When I was a kid, my father told me about his service in the Vietnam War and stories about the Tet Offensive. To give those without historical knowledge a background, in 1968 the Vietcong had amassed forces to invade free South Vietnam, and US troops suffered casualties larger than normal. After the offensive was completed, our media had a circus about the massive losses of American soldiers, leading to a demoralization of US citizenry and eventually leading to the abandonment of our allies. After we left, our friends were slaughtered by the sadistic and communist Vietcong in something no less horrifying than any other massively publicized genocidal tragedy.
The worst part about the Tet Offensive wasn’t that we lost a lot of troops, however, but rather that–in military terms–it was a grand success for our boys, and the American public had no real clue how much we had won. After that massive success, the self-sacrificing upholders of the free world (I dare the reader to portray the Vietcong in a positive light) were portrayed as failures and spat upon for fighting communism not only successfully, but heroically.
Today we find ourselves in a similar situation, with the media reporting negatively about the number of US casualties in Afghanistan, driving morale into the gutter and making situations seem more hopeless than they really are. But take hope. Things aren’t what they seem.