The Triumph of Self-Deception
At what point does incompetence and headlong withdrawal become indistinguishable from surrender? When does Jay Carney raise his head from the script and start looking at the things falling down around him?
The physical state, especially in war, matters. The name one gives catastrophe is immaterial. You may call it victory, or you may term it a moral triumph; Baghdad Bob called every withdrawal of Saddam's army an advance. None of this mattered a bit, certainly not when they put the noose around Saddam's neck.
When a nation once regarded as the hegemon of the Middle East cannot rely on host country protection or even on its own armed forces to keep open its diplomatic missions, it doesn't matter what Jay Carney calls it. The embassies are there for a tangible purpose -- to support the gathering of intelligence and the maintenance of contacts with host nations. When they're closed they can't do that. When the personnel that manned them are on the run, they can't do that.
The longer they stay shut, the more uninformed America becomes. The longer they remain closed, the weaker America seems -- and actually is. The shutdown of U.S. facilities and the withdrawal of personnel, carried on for long enough, will be indistinguishable from a real defeat. Maybe reality has stopped mattering in Jay Carney's book, but it still matters.
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Article printed from Belmont Club: https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez
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