It is no stretch to say there is a great deal
of backward thinking in Washington, D.C., but maybe there should be just a little
more. Instead of making a plan that will maybe, possibly, hopefully, by some
chance bring about victory, it is useful to start at the end and work our way
back to see how we can get there.
Imagine first what you consider "winning" to be, because if you do not even
know what winning means then how can you win? Winning this so-called war
has already happened. Mission
accomplished. Combat operations were wrapped up by May
1, 2003. There were no
WMDs. Do you think we would have invaded if there were? Saddam Hussein was
but not before his sons were slaughtered.
That was a win, or was it?
"Winning" somehow morphed
into having a democratic Iraq which would happily vote for leaders who will
agree with the U.S. and Israel on all issues, basically a puppet
government that will ensure the free flowing oil, graciously pumped out
by American companies
(for a small fee), and provide a staging base for future wars with Iran or any
other potential belligerent. Therefore, to win you must either change
people's minds so that they will willingly follow your policies or else you
must inspire fear in them to cower before your military might. It is classic
Machiavelli, love or fear, whatever works. Either you have a U.S.-loving
Iraqi public or you have a brutal "regime"
that will crush anyone who objects to the puppet government taking that pro-U.S./Israel
position on behalf of its differently-minded people. So which Machiavellian
method was chosen?
While all the "freedom
talk" would suggest "love," the facts seem to indicate otherwise.
What are the chances that a bunch of 18-19-20 year-old kids from small
towns are going to inspire love and adoration walking around like freakish
space with guns, kicking
in the occasional door,
running over the occasional pedestrian and/or car with their giant
armored (if lucky) military vehicles, molesting
the occasional innocent prisoner in the old Abu Ghraib? Pretty slim.
Now one thing that the U.S. had going for it was that the Shi’ites and Kurds
had been getting the second-class treatment for all these years, so anybody
new seemed like a good idea at first. However, that good will did not
last long for obvious reasons as mentioned above. Add that to the
fact that these are the same Americans who have already blown
the country to hell for 10-15
years plus imposed the sanctions that led to 500,000+ Iraqi kids dying
unnecessarily (or necessarily
if you ask Albright). So love is out, fear is the only way left, and that
is what has been tried all along. You don't toe the line, you get picked
up by the military and never seen again or a bomb
falls on your house or else you leave the country for Syria or Jordan or
some other neighbor.
Congratulations, we have our goal, which we now admit is to brutalize the people and get them to follow the path we want for them. How is that working out? Umm, not so well. They are fighting back, against the military that spends as much as most of the rest of the world combined. And maybe the Shi’ites get some weapons from Iran, maybe the Sunnis get some from Saudi Arabia, either way the U.S. military ostensibly controls what moves in and out of the country as best they can so you can be sure it is no cakewalk to get the weapons. Yet somehow people are still finding the will to create IEDs and shoot down helicopters and snipe at soldiers on patrol. Kind of like the colonists would have done here to the British in the 1770s if it had been 2007 instead. People don't want to be told what to do, especially by outsiders who don't respect or know the culture or even speak the language.
So how are we doing on that goal now, how do the prospects for a win look?
Can the U.S. military break the will of the Iraqi people? Not so far. If enough
of the bravest among them ("bad guys" in militaryspeak) are killed,
can this somehow be accomplished without creating a whole new crop of brave
people who are even angrier about the killing of the last generation?
Maybe if you drop a nuke
on every city and just kill everyone there, would that help? Don’t
say you haven’t heard some halfwit suggest it. Then the oil is radioactive and
you can't use the land for a megabase anymore. You didn't help your "homeland
security" any by annihilating millions, not that it was in jeopardy anyway.
But we must persevere to win! Defeat would embolden the enemy! After all, when we lost Vietnam the next 26 years were hell. Even Grenada invaded us, or something like that. If only "winning" was defined by the masses as killing the most people, we could never lose. Unfortunately for our leaders, the American people are not there yet.