The Exchange - Speaker Pelosi and The Proud American Tradition of Retreat and Surrender
By Justin Wade Galahad
For The Missive
November 16, 2006
The United States of America has a very long and proud tradition of retreat and surrender when faced with difficult and challenging situations. From our very earliest experiences the idea of retreat and surrender has been deeply engrained in American custom and culture. It is a part of our character, the nature of our people.
One need only look back in time to formative events like the American Revolution, when the Colonial Forces buckled under the tremendous strain of war against what was then the mightiest Empire on earth. The lack of supplies and proper housing, the constant frostbite, the tattered clothes, shortages of ammunition, the inexperienced and under-trained units, the hardships of starvation, and the rationing of basic goods, all were far too much for both her military and her citizens to endure. How could anyone expect Americans to rise under those conditions, to continue forward and persevere, to triumph against such overwhelming odds? The logical thing to do of course was capitulate. And so we did, at the first available opportunity.
The War of 1812 is another sterling example of American Victory by Abandonment. Because we were wise enough and had enough foresight to realize that expansion Westward was a grave mistake we abandoned any further attempt to move West and were furthermore quite satisfied to allow the British to burn our Capital. A great nation always admits any mistake it might have made in the past and bows out gracefully before the situation comes too close to any actual triumph. One can never be sure that if one continues forward that victory will result, but one can always be assured that victory can be grasped by surrender. Leadership is after all the art of knowing when to know that you don’t really want to try anymore.
The Civil War was another catastrophic and vicious war fought for no good reason. Fighting to preserve the Union and to eventually extend the blessings of liberty to all Americans were simply not sufficient reasons to excuse the losses and cost in blood and treasure. No same or rational person could possibly say that it was. That war, which relieved so many Americans of their lives was a senseless, brutal, pointless and by today’s standards a totally unreasonable and unnecessary war. So America did the right thing, the only thing that made any sense, we simply stopped fighting. Pulled our troops out. Negotiated the end of the conflict before anything could be permanently, and perhaps even disastrously, resolved. Why would any sensible nation do otherwise?
The First and Second World Wars were horrible tragedies. Not worth our time. Once casualties began to mount it quickly became obvious to all that the only way to win was to lose. Admit your mistakes. Sure, some argued changing tactics, but why bother? It really wasn’t our set of wars and it doesn’t matter what happens in the rest of the world. The rest of the world is for the rest of the world to lose, we have enough problems losing well right here at home.
Korea was a joke. The Chinese? Who wants to fight a billion Chinese? It is literally impossible to imagine any scenario in which the Korean War could have turned out to the benefit of anyone. Little slant-eyed yellow people, who cares about them? If they really wanted to be free then they would have done all of the fighting themselves and would have done it like we did, by retreat and submission. You almost always gain more by giving up than going on. Any shrink will tell you that.
Vietnam. We all know of what a tremendously successful war we had there, when we finally learned to let go and love the Tet. Vietnam stands as a shining example throughout all of human history of how to lose a war the right way, so that everyone prospers as a result. And we all know everyone did.
The Cold War. Thank God no one took that seriously. Over forty years of protracted conflict, competition, and war by proxy? Who wants that? We gave up early and we gave up often. You can’t win the freedom of a world by constantly exciting tensions and demanding that people everywhere be free. Be realistic, won’t you? The only Good War is a Lost War.
And now we find ourselves yet again embroiled in War, the War on Terrorism, in Afghanistan, and Iraq. Let’s start from the beginning. All Muslims are constitutionally incapable of desiring liberty. Now that we have that rough truth out in the public for open examination, let’s follow it up with an even more logical axiom. You win immediately, or you don’t win at all. If you can’t solve everything within the first forty-eight hours, like they do on television, then you’re in the wrong business. Best get out.
Three and a half years. Coming up on four. Three years and counting and what do the Iraqis have to show for themselves? They haven’t won a thing yet. Which means of course that they have lost more than they have won. Three years is an awfully long time in the modern world to have gone without fixing your most pressing problems, and defeating your most dreadful and persistent enemies. Suppose America had fought the Nazis that long, the British that long, the Soviets that long? Suppose it had taken three and a half (or even more years) to fix Social Security or to provide Universal Healthcare?
No, this situation is obviously ridiculous. Men are dying, women are dying, and children are dying. And it is the fault of the Americans. It is our fault. And the fault of the vast majority of Iraqis. The one group who cannot be blamed however is the enemy. The enemy is Muslim; they don’t understand these things, don’t perceive the wisdom and enlightened benefits of surrender and retreat like more hardy and civilized peoples. If the Iraqis were more like us, like real Americans, then this would have been over long ago in an early capitulation. As it is, alas, I’m afraid the Iraqis won’t really come to understand the full benefits of surrender, abandonment, and retreat as we do, until it is far, far too late. Thank God we do have that kind of foresight, that kind of wisdom, that kind of a Can’t-Do American Spirit. It’s the way we were made, from our very inception. Our Grandfathers were quitters, their grandfathers were quitters, and their grandfathers were quitters as well. Changing now would only be like changing jackasses in the middle of the Rodeo. And our jackasses are doing just fine, thank you very much. The Iraqis could learn a thing or two from the fine example of our American leadership. You don’t need freedom when you can have higher taxes, more unemployment, and Nationalized Healthcare.
So I say, “Thank you Speaker-to-Be Pelosi.” Sometimes it takes a special kind of female to remind men everywhere of just how much of a woman they can really be too, if they just try hard enough. And thank you liberal Democrats and American liberals everywhere. You have reminded us all of the very finest traditions of American Sacrifice Sealed with Honorable Retreat, and of how to achieve Victory through Abandonment without even trying. You make me want to leap to my feet and sing the French National Anthem even as I write these words. Deep, deep, down in your little hearts, you must want to as well.
Congratulations. You’ve finally made Europeans of Americans.
Now we can all sleep much easier at night, safe in the knowledge that you helm the Ship.
© JWG, Jr. 2006