The next time you talk to a liberal who is complaining about the war in Iraq, try this — ask him to define the Democrat party’s plan for victory. I guarantee you that the responses you hear will boil down to one common theme: pulling out of Iraq. Cox and Forkum nail this “victory” strategy well:

Losing Strategy

Pulling out of Iraq is not a strategy for victory. It is what is generally known as “running away,” which is a synonym for “losing.” When you point this fact out to your liberal friend, be prepared to hear all manner of reasons why “advancing to the rear” is not the same as “running away.” But liberals don’t have to feel alone in running away from a fight. President Reagan did it when he ordered the troops out of Lebanon after the 1983 Beirut bombing, and President Clinton did it when he pulled the U.S. forces from Somalia after the battle of Mogadishu. These “retrograde motions” confirmed in the mind of a certain Saudi the idea that the United States military was a paper tiger. He said, “After a few blows, [America] forgot all about those titles and rushed out of Somalia in shame and disgrace, dragging the bodies of its soldiers.”

Do you really want to encourage the people who want to see you dead? I don’t, but the Democrats in Congress do, as Cox and Forkum again make clear:

War Power

The Democrats in Congress don’t have a strategy for winning in Iraq. Heaven help us if they muster the numbers needed to pull the plug and show to our enemies that we are indeed a paper tiger.

There are vocal people standing up for Hezbollah and against Israel, and there are people who are calling for peace.

The simple symbols printed on their T-shirts and signs summed up the reason for their protest.

They want peace.

A group of about 40 people, wearing and holding peace symbols, gathered Thursday at the corner of Sanborn Street and Pine Grove Avenue in Port Huron.

They “demand peace” by calling for an end to the Iraq war and fighting in the Middle East.

But the reality is that they are not demanding that peace break out, they are demanding that the fighting stop immediately. Unfortunately, that is not the same as peace. Thomas Sowell explains this well in his townhall.com post today:

One of the many failings of our educational system is that it sends out into the world people who cannot tell rhetoric from reality. They have learned no systematic way to analyze ideas, derive their implications and test those implications against hard facts.

“Peace” movements are among those who take advantage of this widespread inability to see beyond rhetoric to realities. Few people even seem interested in the actual track record of so-called “peace” movements — that is, whether such movements actually produce peace or war….

Was World War II ended by cease-fires or by annihilating much of Germany and Japan? Make no mistake about it, innocent civilians died in the process. Indeed, American prisoners of war died when we bombed Germany.

There is a reason why General Sherman said “war is hell” more than a century ago. But he helped end the Civil War with his devastating march through Georgia — not by cease fires or bowing to “world opinion” and there were no corrupt busybodies like the United Nations to demand replacing military force with diplomacy.

There was a time when it would have been suicidal to threaten, much less attack, a nation with much stronger military power because one of the dangers to the attacker would be the prospect of being annihilated.

“World opinion,” the U.N. and “peace movements” have eliminated that deterrent. An aggressor today knows that if his aggression fails, he will still be protected from the full retaliatory power and fury of those he attacked because there will be hand-wringers demanding a cease fire, negotiations and concessions.

I would label the protesters in Port Huron who are demanding peace as “hand-wringers demanding a ceasefire.” They don’t like the war, so in the name of peace, they demand that we leave Iraq right away. And what would be the result if we did that? Would it be peace? The last time we pulled out of a major engagement due to public pressure, the result was millions of murdered people in Vietnam and Laos. There was a form of peace there after we left — the peace of the dead.

Peace comes through winning the war and making the loser beg to sit at the negotiation table. Peace does not come from going to the negotiation table and signing some documents, unless the war has already been fought and won. Don’t believe me? In an attempt to appease the Germans, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain sat down at the negotiation table with Hitler, but there was no peace. Germany annexed the Sudetenland that same year, invaded Poland the next, and invaded the rest of Europe by 1940. That was no peace. But after Japan signed the terms of surrender on the USS Missouri, there was peace between the U.S. and Japan for more than 60 years.

I’ll take real and lasting peace through victory any time.