Sunday, August 01, 2004

Return To The Middle East

I have been posting quite prodigiously lately on my politics and have drifted away from the original concept of the blog, which was to explore some of the issues and bust any myths about the Middle East, Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Largely because I feel that we, the common people, are not armed with enough information to fully understand the nature of the enemy, the nature of the war and what obstacles must be overcome to win any such fight.

I believe regardless of my personal politics, it is only through desisting in partisan politics, that we will be able to overcome this enemy. It is in the true sense of the words, "E Pluribus Unum", (out of many one) or in the words of Abraham Lincoln 1858, "A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand". Or the better known euphemism, "Divide and Conquer". Which is exactly how we appear to the enemy. Therefore, I will simply be supplying information that should be used by any person, of any political persuasion, to understand what we are up against.

In regards to that, I believe I will be starting a second blog that will be just for my personal rants and analysis on politics. Although, in essence, there is a direct correlation from our current political situation to the continuation of this fight in the future, most of my political rants are about the "party" as a whole. Whenever I post on any political situation directly related to the Middle East, etc. I will provide a link in this blog to that entry. Stay tuned for the announcement of the second blog launch.

In the meantime, we now return you to our regularly scheduled program: Everything You Wish You Didn't Have To Know About The Middle East

Recently I was reading a military blog The Greenside from a Marine currently stationed in Iraq. The site is basically letters from the Marine to his father and is written in a format that I find reminiscent of Civil War letters. The letters are few and far between, but I recommend that you read what he has to say about the nature of the enemy. He is very matter of fact and is frankly able to define the current enemy in Fallujah in a way that you will not get from the Media or other "analysts":

Today the city is dominated by three different elements. The most dangerous are the extremists who are religious ideologues. These would be your classic Islamic Terrorist who's twisted view of the world is one that cannot coexist with anyone who does not only agree with their beliefs, but who willingly submit to the severe limitations of individual freedoms that the beliefs entail. To be frank, these elements will never accept a peaceful coexistence with free people. Their rhetoric and will to enforce their extremist beliefs are mutually exclusive with anything but direct conflict. We will be fighting them until a clear winner is determined.

Like so many of history's failed villains, these terrorists truly believe that free people can be broken and do not possess the will to persevere in the face of real adversity. For this very reason, they have adopted terrorist tactics and publicly celebrate their violent acts like filming beheadings and flying airliners into buildings. (...)

They specifically target disenfranchised young men who feel as though they have no real hope of ever overcoming their current circumstances. (...)

It is very similar to how gangs recruit and survive back in the states.(...)

However, these "gangs" are much more lethal and committed to a global agenda of spreading their fundamentalist ideas. There is no reasoning with these groups. (...)

Later, he goes on to say what must be recognized by all parties, if we are to insure our security:

The first group we will fight. There is no doubt that we must win this fight. I was going to say that if we lost, the fight would follow us home. However, the reality is that it already has. Hopefully this group will continue to underestimate our resolve. We will continue to destroy them where ever we find them(...)This week we have found many and eliminated them from the fight.
He identifies the remaining elements in Fallujah and makes the simple case of why it is essentially on hold from an all out barrage of the IP, ING and Coalition Forces:

The second element in the city is the criminals. There are many of them. These are no different than the criminals that run loose in all of our cities except that they are better armed. The city is known throughout Iraq as a haven for criminals, smugglers and hijackers. It has been this way forever.(...)

The third and final element is the unemployed men and those who have had family members killed by the coalition. These guys fight us for a variety of reasons: to overcome their humiliation of watching their country be "occupied" so quickly; to avenge the death of a brother or son; or simply because they have very little else to do.

He goes on to explain, what must be at base, the current strategy for overcoming the last two elements:

There is simply no way that on our watch, we are going to change the criminal culture of the city. We will have to endure the second group until we can build up the Iraqi Security Forces to the point where they can police themselves. (...)

We are working hard to reach out to the third group and overcome the world media that fans the hatred and resistance in these men. To date we have been relatively ineffective in communicating our vision for Iraq to this element (one of a free and prosperous people who are completely autonomous)(...)

And the final analysis on cutting at least a third of the "resistance" from the ground:

What they need now are jobs and opportunity to do something other than hang out and fight us.

If you won't take it from me, take it from a Marine on the ground. Semper Fi!


91ghost said...

As an independent conservative I was disappointed with the timing of the war and the shaky explanations based on shaky intelligence--I wish the Administration could have just given it to us straight: the Iraqi regime is an engine for an unstable mid-east and needs to be taken out--period. Then we should have played the little U.N. game a bit longer because inevitably, Hussein would have given us the cards we needed in that game. Most of all though, I am appalled by a civilian leadership (Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, etc.) that took it upon themselves to be oak desk warriors and snub the advice of our Generals--none of whom were against the war, but all of whom suggested another strategy, accompanied by different tactics. Hey though, I guess Cheney and Wolfowitz, both of whom have spent a combined 0 days in combat boots, knew better, right? I am appalled by the lack of body armor and vehicle armor. I am appalled by a civilian leadership that left our marines stranded in Fallujah---for fear of "outraging" the Muslim world--and continues to dictate battlefield tactics for the sake of political correctness---if a Mosque is housing the enemy and their ammunition, to hell with it, turn it to rubble I say. I am appalled by a political body, both Democrat and Republican who shamelessly competed with another in front of the cameras to see who could be the most "disgusted and outraged" by the so-called prison "torture". Torture? What about Nick Berg's head? What about civilians being burnt to charred corpses and their bodies being hung by bridges? I simply shake my head and throw my hands up in the air at the Administration's overall response to our enemies: Big Government and political correctness. Fuck that. I know who our enemies are and I know what needs to be done--just adding another agency here and another Deputy Secretary of this and an Assistant Secretary of that--maybe that keeps the Washington D.C. government industry thriving, but it's not going to do a damn thing about our enemy. This quandry we are in is not going to go away; the hate from our enemies is only growing, as will their boldness. This situation ultimately will have to transcend politics if it is ever to be resolved. Ultimately, the solution is a cultural one--a mentality one. Ultimately, when school buses are being blown up and sarin is being pumped through HVAC systems--because, yes, as sure as night follows day, this is coming--we will have no choice but to do some really ugly things to save our nation. I am disgusted by the whole political body and I have no faith in any of them to really resolve things. Thanks for letting me vent.

Robert said...

The body armor thing- I believe everyone had body armor. Everyone did not have the newest state of the art body army, which was being phased into the military and was in high demand from the companies that produced it.

That being said, I have my own demons on all of these issues.

The only justifiable reason for our involvement in Iraq is to prevent weapons of mass destruction from getting into the hands of decentralized terrorist cells that are decentralized and impossible to retaliate against.

That really is the only reason why they could- (by they I mean such states)- be dangerous to us. In a direct military confrontation they cannot scratch us.

That being said, Saddam aspired to WMD, and by all accounts everyone thought he had them.

The only reason that Iran might become a problem is not because it is a direct military threat to us, but because its status as a nuclear power would be dangerous to us if it was to transfer nuclear weapons to a terrorist organization.

I know cutting out the humanitarian impulses sounds cruel, but we do have to realize that our use of force should be constrained by defense of our own nation first and foremost. If other laudable objectives intersect with that first one, then thats good. But lets not deceive ourselves.

Kat- two blogs? You aren't going to make me read two of your blogs a day, now, are you? ;)

I'm fine with the one blog thing, and to tell the truth, two blogs may deter readers.

Kat said... might be right. I may not be able to do two blogs. I guess I will just figure out how to class this stuff into "Polly" and "WOT" on the side bar so folks can choose what to read if they want to bi-pass one or the other.

After last nights all nighter to put the new skin on (which I had never done before, hence the all nighter) I was serioulsy reconsidering that post. LOL

don't worry, the people have spoken and I will obey. :)

Kat said...

91 Ghost...Rant away. Perfectly acceptable here. Lord knows I have let off a few myself. Including the F word which I was worried would turn some people off. But I couldn't help it once I got started.

Yeah..I am angry with the Partisan crap and the failure to recognize this as an all out war instead of a police action by some folks. I have been saying for sometime that I think the European problem, for instance, is that they have the most to be afraid of. Even with open borders, we are still protected somewhat by the oceans. They definitely have a worse problem than us and are very close to the action. This is why they are pissed at us and why Kerry thinks he can bring them back into the fold. He believes as they do that direct action will result in something very ugly that will spill over onto them (being closest). They prefer containment. Kerry and the Dems (the political ones, not the average person on the street) believes that this is a good theory and wants.

Kerry and co, use the anti war crowd to stir up support for the isolationist/containment policy. Even thought, technically, the reasons for the feelings are different. Dems on the street just want the boys to come home and the world to be at peace. Dems up the ladder think of this more as a strategy for fighting the war. Limited incursions and police actions.

I don't agree. I think this is putting off the inevitable. But that is just me.

I don't agree with him.