Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Fight war to win

Regardless of your views on the War in Iraq, I'm assuming that you would rather see America emerge victorious, than slink away with her tail between her legs -- especially since the latter outcome would signal to radical Islam that it is, once again, open season against America. You may find interesting, then, this interview with R.J. Del Vecchio, who has just written a book called Whitewash/Blackwash : Myths of the Viet Nam War, a handbook for high school and college students. With regard to using the Vietnam War as a teaching tool to help victory in Iraq, Del Vecchio has the following to say:

The first lesson is that we were far too slow in Vietnam to apply the tools we had against the enemy. We had crazy rules of engagement, hesitated to do things like mine Haiphong Harbor or bomb the SAM missile storage facilities, didn't want to engage in hot pursuit into Laos and Cambodia. We see some of the same hesitation and war management by politicians in Iraq today. The Marines should have cleaned out Fallujah the first time they went there, but political shenanigans got them called off. The city became a hellhole of terrorists, including many foreign jihadists, and the population suffered. Finally the Marines went in and did the job that should have been done the year before, and it cost us more because of that delay, and it cost innocent Iraqis more besides. One lesson of Vietnam is that in a real fight you don't hold back, you use your resources, you hit hard and fast, and you accept that things will not always go perfectly. We have started to do that in Iraq, but it should have been sooner and it should be the standard way of operating. The other lesson that jumps out at me is that our enemies have learned to focus on what we might call the Psywar (psychological warfare), they know they cannot really compete with the professionalism of our military and the high technology we bring to the conventional battlefield. But they know our society is given to impatience, and that a vocal minority of dissenters can, with the help of the media, become the tail that wags the dog of public policy. They know that suppressing a terrorist strategy in which they hide among the population (even as they attack that population, as they do now in Iraq) means either a very long struggle if we restrict our means of responding to absolutely minimize collateral damage, or that we'd have to adopt much harsher tactics against the terrorists that would be guaranteed to increase collateral damage. And our society abhors such harsh tactics, so the long struggle is assured. They only need to prolong the fighting, the suffering, the destruction, and the deaths, while using propaganda skillfully in the Moslem world one way and in the Western world another way, and if they do it well enough, we will again find a way to abandon the battlefield and they achieve victory by default. Thus we all, as a society, need to acknowledge that what gave victory to the communists in Vietnam was our succumbing to impatience, war-weariness, and being manipulated by antiwar propaganda. We must remain determined and unified in the commitment to do the job all the way, and publicly so. This is what is so scary about the rebirth of the antiwar movement, even as small as its numbers really are, it's having an effect on public perception, and it's providing enormous morale boost to the jihadists. We need more people to publicly voice clear opposition to these misguided idealists, we need more support from Congress to supply whatever is needed to do the job, we need good media coverage about the positive things we achieve in Iraq, and we need bold but very competent leadership in waging this war. It cannot be anything but a lengthy and messy war, and we must learn to deal with that appropriately, with determination. Anything less will guarantee an increase in jihadism and anti-Americanism and instability all over the world. [Bolded emphasis mine.]
Ponder also, why the media in American can reliably be called upon to help anti-War protestors, something unthinkable in prior wars. Who are the people in and behind the media, why are they so hostile to America, and why do American people continue to accord them that type of power?