After carefully studying the news today, I have no choice but to reach the same conclusion as so many others: in the war in Iraq, there is a decided lack of a strategy, a plan on winning. But it’s on the terrorists’ side.
They are suffering from the classic problem of “when your only tool is a hammer, after a while all your problems look like nails.” They have tremendous challenges before them in winning the war, and so far their sole tactic has been to kill people and blow things up. It reminds me of the classic “Far Side” cartoon, when the guy discovers how easy it is to breeze through one section of veterinary medicine: a long list of problems of horses, all with the same cure: shoot.
Their short-term goal is simple: to get the US out of Iraq, as quickly as possible, in as humiliating a fashion as they can. Towards that goal, they are throwing their entire arsenal of tricks. But, as I said before, that boils down to “kill people and blow things up.”
I have very little respect for this tactic. It’s a variant of fouling one’s own nest, an application of the “polecat tactic:” “we can be far more trouble that we are worth.”
And that’s the problem: it’s a tactic, not a strategy. They have these grandiose notions for how to get rid of us, but no idea what they’ll do if they succeed. They might have visions of a new Afghanistan, but the Iraqi culture is vastly different than that of Afghanistan. What flew over there won’t get off the ground in Iraq.
This crystallized, for me, when I heard about the reports of a thwarted rocket attack on Saddam’s trial. What would they hope to achieve by killing Saddam? The main benefits would be embarassing the US and showing the nascent Iraqi government as weak.
But that isn’t enough to win. It doesn’t win any popular support from the people. It’s like the Democrats who rejoice when they see President Bush’s numbers drop. They don’t see the context — the numbers for Democrats don’t go up proportionately. In fact, from what I’ve seen, theyve dropped too.
People want something to be FOR, not just AGAINST. That’s the big problem the Democrats had in 2004, and still do to this day — they slam Bush’s ideas, but don’t present credible, plausible, positive alternatives. It’s what the terrorists are facing in Iraq — they make it abundantly clear what they’re against, but they can’t muster something they’re for that might win them popular support.
Bush’s strategy — as interpreted by people like Steven Den Beste — seems to be working. Iraq is making more and more progress towards stability and independence and freedom, and that’s driving the terrorists insane. One of hte most contagious conditions in the world is freedom, and the idea of a free Muslim, Arabic state in the heart of the middle east has them terrified.
The natural tendency is for free nations to oppose terrorism, and they know it. The sole forces they have going for them are chaos and entropy, and democracy tends to crush those decisively.
They’re trapped in a pit of their own devising, one they dug with their bombs and guns and knives, and everything they do just seems to bring down more dirt on their heads. They are in such trouble, I almost feel sorry for them.