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Our troops persevere, but civilians throw in towel

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Election 2006: The Day the Insurgents’ Long War Strategy Finally Pays Off

Our troops persevere, but civilians throw in towel

Today is Election Day in America, and if the polls are even remotely correct, today is the day that the Iraqi insurgency’s strategy of dragging America into a long war finally pays off. You just can’t beat American troops. They stand their ground, fight hard, and have the best weapons and training on Earth. They are loyal to their nation, to their honor, and to their buddies.

American civilians are an entirely different bag. They’re all for a war, provided it doesn’t last long enough for the New York Times and the Dixie Chicks to change their minds. Plus, long wars are so hard for the MTV generation to follow all the way to a victory that doesn’t happen sometime in the fourth quarter, this Monday night.

So a portion of voters has decided the time has come to run like a bunch of Spaniards straight out of Iraq with the whole world watching, laughing and getting ready to join the pile on. Thus, the Democrat’s fortunes are finally looking up, since voters know they can trust them to run. Retreat is the one campaign promise Democrats can be counted on to keep.

Also, the Democrats will do a good job of telling everyone it’s OK to lose, since it was all just some mean old Republican’s fault anyway. Remember, kids, it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, just as long as you do what is easy. It’s the political version of self-esteem class in an “outcome based” education curriculum. Voter Hug!

What will be the result of a Democrat takeover of the House today? Obstruction. Gloating. Camera hogging. Investigations. Resolutions. Battles over every dollar needed by the troops. Sound bites for al Jazeera and its Atlanta affiliate, CNN, showing the internal conflict and breakdown in America’s government.

All this will be just in time too, since the insurgents’ strategy has really been a flop for them militarily and domestically. All that blowing up of little kids and mosques, the constant sawing off of heads, has just earned them more and more hateful opposition from the Shia and Kurdish portions of Iraq’s population. “Al Qaeda in Iraq” can’t even rent a car-bomb lately. They’ve been gutted and can’t show their face in most of Iraq without someone making a phone call and turning them in.

Likewise, the non-al Qaeda Sunni insurgents have seen the insurgency go from the fun of bullying, to a vicious low-level civil war in which their families are now afraid too. I know that’s supposed to be proof of “chaos,” but the reality is that’s how things are sorted out in wars, as opposed to massacres.

No matter, because the one thing the insurgents have done right is to realize that in the echo chamber of an anti-war American media, it doesn’t matter how many Americans you kill, just how frequently you kill at least one.

It’s amazing how the number of casualties you inflict on America is almost meaningless; all that matters is the time over which those casualties are spread.

A battle that kills 20 Americans is great militarily, but if your aim is to feed the spontaneous anti-war propaganda machine that afflicts every western democracy, then it is much better to have five or 10 incidents that just kill two to four soldiers. All you really need is just any skirmish that will hold your place in the anti-War news cycle. Hitler had to stage something as huge as the London Blitz, with thousands of impressive planes raining bombs for weeks to imagine breaking the will to fight of the British. All a jihadi has to manage is a few roadside bombs and a lucky shot here and there. “Drip, drip, drip” on the battlefield becomes “DEFEAT! DEFEAT! DEFEAT!” in the mainstream media.

The media claim that every American action from a high-profile terrorist capture to Karl Rove’s after dinner flatulence is timed to affect voter opinion in advance of the election. But the well-coordinated increase in attacks by insurgents in advance of our election is just a strange coincidence, merely a “Ramadan Offensive.” You know, that’s just how they celebrate—by hanging explosive ornaments on the roadside Ramadan Tree. But Ramadan ended nearly two weeks ago, yet the offensive continues unabated. Ramadan Offensive, my Olbermann. It is an Election Offensive and the attacks are not aimed at soldiers and Marines. They are aimed at voters. And they’re hitting their soft, soft targets.

Do I think the war is going hunky dory? No. Like many wars, it has taken unexpected turns and I am not happy with several aspects of White House strategy. But as bad as the situation is, it doesn’t matter. Yeah, you read that right. It doesn’t matter what we expected, or why we went to war, or if we have to win it in 10 days or 10 years. Not winning this war will be the greatest geopolitical disaster in America’s history. It will be seen around the world as a collapse of American power and sound the starting bell on an age of terror, war, ridicule, opposition and anti-American celebration such as we have never dreamed.

Withdrawing from Iraq in defeat will not save the life of a single American soldier. It will cost many more lives in unnecessary wars, as every Osama wannabe and piss-ant dictator from Caracas to Korea decides his dream moment is here—the Great Satan is weak and defeated.

Are the Iraqis “worth” it? No. But no soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine in Iraq is fighting for the Iraqis. He’s fighting for you. He’s fighting to preserve America’s reputation as a world-class military power that you do not want to mess with. He’s fighting to win, because he understands that it doesn’t matter if a war begins over Pearl Harbor or a card game. Once it begins, you better win it, or you can watch the geopolitical feeding frenzy begin.

What would victory look like? Merely the absence of daily sectarian war—minimal order. The freedom for Iraqis to go to the store without being blown into a fine red mist by other Iraqis claiming to fight for the Iraqis. This is achievable. This can be followed by negotiations of graft-sharing between various sectarian strongmen, each capable of controlling their own thugs. This is called “politics” in the Middle East, where “freedom” is defined as the right to be exploited by a gangster of one’s own ethnicity, rather than be ruled by anyone of another parochial association.

How do we achieve this? Partition. And it’s well under way. The war is no longer a phenomenon in which Sunni Arabs terrorize Shiites and Kurds with bombs in marketplaces. It is going both ways now. Much of what we see now is payback and revenge. The result will be movements of populations to areas where each is the overwhelming majority and feels safe. In another year or two, it will be complete and fighting will decline for lack of soft targets that don’t involve a dangerous commute. Then American troops can withdraw into secure bases in the Kurdish region and elsewhere and just squash terrorist bugs here and there—facilitating a withdrawal over time and an end to news fodder.

This is not to say that all is lost and we just need a fig leaf of victory. Kurdistan is a functioning democracy. Both Sunni and Shia Arabs have accepted that leaders can be chosen by elections. The apparatus for elections is in place. The absence of central authority has allowed free speech out of the bag. All these things will continue to work their magic on young minds. And it is very important that we change the culture of the Middle East, for jihadi terrorism is a cultural phenomenon—not a state act in most cases. It can only be stopped by wars aimed at changing that culture. We may have to achieve change by degrees, however.

One thing is for sure, though. It will not be through an anti-war Congress that we achieve anything, other than greatly aiding the enemy and acceding to their wishes. Now our troops may have to fight jihadis, insurgents, the media, and their own Congress just to be able to stay and win. And their weapons are powerless against the stupidity of congressmen.

Written By

Mr. Johnson, a writer and medical researcher in Cambridge, Mass., is a regular contributor to HUMAN EVENTS. His column generally appears on Tuesdays. Archives and additional material can be found at www.macjohnson.com.

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