Part of an ongoing series.
Remember those hazy crazy days of Shock and Awe when the Iraq invasion was like no other war before it? Sure you do:
I am officially sick of the constant claims of reporters and politicians that Iraq is becoming a rerun of the Vietnam “quagmire.” These people donâ€™t know what they are talking about. They remind me of the old adage that it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. The fact is that there is little similarity between Iraq and Vietnam. Indeed, there is little comparison between the real Vietnam War and the facile description of it that we get from critics of the Iraq operation.
Or maybe you remember this little barroom ditty from Christopher Hitchens:
I suppose it’s obvious that I was not a supporter of the Vietnam War. Indeed, the principles of the antiwar movement of that epoch still mean a good deal to me. That’s why I retch every time I hear these principles recycled, by narrow minds or in a shallow manner, in order to pass off third-rate excuses for Baathism or jihadism. But one must also be capable of being offended objectively. The Vietnam/Iraq babble is, from any point of view, a busted flush. It’s no good. It’s a stiff. It’s passed on. It has ceased to be. It’s joined the choir invisible. It’s turned up its toes. It’s gone. It’s an ex-analogy.
And who could forget this one from Jeff Jacoby:
Things have gone wrong in Iraq as they go wrong in every war. Bush’s strategy of defeating Islamist terrorism by draining the swamps of dictatorship and fanaticism in which it breeds carries a high price tag. Nearly 1,900 US soldiers have been killed and more than 14,000 wounded in Iraq so far. There are more casualties to come.
But another Vietnam? No — not when such strong support for the war comes from the very soldiers who are in harm’s way. Their high morale, their faith in their mission, their conviction that we are doing good — those are the signals to heed, not the counsels of despair on the TV talk shows. It will be time to give up on Iraq when the troops give up on Iraq. So far, there’s no sign they will.
So let’s check out the old Official Quagmire Scorecardâ„¢
Unpopular war? Check.
Insurgency that won’t go away? Check.
Domino effect? Check.
Media is at fault for losing the war? Check.
Unpopular President? Check.
Light at the end of the tunnel Secretary of Defense? Check.
Hmmmm… What are we missing? Oh yeah. Blaming the politicians (who got us into this mess) for not letting the military win the war:
Captain Ramen said…
Reading this infurated me so much I had to comment. I will stipulate that the marines on the scene are guilty of all the allegations levelled against them. Of course I wasn’t there, so I don’t know what happened. This is just for the purposes of my discussion.
In a way, it is Bush’s fault. Not because he sent our troops over there. But because he and all the arm chair generals are hamstringing our men when it comes to prosecuting the war.
Every article from the MSM I’ve come across stipulates that Haditha is an insurgent stronghold. Now can someone please explain why a known stronghold of the enemy is allowed to be left standing?
Just imagine you’re a 17 year old kid. You’re driving up and down the same damn streets everyday. You KNOW where the enemy is. You know, or strongly suspect, that small children and women are being used as spotters for the enemy. What could possibly go wrong in this scenario? (That was dripping with sarcasm in case you didn’t get it.)
The generals and civllian leadership back in washington have to know this is going on. Yet they employ the same strategy of sending in kids into areas where the enemy cannot be distinguished from civillians. This was bound to happen.
Now if these boys did everything that is alledged against them, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of military law. But we must also take steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again – by not putting them in this kind of situation to begin with.
It is all the more sickening when the solution is so obvious. Isn’t the following strategy the same one used in Fallujah II?
Set up multiple checkpoint rings arond the city. Inform the civillian population they have a certain amount of time to get out of the city. Detain all males of military age and check them out. After the time expires, go in there full force. Use airtrikes. Use tanks. Show no mercy.
Now some of the insurgents might get away through the checkpoints, but at least they will have to leave their weapons behind.
But why won’t Bush and the armchair generals employ this strategy in Iraq? Because they afraid of how the left wing press, publications such as The Nation, will portray it to the american people. ‘Oh nos we are bombing innocent civillians!!!’ HELLO MR PRESIDENT? THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BE ON YOUR SIDE ANYWAY.
So instead of issuing a total press blackout and crushing the insurgency with our superior fire power, we muddle along until more crap like this happens. Like the british say, penny wise and pound foolish.
Ahhh. Destroying the village in order to save it.
The classics never go out of style…