Saturday, July 7, 2007


I left a comment on this long-abandoned post. I have a feeling the moderator, if he still maintains the blog, won't post it. If he does, I'm sure no one will read it. But I felt compelled to write something, as I was so shocked by the ignorance and irrationality of the blogger. I repost it here.

I normally disdain to dignify things like this, but I suppose I was just shocked to find a living, breathing example of the kind of thoughtless obedience that I thought was really only attainable by a clever satirist. A few more of his most offensively idiotic post are here and here.


I see that this thread, and apparently the blog as well, have long since died, but I just came across it, so I can't resist. I hope these comments are no longer necessary, but I'm afraid they probably are.

"US wars are lost and won in the hearts and minds of the American people despite the actual results of combat operations in a conflict."

Wow, you must have read The Secret. Unfortunately, though, there are things that we are powerless to change through mere positive thinking. These things which exist objectively, regardless of our wishes, are known as reality. We are literally surrounded by this reality, which is troublesome to practitioners of your zen-like philosophy of "mind-over-insurgency." However, if we choose to entertain your notion of conflict, which states that the team with the more enthusiastic cheerleaders will win even if they should by all rights be thrashed by a superior opponent, it raises a few questions, like "why fight wars with troops at all?" and "haven't they defeated us already, since they clearly want us gone more than we want to stay?"

I wonder why no other great military strategist has ever exploited the power of positive thinking. If only Hannibal had had access to better self-help books, or better yet, the blogs of other comparably brilliant commanders, we might all be speaking Phoenician.

"Just as during the Vietnam war, our enemy is engaging in an intentional and coordinated media campaign designed to break the will of the American people."

No, just as in the Vietnam War, our enemy is engaging in a military campaign of guerrilla warfare designed to frustrate and defeat our troops by creating 1) an uncertainty as to who the enemy is and 2) an inability to pin them down en masse, bring our superior capabilities to bear, and cut the head off the snake and 3) an awareness that this conflict will not be over until they want it to be, which is (no sooner than) when we leave.

An international media campaign? Are you kidding me? The VC could barely afford to eat a few cups of rice a day (many were so malnourished they were night-blind from vitamin A deficiency), much less fuel a propaganda machine that extended more than a tiny bit beyond the territories they already controlled, even with the help of the NVA.

As for the Iraqi insurgents, they hardly even have access to the Western media. Their multiple abductions and murders of journalists, combined with our inability to provide security outside the Green Zone, and our failure to protect the few informants we have managed to cultivate from exposure and subsequent assassination, have effectively guaranteed that the voices of very few Iraqis will be heard. And they hardly need to engage in a propaganda war in order for Americans to get the point that things aren't going well.

The point is this: even if you had more correctly stated something like "a greater consensus of purpose on the homefront would assist in providing the political impetus to establish/maintain a dominant military presence in Iraq," you would still have missed the point.

First, you miss the point because, like in Vietnam, military dominance is not our problem; guerrillas know better than to fight battles they can't win, and they have the advantage of choosing where and when conflict will occur. This is essentially the definition of guerrilla warfare: the weak can only stand a chance against the strong by being very selective about when/where/how they fight. More importantly, you miss the point because unlike Vietnam, where a crushing defeat of the VC/NVA might have accomplished our stated goal of stemming the tide of communism, we don't have a goal that can be accomplished in Iraq. That is, while our goal was theoretically attainable, it was not attainable militarily; the weaker enemy wasn't about to come out and fight us by conventions that guaranteed their defeat. But in Iraq it's not a strategic or military impossibility for us to win, it's much worse. It is a LOGICAL impossibility for America to win the Iraqi Civil War. What do we seek to accomplish there? WMDs aren't an issue. So we're sticking around ostensibly to engender liberty and democracy. But guess what, a martial law occupation by its very nature negates those goals. If your allegiance to a political entity, be it one of the Iraqi factions or the US Army, is based entirely on your belief that they are most likely to keep you from getting killed, then you are not free. And if your right to vote is secured by the authority of soldiers who are not your fellow countrymen, then you do not live in a democracy.

You talk of knowing the truth of something by its fruit. What fruit has our Iraq occupation borne? As of this writing, 3600 American soldiers have died, not counting the many who fought under private contractors. Estimates of Iraqi civilian deaths range from 100,000 to upwards of 600,000. It is, to say the least, absolute carnage. Meanwhile, a National Intelligence Estimate has stated that the animosity the war has bred for us in the Muslim world has INCREASED the threat we face from terrorism. Are these manifestations of the media conspiracy masterminded by our so-poor-we-make-weapons-from-garage-door-openers enemy? No, my friend. This is reality.


I forgot to mention that it has diverted our efforts away from the important actions in Afghanistan, which were going pretty well before we went to Iraq. Now, of course, the Taliban is resurgent. In any case, the occupation is, in terms a SEAL will understand, a clusterfuck.