To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. - Sun Tzu

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Vietnam II: Are we really this Stupid?

One of the most common complaints that the right-wingers have about liberals and leftists is that we're being 'anti-American' by 'taking the terrorist's side'.

The terrorists are the enemy. No one's going to disagree with that.

What we disagree with, however, is obviously how to go about getting rid of them. The rightists say that we should invade every country that knowingly houses terrorists, and kill everyone who gets in our way. It's the 'common-sense' strategy.

Unfortunately, while the initial invasions obviously go well, it isn't very difficult to, essentially, drive in a straight line. Did anyone seriously think that the Republican Guard would put up a meaningful resistance in Iraq? We had the whole 1980's to see how they fare in a straight-up war: They suck. We have the most powerful army in the world. That wasn't the tough part.

The tough part, the part we're in now, the part that our leaders didn't plan for, is the occupation and transfer of power. We, the American public, were told, with a straight face, that the Iraqis would welcome us with open arms and this wouldn't decay into another Vietnam.

Let's tally it up:
-Militarism, military training, and gun ownership are planks of Iraqi culture.
-When you blow up half of a country's infrastructure, you tend to put a lot of people out of jobs.

I think you can see where I'm going with this. There were 500,000 men in the Iraq army when we disbanded it. They were getting paid. Now, they're getting nothing. Who are they going to blame?

To think that the end result would not be a country-wide insurgency is negligent.

Unfortunately, that's where we are today. The Mahdi and various other rebel factions are doing exactly what any insurgents would do: Guerrila fighting, use of the populace as spies, using crowds as shields. If our soldiers don't shoot back, that same insurgent is just going to be shooting again tomorrow. If they do shoot back, and they wipe out half of Ahmed's extended family with stray fire, he'll be videotaping his friends cutting off someone's head the next day. That's how insurgents get recruits. The same things happened in our own revolution 200 years ago.

It's dirty, but all's fair in war. There aren't referees- "That's an illegal torture penalty! al-Qaeda is penalized 5 yards! First down!" War is not disneyland. War is hell. There's no way around it.

Next: Options

2 Comments:

Blogger Matt said...

Our invasion of Iraq has actually increased terrorism, which wasn't a problem in Iraq before. A recent study of a few of our allies - including England and Australia - came to the conlusion that they do not feel safer today. It was right to go after Afghanistan but Iraq was a diversion that has only made terrorism worse in a part of the world that didn't need more terrorists.

10:45 AM, October 13, 2004

 
Blogger RanDomino said...

I'm getting there. This will be, hm, a mini-series-type deal.

11:39 AM, October 13, 2004

 

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