Staying the course
Posted by aogSunday, 30 March 2003 at 21:18 TrackBack Ping URL
Pejman sent me over to an article by William Kristol on the developing schism in the Democratic Party. Instead of discussing the main point (been there, said that) I want to select out a paragraph that is peripheral to the main point but touches on something I think is more important:
Our pro–war friends who are concerned about the mainstream media's idiocy can relax. It's not really doing any damage—except to the media. Every poll shows the American people are resolute, convinced the war is necessary and just, and determined to see it through to the end. As long as the Bush administration continues to focus all its attention on winning the war, it will have the support of the American people.
I will quibble by saying that I don't think the American citizenry expects President Bush to think only of the war. But victory in the war needs to be Bush's primary focus. America is in fact willing to sacrifice much to accomplish something but it will turn viciously on a leader who asks them to sacrifice to achieve nothing.

This is a point that tends to confuse the logo-realists. Because they live in a world of words and not deeds they rarely judge their own actions based accomplishments (e.g., the welfare state). It just doesn't occur to them that the American citizenry is far more interested in actual results (or if they do realize this it is attributed to the simplismé of the unenlightened masses). The net result is that the logo-realists view the American citizenry as opposing war (or not) per se, rather than whether a particular war is achieving a desirable result.

I think Bush's response to the “setbacks” in the invasion was exactly right. He projected resolution (“it will take as long as it takes”) and doubled down on the troops in Iraq thereby showing that his words would be matched by deeds. I think that this is a big reason that the quagmire meme is not gaining any traction. The American public sees the sacrifice of our blood and treasure as worth while for a victory over a regime such as that of the Ba'ath. Americans don't like to fight, they like to win.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Bruce Cleaver Monday, 31 March 2003 at 08:40

Just right. If Bush gives up, or even wanders into a stalemate, he’ll be a one-termer. BTW, I like the term ‘logo-realists’. Shades of Count Korzybski and Immanual Kant (“This is the belief that words are primary and that physical reality can be shaped by using the right words”). There is some truth to their ideas, but I’ll invoke the venerable 80-20 rule and say that the (wrong) ideas about reality can only distract/mislead us for awhile (20% of the time) and that reality, if you are careful to look for it, feedsback the right ideas.

End of Discussion