Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Winning Isn't Everything

WARNING: I'm going to get political. Feel free to ignore this post if you aren't interested.

This morning on the radio I heard a snippet of a speech that Sarah Palin gave in Florida, "Our opponent talks an awful lot about the war in Iraq and not once has he mentioned America winning." This quote really bothers me. Coupled with an article in this week's Newsweek about John McCain and his views on achieving "victory" I am really disturbed by what their election could mean for our country.

Maybe I am naive or drinking the mommy kool-aid, but, to me, winning doesn't equate with success. Success is defined by as the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors. Victory is defined as the ultimate and decisive superiority in any battle or contest. Personally, I would rather be successful than victorious and this is the value that I plan on passing on to my children.

Let's forget for a minute about the "War on Terror," which isn't really a literal war that can be won with any number of individual battles, rather just a figurative war that give our Commander in Chief license to bomb whoever he wants and restrict civil rights, and instead focus on Iraq and Afghanistan.

Victory solely focuses on guns and military might. Success, however, requires intellect, humanitarianism, and communication. Success would be achieved if we made those nations self-sufficient. Victory would be ours if we...what? If we destroyed an entire country, all of its people and started from scratch with a bare piece of land? Will we really have proved some sort of military superiority in having obliterated a terrorist group largely comprised of uneducated random people?

"Winning" and "victory" don't really mean much in war where the death and destruction could far outweigh any negligible "positives." What are the positives of winning this war? An intra-country morale boost? It isn't going to prove anything to the millions of people outside (or inside) of the U.S. who haven't appreciated our methods or efforts.

This has nothing to do with my support of our troops. Our troops are hard working men and women that are doing their job. I want each and every one of them to come home safe and sound and successful.


Billie said...

I enjoyed your post.

Robyn said...

Here, here. And the fact that the GOP can't define "victory" but keeps saying it's within reach, boggles MY mind.

Hope you have an easy fast tomorrow.

Lori said...

I was listening to John McCain talk about "victory" last night, and all I could think of was the old saying: "It doesn't matter who's right, it matters who wins." John McC clearly doesn't care if America is right or wrong - he just wants to win. Now obviously foreign policy is a bit more nuanced than say, a game of checkers, but it's still not the moral stand I'm looking for in a leader.

Wenderina said...

Great post Amybow. And I loved how you ended it.

3XMom said...

AMEN, sister!