Monday, January 08, 2007

They're always screwing up everything

Somebody's to blame for our failures in Iraq. Helpfully, the estimable classicist Victor Davis Hanson provides some answers on who:

Two things then happened, in that first brief lost window [of April to July, 2003]: the political, economic, and social reform necessary to starve the nascent insurgency of
popular support in and outside of Iraq stalled, and second, we turned to reactive policing, under the glare of the international media, rather than ruthlessly killing the terrorists — and so insidiously lost the fear and respect from our enemies gained in the war. In a war imbued with symbolism withdrawing from Fallujah or giving Sadr a reprieve was nearly fatal to the notion of Western lethality.

You really have to give Hanson props for this. First our efforts "stalled." Somehow. Why is that? Maybe it was because we had absolutely no plan whatsoever once we militarily seized Baghdad, as Thomas Ricks so ably demonstrates in his book, Fiasco.

No, no, no, silly one. It's because the U.S. was operating under the glare of the horrid, terrorist-loving International Media. Oh, if only we could have somehow expelled those wretched scribblers and naysayers, then - Then! - we could have created Shangri-la on the Tigris and Euphrates. Oh it'd be grand. By ruthlessly killing, you know, the terrorists.

Except we didn't know exactly who the terrorists were. So we just rounded up everyone (see, Maj. Gen. Odierno, 4th I.D.), threw them in Abu Ghraib, tortured and humiliated them, and created even more terrorists and terrorist-supporters. But those ham-handed tactics wouldn't be good enough for the likes of Prof. Hanson, whose brilliant solution appears to be: just kill them all. After all, we're at war, stupid! To make an omelette sometimes you have to ruthlessly exterminate a few innocent Iraqis.

And woe betide the man who advocated "reactive policing." I assume it was a liberal pantywaist General who did so. But as Maj. Gen. Petraeus showed us in Mosul, the "Kill Them All" approach or "Everyone's a Potential Terrorist, so Shoot at Will" wasn't really the answer at all.

But don't tell Prof. Hanson about that.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 11:11 AM

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