Thursday, June 14, 2007
For years now, we've been told that our failure to forcefully respond to terrorist attacks was taken as a sign of weakness by our Islamic fanatic enemies. According to this line of thinking, the attacks on 9/11 were a direct result of our failure to hammer Bin Laden for his involvement in the attack on the USS Cole... which in turn resulted from our failure to respond after the Khobar Tower bombings... which in turn resulted from our panicked withdrawal from Somalia... and so on..... and so on.
Supposedly, our Muslim fanatic enemies see anything other than massive retaliation as a sign of weakness, the equivalent of a giant 'PLEASE KICK ME AGAIN' sign. They don't believe in 'turning the other cheek', they don't follow the doctrine of a 'proportionate response' to provocations, and they never seem to have ever 'let bygones be bygones'.
This was illustrated nicely as yesterday's bombing of a Shiite mosque was met, not with cries of "oh, what have we done to deserve this", but rather with a series of retaliatory attacks on Sunni religious sites.
What does this have to do with our 'winning' in Iraq, you ask?
Well, winning requires that there has to be peace. And in order to have peace, the combatants have to lay down their weapons and forswear violence as a means of achieving their political goals... and enough of them have to stop fighting that the hard core that is determined to fight to the last bullet can't do enough damage to stir up those Iraqis who supposedly want peace.
And there are two ways, and only two ways, of getting the warring factions to put away the guns and bombs.
One way is to do like Hussein: retaliate against those causing trouble, and so much so that no one would dare stir up trouble for fear that Hussein would not only shove them into the wood chipper, but would do the same to one's family, friends and neighbors. To those opposed to Hussein, the math was pretty straightforward: they didn't hate Hussein so much that they were willing to see their family and friends subjected to torture, poison gas attack and whatever else Hussein and his evil sons could think of doing to those opposed to Hussein's rule.
Obviously, that isn't an option that our leaders would choose (I'm not saying they shouldn't choose this path, only that they won't)... which leaves us with only the second option: persuade the warring factions to voluntarily stop fighting.
And this will never happen... as not only both sides have it in their DNA to never give an inch, both sides know that if they were to extend an olive branch to their enemy, their enemy would take it as a sign of weakness and, instead of responding with a peaceful gesture of their own, would respond with an increasing level of violence.
A Muslim who stops fighting is an oxymoron. It is something not found in nature.
Nor will they let themselves be bought off, at least not for very long. Bribes are looked at in the same way a lack of military response is viewed: as a sign of weakness. Sure, they'll take the bribe, but they won't respect those offering the bribes... and those they don't respect can never relax for another attack is surely on its way.
So it doesn't matter how many troops Bush throws into the mix, they're not going to be able to keep the Iraqis from going after one another. And so long as one Iraqi is trying to kill other Iraqis, then other Iraqis will be respond by trying to kill those in the first group... which will cause other Iraqis to respond by trying to those who tried to kill them... and so on... and so on. And so long as this continues there will be no peace in Iraq... which means we will not see victory in Iraq.
And to think otherwise - as Bush and the few remaining kool-aid drinkers that there are seem to be doing - is to ignore history, (Muslim) human nature... and the words of George W Bush himself.