Worry not, Lex. I don’t think the anti-war demonstrators are helping their own cause. If anything they are antagonizing the many Americans who are inclined to support our government while our troops are in harm’s way.
The loony-lefties who drive the demos probably think they are positioning themselves to ride any wave of popular anti-war sentiment that develops in response to war setbacks. I think it’s more likely that the inevitable setbacks will increase popular determination to see the war through, and that many Americans will blame the antis for encouraging and even aiding our enemies. This isn’t Vietnam, where there were widespread doubts both about our tactics and our reasons for being at war. (It isn’t Algeria, either, Jacques.) The case for war against the Iraqi regime is clear. The case for finishing the job — after the first Gulf War and endless resolutions and sanctions didn’t — ought to be clear to anyone who isn’t blind.
We’ll win, and I don’t think it will be as difficult at you fear. Iraq isn’t 1940s Japan, the hard core of Hussein’s supporters isn’t likely to resist indefinitely. Those who aren’t soon killed or captured face an inevitable choice between 1) certain death in battle, 2) surrendering to U.S. troops and probably surviving, 3) being killed by other Iraqis, and 4) trying to escape while there’s still time. How many will choose death as opposed to some variant of surrendering or escaping? My guess is that an increasing number of them will, in one way or another, stop fighting as our victory becomes increasingly certain.
International hostility? We ought to be used to it by now, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing us down. The only thing that can stop us is if we lose our nerve, and I don’t think that will happen.