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Sunday, October 1, 2006

If we won the war, would we know?

Joe Brevard of Newton Centre opines in a letter to the editor that not only is the US not winning the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but that we don't even know what a win is.

History is littered with examples of unwelcome occupations. The experiences of the British in Malaya, the French and later the Americans in Indochina, the Russians in Afghanistan, and the Israelis in Lebanon tell us that an invading army that attempts to subdue a local resistance movement is doomed to defeat. Such invasions give street cred to cadres of factional thugs who, in the name of religion or creed, commit acts of unspeakable cruelty against innocent people. It should be clear to all by now that these murders could not happen without the support of sympathetic civilians. And if so, what is victory? Democracy throughout the Middle East? A unified and democratic Iraq? An Iraq that is favorably disposed to the interests of the United States? These goals are desperately impractical and perhaps impossible within a time frame that is tolerable to the American electorate. The administration has let loose the dogs of war but has withdrawn into silence on the definition of victory.

Other Globe West readers weighing in on the topic include Bob Bolandrina of Framingham and Simonne Quigley of Newton. Your chance to do so awaits at the Globe West Message Boards.

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