David Limbaugh demonstrates his military expertise: Liberal columnists are using this isolated case [Abu Ghairab] to validate their preformed opinion that our entire war effort has been mismanaged and a failure. Well, I’m not willing to concede that everything has gone bad for us in Iraq or that we are guilty of poor planning because we didn’t accurately predict every terrorist strike against our troops. Do the critics really believe it’s possible to fight a casualty-free war, especially against an enemy that has less respect for the rules of war than it does for life itself?
I just don’t understand the logic behind allegations that we are bungling the war because we sustain casualties or because a few of our soldiers get out of line. How easy it is for the armchair quarterbacks to condemn our whole military operation every time we experience setbacks while fighting an unpredictable urban war against an uncivilized, brutal, inhumane and evil enemy.
If you don’t understand it, David, let me explain it to you. We are not fighting an actual war; if we were Fallujah would have been flattened a month ago. As the German soldiers complained in WWII, Americans fight in a deadly and unfair manner, by advancing until they meet the enemy, engage him, then bury him with air strikes and artillery. Advance and repeat.
But, since we are not actually fighting a war, but instead playing deadly Israeli-style wargames with “terrorists”, (who aren’t terrorists for the most part, but guerilla militias), we are sending lightly armed troops into urban zones without armor, thus ensuring that we lose more troops in the occupation than in the conquest itself. Since this method did not work in Northern Ireland and has not worked in Israel, it will not work in Iraq either.
Even worse, the so-called battle for hearts and minds is a war of semiotics, of symbolism. In that sense, the images of American mistreatment of POWs is a major defeat for the administration’s cause. I’m not condemning our post-Baghdad military operations because of current setbacks, but because I never saw any way that they could possibly succeed in the first place. Three decades of Soviet failure in Afghanistan and Chechnya demonstrate that the only way to handle these countries is to kill the dangerous leaders and support the unaggressive, more or less harmless leaders from a distance.
We’re going to withdraw in the end. Cultures cannot be completely remade by external dictate. Germany was a civilized country that took a bad turn and was relieved to return to sanity. Japan simply followed the orders of the emperor and the ruling elite to follow MacArthur’s path, just as they had earlier followed them into imperialist war. In neither case were the anti-occupation forces, (the werewolves) still dangerous more than a year after the war ended. And since we’re going to withdraw, better to do it before we needlessly sacrifice another one or two hundred young American lives. We should have left as soon as we had Hussein in hand, when we had successfully achieved all that we could reasonably hope to accomplish.