. . . the American military officers are so self-delighted with the "counter-insurgency strategy." Take a bow, all you writers of counter-insurgency manuals who have ignored the larger question -- the question of what exactly it means that we win, what exactly the "victory" in Iraq is that will weaken the Camp of Islam and Jihad, other than a quite different definition of "victory" that I have discussed here so many times*. Take a bow, soft-spoken would-be-novelist thoughtful Col. Nagl. Take a bow, Colonel or is it General McMaster, inventor of the "Ask Your Customer" program, according to which, we learn, American soldiers are asked to treat incarcerated Iraqis as "customers" whose good will they need to earn ("Friendliness Is Job One"). Take a bow, all of you who think that the phrase "in general, insurgencies last ten years" makes any sense at all, instead of being as comical a phrase as "in general, civil wars last 4.7 years" or "in general, wars last 10.3 years." --Hugh Fitzgerald
Read the whole thing! and . . . See the Footnote below:
*Re Hugh Fitzgerald's "Victory in Iraq:"
Fitzgerald: Some key propositions about the war in Iraq
Let me list some of them:
1. The correct definition of "victory" in Iraq should be an outcome that weakens Islam -- the Camp of Islam and Jihad -- not only in Iraq but elsewhere. There is no other justification for spending two trillion dollars, and enduring 4,300 deaths and tens of thousands of wounded.
2. The Administration -- Bush, Rice, et al. -- and everyone who defends the policy of remaining in Iraq, never explains exactly how what is being attempted in Iraq, that is, the attempt to make the Shi'a government and the recently-dislodged-from-power Sunnis come to some accommodation, will make Infidels safer.
3. Those who have called this a "war on terrorism" have done terrible damage, for they have confused a tactic -- terrorism -- with a much larger problem. They have helped to keep Infidels largely unaware of what is going on in Western Europe, and of how the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da'wa, and demographic conquest, are the most effective and dangerous instruments of Jihad.
4. The war in Iraq, similarly, distracts and confuses, because it reinforces the idea that, even though Bush has called this an "ideological war," he still has conducted this war without any attempt at propaganda, or any attempt to exploit the weaknesses of the enemy. Rather, his policy is to repair those very weaknesses, to heal those sectarian and ethnic fissures in Iraq that could, if they were to continue unhealed (as they will, in the long run, in any case), damage the Camp of Islam and Jihad.
5. No one has been asked to explain why the two trillion dollars already spent in Iraq (and this includes the committed total future cost of lifetime care for tens of thousands of wounded) could not have been spent better on propaganda to sow discord in Islamic countries, and to pay for an energy policy -- subsidies to trains and busses, and for solar and wind energy, and for the building, by the government (for only the government can do it quickly, and to serve as the insurer) of dozens of nuclear reactors, that will be essential if the Muslim oil weapon is to sufficiently diminished in time to prevent further Muslim advances all over the world.
6. Many of those who have been forced to fight this war, or some of them, naturally cannot quite allow themselves to recognize what folly, what an ill-considered venture, it has been ever since early 2004. At that time the only legitimate goals -- getting rid of the regime and scouring the country for major weaponry (including that known by the shorthand WMD) -- had been met, and the goal of "bringing freedom" to "ordinary moms and dads" had not yet been fixed upon. That new goal ignored how, in Islam, political legitimacy is defined (it is not defined as being justified because it may express the will of the governed). And this goal was a kind of consolation prize for not having found that weaponry that was the original cause, one was told, for the invasion.
7. The continued American presence in Iraq is damaging, and greatly, the American military. Young officers are leaving the regular army. Those joining the Reserves and the National Guard are not of the same level as those who joined ten years ago, or even five. Recruiting standards -- age, moral record, education -- have all changed, in response to the great difficulty in filling the army's monthly quotas. Nearly half the equipment that the National Guard relies on is in Iraq. Much of the regular military's equipment has, in Iraq, desert-degraded at a rate scarcely conceived of, and pegged by planners at a rate more suitable for non-desert environments. The morale of officers and men, especially of those who have served several times in Iraq, and are aware of the gap between how Bush and his men present the war and the splendid "Iraqi people" and the reality, has plummeted. The reality are the mendacious, meretricious, rapacious, Iraqis who are, on the whole, out to use the Americans against their own domestic enemies. They are also out to acquire whatever weaponry, know-how, and other aid they can manage to inveigle out of the Americans.
But they have no intention of becoming, and could not possibly be, permanent and trustworthy allies of the United States. It isn't possible. Muslims do not become allies and friends of Infidels. Occasionally their interests may overlap, and there can be most temporary collaboration, but that's it.
The colossal folly of Tarbaby Iraq is clear to many, including many officers and men. It is folly not because Islam is not a threat, but because it is.
Posted by Hugh at May 27, 2008 6:50 PM
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