Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Two-Dimensional Anti-war Thinking

The difficulty we are having with this war (and the debate over it) is that it is being won militarily but lost politically due to the completely 2 dimensional thinking of the anti-war crowd. Liberals appear to have very little nuance when it comes to discussing Iraq specifically, or the larger war against Islamic Jihadism in general. This is because it is quite apparent that they see everything through the "neo-cons are pulling Bushitler's strings" prism.

Note to the Bush Haters:

Realize that this is an ASYMMETRICAL war, the first of its kind ever fought by this country. There is has never been a more complicated set of variables laid out for a president and his generals to consider and there is no blueprint for how to succeed.

Consider:

1. This is a proxy war with Iran and AQ fought on soil that is rife with civil unrest and tribal hatred.

2. This is a war that was historically necessary to prove that America is not a paper tiger. I firmly believe that one of the prime reasons that this administration chose to eventually go into Iraq was to demonstrate that you don't mess around with the UN security council or the United States. This is what Saddam was doing and Bush decided that the line had to be drawn in the sand or risk total loss of credibility on the world stage.

3. This is a war being fought in the midst of political game playing by the Democrats - game playing played solely for their political gain. Remember, Clinton didn't take on the Iraq problem because he knew it was a political mine-field and would be deeply unpopular with Americans. Clinton was not the kind of president to do the right thing when doing the popular thing would work much better. Bush hesitated for 18 months before going into Iraq for likely the same reasons. He knew it was going to be hell for his party if he got involved in a war in Iraq. In other words, there was NO upside for Bush or the GOP to get into this war. The only upside was for the long term good of the nation (assuming that he could reestablish our street cred). Meanwhile, there was huge upside for the Dems for Bush to get into this war if they could succeed in undermining his efforts. They have played this advantage to the hilt and ultimately to the detriment of the country as a whole. They have been invested in a loss in Iraq since the shock and awe portion was over.

4. The American Media hates Bush as much as the Dems and like the Dems, want to see a humiliation for him in Iraq. This became patently clear when they started saying the surge was a failure before we even got the surge troops in place.

5. The jihadists are WELL AWARE of points #3 and #4 above. They see the American populace as easily swayed. They see that very little is required to raise the angst level here in the States because the Dems and Media will exaggerate the chaos in Iraq and downplay or simply not report American successes. This amplifies any successful efforts that they undertake.

6. It is evidently easier to believe we are failing than succeeding in Iraq. Petraeus, a man of impeccable credentials and expertise has a plan he is enacting in Iraq but we don't take his word for the successes he says are happening there. No we take the word of Reid, Pelosi, and Murtha, people who are invested in losing, that the surge is a failure.

7. Our Rules of Engagement prevent success in many situations in Iraq. This is unheard of in our history of warfare. As long as we are tying the hands of our military, lives will be lost and the propaganda benefits to the enemy of those losses are incalculable.

8. We don't understand Islamists and they rely on this ignorance. These people are motivated by an ideology that hates both red and blue states in the US equally. They hate Americans in the red states because those people are Christian, Israel supporters. They hate the bluestaters because they represent weakness, materialism, feminism, gay rights, and the export of American cultural malaise.

All of these factors and several more make this a near impossible situation for Bush, made only worse because we have very little resolve left to fight to win (and by win I mean dishearten the Islamists to the point of pulling out of Iraq.) They now see that we are not the aggressive, strong military might they saw at the beginning of the war. In fact, they are seeing that their feeble efforts are actually causing our Congressional leaders to prepare for retreat. This emboldens them in the face of otherwise impossible military odds.

So what to do? If we think Hillary is going to win then we should pull out now because she will anyway if elected. This will save American soldiers lives (for now). If we think Rudy or FDT will get elected we should step it up now and make it easier for either of them to mop up and then prepare for the next onslaught of radical Islamic Jihadism that will surely come. In the end, I don't think this war will ever be won given that the Islamists will not give up until we are destroyed.