|Prince Bandar bin Sultan and Nelson Mandela|
(Sultan Knish)While Maureen Dowd warns that the neo-conservatives are coming back, an event surely worse than the siege of American embassies and the murder of American ambassadors, she can rest her head easy on that account. The neo-conservatives died in the siege of Benghazi, much like Mubarak they are still around, but completely irrelevant in the way that most ideas are once they lose their meaning.
Dowd would know better than to celebrate the death of neo-conservativism, if she understood what that really meant, beyond the shadowy menace that her dinner party guests tell her about before the main course is served.
In the Middle East, neo-conservatives offered a middle ground between appeasement and belligerence that blended Cold War politics and Third World democracy outreach. The ideas that made so much sense when former liberals were confronting the nightmarish repressive powers of the Soviet Union met their end in the Middle East for reasons that neither they nor their ideological enemies can explain.
Democracy only works when the character of the people is better than the character of their government. It works very badly when the character of the people is actually worse and the existing system serves much the same purpose as bars in a tiger cage do. The neo-conservatives were unprepared to grapple with such troubling notions. They were very methodical in laying out the moral case against Saddam Hussein, but they were unprepared to cope with the notion that Iraq’s ruler might have reflected the moral level of a significant portion of Iraqis.
The Baath Party, unlike the Bolsheviks, was not an external ideology imposed on the Iraqis. Like most regional Socialist movements, its ideology was a fig leaf for tyranny and tribal alliances. Saddam was a cheap mass murdering thug with dreams of even bigger empires and atrocities. Removing him made a certain amount of geopolitical sense, but replacing him with purple fingers and democratic elections was never going to lead to a better Iraq.
Many neo-conservatives backed Obama’s own democracy experiments in the Arab Spring and his invasion of Libya because they seemed to resemble their own ideas. But Obama had actually reached back for Carter’s Green Belt playbook with the goal of defusing Islamic terrorism by giving their supposedly more moderate Islamist cousins what they wanted– their own countries to play with.
This wasn’t neo-conservatism, though it looked a lot like it, enough that Maureen Dowd should have blushed before beginning a tirade about the neo-conservative threat, it was appeasement politics dressed up in the same old democracy colors. The tyrants we were overthrowing were men who had made deals with us, and who were for the most part fairly benign by the standards of the region. That is what made them easy targets for the knife in the bag and the Islamist mob in the square.
By the light of burning embassies, it is somewhat redundant to even mention that this policy failed. Turning Islamists into rulers has upgraded their “extreme” wings from terrorists to militias and the September 11 attacks were an announcement that everyone, except the idiots in Washington DC still wailing about the video, understood. When armed militias and mobs besiege your embassies and plant their flags on your walls, it’s a territorial claim, not a protest rally about a dead pedophile.
The Arab Spring was the red line of democracy promotion. It pulled the trigger that Condoleezza Rice had been nervous about pulling and it did it to disastrous effect. And aside from the death toll, what all that noise really means is that neo-conservatism of the democracy intervention flavor is dead. The only people who still believe that local democracy works also believe that the Muslim Brotherhood is misunderstood and that we need to kill the Bill of Rights to appease Muslims. These are not, for the most part, neo-conservatives, they are the sort of appeasers who show up at Maureen Dowd’s dinner parties and at White House press conferences.
The death of neo-conservatism, unmourned as it may be, leaves few options between belligerence and appeasement. The neo-conservatives held out hope for a more rational order that fused the classic idealism of FDR, Ike and JFK as a formula for a foreign policy that would allow American to transform its enemies, rather than bombing them to bits.
That was why so many Democrats, especially in the most conservative Senate, got on board the George W. Bush express. Much as the left’s revisionist history might try to paint Bush as a wacky cowboy off on a shooting spree, his policy was an extension of what Clinton had done, and before liberal political calculation got in the way, had brought the senior leadership of the Democratic Party on board… not to mention Tony Blair.
What we are witnessing is the death of any such middle ground in the Middle East’s graveyard of idealism. The future will, as it turns out, not be one of purple fingers and people cheerfully accepting elections as a means of political representation, rather than a non-violent way of seizing power and then making sure that no one else can win an election again. The same mechanisms that kept Saddam in power made Maliki’s war on Sunnis and Kurds equally inevitable.
The Muslim world is not individualistic, nor is it made up of individuals seeking their own version of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is a collectivist place, even more so than the United States is becoming, where tribe and religion matter because they are the only ways that individuals get ahead. We were not dealing with meritocracies, not even the damaged affirmative action kind we run now, but with tribal systems with a smattering of modern politics on top, where local nationalism is also economic survival. The family’s social capital counts for much more than empty talk about freedom and old hatreds against neighbors can be pursued by men who wear army or police uniforms, but who identify with old vendettas more than with new governments.
We have already seen the left’s answer to neo-conservativism, if we hadn’t already seen it earlier in the Carter years. Shameless appeasement tethered to a reflexive hatred of the United States where all violence is incorporated into blowback theory. The Carter Doctrine rewards the worst enemies in the hopes that doing so will eventually make them our friends and blames all setbacks on new anger for some real or imaginary offense by us. The Carter Doctrine is now the Obama Doctrine and it’s why our embassies are burning brightly in the night.
The only good thing about the Carter/Obama Doctrine is that it cannot be sustained for long, not because our boys and girls in DC and the UN can’t keep it up, but because the Islamists won’t let them. The Salafi raids ruined a perfectly good Arab Spring because the raiders couldn’t resist rubbing the noses of the infidels in their own weakness. And those raids will only escalate because Islam, like a steroidal weightlifter, is so insecure that it constantly needs to show off its power.
But that doesn’t leave much of an alternative on the conservative side. Republicans liked neo-conservativism because it was idealistic, and by the standards set by the decaying left, had become conservative. It allowed Republicans to cheer American Exceptionalism as the solution to all global problems, without understanding that its aggressive good cheer was completely misplaced.
Exceptionalism is exceptional. If American Exceptionalism can be plonked down in Iraq or Afghanistan, then it isn’t exceptional anymore. And in fact, it can’t be. The United States has conquered and reconstructed several countries before, and only the ones with a tradition of democracy that predated the need to conquer them, are worth mentioning today. And none of them are little Americas and have, at best, a conflicted relationship with the United States.
Romney is still echoing vaguely neo-conservative talking points, but it’s doubtful that he, or anyone, besides McCain, really wants to invade Syria for the Muslim Brotherhood. Americans didn’t want the Libyan War, and aside from some of senate fixtures like McCain, few Republicans really want to do it either.
The second set of September 11 attacks may have finally begun convincing Republicans that Muslims really don’t want to be Americans and they aren’t going to be turned into Americans any time soon. It has not quite led them to the logical conclusions to be drawn from that, but it still might. The death of the middle ground of neo-conservativism leaves few options but appeasement and belligerence, not democracy belligerence, but plain old fashioned saber rattling.
If Muslims can’t be taught to be nice people and won’t leave us alone, then there are two alternatives. Give them what they want or give them hell. Obama has tried the former with the expected results. The window on giving them hell is slowly starting to creak open, though I wouldn’t expect many prominent Republican politicians to start talking like Patton any time soon.
The Israeli example has demonstrated that Muslims never miss an opportunity to sabotage their own appeasers. It’s why the Israeli left has a death grip on unelected government positions, but is about as popular with the voters as cholera on a stick. The American left could learn from its example, but if it could learn from examples, it wouldn’t be the left. Instead it banked its political capital on appeasing Muslims and it if gets a second term to do so, it will be that much closer to becoming completely unelectable– especially when Muslims decide to celebrate another September 11 in an even flashier way and with a larger death toll.
The Israeli left did everything possible to appease Muslim terrorists and the terrorists repaid them by politically destroying them with constant violence. Now Obama is on the receiving end of the same treatment and had he been as familiar with the Muslim world as he claimed to be, then he would have known to expect that. And the same process will likely kill Eurabia in its own cradle.
The ball is in the court of the right. It can choose between fake moderation and assertive action. It can rediscover the military as a force for defending the country, rather than a means of introducing Muslims to the concept of elections, and it will be pursuing the popular course. But to do that it will have to believe in America, rather in the universal goodness of human nature and the other pablum that led us into this mess.
People are not interchangeable, apart from the governments. Governments reflect the people. No country will last for very long under a government that does not reflect its national character unless that government is backed by foreign armies. It is best to treat other governments as reflective of their peoples and to treat their peoples as reflective of their government. And it is best to keep a wary distance from any people and country that are under a system too different from our own for our own safety.
Above all else, it is important to make clear to our own people and to theirs, that we have borders and nations for a reason. That if foreign nations and peoples would like to use force to tell us what movies we can make, then we will use force to tell them what protests they can have, and that in a contest of force, we will win.
It is time for a new way, a way in which Muslims will no longer have to learn about America and Americans will no longer have to learn about Islam, where we will give up on winning each other’s hearts and minds, and stick to watching each other’s property lines. That is the argument that needs to be advanced in the face of Obama’s catastrophic Arab Spring failures and the alternative to it is four more years of terror and appeasement.
For Immediate Release:
September 13, 2012
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This article by Anne Bayefsky appears on PJ Media.
While the calamitous consequences of President Obama’s foreign policy are being played out on the Arab street, the Obama-backed UN Human Rights Council is fueling the hatred behind such violence. Today in Geneva during its current session, the Council advertised and facilitated a “parallel” event designed to condemn American troops for human rights atrocities.
Legitimization of the Council has been a cornerstone of the President’s so-called engagement policy, and his administration is currently seeking a second-term as a Council member, with elections scheduled for November 12, 2012. And yet in the Council’s Bulletin of parallel meetings today, was an event organized by two UN-accredited non-governmental organizations, one of which had close ties to the regime of Mouammar Kadhafi and the other a devotee of Saddam Hussein.
The title of the session was “Roundtable on Human Rights Issues that Require the Council’s Attention: Iraq.” Here’s a sample of what organizers meant by “human rights.” Daniela Valencia: “U.S. troops are perpetrators of rape, torture and abuse.” Karen Parker: “The U.S. engaged in terrorism…It terrorized the civilian population.” The third speaker Christopher Busby said his research suggested the U.S. dropped “bombs made of uranium in Fallujah,” and finished with “thank goodness the Koran has such enormous power.”
The UN-accredited organizations behind the event included the International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD) and the Union of Arab Jurists. EAFORD, established thirty years ago in Libya, has told UN audiences in the past “the anthrax letters…were mailed in the United States by a well-known American Zionist.” Speeches at the Council from the Union of Arab Jurists include rants about Saddam Hussein as “the legitimate president of Iraq.”
The UN attempts to give itself deniability when it comes to anti-Western and anti-Israeli side-events by claiming in its Bulletin that the advertised events do “not imply any opinion or endorsement by the [UN] Secretariat.” The claim is bogus.
One cannot get into the UN building without a check of credentials and purpose, and subsequently being provided a UN entrance pass. The room is located on UN premises. It is reserved by UN staff having vetted the sponsoring organization and the purpose of its proposed event. And after receiving a UN green light, the event is advertised in a UN document, with the UN Human Rights Council’s name across the top. All involved are fully aware that the point of holding meetings on the side of the Council’s session is to influence Council participants.
Furthermore, there is a pattern to this madness. Advocates of violence were welcomed into similar events at the last two Council sessions. On March 19, 2012 a parallel event featured Ismail al-Ashqar, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and on June 22, 2012 another featured a representative of one of Hamas’ central operating agencies in the United Kingdom.
There is nothing spontaneous about the violence now erupting in the Muslim world and directed at the United States. Only now murder goes by the name human rights. By cultivating the nomenclature and the contrived sense of grievance, the UN Human Rights Council and its supporters make matters inexorably worse.
For more United Nations coverage see www.EYEontheUN.org.
EYEontheUN brings to light the real UN record on the key threats to democracy, human rights, and peace and security in our time. EYEontheUN provides a unique information base for the re-evaluation of priorities and directions for modern-day democratic societies.
(Carl) With all the Left did dragging the neocons’ names through the mud in the aftermath of the Iraq war, claiming Saddam didn’t have weapons of mass destruction, it now turns out that he did have them. He just hid them in Syria. Just like the neocons said all along (Hat Tip: Sunlight).
In 2006, former Iraqi general Georges Sada, second in command of the Iraqi Air Force who served under Saddam Hussein before he defected, wrote a comprehensive book, “Saddam’s Secrets.”
It details how the Iraqi Revolutionary Guard moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria in advance of the U.S.-led action to eliminate Hussein’s WMD threat.
As Sada told the New York Sun, two Iraqi Airways Boeings were converted to cargo planes by removing the seats, and special Republican Guard units loaded the planes with chemical weapons materials.
There were 56 flights disguised as a relief effort after a 2002 Syrian dam collapse.
There were also truck convoys into Syria. Sada’s comments came more than a month after Israel’s top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moshe Yaalon, told the Sun that Saddam “transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria.”
Both Israeli and U.S. intelligence observed large truck convoys leaving Iraq and entering Syria in the weeks and months before Operation Iraqi Freedom, John Shaw, former deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, told a private conference of former weapons inspectors and intelligence experts held in Arlington, Va., in 2006.
According to Shaw, ex-Russian intelligence chief Yevgeni Primakov, a KGB general with long-standing ties to Saddam, went to Iraq in December 2002 and stayed until just before the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.
Anticipating the invasion, his job was to supervise the removal of such weapons and erase as much evidence of Russian involvement as possible.
Well, Shazam! Who’d a thunk it?
funny the way it comes out when the Muslim Brotherhood get their asses kicked in by Assad. It would of never come out otherwise
We grew weary of explaining to the Left… and far too often to the Right… why the War in Iraq was not fought by the US for energy purposes, for as we euphemistically said in speech after speech after speech, the US got very little crude oil from Iraq when compared to its other suppliers, while in fact France got a much larger percentage of its total oil requirements from Iraq, and so too did Germany Profit.
THE MYTH OF US PROFIT FROM IRAQI OIL(NYTimes) BAGHDAD — Despite sectarian bombings and political gridlock, Iraq’s crude oil production is soaring, providing a singular bright spot for the nation’s future and relief for global oil markets as the West tightens sanctions on Iranian exports.
Right in time for Obama’s election. The irony that the thing that he was so against is going to save his presidency. Bush’s war will not directly help America as there are few contracts to American companies… save for the Kurdish Autonomous region which Iraq is punishing Exxon-Mobile for doing business with. However even if the projects are being bought up by Russian and Chinese business it will still help our American economy by decreasing the demand as Americans get their oil supply elsewhere. I also suspect… that the economic implications of attacking Iran are overblown… so we can expect another economic period of growth. Let’s hope the Obama people can translate that into jobs this time instead of creating corporate welfare for the elite and unions.
The increased flow and vital port improvements have produced a 20 percent jump in exports this year to nearly 2.5 million barrels of oil a day, making Iraq one of the premier producers in OPEC for the first time in decades.
Energy analysts say that the Iraqi boom — coupled with increased production in Saudi Arabia and the near total recovery of Libya’s oil industry — should cushion oil markets from price spikes and give the international community additional leverage over Iran when new sanctions take effect in July.
“Iraq helps enormously,” said David L. Goldwyn, the former State Department coordinator for international energy affairs in the Obama administration. Even if Iraq increased its oil exports by only half of what it is projecting by next year, he said, “You would be replacing nearly half of the future Iranian supply potentially displaced by tighter sanctions.”
For Iraq, the resurgence of oil, which it is already pumping at rates seen only once — and briefly — since Saddam Hussein took power in 1979, is vital to its postwar success. Oil provides more than 95 percent of the government’s revenues, has enabled the building of roads and the expansion of social services, and has greatly strengthened the Shiite-led government’s hand in this ethnically divided country.
Oil has also brought its share of pitfalls for the fledgling democracy, fostering corruption and patronage, and aggravating tensions with the Kurdish minority in the north over the division of profits, a festering issue that could end up fracturing the country.
The Iraqi government says it can add an additional 400,000 barrels a day of production by next year, and it has announced a goal of producing 10 million barrels a day by 2017, which would put it in a league with Saudi Arabia.
Few independent analysts say they believe the larger goal is realistic, but oil company executives have been impressed by Iraq’s progress and ambition.
“What the government is embarking on and the increase in production they are looking for under all of these contracts is unique in the world,” said Michael Townshend, president of BP Iraq. But, he cautioned, “Nobody has yet managed to increase oil production in their country to the extent Iraq is planning to. It’s hugely ambitious, and it will take a lot of things to work correctly.”
The country’s improving oil fortunes are well timed to compensate for Iran’s declining oil output, which according to OPEC fell by 12 percent in the first three months of the year as India, China and other Asian nations have gradually cut purchases under pressure from the United States and Europe.
With little if any progress achieved so far in negotiations between the West and Iran over its nuclear program, and Iran’s nuclear chief reaffirming last weekend that the country would continue producing higher-grade uranium, Western sanctions are set to tighten in July.
Iraq’s role in ameliorating the effects of those sanctions in the oil market could create tensions with Iran, a strong backer and ally of the Iraqi government. But oil experts say exports are too valuable for Iraq to allow its relationship with Iran to impede production.
The recovery of Iraq’s oil industry after decades of wars, sanctions and neglect began in 2009 and 2010 as security improved and Baghdad signed a series of technical service contracts with foreign companies like Exxon Mobil, BP, China National Petroleum Corporation and ENI of Italy. The companies brought in modern seismic equipment and modern well recovery techniques to resuscitate old fields.
The deals have been only modestly profitable for the foreign companies, but foreign executives express cautious optimism that Iraq can eventually produce oil in amounts that could put it in an elite group of exporters with Saudi Arabia and Russia sometime in the 2020s.
Iraq produces around three million barrels a day, and few analysts believe it can reach its goal of 10 million barrels a day by 2017, a target Baghdad recently reduced from a previous estimate of 12 million barrels a day by that year. But Hans Nijkamp, Royal Dutch Shell’s Iraq country chairman, estimates that Iraq could produce 6 million to 10 million barrels a day by early next decade, “which is really substantial.”
International oil executives say the government bureaucracy is still slow and poorly coordinated in building new port and pipeline infrastructure to get oil to the tankers from the fields. The political battle over divvying up profits has prevented the enactment of a national oil law, meaning that the companies need to follow myriad regulations, some of which date back to the Ottoman Empire. Electrical shortages are forcing politicians to choose between serving the oil companies or restive civilian populations that want more reliable utility service.
To increase output, the country will need to develop a huge water project to filter and pump seawater into old oil fields to increase the pressure required to coax crude out of the ground. Planning has begun, but the project is progressing slowly.
Iraq will also need to negotiate a sizable export quota within OPEC to accommodate its increasing potential, a nettlesome process that could produce tensions with Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Some of the problems were on display at last week’s oil and gas auction, the country’s fourth postwar bidding round, where only 3 contracts were awarded out of 12 up for bid.
The auction, in an auditorium at the Ministry of Oil, had the trappings of a militarized movie premiere, with red carpets, velvet ropes, hordes of photographers and a white-uniformed honor guard carrying Kalashnikov rifles fixed with bayonets. The proceedings were carried live on state television. An elevator-music rendition of Lionel Richie’s “Hello” played over and over.
The room was packed with diplomats, politicians and foreign oil executives, but few actual bidders.
“There are three minutes left and it seems like no one wants to bid,” Abdul Mahdy al-Ameedi, the ministry official overseeing the auction, said at one point.
The disappointing auction was less a reflection of lack of interest in Iraq’s energy sector than of the tough terms demanded by the government, the location of some of the fields in dangerous and remote regions of the country, and the fact that many of the blocks up for bid were for natural gas, which is less attractive to foreign companies than oil.
Iraq also used the auction to slap Exxon Mobil’s hand for signing production sharing contracts for 850,000 acres in the Kurdistan region without getting permission from the central government, denying the company the right to bid.
But at the same time, Iraq has not touched Exxon Mobil’s oil contracts in the south, a sign of pragmatism, or perhaps paralysis, international oil analysts said.
Exxon Mobil has by far the largest stake of any American company in Iraq, but most of the major players are European and Asian, like Lukoil and Gazprom from Russia, and Chinese companies like China National Petroleum and China National Offshore Oil Corporation.
Despite the uncertainties, the foreign companies say they are staying.
“We are in Iraq because we think there is big potential, huge production growth,” said Claudio Descalzi, chief operating officer for exploration and production at ENI, the Italian oil giant. “In the future, things can only get better.”
Tim Arango reported from Baghdad Iraq in the Middle East, and Clifford Krauss from Houston.
Trying to Define Victories for America In the Middle East
(h/t Docs Talk) By Paul E. Vallely
A charade is defined in several ways but in this case the definition is an empty act or pretense. A Victory means winning. I have some questions for our civilian and military leadership today regarding a war that is appearing more and more like an empty act that seems to be losing its character and “raison d’etre”. First the pretense that this war must continue under the current strategy and that we are achieving results when the facts appear each day to refute that. I have not had one serious politician or senior Military leader describe or delineate any victories for America in our quest for nation building and exporting Democracy. We see more casualties each day and the leadership standbys a self-destructive and self-defeating strategy of “counter-insurgency” (COIN) doctrine and nation-building. Please define for me since January 2002 what the victories are for America in Afghanistan?The COIN principle is not based on winning; it is based on political whims and is not a true tenet of warfare. Warfare is, and always should be, about WINNING or do not go to War. Great Generals and Admirals of battles past had enough acumen and understanding of the tides of battle to change the strategies and tactics to turn the tide on the enemy. I had the opportunity to attend a dinner a few weeks ago with young NFL quarterback Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos. He remembered in grade school in Florida that some parents and even some coaches would discuss with the young players in football that it was not about “winning” but about other touchy feely experiences in playing the game. Tim found out very soon that it was “about winning” and life is about winning for your cause, your efforts, your values and that no one wants to be a loser or feel like a “loser”. Our troops never want to lose and they are not trained to lose but our government and naïve leaders cannot even say “Victory” today in our battles to secure America.
Winning this specific war against forces impelled by Islamic ideology calls for unconventional measures and not the conventional actions followed by lengthy occupations such as we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. Such an unconventional war doctrine heavily leverages the core capability to break enemy states, target and destroy the enemy’s capability to bring harm to America”. Why do the United States and its military/political leaders and strategists still languish in failed strategies from World War II to the present?
LTG Tom McInerney and I have stated previously in many interviews and published articles that America needs a 2012 “Forward Strategy” that positions our Armed Forces to protect America, its assets and its borders.
Jihadists with small arms and IEDS in faraway places cannot harm the United States so there is no reason to order massive armies that require large and extensive bases and massive logistical support to fight them on their home turf. But that is the essence of failed “counterinsurgency” (COIN) strategies that has bewitched US military political leaders. We all want to support our senior military leaders but at some point they have to face the realities of this enemy and protect and secure our American troops before we continue sparing the lives of the Taliban and civilians with bizarre, restrictive rules of engagement (ROE). The latest being the order last week for our Marines to disarm during a conference event in Kabul during the visit of Leon Panetta , the SECDEF.
It disturbs me anytime our policy wonks and senior officers talk about withdrawal of Forces. A great General always repositions his forces to prepare for battle for today and tomorrow. I would reposition all of our Armed Forces out of the Middle East into secure lily pad bases. From our secure bases, we can strike and counter any and all threats against America. Strike anywhere, anytime with our Joint Strike Force capability and make sure the enemies firmly understand this….from jihadists to narco-terrorists or cyber-terrorists. Time to face the realities of today’s world.
Yes, we have made great and innovative technological advances in weapons systems in the air, sea, and ground, in communications, in advanced intelligence systems and command and control systems. Yes, we have operational war planners at all levels of command, senior policy and politicos in the White House and Department of Defense, a National Security Team and a multitude of military commands positioned around the globe to guide and lead us in national security. But where are the common sense and rational senior General and Admiral Strategists that we have trained and schooled to be innovative, aggressive and win our nation’s wars quickly and decisively?
I rarely hear any of them talking about the valued Principles of War that successful combat leaders in the past have used to achieve success and victory. They cannot even talk in terms of victory, winning and bringing the troops home. Or maybe, they do not want to for politically correct reasons at home. Unfortunately, American leaders are increasingly trying to transform this force into one optimized for counterinsurgency missions (when, in fact, we are not, in my opinion, fighting insurgencies but rather, Islamic Jihadis and a fomenting global Caliphate) and conventional war followed on by long-term military occupations. Track back if you will to Korea, Vietnam, and now Iraq, and Afghanistan.
It is true that not all political goals are achievable through the use of military power. However, “victory” in war appears lost in the world of political correctness and appeasement. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan – often seen as proving the necessity for COIN-capable forces as well as a commitment to nation-building — demonstrate in reality that the vast majority of goals can be accomplished through quick, decisive joint strike military operations from selected “Lily Pad” friendly bases. Not all political goals are achievable this way, but most are, and those that cannot be achieved through conventional operations likely cannot be achieved by the application of even the most sophisticated counterinsurgency doctrine either.
We cannot seem to be able to discern between the differences in conventional and non-conventional warfare. The war against mainstream Islamic Jihadist forces and a sick ideology has been, and will continue to be, one requiring unconventional solutions. This is a point that the White House and the Pentagon fear to call this war against a pronounced ideology. It is not a war on terror as we first analyzed; it is a war against people subscribing to Jihad and a derived ideology from the Koran that has evil global intentions as much as the Nazis and Third Reich.
Why can we not understand that our military is for national security, defending our country and defeating our enemies before they bring havoc and harm to our citizens? Why can we not understand how important our resources are in terms of our trained Armed Forces and assets of our country and not to drain them across the globe in futile nation building operations but to leverage the military to counter threats to our country? And, as well, to realize and understand in a profound way that you cannot Nation Build in an area of conflict until the enemy is defeated.
A fundamental challenge in devising a strategy for the use of future American military power is that the world has literally never seen anything like our capability. The U.S. today has military capabilities at least equal to the rest of the world combined. There is virtually no spot on the globe that could not be targeted by American forces, and at most a small handful of countries that could thwart a determined U.S. effort at regime change – and some of those only by virtue of their possession of nuclear weapons. This is the driving point; why are we so worried about what others think? Did these so-called allies not have to be bailed out numerous times for their failed thinking? Why do we want to kowtow to the same intellectual vacuity that caused the greatest conflicts on earth?
As a consequence, the U.S. must adopt a national military strategy that heavily leverages the core capability to break enemy states, target and destroy the enemy’s capability to bring harm to America. Such a strategy could defeat and disrupt most potential threats the U.S. faces. I will discuss in detail, in later follow-up articles, where the strategy of joint strike operations and the unheralded “Global Lily Pad” strategy prove to be the best method for success.
While America’s adversaries today may prefer to engage the U.S. using proxies and develop radical Islamist organizations and jihadists, there is no rationale in declaring to the people of the United States that we are in a long war and accept that as a reason to not achieve a quick and decisive victory. It appears we fight more in agreement with the so called United Nations, allies, and the likes of China and Russia than to stand up for own sovereignty. It is time to relegate these so-called allies to the sidelines.
Let them wail and whimper as we achieve the success that is necessary; wiping out and neutralizing radical Islamism and nation states that support it. There must be an ENDGAME. Because our capability is so novel, American strategists lack a clear framework to guide the utilization of this force. They have sought to match capabilities to conceptions of the use of force from a different era, one in which the Cold War made regime change unpalatable due to the risk of escalation and that tended to make localized setbacks appear as loses in a perceived zero-sum competition with the Soviets. Like Reagan, it is time to call their bluff. They know we hold the big cards, so why are we so timid? This only fosters eastern thought that placation is a sign of weakness. A weakness they will turn into an asset and a political card to play to the uneducated masses they control.
Many describe our efforts as helping to recruit more fighters and more ideologues. This is no way to stop all the threat to our homeland. The only true way to stop that threat is to give them what they respect; pure force of arms and will. Otherwise, they sit in their sanctuaries and count up the moral victories they have achieved, and embolden future efforts. However, significant threats to the U.S., ranging from the military capacity of regional powers to weapons of mass destruction development programs to significant terrorist infrastructures, can be targeted and destroyed by conventional and unconventional military capabilities.
Again, we must stop thinking like westerners, and understand the way our enemy thinks. A lily pad is much more preferable because it gives them no moral high ground to propagandize, but at the same time instills sheer terror in their hearts as they guess at what is coming next. Force of will and resolve is required by our leaders that our enemies indeed respect and understand. Only when we understand that one objective of Global Jihad is imposition – by force or by stealth – of Shari’a (Islamic law) and the other is the re-establishment of the Caliphate/Imamate), can we even begin to formulate the enemy threat doctrine and strategic concept to DEFEAT THE ENEMY and WIN.
Paul E. Vallely – MG, US Army (Ret) is the Chairman of Stand Up America
Paul E. Vallely MG, US Army (ret)
Chairman – Stand Up America
The bill was proposed following a number of incidents at the Bagdad airport. A local security officer working there said the passport had caught a number of Iraqi officials carrying passports with Israeli entry visas. The officer, speaking on a condition of anonymity, reported that the passports of some nine high-profile Iraqi politicians were clearly marked with Ben-Gurion Airport stamps as well.
According to the source, the politicians made their first trips to Israel after the Iraqi elections, held on January 2010, until around October that same year. The officer claimed that during questioning of the Iraqis, it was discovered that they were operating as envoys to Israel on behalf of Iraqi politicians.
In response to the report, Iraqi Parliament Member from the National Iraqi Alliance Mohammad Redha al-Khafaji declared that some 50 parliament members have already put their John Hancock to a bill proposing to ban such trips to Israel. Khafaji emphasized that in the past, Iraqi senior officials had visited Israel secretly.
Meanwhile, a member of the parliament’s judicial committee said these signatures do not necessarily mean that such a law should be passed.
Forbidding a citizen from traveling is against the Iraqis’ right to freedom, as written in the constitution. However banning travel to Israel has nothing to do with politics, she told Al Jazeera, explaining that Iraq has never had any diplomatic or political relations with Israel, nor has it acknowledged the State of Israel.
The West suffers from two delusions. One is that having elections means you have a democracy. And the other is that if an Arab or Muslim country has a democracy, it will no longer seek to destroy Israel.
They forget that after World War II, the allied powers occupied Japan and Germany for a number of years to root out the toxic effects of Nazism and fascism, before turning those countries over to their own citizens who were ready to behave in a democratic way. Neither of those occupations had any time limit, but when it was time to end them, the allies (at least on the Western side of the Berlin Wall and in Japan) ended them.
Of course, to be able to do that without turning your troops into target practice dummies you first have to utterly defeat the other side militarily to the point of surrender. Has any country surrendered to a Western power since Japan? Not that I can recall.
Why not ban travel to Israel? Countries that are hip to the club scene like Dubai and Qatar already do. If I wanted to go back to the college I graduated from I couldn’t take some classes because they are in Qatar. Why should Iraq be any different from any of the Arab nations that our media approves as exotic. Why would we be shocked? Try asking @Chevron on twitter if an Israeli is allowed to work for their energy company…. and meanwhile Nelson Mandela is calling Israel Apartheid. It all works in a certain consistent logic.