One of those long comments I tend to write at neo-neocon’s blog. It is a good brainstorming blog to read/write in.
I differ with John Moulder on some things, resulting in a slightly different conclusion than the one he had written. I, myself, do see the dangers, setbacks, and reality in similar terms as John Moulder, but I consider the situation in its entirety, and thus because of that, my conclusion is not nearly as pessimistic as his is.
But first, a note to Neo-Neo. Thanks for the link on the Japanese suicide squadrons and their creation, the letters of those pilots were both enlightening, enjoyable, and very consistent with what I had seen in Japanese Anime.
And then I’m afraid there’ll be an awful lot of sleepwalking and handwashing to be done.
I’m afraid there will also be a lot of dieing to do, as in, on the part of Americans.
Iran, North Korea, Syria, they ain’t gonna go away like the Soviet Union with arms treaties, and stacking Pershing missiles on top of nuclear silos and stealth bombers.
As we see in Europe, the Islamics are not collapsing, by any standard of reason. In fact, it is the West collapsing, and notably it is the Western nations with nuclear capabilities that are collapsing in on itself.
Compare this with the fact that the Soviet Union disappeared because it collapsed in on itself, through a revolutionary grassroots movement. And what is Islamic suicide bombers but a revolutionary grassroots movement?
What this tells me, is that unlike the end result of Vietnam, the end result of a failure in Iraq due to pullout will be 1 or 3 orders of magnitude greater in effect.
The dominoe theory to justify Vietnam wasn’t justified, but the theory that communism is in itself defunct, was justified, and we saw that when the communists took over Vietnam. So, while the world saw the US defeated, they also saw that when the US gets defeated, the Four Horsemen reigns supreme.
Not so with Iraq. With Iraq, it is the centerpoint of our strategy. Crucial in a way, that Vietnam never was. If it fails, people will get the blame, and it won’t be Bush. But it doesn’t really matter who gets the blame, the damage would have been done.
If we are unable to acquire a mobile assault force, as either sepoys or proxy fighters, in the form of Iraqi or Afghanistani patriots and nationals, then there ain’t nobody else that is going to fight for us in a high casualty environment.
Since we gave up on the Iraqis, the Iraqis who are much less casualty sensitive, will give up on us. And the only people we can then push into the fire would be U.S. troops, which would already be non-feasible given our sensitivity to casualties.
This war would turn into a defensive one, allowing the terroists to get in the first blow with whatever weapons they will want to acquire.
And without Iraq, the dictators, the Iranians, and etc will be giving Al-Qaeda everything they got.
And it won’t be Spain, Britain, or France that’ll get hit, it’ll be a weakened, defensive, utterly sleeping America.
We’ll be doing the dieing, not in the thousands, but in the hundreds of thousands.
It would be as if the government incited a nuclear holocaust with the Soviet Union. The damage would be irreversible.
Not only would this hurt America’s honor, but it would truly leave us alone in the world, with neither allies nor friends. Our enemies cannot trust us, our friends do not dare trust us.
This would either turn America into “Fortress America” isolationist to the core, and leave this world forever in darkness, ignorance, and injustice. Or it would turn America into something truly frightening and unlimited in our limits. A non-benevolent America, someone that overreacts because they have no other choice and no one else to count upon.
This would mean we would win, but I am uncertain whether a victory born from suffering hundreds of thousands of casualties in order to make America “less” casualty sensitive, is such a great triumph.
This is of course, the consequences of failure. As to the nature of what is going on “now”, however, that is something quite different.
John Moulder writes that America is now casualty sensitive and weak, with a few IEDs. But that isn’t quite true. The nature of American casualty sensitivity is not disputed, what is disputed is how much propaganda the enemy itself is wielding against America. Given the preponderance of evidence that neither the military, the civilian administration, nor the Republican party are undermining enemy propaganda, domestic and foreign, that 40% of America still supports the war is amazingly good.
It pays to know who is weak, and who are consistent and strong. In a fight, you want anyone who tends to run away, to run away now.
It really isn’t a few IEDs, car bombings, and whatever. It is a national, and a trans-national propaganda campaign. In Vietnam it worked, callusion between communists in Vietnam and communists in the US.
Politics make strange bedfellows. Progressives now ally themselves with Islamic terror. With Islamic terror, we can jail, execute, or otherwise terminate with extreme prejudice. With political progressives, that option doesn’t seem feasible.
That makes their alliance very effective. We should expect setbacks given the strength of such an alliance.
To know thy enemy. And not face his strengths.
A few snipers, a few car-bombs, a few suicide terrorists wearing explosive vests, a few roadside bombs & a little patience, that’s all it takes to defeat the USA.
A person called Dan Rather, everyone at CBS, a few people at NBC, with a few CNN guys, and Reuters, the AP, France, Germany, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran is all it takes to cause Americans to question herself. OH ya, don’t forget Pakistani tribes. UN bureacrats. New York elites. The ACLU. The Judicial system of the United States. Don’t forget George Soros funneling money into pro-terroist propaganda machines and 527s.
All it takes is a little bit of the above to make America doubt herself. So no, it isn’t a little bit of IEDs, snipers, and roadside bombs only. What is surprising is that America didn’t cave in 2004, you know, before the Purple Finger meaty eaters?
It is a false perspective of the attack on America, and false perspectives destroy morale. False perspectives are the only things that destroy morale actually.
There is a rather big difference between my perspective and someone that has almost given up. I recognize the seriousness of the situation, but I do not recognize the futility of it.
A warrior does not give up. The warrior philosophy is not a light burden. Duty, honor, loyalty, those are not things believed in lightly or taken as jokes by me.
I take my duty to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic, quite seriously. I honor the truth, and I honor the loyalty the Iraqis have shown us as they fight and die for their beliefs.
America cannot get any stronger without being tested in the furnace of war. And war means despair, war means weakness, war means people will break, psychologically and physically. Losing a part of themselves, whether that is a part of their soul or a part of their leg.
Most Americans have not been prepared to face psychological propaganda and intimidation, most Americans have not been prepared through their lives to deal with death, suffering, and ruthlessness.
Americans go about their daily lives, dealing with mundane issues. Finances, college, jobs. We leave war to the warriors and the politicians.
What has gone wrong in the dawning of the 21st century is simple. We may want to leave war to specialists, but our enemies want to bring war to us, the civilians, personally.
This requires the public to toughen up. And you will only toughen up a public, by straining it to the breaking point.
The public, like people and military units recruited from Iraq, needs tempering and testing. Sometimes they will break, and that is sad, but far better for them to break now, when the stakes are low, than for them to break when we really require strength for survival.
This isn’t a survival issue for me and you, I remind everyone. It is a survival issue only for Iraqis, Afghanistanis, terroists, and our military troops in the theater.
And we do see what happens to the Iraqis when their survival is at stake. They turn from a bunch of idiots who ran off just about 2 years ago, to a bunch of combat hardened veterans. To get stronger in war, you’ll take casualties in war.
It is a fact I know, and have accepted. But there is no despair, because if that is how the world works, that is how it works. Orders are orders, you follow them as best you can.
Our military has been hardened for just this conflict. American civilians have not. Therefore it is neither surprising to me, nor depressing, that America is losing public support. The terroists are using their strong point, to attack our weak point. They do not attack the Marine Corps, and what attacks they do committ have no effect, simply because to defeat a Marine Corps unit you must destroy that unit down to the last man.
But a civilian is even worse than a green, unexperienced, soldier. In that a civilian doesn’t expect to suffer casualties, he doesn’t expect the enemy to target him, he does not expect it and he is not prepared to face the consequences.
But Americans are flexible, and they are courageous. When it counts. As it did in Flight 93, and as it does in Iraq. And of course, Bush won’t be in office forever. What we need is a President that will finish a war, a Harry S. Truman. Bush was the President that began this war, and began it well. But he will not be remembered for finishing, oh no, and that is why he cannot help us finish it. Accept that fact, but don’t despair of it.
I find it a curious fact that it is in fact the Mil Bloggers, soldiers blogging on the internet, that is probably keeping the public support at around 40% for the war. Or maybe even 50%.
The morale of our troops is good, no one need worry about their morale, it is American morale everyone worries about. For good reason. A soldier who thinks he can’t do anything about public opinion, and worries that he might be fighting for his fellow citizens, and his fellow citizens doesn’t support him in the doing… will have lower morale. But soldiers are trained to fight under low morale.
Civilians are not. We need encouragement from the soldiers and our leaders, and we do get that if not from our leaders, then someone else. And it does help. Far more than the soldiers probably realize.
If America fails, it will not be because I believed America lacks strength, values, and honor. If America fails, either in the short term or the long term, it will simply be because our enemies were better than us.
A superpower that losses the war, and the battle, deserves not the responsibility nor the power bestowed upon them. That would be our fate.
The dawn of the 21st century will determine if the United States is worthy of being the world’s lone superpower.
That may be depressing, but I tend to look at it as an opportunity, to grow. To reach our limits, and to exceed them, for it is not part of the American cultural fabric to believe in something we cannot do.
Just as it is not in the Japanese culture to believe that a person need not do their duty.
Just as it is not in the French culture, to believe in peace through superior firepower.
People who want to give up, should give up now, lest we require their assistance somewhere down the line and they are unable to give it.
But if you want to fight, you’d better steel yourself to fight to the end. Only from that, may determination spring. Leave yourself an escape route, some justification for why we will lose… and you might as well become part of the rout. Because humans are infinitely capable of self-rationalization, it is best not to think of any.
Vega, tell the people you work, that we’re onto them.