To concede something, that something has to first be established as true. So is what Robert Gates said on Tuesday a concession that the US is losing in Iraq?
con·cede /kənˈsid/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kuhn-seed] verb, -ced·ed, -ced·ing.
–verb (used with object)
1. to acknowledge as true, just, or proper; admit:
The Associated Press recently reported that Robert Gates, President Bush's nominee for Secretary of Defense "conceded" yesterday that the United States is not winning the war in Iraq.
Robert Gates, the White House choice to be the next defense secretary, conceded Tuesday that the United States is not winning the war in Iraq and warned that if that country is not stabilized in the next year or two it could lead to a "regional conflagration."
What actually happened was, when asked during confirmation hearings if the US was winning, Gates replied, succinctly, "No." So the question for the AP is: Who was Gates conceding to? The Democrats in Congress? The Associated Press? For something to be conceded, that something must be true. What happened yesterday was that Mr. Gates gave as his opinion that we are not winning the war. I agree with his opinion that escalating violence could lead to a regional conflagration, but I don't agree with the rest of his opinion. However, the AP's slight of hand converts his opinion into a "concession" that, therefore, we must be losing, a "concession" which, apparently, I'm not allowed to disagree with.
It's interesting to note a very similar report on Al Jazeera.
Robert Gates, whose nomination for the post of defence secretary has been unanimously approved by a US senate panel, has conceded that the US is not winning the war in Iraq.
Gates told the US senate armed services committee that if Iraq is not stabilised in the next year or two, it could lead to a "regional conflagration".
It may be that coalition forces' being in Iraq is no longer the best thing for the Iraqi people. But this does not axiomize a statement that we are losing a war. I don't think we're losing. There is still much progress being made, a lot of which is ignored by the media.
Ask the tens of thousands of coalition troops currently in Iraq, many of which interact with Iraqi people on a daily basis--they don't think we're losing.
If anyone is losing the war, it is the Sunni and Shia' people. Death squads from each sect stalk each other's adherents like ravenous wolves in a tit for tat that will not end until enough people realize the senselessness of it all.
There was a concession in the AP story, I think. Maybe the Associated Press is conceding to al Jazeera.