The point that I was trying to develop over there before I used up my share of John’s patience was that fear of being crucified for triumphalism and hubris should the enemy muck up one’s predictions of success causes strategic communicators to give the domestic target audience unenthusiastic, hesitant, unconvincing, caveated, asterisked, weasel-worded CYA explanations of what (they think, but they may be wrong, don’t shoot them they’re only the messsenger) has been accomplished in Iraq, along with timid suggestions (just a thought, In Their Humble Opinion, YMMV) of possible future successes which just might possibly (Imshallah, don’t hold us to it, the enemy gets a vote) lead to a generally positive conclusion to whatever the hell we’ve been doing over there for the last 5 freaking years.
This is part of a Morale Operation conducted by what were domestic oppositional elements, but who are now 59 days away from total control of the Executive and Legislative branches of federal government, including the Department of Defense. Those who are soon subject to being treated like Former Regime Elements see the downside career-wise of enthusiastically claiming victory in a fight the new Powers-That-Be wanted them to throw. They didn’t take a dive, and they’ll pay for that.
Reticence and humility are appropriate attitudes for losers. America won, or at least that tiny part of it that wasn’t at the mall won. And they are owed, big time. Voluntarily muting our sense of success also mutes our visible displays of appreciation for those who bought us that success with their blood, sweat, and tears, reducing their psychic payoff and denying them and those of us who supported them and their mission a well-earned sense of pride in the accomplishment of a hard job.
What better way for a vanquished enemy to deny the victors their triumph than to have their sympathizers in the victor’s polity give the enemy such a lop-sided vote that any last gasp mass-casualty atrocity they can pull off will be allowed to negate any and all claims of progress and make any claiming success out to be liars?
Damn shame bloggers have to take it upon themselves to declare victory, but count me in.
See also On Declaring Victory in Iraq