The war in Iraq  

Mccartney2003 38M
479 posts
7/10/2005 3:45 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

The war in Iraq

Before the war in Iraq began--the covert black operation known as
Operation Iraq Freedom--then-Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill
predicted a cost of approximately $200 billion for the operation.
The media storm that greeted his forecast cost O'Neill his job.
Unfortunately, the meter's still running, while the war machine
idles at the curb, like an overheated Abrams tank. Now the estimate
is $300 billion and rising.

I'd rather be a Pollyanna than a Cassandra. Pollyannas live happier
lives, right up to the moment of impact of their merry little ship
with that iceberg in the night. But the Pollyanna option was
wrenched from a lot of us who've watched Washington these last 40 or
50 years. We saw a coup (JFK) that led to a fraudulent foreign war
that lasted almost a decade. Likewise, the fraudulent foreign war in
Iraq seems equally doomed, equally destined to last nearly as long,
especially with the Pollyanna running the world from the White

We will lose the war in Iraq. Let us count the ways.

Time Is Not On Our Side

By now, had the mass of Iraqis bought into the idea we
were "freeing" them, the guerilla war would have ended. The
Japanese, among the fiercest fighters and suicide soldiers in
history, accepted unconditional surrender after World War II. Why
won't the Iraqis? Maybe because these Iraqis have seen things our
army of occupation has done--mass arrests, brute force searches,
imprisonments and tortures--that would make General MacArthur roll
over in his imperial grave, shaking his head in disbelief.

Iraqis, Sunnis and Shiites, do not want us there, just as Colonial
Americans did not want the British troops here, occupying our towns
and villages. Historian David McCullough's book 1776 makes that
abundantly clear. Still, American opposition to the British measured
less than half the population, with Loyalists and Tories rallying
opposition to the nascent Revolution. "There were too few soldiers
and too few guns," wrote reviewer Jon Meachen, of the so-called
American patriots. Anyone seeking an overview of the Iraqi
resistance might be excused for thinking the same: How can too few
Iraqis with too few guns defeat the most powerful army in the

Because They Won't They Fight Fair

Fourth Generation War wasn't invented by the Iraqis, nor the
Vietcong, nor even the American insurgents fighting the British. To
the British redcoat, an American "patriot" was nothing but a
terrorist and a cowardly traitor, fighting behind trees and using
sneak attacks, burning the homes and destroying the property of

Not surprisingly, most of us are aghast at bloodthirsty Iraqis who
massacre fellow Iraqis who've collaborated with the
American "Coalition." Yet these Iraqis wage war as the Vietcong
waged it, as WE would wage it if we were the occupied country and
turncoat Americans collaborated with the occupying army. We wouldn't
fight fair; many Americans--conservative, liberal or anarchist--
would fight just as fiercely.

According to William Lind, "We have pointed out over and over that
the 4th Generation is not novel but a return, specifically a return
to the way war worked before the rise of the state." In this type
of warfare, time is on the side of the guerilla fighter, while the
occupying force expends his wealth, squanders his soldiers, and
spreads increasing resentment and thus resistance.

Lately, even a few high ranking American officers in the field seem
to comprehend this warfare. US Army Major General Joseph Taluto
remarked: "They're offended by our presence . . . Who knows how big
these networks are, or how widespread?" Remarks probably spoken by
British General John Burgoyne 225 years ago against American

The Hubris of History Ignored

Collectively, the current crop of US leaders--Bush, Cheney,
Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz--may be the most amoral, historically ignorant
of any in recent times. I cannot imagine any of that claque reading
McCullough's book 1776 or understanding what it might mean today.
History befuddles those full of bluster and hubris, and Bush may be
one of the most befuddled emperors ever.

Certainly, at the height of their empire, the English could
subjugate smaller, neighboring countries like Ireland and Wales, as
we subjugate Haiti or Honduras. But against distant enemies the
English lost, as we shall lose. Robert Fisk wrote vividly of one
doomed column, "On the heights of the Kabul Gorge, they still find
ancient belt buckles and corroded sword hilts. You can no longer
read the insignia of the British regiments of the old East India
Company but their bones, those of all 16,000 of them, still lie
somewhere amid the dark earth and scree of the most forbidding
mountains in Afghanistan ."

The English lost in Gallipoli; they lost against the American
colonists. They learned that foreign wars fought far away, against
an impassioned enemy, cost a lot of money. An enormous amount of
money, men and material. No wonder Treasury Secretary O'Neill
calculated $200 billion before the war, a conservative estimate
nowadays. America will bankrupt itself (morally it already has), in
a vain effort to force a fraudulent freedom on Iraq and the Middle
East. The Neocons' fixation with this extremely costly imperial
adventure--which costs nothing to them personally--could well become
the first trillion dollar war in history.

Know Thy Enemy

According to The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, knowledge is power. "If you
know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a
hundred battles. If you know yourself but not your enemy, for every
victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither
the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."

In Vietnam, the people practiced ancestor worship, worshiped a blend
of Confucism and Buddhism, and believed in a spiritual kinship to
the land. We did not know the Vietnamese; a gentle people but fierce
fighters. If we had, we might never have fought them. They fought
for their land; they fought for their ancestors; they fought because
they had no choice. We lost.

Losing The Moral War

"Victory or Death," wrote George Washington before crossing the
Delaware and defeating the Hessians at Trenton. George F. Smith,
historian, essayist and scriptwriter, observed, "Hessian brutality
swung many New Jersey neutrals to the American cause . . .
Washington ordered . . . the men to storm the town. As they fell
upon the enemy, many of them shouted, 'This is the time to try men's
souls!' With their gunpowder soaked and useless, Sullivan's men
relied on the bayonet to roust the Hessians out of the houses.
Earlier in New York, Rall's men had mercilessly slaughtered
Americans as they tried to surrender."

Make no mistake about it, we've become the punitive British of "The
Patriot." Our allies in Iraq--the Iraq National Guard--have become
almost as the Hessians, mercenaries and opportunists aligned with
what they perceive as the stronger power, us. Lowly paid
gatekeepers, akin to plantation overseers with divided loyalties,
they serve the occupation force as the Hessians did the British.

"Occupation forces use terrorism to 'fight terrorism' and only
create more terrorists. We see this in both the Israeli and US
occupations. I don't believe that this is an accident or an
oversight of brilliant military strategists, but an intentional
strategy used to maintain chaos and justify ongoing occupation.
Occupation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, using 'security' to
exploit, dominate, and colonize," wrote Joe Carr in the The Self-
Fulfilling Prophesy of Occupation.

"Divide and conquer is a standard practice of colonial powers. In
Iraq, the US is following the British example by pitting Sunni vs.
Shiite vs. Christian vs. Kurd; they keep them fighting with each
other so that they are all easier to control," added Carr, an
unembedded journalist in Baghdad, in A Short Taxi Ride, Another Road

Tom Paine wrote in 1776--while American patriots fought a British
occupation not half so brutal as ours in Iraq--"By perseverance and
fortitude we have the prospect of a glorious issue; by cowardice and
submission, the sad choice of a variety of evils--a ravaged country--
a depopulated city--habitations without safety, and slavery without
hope--our homes turned into barracks and bawdy-houses for Hessians,
and a future race to provide for, whose fathers we shall doubt of.
Look on this picture and weep over it!"

Draw Your Own Conclusion

We will lose the war in Iraq, whether in five years time or 50. The
longer the postponement, the more costly the delay. We do not know
the enemy; we do not know our own history; we do not know ourselves.
That collective ignorance may lead to knowledge one day, a knowledge
too painful to accept at the present, but we're fated to learn some
fragments of it one day in the future, more than a few painful

Lastly Sun Tzu wrote: "If an enemy has alliances, the problem is
grave and the enemy's position strong; if he has no alliances, the
problem is minor and the enemy's position weak." I think perhaps a
billion people are aligned against us.

July 10, 2005

14u24me34all 51M
235 posts
7/11/2005 9:22 am

"One detail is conspicuously missing from most of these "new Viet Nam"
diatribes: the fact that we are NOT,to a great extent,fighting Iraqis,
rather,the "hit and run"and guerilla tactics are implemented by glory
seekers and drones of foreign national would-be dictators who have a
much darker vision of life for that region.....If you want a different
perspective talk to any expatriate Iraqi about the reasons they fled.."

Masseur_0 41M

7/11/2005 8:16 pm

Well researched, well done...Gold Star...
The firing of O'niel I thought was like killing the messanger, he leaked bad news too soon...
Comparing American terrorists to Iraqi terrorists is key. They're only terrorists from the view of the oppressors, other than that, they're freedom fighters.
Orwell said it best: "He who controls the past controls the present, and he who controls the present controls the future"

It's all in our history and it's being rewritten before our eyes and the rest is being thrown down the memory hole...

The fact that more people know Bill O'Riley than Howard Zinn is upsetting.
More people read William F Buckley than Noam Chomsky. Not becasue they have better ideas.

And if we, in 2000, elected the one man running who has passed more ligislation to help the common American than any other person in America in the past 3 years we would havae Ralph Nader as a president...

Blah blah...enough about my opinions.
Great article, thanks for sharing...Keep 'em coming...It's inspiring

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