Mark Steyn poses the following question in his Chicago Sun Times column on August 20, 2006.
“…the issue is not whether the nation should have gone to war but whether the nation should lose the war.
That’s not just good politics, but it’s actually the heart of the question. Of course, if Bush sneered that John Kerry and Ted Kennedy and Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi’s constant companion is the white flag, they’d huff about how dare he question their patriotism. But, if you can’t question their patriotism when they want to lose a war, when can you? At one level, the issue is the same as it was on Sept. 11: American will and national purpose. But the reality is that it’s worse than that — for (as Israel is also learning) to begin something and be unable to stick with it to the finish is far more damaging to your reputation than if you’d never begun it in the first place. Nitwit Democrats think anything that can be passed off as a failure in Iraq will somehow diminish only Bush and the neocons. In reality — a concept with which Democrats seem only dimly acquainted — it would diminish the nation, and all but certainly end the American moment. In late September 2001 the administration succeeded in teaching a critical lesson to tough hombres like Musharraf and Putin: In a scary world, America can be scarier. But it’s all a long time ago now.”