And defeat is just defeat
: Peggy Noonan writes in the Times of London today about America’s tolerance for a rising body count:
The world has for some time assumed that America cannot, or will not, accept widespread casualties if the fight proves brutal and bloody. President Saddam Hussein obviously thinks that with enough difficulties and enough deaths America will fold, as it did in Somalia and Lebanon, and retreat. And of course there was Vietnam….
My own hunch is that Americans are more patient, persevering and accepting of pain than we know. We found that out on 9/11, and we may be about to find it out again. But Americans are practical. They all know how to do a cost-benefit analysis. They will be patient, persevering and willing to absorb pain as long as they feel they can win and are winning. They will accept bodybags as part of the price of victory, but not for a second will they accept them if they start to see evidence of defeat.