How can I write about something without having two related thoughts?
The other thing that occurs to me that is when then President Nixon sold out the South Vietnamese, he had to disguise it as victory, “peace with honor”, for basically the reasons enumerated in the previous post. He was aided in this because the North Vietnamese regime were materialists and willing to do what it took to win in the real world, even if it meant putting out the kind of feel-good propaganda the chatterati so love, to the extent that Senator Kerry couldn’t see any difference between the North and South. This made the sell-out easy to package as a win.
Now, however, the other side in Iraq is a bunch of thugs of the lowest order, who enjoy the violence itself without regard to its objective efficacy. They therefore make no effort to disguise what they do, or even excuse it much. You can’t package the Caliphascists in Iraq as “Minute Men” who will bring about a worker’s paradise of love and equality. We all know the MAL has tried, but the objects of their efforts simply don’t care because they’re nihilists and loonies, not hard core communists.
Even there, it’s not clear that the Nixon spin would work again, since we’ve seen what really happens after you turn a nation over to a communist dictatorship. Perhaps the Caliphascists aren’t quite so dumb, and have realized this as well and don’t waste their time on pointless effort (which would make them smarted than the MAL).
I think that this inablity to paint a nice picture of the other side is a significant part of why the “declare victory and go home” technique hasn’t worked and recenty hasn’t even been tried. But the MAL can’t adjust because they’ve spun themselves such a cocoon that they can’t see the difference between surrender and the facade needed to seel it.