A recent Time magazine poll shows that only 38% of Americans still support President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq and that almost two-thirds, 65%, disapprove of Bush’s handling of the war. Why are Americans turning against the war in Iraq? The answer is simple. It is because Americans do not think we are winning.
Americans do not like to lose. We do not like to lose at football, baseball, gin rummy, or even a sandlot game of marbles. And we do not like to lose at war. We never have. Not even in Vietnam, where militarily, we never lost a single battle. The Tet offensive of January 1968 was a crushing military defeat for the Communist forces. The North Vietnamese army and Viet Cong lost 60,000 men. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces lost 6,000 men. But back home in the U.S., the news media and Walter Cronkite, lacking military experience and the ability to grasp matters of strategy and tactics, broadcast to the world that America had suffered a humiliating defeat and the U.S. was now stuck in a quagmire, no longer able to believe in its military commanders or its government.
General George S. Patton once said, “Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win at all times.”
No one supports a loser. Osama bin Laden knew that when he said, “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.”
Today in Iraq, America is perceived to be the “weak horse”.