Friday, November 10, 2006

How Goes It?

Armed Liberal considers new strategies for Iraq, assuming the US is going to stay in Iraq. Westhawk, casting his net wider, looks at General Peter Pace's ideas on how the whole war is going. Yes folks, the whole war is bigger than Iraq. Here's one interesting paragraph from Westhawk.

What contribution has offense made to preventing another terror attack on the U.S. homeland? This gets into controversial territory. The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 seemed to shut down the Al Qaeda terrorist training factory that had produced thousands of trained cadres. Critics of the Iraq war claim that the terror training factory just moved to Baghdad and al-Anbar province, as a result of the American decision to invade Iraq.

Proponents of the “fly paper” theory argue that many foreign terrorists have been drawn to the Iraq jihad, only to die shortly after arriving. Critics counter by asserting that the Iraq war has energized a new generation of Islamic youth to take up arms against the U.S.

But, war proponents say, bringing a long and nasty war into the heart of a dysfunctional Arab world has accomplished two positive things for the West. First, it has shown the Arabs what a monster Al Qaeda really is. Second, it will force the Arabs to reform their neighborhood.

This remains to be seen.

17 Comments:

Blogger Woman Catholic said...

First, it has shown the Arabs what a monster Al Qaeda really is. Second, it will force the Arabs to reform their neighborhood.

The WTC attack showed the world what a monster al-Qaeda really is, but the Arabs celebrated in the streets like it was Mardi Gras. And no one has ever imposed true reform in any venue (short of total victory ala Japan 1945), it always comes from within.

11/10/2006 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

I'm afraid that the average Iraqi still trusts no one but his tribe and even has doubts about how they are contributing to his/her security. Rumors in the street still carry as much weight with them as the propaganda showered down on them from all the Arab media sources.

Corruption and deception is ingrained in the tribal system along with the belief that every bad thing is always someone else’s fault.

The US provides them with someone to blame, along with those that they perceive are collaborating with us, or against them.

Sure they will take all of our money, our building back of their society, the improvements, the schools, the thousands of things that they want, but have no idea how to do themselves, or because of the Arab mentality don't want to work to have.

That a few of them actually understand that this is their real chance at breaking out of the Arab/Middle East mindset and tribal hatreds won't convince the millions more over night.

The present Iraqi government is too divided, too weak to even give them hope, so they look to others for security, hope and for their way to advantage and riches, or both.

They are the only ones to either kill each other off or make deals to try a new way, a way that they don't understand and don't trust.

We can't do much more. After we train their police and military, we should back off and let them decide their faith as a nation and as a people.

Papa Ray

11/10/2006 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger gdude said...

Papa Ray,
was that "faith", or "fate"?

11/10/2006 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Papa Ray:

Shrewd observations, as always.

To the point of Wretchard's post, I'd add that going to war, boots on the ground, in the heart of the middle east has disabused hotheaded jihadists -- and others elsewhere in the world -- of the unfounded notion that the American soldier couldn't fight anymore . . .

. . . while it re-confirmed the belief (truism?) that the American political class could be shamelessly manipulated and is fundamentally weak.

11/10/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger dla said...

woman catholic wrote: "The WTC attack showed the world what a monster al-Qaeda really is, but the Arabs celebrated in the streets like it was Mardi Gras"

No, the WTC attack showed the Western world that Al Qaeda is monsters.

Arabian peninsula pride was delt a serious blow by the easy defeat of Iraq and humiliating capture of Saddam - all by the Americans. Is it any wonder that the original stronghold of Islam should take some pride in Al Qaeda's inconsequential victories?

Remember that Al Qaeda speaks to Muslims and Iraq is Muslim.

11/10/2006 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger buck smith said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/11/2006 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger buck smith said...

I have thought that a big advantage of the offense is the opportunity for improved human intelligence. Think about it, we have tens of thousands of military personnel, including intelligence officers in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are constantly detaining people interrogating them and releasing them. Iraq has borders with Syria, Iran & Saudi Arabia; Afghanistan with the tribal regions of Pakistan and Iran. Are we using this opportunity to recruit new intelligence sources? I have no idea, I hope so.

11/11/2006 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

westhawk wrote:

"But, war proponents say, bringing a long and nasty war into the heart of a dysfunctional Arab world has accomplished two positive things for the West. First, it has shown the Arabs what a monster Al Qaeda really is. Second, it will force the Arabs to reform their neighborhood."

Westhawk, or is it the war proponents, seem to be saying that a long and nasty war in the middle east is a new thing. Is this not contrary to history. My understanding is that long and nasty wars have been the norm over the centuries in this region. Not only that, but foreign powers involved in these wars seem to not fare very well. I guess the war propenents, at least in this depiction, are pretty darn niave.

11/11/2006 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"...has disabused hotheaded jihadists -- and others elsewhere in the world -- of the unfounded notion that the American soldier couldn't fight anymore . . ."

...which is the reason they have become so good at hiding.

". . . while it re-confirmed the belief (truism?) that the American political class could be shamelessly manipulated and is fundamentally weak."

...all they need is for us (USA) to keep electing the feckless...it's kind of a musical chairs scenario...as long as the "music" of the feckless keeps playing, our enemies and their fellow travellers are safe.

11/11/2006 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Both Lee Harris and Orsen Scott Card (in a recent piece Wretchard IDed for us) have stated that all the world is but a stage and all of us just players, according to the terrorists. The attacks of 9/11/01 were meant to demonstrate their power, and largely for the Islamic world. Harris says it was Islamicists showing what they can do for their own internal symbolic purposes, while Card says it is the Sunni/Shiia competition in "belling the cat" that explains the attacks on our forces in Iraq.

To that I have added the suggestion - also described by Wretchard - that the attacks on 9/11/01 as well as those in London and elsewhere seemed also to be designed to send a message to the Muslims who have "escaped" to the West.

In any case, all of this amounted to demonstrating how they could make the U.S. look more like their countries - full of fearful people, mindful of the power of the determined men of Islam, our vision reduced to that of staying alive another day.

Our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have in turn demonstrated our power - the ability to make distant lands look more like US. They knock down a few buldings with a Max Effort operation. We knock down whole countries with relative ease - and rebuild them in our image. It is if Al Queda knocked down the WTC and bashed in the Pentagon - and then rebuilt monuments to Islam and OBL on those sites despite our best efforts to stop them.

Whatever else it has done, the operatiosn in Iraq and Afghanistan have said "You wanna see power, piss ants? We'll show you power. As we say in America: hold my beer and watch this!"

What effect will all these "demonstrations" have? Good question.

11/11/2006 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

Iraq two has been so successful that it should be a model of what is to come. Except that what is to come will be avoiding 'peace and freedom' in the third world in favor of the old stand by......control so tight that defiance will get you and those peace freaks killed.

11/11/2006 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

What progressives have sown, by flushing Muslim freedom, is the increased death and decay of third world progress.

Progressives, transnationalists have flushed and burned the only truck that reliably works.

Good for them and phlegm.

11/11/2006 04:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can't fix their troubled society but we can show them the price they will pay if they harbor our enemies. They are in awe of American power and hopefully will think twice about helping those who would attack us again. A bully or a predator goes after the easy prey not the strongest. Which would you rather be ?

11/12/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger summignumi said...

The Middle East “problem” will never disappear, it may go away if Islam is dealt the shattering blow (Wholesale gruesome toe to toe war) that the OTTOMAN empire was dealt in the early 20th century, but it is reconstituting itself now and will begin the march it did not finish then unless the “problem” is eliminated like other evils. Until its source is laid low by forcing them to teach their children the truth and not allowed the wholesale propaganda they are currently feed from cradle to grave the West can only lose.

11/13/2006 01:48:00 AM  
Blogger dicentra63 said...

We on the Right have been impatient and contemptuous with the Left's trotting out of Vietnam again, because frankly it's tiresome: after all those movies and TV shows that beat the Futility Of War drum so incessantly, we can safely say that we get it--War Is Hell. As in, duh. Like we need 13 years of Hawkeye Pierce's pacificst tantrums to figure that out.

But now that the Democrats have taken Congress, the Left's use of the Vietnam paradigm threatens to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Read the rest...

11/14/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Guy Barry said...

I'm not so sure the Arabs will see sense and reform their neighbourhood and see Al Qaida for what they really are,do you?

11/15/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger R2K said...

: )

11/16/2006 06:59:00 PM  

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