The change in demands from the left shows that we won militarily. Democracy is more difficult to deliver. It takes time and patience. Let us review:
In 1999, Nato troops and U.S. bombers led a 78-day war in Kosovo to rid the region of a brutal dictator, Slobodan Milosevic. 8 years later, talks continue on a final resolution of its status. Russia has threatened to use it UN veto to nix any deal that does not suit Vladimir Putin, who wants to resurrect the Soviet empire.
In Korea, the 3-year war between North and South ended in a cease-fire in 1953. The corrupt government of Syngman Rhee ended in student riots in 1960. A year later, General Park Chung-hee led a military coup and held power until 1979. This gave way to Choi Gyu Ha’s government, followed by a military coup a year later. Direct elections came about in 1989.
In Italy, a black market flourished but the 1st Republic was installed in 1948, roughly 3 years after its liberation. Its first election was marked by violence and U.S. efforts to keep communists from winning — and by Stalin’s efforts to buy the election. Southern West Virginians and Cook County Democrats run clean elections by comparison.
In France, the 4th Republic was installed after the war. It went through 21 changes in prime ministers in 11 years. The 5th Republic came about in 1958.
In Japan, Gen. MacArthur ruled the nation for 7 years. In 1952, its democracy was established.
Now then, 60 years after the war, troops remain in Italy, Japan and Germany, which took 45 years to re-unite.
54 years later, U.S. troops remain in South Korea.
109 years after the Spanish-American War, U.S. troops are in the Philippines. They left momentarily in World War II, ousted by the Japanese. [Oops. A critic points out our bases closed in the Philippines a decade ago. OK, 100 years instead of 109.]
In none of these nations would anyone suggest that there has been a war. That’s because with the exception of an occasional Baader-Meinhof gang, no one is taking potshots at our soldiers.
Those wars have ended. This one will end soon, when U.S. Army casualties reach zero.
That does not mean there will not be political violence and acts of terrorism.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007