Sunday, September 10, 2006

Appeasement or Bait and Switch

I posted this over at DailyKos five days ago but I got no comments. I got nothing. Anyway, I decided to post it here, also.

So, without further ado–


OK Democrats, don't let the Bushies set the agenda. The issue is neither some Munich/WWII appeasement on terror nor "cut and run" in Iraq, it's the Neocons' inability to recognize the difference between a civil war and the war on terror.
We were promised a preemptive strike against terror and were baited and switched some previous grudge against Saddam and an idealistic dream of democracy and freedom in a pivotal Middle Eastern country.


To give credit were credit is due, Rumsfeld's idea for the military of doing more with less worked in the blitzkrieg overthrow of Saddam, but at the same time, the Iraqi War also proved the age old formula for the number of troops needed to hold a hostile country is still true. However, after reading "Cobra II", a strong argument could be made that the U.S. military's professionalism succeeded in spite of insufficient support, supplies, and Rumsfeld's restrictive meddling. So, maybe credit to Rumsfeld is not even due for the overthrow of Saddam. That's the problem: the real world just doesn't behave as the ideal world, and the Neocons' theories were oh so pretty.


And just as the Neocons fail to recognize the need for more troops to hold a position than to take it, they also fail to recognize that while repeated redeployments may increase the professionalism of a minority of soldiers and marines, for most, effectiveness plummets after more than two or three deployments with little to no separation between them. More on that here, here, and in WaPo.

The original military strategist, Sun Tzu, warned No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique. In other words the Neocons violated a basic tenet of war making that is as old as history itself. And we wonder why things went wrong in Iraq?

The tragedy of U.S. involvement in Iraq keeps a twisted version of a favorite Neocon saying from being laughable. In reality, it appears we are fighting over there to prevent Sunnis and Shiites from killing each other so we don't have to fight over here to prevent them from killing each other is the message I'm getting out of our Iraqi experience.

Terrorism is as old as civilization. Remember an avowed anarchist (terrorist) assassinated President McKinley in 1901 and that "little problem in the Balkans" with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a terrorist lead to WWI.

The war on terror is not the war against individual terrorist. The Neocons' fixation on Zarqawi and then his death with no discernable difference in the violence proves the Neocons can neither perceive the true enemy nor come up with a realistic plan to fight it. It's time to realize that even if we removed all of Al-Qaeda from Iraq, little would change in the day to day violence and what is driving it. If the violence in Iraq subsides because we got Al-Qaeda's number two man, then I'm wrong, but I don't think so.

Democrats, just as events in Iraq have proven the Bushies have no Plan B and lost the initiative, so too they can be forced to respond and explain their miserable record of understanding the foreign terrain in which they are operating. Again, a reformulation of one of their pet sayings: They can lose the initiative here just as much as they have lost it there.

The war on terror is a diplomatic and police action not a military one. This administration has shown it is sorely lacking in diplomatic capability and is only able to police and monitor its own citizens.

Calling all Blogs: Make them run on their record not that of the Democrats.
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