25 May 2007

Disconnect

You know, there seems to be a basic fundamental disconnect between folks I talk to about the war.

A lot of people are under the impression that the United States is 'losing' the fight in Iraq.

I'm baffled by this thought. I'm a historian. I know what it looks like when an insurgency is actually winning. You see convoys ambushed and wiped out. You see insurgents forming larger bodies of troops an operating in a more conventional manner. You see safe areas established throughout the country. You see successful defensive battles against government units trying to move into safe areas.

This is insurgency theory 101. Little Red Book stuff.

We aren't losing in Iraq, and never have been. As of right now, the only way to lose the fight in Iraq is to pack up and go home. And if we do, it will be because a lot of folks are misinformed by people in the media and in politics who, for what ever reason, prefer to see the United States lose a campaign. Some of these people actively hate the United States and everything we stand for, others hate George Bush to the point that they hope everything he touches falls apart. Others have simply decided that they can make a few more points in the polls with their core constituencies by taking a pro-Insurgent stance.

Are we winning as fast as we might have under ideal circumstances? No. But that's something for historians to wrangle about. Joe Citizen doesn't have enough information on what is going on in Iraq to make an informed decision, just like Joe Citizen didn't know enough about the German defenses in Normandy to be able to make the call whether to invade France in June of 1944 or not. That's why we have a professional officer corps, and don't necessarily submit our tactical plans to public approval.

Case in Point:

The Ferret, on Livejournal
, has an excellent post about the idea of cutting funds to the war in Iraq. In this post he makes the valid point that people who say they are in favor of ending the war don't really want to end the war in Iraq, they simply wish to remove US troops so that they no longer feel any obligation to care about the war in Iraq. It will continue without us whether we like it or not.

"It'll be like Darfur with a hangover - that distant genocide with the unpleasant tang that we were somehow responsible for it once upon a time, but hey, not our problem."

But the post is somewhat twisted by the assumption that we are not winning in Iraq, that no progress at all is being made. That, to me, changes the tone of the post a great deal.

Meanwhile, under the heading of "things that just don't surprise me," there's apparently an ammo shortage. I don't shoot in military calibers (9mm sucks, and I don't own any long guns right now) so I haven't noticed it much. But I think it's vaguely interesting that this is, so far as I know, the first impact that the war has had on the US population at large.

We have a new contestant in the contest for 'dumbest terrorist, evah!'. I think it's a little amusing that his defense against charges of terrorism is that he's too disorganized. . .

I'm still laughing up my sleeve at the Democrats, who caved into the Administration's demands that they actually do their job and fund the damn war without the assorted grandstanding nonsense of trying to tell him how to do his job of running the war. Not, mind you, that I think Bush has done a stellar job of it, but then again what President has? Running a country at war is such an impossible task that no President has done so mistake-free. Even Lincoln kept promoting incompetents to command the Army of the Potomac. Bush has done a far, far better job than a Democratically-controlled Congress could. In order to get it past the assorted jackasses on their side of the aisle, Congress included a minimum-wage hike. And these people want to micromanage a war?

5 Comments:

Blogger dracphelan said...

I've not noticed an ammo shortage, unless you count a shortage of surplus ammo. Many people are trying to blame higher ammo prices solely on the war. However, they are ignoring the fact that all of the commodities (metals, chemicals and petroleum products) that go into making ammo have gone up in price.
As for police departments taking longer to get their ammo, their problem is an unwillingness to change suppliers. If I wanted to (and had the cash), I could have pallet loads off 9mm, 45ACP, 5.56 and 7.62 FMJ ammo delivered to my house in days.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

One of the opponents of the war said "You can't impose democracy by force". What do you suppose the Germans and Japanese think about that comment? We still have major force commitments to those countries 60 years later. I suspect that we will have force committments to Iraq in 60 years. At least, until Iran, Syria & Saudi Arabia have major regime changes, we should.

I agree with you that Bush has made mistakes in running the GWOT. But as you mention, the list of Presidents who haven't made major mistakes in running a war has no entries. Hindsight is 20/20, and I think that historians will look very favorably on the GWB administration in 20-30 years...much as attitudes towards Truman have changed in 50 years.

The people who oppose this war are on the wrong side of history, just as they were on the wrong side of history during the Vietnam years.

Iran will test its nuke before the next Presidential election. I just pray that they don't test it on Tel Aviv or Baghdad or NYC. GWB and the 'Pubs will be blamed for this also.

On an entirely unrelated note: I am the nerdasaaurus. I don't have your phone number...call me!

7:43 PM  
Blogger dracphelan said...

Oh, BTW, on a slightly related topic, I've seen some transcripts of the Republican presidential debate that was held a short time back. When I read that Ron Paul lays part of the blame for 9/11 on US foreign policy, it made me decide that he will not get my vote. IMO, this is similar to blaming a rape victim for the rape.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/15/us/politics/16repubs-text.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

"REP. PAUL: No. Non-intervention was a major contributing factor. Have you ever read the reasons they attacked us? They attack us because we've been over there; we've been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We've been in the Middle East"

2:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may be a lost cause given the other views you express, but...

Given your definition of losing in Iraq, I note that a wasteland Iraq with half its population dead, the rest in refugee camps, with no remnant of industrial or secular society, serving as motivation and low intensity warefare training ground for jihadis exporting revolution throught the region... would still not qualify as "losing in Iraq".

Perhaps others are defining "losing" differently.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Just A Decurion said...

Dear Anonymous:

I've been to Iraq.

Twice.

For a total of 25 months.

You're blithering. You're typing, but the words don't have a connection to reality.

Thanks for playing, though.

2:23 PM  

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