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October 17, 2004

Note to Mr. Annan -

1st Infantry Division soldier hands out candy to Iraqi children. (Photo by TSgt. Lee Harshman)

You have a 'vision' problem.

Perhaps the campaign in Iraq has not made the world safer.

The problem is, you are conflating a campaign with a war.

The 'war' with Iraq is a campaign of a broader war.

Words mean things, Mr. Annan. When you understand the terms, then you'll understand the strategy.

The war is an on-going thing, and comprises the efforts of the intel communities, law enforcement, the civil servants, the diplomats, and the military - and most of all, the citizens. But don't mistake a battle for a campaign, and a campaign for a war.

Just as Guadalcanal didn't make the world safer in WWII, nor, initially, did Normandy. Or Anzio. Or Stalingrad. They were all parts of a greater whole - which is of course, the part that the governments you represent are worried about. Don't think you represent the people, Mr. Annan - you represent the governments. Many of whom fear the outcome of the war - and want to end it before it burns their feet, too.

And if we had quit after Guadalcanal, had we not pressed forward to Germany after liberating France, had the Russians not marched west after Stalingrad - it would have been demonstrably less safe overall.