Letter: We didn’t lose in Afghanistan and Vietnam
An optimist sees the glass as half full, the pessimist sees it as half empty. The rationalist sees that the glass is twice the size it needs to be.
In 1949, Democratic President Harry Truman recognized a clear and present danger to Western civilization. Communism was on the move. He and other leaders of the Free World adopted a policy of containment. We know that policy as the Cold War.
The policy accepted that there would be certain, small hot wars. Some of those were in Hungary, Greece, Malaysia, Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan. I will skip all the “Wars of National Liberation” that were fought in South America and Africa.
In 1989, the Red Army left Afghanistan. Shortly thereafter, the Soviet Union fell. I would put that in the win column for Western Civilization and the free-market system. I leave those who want to believe the Vietnam War was a loss for the United States to those who need that belief to assuage their conscience.
As to the current, misnamed War on Terror — let us call that by a better name. It’s just the latest Jihadi war — the same wars that medieval Islam has waged against its more modern neighbors for the last 1,400 years (Hindu and Confucian societies along with Christian cultures).
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Joe Biden, a Democratic president ill served by his generals — a story for another day — kept his promise and recently recognized that the current Jihadi war was no more. In my honest opinion, he should claim a minor victory, put this one in the victory column (let’s not forget to thank our Russian friends who are standing up, doing their share, keeping the peace in the Caucasus and the Middle East).
Problems ahead? Yes. Thankfully, for those two victories abroad we have time and space to work on our own, internal challenges — starting with a robust defense of free speech.