As The Iraqis Stand Up, We’ll Stand Down

15 Brigades Would Gradually Stand Down Under Plan – New York Times

Haven’t I heard something like this before?

They threw some “redeployment” in there to assuage Murtha and the rest of the Democrats are still demanding deadlines for declaring defeat and heading for the exit. That’s sure to impress others who are or are considering allying themselves with us. They might want to consider whether they want to join the parade of people abandoned by America since the end of WWII, the last war we actually won.

Dictators and tyrants can heave a sigh of relief. Since many have decided that Saddam was undeserving of being overthrown despite his record of murder and repression against his own people and the attacks on his neighbors there is no longer anything that they could do that would bring outside interference. They can merrily massacre their political opponents and various and sundry others without a care. “Never again” has become “Well, maybe they had it coming.” and stability is the name of the game. If it is achieved by mass murder? Well, eggs and omelets you know. Exactly how this is going to keep America safe is not clear to me. Weakness invites attack. We’ll be viewed as a wounded gazelle by the jackals of the world, and while they might not have the strength necessary to attack us directly they have seen how we can be brought down by PC handwringers and handmaidens in the news media.

After Vietnam is was revealed that some of the locals that were “helping out” the news media were actually North Vietnamese plants. They made sure our reporters talked to the people that the VC wanted them to and got the stories that put the South Vietnamese and the Americans in the worst light. No direct leading, just nudging them in the direction they wanted them to go. And go they did.

It appears that the same thing is happening in Iraq as well as other Middle Eastern locations. Our fearless news reporters, when they venture forth from their hotels in the Green Zone, are taken where they will get the stories that the “insurgents” want them to have, and given people to interview that are presented as credible sources. The problem is, how does an American reporter know that the Iraqi he was talking to is actually who he says he is? Not a problem I guess. If he says something bad about how the war is going, that is credibility enough. So the reporter scurries back to the Green Zone and files a breathless story of mass executions and rising violence that serves to weaken American and Iraqi resolve even further. Again, no outright lies, though there does seem to be a problem, but a definite nudge in the direction that will serve the purposes of the Jihadis and “insurgents”.

4 thoughts on “As The Iraqis Stand Up, We’ll Stand Down

  1. Oh please. What if the British and French hadn’t beaten feet at Dunkirk and regrouped to fight another day? Should they have just stayed there to the last man? Leaving Iraq is not capitulation in the War on Terror just as leaving Vietnam didn’t mean we gave up on the Cold War. I seem to recall we rallied to win both WW-II and the Cold War.

    We do not have to win every battle of this war. And Cool Hand Luke-types such as yourself get many more people killed than lives saved. Our little foray into Iraq has been a disaster from the get-go and there is no one to blame but the president. Congress and the public have both given him everything he’s asked for every step of the way.

    Meanwhile we’ve got either a state sponsor or some rogue network transporting nuclear material on commercial aircraft to kill their enemies inside a sovereign state and both the MSM and conservative media have remained remarkably silent on the matter. Oh sure, they’re reporting on the situation, but they’re not connecting the dots. I mean they raised the terror alert because stuff *could* be transported in a tube of toothpaste, but there’s been no response to the transportation of materials for a heckuva dirty bomb on an international flight.

    The Litvinenko matter is exactly the scenario that was painted to us by the administration as justification for invading Iraq. Yet NO ONE is discussing that. Instead we’re strip searching grandparents, allowing the TSA to do some sort of funky naked X-ray down in Phoenix, and confiscating your wife’s hand lotion in the name of “security”. It seems to me not a damned thing has changed since we invaded Iraq. In spite of our Decider-In-Chief’s leadership, the professionals are still able to do their thing with impunity and strike wherever, however, and whenever they wish.

    Sorry to ramble on you, but we’re five years into this and we’re seriously off-course.

  2. First of all, the British and the French never did regroup and go back. If not for American lend-lease and other aid Britain and Russian would have been lost. France was for all intents and purposed defeated and never came back. The French contribution to the war was more symbolic than anything else. Who’s going to step in to save us?

    As for security, the Democrats and the Public Employees Union have made that into an exercise in politically correctness rather than any kind of real security effort. To move beyond frisking grandma would mean evaluating passengers for risk. That is not allowed. It’s called “profiling”. Look what happened with those Imams that acted in such a provocative manner with their loud prayers and the way they changed their seating to cover the exits. I would think twice about flying with them too. I’d rather offend them that fly into a building somewhere. Now the media is even leaking security data playing like it’s some kind of horrible thing to examine passengers for security risks.

    The war, yeah things aren’t going as well as we would like. So it’s time to bug out? The only effective way to deal with the radical Islamic threat is through “draining the swamp”, for that to happen we’ve got to get Muslims away from their culture of grievance. It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight and it won’t happen at all if the people think we’re going to run away and abandon them when we get a bloody nose.

    “No plan survives contact with the enemy” it’s a cliché in military circles, and like most clichés it’s true. We had a plan; it was based on information from the intelligence community. The information was wrong, as it was during WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War and every other conflict we have been in. Our intelligence fails every time. Especially since 1975. It should be obvious by now that our intelligence sucks. But faced with an unexpected situation, we went to plan B and C and so on. We adapt, that’s what we’re good at.

    One big problem has been the reporting. We don’t know how much of what we’re reading is true. Are they telling us what is happening, or have they decided on the story and shape their reporting to conform to that? There is a lot of evidence that it is the latter. There’s even a study done by some guy with credentials on how the media distorts everything the President says. How are we supposed to make rational judgments if we can’t trust the information we’re being given? Read Greyhawk, Michael Yon and Bill Roggio. Their reporting is more detailed and actually gives a better picture of what is going on than what you read in the big dailies.

    It’s almost a station of the cross to claim that Iraq is separate from the GWOT. But it’s not. Radical Islam doesn’t have an address or borders. Al-Qaeda will go wherever we are and move into the areas we have left and use them as sanctuaries. Right after the Iraq invasion, Syria, Iran and Libya were really nervous. They were sucking up because they didn’t want to be next. But since that time the Democrats and the media have worked successfully to weaken the President and they are no longer frightened. They are reasonably certain that America will not take action against them no matter what the provocation.

    The new Democrat Congress and whoever the next President is will to have to deal with the fallout. Announcing to the world that the Americans can be beat asymmetrically is not going to make us any safer. Neither are a bunch of fancy scanning machines. Back to Sun Tzu, “Should the enemy strengthen his van, he will weaken his rear; should he strengthen his rear, he will weaken his van; should he strengthen his left, he will weaken his right; should he strengthen his right, he will weaken his left. If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.” Trying to cover every eventuality at every entry point will result in being weak everywhere. There is not enough money in the world to do it, though I’m sure a lot of Senators and Congressmen would like to buy all this stuff if it was built in their district.
    Should the enemy strengthen his van, he will weaken his rear; should he strengthen his rear, he will weaken his van; should he strengthen his left, he will weaken his right; should he strengthen his right, he will weaken his left. If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.

    Talk about rambling. I’ll quit now.

  3. One big problem has been the reporting. We don’t know how much of what we’re reading is true. Are they telling us what is happening, or have they decided on the story and shape their reporting to conform to that?

    As with most things, the truth is somewhere in the middle. I know that. The problem is the middle continues to slide toward one end. I realize it’s a very small sample, but take a look at the last couple high profile visits by US leaders (Rice and Bush). Rice had to circle the airport for 40 minutes because of an ongoing mortar attack. Then once she was on the ground at the airport, land we control…I think, she had to wear a bullet-proof vest when she got off the plane. Bad BAD times. A couple weeks later, the president wouldn’t even set foot in the country. That tells me things on the ground are horrible, no matter how it’s being spun by folks on the right.

    You’ve gotten after the press for failing to leave the green zone. There’s a reason they don’t. Rice and Bush have both shown why in the last few weeks.

    As for adapting, that ship sailed long ago. The only option, if we’re gonna stay, is Friedman’s “second invasion”. Flood the country with troops (something I suggested on this site over a year ago, only to be poo-poo’d by the host) and bring the country to heel. I understood your point about creating an even worse situation by giving the impression we’re occupiers rather than liberators, but at this point we’re neither.

    And of course there’s the issue of the military’s mission. Our military is trained to be like a shark, keep moving forward or die. And right now there’s no new territory to move toward. They’re not trained for this mission, nor do I believe the public wants them to perform these types of missions.

    I’m all for draining the swamp. But at this point, this situation is way too screwed up. I say we move to the north, where we’re welcome, and wait and see who comes out on top in the south. In the meantime, start talking up the Jordanians and Syrians to act as a buffer. There’s nothing saying we can’t take a couple of years and catch our breath.

    In the meantime, I completely agree that he who controls everything, controls nothing. At least that’s what I think you were trying to say. My point is simply that the #1 priority needs to be securing American soil and to this point we’re failing that objective miserably. We’re not ever going to be 100% safe here, and nor would I really want us to be. Anyone promising 100% safety is promising totalitarianism.

    But there are ways to do it that are prudent and wise. Then there’s the slip-shod method we’ve decided to employ. I don’t know enough about what happened with the Imams to give an opinion. Obviously whatever it was wasn’t kosher (to mix my religious metaphors) and they should be a little more culturally sensitive, especially at an airport. And we can’t let spies with diplomatic cover go flying around with radioactive isotopes in their diplomatic pouches.

    Should the enemy strengthen his van, he will weaken his rear.

    That sounds like 90% of what gets caught in my junk filter. Sun Tzu, Master Spammer. Who knew.

  4. I’m all for draining the swamp. But at this point, this situation is way too screwed up.

    And if we quit it’s going to get easier? No if we quit we lose any credibility we ever had. The way that would play is that the heroic Mujahideen chased out the cowardly crusaders again, just as they did in Afghanistan, Somalia and Lebanon. That will make any future attempts to co-opt Muslims almost impossible, because no one wants to ally themselves with losers, especially Crusader losers.

    For all the talk, flooding the country with troops is, in the long run, a losing proposition. Sure, we could control the streets as long as the troops are there, but they’re not going to stay there. All al-Qaeda and the “insurgents” need to do pull in their horns for a while, limiting their attacks to a few IED’s and marketplace bombs, long enough for the troops to be drawn down. Then they come right back.

    As for withdrawing to the north. That is a nonstarter. Ceding the field to the enemy never wins anything. So what if we make deals with Syria and Jordan? Then the Baathist’s move back in and take over the Sunni areas, thank al-Qaeda for running us out and restore the Baathist dictatorship. Iran moves in and takes the southern section and aids the Shia against the Sunni Baathists, Jordan would come in and help the Syrians to some degree but won’t want to go up against the Iranians, so they probably would not do much more on an official level than try to control the border. Saudi Arabia has already said that if the Americans withdraw and their Sunni brothers are threatened, that they will intercede. Our troops may be sitting in the Kurdish area, but they will just sit there. Washington would never allow them to return no matter what the provocation and might even withdraw them from there after a “decent interval”.

    Where would we go from there? Whichever way the war in the south goes we would be left with an extremist Muslim government. Either one that is allied with al-Qaeda or with Iran. Probably one of each. The Iraqi’s that worked with us would then be slaughtered or imprisoned, without regard for their rights under the Geneva Convention. Just as the Vietnamese and the Iraqi Shia were when we betrayed them. With that example of “American support” staring them in the face, what Muslim in their right minds would ever again consider allying with us?

    How would we “drain the swamp” then?

    Much better would be the plan being developed by the JCS where there would be more troops, but they would be imbedded with Iraqi units. This is something that has worked very well wherever we have done it. The “pacification” by the Marines in I Corps Vietnam worked very well but was never give the support it needed by MACV. Other examples, El Salvador, Afghanistan etc abound. Check out Kaplan’s “Imperial Grunts”. Or are we only supposed to listen to the Generals who counsel defeat and withdrawal. (which is not as many as the media purports)

    Is it going to “win the war” on a schedule that the politicians like? No. They can’t see any further than the next election. But it will win, and the only other option is losing.

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