Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Some Comments on the War

A couple of comments on the war, made in full acknowledgement that it is very difficult to judge what is going on and any comments may be overtaken by events before they are posted..

The kind of campaign the US is running not unprecedented. It is like the effort to oust Noriega from Panama. In that case too, we attacked from several directions without a lot of preparatory air strikes and tried to paralyze the leadership, which was our target. During the 1990s, some forward thinkers in the military argued that Panama would be the model for future warfare and not Desert Storm. The difference between Panama and Iraq II is that we now have better tools to conduct such a campaign. So far, for example, many fewer civilians have been killed in Iraq than in Panama, although obviously the fight for Baghdad lies ahead. We should hope there is another difference. In Panama, we did not plan sufficiently for what would happen when the fighting stopped. The result was a disaster: lots of looting and disarray, which significantly slowed Panama’s recovery.

More Iraqis are fighting than some people thought would fight and we have not yet encountered the more elite and cohesive units. If it is true, as Rumsfeld said Saturday, that the Iraqi leadership has lost control of the country, this resistance is significant. Two things are different from the first Iraq war. First, most of the surrenders in that case, as far as I know, followed B-52 bombings. Iraqi soldiers in adjacent positions were informed through leaflets that if they did not surrender they would be next. Tens of thousands surrendered. One might call this a shock and awe campaign. We have not done this yet in Iraq II. The other thing that is different is that the surrenders occurred last time in Kuwait. This time Iraqis are fighting in Iraq. Some Iraqis appear to be defending their homeland. Perhaps surrenders will increase as the intensity of the campaign grows. The Republican guard formations in front of Baghdad could be targets for the kind of bombing that occurred in Iraq I.

In response to Eric Claeys: First, I think we should turn Iraq over to the UN as soon as possible. The longer we stay, the more it looks like colonization. The problem is that UN administration is not likely to be effective, at least initially. The bad publicity from this will add to our difficulties in the Middle East and the Muslim world. It is also the case, that the UN might be hesitant to take over a problem they did not authorize us to create. France is reportedly uncooperative about post-war activities, since approving them would, it argues, condone our invasion.

Second, we should do our best to keep the Turks out of Iraq because Kurds and Turks are likely to start fighting each other. The Kurds say they want an autonomous region within a federal Iraq. The Turks don’t want them to have this. Even less do they want the Kurds to have what they Kurds really want, independence. The Turk-Kurd problem is just one case of the tribal/ethnic complexities that may make post-Saddam Iraq a difficult place.

Discussions - 2 Comments

So far the american forces have been more than benevolent. It would seem to me perhaps too benevolent. While the fact that we can bomb cities and preserve electricity in adjacent buildings shows our benevolence it also removes a great deal of fear from war, which is both good and bad.

Why are the Iraqi troops not surrendering? what about these three reasons. 1) It could seem that our bombs are doing less dammage than previously, and lend credence to the idiots in the Iraqi leadership who say that they are winning! Who knows what sort of effect our benevolent bombing and harsh rhetoric from the Tyrants can have? How many people cheered when watching the butchering of american marines? Why did the TV station agree to show such pictures? If the Iraqi’s are trully a people for whom democracy is possible, and if those who run the TV station are only half decent, they would at least side with the winners. But this is the same station that broadcasts for Osama! Perhaps some censorship in the form of a nice big bomb, is justifiable here!

2) the Kurds who remmember being slaughtered by Saddam following the last war could feel precarious about rising up against Saddam until they are sure that him and his kind are dead. The Kurdish militia did help us root out some terrorists recently, but in the back of their minds they have to be worried about the Turks and the future of Iraq post-Saddam?

Our promises of freedom will ring hollow if we do not ensure a free state for the Kurds, the Turks and Iraqi nationalists, and other arab nations be damned!

I am sick of all this kindness in the middle of war, it is time we turn up the heat and carpet bomb the entire locality in which the Republican guard has fortified itself.

Dead american marines are the ultimate collateral dammage. Why are we being so kind? Is this an expression of isothymia? Good or bad? I don’t believe that this "idealistic equality" is the equivalent of "shock and awe". I am impressed by our kindness, and the warm handshakes with Camel Herders, and many of the interesting images from Iraq! As I watch I believe that we have completly eliminated terror and fear from the equation. The captured Iraqi do not have fear in their eyes, when the camera pans upon them, there always seems to be one of them that is arguing with the american marine watching over him.

What does it mean that one of our own marines chooses to turn on us? Can there be any significance to the fact that he was Muslim? Or is this question given our stated "isothymia" too taboo to ask seriously?

Forget the UN, and the EU if it doesn’t want to rebuild Iraq. Lets not force those frogs to do anything! We can do it ourselves, the important thing in my opinion is that we do this right. Lets not do anything half-ass like we did last time. Most importantly we cannot screw the Kurds, no matter how much geopolitical pressure we take for it. We are engaged in this, marines have died, many more will perhaps die, this will be alright provided we do it right. "The longer we stay, the more it looks like colonization. The problem is that UN administration is not likely to be effective, at least initially." Then let us not leave a problem for the UN administration, if things are difficult initially let us take the heat for it. But lets do all in our power to make things right. If it looks like "colonization" then let appearances be. We cannot go so far only to hand the whole thing back to the UN, can we? If so how was the UN marginalized again? And if so, please remind me how the French don’t win?

No UN, please.... Or at least if we are to have the UN, make the UN beg to take over Iraq, take full advantage of the French unwillingness to join in post war activities. Above all do not beg the EU or the UN to come into Iraq or help us with reparations. If we beg the UN to intervene and they manage to botch things, screw the Kurds...exct... It will be worse than if we did nothing. The americans should maintain power in rebuilding Iraq. Perhaps we could arrange for a "coallition of the willing" for the purpose of rebuilding Iraq, each member would have power in direct proportion to the amount of money they wished to contribute to rebuilding Iraq.

I may be carried away here, but perhaps the biggest reason fewer Iraqi troups have surrendered, is the fact that in the last war many Arab nations including Saudi Arabia provided forces such that the war seemed to be less a war about Islam vs. the West. Now the rhetoric of Osama Bin Laden has permeated the Arab world, and the forces which the Iraqi units face, have a non-islamic face! Al Jazeera no doubt has a huge influence, it can show Osama Bin laden and then show the slaughter of american marines. In fact, Al Jazeera does something more effectively than President Bush could ever do, namely draw a connection between Osama Bin Laden and the war in Iraq. Islam feels embarassed by the West, by preaching defiantly and calling the american and british forces "mercenaries" the Iraqi military leader that we see on TV is employing the rhetoric of Bin Laden! My guess is that the attempt to sell this becomes more plausible if the face of the person making the statement is not Saddam. Who knows if Saddam is alive or dead? In fact the death of Saddam before the completion of the war, could even have the unfortunate effect of turning this into a direct confrontation between an Islamic nation and the Evil Satan America. This howhever depends on how much propaganda we allow the other side to use.

We need to take out all Iraqi TV and al Jazeera, and we need to do it now!

Two Objections to article:
1. "Defending their homeland" - their lives are being threatened by the Hussein regime. Their families are threatened with death if they don’t go out and fight. A woman was hanged for waving to coalition troops. The core fighters- a small percentage of Iraqis- have made their living killing & torturing the rest of them, they have no chance except to fight. When they are out of power, the Iraqi populace will tear them apart. They must fight with psychological warfare in mind, through the media. If America can be discouraged and quit, they have some chance. I don’t blame the media for reporting negative events. But knowingly editing out other facts which give an entire different picture is simply treachery. So is mischaracterizing the facts they do give. I only wish they could be prosecuted. They are not simply exercising freedom of speech. They are deliberately lieing, albeit cleverly in most cases, with a view to putting their political favorites in power.

2. "colonization" - I think this is not the word you want. Not one single American, much less a family, wants to move to Iraq. Ever. We brought our armies home after Europe’s WWII. If we pull out too fast, however, there will be accusations of abandonment.

Side note: If the Hussein Regime uses chemical or bio-weapons they will put the final nail on the Terrorist-Marxist-Media alliance. Blix,France, the Democratic Party,and the "peace" marchers will die (politically)the death of fools. The same will happen if we find such weapons. The chemical suits, the atrophine found, the possible scuds used, have already worked toward that end.

side note 2: On other comment- I sympathize with the "bombs away" idea. My son will be there soon. But since we are probably not stopping with Iraq, the existing strategy makes the support of terrorism in 50 other countries much less likely, and less likely for us to have to use extensive military force to oppose it. It is the Sun Tzu way: less killing, more victory, meaning that ultimately, fewer American servicemen will die.

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