“War” without the hope of victory or even of moderate success is not worth our men’s lives

Meanwhile our men in Iraq continue to be slaughtered—nine marines wiped out by a suicide vehicle ramming into their convoy over the weekend, the biggest single fatality of U.S. forces in six months. And what were our men doing when they were attacked and killed? They were driving along a highway, which is the way most American military personnel have lost their lives and limbs in Iraq. For the most part, they haven’t died or been maimed fighting the enemy and sacrificing themselves in order to achieve victory; they’ve been blasted to pieces while moving about in transport vehicles like targets in a duck hunting range.

It is unacceptable to let our soldiers and marines keep being killed when their deaths are not leading to a victory that would justify the sacrifice. We must either become more serious about defeating the terrorists and bringing stability and self-government to the country (and the latter is not possible without the former), or, if we determine that a victory over the terrorists is not possible or requires measures beyond what we are willing to do, then a radical change of strategy is called for. One proposal that ought to be considered is to have our forces make a strategic withdrawal to a secure place in Iraq, perhaps somewhere in Kurdistan, where they would be welcome, and from that location seek to influence events in the country, primarily in the troubled Sunni areas, without trying to control Iraq directly as we are now. Through a mix of material assistance, threats, promises, and an occasional quick raid, we might be able to nudge the elements of Iraqi society toward constructing a viable order, something that we cannot do for them. If civil war breaks out between the Sunnis and Shi’ites, we should not see that as the end of the world; we can tilt to the side we favor and so work toward an acceptable outcome in Iraq without wasting our men’s precious lives in the process. The approach suggested here would not be an out-and-out retreat from Iraq, and thus would avoid the appearance of a humiliating defeat. But whatever we do, to continue as we are doing—for how long? another four years?—is an unacceptable prospect.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 01, 2004 12:00 AM | Send


Once again, managerial liberalism offers up human sacrifices to its creed. Men of courage are unknowning being sacrificed to the false god of imitation liberty. The concepts of liberty and freedom, how are they perceived by the third world, innoculation or infection? It woulds seem they’re are comfortable with a societal philosophy of inevitable tyranny.

So, history repeats itself, America seeks to spread liberal ideals to a world that sees them more as a disease than a cure. Let them devolve back to the stone age, they neither deserve nor merit any further rescue efforts. The only message remaining to be delivered is that retribution will be swift and as merciless as they are.

The intellectual malignancy will eventually spread back to the west unless such quarentine measures be taken.

Posted by: obvious on November 1, 2004 9:27 AM

Several months ago, an American soldier from a rural Tennessee county next to mine was killed in Iraq. This man was a 54 year old National Guardsman. He was a grandfather and a Vietnam veteran. He was driving a truck near Baghdad and was killed by a bullet through his neck.

Quite a few of the men in Iraq fit this profile. Many are Guardsmen and Reservists pushing 60 years old, who collapse in the heat. Others run businesses that are the backbone of small towns. The Guard is supposed to be for emergencies like floods, hurricanes, etc, or to protect our own country.

Of course, this has no effect on GWB. This is another trait of the Republican Businessman, mentioned on another thread. They have to “get along” with liberals, plus a lack of feeling for the problems their policies like Open Borders cause others.

Posted by: David on November 1, 2004 11:18 AM

David’s comments are interesting, but the situation vis-a-vis the Guard and Reserves dates back before Bush. Rather, it stemmed from policy choices favored by the military and built in at the time of the switch to an all-volunteer military. The military leaders back in the 70s insisted on arranging things, or were compelled to, so that in any future conflict of any scale the Army would HAVE to call up the Guard just to stay in the field. They wanted to force the politicians to be sure that they and the people would be certain of backing a future war, unlike Vietnam… Unfortunately, they ignored the earlier lesson, of Korea, that calling up the Guard and unorganized reserves also involved a terrific cost and backlash.

Posted by: Alan Levine on November 1, 2004 2:34 PM

Fallujah I: The Gaza Strip Snap-On Kit

You wouldn’t think a big powerful country like the US would go out of our way to make our own version of the Gaza Strip. I mean, even the Israeli rightwingers, some of the mean-craziest people this side of my HS vice principal, are scrambling to find a way to get out of Gaza, which is like all Hell crammed into a beachside slum a few miles square. But that’s what we’ve done in Fallujah.

At least the Israelis have the excuse that Gaza is right next door. What we’ve done is much weirder: we took this crappy Iraqi town half a world away from America and turned it into a sanctuary for every crazy Jihadi, with hundreds of American troops supplying the entertainment by giving the locals something to shoot at.

[Note by LA: Gary posted an interesting comment but it was 2000 words long, so I’ve deleted it. This is a discussion board, not a place to publish full-length articles.]

Posted by: gary on November 2, 2004 8:13 AM

gary writes:

“Israeli rightwingers, some of the mean-craziest people this side of my HS vice principal, are scrambling to find a way to get out of Gaza”

Last time I looked, Israelis, right or left wingers, didn’t practice suicide bombing, kidnapping, beheading of captives, female slavery, etc. And settlers themselves would love to stay, it is coalition goverment that want sto pull them out.

Posted by: Mik on November 2, 2004 12:47 PM

Garry’s anti-Israeli nonsense belongs on pravda.ru or antiwar.com, not on VFR.

Posted by: Eugene Girin on November 2, 2004 3:57 PM

Gary’s comment about right-wing Israelis didn’t strike me as beyond the pale because, for one thing, he was comparing them to his High School vice principle, whereas, for example, Patrick Buchanan described the Israeli coalition government in 2002 as the “mirror image of Hamas and Hezbolah.” Second, his main concern here is not to attack Israel but to describe the insanity of the U.S. deliberately creating its own West Bank, its own Gaza.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on November 2, 2004 4:11 PM

I graduated from HS less than two years ago. Some vice principals are almost as bad as Hizbullah. :-)

A lot of people lose sight of the fact that historically, Gaza was predominantly Jewish as late as in the 17th century. The false Messiah Shabbetai Zevi was discovered and trained by another charlatan, Nathan of Gaza. The last Jews were “evacuated” from Gaza during the British mandate.

Instead of fleeing Gaza and kicking out Jews, Sharon should’ve carpetbombed the Hamas strongholds there and moved in with tanks and bulldozers. Many people Sharon is a cross between Patton and Pinochet, but in reality he’s a coward who pretends to be a tough guy.

Posted by: Eugene Girin on November 2, 2004 5:50 PM

Excellent solution Eugene At least you don’t appear to be antisemetic. You do however validate the concerns of those who question the quality of the nations educational system when you speak in such fantastical terms. I hope you are jesting.

Posted by: andrew2 on November 2, 2004 6:01 PM

Of course I’m jesting, but the HS I went to had only two rightwing teachers, the rest were crazed liberals. I got suspended during my junior year for publically confronting a teacher that chastised my friend (who’s a Democrat) for saying that Blacks don’t deserve affirmative action. People used to say that I was the Jewish version of Mussolini and made Pat Buchanan look like a liberal. Of course that characterization didn’t offend me at all.

Posted by: Eugene Girin on November 2, 2004 6:15 PM

I surprised Eugene, that heated political discussion occured to you in High School. When I attended High School we were pretty much concerned with anything but politics and teachers as far as I can recall never expressed their political views in an informal way.

Posted by: andrew2 on November 2, 2004 7:03 PM

I am surprised…sorry.

Posted by: andrew2 on November 2, 2004 7:04 PM

The teachers’ unions (at least the current ones) are breeding grounds for inefficiency, leftism, and anti-Americanism. They must be broken.

Posted by: Eugene Girin on November 2, 2004 7:28 PM

Eugene, google for David Horowitz at Frontpage. He formed called Campus watch. Maybe you would be interested in learning what he does to fight bias in the universities.

Posted by: andrew2 on November 2, 2004 7:50 PM

I know about Campus Watch, it’s a good organization. I wish I knew of it when I was in HS.

Posted by: Eugene Girin on November 2, 2004 8:35 PM
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