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Subject: Who's Winning the War on Terrorism
rbrooku    9/12/2004 4:13:58 PM
Good analysis, until it reaches for an unsupportable conclusion that the Iraq invasion and occupation drove Al Qaeda to commit acts of terror in Saudi Arabia. It is reasonable to conclude that only the terrorists themselves would have a clue about whether they would or would not have begun what turned out to be unpopular acts of terror in Saudi Arabia if Iraq had not been occupied. That result tends to suggest the author is predisposed to consider the Iraq occupation as the most effective strategy in the war on terror regardless of any evidence to the contrary. Such thinking is dangerous in military strategy. An historical example is Macarthur in Korea. Inchon was a brilliant move, but the belief that Mao and the PLA would not cross the Yalu to confront American lead forces directly was similarly based on the personal prejudice of Macarthur. If Macarthur had been willing to believe otherwise, he might have stopped and drawn a defensible line south of Hamhung and north of Wonsan on the East coast to somewhere south of Yongbyon (Rei-bi?) on the west coast. The result would have been an impotent rump communist state instead of the current problems that were inherited from Macarthur’s failure to seriously consider possibilities that contradicted his own beliefs. The point here is the definition of “belief”, to hold as true without direct knowledge or experience of that which is believed. I think the error in this article points out that much of our military analysis of the enemy is being done without sufficient understanding enemy’s mind and motivations.
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mattw    RE:Who's Winning the War on Terrorism   9/17/2004 3:14:09 AM
Good point. I have a more recent and relevant example. Saddam Husein's regime and the current Iranian theocracy came into existence around the same time (I think Saddam may have been a couple of years earlier). The young Iranian theocracy wanted to spread its ideology into the land of Saddam's young autocracy (hope that's a word so I can get some Jesse Jackson points...redeemable for ???). Where else? Iraq has most of the other Shia Muslims in existence I think. Saddam knew of their schemes and executed a preemptive strike upon the Islamic fundamentalists (sound familiar?). When the preemptive strike was bungled by a typically inept Arab fascist army against a numerically superior, though equally inept Islamic fundamentalist Indo-European army, the Iranians eventually pushed far into Iraq and threatened Saddam's regime. Only Saddam's chemical weapons saved him. So, my point is this: Saddam would never fully and convincingly confirm the complete destruction of his NBC arsenal for two reasons. 1) Resitance helps him save face in the Arab world. 2) Because the destruction of his conventional forces was transparent via the Gulf War news coverage, Saddam's ability to convince his neighbors that he may still have a VX gas trump card provided him with the intimidation he needed to ward of his potential adversaries. It's just a theory, but since we have not found NBCs in a deployable state, I believe it best explains his obvious unwillingness to fully confirm the practical destruction of his NBC arsenal. I read this somewhere, not my brainchild.
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Omnione    RE:Who's Winning the War on Terrorism   9/18/2004 11:40:07 PM
ok, i guess we sti here and wait untill they blow up another tower or two before we do anything? Fight a sensitive war I guess is waht your trying to say?
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