The Meaning of “Victory”

Victory was defined at the end of WWII, with “unconditional surrender” (the enemy lost) bringing about the cessation of hostilities, in 1945, in Europe and the far East. We also knew when the “cold war” was over with regime change and a replacement, or reformed ideology, with the physical removal of the Berlin wall and the advent of “glasnost” and “perestroika” by Mikhail Gorbachev’s policies of publicity, openness and economic reforms. The Korean War halted with a cease-fire in 1953, but proceeds as a cold war with our troops stationed south of the 38th parallel. The “conflict” in Viet Nam ended with the fall of Saigon in 1975. Our forces withdrew quickly. The enemy won. The conflict in Afghanistan continues with the resurgence of the Taliban.

The conflict in Iraq was a revolutionary war, defined as a people overthrowing an oppressive government, but this “revolution” was fought, not by the oppressed people of Iraq, but by the invading force claiming it to be a war of preemption. The invaders won quickly in an invasion and dash to the capitol. Now the overthrow has become a civil war.

Is there a rule of history that states that in every revolution lies hidden the makings of a civil war, that revolutions are generally followed by civil war? The oppressors are thrown out, but political factions that united to rid the country of the dictator, given a political vacuum, start fighting among themselves for control of the land. The American Revolution was followed by the Civil War that resolved internal issues the people inherited with their hard-won independence from an external totalitarian force.

So we must have “victory”, states the current ideology. Less than victory, success? Less than success, failure? Less than failure, defeat? Less than defeat, shame? They flail about. Go big? Go small? Go long? Go away? Go just over the horizon, watch and wait?

Victory has several degrees. Victory will certainly be less than unconditional surrender with the humiliation of the enemy and war crimes trials. Let us aim for the success like that which grew out of the cold war, a reformed ideology evolving with time from a people who have been given back the revolution that was taken from them by false intelligence and preemption.

Published in: on November 24, 2006 at 12:26 pm  Comments (7)  

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