.
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