Minor setbacks won’t change Saddam’s fate

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 27, 2003

Television news stations were reporting Wednesday afternoon that a poll conducted by the Pew Center showed that on Friday, more than 70 percent of the American people thought the war effort was going well for our side.

Researchers conducted the same poll Monday after a weekend in which coalition soldiers were captured, apparently brutalized, humiliated, and killed. The results of that poll showed that in the span of just a couple days, only 37 percent thought the war was going well.

The obvious lesson to be drawn from this poll – one that people don’t realize or have somehow forgotten after a quarter-century of relative peace – that in a war people die. In addition, America’s last few military forays were far different from the one we now find ourselves embroiled.

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In Bosnia, we fought from the air. Even Desert Storm was far different than Operation Iraqi Freedom. In the Dessert Storm, we were merely pushing Saddam out of Kuwait. That’s a far cry from taking over a country, which is what we are doing now. While we pray that it will be over swiftly with minimal casualties, chances are liberating Iraq from the tyranny of Saddam is likely to cost much in terms of American and Iraqi civilian lives.

Saddam and those loyal to him have no choice but to fight to the bitter end, because they know that their fate is sealed. Their only hope is to hang on long enough until Americans lose their stomach for the television images of last weekend.

But that won’t happen. Because opposition is stiffer than we hoped, doesn’t mean the coalition war effort is not going well. This is but a minor setback. Our troops appear to be advancing pretty much according to plan.

President Bush reinforced Wednesday that we are in this to win. We cannot lose faith in our troops, our leaders, or that what we are doing is right.