Page 2 of 2   <      

Retreat Isn't an Option

A member of Lebanon's parliament recently told me that Lebanese Sunnis, Shiites and Christians are lining up with Iran and Syria to fight against Sunnis, Shiites and Christians who want to stand with America. When I asked him why people were lining up with Iran and Syria, he said, "Because they know Iran and Syria aren't going anyplace. We're not so sure about America."

ยท Our soldiers will win if we let them. Read their blogs. Talk to them. They know that free people must fight to defend their freedom. No force on Earth -- especially not an army of terrorists and insurgents -- can defeat our soldiers militarily. American troops will win if we show even one-tenth the courage here at home that they show every day on the battlefield. And by the way, you cannot wish failure on our soldiers' mission and claim, at the same time, to be supporting the troops. It just doesn't compute.

I suppose Hillary Clinton's announcement was a sign of progress. In 2007, a woman can run for president and show the same level of courage and conviction about this war many of her male colleagues have. Steel in the spine? Not so much.

America deserves better. It's time for everyone -- Republicans and Democrats -- to stop trying to find ways for America to quit. Victory is the only option. We must have the fortitude and the courage to do what it takes. In the words of Winston Churchill, we must deserve victory.

We must be in it to win.

The writer is former principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.


<       2

© 2007 The Washington Post Company