Another Grunt’s Rant on Iraq

Jules Crittenden has a compelling post in which he includes sentiments by Larry Gwin, a Vietnam veteran, who writes that the Democrats’ surrender plan is giving him flashbacks to when he and other soldiers and marines were forced to retreat from Vietnam. It took Gwin years to deal with surrendering, but the Democrats efforts to repeat retreat is bringing the shame that he felt back to the surface again. Here’s a portion:

Whether you like our being in Iraq or not, it’s clear that most of the people want “out.” After all, who would ever want to fight a war? But if push comes to shove, would Congress stop supporting the troops, or vote to cut off the funding necessary to continue the mission, or vote to surrender over there? I doubt it.

But that’s what the Democrats are trying to do.

They’re trying to pull the plug on our efforts, not by voting to end the war, or expressly cutting off any spending for it, but by suggesting that funding be tied to a specific timetable for withdrawal.

And that, in my mind, is surrender. As soon as you tell the enemy that you are going to leave, all they have to do is sit back and wait for you to leave. And, if they really hate you, they can start sniping at you as you go, when you’re most vulnerable to an attack. A retrograde maneuver is one of the most difficult tactical missions an army is ever faced with. A retreat, and that’s what this would be, requires stealth, continual pressure on the forces opposing yours, and lots of political spin.

What the Democrats are doing is akin to what we did in Vietnam by signing a peace agreement with the North Vietnamese, tantamount to bailing out on our allies’ without their concurrence, then departing with absolutely no intention of ever coming back, no matter what the North Vietnamese did. Congress also cut off financial support for South Vietnam after our departure. And sure as hell, as soon as we left, the North Vietnamese attacked south in full force, and for two more years, the two sides pounded each other until the more determined North, supported by Russia and China, won the war. And we veterans here at home who had fought and seen so many of our buddies die over there, had to keep our mouths shut and just take it.

And we felt the shame of defeat. Not a defeat we’d suffered, but a defeat of our national will. And that enraged me and made me feel ashamed. It took me more than forty years to get over it, and I still simmer when I think about it.

And we’re going to do it again, thanks to the Democrats in Congress.

The Democrats who are trying their damnedest to surrender to al Qaeda in Iraq won’t understand what Mr. Gwin is saying to them, and even if they did, they wouldn’t listen. Read the rest of Mr. Gwin’s reactions at Forward Movement.

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