What it takes to win
I was thinking about Iraq today (I do most days), but today I was thinking specifically about the rather foolish decision by one paramilitary death squad to kidnap those self-styled peace activists. I have to admit that I don't have many tears to shed for the activists themselves, because I think they slotted themselves neatly into the "assumption of the risk" category, a concept near and dear to defense counsel's heart. I therefore hope that the U.S. government is not so foolish as to even think of negotating with the terrorists for these peoples' lives. Once you do that, of course, you've exposed yourself forever to the blackmail of kidnapping. I'll note here, as I do every time I make this point, that kidnapping is the one indignity terrorists don't visit on Israel, since Israel has made it clear that it will never negotiate for hostages. But that's really an aside. What I was thinking about was how foolish it was for the terrorists to start kidnapping those who claim to be their friends. And these are very good friends indeed, The peace group at issue is so mired in this one-sided friendship, that it's publicly stated that this act of brutality is not the terrorists' fault -- it's the U.S.'s fault. Clearly, love means never have the kidnappers say they're sorry. Thinking about the terrorists' kneejerk kidnapping response also made me think of that old saying I've heard in reference to surgeons, who always think cutting is a good response: "To a hammer, everything is a nail." I knew I was in good intellectual company when I discovered that Jay Tea, at Wizbang, had precisely the same thought:
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.Jay Tea goes on to detail how the paramilitary death squads operating in Iraq are really, really good at killing people, but that they have no strategy for (or even vision of) victory. It's all "kill the infidel, kill the infidel" (or rabbit, I forget which), to the exclusion of any coherent operating procedure. Nor should this come as any surprise to anyone. The death squads' brothers in arms are the Palestinian terrorists. From 1992 onwards, despite the Oslo peace accords, the terrorists, under Arafats' leadership, took every penny given to them for nation building, and used it to deal out death. These are Death Eaters with a vengeance, and they have absolutely nothing to do with nation building. It's rather sad for the U.S., and really sad for ordinary Iraqis, that the Democratic party is completely willing to delivery the Iraqi nation into these peoples' hands. I think, perhaps, the Democrats envision some sort of, well, peaceful desert: not one filled with the bones of the dead (the reality), but a sort of golden place filled with healing crystals and mystic visions.