Understanding the Atrocities of the Enemy

My fellow Constitution Club blogger Wes was kind enough to point out the latest outrage perpetrated by our enemy in Iraq. Sadly, last months slaughter was the largest massacre (over five hundred killed) yet perpetrated by al-Qaeda and their affiliates and allies since 9-11 .

It was al- Zarqawi’s (actually quite brilliant) plan to perpetuate dramatic slaughters, atrocities, and outrages to forment ethnic and sectarian violence in Iraqi society. His plan for the most part has succeeded and many have bought it hook, line and sinker, blame Bush for it, and turn defeatist because of it.

The brutal strategy of the Islamic fascists to turn the fissures in Iraqi society into the chasms we see today largely succeeded and overturned many of the early successes that we had seen in Iraq.
The various al-Qaeda affiliated groups have got to love it. They are in for the long haul, have a plan, and the sheer fanatic determination to see it through to the end. The US and its allies, well, maybe not so much.

Far too many people wring their hands and grind their teeth everytime the al-Qaeda types strike instead of doing (and supporting) every opportunity to kill them, smash them, and send them on to receive their reward from Allah as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, it is painful to have to mention that the modern day Copperheads actually seem to have no problem just handing Iraq over to them, right here and right now, with no qualms. If you think the situation on the ground in Iraq is bad now, just wait and see what happens then.

Major attacks are down some 50 percent in Iraq since the surge went into full swing and the effects of the surge are being felt. War is hell, but only one side can be left standing, and I for one think it should be us.If there was any time to ‘double down’ in Iraq it is now. Throwing in your cards at this stage of the game is simply not a sane or reasonable option.

The ideological enemy we fight is a vicious and brutal one. Killing infidels, apostates, crusaders and zionists of one stripe or another is their sport; whether they be Jews, Christians, Shiites or obscure sects like the Yazidi’s. It’s all just part of a day’s work for those who go to bed at night dreaming of Shariah law and the reestablishment of the Caliphate.

You may not have supported the invasion of Iraq, the removing of Saddam from power, or be especially pleased with the current state of battlefield Iraq. But the enemy is there, the fight is there, and the War on Islamic fundamentalism is being fought there. Coulda, woulda, shoulda gets you absoulutely nothing and if you try to fight and win worldwide wars by gazing backwards half a decade you will lose on every front. Living in the past will not provide dividends for the future. Defeatism, pacifism, and blind hatred of your leaders will be the fastest path to actual defeat and capitulation. It is seductive, easy and historically has been ultimately fatal to those cultures who have embraced it.

To get up and leave Iraq like a child returning from recess is directly in line with the strategy, goals and wishes of the Islamic fascists and jihadists. By doing so we fall right into their hands. It's strange (and sad) when the goals and strategies of a major U.S. political party and brutal Islamic terrorists and murderers are nearly identical..
Despite the many crocodile tears being shed for the poor people of Iraq let us not forget that this is the most humane, politically correct, restrained war that has ever been fought in history. The United States and its allies have killed far fewer non-combatants in five years fighting the War on Terror throughout the globe than we did in one good night of bombing in WWII. The vast majority of bloggers, political pundits and talking head are pitifully poor historians.

Many of us have been fairly harsh critics at one time or another on the prosectution of the war (not the initial invasion which was incredibly successful) and the followup administration of the country, the unpreparedness for the insurgency, the virtual dismantling of the standing army, the de-Baathification program, the failure to secure the borders (sound familiar?), the reluctance to commit more troops immediately when problems arose, concentration on the political situation first and foremost in Iraq instead of the military situation, and hesitancy in dealing with problem spots like Fallujah quickly and with overwhelming force (it took many months to finally eliminate Fallujah as a terrorist playground) etc.

There are many things that have been 'wrong' in this war as in all wars we have ever fought. But saying 'you don't play fair so I'm going home' will not impress the Islamo-fascists one bit, will turn Iraq into a much more dangerous, genocidal and vicious place, give a tremendous boost and victory to al-Qaeda and their affiliates, and allow our enemy to pursue us in their thousands to all the surrounding areas and eventually back home to the good ol' USA.
I have long predicted that the day will come when they make a wave of 'visits' to malls, Wal-Marts, and movie theaters near you. They have been successfully distracted overseas for the last five years and abandoning Iraq to them will not solve one thing and only lead to a myriad of others. Mark my words, pandoras box has the lid cracked, let us not fling it wide open.

Bin Laden’s original Al-Qaeda is now more of an idea and role model than an actual functioning military organization and bin-Laden is more of a figurehead than a military and political leader. But the hundreds of terrorist groups and independent cells throughout the world carry on its message, commit outrages in their name, share its goal and vision, and ally themselves with it at every opportunity. It is in disarray, but its allies and affiliates murder and maim with utter disregard or respect for humanity as a whole.

The citizens of Western Civilization must come to the realization that they are not an enemy that you can broker a peace treaty with or cede entire countries and regions too.

My fellow blogger DFV at Constitution Club perhaps summed it up best:

Lost in all of the fog of the Iraq war and the politics surrounding it, is the fundamental fact that the US is sacrificing enormously to give peace, freedom, and stability to Iraqis, while al Qaeda is desperate to present slaughter, misery, and horror to a wide swath of completely innocent human beings. Never forget that fundamental fact.

Posted by David M. Huntwork at September 5, 2007 12:19 AM
Comments
Comment #231796

David, If the situation is so grave and the consequences so severe why will the repubs not fund the effort now and not put the costs unto the back of our children and grandchildren? Why will they not initiate a draft so all American families can participate in a cause that is so vital?
From over here it looks like it is because this “war” is actually a debacle to starve the beast and plunder the US Treasury as well as gain corporate dominance over the IRaqi oil. Prove otherwise by calling for an end to the tax cuts for the rich and start paying for this fight now, otherwise your just blowing smoke.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 5, 2007 12:50 AM
Comment #231797

Would you support a draft? Such a move would be political suicide at the moment and is a red herring argument at best. I don’t mind getting creative when it comes to filling the ranks of the military but an universal draft just isn’t a good idea. And believe me, this effort has been more than funded. Your conspiracy theories on the war are interesting, but completely without foundation, but thanks for playing.

Posted by: David M. Huntwork at September 5, 2007 12:56 AM
Comment #231800

David, generally a good article. Two logical inadequacies should be debated here, though.

First, in praising al_Zarqawi’s brilliance, you said: “His plan for the most part has succeeded and many have bought it hook, line and sinker, blame Bush for it, and turn defeatist because of it.”

I agree his plan has had success toward his ends. But, when you refer to “many have bought it, hook, line, and sinker”, who are you referring to? If you are referring to the sects in Iraq, I agree. If you are referring to Americans, I disagree adamantly, that Americans ends, Democrat, Republican, or other, are aligned with al-Zarqawi’s.

The blame for Bush by Iraqis opposed to Iraqi occupation by U.S. troops is understandable and was even predictable and predicted by Dick Cheney and others prior to invasion. American’s blame of Bush however, is an entirely different event occurring and arising from very different reasons.

Lastly, your reference to defeatists, seems to refer to Americans in opposition to continued occupation of Iraq. Here you make an extremely illogical conclusion that to be fore withdrawing is defeatist. To be defeatist, one has to have the real option of winning, within one’s control and power to effect. As everyone knowledgeable about the current situation in Iraq knows, winning, as in a friendly, stable, independent allied democratic government in Iraq, IS NOT within our control or power to effect. Only the Iraqis and their government have the power and potential control to effect that end, and they clearly are not want to create that power nor exert that control toward those ends.

So, by definition, Americans opposed to continued occupation in Iraq, are not defeatists, for winning is not within America’s control and power to effect, it is within Iraqis. If anything, in light of the disarray of both the people and the government in Iraq, those opposed to occupation can only be termed realists seeking to end the very high costs expended toward ends not in our control to effect.

Otherwise, pretty good article.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 5, 2007 1:19 AM
Comment #231803

David H., and your friend quoted at the end of your article is full of crap logically. He said: “Lost in all of the fog of the Iraq war and the politics surrounding it, is the fundamental fact that the US is sacrificing enormously to give peace, freedom, and stability ti Iraqis,”

America cannot GIVE Iraqis peace, freedom, and stability. That is pure Bullshit. Iraqis are waring with Iraqis. Only Iraqis can give themeselves peace. We haven’t the resources to impose a national martial law to force peace upon them whether they want it or not, and clearly, great numbers do not. We cannot give them freedom. Freedom, as our own history has taught us time and again, must be zealously fought for by those with it or seeking it, or it will never be achieved or soon lost if achieved. Sunnis want the Freedom to govern themselves again, and the Shia will never trust Sunnis with freedom in Iraq.

As for stability, we have given Iraqis all the stability our 160,000 troops can provide, and they are still not stable. In April, our forces need to be drawn down if our defensive posture and offensive capacity in other areas of the world is to be maintained at capable levels, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Gen. Peter Pace have indicated.

So, sorry, though you say your friend said it best, I have to say your friend has an incomplete grasp of reality, and very poor understanding of language, logic, and facts about the current and future situation in Iraq. We can no more give Iraqis peace, freedom, and stability, than we could give the Cripps and the Bloods peace, freedom, and stability. Get real. At the very best we can give Iraqis the opportunity to seize peace, freedom, and stability for themselves, and we have done that, haphazardly, but, we have. They have refused to seize the opportunity. End of story. Every soldier that dies in Iraq, every dollar spent on reconstruction, is wasted on a people and nation incapable of embracing or, appreciating the opportunity that has been provided them.

It is time to stop river of American brave and honorable blood fertilizing the sands of Iraq. It is time to stop the flood of 100’s of billions of dollars of taxpayer’s money wasted now in Iraq, funds soon to be desperately needed to fund American’s retirement years and medical health care needs.

It is time for Iraq to revert back to the status it should always have held, as regional problem for nations in the Middle East to deal with, with, if desired, the aid and assistance of the United Nations.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 5, 2007 1:38 AM
Comment #231806

David, I don’t see your logic, but I am not as smart as you. Seriously. Why are you so absolute? You post would then apply to Vietnam, Korea, WW II and WW I, et al where American’s could not influence the outcome? Yet we feel we did influence the outcome of what happened. Would you argue “The Yanks Are Coming” in WW I did not change the tide? Our help with the campaigns in Europe and the Pacific? I don’t see today any different than then. At the time we had no experience with the “villians” and we were flying blind on foreign policy. In fact, we stepped out of a foreign policy that we held dear … not getting involved … to fight WW I & II. I am not as familar with Korea & Vietnam.

So by defition, American opposed helping England, France, the Koreans, and the Vietnamese … were those Americans defeatest? I would say they were, because in the end the policy decision resulted in success. Do we yet know what the success will be in this situation?

By the way, before you get mad I love you tie! ;) My thanks!

Posted by: Honest at September 5, 2007 1:42 AM
Comment #231809

Honest, said: “You post would then apply to Vietnam, Korea, WW II and WW I, et al where American’s could not influence the outcome? “

Whoa Bub. First, it is irrefutable that leaving Viet Nam resulted in a stable, unified, peaceful, and free Viet Nam. Which stands in direct contradiction to our failure to impose same by force.

Korea nor Viet Nam invaded or attacked America, and both were backed by a real threat of Chinese intervention, which our civilian government and military agreed was not a conflict we wanted to engage in. Hence, our military was prevented from using all options to it to win. And it became clear that we could not win using limited strategy and tactics and weapons designed to prevent Chinese intervention. Withdrawal became the only affordable option.

WWI was the first such large scale military involvement on behalf of allies that our nation engaged in, and we and our allies won. It was a shared international conflict with shared costs and losses, and a successful conclusion. Not much else need be said of WWI.

WWII, was for in some sense, a repeat of WWI, and Japan’s attack upon our fleet, left no choice but to enter it, and win it, with all available resources, weapons, and tactics, without reservation. It was the clearest case America has ever experienced of the need to fight them there, to stop them from fighting us here. The international effort in Germany, resulted in total and complete military, psychological, sociological, and political defeat of the Germans, including their will to fight. The Atomic Bombs accomplished the same thing in Japan. Hence, with the wisdom and compassion of our leaders of the time, we reached out to those defeated peoples with an enormous helping hand which they had no choice but to embrace in the wake of the destruction of their nation.

Iraq did not invade or threaten to invade the U.S. Hence, it would have been immoral in the extreme to drop nuclear weapons on Iraq, and destroy their entire society and will to fight. We also had no concrete evidence that Iraq could even threaten invasion of our close allies. Invading Iraq recreated the situation we found ourselves in both Korea and Viet Nam, and bore no resemblance to WWI or WWII. A limited military engagement which could not possibly hope to subjugate and break the will of the Iraqi people to fight. We compounded the problem by sending Iraqi’s army home without pay, without jobs, and without honor, to watch the demolition of their society, and rise of sectarian violence completely outside of our ability to constrain or control it. Hence, with their caches of weapons, and ours, the Baathist Army of men, unemployed, dejected, and pissed off, joined in an effort to repel and kill both their occupiers, and their Shia countryman now in control of their Sunni fates.

Unable by virtue of limited military forces and options, and a divided support for the invasion from the beginning here in America, we found ourselves in a limited military campaign whose only hope was to provide an opportunity for the new Iraqi government to take control of their country before the cost of keeping that window of opportunity open became too immense for the American public to justify. The Iraqis were not and are not capable of seizing that opportunity. The American people now want the hemmorhage of American blood and treasure to stop, just as the American public did in 1972 and beyond.

We can no more force peace and stability and freedom on the Iraqis than we could upon the Vietnamese or N. and S. Koreans. To force those ends, we would have to utterly and overwhelming break the will and hope of Iraqis that there is any other way but to submit. We don’t have the military options to make that happen now, nor economic resources to keep the opportunity window open into the the years of the entitlement crisis facing us here at home in less than a decade. Hence, there is only one logical course of action. The same course America took in the Korean and Viet Nam wars. Exit, and allow Iraqis to find their own way, with or without the aid and assistance of regional nations and the U.N.

And if in 5, 10, or 20 years, Iraq’s government achieves the ability and will to threaten our close allies or, our own homeland, we will engage them again, but, without the constraints on military options we now have on us. If they threaten us or treaty allies in the future, we can then legitimately and internationally justify the use of all available military resources to quickly and efficiently halt their threat dead in its tracks, and break their will to fight with overwhelming weapons, tactics, and force.

This is the difference between WWII and Viet Nam. In one we were attacked and justified to use all available resources. In the other, we elected to introduce ourselves in their civil conflict and were not justified to destroy their culture, history, people, infrastructure in the name of winning. It would have been immoral and UnAmerican to do so. But, few Americans and other nations, could, or would, argue that America was wrong or immoral in pulling out all the stops to win against Germany or Japan whose actions threatened our homeland, people, and allies directly.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 5, 2007 2:41 AM
Comment #231815
To get up and leave Iraq … we fall right into their hands.

How so? It’s not like al-Qaeda will take over Iraq if we draw down (nobody serious is suggesting we leave completely).

Regarding your buddy’s quote at the end of your article, don’t you think it’s absolutely appalling that President Bush is losing the PR war to bin Laden? You’d think we’d have the uncontested moral high ground. How is it possible for Bush to screw up the battle for hearts and minds so badly?

There was a really good Friedman op-ed on that subject recently, “Swift-Boated by Bin Laden”. Definitely worth a read.

How could the Bush team Swift-boat John Kerry and Max Cleland — authentic Vietnam war heroes, whom the White House turned into surrendering pacifists in the war on terror — but never manage to Swift-boat Osama bin Laden, a genocidal monster, who today is still regarded in many quarters as the vanguard of anti-American “resistance”?

Good question.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 5, 2007 3:01 AM
Comment #231819

I’m really sorry. What can I say? I know you greatly fear the results of your party’s failure, but your concern, genuine though it may be, should have been focused on taking care of business from the start. The fact that you only see one opponent, instead of the several competing factions that in fact form the nucleus of trouble in Iraq shows how far your focus really fell.

al-Qaeda did take advantage of our situation. Of that, there is no doubt. But they took advantage of an opening that this Administration left, and kept open rather than jumping on it back when it was just starting. You guys called it the Flypaper strategy, and praised its brilliance. You even found a nice catchphrase to support it with: We’re fighting them there, so we don’t have to fight them here. Unfortunately, the Administration never thought of it in terms of preventing that chaos in the midst of Iraq, and that failure to act there is why they were able to push the Sunnis and the Shia into such a vicious civil war.

Your muddled focus on the so-called Islamofascists blurs together the real actors. You can talk about Anbar, and the success there, but Anbar is mostly Sunni anyways. In places where folks have to live side by side with Shia, the violence remains severe.

We put together some benchmarks for this surge to see whether it was working. The whole point was to used our military to calm things down sufficiently that the political process could take hold. Unfortunately, the Surge has arrived years late, after the initial blood has been shed, and of the benchmarks, or three have been successfully reached. The unfortunate fact is, nobody’s interested in kissing and making up with the other side, at least nobody who dares stick their neck out with Shia and Sunni death squads mutually roving the streets.

Most Americans were on board long ago with the notion of changing Iraq for the better. Few Americans actually wanted to see us lose. Unfortunately, the opinions and the wishes of the vast majority of Americans were ignored, in favor of the continuation of the dysfunctional policy, which had the virtue of letting your side continue to claim that they are the ones in control, rather than letting others in on it.

This war, this pre-emptive war was justified on the grounds of Saddam harboring terrorists and hiding weapons of mass destruction he promised to destroy. It turns out there were no weapons left, and there were no terrorists there in the beginning. It could have ended there, if the strategy this administration employed had brought order to post-war Iraq, and it would have been a minor quibble with what was a quick and decisive military victory.

Unfortunately, this administration has never been willing to do what really takes to win, either because it thought it knew better than all those experts warning them about things, or because they didn’t want to suffer the political indignity of getting asked questions about their change of policy when they finally did it.

Nobody from this administration is going to admit the surge has failed. They’ll say they need more time, half a decade to a decade to resolve things. However, we’re approaching the five year mark on this war, and the notion of a ten to fifteen year war does not make the American public who’ve seen the last five all warm and fuzzy. This is your party not wanting to admit failure, and you folks are doing it much the way a drug addict promise recoverty: always talking about what you will do, if we let you.

I’m sorry. This war’s going to rehab.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 5, 2007 8:46 AM
Comment #231822

David,

If I honestly saw a good chance of positive results from the war, I might be behind staying, but there’s nothing.

I disagree with you that by leaving we do Al Qaeda’a bidding. Al Qaeda’s plan all along was to drag us into a protracted war that would drain our resources. Mission Accomplished.


Posted by: Max at September 5, 2007 9:37 AM
Comment #231826

Max said: “I disagree with you that by leaving we do Al Qaeda’a bidding.”

Where did I say that? Please quote. That has never been my position. Iraqis themselves will fight al-Queda tooth and nail in our absence. They are not about to wave bye bye to one occupier only to wave hello to another.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 5, 2007 9:56 AM
Comment #231829

David Remer:

I think Max was talking to David Huntwork, the author of this article, and responding to the same point you were in comment #231800, the author’s assertion that many have bought into Zarqawi’s plan hook line and sinker and blame Bush because of it.

Posted by: Jarandhel at September 5, 2007 10:37 AM
Comment #231832

Gee, look at that, it’s September, Gen. Petraeus’ report on Iraq is due, and somebody on the Red side of this site is saying “stay the course”. Never in my wildest imaginations could I have predicted this!!!!

Ok, dripping sarcasm aside, let me let you in on a little idea that seems to completely escape the conservative mind. As long as we are in Iraq, there will be those there that hate us enough to believe that they need to destroy anything we try to build, even if what we build is good for Iraq. To answer AP’s question above, I am suggesting we leave completely. Until we do, those who hate us will always have a reason do destablize the country, and there will always be civilians that will pay the price for it.

L

Posted by: leatherankh at September 5, 2007 11:00 AM
Comment #231845

Jarandhel, thanks. It’s been a long sleepless night for other reasons. My error.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 5, 2007 12:58 PM
Comment #231855

PLEASE, PLEASE, please…

All of you posting here -
Consider what victory would look like!

If we could achieve all of our wildest fantasies in Iraq…
If we could establish a democracy that was trusted and stablized by its own people…
If the sectarian violence ended and the Sunni and Shia would live together in peace in Iraq…

What would we actually have achieved????

The new Iraqi government would be viewed by Iraqis and by the entire world as being a puppet regime of the U.S.

The economy in Iraq would rely on trade with a nation that has little respect in the region i.e. there would be no stability or economic diversity —- no free market.

Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations would have a PR dream-come-true as far as recruitment across the arab world.

Both the new Iraq and the U.S. would be targets for these terrorist organizations and their new ‘soldiers’ will be those who are getting ‘battle trained’ and hardened in Iraq right now.

The most obvious and easiest American targets in the middle east will be the oil infrastructure being negotiated into place right now —- with the horrific and desterous consequences being both the economic and the environmental nightmare that would ensue from damage or destruction to any such targets.

So you see…
winning in Iraq is actually losing.

This is folly. Iraq is expensive and murderous folly that is actually making things worse, not better.

So, why then, are we engaged in this folly?
Well, the price for a barrel of oil has skyrocketed and remained high for almost the entirety of Bush’s administration.

Only the oil companies appear to be profiting from this nonesense.

Whether they are directly or indirectly involved is, ultimately, immaterial. They are profitting from this and they represent a LOT of money and influence that will obviously continue to support the interests that benefit them MOST.

Posted by: RGF at September 5, 2007 1:51 PM
Comment #231857

David,

I meant to comment to the author on the same point you were.

Posted by: Max at September 5, 2007 2:16 PM
Comment #231858

AP,

Good post, except for quoting Tom Friedman. He is or was the media darling over the past few years, but I’ve come to see him as an eloquent, though ill informed commentator.

http://mediamatters.org/items/200603230004

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/1030-25.htm

http://www.thismodernworld.com/

Posted by: alien from the planet zorg at September 5, 2007 2:19 PM
Comment #231868

Atrocities? Maybe the US should remove the plank from its own eye before pointing at the speck on the other side…

Posted by: Rachel at September 5, 2007 3:36 PM
Comment #231871

I would like to recommend a movie I saw last night: “No Way Out”. Its focus is not the decisions that led us into the war but the decisions made in the prosecution of same. It touches all the areas commented on above by David Huntwork through interviews with the principals. It is both depressing and convincing.

Posted by: Charles Ross at September 5, 2007 4:26 PM
Comment #232015

The article here recounts research that explains why so many people are convinced that the Iraq occupation and counterinsurgency has to do with fighting terrorism. I suspect the Bush administration (i.e., Karl Rove) knows this research and has used it many times to its advantage.

Posted by: mental wimp at September 6, 2007 5:09 PM
Comment #232559

Hey David,

I agree with your thoughts on this.

Problem with libs is they decisions with emotions and not logic.

Posted by: MacIrish at September 11, 2007 1:55 PM
Comment #232574

Uh….huh?

Invading Iraq because of what Al Qeada did…
Logic? …nope. Emotion - especially since inteligence was manipulated to achieve the goal!

The evangelical anit-gay rights and anti-gay marriage movement prior to elections in ‘04…
Logic? Nope - Rove created this manipulation, and he is the son of a gay man and he is also athieist/agnostic! …but, this doesn’t matter because logic is an alien concept to republican voters!

Continuing in war that, by definition, cannot be won! Winning IS losing in Iraq, at this point. See my post on this in comment# 231855. Logical? Hell, no!

Libs are logical. republicans are just silly.

Posted by: RGF at September 11, 2007 3:01 PM
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