Much akin to the American way of life, American military ideals signal two general themes — democracy and triumph. Gen. Petraeus has now testified before Sens. Clinton, Obama and McCain (oh, and other august members of the world’s most exclusive club) about his plan to triumph over terrorism and create democracy for a previously tyrannized country. Two of our nation’s candidates (hint: the ones without military experience) still claim they will initiate a quick withdrawal, essentially forfeiting the war although neither of them will claim the result. After all, the American people want to hear about victory.

Not even Democrats can deny the state of Iraq is much better than before the surge ensued. Reports from Iraq serve to support that statement by showing a decrease in attacks, killings and overall violence. Further, our attention and resources are focusing more and more on rebuilding and developing infrastructure and less on combating the enemy. Although these facts all points towards success, Democrats still want to call it a game, a farce … insert whatever hyperbolic phrase you choose.

Frankly, the Democrats have had control of Congress for nearly four years now, yet no significant “change of course” has been seriously proposed. They can’t seem to rally the support to end this war. Why? Because deep down they know that immediately or quickly withdrawing the troops isn’t going to defeat terrorism. More importantly, their constituents know this too; and their constituents want to win.

Unfortunately, a vast majority of these constituents have never experienced the glory of winning a war or the sacrifices that predate it. Since World War II, this country has not experienced any grand military victories that caused pride to run through our veins. Rather, we have achieved small, tactical gains in controversial attempts. As such, many Americans don’t know the costs — financial or physical — that it takes to successfully triumph over a group of enemies.

No general, politician or citizen wants to lose materials or soldiers to the destruction of battle, but unfortunately the price of freedom, the price of equality, the price of triumph is not free. There are sacrifices that must be made. As long as we are losing the minimal amount necessary to ensure safety and success, we can continue to win this war and ensure the American ideals we value — democracy and triumph.

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