Skip to comments.What Our Victory Means: We taught the Middle East a serious lesson. . . .
Posted on 04/17/2003 11:13:57 PM PDT by JohnHuang2
With the process of establishing a new dispensation in Iraq proceeding apace and the remaining pockets of resistance gradually being crushed, it is time to reflect upon the deeper strategic significance of the second Gulf War.
To be sure, Saddam Hussein, with his megalomania and confidence in his own survival, provided crucial tactical assistance. His defiance of United Nations resolutions, his likely possession and secreting of weapons of mass destruction, his general support of terrorism, his harboring of noted terrorists, his constant attacks on U.S. and British aircraft policing the no-fly zones, and his violation of the spirit if not the letter of the 1991 cease-fire agreement -- all this provided ample justification for the allied ultimatum and ultimate attack.
Yet, the longer-run strategic meaning transcends the essentially three-week war itself. The outcome will alter the strategic -- and psychological -- map of the Middle East.
The war has most dramatically conveyed the following realities:
1.) The U.S. is a very powerful country.
2.) It is ill-advised to arouse this nation by attacking or repeatedly provoking it -- or by providing support to terrorism; and
3.) Regularly to do so means a price will likely be paid. Far less credence will now be placed in the preachments of Osama bin Laden regarding America's weakness, its unwillingness to accept burdens, and the ease of damaging its vulnerable economy, etc.
Many have argued that greater self-criticism or better understanding of the roots of terrorism would magically dispel the hostility displayed in much of the Arab world. This was reflected in widespread demonstrations as we responded to 9/11 in Afghanistan; pervasive sympathy for, as well as some direct support of, bin Laden; celebration of 9/11 itself; constant anti-American whining in the Arab press; and a steady flow of critiques from Arab governments (albeit sometimes primarily for domestic consumption).
All that has now changed. The rapid collapse of what many had expected to be a long and stout-hearted resistance has altered the tone in the Arab world. While the whining in the press continues, it is now quite different: How long will the Americans stay? Will they successfully build an (infectious) democracy? Will they apply pressure to neighboring states? Who might be next? The dismay and shame in the region that the Arabs did not put up a better fight stands in remarkable contrast to the joy of the Iraqis that Saddam is finally gone.
There is a notable diminution of the earlier braggadocio. The many-heralded "catastrophes" did not take place. There was no "explosion" in the Middle East, no widespread unrest immediately upsetting governments, no endless urban warfare, no heavy casualties, no use of chemical and biological weapons (which Saddam supposedly did not have). What we have seen instead is a stunned realization of an awesome display of military power.
It may be too much to hope, but even the U.S. media may glean a lesson or two. Much of what appeared in press accounts was misleading, if not wrong. There were coalition forces supposedly "bogged down" in a "quagmire," suffering "substantial casualties," with insufficient forces, with supply lines stretched and exposed to undue risk. Momentary setbacks -- or alleged setbacks -- were inflated in a manner that obscured the overall course of battle.
To be sure, the European press was even worse -- with its mixture of prophecies of doom and Schadenfreude. And, of course, the same people who said that an attack without an additional U.N. resolution would be the end of the U.N. are now desperately scrambling to refurbish and re-establish the role and the credibility of the U.N. -- and, they hope, its ability to act as a constraint on American power. All in all, it may teach us to be more skeptical about European wisdom and European "sophistication." By and large, European sophistication turned out to be simply European sophistry.
Mr. Schlesinger is a former secretary of defense, CIA director, and secretary of energy.
I have another:
4) Don't be lulled into a false sense of security by a weak and feckless Democrat President who seems to actually AID your efforts at thwarting American interests. Sooner or later, the American electorate wakes up.
No second-place winner, no "third way" solution-- it's March or Die time, folks.
It's Us versus an eighth-century "culture" of plunder, forced religious "conversions," and the mistreatment of women.
The sooner we face this fact realistically and quit dancing around PC talking-point nonsense about diversity and tolerance, the better off we'll all be.
We didn't pick this fight- which really has roots in Jimmy Carter's appeasement in 1979 of militants- but we had damn well better see it for what it is, and be prepared to face it and finish it.
I'll put it in raw, personal terms-- I don't want Sharia law visited upon my women, and I don't want a goatroper "culture" infesting my land.
I don't want their vile, nasty weapons of mass destruction loosed on my fair country, either.
They picked the fight, so it's up to us to finish it- balls to the wall, hammer and anvil, fire and blood and iron... freedom is never, ever free, and the coin of the realm is men's lives.
What we saw during Gulf War I was our military doctrine ( high tech ) versus Soviet doctrine ( throw a lot of low tech iron at the problem )-- and we all know how that turned out.
What we have just seen in the 3-Week War is Information-Tech,
( Some are calling it Hyperwarfare... )
or 21st Century warfare versus 20th Century...
What I would suggest, and call your attention to, is the fact that we, and Israel, are capable of waging 21st Century warfare, and the entire Arab world is not.
Proven fact, by recent events.
Believe me, lessons are being drawn, across the world...
I do thank you- there's so much I know that I can't tell you about, so many things I have witnessed that I must remain silent upon...
General WerBell, mentioned here:
The Law Offices of Edwin Marger - Articles - LUNCH WITH AFGHAN ...
... Wyche Fowler, and Mitchell WerBell III, a consultant on counter-terrorism who
lives in Powder Springs, according to Margers secretary, Didi Nelson. ...
PROJECT NASSAU Menu
Haiti Invasion 1967, PROJECT NASSAU, OPERATION ISTANBUL , CBS News, Cubans, soldiers
of fortune, Mitchell Werbell, Rolando Masferrer, Jean Baptiste Georges ...
was my first "advisor" in training so long ago. He taught guerilla warfare to the Royal Free Afgan Army when they were fighting the Soviets over there.
The words I wrote may seem harsh, but sometimes there is no other way but the hard road. I hope we have the fortitude to take it, for the other way is submission.
I wouldn't dream of asking you to divulge things, that you feel you can't say. Since you were trained by General Werbell, undoubtedly you know far more about this, than the rest of us do. That being said,I have been saying the same sort of things, as you did, for a very long time. Some of it is just common sense and knowing something more about the " ARAB STREET ", than what one gets from T.V.
One of the lessons driven in to me from the School of Hard Knocks was that high intelligence and degrees from colleges are no substitute for good common sense. It's one reason I refer to what I see on TV as the Jackal Pack Press-- they are educated beyond their intelligence, but have little common sense.
Given a choice, I would rather place my life in the hands of my next-door neighbor than most of the glitteratti & literatti I see on TV every day.
Not only the Arabs; NO ONE else is capable of fighting this kind of war.
Believe me, lessons are being drawn, across the world...
Russia, China, Europe...
The second link is mindboggling in its inference. I hope that "Old Media" has incurred the same smack-down from recent events that "Old Europe" has.
I'm in total agreement with your assessment of the conflict in which we're engaged. I've gotten jaw-dropping responses for several years at my announcement that YES, in fact, I do believe that my culture is superior to other cultures. It's so un-PC to state that.
One recent encouraging event was the slap-down Ibrahaim Hooper of CAIR got when he whined about Franklin Graham speaking at the Good Friday service at the Pentagon. He's been used to getting his way, and too often has received deference from the wielders of power.
It was gratifying to see him cut off at the knees.
Don't count on it. The mainstream media does not understand the "western way of war," because it doesn't understand what really makes America great. Consequently, there will be NO "introspection" among the liberal elites. Rather, there will be a continued erosion of their power in the media. I don't see any erosion in the universities, however.
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