Friday, November 24, 2006

The Shadow Lengthens

Fear works, even in the West. Why shouldn't it work in Iraq?

The Australian reports that "A leading children's publisher has dumped a novel because of political sensitivity over Islamic issues. Scholastic Australia pulled the plug on the Army of the Pure after booksellers and librarians said they would not stock the adventure thriller for younger readers because the 'baddie'" was a Muslim terrorist. The decision is being contrasted to the publication of Richard Flanagan's bestselling The Unknown Terrorist and Andrew McGahan's Underground in which terrorists are portrayed as victims driven to extreme acts by the failings of the West. (More)


Commentary

The historical answer to Terror was CounterTerror. During the Second World War the Allies sent huge bomber fleets over enemy territory to "break the enemy will to resist". But there are alternatives to CounterTerror, such as counterterrorism and they are not the same thing. Counterterrorism doesn't necessarily involve matching fear with fear, it can use other methods: the selective and precision destruction of enemy leaders; the systemtic delegitimization of the enemy ideology; the ruthless application of technological and operational superiority to offset raw enemy intimidation. But most importantly, counterterrorism must send the message that it will prevail and that resistance is futile.

Fear can be matched by determination and operational superiority. Functional societies have one huge advantage over dysfunctional ones. They can generate vast amounts of resources and technology that 8th century killers hiding in caves cannot. But to use that overmatch effectively still requires the will to win; an ingredient that seems lacking in a society obsessed with relatively minor instances of prison abuse, wiretapping, and the historically low levels of collateral damage. Indeed, it is the enemy which has succeeded in portraying itself as the "good guys"; they cannot even be mentioned as "bad guys" even in works of fiction.

And so disarming ourselves, even the capitals of the West become haunted by fear. The radioactive pellet; fatwa, CAIR lawsuit, knife in the stomach; academic blacklisting. Fear. And fear is the first symptom of civilizational death; the slow forgetfulness; the pathological uncertainty; the creeping paralysis. Franklin Roosevelt once said that the only thing we had to fear was fear itself. Hear, hear.

90 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's getting so you have to go back to the 1980s to find a decent "guy movie" about a terrorist that actually identifies him as an Arabs, such as Wanted: Dead or Alive with Rutger Hauer. See if you could make this film (or even "True Lies") in these CAIR worn days.

11/24/2006 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

The Iraqis don't seem to scare easily. Eventually they'll realize that fear doesn't work and sit down at the peace table.

Revenge-seeking militiamen seized six Sunnis as they left Friday prayers and burned them alive with kerosene in a savage new twist to the brutality shaking the Iraqi capital a day after suspected Sunni insurgents killed 215 people in Baghdad's main Shiite district...

Most of the thousands of dead bodies that have been found dumped across Baghdad and other cities in central Iraq in recent months have been of victims who were tortured and then shot to death, according to police. The suspected militia killers often have used electric drills on their captives' bodies before killing them. The bodies are frequently decapitated.

But burning victims alive introduced a new method of brutality that was likely to be reciprocated...

Residents of the troubled district claim the Mahdi Army has begun kidnapping and holding Sunni hostages to use in ritual slaughter at the funerals of Shiite victims of Baghdad's raging sectarian war...

In the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar, 23 people were killed and 43 wounded when explosives hidden in a parked car and in a suicide belt worn by a pedestrian detonated simultaneously outside a car dealership, said police Brig. Khalaf al-Jubouri...

In Hurriyah, the rampaging militiamen also burned and blew up four mosques and torched several homes in the district, Hussein said...


Link

11/24/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Wu-wei,

Some part of me accepts this mutual carnage as "normal", not morally acceptable mind you, but "normal" as in "to be expected" when you have two sides being fueled by their external patrons. It's nothing different from wars in Africa, or in Lebanon or any other place where ethnic scores are being settled.

Normally, the first thing to do is keep outsiders from fueling the blaze. They tried this in Kosovo and even in places like Mindanao the top of the agenda is to prevent foreign countries from smuggling arms into the battle zone. What made the Spanish Civil War so deadly was that it was fueled by Hitler on one side and Stalin on the other.

But the Stalin and Hitler of today's conflicts -- Syria and Iran -- seem to have gotten a media pass. Even the Lancet seems to have exculpated them. No demonstrations are staged before their embassies. On the contrary, a series of obsequious visits is regularly staged to Damascus and Teheran by admiring "progressive" statesmen.

I am personally secure enough in my own opinions to judge these worthy pilgrims to fascism for what they are, knowing of course that my opinion is mine alone. But I can't help thinking, apropos of the point of this post, that the admiration is not entirely genuine. It is alloyed with fear. Fear comes not from an appreciation of power but from a recognition of blind evil. In many ways, the contempt of progressives for America is a backhanded complement; their lack of fear for it is an unmistakeable indicator of their inability to recognize evil in what they revile. Were we to their taste I would worry.

11/24/2006 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

If this weren't so sad it would be funny. "Made in Pakistan".


British paratroopers refused to go on patrol in Afghanistan because their ammunition was faulty, it has been reported. The soldiers from 3rd battalion had to borrow bullets from Canadian and American colleagues to fend off Taliban attacks. A video shows troopers struggling to fire a Browning MG. The Daily Telegraph said MoD officials have been unable to explain how the faulty Browning ammo was sent to Afghanistan. It is thought it came from Pakistan or the Czech Republic. (Sky)

11/24/2006 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"MoD officials have been unable to explain how...."

Jail them, without pay or benefits, until they do. Dock all MoD pensions until they explain. Then, when explained, jail the source of the bad ammunition. If it's a corporation, jail the board of directors until they fire the responsible senior management, then jail them.

11/24/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3case wrote:

Jail them, without pay or benefits, until they do. Dock all MoD pensions until they explain. Then, when explained, jail the source of the bad ammunition. If it's a corporation, jail the board of directors until they fire the responsible senior management, then jail them.

Better yet, relocate their plant in the Bekaa valley making bullets for the next Lebanese-Israeli war. Surely when the pissed-off remnants of Hezbollah come calling they will be quite able to fight them off.

11/24/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wretchard wrote: Some part of me accepts this mutual carnage as "normal", not morally acceptable mind you, but "normal" as in "to be expected" when you have two sides being fueled by their external patrons. It's nothing different from wars in Africa, or in Lebanon or any other place where ethnic scores are being settled.

Agreed. Personally, I feel that though we should - as sentient, emotive, moral human beings - obviously regard these horrifying events as entirely unacceptable, worthy of castigation and condemnation, we should more or less expect the level of vicious, cyclic violence that has perpetuated in places like Iraq.

Scenes of utter carnage and unimaginable bloodshed have entrenched themselves as a sickeningly predictable, self-gratuitous mainstay of current media. However, if we judge the severity of these conflicts with the sobering backdrop of our history, this is not unprecedented.

Some may be desensitised and cauterised to the point that Iraq itself has lost its true meaning - of a struggle for independence from the yoke of Arab defeatism and fatalism - and become simply another locale in Lonely Planet. As Stephen Colbert had mentioned a few weeks back (even though we are not inclined to take him seriously), he has repeated "Iraq" so many times that he doesn't even know what it means.

Personally, I think that America is allowing itself to be shocked and stunned by the sheer brutality and inhumanity of sectarian violence, so much so that each perpetuated act of violence simply reminds them of the mental dichotomisation of them being "morally right" and the Iraqi perpetrators "morally wrong/evil". Through that reinforcement of morality, fuelled by the personal need to assure oneself of his/her own humanity, they refuse to deal with their nemesis with the same vicious hand that was dealt to them.

Firstly, we need to shake off our own yoke of "moral equivalence" - expect the worst from your enemy, stare him in the eye and make him realise that he does not solely possess the monopoly of power to induce fear and intimidation. If our foes know that we aren't fighting with one hand tied behind our back, then the power relationship on the battlefield one-on-one will be more equivalent.

11/25/2006 01:53:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Because They Hate - A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America
Brigitte Gabriel
This lady spent 17 years in a fallout shelter in Lebanon until the Israelis arrived living on rice and beans soaked in worm infested water, and etc, dodging bombs, bullets, and fascists.
Witnessed parents both being tied to their babies and then being pulled apart, tearing their babies apart in front of their faces in their own hands.

But who are we to judge?
She says they have many many cells here in most of the states, many having come across the border that GWB refuses to secure.
But who are we to judge that either?
None dare call it treason.
Except Me!
I will never forgive the man for insisting on putting our famlies and our country in mortal danger. ...needlessly.
---
From Publishers Weekly
"Gabriel's strict dichotomy between "evil versus goodness" is too extreme to be informative."
With strident confidence, American Congress for Truth founder Gabriel rebukes the American public for being "weak, asleep or careless" in the face of Muslim terrorism. A Christian survivor of the vicious civil war between Lebanese Christians and Muslims in the 1970s, Gabriel leans on her own terrifying experiences to condemn Muslims, without apparent regard for their ethnicity, ideology or historical role. Consistently using the words "Muslim" and "Arab" as if they were interchangeable, she concludes that the U.S. is "facing total destruction" at the hands of people who are uncultured and cruel, and prescribes such solutions as "profile, profile and profile," and banning "hate education" in Islamic institutions. Though her writing is eloquent and her passion tremendous, Gabriel's strict dichotomy between "evil versus goodness" is too extreme to be informative.
Readers will be forced to decide whether or not to accept her heart-felt bias.
(Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

11/25/2006 02:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Of course the Muslim Brotherhood was settling scores for the outrageous creation of Israel in their midst 20 years before it was created.
Good that they were so well informed wrt the future.
Wish I could do the same.

11/25/2006 02:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

7 years, not 17.
"America cannot effectively defend itself in this war unless and until the American people understand the nature of the enemy that we face.
Even after 9/11 there are those who say that we must “engage” our terrorist enemies, that we must “address their grievances”.

Their grievance is our freedom of religion.
Their grievance is our freedom of speech. Their grievance is our democratic process where the rule of law comes from the voices of many not that of just one prophet. It is the respect we instill in our children towards all religions.
It is the equality we grant each other as human beings sharing a planet and striving to make the world a better place for all humanity.
Their grievance is the kindness and respect a man shows a woman, the justice we practice as equals under the law, and the mercy we grant our enemy.
Their grievance cannot be answered by an apology for who or what we are.
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=21364

11/25/2006 03:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, Doug!

11/25/2006 04:41:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Some part of me accepts this mutual carnage as "normal... It's nothing different from wars in Africa, or in Lebanon or any other place where ethnic scores are being settled.

Should the United States send troops everywhere this happens, every "where ethnic scores are being settled" [by terrorism]? Is it more "evil" when Islamists do it?

> the mental dichotomisation of them [Americans] being "morally right" and the Iraqi perpetrators "morally wrong/evil"...

> expect the worst from your enemy, stare him in the eye and make him realise that he does not solely possess the monopoly of power to induce fear and intimidation. If our foes know that we aren't fighting with one hand tied behind our back...

> they refuse to deal with their nemesis with the same vicious hand that was dealt to them...

I'm not sure who our "nemesis" is in Iraq, but what does "the same vicious hand" mean?

11/25/2006 04:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

doug: Gabriel rebukes the American public for being "weak, asleep or careless" in the face of Muslim terrorism.

Amen to that.

And if a Muslim doesn't like my use of "Amen" -- eh, profile him.

11/25/2006 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Link

(Free registration required)

Here is proof that Saddam trained the insurgency in using weapons of mass destruction: slingshots and bow & arrow.

In a previously undisclosed video, apparently shot in the months before the American-led invasion in 2003, Mr. Hussein, the Iraqi dictator, beams as military officers display and demonstrate low-tech weapons spread on a table in a ceremonial room. Whether the episode shows genuine preparation for an insurgency or was merely a bizarre propaganda exercise is unclear.

In the video, Mr. Hussein, wearing a double-breasted gray suit, aims a slingshot, shoots an arrow at a door using a crossbow (as aides scamper out of the way) and swings a mock gasoline bomb over his head with a rope. He urges his aides to get such weapons into the hands of Iraqis.

11/25/2006 06:13:00 AM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

The part of this that just escapes me is the simple acceptance of these acts by the perpetrators.

how many of us commenting here could actually conceive of, much less committ these acts of depravity?

Is the arab/muslim culture so completely dysfunctional that this rage was seething below the surface at all times? I've read some denial statements that contain statements such as 'Saddam was brutal but..." Which raises the question, is this simply the net result of Saddam's depravity? Is this what was actually going on in Iraq before we invaded?

If the American military cannot effectively stop the inflow the raw material that is fueling this madness, they can at the very least find a way to associate it with the state sponsors.

What's wrong with "Iranian backed militia members beheaded children yesterday?"

Is denial a result of a malfunctioning media or is the media actually the cause of the denial. If we are not allowed to connect barbarity with islam, even when the connection is clear, we will never find the will to defend ourselves.

11/25/2006 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

This quote is right on target. It says that the war against Islamists will be mostly irregular fighting, so the US military must change if we are to win it.

Another quote mentions how our military lost Vietnam by fighting a conventional war instead of a regular one, unlike the British, who switched tactics to counterinsurgency and beat guerillas in Malaysia.

The author writes, "I deployed to Iraq to practice counterinsurgency as the Operations Officer of the First Battalion of the 34th Armored Regiment, the “Centurions.”"...

...defeating the Communist insurgents in Malaya was easy once Sir Gerald Templer and Harold Briggs showed the British army what to do, and that the American army could similarly have won in Vietnam if only it had adopted earlier the changes promulgated by Creighton Abrams and Bob Komer...

The army is adapting to the demands of counterinsurgency in Iraq at many levels, from the tactical and operational through the training base in the United States. However, Iraq is but one front in a broader war against Salafist extremists dedicated to eliminating Western influence from the Islamic world; winning the struggle may take decades. There is a growing realization that the most likely conflicts of the next fifty years will be irregular warfare in an “Arc of Instability” that encompasses much of the greater Middle East and parts of Africa and Central and South Asia. To cope more effectively with the messy reality that in the twenty-first century many of our enemies will be insurgents, America’s armed forces must continue to change.


Link

11/25/2006 06:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wu wei said:

Here is proof that Saddam trained the insurgency in using weapons of mass destruction: slingshots and bow & arrow.

But Cheney's One Percent Doctrine multiplies the threat value of slingshots a hundredfold. Now you've got every kid in Iraq slinging the eqquivelant of a gatling gun and saying, "I ain't got time to bleed!"

11/25/2006 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger socialism_is_error said...

WC:

You don't really have to go back that far. Clancy's "The Sum of All Fears" was copyrighted in '91, but the '02 movie altered the bad guys from al-Qaeda types to an "Austrian neo-fascist". How long after 9/11? Outraged me right there.

11/25/2006 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> how many of us commenting here could actually conceive of, much less committ these acts of depravity?

It has been suggested here several times that we are losing the war because we are too sensitive about killing Iraqi civilians. It was also said that any civilian in an insurgent area is guilty, a combatant, and so we should feel free to kill Iraqi civilians in order to kill the terrorists in their midst. The idea was also that this would scare the rest of the population and the world into doing whatever we wanted.

Perhaps those comments were trolling, or just mind opening theoretical ideas. However, if anyone believes that, it would seem that 200 Iraqi civilians killed by US JDAMS bombs are just as dead as those killed by Al-Qaeda's car bombs and Al-Sadr's brutality.

11/25/2006 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger socialism_is_error said...

WC:

Sorry, prior refers to your #1.

SIE

11/25/2006 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger Hayek said...

Brigitte who I know personally has had to change her name several times to protect her family. Her views are hardened by the reality of having to live amidst these savages. What will it take for us to become as dedicated to our survival?

11/25/2006 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Declare Ramadi a combat zone, a free fire zone. Have Mr Maliki do so.
The residents can move to tent city refugee camps while they wait.

Clear and destroy the city, level it. Whom ever did not move into the controled enviorment is on their own dime.

Rebuild it it using Saudi funds and workers from the tent city camps.

Some Emir is building cities, whole cloth, on man made islands in the Gulf.
Ramadi and Sadr City would be a cakewalk by comparison

Victory and Reconstruction.

11/25/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Remember, at the start of the Battle of Iraq, when refugees were going to be a giant challenge? A challenge that never materialized. Mr Rumsfeld mentioned it any number of times, as a bullet that was dodged.

Maybe we should fire a few rounds, now.

11/25/2006 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

It is not hard to understand why we are losing this war. We still refuse to name the enemy. Bouncing around definitions that fit our reluctance to look the enemy square in the eye. Salafist?? Are they our only enemy? What about the Wahhabists? They are not one and the same. What about the Shite's who until 9/11 managed to murder more of us than any other branch of our common enemy, Islam. Are the Shite's now off the hook for murdering more Marines in one day than have been killed at any time since WW2?

However, Iraq is but one front in a broader war against Salafist extremists dedicated to eliminating Western influence from the Islamic world; winning the struggle may take decades. There is a growing realization that the most likely conflicts of the next fifty years will be irregular warfare in an “Arc of Instability”

All this talk of tactics and insurgencies avoids dealing with the problem. In much the same way that Israel failed to deal with the problem in Lebannon by allowing Iran and Syria off the hook. Stop the folks who supply the arms and you stop the insurgencies. We are playing chicken with a group of people who have absolutely no problem running directly into us.

Kill them now.

From my article Candidate Bush on Nation Building and Can Islam and Freedom survive one another?

So instead of Nation Building perhaps our time would be better spent waging fear instead of freedom. Our softness has allowed the fear of our might to morph into a joke told by thugs the world over. Attack the United States in the heart of it’s cities murdering thousands on national TV and they will engage in a national debate on whether they deserved it or not. Plant a plane full of innocents, some of whose throats you have slashed in front of their children, into the Pentagon the very heart of the Military and instead of righteous anger blowing down paper thin thugs holding office by force in the Middle East we will engage in debates on how to respond. We are no longer men instead we have become exactly what Bin Laden and Saddam told their troops we are, Paper Tigers who flinch at shadows and thrust at allies.

11/25/2006 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Furthermore when discussing tactics for victory if you preface your discussion of tactics with the condition that we cannot kill large numbers of folks you are disqualified from defending my family. I personally don't care if large numbers of people get killed if it means we win. This is war not cricket...I don't want to feel morally superior while I watch my children dragged off to be murdered by Islamic thugs. Win. By whatever means necessary.

Islam loses we win...to steal a brilliant quote from a brilliant President. Who I fervently wish were alive now.

11/25/2006 07:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pierre legrande wrote:

We are playing chicken with a group of people who have absolutely no problem running directly into us.

We are playing chicken with some leaders who have absolutely no problem driving their remote control car, manned by brainwashed flunkies, into us. What we need are some examples of how we can reach out and touch the puppetmasters.

11/25/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/25/2006 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Once you start flattening cities you inevitably write

1 X 10^9

in the right column...

and the other side will write at least

5 X 10^5 in the left column

Are we ready to rumble!!!

As an aside, if we are not ready, than will the other side grow enough in fanaticism (grow???) and capability to the point that they will scribble a larger number in the left column - not comprehending science and misunderstanding our culture?

Decisions, decisions...

I, for one, still value a man who did not immediately scratch the ^9 in the right hand TD on the html table, eh...

1,000,000,000
5,000,000
500,000
50,000
2,900

11/25/2006 08:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wu wei wrote: I'm not sure who our "nemesis" is in Iraq, but what does "the same vicious hand" mean?

What it means, unequivocally speaking, is that we should not overly concern ourselves with matters of collateral damage when the enemy has undoubtedly declared our citizens fair game. Here we are struggling to deal with definitions that we feel must be absolute in this black-and-white, good-and-evil paradigmatic view of the world - our foes take on ambiguous identities, shifting between innocent civilian to guilty perpetrator to apologetic politician. This allows them to escape our strict "criteria" for conceptualisation of the enemy.

It's as if we are considering allowing them to revel in their multi-faceted identity because: al-Sadr may be a murderous Shiite chaosmongerer deliberately stirring up sectarianism and genocide against Sunnis, but when he is a politician, we need to respect that the reason al-Maliki is in power is because of him and the Sadrists in parliament.

Instead of waiting for them to reveal their true intentions of destabilisation and anarchy - as if they weren't obvious enough - our criteria should be rendered more flexible, and so should our scope for decisive action against these doppelgangers.

As for the citizens themselves, as DR mentioned, let them choose. If they decide to stay, then they would be considered fair game instead of collateral damage. Same should go for Lebanese sympathisers of Hezbollah and Syria, and Palestinian civilians who harbour terrorists and are attempting to stop Israeli rocket reprisals by forming human shields.

Not desensitising or demeaning the quality of human life here, but that "human shield" which consciously and deliberately put itself out in the open presents itself as a "meat shield", equally culpable for any transgressions that the terrorists might commit.

11/25/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Db2m said...

Kevin,

Your printing shop just exploded. Thought you might want to know.

11/25/2006 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Not to quibble, but these terrorist groups are very fractured. In addition, they are increasingly compressed into a smaller and smaller region….

I can't pick it out, but there is a pattern to al-Qaeda's terrorist hits that does not bode well for them. It seems as if they are no longer able to control their international strikes. Their strikes now seem to have no rhythm or reason. There does not appear to be a strategic reason for most of them - unlike the Embassy Bombings, the Cole Bombing, 9/11, the UN Relief Effort, and the Iraqi and Turkish government targets in 2003. These attacks are not efforts to destabilize America.

Now they are attacking at the periphery.

Do we want to give these groups the incentive to organize under a single black flag?

11/25/2006 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Is there new leadership in gangsta-land?

Zawahari wants Egypt to fall. In 2004/2005 there was a flurry of activity against tourism in Egypt – this year, one strike.

Who in that organization wants Bangladesh to drop? There was a flurry in February, and a couple of oddities the rest of the year.

The Saudi strikes are probably guided by bin Laden and Zawahiri but those are now rare and far between.

Weird patterns.

11/25/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Odd thought...

America, the United Kingdom, and Australia are the targets – yet no attacks for over a year.

I think al-Qaeda or its affiliates could strike the free countries if they had the targeting and strategic organization they once had. If they still believe that single schwerpunkt strikes would cripple the west we would see successful attacks.

Weird patterns.

Is the enemy(s) unfocussed?
Is the Saudi and Egyptian funding drying up?
Did the enemy of the west “blow it’s wad in Iraq”?
Is Iraq/Gaza/Hezbollah now a Vietnam-like drain on Iran and Syria?

Have we won?
Are we winning?

While we voted to run, are we going to run fast enough for Iran and Syria to outlast us? What happens as more and more Iraqi oil comes to market - which it is? What happens to Iranian influence as oil prices drop - which is occurring? What happens if the United States' economy slows thus requiring less oil - which is happening? What happens if Hezbollah cannot make ammends for the war it started?

We know our problems, but that does not mean the opposition has no problems.

11/25/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Kinuachdrach said...

Woman Catholic wrote: "What we need are some examples of how we can reach out and touch the puppetmasters."

Good thought! What about examples like, say, removing the Taliban, or removing Saddam Hussein? Thoroughly evil men who were forcibly removed from power. But successfully touching those puppetmasters changed the problem, rather than solved it.

Maybe that lack of solution stems from the fact that Saddam Hussein was successfully removed, but (a) allowed to make a travesty of justice through his years-long continuing trial, and (b) his large number of operatives & supporters were left in place unharmed.

Or maybe the lack of solution is that the project stopped with Saddam Hussein. What if there were daily bombing runs at Nasrallah? What if the leadership of Syria & Iran were repeatedly eliminated until acceptable leadership emerged? It could be done, but that would be a State of War, in which many human shields would die. Until we are prepared to treat this as a war (and not a "situation" we can safely walk away from), our options are very limited.

11/25/2006 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The west is nearly immobilized by fear of bad press. Why, because it creates continental disasters like Nov 07. Now, it's "now or never"; two years to reset the balances, or kiss world peace goodbye until apres le deluge.

11/25/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The "Press" good nor bad "caused" the results of 7 NOV '06, buddy.

It was not poor reporting of the actions of the President or his Administration. It was not that the discussion was any more "one sided" than it was 2, 4, or 6 years ago, when the GOP won, by a hair.

The GOP was off their message this cycle, buffetted by the realities of their performance.

11/25/2006 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"There is a growing realization that the most likely conflicts of the next fifty years will be irregular warfare in an “Arc of Instability” that encompasses much of the greater Middle East and parts of Africa and Central and South Asia."

One of the newest ideas floating around the Pentagon is that we are fighting what is essentially a global counterinsurgency effort.

Arabia, imo, is the center of gravity. It provided the money, the ideology, and a majority of Al Qaeda's leadership, especially pre-9-11. Looking at Iraq in retrospect it seems clear that the Bush Administration's plan for Iraq, without realizing it, was ink-blot writ large.

Unlikely anything that ambitious is coming again soon.

11/25/2006 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"The "Press" good nor bad "caused" the results of 7 NOV '06, buddy.

It was not poor reporting of the actions of the President or his Administration. It was not that the discussion was any more "one sided" than it was 2, 4, or 6 years ago, when the GOP won, by a hair.

The GOP was off their message this cycle, buffetted by the realities of their performance."


Without the press the Democratic Party wouldn't be a serious political threat. They'd be done and the Republican Party would probably fracture absent them.

11/25/2006 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Wu wei - This quote is right on target. It says that the war against Islamists will be mostly irregular fighting, so the US military must change if we are to win it.

Another quote mentions how our military lost Vietnam by fighting a conventional war instead of a regular one, unlike the British, who switched tactics to counterinsurgency and beat guerillas in Malaysia.


The successful "lessons" you referred to that were later embraced by Abrams were ugly ones. Always have been. The Phoenix enemy influencer assassination program. Forced pacification and relocation to controllable entry cul de sacs of large masses of the population. Shoot on sight curfews. Informer networks, frequently of bad guys that we knew were settling scores...not sicking us on the 100% without a doubt enemy. Collective punishment - not direct executions in Vietnam's case, though they happened in in more controlled fashions and smaller scale than My Lai and were "OK" on that scale. But collective reprisals like the certainty that a US or ARVN patrol hit with that war's version of IEDs (booby traps, planted mines) on the outskirts of a village would likely call in artillery or napalm. Or burn hootches. Or stop food and other commerce to the town for weeks. Most of all, having proxy ARVN or S Vietnamese police do the dirty work of needed interrogations.

Just like the Brits did in Malaysia and Kenya.

The problem is that it is impossible to have America's military return to those successful counterinsurgency tactics because of 30 years of effort by ACLU Jews, Euro Left, Transnationalists, and 3rd Worlders to give insurgents maximum legal protections, "rights", and make most good counter-insurgent tactics "off-limits". In past wars, the criminals that attacked an Iraqi family to rape a targeted attractive 15 year old daughter would have been hanged, but not the Marines now on trial for killing complicit civilians after their convoy was blown up.

Unless and until we change what the Left codified into law at the urging of the Soviets, progressive Jewish transnationalists, and "Third World armed resistance= liberation & "enemy rights=human rights" lawyers starting in the early 70s ----in US Law, International Treaty, and UN "Resolution Covenents".

Until that is changed, we cannot remove the handcuffs we slapped on our military.

The illusion that we are so rich and strong that foreswearing those tactics is no big deal has foundered on the 650 billion and 23,000 casualties taken to be largely ineffectual in a ratty little beat-down nation of 22 million that is inept at most things modern society does well.

But which has oil.

And foundered on the realization that laws giving the enemy various rights and access to due process ensure not only that ACLU Jews and other legal arms of the Left are swarming to represent terrorists - but that induced paralysis has made Euroweenie justice ineffectual at taking Jihadis out of circulation and in the US, blocks prosecution of 9/11 plotters and violating PC to name or profile the enemy that is in our midst.

The sorry fact of it is that 9/11 was a small, one-time event as major wars go. So no one talks of needing to change laws - or assumes it is "patriotic" to hysterically resist any change. Surely the potential is there for worse, but most Americans personally don't think they are in danger or see it through a prism of "heroes" making them perfectly safe from danger. That was the assurance, wasn;t it? "Shop. Enjoy your tax cuts! The heroes will protect you from harm. Love your neighbor and the moderate majority of the Religion of Peace." And if Bush as the Dear Leader Hero Commander keeping us all safe is now tarnished - Democrats offer their own snake oil. The ACLU talks of war as being won when so many rights are given to the enemy that they stop fighting out of love of our tolerance.

So the military cannot change until the laws change. And the laws cannot change while powerful Euroweenie Left and progressive Jews and their 3rd World and Muslim allies block us.

And the only thing, again sadly, that will force the law and treaty revision blocking part of that anti-Western coalition to change is enough blood shed to make the "Western" part of the anti-West alliance reconsider their resistance to fighting Jihadis.

Lots of blood.
Preferably in places "Anti-West, Westerners hold near and dear".


*************************
WC- We are playing chicken with some leaders who have absolutely no problem driving their remote control car, manned by brainwashed flunkies, into us. What we need are some examples of how we can reach out and touch the puppetmasters.

Israel became enamored of that "leadership decapitation" strategy. It has failed because in their arrogance, they failed to account for ample leadership reserves in a popular ideology or movement. All Israel's targeted assassinations appear to have done is weed out the unwary enemy leaders or open the door to younger, more radical, more able and bloodthirsty leaders. Hamas is on their 6th generation of leaders - all far better than the original rubes Israel ironically helped set up and finance as a counter to Arafat. Nasrallah is the 3rd Hezbollah leader.

And their pressure on organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah has forced those organizations to evolve and improve tactics, fundraising, military resources, political outreach, propaganda, and internal security. As in most wars, with the possible exception of skilled hard to train fighters like pilots - the soldiers at the end of a war in any military are better than at the beginning. Call it Darwin, call it the learning curve.
Sadly, the Israeli notion that a large force can be defeated by only light pressure on it and going, Hollywood-like, after only Mr. Evil, the puppetmaster CEO and his small band of high-ranking minions of evil has pretty well been disproven.
The US, outside the remnants of the Left and Democrat partisans still in wishful thinking that "getting bin Laden" ends the war...have recognized that we face netcentric war against resilient Jihadi groups with ample replacement leadership in the wings - and no rigid hierarchy actually - to decapitate. Jihad is individualistic, in one's heart, and informed and guided in the modern era by thousands of leaders speaking and writing globally to an audience of 1.2 billion.

11/25/2006 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Re the press, rather than engage the old glass-half-full/empty solutionless argument yet again, just look into the stats on negative/positive coverage of the big issues, the economy, the war, education, the environment, taxation, etecetera.

Six years of a middling-to-good record (by any ordinary measure) has been firmly 'set' in a large chunk of the electorate as an unqualified disaster, on all fronts.

I could do a research project, and run through the issues, but no one reading here needs that.

My point is, a house divided cannot stand. The failure of the Bush Administration has been it's inability to communicate, and it's inability to communicate has been at least in part due to a political opposition determined to prevent any such communication.

11/25/2006 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

damn apostrophes. those it'ses should be itses. grrr.

11/25/2006 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Das said...

Back to the topic (he yells self-righteously)!

This is a long shadow indeed going back at least to Salman Rushdie and this Iranian fatwa. The world's booksellers got clammy real fast after his gallactic death threat. When the paperback edition of Satanic Verses came out in the early 90s the publishers left blank any contact information - no company names, cities, addresses (which listing is industry standard practice; see the other side of the title page of the novel on your desk).

That we would watch a large pizza pan-shaped urine blot of fear spread out on the pants of the publishing industry is to be expected. What is not so esxpected is the urine stain on the pants of the arts/entertainment crowd. "Don't call me violent or I'll kill you!" goes out the rallying cry of jihad Islam. If this isn't a silver-platter gift to satirists, novelists and cinema bad-boys I don't know what is. Yet what do we see: media reverence for Islam (while trashing Christianity at every turn); but you all know this; it's boring and disgusting.

Whatever you do stay away from the Elmer Fudd Koran.

11/25/2006 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Bush's were able to communicate through the Press well enough, in '02, to buck the historical precedent and gain seats in the House.
The "Press" and it's effect on the public has not greatly changed since then.

What has changed is the public's perception of the President and his performance.
Now some may say that the President and the GOP are not given a "fair shake", but the marketplace is open, FOX, Limbaugh, Hannity and others get their share of "face time".
Previous electoral results show that there is a balance, if only because so many see and factor in the imbalances that exist in the system.

In '02 we were on the march, the GOP won big
In '04 the trends were bad, but hope ran high, the GOP won in a squeaker
In '06 victory in the Battle of Iraq was further away than ever, the troops Garrisoned, a political settlement in the wings, Mr Allen going on and on about Force Protection, the GOP has it's hat handed to them.

The is the cause and effect of those realities that go far beyond the spin of the Press.

11/25/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Concur with Desert Rat:
"In '06 victory in the Battle of Iraq was further away than ever, the troops Garrisoned, a political settlement in the wings, Mr Allen going on and on about Force Protection, the GOP has it's hat handed to them."


Also, concur with Cedarford:
The sorry fact of it is that 9/11 was a small, one-time event as major wars go. So no one talks of needing to change laws - or assumes it is "patriotic" to hysterically resist any change. Surely the potential is there for worse, but most Americans personally don't think they are in danger or see it through a prism of "heroes" making them perfectly safe from danger"

In reality, those are the same sentences...

My question, is the enemy large enough and dangerous enough to mobilize against?

Can we really mobilize a 10,000,000 million man ground force military machine with the backing of a $1.3 Trillion/year war effort to beat these rag-bag turds? Are we simply too big to get too worked up over a few thousand casualties? We have yet to have the opposition type 5 X 10^6 in their column. Can we preemptively write 1 X 10^9 in ours? Are we going to change our laws before a big number pops up in the left column?

I hate the fact that a large section of our populace thinks that 9/11 was an aberration.
It may have been one on 9/11/2001, but will be one on 9/11/2011?

11/25/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

link
"As his eminence has mentioned, the era for very gradual downfall of America has already begun." He added, "We hope to be witness to the downfall of the Western empire, led by the United States, as we were once witness to the downfall of the Eastern empire."

Don't sound like an abberation to me, either, boghie.

11/25/2006 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Desert Rat (and Cedarford for that matter) your strategy to do a Fallujah on Ramadi, Sadr City ect. would require more then the current force in country but would probably succeed as a strategy to conquer Iraq. But what is the goal of such an escalation of the conflict? This brings us full circle to what this damn war is about? What is the goal here? We could employ this strategy (all out war) conquering Iraq only to find that Iraq really is part of the region, so we would continue the escalation to Lebanon, Syria, Iran....Egypt, Saudi Arabia. We could (assuming the domestic support) conquer the entire friggin' region, but again, to what end? It certainly doesn't jibe with the Bush 'bring democracy' meme, the 'Saddam is a threat' meme. It does jibe with the 'black gold - oil that is' meme. Why in the world would we want to conquer the dang place? This reveals the flaw in the whole dang thing from day 1 - the muddled half assed reasons why we went in in the first place. There is no sense escalating this pig just because we want to 'win', gotta have more then that to go all in.

11/25/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That is all to true, also, ash.

There is no consensous that there really is a threat posed by the Islamo-fascists.
The fact that the US does not pursue the Mohammedans, as pledged by Mr Bush, argues he no longer sees a terrorist threat eminating from those dispersed Terrorist Camps.

Those that do see a greater Mohammedan Threat, in the "Arc of Instability" are not taken seriously in DC.
Islam is still the Religion of Peace, at the White House.

So, yes, there is a military solution to Iraq, we could obtain stability with no more US troops, in concert with the Iraqi, if both US and the Iraqi pocessed the "Will" to do so.

11/25/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Often an alcoholic is saved from himself when those who enable him finally say, "Enough is enough. We will no longer tolerate your lying, cheating, and stealing." Maybe that is the lesson of the 2006 election.

Some Republican leaders, who support the President's open borders policy, are saying that many anti-illegal immigrant incumbents lost because of their hard-nosed positions. It does not seem to occur to the Republican leadership that the cause might have something to do with President's duplicitous border policy. Is it possible that the electorate came to view all Republican candidates as liars on border security?

The same argument could be made for the war. Contrary to what RINOs such as Senator Hagel would have the Republican Party electorate think, no poll shows an opposition to the war, per se. What the polls show is disgust with the amateurish way the President has led the war. This general disgust came to harm pro-war Republicans, who were viewed with the same level of distrust.

If the election of 2006 means anything, it means that leadership of President George W. Bush was rejected, with that rejection falling on the heads of Republican candidates.

11/25/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger al fin said...

I hope someone is writing down the names of the publishers who are acquiescing to the islamists' threats. When all of this finally gets sorted out between civilisation and the islamists, there's going to be some accounting done with the dhimmis in the media.

11/25/2006 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

GWB needed an image--like FDR's "lend a neighbor your water hose if his house in afire" image used to 'sell' lend-lease. Something like that--maybe "If a giant tree is overhanging your house, you can't cut the trunk or it may fall on the house. So, what you do in, climb up into the branches, and cut them off a little at a time,
" and so on.

Otherwise you have what is pointed out above, war-rhetoric that doesn't match the DC 'business-as-usual'.

11/25/2006 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

because it has been a "pruning" strategy, really.

Should have been sold as such, all along. Then voters wouldn't feel vaguely (or blatently) misled, as so many do, now.

11/25/2006 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

oh but Buddy, GWB had an image with a very good team designing and propagating it. Unfortunately more then image is required to succeed in the hard knock world we call reality.

11/25/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Can't have the CIC talking about a great international danger, while the boys on capitol hill are porking away on ward issues. Fundamental disconnect. But, it does not mean, Ash, that the CIC rhetoric was wrong. Only that it was isolated, not woven into the overall state of the nation.

Of course, this is a stratagem of the enemy, to keep it smoldering, to burn us out from the edges.

Try to divorce your feelings about the administration from the issue of the jihad, Ash. GWB is largely history, now. Time to focus forward.

11/25/2006 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Yes Buddy, time to focus forward but being aware of the spilt milk is helpful. Jacking up the terror threat for politcal purposes creates...'blowback'. Ill considered responses to the terror threat creates...blowback. ect.

11/25/2006 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The terror threat has been either [1] jacked up, or [2] well-countered.

('terror threat' in this instance defined not in the global-economic geopolitical sense, but in the catastrophic-incident-inside-USA sense)

So, you're certain, Ash, that is has been [1] and not [2]?

I hope you are certain, because if you're not, then your attitude is both political, and ungrateful.

11/25/2006 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Kinuachdrach said...

Ash raises a good point about goals -- to paraphrase, What does victory look like?

It would be nice if Iraq was as peaceful as Detroit, but that may not be a useful definition of victory.

Britain used extensive military force against its own citizens in Northern Ireland, and the world looked the other way. Same with Spain versus the Basques, or Russia versus the Chechens, or Sudanese Muslims versus their Christians & Blacks. Maybe the definition of victory is "Everyone keeps their trouble-making within their own borders".

The Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq each offended against that commandment, and paid the price. It is kind that the US would like to stablize those areas, but not necessary -- let the vaunted "International Community" clean up the mess.

Now the US should move on to those other bad guys who have crossed borders -- the Palestinians, the Lebanese, the Syrians, the Iranians. A modified reverse Powell doctrine -- you cross borders, we break you, you fix it (with any help the French or others want to give); and cross the borders again, we repeat the cycle.

11/25/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Ash, part of the point of my post was to say that before we can talk about flattening Fallujah and other tested and true counterinsurgency tactics that we should have used, before talk about "Will" ---there is an entire modern body of law and post WWII Genevan and UN "norms" placed as ultimate barriers to winning against terrorists or insurgents.

If we did flatten Fallujah and thousands of dead enemy came out, the media (which thinks being held in a cold room is a war crime) would have a field day with all the laws violated and Geneva breeches and moral outrages against defined human rights were done.

The discussion would not be on the Fallujah victory, but how many criminal indictments and human rights violations the ACLU-types and EuroLeft would be seeking.

And they would be right. In a legal sense. To do so.

We unwittingly signed off on all that noble-sounding 60s and 70s stuff because we only saw the Cold War Soviets and Chicoms as the enemy - and all that nasty insurgent/terrorist stuff happened in lesser nations lacking our strength...And those various proxies which by and large didn't respect rule of law could easily ignore all those laws and DEAL with the enemy as dirty as necessary.

We planned to keep our hands clean so we could trumpet our moral superiority..."America never violates enemy human rights! America would never engage in collective punishment of a whole village for it's terrorist leaders and fighters...no, not us!" And on the side, slip a few million in the Swiss bank account of a death squad leader or two that was "cleaning up the Commies" and use our clout or UN Veto to block action on other dirty players we supported.

But we re stuck saying we respect rule of law, and the consequences of that - which is demonstrating that despite blowing 650 billion in a picayune beaten-down small country of only 22 million, we can't beat 20,000 insurgents.

Not with 20,000 "super well-trained high tech troops" (nevertheless mostly unable to speak the language, ignorant of the culture, and mostly isolated from the natives) costing 27 million apiece to be fielded for 3 1/2 years so far with 120,000 support troops, and all sorts of contractors fattening up on Dubya's gravy train.

To change things, we 1st have to revisit suicidal laws we passed that the Jihadi enemy is taking full advantage of.

But there is no will for that. Huge sections of the US and Euro population are adamantly opposed to changing laws and UN "covenents" that they somehow believe as law or agreements are forever enshrined and never to be tampered with. The ACLU Jews see terrorists as criminals, due ALL the criminal rights the ACLU pushed, forcing society to give to criminals. Whole blue states now believe a threat to terrorist civil liberties is a threat to theirs.

Besides, they all believe, no major attacks in over 5 years proves this is not a major war....

so all the wonderful laws and UN resolutions must remain.

And that will not change, IMO, until lots more blood is drawn.

As Boghie succinctly said - change is basically dependent on the enemy chalking up a 5X10^6 headcount in their column...or perhaps a lower threashold - 2X10^5 anthrax or nerve gas attack.

Powerful, wealthy forces like the ACLU Jews and Euro Elites oppose ANY dimunition of enemy civil liberties. To end much of their power to block changing laws, their clout to keep PC viable in blocking profiling -- that restrain our military, common sense domestic security measures, and our will needed to end radical Islam...

Will require infidel blood.
Lots of infidel blood.

****************
And we have to figure out how to to economically field masses of frontline soldiers and advisors that still work effectively and with good support in an Occupation.

We have to recognize that a cost of 27 million per frontline in Iraq over 3 1/2 years is unacceptable.

11/25/2006 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

re: wealthy ACLU Jews

How did the Elders lose that last election? Now they have no Neo-con allies to support fighting the wars of the US's "special friend". Bad planning that.

Undeterred, however, C4 will find the means, despite the lack of the ends.

11/25/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Can we really mobilize a 10,000,000 million man ground force military machine with the backing of a $1.3 Trillion/year war effort to beat these rag-bag turds?

That is one reason why the Pentagon and others are looking at the use of counter-insurgency tactics instead of purely world war II conventional invasion and occupation. For fighting insurgencies, it is a force multiplier that lets a smaller military force do the work of a much larger conventional army.

Counter-insurgency is a mix of conventional war, special forces counter insurgency, and political & economic tactics. It fits the situation better since Al Qaeda is a distributed guerilla network, not a massive nation state like Nazi Germany.

Another difference is that Nazi Germany was about military force, while the Islamists are fighting for an idea. Even if all the Islamists magically died today, new ones would be "born" tomorrow as people converted to it. That is why we need counter-insurgency fighting, to win over those Muslims who don't support Al Qaeda yet. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. If heavy handed conventional warfare makes 10 new Islamists for every one we kill, we will lose the overall war.

11/25/2006 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

cedarford, I would suggest that much of the impetus to the Laws you refer go back to the dismay after WWII that many in the world felt at the destruction that waging war entails The idea arose and became codified that a nation should not wage an offensive war. We have been the agressor in our action in Iraq and we lack the moral grounds to fight a no holds barred war. It is essentially a police action and we will always bind ourselves with civility in such a case. We as a society need more then the fear of a big attack to overcome our revulsion at what war really entails. We should look to other means then military action to confront and deal with our fear of a 'big attack'.

11/25/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

buddy, the administration used terror, and our fear of it, numerous times for political gain. Jacking up the color coded terror alert and making spurious terror link claims are but two examples of their Orwellian methods to 'win' political power.

11/25/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Oh happy day!

Olmert has agreed to accept the 5,280th ceasefire.

11/25/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Oh, okay, Ash--you can claim that the administration politicizes the terror threat, and I can claim that your claim is politicizing the terror threat.

11/25/2006 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Allen, that's the same number of feet in a mile! Wot a co-inky-dinky!

11/25/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

and in the end it really is, necessarily, political...and it creates 'blowback'.

11/25/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> It is essentially a police action and we will always bind ourselves with civility in such a case.

"Police" is a good word for dealing with insurgencies. A police officer's main job is to protect the population, so if he kills 20 innocent civilians for every criminal, he has failed.

Insurgency warfare is a lot like police work because there are innocents involved who we don't want to turn to the "dark side" by the way we conduct ourselves. We aren't doing this out of kindness, but because if those undecided people become terrorists, they could kill us.

(In most conventional warfare situations, like fighting the Nazis, the "innocents" are mostly limited to our own citizens plus those citizens in the enemy country who oppose their government, since the enemy is the government of the foreign state which we are directly at war with. There are no third parties between us and the enemy. There is still reason to avoid civilian casualties, which include protecting our civilians if the enemy reciprocates our treatment, and to encourage citizens in the enemy country to turn against the government. An example is that in bin Laden's Afghanistan the "Northern Alliance" tribes hated the Taliban / Al Qaeda passionately. By working with the Northern Alliance troops instead of bombing them, we avoided making enemies and also got allies who did much of the ground fighting for us.)

But an insurgency, by definition, is not the foreign government. They almost always retain their hold over the population by terror, and cause pain to the citizens by disrupting the economy and government. In many cases a large percentage of the country opposes the insurgency, sometimes because they are in an opposing guerilla movement themselves. (Like Iraq). So there are many innocents / undecideds who could turn to our side or at least stay neutral depending on how we and the insurgents treat them. As Chairman Mao put it, the insurgent swims in the sea of the people. In the case of Islamism, there are undecideds in other Muslim countries besides where we are fighting that may be turned depending on how we conduct ourselves. For example, we scored a point in the propaganda war by making Al Qaeda in Iraq admit they don't support elections & democracy.

11/25/2006 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Here is some official US Army stuff about counterinsurgency: (emphasis added)
Link1
Link2

However, large main force engagements that characterized conflict in World War II, Korea, and
Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom in the Middle East have become the exceptions in
American warfare
. Since the American Revolution, the Army has conducted stability operations,
which have included counterinsurgency operations...

Dealing with counterinsurgency
since the Vietnam War has fallen largely on SOF; however, conventional forces have frequently
come into contact with insurgent forces that seek to neutralize the inherent advantages of size,
weaponry, and conventional force TTP. Insurgents use a combination of actions that include terror,
assassination, kidnapping, murder, guerrilla tactics such as ambushes, booby traps, and improvised
explosive devices aimed at US and multinational forces, the host country’s leaders, and
ordinary citizens.
The stunning victory over Saddam Hussein’s army in 2003 validated US conventional force TTP,
but the ensuing aftermath of instability has caused review of lessons from the Army’s historical
experience
and those of the other services and multinational partners. One of the key recurring
lessons is that the United States cannot win other countries’ wars for them
, but can certainly
help legitimate foreign governments overcome attempts to overthrow them. US forces can assist
a country confronted by an insurgency by providing a safe and secure environment at the local
level and continuously building on the incremental success.
The impetus for this FMI came from the Iraq insurgency and the realization that engagements
in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) would likely use counterinsurgency TTPs
. Consequently
this FMI reviews what we know about counterinsurgency and explains the fundamentals
of military operations in a counterinsurgency environment.

11/25/2006 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Here's one more quote from the Army counter insurgency manual. The key point is that "the center of gravity is public support". (Not killing the enemy.)

Link

The proper application of force is a critical component to any successful counterinsurgency
operation. In a counterinsurgency, the center of gravity is public support.

In order to defeat an insurgent force, US forces must be able to separate insurgents from the population.

At the same time, US forces must conduct themselves in a manner that enables them to maintain popular domestic support. Excessive or indiscriminant use of force is likely to alienate the local populace, thereby increasing support for insurgent forces.

Insufficient use
of force results in increased risks to US and multinational forces and perceived weaknesses
that can jeopardize the mission by emboldening insurgents and undermining domestic popular
support. Achieving the appropriate balance requires a thorough understanding of the nature
and causes of the insurgency, the end state, and the military’s role in a counterinsurgency
operation.

11/25/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

Everyone knows Mr. Olmert is a man willing to go that extra mile to go easy on his "peace partner".

Anyone credulous enough to believe peace possible with the Palestinians will not find my number incredible.

Someone should begin a lottery predicting how long this ceasefire will last. I'm going to say about two minutes, or the length of time it takes "renegade elements" to violate it by rocket attack.

That hero and Nobel winner Yasser "That's My Baby" Arafat (H/T to Limbaugh) used to call it "the peace of the brave." Being the ever dark-hearted rascal, I would call it "the peace of the questionably sentient."

11/25/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

right, Ash--never hit back, first.

11/25/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

re: Wot a co-inky-dinky!

Now I am really worried; I understood that upon first glance. Could be ethanol intoxication.

11/25/2006 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

After all these miles we've come to a fork in the road and we had better take it.

11/25/2006 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Count me in with bobal

11/25/2006 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

The Nazis were fighting for an idea as well. But if you don't like the example of the Nazis the Japanese will fit. The Japanese were fighting for an idea, were much more committed overall to victory and were capable of manufactoring their own weapons. We beat them. Not by convincing them we were nice but by convincing them that we had no problem killing all of them if they chose to keep fighting.

There isn't a single Islamist as committed and capable as many of the Japanese were during our fight with them.

Another difference is that Nazi Germany was about military force, while the Islamists are fighting for an idea. Even if all the Islamists magically died today, new ones would be "born" tomorrow as people converted to it. That is why we need counter-insurgency fighting, to win over those Muslims who don't support Al Qaeda yet. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. If heavy handed conventional warfare makes 10 new Islamists for every one we kill, we will lose the overall war

This is the intellectuals fantasy that we can somehow win people over to our way of life. As if the Islamists have not seen our way of life already and rejected it. There will be a period while we are killing them where their numbers will increase...no problem. That clears out the committed ones.

These debates about how we win without killing large numbers of the enemy are conducted by people who feel no fear. I wonder exactly which tactics one might adopt if you thought the enemy were standing outside your village? The war will go on for as long as we believe we are safe. As soon as we come to understand either by heaven forbid experience or inspiration, should a Churchill rise up soon, we will win because at that point we will apply power to the problem.

We will begin winning when we start putting those folks behind us who don't understand that war is killing. Our enemy wants to kill all of us and I would prefer that we kill all of him first.

A quote by Patton comes to mind.
"We'll win this war, but we'll win it only by fighting and by showing the Germans that we've got more guts than they have; or ever will have. We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-b*tches, we're going to rip out their living Godd*mned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun c*cksuckers by the bushel-f*cking-basket. War is a bloody, killing business. You've got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts. When shells are hitting all around you and you wipe the dirt off your face and realize that instead of dirt it's the blood and guts of what once was your best friend beside you, you'll know what to do!" -- George S. Patton

11/25/2006 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Yogi also said "You can observes a lot, just by watching".

11/25/2006 04:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al-Qaeda's last stand in Anbar. From the Strategy Page.

11/25/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/25/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> These debates about how we win without killing large numbers of the enemy are conducted by people who feel no fear

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just want to point out these comments have nothing to do with what I wrote, or what I believe. In fact I don't think I've ever seen anyone anywhere say that we should fight without killing large numbers of enemy.

11/25/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

General Patton also said:
No poor soldier ever won a war by dying for his country. He won the war by making the other poor soldier die for his country. That's why we should follow the standard US Army counterinsurgency tactics in Iraq, instead of continuing to fight it like World War II.

11/25/2006 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"Are we winning?"

Yes.
To quote an ol' leftie bumper sticker" Your TV is lying to you."

All that happened 11-7-2006 is that the historic Congressional electoral pattern reasserted itself, barely. Any belief otherwise is the product of the MS(De)M megaphone, which was applied liberally (ahem!) to assist that bare result.

Saw words re: Professor Zinn recently. Took 2 courses with him. He's the most non-strident Marxist I have ever met. His lecture style was thought-provoking and I always had the feeling he considered it possible he was wrong. He graded generously without penalty for not being a Marxist or refusing to parrot back the Marxist twaddle of the day. The only people I ever saw him mock or rebuke were those blatantly toadying to him.

11/25/2006 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Al-Qaeda's last stand in Anbar

This is good news, that the Sunnis are turning against Al Qaeda. That is why I don't believe Islamofacism will ever take hold on a large scale. It is so brutal that Muslims who have to live under it quickly revolt against it.

11/25/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wu wei quoted: The proper application of force is a critical component to any successful counterinsurgency
operation. In a counterinsurgency, the center of gravity is public support.

In order to defeat an insurgent force, US forces must be able to separate insurgents from the population.


Agreed, but I would like to make a point, if you may.

What if the population is complicit in harbouring, sympathising and even aiding the insurgents? Sectarianism itself is predicated on the basis of an irrational hatred, and the probability that a Shiite death squad sent from al-Sadr or SCIRI will be silently acquiesced with - or blatantly supported - by Shiites is about the same as a Sunni death squad receiving zealous support from the Sunnis.

Doesn't that make everyone guilty?

How then, do we differentiate between instigators and the brainwashed?

Is this distinction even necessary if both are just as willing and eager to wreak havoc and fuel the endless cyclic violence?

Can the disillusioned be convinced to reject sectarianism when their fellow friends are being killed day after day in greater scores?

We are, after all, human beings with undeveloped capacities about how to suppress our baser instinct, our destructive passions; how to transcend our primitive side in order to achieve that higher self, of infallible morality, of optimum rationality, of unquestionable impartiality.

Perhaps we are asking too much of the Iraqi people as of now?

11/25/2006 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

re: "All that happened 11-7-2006 is that the historic Congressional electoral pattern reasserted itself"

This is music to the Democrat Party's ears, assuring them continued victories.

Try taking a look at the comments of John Podhoretz, probably the most diehard true believer alive today. He foresees a generation in the politcial wilderness absent substantive changes.

11/25/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

3case,

Sorry, I failed to link to an author familiar to you, who on one occasion believed the Republicans had their heads up the colon.

3case said

11/25/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

allen wrote:

" He foresees a generation in the politcial wilderness absent substantive changes. "

ohmigod what melodrama. We've gone from a permanant Repub domination to a generation in the wilderness. It is a two pary system for god's sake with both parties fighting for a perceived middle while incredibly beholden to the masters with the cash.

11/25/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger istarious said...

Buddy,

GWB sold himself as a straight talking Texan Cowboy.

11/25/2006 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

And won against Al Gore, who sold himself as a straight talking Tennessee Vice president, and then against John Kerry, who sold himself as a straight talking Massachusetts Senator. All reports based on straight talking reporters reporting to us straight talking voters.

11/25/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger istarious said...

I guess the electorate gets the politician they deserve.

11/25/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Interesting twist of Patton's words but I don't think it works.

General Patton also said:
No poor soldier ever won a war by dying for his country. He won the war by making the other poor soldier die for his country. That's why we should follow the standard US Army counterinsurgency tactics in Iraq, instead of continuing to fight it like World War II.


We are not fighting Iraq like WW2. Had we fought it like WW2 Baghdad would have been totally flattened along with every single major city. There would be no talk of cold rooms being torture, no talk of Marines being courtmartialed for administering the Coup de Grace to the enemy.

If we had been fighting the war like we fought WW2 there wouldn't be enough enemy left to worry about. Iran would not be supplying arms and training to terrorists and neither would Syria. We are not the strong horse...we are the bumbling Giant who apologizes for all of his actions.

After losing 3,000 of our citizens we went hat in hand begging to be allowed to clean up those who threatened us. No we have not fought anything like WW2 we have fought like cowards who don't believe they have the right to defend themselves. And no I am not talking about the Military I am talking about the politicians.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just want to point out these comments have nothing to do with what I wrote, or what I believe. In fact I don't think I've ever seen anyone anywhere say that we should fight without killing large numbers of enemy.

So then having them magically die tomorrow would not fix the problem. So then you advocate not killing them...or do you perhaps believe that we can convince them not to be Islamists?

Even if all the Islamists magically died today, new ones would be "born" tomorrow as people converted to it. That is why we need counter-insurgency fighting, to win over those Muslims who don't support Al Qaeda yet.

The most committed Islamists have been those who know our culture the best. It is exactly what we have to offer that sets their teeth on edge.

11/25/2006 08:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A ceasefire in the Gaza Strip has come into force, with the Palestinians halting rocket attacks into Israel.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas won a commitment from all militant groups to stop the attacks, while Israeli PM Ehud Olmert agreed to halt hostilities.

Israel said all its troops withdrew from Gaza before the ceasefire took effect, five months after its military re-entered the Strip.

BBC correspondents say the agreement is unexpected and a major development.

The United States has welcomed what a White House spokesman called "a positive step forward".

[...]The ceasefire came into effect at 0600 (0400GMT) on Sunday.

The BBC's Alan Johnston in Gaza says it seems Mr Abbas phoned his opposite number on Saturday evening to say he had agreement from all Palestinian factions that they would stop their rocket fire.

There is a signed agreement between Mr Abbas, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya and all the Palestinian factions, a spokesman said.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli prime minister, Miri Eisin, told the BBC that Mr Olmert had agreed that Israeli forces would not initiate any offensive action after that time.

But she said Mr Olmert had made it clear that it might take some time to pull all Israeli troops out of the Gaza Strip if the ceasefire held.

However, shortly after the ceasefire took effect, the Israeli army confirmed that all its troops had left.

"There are no forces now in Gaza," said a military spokesman quoted by Reuters news agency.

Ms Eisin said Mr Olmert believed this was a chance to achieve stability and one that Israel could not miss.

The BBC's Simon Wilson in Jerusalem says that although there has been talk of a possible ceasefire in recent weeks, such a direct acknowledgement from the Israeli prime minister's office comes as a surprise.

Officials have indicated in the past that they do not believe Mr Abbas has the power to enforce a ceasefire among Palestinian groups, he says.


Another ceasefire. Looks like Hamas, al-Aqsa and Palestinian Jihad ran out of rockets and had to deal with Hezbollah's delayed cargo this week after all the ruckus in Lebanon after Gemayel's assassination.

It's time to restock the ammunition.

11/25/2006 09:06:00 PM  

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