Monday, February 12, 2007

The unwinnable war

Not too long ago, the Hippie Conservative wrote an interesting post challenging his readers to question whether the world was becoming increasingly anti-Semitic. In talking to him, I commented that I believed that the world’s hostility toward Israel was the product of (1) its connection to the United States (since most of the Middle Eastern world can’t stand us, it makes sense that they hate Israel as much) and (2) Israel’s proclamation that they are God’s chosen people; which – to others – implies that everybody else is out of God’s grace and favor. My theories aside, I can’t help but to carry a great deal of sympathy for Israel. Being only a half century removed from one of history’s great atrocities, they've found themselves engaged in a bloody battle over land, struggles over sovereignty, and have been targeted to be "wiped off the map" by Iran. Together, these things can help in rationalizing the need that Israel may have for seeking retribution.

Interestingly, America was equally as justified after the tragedy of 9/11. However (yep. Here it comes…), I have to ask: what’s the point in seeking reprisal against an enemy military that can't even be detected?

People have been patting Bush on the back for his immediate response to Afghanistan after 9/11. I suppose that the praise would be warranted. (*Note* This is one of the only times you’ll ever hear me give it up to this president. So don't get used to it). From Afghanistan, we were able to create new language to justify all of the nonsense that proceeded that initial conflict. We coined the phrase “The War on Terror”.

The War on Terror.

Even if we're able to dismiss the sheer lunacy behind fighting a war against a tactical concept (Which is exactly what “terrorism” is. Let’s keep it real.), and sell this as a war against insurgents; the fact remains: this is a war that we cannot win. “Winning” a war implies that a general, a major, or some high ranking military officer waves a white flag of surrender and his army lays down their weapons in defeat. Do you honestly think that will ever happen here?!

The process that we’re taking in Iraq is similar to what Israel has been trying to do for half a century now: fighting in lop-sided wars with losing results. While “insurgent” groups (interesting word choice since the term ‘insurgency’ tends to empower people) are hiding in houses, strategizing, and executing plans amongst their own people, we’re responding to them like we would if we fighting uniformed Germans during WWII. Strategies like this spell – in bold letters – FAILURE. Army experts are quick to point this out. Why hasn’t the government? Perhaps the better question is: does the government even care that this war is unwinnable? One of the problems is: the tactics that we’re using in this assymetrical conflict are causing more barriers than they're removing. With every bomb dropped and every assault taken, the liklihood of killing civilians increases. Think about it: if al Quada, Hezebollah, and Hamas don’t have clearly identifiable military outfits/bases, and most of the combat is done in populated areas, civilian deaths will be high (all the more reason why the U.S. won’t release civilian death tolls). Killing citizens and ‘insurgents’, as the Germans and the Japanese learned sixty years ago, does nothing for the war effort but create more soliders. Terrorists feed off of the lop-sided assaults we make on their land and on their population.

If this war is unwinnable, what then do you propose Andre? First, I would suggest that we stop approaching this conflict like we would’ve in WWII. I think that our country was so spoiled from victory in the “great campaign” of WWII that we've tried to model all of our subsequent conflicts from that war. We need to stop responding terrorism militarily. This tactic failed for Russia during the Chechnya conflict (you remember that, right?!). It continues to fail in the conflict between Israel and Hezebollah. Why should we expect different results in doing the same thing? Didn’t Albert Einstein define that as insanity?

Since it’s clear that responding to terrorism militarily won’t work, why not try to approach it as an issue of law enforcement instead? Similar to how the UK responded to the Irish Republican Army; using law enforcement practices against terrorism can be effective. Doing so may allow for us to remove ourselves from “negotiating” with terrorists networks while also solving some of the problems we face in the region. For the UK; this method led to an eventual cease-fire with their neighbors from the North. But, even more notably, it shifts the balance of power and allows for independent states to accomplish self-determination; one of the things lacking in this war, and one of the things that creates more and more insurgents each day.

If the feds can bring down notoriously deadly groups like the Mafia without using military force and resources, why not employ those same tactics against the equally deadly and clandestine groups against whom we’re fighting now? Instead, we’re relying on an overly-expensive, massively depleted military that continues to lose (in both $$$ and lost lives) to fight against a bunch of guerrillas.

It’s clear that Vietnam has taught us nothing.


14 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

Perez said...

Lessons of Vietnam? What about the lessons of World War II? I will kill all the Jews? Can we say Hitler and Nut job Pres. of Iran?

Now let me praise you before I pick apart what you said and give my two cents: You write well and you are very intelligent. Okay, that being said-

I agree about why everyone hates Israel. I really do. I, on the other hand, don't think that the people in Israel are only G-d people. Every Jew is, but not just in Israel. The fight over the land pisses me off because my messiah has not came yet and so Israel shouldn't really be there anyways. El will spend the messiah and he will show us where to go and will fight for Israel. However Israel is there because the stupid U.N. made it and that's fine.-

Again I agree this war is unwinnable by the way it is being fought now. I read you link to the war with Russia and Chechnya. You make a good point on the law enforcement and how you think it will work. I kind of agree. Some people in the middle east do not want to help American. We are god-less and pigs to them.-

I like how you call Bush lame. I laugh at it, but still think he will be named a great president some day over the rainbow. Why do you think American should stop its nuke program? Talking to any Muslim country will not help because they will lie to you and say they will stop whatever it is, but yet when they get back home they do what they want. The radicals say it is okay to lie if they are doing it in the name of their god. This is dangerous and how can American win facing that?

Shalom-Take care-perez

The H.C. said...

Hey Dre,
Well, first off that's at least the SECOND time I've read you praise G.W.. Remember after the SOTU speech when you called him "brilliant"? Now on to your larger point. This war IS winnable if you don't care what tactics we us. Period. We could turn the whole place into glass if we wanted to. There would definately be a price to pay and it may not be feasible, but we COULD do it. You should also consider that every country that has ever been taken over in the history of man from the Persians to the Ottomans has had to deal with an "insurgency" and most all were defeated with brutal tactics such as killing their entire families if they were involved. It's only been in recent history, Vietnam for the U.S., Afghanistan for the Russians, that insurgencies were successful for the first time. The Allies destoyed the German "Werewolf" insurgency after WWII ( and Russia had some level of "insurgency" in every country it converted to communism which it destoyed. In order destroy a "Thought" as you like to put it. You simply make that thought a crime. In Cuba, block presidents (think Nazi SS) can have you arrested simply for suggesting capitalism might not be bad. What you are really saying is that freedom and a suppressed insurgency can not co-exist and on that you are correct. But even Saddam was capable of suppressing his "insurgency" of Kurds and Shites for 40 years with brutality, so to suggest it can't be done is fallacious. This is a problem that Liberals have to deal with. On one hand they want Iraq to be sovereign and to have it's own culture. But on the other hand they want us to impose our morality on them when it comes to how they deal with their different sects and the problems that causes. You have to make up you mind. Are they sovereign and get to handle things the way they are used to? Or do we impose our will on them and our system of justice. You can't have both. Great post!

Greeneyes said...

HEllo Handsome ,
Gosh , I think I will stand back , behind you of course but far back waiting for the riots LMAO .
The war , well it will never be won as there is no winner in it ,period . My personal opinion , it is past all the human lives as far as politics is concerned ,that is just collateral
damage to the DIRECTORS, they are after the big prize and it is not winning the war but obtaining the liquid gold , either in exchange ,debt or flat out , I see Bush as an oil Tycoon , he just doesn't care where he gets it !The rest is like a chess game unfortunately .I do understand there is alot more detail in the acts of war ,especially with the connection to 9/11 , but have always felt Bush had a different hidden agenda .

Now , I am running and hiding behind you once again , please let me stay , thanks
Later gorgeous Gator

Cynthia said...

I agree with the other commenters (is that a word? LOL!) here. I don't get entirely get the idea behind the 'my messiah hasn't come yet' reference from Pere (are you referring to the Second coming or a FIRST coming?), but I agree with HC and Greeneyes.

This war has become so much of a mess that the only chance of victory comes with literally destroying the entire nation. As long as a Muslim breathes, they'll remember all the killing and the cover-up that has been going on courtesy of Bush, his cabinent, and his wealthy oil buddies. They'll always remember how our nation uses our service men to carry out its will of forcing our ideology on others.

KC said...

Hey Dre, I was watching the news the other day and I heard about John Howard, the prime minister (or is he a president?) of Austrailia who made the comment about al-Qaeda wanted Obama to win in '08. I guess he thinks that Obama is soft on terror. Did you catch it? That story was funny and sad at the same time.

saved sinner said...

It's a shame that most of the country is now against Bush, yet we all STILL just toss our hands in the air and allow for billions of dollars and thousands of lives to be wasted in Iraq, with more on the way in Iran. Bush needs to be impeached and funding for this nonsense (good word, Andre) needs to be cut.

I thought there was a balance of power that was supposed to prevent the travesty we see occurring in the Middle East. If Congress cannot contain this maniac, we need to vote all of them out the next election and try to restore our country to normalcy. Now, it will take us several generations to recover from the injuries of this administration.

Joslyn said...

Hey Perez,

I'm slow but....

Are you Jewish?


Anonymous said...

My views on this are probably less popular than any other view I have (that I know of anyway).

I think that America's response to the war in Iraq is typical of the irresponsibility that plagues our culture.

I though we shouldn't be going to war with Iraq before it was fashionable to think so, I disliked Bush before it was the cool thing to do.

But we have made our bed, and I think now we should lay in it.

Like George said, we had to decide. Either let them do it how they want, or we have to do it how we want.

We've already made our decision: that we want them to do it our way. But just like a teen father, we have decided that the consequences of sticking our thing where it didn't belong is more than we want to deal with, and think that it would be ok to cut our losses now by dropping out.

What we really need to do is step up and finish it, despite the investment it would take.

Anonymous said...

I also thought I'd share with you all: The thought that America would criticize another country for getting involved in our political affairs makes me vomit from the hypocrisy.

Yes I mean Australia.

Perez said...

Yes, Joslyn, I am Jewish

Joslyn said...

Thanks Perez!

It's all coming together for me now. :)

As you can tell, I'm not that familiar with the Jewish religion or culture

Greeneyes said...

Hello My Greeneyed Handsome KING!
~a ~ little ~off~ topic ~~~

It is Officially Valentines day here and I wanted to be the first to ask
To a real Sweetheart :
Wishing you a wonderful passion filled day ,and your hearts delight .x

ajbendaƱa said...

Bush Blows! We are now going to be sending 20,000 more troops. God bless them.

Perez said...

Is it okay if I add you to my links?