Give 'Em Surrender Harry Finds His Tet Offensive

We now have two "Harry" bookends to the current historical period. At one end is Harry Truman, who led us through to victory in World War II and stood up to communist aggression into the Korean Conflict. That Harry had a nickname. It was "Give 'Em Hell" Harry.

And now, at the opposite end of the spectrum in time and substance, we have "Give 'Em Surrender" Harry, the Senate Majority leader.

Give 'Em Surrender Harry just declared our counterinsurgency failed and the war lost. In making this lover's embrace of defeat, Give ‘Em Surrender Harry cited as his evidence of the surge's failure a series of 4 car bombs, 3 of them suicide bombs, that occurred in Baghdad Wednesday and for which Al Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility. It's Give ‘Em Surrender Harry's version of the
Tet Offensive.

For those who might not know, Tet was the defining event of the Vietnam War. It was a mass offensive by 84,000 North Vietnamese Army (NVA) soldiers and Viet Cong. And it was a total military failure. Within thirty days of its start, the U.S. had killed 50,000, completely decimating the Viet Cong and had taken a sizable chunk out of the NVA. U.S. losses were 1,100 soldiers. For the first time, television brought home the carnage suffered by our troops. The American casualties shocked the press who, led by Walter Cronkite, portrayed Tet as a North Vietnamese victory and the Vietnam War as unwinnable. Our withdrawal from Vietnam became inevitable.

Give ‘Em Surrender Harry's defining event is not quite as large as Tet, of course. Give ‘Em Surrender Harry just declared that the United States' new strategy in Iraq, the surge, and indeed our entire nation, has been defeated in Iraq by four members of al Qaeda.

Let that sink in for a moment.

The foe we face in radical Islam is, though not a nation state, every bit as much an existential threat to us and Western Civilization as Nazi Germany. We are one dirty bomb on Wall Street away from a recession or possibly even a depression. We are one nuclear explosion in a port city away from much, much worse. As Give 'Em Hell Harry's predecessor, FDR told the nation on
December 9, 1941 -
"the United States can accept no result save victory, final and complete," against such an existential foe, else we would be living in a world without "security for any nation-or any individual . . ."
Give 'Em Surrender Harry apparently missed that speech on American values and resolve.

Though the threat we face may be dire, Give 'Em Surrender Harry is declaring our defeat in a Tet Offensive that saw no U.S. casualties. To date, our soldiers lost in Iraq number 3,315. Each is a tragedy, and as a former soldier and the father of soldiers, I deeply appreciate and grieve for each one. I am in no way belittling their loss when I point out, for the benefit of Give 'Em Surrender Harry, that 3,315 killed in Iraq is 3% of the losses we sustained in WWI to defeat German aggression; it is 1% of what we sustained defeating the Nazis in WWII; it is 6% of what we sustained in destroying the North Korean Army and driving back the Chinese hordes in the Korean Conflict; and, it is 6% of what we sustained in Vietnam before we pulled out.

And, just so you know, the U.S. has never lost an engagement in Iraq or Afghanistan involving a platoon size element or larger of U.S. soldiers. A platoon is about thirty men. Do you understand how significant that is? And those platoons have sent countless jihadis to meet Allah.

With that track record, how can we possibly lose to Islamic extremists in Iraq or Afghanistan - or anywhere else in the world for that matter? Well, that is unless we are forced to embrace defeat predicated upon Give 'Em Surrender Harry's Tet Offensive of 4 al Qaeda suicide bombers.

Do you think Give 'Em Surrender Harry really means it when he says the surge has failed and our nation has lost in Iraq? Or is it just Give Em Surrender Harry who has decided that he wants us to lose, putting his quest for raw power above the horrid ramifications for our national security and our foreign policy (who will ever again ally with us against a determined opponent?) if we leave Iraq before a democracy of Shia, Kurd and Sunni is functioning and secure there? It is cowardice, cynicism and hypocrisy writ on a grand scale.

Scott Sultzer blogs at Town Commons.  
We now have two "Harry" bookends to the current historical period. At one end is Harry Truman, who led us through to victory in World War II and stood up to communist aggression into the Korean Conflict. That Harry had a nickname. It was "Give 'Em Hell" Harry.

And now, at the opposite end of the spectrum in time and substance, we have "Give 'Em Surrender" Harry, the Senate Majority leader.

Give 'Em Surrender Harry just declared our counterinsurgency failed and the war lost. In making this lover's embrace of defeat, Give ‘Em Surrender Harry cited as his evidence of the surge's failure a series of 4 car bombs, 3 of them suicide bombs, that occurred in Baghdad Wednesday and for which Al Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility. It's Give ‘Em Surrender Harry's version of the
Tet Offensive.

For those who might not know, Tet was the defining event of the Vietnam War. It was a mass offensive by 84,000 North Vietnamese Army (NVA) soldiers and Viet Cong. And it was a total military failure. Within thirty days of its start, the U.S. had killed 50,000, completely decimating the Viet Cong and had taken a sizable chunk out of the NVA. U.S. losses were 1,100 soldiers. For the first time, television brought home the carnage suffered by our troops. The American casualties shocked the press who, led by Walter Cronkite, portrayed Tet as a North Vietnamese victory and the Vietnam War as unwinnable. Our withdrawal from Vietnam became inevitable.

Give ‘Em Surrender Harry's defining event is not quite as large as Tet, of course. Give ‘Em Surrender Harry just declared that the United States' new strategy in Iraq, the surge, and indeed our entire nation, has been defeated in Iraq by four members of al Qaeda.

Let that sink in for a moment.

The foe we face in radical Islam is, though not a nation state, every bit as much an existential threat to us and Western Civilization as Nazi Germany. We are one dirty bomb on Wall Street away from a recession or possibly even a depression. We are one nuclear explosion in a port city away from much, much worse. As Give 'Em Hell Harry's predecessor, FDR told the nation on
December 9, 1941 -
"the United States can accept no result save victory, final and complete," against such an existential foe, else we would be living in a world without "security for any nation-or any individual . . ."
Give 'Em Surrender Harry apparently missed that speech on American values and resolve.

Though the threat we face may be dire, Give 'Em Surrender Harry is declaring our defeat in a Tet Offensive that saw no U.S. casualties. To date, our soldiers lost in Iraq number 3,315. Each is a tragedy, and as a former soldier and the father of soldiers, I deeply appreciate and grieve for each one. I am in no way belittling their loss when I point out, for the benefit of Give 'Em Surrender Harry, that 3,315 killed in Iraq is 3% of the losses we sustained in WWI to defeat German aggression; it is 1% of what we sustained defeating the Nazis in WWII; it is 6% of what we sustained in destroying the North Korean Army and driving back the Chinese hordes in the Korean Conflict; and, it is 6% of what we sustained in Vietnam before we pulled out.

And, just so you know, the U.S. has never lost an engagement in Iraq or Afghanistan involving a platoon size element or larger of U.S. soldiers. A platoon is about thirty men. Do you understand how significant that is? And those platoons have sent countless jihadis to meet Allah.

With that track record, how can we possibly lose to Islamic extremists in Iraq or Afghanistan - or anywhere else in the world for that matter? Well, that is unless we are forced to embrace defeat predicated upon Give 'Em Surrender Harry's Tet Offensive of 4 al Qaeda suicide bombers.

Do you think Give 'Em Surrender Harry really means it when he says the surge has failed and our nation has lost in Iraq? Or is it just Give Em Surrender Harry who has decided that he wants us to lose, putting his quest for raw power above the horrid ramifications for our national security and our foreign policy (who will ever again ally with us against a determined opponent?) if we leave Iraq before a democracy of Shia, Kurd and Sunni is functioning and secure there? It is cowardice, cynicism and hypocrisy writ on a grand scale.

Scott Sultzer blogs at Town Commons.