The National Whig

Serving to make the United States better by arguing for Liberty and its best ingredient Limited Government.

Location: Any Towne, Any State, United States

Editor and Publisher of The National Whig.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Amidst Success, Utter Failure

In most aspects of life success will breed interest. For instance, prior to winning their first World Series in 86 years, fans of the Boston Red Sox were quarantined in the North East while the Yankees, winners of twenty-five percent of all World Serieses, controlled the masses of fans. After having won two Serieses in the past five years, the stock of the Red Sox has risen drastically. There are even BoSox fans in Pensacola Florida. But in the political world success is the midwife of insouciance. In politics, no one is willing to discuss an issue that has been successfully resolved. In fact, it is rare to see an issue successfully resolved dominate the frontpages of newspapers or the lead segment of news programs, falling under the old adage of the news business of "if it bleeds, it leads." Iraq, once a media drumbeat of failure now turned toward complete success, is certainly among this phenomenon.

The number one indicator that Iraq--and on a more general scale the War on Terror--has been moved, not to the back burner of politics but, off of the stove completely is where this issue falls in regards to importance for voters in this year's presidential election cycle. The latest polls show that the economy is the number one issue by far with anything remotely close to terrorism barely garnering over ten percent of the voters' concern. Some polls even show that Republicans are overwhelmingly more concerned about the economy than they are about terrorism. This sentiment among the voters is the primary reason why there is a good chance that a candidate that they view as woefully unqualified and inexperienced--Barack Obama--is running just a few points ahead of John McCain in most polls. Many view Obama can do a better job of steering the economy in the right direction than McCain can, while it is just the opposite in regards to terrorism. (Nevermind the fact that the economy is actually doing well with the last quarter showing GDP growth of 3.3 percent.)

The reason for this nonchalant attitude toward Iraq/War on Terror is the overwhelming success that there has been over the past three years. In Iraq, today marks yet another major advancement towards success as the US has handed over control of Anbar province to the Iraq government. The BBC reports that this will mark the handing over of controll of eleven of the eighteen provinces to the Iraqis. A major step forward in Iraq. Couple this with talk of there being a major military pull out of US troops from Iraq by 2011 and it becomes clear why Obama can get away with saying that he will completely pull us out of Iraq within his first two years of office. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan there has been a drastic decline in the harvest of poppies--a key ingredient to heroin--that has hurt the ability to fund terror operations in Afghanistan. Granted Afghanistan still needs help, but there have been many successes in the still fledgling country.

The biggest failure in the War on Terror has been the inability of the Bush administration to keep the focus of the American voter fixed on the task at hand while the mainstream press has done everything in its power to push it to the peripheral and replace it with stories of an ailing economy. Again, looking at the polls one might say that the media has accomplished that task. Of course part of the Bush administration's problem stems from two-thirds of the American people holding a rather low opinion of the administration, and as such, making it rather difficult to get the good news out about Iraq and Afghanistan. When people glaze over with disapproval, they are real quick to not hear anything that is being said. It is going to take the next President to explain what is going on in the Middle East.

Not since 2003 has there been a sense that the American military has been on the offensive and completing any of its objectives. Unlike 2003 though, the American people are not paying any attention to these successes. They are wrapped up in the so-called ailing economy, the emergence of the Messiah-like Obama and McCain's pick of Alaskan governor Sarah Palin as his runningmate. It is often stated that success has a million fathers. That is only true if you are discussing successes outside of the political arena, where success is as much an orphan as corruption. This is the reality of politics in America, it is as much a fixture of our culture as baseball is. Which begs the question, how many games back behind Tampa Bay is the Red Sox?


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