Monday, June 2, 2008

The War in Iraq- Thoughts

The drumbeats are sounding. Even the Washington Post has an editorial saying "We're winning". They are urging Obama to change his Iraq strategy now that he has cinched the nomination. He can dump the Ultra-Left and move to the Center where most of America lives. They conclude with
When Mr. Obama floated his strategy for Iraq last year, the United States appeared doomed to defeat. Now he needs a plan for success.

Jeff Lukens at American Thinker has some thoughts on "Was it worth it?"

No one likes to go to war, but even an elective war is sometimes necessary. With all the consternation these past years, President Bush may finally be able to say "Mission Accomplished" to what he originally set out to do.

This we know, Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction. He even gassed his own Kurd and Shiite populations in the 1980s. What happened to those chemical weapons? Who knows? Whether they buried them in the ground somewhere or trucked off to Syria, we had every reason to believe he had them.

It's nice that some people remember the poison gas. The Iranians do. The Kurds do. Saddams generals do. We took the treat seriously.

What should the President of the United States do when 1) we've been attacked by terrorists 2) a state sponsor of terrorism, with Weapons of Mass destruction and willingness to use them, continues to flaunt UN sanctions? 3) When the state sponsor of terrorism corrupts the UN and most of European bureaucracy with his "Oil-For-Food Program" bribes? 4) When we suspect another attack is imminent? Should he wait for another attack-?

The movies are the only places where the Good Guys let the Bad Guys draw first. The Old West Bad Guys were shot in the back, usually with shotguns wielded by farmers. Letting the bad guy fire first gets a lot of innocent bystander type good guys killed.

The question none of the anti-war Bush haters will answer: How many dead Americans before we act-? I've never been told the acceptable level of American dead we should suffer before we commit our forces.

The thought of terrorists with WMDs is scary. However, the worse thought is that we have no way to retaliate. Unlike the Cold War, we can have no Mutual Assured Destruction balance. If we lost a city, who do we nuke-? Do we really nuke the Mountains of Pakistan-? Tehran-? Damascus-? How do we respond to a WMD attack-?

We have learned to do counter-insurgency fairly well. Actually, we have re-learned it. We first learned it in Nicaragua, then forgot it. We were trying to re-learn it in Vietnam, but ran out of citizen patience. We were able to re-learn it and be effective in Iraq. Now, our Pentagon Chiefs want more troops trained for a battle in Europe or Asia against uniformed troops. They want bigger weapons systems, more toys... we may soon go back to sleep and have to re-learn how to do counter-insurgency. Generals need flagpoles and stuff to park beneath it. They need troops to stand in formation around em. A peacetime military needs to justify it's existence by asking Congress for more flagpoles and everything that surrounds it. Otherwise, you don't need all those generals.

From the terrorist, narco-trafficante, narco-terrorist, rogue state perspective; insurgency works. It's cheap, scalable, effective . Forces need little training or discipline so no bases. No uniforms, just used weapons. New recruits can be rounded up either by the press-gangs or internet trolling. They will not likely face trained and disciplined troops who will have the will to fight a lengthy counter-insurgency... Russia has not been successful in Chechnya. Just tramped them down for now. China the same with Tibet.

Was Iraq it worth it-?

I think so. We would have lost more civilians in a WMD attack by terrorists. We would have seen the UN and most of Europe corrupted by seven more years of Oil-for-Food bribes. We may have seen more radicals in control of more oil producing countries in the Middle East. (Would we really have invaded Saudi Arabia if al Quaida had overthrown the govt-? Mecca and Medina off limits to pursuit or attack-? )

It's easy to rant and scream rabid vitriol... it's harder to explain where someone went wrong and why the path not taken was better... Until we invaded, everyone thought Saddam had WMDs and would not hesitate to use them... Should we live with that kind of threat-?