Monday, January 22, 2007

It ain't beanbag

Victor David Hanson is one of the more unusual commentators on the Iraq war simply because he puts events in the context of history, something most commentators and Senators never do (aside from vague references to Vietnam). Since our public schools haven’t been offering basic history education in decades, the American public isn’t in a position to measure anything the MSM dishes out. Let’s say 3000 casualties are enough to make us cut and run from this key terrorist/insurgent engagement. It took 50,000 dead before we left Vietnam. We would lose 3000 in just a few short weeks during WWII, 300 in one battle alone over a single hill in Africa. We have become an irrationally impatient people.

So given the ‘we can only lose’ rhetoric of Senators Kennedy and Hagel and the defeatist caucus they represent, is there any reason the insurgents and terrorists shouldn’t think they only need to wait us out? In the end, their kind of verbiage only serves to get more people killed, and heap ‘moral superiority’ on the practitioners of barbaric tactics whose only ethical commandment is ‘win at any cost.'

It is against this back-drop that VDH makes some pertinent observations:

"…in a war of counter-insurgency the political solution must be contemporaneous with military operations that destroy and humiliate the insurgents…[only then] do the vast majority of indifferent citizens not only see greater prosperity and security by allying with the new government, but also nothing but death and destruction should they join the terrorists and militias."

Throw in his observations from earlier times and further understanding is to be gained…

"…it is often forgotten that from April to July 2003 there was relative postbellum security in Iraq, well before the elections and while the occupation was desperately trying to restore services and utilities.

Why? There was still the fear and respect for the lethality of the U.S. military that had taken out Saddam in three weeks and might do the same to any who tried to restart the war."

Iraq must be won, and that will only happen with the aggressive use of force. More important than increasing the numbers of soldiers is the change in the rules of engagement.

Read his whole thesis here.

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