Cheer up, Chicken Little

The allied effort to liberate the people of Iraq is opposed by a vicious, murdering, torturing dictatorship. Dictator Saddam Hussein, willing to kill Iraqi civilians, uses them as human shields, threatening to kill men, women and children if they do not obey.

The allied coalition risks the lives of its own men and women to save Iraqi civilians. Its forces fight tirelessly to deliver humanitarian aid to the Iraqi civilian population as rapidly as possible. They target their weapons to minimize collateral damage.

Despite these challenges, the coalition forces are setting historic records of achievement. They covered twice as much ground as Desert Storm without the benefit of a 38-day air bombardment to soften up the opposition. Within a week, they are nearing Baghdad, a record Rommel, Patton, Schwarzkopf and other commanders would have envied.

Chicken Little, watching the news 24 hours a day, is thinking a week is too long. After all, Saving Private Ryan took less than three hours. Chicken Little is tired of real reality TV and watching the patriotic, hardworking, dedicated professionals who risk their lives for freedom.

While Chicken Little sits on the couch and complains, his cousins in the media report that 50 destroyed Iraqi tanks to one American tank being damaged is a sign of poor military planning. Similarly, they report that because one convoy delivering supplies to the Third Division out of a hundred was briefly shot at, there must be a serious threat to our supply line.

As a historian, I can report with some cheer that this is a remarkably successful campaign. The Americans, the British and their allies are nine days into liberating Iraq, a country the size of California, not just expelling Iraqi troops from Kuwait, which took 46 days. We are going to win.

A hateful regime will be gone, and except for Saddam, French President Jacques Chirac and the media analysts, almost no one will have had the sky fall on the them.

Newt Gingrich, House speaker from 1995 to 1999, is a senior fellow at AEI and a member of the Defense Policy Review Board, a Pentagon advisory group.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Constitution as political theory

Please join us for the third-annual Walter Berns Constitution Day Lecture as James Ceasar, Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, explores some of the Constitution’s most significant contributions to political theory, focusing on themes that have been largely unexamined in current scholarship.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | 8:10 a.m. – Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 1:30 p.m.
Third international conference on housing risk: New risk measures and their applications

We invite you to join us for this year’s international conference on housing risk — cosponsored by the Collateral Risk Network and AEI International Center on Housing Risk — which will focus on new mortgage and collateral risk measures and their applications.

Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Speaker of the House John Boehner on resetting America’s economic foundation

Please join us as Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) delivers his five-point policy vision to reset America’s economy.

Friday, September 19, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Reforming Medicare: What does the public think?

Please join us as a panel of distinguished experts explore the implications of the report and the consumer role in shaping the future of Medicare.

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