Skip to comments.This is How You Lose a War
Posted on 06/13/2014 3:51:22 PM PDT by Kaslin
The names of the towns tug me back a decade to when we were on the road to liberating them. Fallujah. Mosul. Tikrit. We learned how to pronounce them as our nation learned what was necessary to rescue them from the hands of terrorists.
Iraq was not the source of 9/11, but under the leadership of President Bush, we had chosen to take the war to the most hostile regime in the part of the world that wanted to kill us. Saddam Hussein had slaughtered his own people in addition to launching attacks on U.S. forces in violation of the U.N. agreements following his ejection from Kuwait at our hands. It was a thoroughly appropriate first theater for what would become known as The War on Terror.
Well, write its epitaph. War on Terror, 2003-2014. We are done. We have lost. Iraq is falling before our eyes this week as al Qaeda monsters snatch the cities we shed blood to help. Next door in Afghanistan, the Taliban dances in celebration of Americas retreat. Deserter Bowe Bergdahl will not come home a hero, but his kindred spirits will, the five blood-soaked terrorists we released to garner his freedom.
This is what it feels like to lose. This is what it looks like. This is what it smells like. Its stench should repel every American.
Even among our war-weary citizens, who eventually became the majority, this must be sickening. Even among those who opposed the war from its start, surely their pacifism or Bush hatred or military ambivalence does not stand in the way of a natural human instinct of disillusionment as our nation slinks away from the war zone as our enemies cheer.
President Obama, who fooled some for a while with head fakes like the Afghan surge and a grudging willingness to keep Guantanamo open during his first term, has shown us his soul. He is withdrawing our troops from a war where real progress was under way, in terms of a glimmer of hope for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan a future guided by stability, honest elections and self-determination for the people.
It would have taken a long time. We needed a President to exert leadership in its purest form leading a hesitant nation to do the right thing by supporting the war that kept us free from further 9/11s for more than a decade.
Instead, we have a commander-in-chief driven to end the war, but not to win it. And as if thats not bad enough, he believes his wily charms can snow a nation into thinking he has been a wartime hero:
The day before 9/11s tenth anniversary, Obama told us: There should be no doubt today, America is stronger, and al Qaeda is on the path to defeat.
In January 2012: Weve decimated al Qaedas leadership.
And September 2012: Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead. So were four Americans murdered in Benghazi days earlier, necessitating a colossal change of subject with an election mere weeks away.
But two years earlier, Vice President Biden sat down with Larry King on CNN to predict vast glories for the administrations handling of a war that was making progress when they inherited it: I am very optimistic about Iraq, and its going to be one of the great achievements of this administration. Good call, Joe.
It is years of bad calls that have led to this sad moment, with defeat at hand. And while it is easy to hang this loss around the Obama White House, some of the blame is shouldered by every American failing to maintain focus and will through the most challenging war we have ever fought.
Other wars have had far higher death tolls, but there was a certain clarity to the mission of World War II beat Hitler and Imperial Japan and even Vietnam chase communism from Southeast Asia.
How do you win a war on terror? There was never going to be a surrender ceremony aboard an aircraft carrier, with terrorists signing a document assuring a cease-fire. All we could ever hope for is slow, generational change, with Iraq and Afghanistan realizing after a lengthy U.S. presence that we were there to train their own military forces and establish a landscape to permit elections leading to a future far more stable than the cauldrons of violence that had been their fate seemingly forever.
A tall order? Of course. Havent we all heard the cries of futility? Those people dont know what freedom is and they dont want it. Violence is all theyve known, theyll never stop killing each other.
Those are not unreasonable stances. But they are a give-up, an admission that our only lot is to accept that these Godforsaken wildernesses will always be a breeding ground for terror, and all we can do is hope it does not reach us. Let them kill each other, and leave us out of it, goes a common refrain of frustration, wholly ignorant of what will happen if we ever actually do that. Sure, Islamist factions will bludgeon each other, but without any beacon of civilization in their midst, terrorist hordes will take plenty of time-outs to engage in their favored pursuits: killing Americans, Israelis and any Muslims trying to wrestle the faith toward less murderous behaviors.
The terrorist agenda is not limited to armed commandeering of various nations to establish a compliant global caliphate. It also includes the violent eradication of Israel and the slaughter of as many Americans as can be found, over there and over here.
Of all the things that made 9/11 possible, the foremost was our failure to recognize that war had long been declared against us. After a few years of vigilance, followed by growing fatigue and then wholesale disinterest in seriously fighting terror, the American people have twice elected the President who has given us exactly what we asked for: surrender.
So here it is. How will it work out for us as we see Baghdad fall? How will it feel as we see the forces of evil overrun the turf our sons and daughters fought for and died on? What will fill the remaining years of a presidency that has kept its promise to end a war that is in no way ending in terms of the enemys aggressions toward us?
As he prepares to welcome home his favored soldier, that traitorous snake Bowe Bergdahl, President Obama fashioned a quote Wednesday that should be replayed over TV footage of the guttings and beheadings that surely await Iraqis, Afghans and who knows how many Israelis and Americans now that we are quitters: The world is less violent than it has ever been, it is healthier than it has ever been, it is more tolerant than it has ever been.
Ah, yes, always the tolerance. The man is nothing if not tolerant. Tolerant of illegal immigrants, tolerant of those seeking to change the definition of marriage, tolerant of any one of a number of assaults on the Constitution.
But the tolerance of Americas most dangerous enemies evidenced by our current surrender and the piecemeal release of terrorists from Gitmo this is a tolerance likely to carry a death toll.
How many Americans will die because we did not have the stomach to sufficiently battle our enemy? And by we, I mean the collective American public. Because if we had maintained the spine to stay on a war footing with an enemy that will never tire of killing us, we would never have chosen a leader who has brought us to this tragic defeat.
Our government REFUSED to stop the Boston Atrocity
even though warned in advance by several people/agencies.
Anyone in jail yet about it?
From the article: How many Americans will die because we did not have the stomach to sufficiently battle our enemy?
Perhaps the author could clarify which enemy? Foreign or domestic?
EVERYTHING is an orchestration with this Regime.
If some development is bad and APPEARS random, rest assured it is not.
He RESENTS America’s historic role, and he resents the American middle-class.
Liar as he is, sometimes he’s baldly honest about it, too.
“Briefly at an investment firm, I felt like a rebel behind enemy lines...”
He was pretty open about it —he meant it.
The militarized police needed to test their protocols and gear.
Okay, that’s over the top, but more a comment about the militarization of local law enforcement.
Its beginning to look a lot like BOTH!
Bumper sticker idea ;
It takes a Democrat to lose a war we’ve already won.
Vice President Dick Cheney saw through that arrogant pos from the beginning, just like many of us did. Including myself
As Yogi Berra once remarked, this is Déjà vu all over again. I recall the 1960's, when place names such as Quang Tri, Hue, Da Nang, Pleiku, Cam Ranh Bay, etc. were in the news because American soldiers were fighting or stationed there. Then in the spring of 1975, these places were in the news again as one by one, they fell to the North Vietnamese.
Unfortunately, the country that America has become was more concerned about free abortions and birth control, homosexual marriage, and other tax payer funded goodies, than it was in finishing off Al Qaeda.
In your picture I can see Bush saying to Cheney, “Dick, I think Obama wet himself.”
My other thought for a caption, “Nope, it’s not true after all!”
We should expect to have to trade everyone else in Guantanamo for what balance of the civilian Americans get captured in Iraq.
We have already demonstrated our willingness.
We have already promised no soldiers going into Iraq.
We have seen our President go to a North Dakota native event without his National Security Advisor or much else in tow.
A surrender could not be more total. The have the banks money for ready cash. They have Stinger missles Hillary routed from Lybia to fight off our Air Force and kill more Americans. The have the oil economy. Bin Laden won — al Queada owns a state and all its resources.
The eventual battle after a few years will be with Nuc’s and suitcase bombs answered by carpet bombing.
Cheney knew precisely what kind of loser we were dealing with
I like it!
Obama believes the the demands of World Leadership can be met by having someone write a speech proclaiming great accomplishments, deliver it with confidence in his sonorous voice, proclaim it so, and head to the golf course.
Unfortunately for Mr. Obama, the real world is quite different from the fantasy land that he and his White House gang of gypsies, thieves, and leftie loons inhabit.
Obama decided that he would cut his losses in Iraq and win in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, he is not going to do either. In Iraq, the combat phase was essentially done. All Obama had to do was to work out a Status of Forces Agreement so that we could keep some troops ready to stop this sort of nonsense and get on with helping Iraq muddle through to some sort of existence a level or two above what they had with Saddam. In Afghanistan, he decided that wasn’t worth the effort either, but he would have to trade five of the world’s worst terrorists so that he wouldn’t have an untidy footnote of a stay behind deserter whose entire family are nuttier that Aunt Mildred’s entire output of fruitcakes.
Any infantry battalion of the United States Army or Marine Corps could have stopped this gang of 1000 ISIL thugs. A Brigade would have ensured that it never happened in the first place. But, Obama only listens to Valarie Jarrett, Joe Biden, and all those voices in his head. It’s not going to get better.
Cheney had his number.
Didn't he? Wish his health had not given out.
Same here. I sure hope he isn’t into the comprehensive immigration reform. Can’t run anyway I guess.
I’ve said it often but I’ll say it again — that picture will go down in history as quasi-prophetic. You just know Old Jugears Hussein, at the behest of His Master, was trying to stare Cheney down. Dick was havin’ none of it!
Yes. And I like to think W is looking down to keep from bursting out laughing.
How you lose a war? You elect a leader who works for the other team.
I’m not so sure the Turks, Saudis, and State Department aren’t complicit in this.
The Iraqi army collapsed, in my opinion, because sunni soldiers won’t fight sunni terrorists. So the official army collapses. The unofficial shia militias will fight. Army units reconstituted with shia soldiers will fight. And Iranian militia will be sent across the border to help, and they’ll fight.
We may be witnessing the partitioning of Iraq.
“But they are a give-up, an admission that our only lot is to accept that these Godforsaken wildernesses will always be a breeding ground for terror, and all we can do is hope it does not reach us. “
Mr Davis, you are so wrong about this. We can do something but you don’t have a single clue what it is. And if someone told you you would say they were mad.
Correct. We should never have gone into Iraq. After Afghanistan we should have gone into Pakistan
I learned a new phrase reading a FReepers fiction “A Century of War”. “Category Error”. You can not solve a problem you can not properly define. We are not “at war” with terror. We are at war with Muslims.
The Iraq war was lost a long, long time ago.
Not under President Bush and General Petraeus
President Bush and General Petraeus did not have a strategy that could lead to victory, thus, defeat was baked in from the very beginning.
“President Bush and General Petraeus did not have a strategy that could lead to victory, thus, defeat was baked in from the very beginning.”
No Jim you are very, very wrong. They did have the strategy and it worked. By 2009 Al Queada and Sunni terrorists were defeated in Iraq and had gone underground or fled the country. All of the major Sunni tribes were working with us to protect their areas from transnational terrorists. It was a great success at the time and the country was quite stable.
It took Obama’s inability or unwillingness to achieve a status of forces agreement (SOFA) together with his pledge of removing all US combat forces from Iraq which lost peace we had won.
To this day the US is the only entity in Iraq which all sides trust. Without the US as a mediator there is no capacity for Sunni, Shia and Kurd to cooperate. Their political model is tribal, dependent upon total control and opposition to ‘outsiders’.
Removing the US from Iraq sealed its descent into chaos. Many US and Iraqi leaders knew this at the time but some Iraqi Shia leaders also believed it would be to their advantage. So now the pendulum swings back.
That is correct that wars in end in either victories or defeat. We were heading towards victory in Iraq but everything changed when the rats and later that arrogant pos occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave came into power and demanded we get out out of Iraq. The same thing is going to happen with Afghanistan
Or “Iraq: a win win situation, Osama wins, Obama wins”
-- snip --
1) Setting a Timeline And Not Getting a Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq: George W. Bush may have had a tough time in Iraq overall, but his surge was wildly successful and the country had largely been pacified when he left office. In other words, Barack Obama didn't have to "win" the war in Iraq because it had already been won. All he had to do was not screw up the peace. Instead, for purely political reasons, he set a timeline for when we were going to pull out. Then he didn't even bother to get a status of forces agreement with Iraq, which would have helped to stabilize the country and improve its training with very minimal risk to American forces. Keep in mind that we STILL have soldiers in Germany, Japan, and South Korea, but none in Iraq, which desperately needed our help and advice to keep the country stable. Now, the entire nation is in danger of devolving into civil war and/or falling to Isis/Al-Qaeda outright because Barack Obama wanted to be able to tell his base that he got us "out" of Iraq. Well, we are "out" of Iraq, but now ISIS/Al-Qaeda is in because of Obama. Great job squandering all the sacrifices our soldiers made in that country, Obama!
You obviously forgot about the surge which was very successful
That arrogant pos occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave destroyed everything
I do not believe that Germany and Japan are at all analogous to Iraq, for many reasons I'd be glad to elaborate on. But in Germany and Japan, the people were decisively convinced of our victory and their defeat, and that further aggressive actions against our soldiers and marines would increase their misery. Do you believe that to be true of the people who inhabit the geographical area we call "Iraq"? If you do, why?
Notice that this has nothing to do with your characterization of "Obama", or whatever his name is, as a POS, with which I agree entirely.
My view, FWIW, is that war was declared on the United States by multinational forces under the command of people who live in Riyadh and Islamabad, that victory in this war entails the conquest and subjugation of those nations for an indefinite period, that the price that we would need to inflict on their societies to achieve victory exceeded Bush's willingness to pay, and that he therefore began what he took to be a sideshow in Iraq, because after 9/11 somebody needed to get his ass kicked and Saddam was wearing a "kick me" sign.
The cost in blood and treasure of the Iraq sideshow, which was of no substantial importance to the US until our forces were committed, exceeded our people's willingness to pay, and the disaster of the 2006 elections resulted.
"Victory" in Iraq, had it been achieved, was worth almost nothing. Victory over Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, had IT been achieved, would have been almost priceless. The result of the Iraq sideshow is a greatly weakened nation and a resurgent enemy, still safe in their beds at night in Riyadh, Islamabad, and, yes, Pennsylvania Avenue.