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The changing road to victory

Throughout the history of warfare, the way to win has been a constantly-evolving dynamic. Early on, it was simple: you won when you had either killed all your enemies, or enough of them that they gave up. It was expensive, but it usually was decisive. One won by destroying the enemy's ability to wage war.

As warfare grew more and more sophisticated, however, other ways of achieving victory that didn't involve wholeslaughter developed. Fighting wars began to require not just masses of bodies, but weapons and tools and equipment. Whole industries grew up solely to support a nation's war efforts. And a second vulnerability was introduced -- one could win by attacking those means of support. One now could win by destroying the enemy's ability to sustain war.

During the American Civil War, the North successfully blockaded the South, preventing them from obtaining weapons and other supplies of war from Europe. They also prevented the South from exporting its own goods, shattering its economy. That, combined with the industrial might of the North, made the South's defeat inevitable.

During both World Wars, Germany attempted to blockade England via submarine -- and very nearly succeeded in starving out the British. The Allies practiced it even more successfully, combining mass bombing of industrial resources (against both Germany and Japan) and waging war against Japan's merchant fleet. There, in one of the most unsung victories of the war, our submarines managed to utterly destroy Japan's ability to import natural resources and carry munitions away from the home islands, leading to their inevitable defeat.

In Korea, this simply wasn't feasible. The sources of production were too far away from the battlefield (in the United States, China, and the Soviet Union) and not politically viable targets. The closest either side could come was in attacking the entry points of the munitions, but that was less than a stellar success. It boiled down into another old-fashioned war of attrition, that ended in a negotiated draw.

The same scenario played itself out in Viet Nam, and to early pundits seemed to be heading the same way. But then a new way of winning a war evolved. It was not possible to achieve victory by bypassing the actual combatants themselves and attack their support mechanisms. One could lose every single battle in a war, and still win, if one could get the enemy's populace to grow sick of the war and simply want it over. In brief, one could win a war by destroying the enemy's will to sustain the war.

This lesson was little noted by the superpowers, but carefully filed away by their lessers. But with the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States emerged as not a superpower, but the hyperpower -- the single nation in the world with a military that could not be beaten in war, and a support base that could not be crippled by any force on earth. With no hope of being able to destroy either the United States' ability to make war or sustain war, they fell back on the only strategy that had ever shown itself successful -- to attack the will of the American people to continue a fight.

It worked wonders for them. In Lebanon, a single suicide bomber in a truck drove out our forces. In Afghanistan, they discovered that this could also work against the Soviet Union. In Somalia, where a humanitarian relief mission devolved into peace-keeping, and then finally into peace-making, a few petty warlords discovered that by out-savaging us, they could turn enough American stomachs to get us to run away from there as well. The word quickly spread; if you kill enough Americans (but not too many), and seasoned it with a healthy dose of barbarity, you could get the Americans to leave you alone.

And that is what we are facing now in Iraq. There is no way our enemies can hope to defeat us militarily. Nor can they pose any threat to our ability to sustain our forces. And nearly all reliable reports indicate the morale of our forces in Iraq is very high, and the efforts in Iraq is overwhelmingly supported by the troops.

The only way our enemies can win is to attack and defeat the resolve of the American people to continue to support the war. It's a battle like no other in history, with no clearly-defined combatants or fields of battle.

(I had a personal experience with this tactic recently, in the comments section of another blog. I went in prepared to calmly argue facts and positions; I was greeted with vile invective and insults. I briefly gave in and fought back in kind, but I finally gave up in disgust. That's when it hit me; my opponent wasn't attacking my facts or style, but me personally, in an effort to discourage me from continuing the argument. He wasn't looking to win the argument on its merits, but to drive me off, and I was letting him.

It was what I've started calling the "chamberpot defense." When his position was attacked, my opponent so thoroughly befouled the argument that it simply became too vile to be worth fighting over. He won the argument, but he has to live with the mess he created in the process. It's related to the scorched-earth defense in war and the poison-pill defense in business.)

Will we win this attack on our will? I think so, but it's still up in the air. The re-election of President Bush and the gains made by his party in both Houses of Congress were a defeat for those opposing the war, but hardly decisive. It'll be years, I think, before we can look back and properly judge how the battle went.

J.


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Comments (42)

If it's any comfort, one of... (Below threshold)
Patrick Chester:

If it's any comfort, one of the individuals you were "debating" with, "A Phoenician in Roman Times" has slimed into many a blog's comments section.

Apparently, it's a professional troll. Predictable sometimes, or at least on one thread I noticed what his tactic was going for, called him on it, watched him deny it, then when another poster fell into his trap he did exactly what I predicted he was going to do.

I have no idea how to deal with dirt-eaters like this. Something tells me they enjoy dumping the chamberpot all over themselves.

Destroying the will of the ... (Below threshold)
John "Akatsukami" Braue:

Destroying the will of the enemy to wage war has been a tactic going back at least as far as Sun Tzu, and probably further. One way of accomplishing that has always been to kill anyone with that will.

The use of the Western mainline media in that contest was predicated on the American belief that, when they said that there were no good prospects for continuing a war, they were, if not correct, at least trying to make a best estimate. That belief has been demonstrated to be false in the past few years. Propaganda issued by and through those media will be largely discounted as such from now on.

This is precisely the point... (Below threshold)
chad:

This is precisely the point the President has been making. The only way the terrorists can win is if we let them. If the Iraqi elections go off on Jan 30th as planned we have hurt them. If they don't, the Iraqi Interim Govt has lost and the US has been dealt a major blow. I sont think it will take years to know how this battle is going I think it will take 1 year. If the Iraqis have a new constitution in place and final elections on schedule we have won. There wont be anyway short of an actual war for the Islamist to suceed. If this all takes place on schedule we may also see the destabilization of the Iranian theocracy to the point that they liberalize and rejoin the civilized world. I dont think they will completeky lose power .

Our biggest enemy in the at... (Below threshold)
Just Don:

Our biggest enemy in the attack on the will of the American people to sustain the war in Iraq (and, therefore, our biggest enemy in that war) is the Associated Press.

Anyone who believes they are being ignored is simply not reading the daily reports. All the bad, none of the good, day after day after day. This is wearing on even those of us who find alternate sources of information.

That "other blog comments s... (Below threshold)
-S-:

That "other blog comments section" seems to be a bed of trolls. Websites that allow that behavior aren't those I visit or return to, so the bell is tolling for THAT one, but as to you and what you wrote, it's moderate at best. You're right to conclude that it isn't what you wrote but that you were writing, and amidst others with obvious troubled psychology.

But, the toll spreads outward -- again, you are right about that -- and the effects are people become silent about issues of discussion that certain troubled persons strike out against and about. The "anti Americanism" so obvious on that other blog's comments section is actually the result of troubled personalities doing what they do: creating social disorder, striking out and harming anyone who wanders by or tries to interact.

It's no longer just a case of "trolling" but of people actually waging wars, so to speak, by defaming targeted others. You wonder why, but, it's a waste of time to wonder why some people destroy, and best to focus on how to limit their destructive reach.

If it wasn't the U.S. presence in Iraq, it'd be something else. And will be tomorrow, something else yet again. I think the most important thing is to be aware of who you congregate with, who your peers are and limit avenues of access to those who inflict harm. On a national level, it's the same thing, when you think about it.

...which also carries forwa... (Below threshold)
-S-:

...which also carries forward to the problem of, yes, the AP and others similar in media. Which is why many of us rely on other bloggers -- after exercising a bit of care as to which ones -- and not so much on the isolated and passive experience of sitting before a misleading and corrupt Dan Rather and such.

If someone hadn't mentioned... (Below threshold)
julie:

If someone hadn't mentioned it was the Phoenician, I wouldn't have known -- there are so many jerks posting there. But you can have the last laugh, Jay -- did you notice the Dean for DNC logo? Priceless!

"The only way our enemies c... (Below threshold)

"The only way our enemies can win is to attack and defeat the resolve of the American people to continue to support the war."

No, quite wrong. Our enemies can win the battle of ideas in their own country. The issue is not about killing every one of "them"-- like the insurgents are some static entity. Their ideas (Wahabbism/bin Ladenism) draw more recruits every day. The key is how to kill them in a manner so that prospective recruits aren't inspired to take their place. Unfortunately, so many dilemmas revolve around that problem that I think no one has a crisp, surefire answer.

But if the insurgents outmaneuver us on the ideological front by continually putting our military in no-win situations (read:Fallujah) they will continually regenerate and perhaps strengthen.

Whether they capture the will of the Iraqi people, and sour them on "freedom", "democracy" -- or whatever the hell they interpret us as selling-- is a thousand times more important to the terrorists than "hurting the resolve of the American people".

Remember Jay, these are fanatics. Even if America's collective resolve was adamantine, Islamists would still view us as soft, godless devils who are destined to lose. If the rest of Iraq is persuaded that America (not Zarqawi) is the real problem... well, it really won't matter what happened on the so-called "battlefields" against these guerillas.

I think you desire to connect leftists with the terrorists at every opportunity, as you do in the paranthetical above. Intellectually, that's rather a lazy compunction, and does you an analytical disservice. There are a thousand ways this Iraq misadventure could fall apart. Sorry, but not all of them can be collapsed merely into simplistic blame of the Left. However satisfying to you that thought might be, it's a wrongheaded assumption that does more to cloud the facts than reveal them.

Those commentors seem a lit... (Below threshold)

Those commentors seem a little bit like DU asshats.

I'm sorry for you and Paul, Jay, I hope you have fun?
Hah.

This discussion is quite su... (Below threshold)
Luke:

This discussion is quite surrealistic !

Right now, what we have on our hands is a country (U.S.A.) which has invaded and is occupying by force another country (Iraq). And there are been absolutely no justification for it : no WMDs, no threat, no defending, nothing !

So, this war is wrong, that simple ! The Iraqis are defending themselves against the U.S. invasion. And that will last as long as there will be occupation by foreign troops.

In history, all the "wrong wars" has always been lost. Why ? Because they were wrong.

This is a wrong war, and it will be lost. The only question is : when ? How many casualties will it take to end this madness ?

Until a majority of people realize that there is absolutely no "juste cause" behind this war, there will be no hope in sight. Believe me ...

And the "tactics" issue is quite irrelevant to the issue of this conflict. Even if the U.S. "nukes" them, I will be a defeat at the end ...

Wow, handwaving, bloody-shi... (Below threshold)
Patrick Chester:

Wow, handwaving, bloody-shirt waving and plenty of raw emoting in one disjointed package.

Thanks for providing an example and proving it could be done without profanity.

Luke. The ones fighting Ame... (Below threshold)

Luke. The ones fighting American Troops right now are NOT Iraqis, they are people from other countries that have come into Iraq to fight us.

A moderately successful ele... (Below threshold)
John:

A moderately successful election brings increased legitimacy to Iraqi government as not another US puppet. This new government will have the power to enable us to do more and act more quickly in places like falujah (if they choose).

There is one way the terrorists can win this war and its through the media. I'm sure media will take whatever hostilities happen on election day, large or small, and call it a disaster. I'm sure Jimmy Carter will throw his 2 cents in and declare the election invalid because of the lack of security or whatever.

I've become paranoid about the media & the left. They don't want success in Iraq because it will prove them wrong (or GB right). And by running around and screaming 'the sky is falling', they can give the terrorist what they need to be successful. They don't care if that condemns the Iraqi people to years of turmoil that don't have to happen.

And I'm not talking about not reporting the facts. I'm talking about the editorializing that's dressed up to look like facts.

Not all, Henry; some... (Below threshold)
John "Akatsukami" Braue:

Not all, Henry; some are the remnants of Saddam's Ba'athist apparat, hoping desperately to restore a regime where they can murder, rape, and loot at will, instead of being punished for these crimes.

This is why, contrary to the frantic desires of apologists for the fascist thugs of Ba'ath, the war has just cause, and overwhlemin support in Iraq. The Iraqi peoples may not love her, but they purely despise Ba'ath.

It isn't just foreign terro... (Below threshold)
John:

It isn't just foreign terrorists, nor Ba'athists hoping to get back to the good old days. It's also all the negative groups that Sadam surpressed along with the positive groups through his reign of terror.

Not to mention some Islamic Fundementalism incited by Iran (but that's been relatively quiet recently).

Yes I have noticed the tact... (Below threshold)

Yes I have noticed the tactic in blog conversations quite often.

It can be applied to more than just vile filth spewing onto your cornea. It can also contain the "lie until they get tired of pointing out and fact checking every lie" tactic. Which eventually wears down the desire to debate of even the most die hard fan of political discourse.

Or the long winded sermons from the mount. Huge manuscripts that take over an hour to read, just to decipher it answers nothing, defends nothing, but merely changes the subject onto a safer one for the debater.

And being a fair open minded individual I am willing to point out that both sides use all three of these tactics to their advantage on many of their privately owned web pages. Both right and left, bending the rules, or using tactics to avoid actually reliance on facts.

Much as the issue of tsunami disaster. How the left ignores it or blocks aid. To the right discounting, or not counting the death count in Iraq. Would seem both are viable questions. But each sides takes a stand behind their question while refusing to own up to the other.

John:Success in Ir... (Below threshold)
r.a.:

John:

Success in Iraq: I find it strange that you believe that people who are against the war are only acting out of self interest. Maybe some people just plain disagree with the course that we have taken, is that possible? What you are putting forth is the idea that anyone who is against this war is somehow aiding terrorists?

I personally dont care about being proved wrong or right, and i dont give a damn about proving Bush wrong or right. In my opinion, if helping the Iraqi people is the goal of the US, then we are going about things in the wrong way.

The elections. It would be great if somehow all of the parties involved came to the table and voted. But thats not happening, and the majority of the Sunnis arent going to be a part. Some people may say "Oh well tough shit for them" but realistically if 20 percent of the population has no say in the construction of the new government, then how is it going to last? I hope that somehow things will settle, but I doubt it. The Sunnis have alot of power in that country, and it seems logical that they would create some severe problems for any government that tries to rule Iraq.

I'm not saying that I dont want things to work there. Whats going on right now would be like an election in which 20 percent of Americans boycotted. That would be about 54 million people, which is a large chunk. Not good. Now add to that the fact that the 20 percent has alot of military strength, and there is a real problem. How can that just magically come to a peaceful settlement?

I dont blame the right or the left or the media for whats happening in Iraq. Read the history of the region in the last 20 or so years. Hussein came into power around 1977 right? And he was as violent and repressive as any dictator.

In the 1980s, Iraq went through a brutal 8 year war with Iran. At the end of the war, both sides were severely damaged.

Hussein made a stupid move in 1990 when he tried to take Kuwait by force (to try to solve some of his economis issues among other things), and he was immediately pummeled by the US lead military strike. The US caught some flak for being a little excessive, but then turned back before heading into Baghdad. The Shia population rose up against Hussein and was severely crushed after the US left.

Then Iraq went through 12 years of UN sanctions and Hussein rule. Of course, Hussein was living fine as his people were starving and living in poverty, being a dictator and all. The Iraqi people paid a high price.

Then the US decides to invade and go after Hussein. Many Iraqi people hated the guy and were glad to see him go. Some liked him, but many probably didnt care. So after 20 so years of warfare and sanctions and poverty, here comes another goddamn war. The US says its there to help, but many civilians are getting killed. The US isnt trying to kill civilians, but its war, and thats what happens: people die. Maybe it just looks like more of the same to many Iraqis, as they see war tear up their country again.

Severely repressed populations are a good place to find radicalized people. It happens alot. Radical groups often counter dictators or autocrats. Iran, Nicaragua, Cuba, etc. We (the US) has taken the dictator out of the picture, but we are now the enemy for a radical resistance. They want us OUT. In my opinion we are now fueling more radicalism with every civilian death that occurs. Its a trap in a way.

I'm not saying that the US is trying to kill civilians on purpose, I am saying that it is happening and seems to be creating strong resistance. I would get pissed off if some military force killed my family. But thats just me.

I think that all we have done is bring more warfare to a people who have had enough of it.

Does that mean that I dont want success in Iraq John? Does it mean that I am anti-American because I dont believe that what we are doing is actually doing any good, and that I believe that it may be doing the exact opposite?

sorry for the long post...<... (Below threshold)
r.a.:

sorry for the long post...

Some people may say "Oh wel... (Below threshold)
Mark Flacy:

Some people may say "Oh well tough shit for them" but realistically if 20 percent of the population has no say in the construction of the new government, then how is it going to last?

Well, we've lasted over 140 years after the elections of 1864. The people in the states comprising the Confederate States of America didn't vote in that election, now did they? For that matter, it isn't us that are preventing some of the Sunnis from voting.

'In history, all the "wrong... (Below threshold)
Lee:

'In history, all the "wrong wars" has always been lost. Why ? Because they were wrong.'

Take the needle out of your arm, ok?

First of all, winners write the history books. Whoever loses is going to be labeled as wrong by the side that wins.

Second of all, I can think of many wars where moral superiority didn't ammount to a squirt of piss. If you don't believe me, go spend some time on an indian reservation and ask the people there if they think being right means anything in a test of might.

From what you've written its pretty clear that you suffer from the fairy-tale delusions that are a common malady of lefties, and especially of those under the age of 30. In a way you and the rest of your crowd are lucky that we're in Iraq because otherwise you'd have to really stretch your imaginations to find some way to vilify Bush. A military conflict in a foreign country gives you plenty to whine about. It makes it easy to expand and reinforce the quasi-religious dogma behind the cult of "Bush is EVIL!" that the left is progressively devolving into.

What will you do after this is all over? If a Republican is elected president in 4 years, what will you have to complain about? What excuses will you have to demonize him? Everyone knows that the first tenet of the Democrats/Left-wing is that the Republicans/Right-wing is wrong, wrong, wrong. The fact that they are wrong is not tied to anything they say or do, but is a core aspect of their identity, at least as viewed from the left. To be conservative is to be wrong, end of story. For the left to convince those who are not so enlightened that they can see the wrongness of the right-wing without having to rely on things like facts or even objective reality is not easy. The left is forced to find real world issues where fault can be found. The current conflicts makes that simple, but the left won't always have it so easy.

I imagine that as we terminate, execute, expunge, and eliminate our Islamic enemies and things begin to calm down we'll actually start seeing the left put forth pure fiction in its quest to vilify the right. It does this already of course, especially when the left talks to itself. The difference will be that with nothing real to twist to its advantage, the left will have nothing to serve up but rumor, innuendo and of course more of the same old invectives we see already. The left will spend whatever marginal and miniscule credibility it still has with the non-faithful very quickly and then it will implode. The CBS document fiasco is only but a precursor to what we will see in the future. I wonder how many lefties will throw themselves off tall buildings or immolate themselves in public when the inevitable collapse finally comes? More importantly, where can I buy tickets to see it?

This is the way your world ends
This is the way your world ends
This is the way your world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Well, we've lasted over ... (Below threshold)
r.a.:

Well, we've lasted over 140 years after the elections of 1864. The people in the states comprising the Confederate States of America didn't vote in that election, now did they?

Mark:

Intersting time period for you to bring up. We cant say that the Civil War was a particularly smooth time eh? We barely made it through as a country, and alot of people were killed.

The south didnt vote, but surely you dont think thats the best scenario for lasting peace do you? Just because the US survived doesnt make it a good pattern to follow.

We're supposedly trying to foster democracy, which would theoretically include everyone. If this 20 percent doesnt take part, I would expect major problems from them. But then, there might be major problems either way for a while...

For that matter, it isn't us that are preventing some of the Sunnis from voting.

It's hard to vote when you're worried about getting killed, when you're in the middle of a war.

How conducive do you think Iraq is to a fair election right now? Do you think its a good time? Do you think that the constant violence may be a problem at all?

We have been focusing on Sunni strongholds, and conveniently a large chunk of Sunnis arent participating. Coincidence? No.

Last time I checked there were 15 or so parties that were boycotting. They're not all Sunni, either. Is that a problem for you?

You're basically saying that "It's not our problem" that the Sunnis arent taking part. Not true, we invaded, we took out their infastructure and government, so actually, IT IS OUR PROBLEM. If a large chunk of people arent taking part, and we're trying to further democracy, then it is our problem. That is, if we want it to actually work.

"I wonder how many lefties ... (Below threshold)
r.a.:

"I wonder how many lefties will throw themselves off tall buildings or immolate themselves in public when the inevitable collapse finally comes? More importantly, where can I buy tickets to see it?"

Lee:

Why would you say something like that? How can you go around denouncing others when you make violent and hate ridden statements like this?

"Why would you say somethin... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Why would you say something like that? How can you go around denouncing others when you make violent and hate ridden statements like this?"

It seems to work for Michael Moore.

Lee

R.A. Why don't you check ou... (Below threshold)

R.A. Why don't you check out how the Afghanistan election happened. From what I understand, an even worse situation happened there. The entire country is full of warlords that still have power with their clans, warring with each other. However, women and men waited for hours, taking the chance that they will be killed/maimed/etc... because they are participating with the "infidels".

Stop focusing on a few hitches and complain how it MIGHT go wrong, and instead focus on how we could MAKE it work!

It seems to work for Mic... (Below threshold)
r.a.:

It seems to work for Michael Moore.

No, it really doesn't work for him. Not in my opinion at least.

Brevity's a virtue, folks.<... (Below threshold)

Brevity's a virtue, folks.

I regret missing this post ... (Below threshold)
ridgerunner:

I regret missing this post when it first started.
In reference to "radicalized people" how can you
radicalize a population fed to plastic shredders as a matter of state policy? WMD? five thousand or more bodies of little children , boys and girls, ,mouth agape gasping for a precious breath of air that sarin blocked nerves will cannot respond to. How is this different from a plastic bag over ones head in the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge? On the one hand a plastic bag, on the other hand a deadly chemical.
The same ones who form this insurrection are the same ones who perpetrated these murders. How can you radicalize them?
Opponets in this country point to fantasy casualty figures drived from studies based on data as real as Dan Rather's memos. Meanwhile, in Iraq, our soldiers discover mass graves. The bodies are photographed, cataloged, carefully identified to real people who were and returned to their loved ones for a final farewell. There is the ledger of these murderous killers. Mothers and litlle children in a final embrace shot point blank in the head. How can you radicalize the prepetrators of such crimes?
I beleive we will win this conflict. I beleive we will win because of the galantry and bravery of our young soldiers and their officers. I beleive we will win because of the leadership of our president.
But I am no prophet. Unlike our democrat opponets I cannot speak of things that are yet to be in the present tense. It is possible that we will not prevail in this conflict. I must ask our opponets what do they gain if we fail? When time settle's the dust around this debate and historians discover the facts of this conflict as clearly as any forensic scientist can devine the cause of death in the neat round hole in the head of a child how will you answer?
f

I must ask our opponets ... (Below threshold)
julie:

I must ask our opponets what do they gain if we fail?

Another Cambodia? How soon people forget the murder of millions.

Julie! I thought that I ha... (Below threshold)
ridgerunner:

Julie! I thought that I had missed everyone on this post!
Do they forget or is their goal beyound the murder of mere mortals. I've seen it mentioned by other posters how Lenin could sign the death warrant of populations for a greater good. Social utopians seem to bear the mark of cain in this way.

And what's the greater good... (Below threshold)
julie:

And what's the greater good in brutally murdering millions of people?

The greater good is the pur... (Below threshold)
ridgerunner:

The greater good is the pursuit of the "new man". the establishment of the perfect society, free of all avarice self agrandizement etc.etc.. In the communist mould of course the way to this social nirvana is determined by one leader representing one part of the society acting as "pathfinders" for the inert masses. they have a purpose and a goal.
The question is how can democratic socialists, while breathing free air with the ability to lift their eyes and look around, ignore this mountain of corpses

One of the greatest follies... (Below threshold)
Lee:

One of the greatest follies of the left is their idea that human nature is malleable. Human beings are intelligent (well some of us are). We are able to adapt and thrive in extremely harsh conditions if need be. But for all our virtues, we are also flawed. These flaws are innate and inborn, instinctive if you will. They are not the result of failures in socialization, education, or any other factor under the control of man. These flaws, while they can be compensated for if recognized and acknowledged, are unavoidable.

The mistake the left makes is in assuming that these flaws either don't truly exist, are the product of one's culture, or that they can be changed through education or indoctrination. Where the left makes their biggest mistake is in denying the nasty and dangerous side of human nature, which only guarantees that this aspect bites them especially hard. Stalin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, Kim, Castro, and the countless corpses they have to their name are textbook examples of this principle in action. To deny the existence of evil in the human heart is to invite that evil to operate unchecked.

You can't deny human nature. Try to and you pay, often with your life if not the lives of your loved ones and the virtue of your nation.

Henri, you said 'Luke. The ... (Below threshold)
Luke:

Henri, you said 'Luke. The ones fighting American Troops right now are NOT Iraqis, they are people from other countries that have come into Iraq to fight us.'

Well, I agree to the fact that the people fighting back the U.S. invasion in Iraq are not only Iraqis, and that they are a little help from their friends from other countries in their fight for freedom. So, yes, I believe they are some non Iraqis fighting Americans Trrops.

But whether you like it or not, whether you read Associated Press or not, the US Marines are killing Iraqi civilians and are destroying Iraqi homes on a daily basis. I am sure the young soldiers were not trained to do this, and they did not think that was their job when they came to Iraq. They were thinking they would be welcomed as liberators, with cheers and flowers ...

Well, that simply did not happend.

During WWII, the Americans were "the good guys". This time, figthing this wrong war, the Americans are "the bad guys". And this is getting worse everyday.

This is very sad. America used to be the beacon of freedom in the world. It used to be an example to the world. The world used to love America. America was the dream country ....

And that dream country, for the first time in history, attacked and invaded another country for NO reason whatsoever. This was NOT defense, this was ATTACK. Pure and simple.

... And mass graves found afterwards changes nothing to that fact ... What is this behaviour ? Shoot first, ask questions after ???? Attack first, and find reasons afterwards ?

Where is the America we all love ?

It's not all bad, Luke. At ... (Below threshold)
julie:

It's not all bad, Luke. At least France and Saddam aren't starving poor Iraqi children to death or giving them substandard medicines, if any medicines at all. We can all agree on that, can't we? :-)

I will concede you not one ... (Below threshold)
ridgerunner:

I will concede you not one point that you have made. this action was defensive in it's conception and preemptive in it's execution. You dismiss the deaths of Hundreds of thousands as irrelevant. You asset that like a physicain "we should do no harm" yet you deny a victim the amputation of a gangrenous limb when all other remedies have failed.
Where is the shame in rescuing millions from tyranny.
We exist in different realities.

Defensive in its conception... (Below threshold)
Luke:

Defensive in its conception.

OK.

Just tell me : in exactly which way a country with no WMDs at all, with only remnants of an army put down to its knees by 12 years of embargo, and which never attacked the U.S. or even menaced it was a threat to the United States of America ?

And, by the way, can anyone reminds how many hikjackers of the 9/11 planes were Iraqis ?

Defensive, you said .... right ...

How many Afgans were on tho... (Below threshold)
ridgerunner:

How many Afgans were on those planes?

How many Afghans ?... (Below threshold)
Luke:

How many Afghans ?

None. The vast majority of them were Saudi (very good regime, lot of democracy, no mass grave that we know off, no torture, a true example for everybody), and the whole thing was masterminded by Al Qaeda.

I am sorry, I was under the impression that the international effort in Afghanistan was for a search and destroy mission to get Al Qaeda, Usama Bin Laden (does this name ring a bell ?), and throw away the Taliban regime who supported Al Qaeda.

Well, apparently, I have not connected the dots on this one as well...

Why America went after Afghanistan since there were no Afghans on that plane ?

Mmmh... I do not know.

One thing I am sure about is that the oil pipeline to bring the caucasian oil to the Arabic Gulf (which will pass through Afghanistan) has nothing to do with it ...

Very good.

I don't understand anything about anything, so I'll let you wise persons discuss wisely about the future of this beautiful Iraq war, that will bring freedom, peace and prosperity in Iraq, thanks to George "Noblesse Oblige" Bush, and the mighty U.S. armed forces ...

Meanwhile I will keep watching Associated Press, to see what's going on in the real world where, you may not believe this, real people are living, suffering and dying.

For the record, I'm not a "lefty", I have voted on the right side all my life (I am 56). But being "right" among you guys can be perceived as being a lefty. It is all a matter of perspective ... if you see what I mean.

Good bye to you all, I've enjoyed this discussion. And, as you could see, without any profanity.

I'm sorry, but when was the... (Below threshold)
Patrick Chester:

I'm sorry, but when was the "War on Terror" renamed the "War on Al Qaeda, Bin Laden and Only Groups Involved in 9/11"?

Well?

So why does Luke have a fre... (Below threshold)
julie:

So why does Luke have a french name and a french isp?

Because I am french, Julie.... (Below threshold)
Luke:

Because I am french, Julie. A regular cheese eating guy from the second oldest democracy in the world, which used to be America's best friend ...

But that seems to be a long time ago, a very long time ago....

You may know what it feels when you see your best friend doing a huge mistake. And you try to explain to him why, in you point of view, honestly, he dead wrong. But you best friend won't listen. Maybe because you found yourself unable to find the right words. Whatever. The thing is, you realize suddently your oldest friend and you are all of a suddend living on two different planets.

And that's a sad awakening, I can tell you that.

Anyway, time can heal a lot of things. We'll see ...

Good bye again, see you some day, maybe some day in the future, we'll be able to talk together again ... :-)

which used to be America... (Below threshold)
julie:

which used to be America's best friend ...

Revisionist history. France has never been our friend. You financed the Revolution only so you could stick it to the British. And it's been downhill ever since.

It takes a certain arrogancy and presumptiousness to believe you know what's best for us. You don't.

I am sick of non-Americans telling us who to vote for. It's rather telling that you and posters like you, go to great lengths and deception to post as if you were American voters. Weird.

Clean up your crappy country and dirty politicians. Take a look at what's wrong with your society that allowed so many of its elderly to die August 2003. I guess checking on the welfare of one's neighbors is a totally foreign concept in France.

I am half french, by the way. I have spent a good number of vacations there. But, I'll slit my wrists before I ever go back.




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