Comments on the cost of Iraq
Do you remember Mohammed Ibn Laith?
I am a Muslim I am Iraki maybe you believe that God told you that must turn aside when you have been struck.That is not what God tells me.
What God tells me is what he tells every other Muslim when you are attacked you defend yourself and you keep on figthing until your attacker is in such pain that they offer truce or surrender. You attack back and you continue attacking relentlessly, never ever giving any respite, until the invader flees worn out with grief and horror and pain. Any sacrifice is warranted to expel the American I feel no grief when I see an American soldier die. I feel only relief that this one less barbarian to kill innocent Iraki children.
And then there’s this from Colonel Iihsan:
The Resistance’s Tactics Were SuccessfulThis is the lesson of the Iraki Resistance’s war on the American invaders. The goal was not just to inflict death and physical wounds they goal was to drive American troops into mental and moral breakdown.
The tactic was to attack American troops relentlessly — to force the American invaders to live in a situation where they never ever had any respite.
The American invader was never to be able to relax they must be denied any respite, they were denied meaningful rest.
The resistance consciously set out to inflict constant tension,constant sleeplessness, constant mental pain, and constant uncertainty, and fear upon the American invaders. The idea was to do this until a large proportion of the invaders were worn out with fatigue, grief, horror and pain.
The Resistance’s intent was to not just inflict pain and horror on the invading troops for the sake of doing, the object was to shatter their minds so that while they were still in Irak they turned on their comrades. And then after they returned to America that they turned on the American civilian population at large.
This tactic was, one resistance commander told me, far more successful than they had dared hope.
The American high command, and American civilians are only now beginning to appreciate what the resitance did to them. They are only now starting to realise that they are not the only ones who can inflict “collateral damage” and that there is more than one form of it.
It is not just Americans who can say “Mission Accomplished”.
As you no doubt worked out a long time ago the murder of first his grandfather, followed by the murder of his parents, and the murder of his younger brother all by American forces decided Mohammed to join the resistance. He was a very successful commander who ensured that in his sector no Americans ever set foot outside their FOB’s other than in heavily armed convoys. He made sure that PRT leaders went home dead or wounded he made sure that civilian PRT members never ever got to leave their compounds. The Iraki resistance won their war – America ran away from Irak leaving its “enduring bases” and an awful lot of TOE behind them. All of which is a long-winded way of saying you’re right. Napoleon used to talk about “moral force” as a force multiplier which is what you’re discussing above.
Hope you’re well. I very very very rarely comment here (I think this is my third) but I read you regularly.
yes, thanks for the comment. I do remember Mohammed.
I haven’t written about it, but I have discussed with friends, the collateral damage. I’m especially noticing it in police departments. The vets come back, join police departments and the results are ugly. They have no fire discipline, act as if they’re in a war zone, blowing away civilians indiscriminantly if they feel in the least danger (the guy who killed his boss in NY comes to mind) and often when they clearly aren’t (a man running away from them). They also have a taste for brutality, and the only people they have fellow-feeling for are their mates, certainly not anyone who isn’t in their “unit”.
Then, of course, there are the homeless veterans, the suicides, the wife and child beaters, and the rapists.
A lot of these people are VERY badly damaged. Occupation is always brutalizing, for everyone involved, but this bunch has been particularly brutalized. One of my friends is an ex-US military officer, out before Iraq, and to say that he is livid is a vast understatement.
The same thing happened to the Israeli army, over time. And Americans went and copied failed Israeli tactics.
We saw it happening at the time. Not just immoral, and unethical, but a mistake.
But the resistance did not win much of a victory. Brutalizing your brutalizers is all very nice and I have no moral qualms against it. If Canada was invaded, I would fight, and I would join the resistance, and if the invaders were American (and who else could it be) I would rejoice at every dead American soldier.
But at the end of the day, Iraq is in shambles, appears to be essentially a protectorate of Iran, has a huge Kurdish problem (or the Kurds have an Iraqi problem, depending on where you sit), violence is ongoing, and so on.
Iraq was never a war anyone was going to “win”, that’s why people like me were against it from before the beginning. All anyone can claim, at best, is a Pyrrhic victory.
As for America, as I’ve said in the past, the first great man of the 21st century (great is not a synonym for good) was bin Laden. He wanted to draw America onto the ground, and bleed them like the USSR was bled, costing them so much treasure that their economy could no longer bear the costs of empire. He, essentially, succeeded, thanks to the sublime stupidity of his enemies. He must have gotten down on his knees every day and thanked God for George Bush and American high command and the NeoCons. And now the Muslim brotherhood is in charge in Egypt and that is a direct result of food inflation, which is a direct result of the costs and opportunity costs of Bush’s idiot eternal wars, and the mandate that 9/11 game him to be an evil moron.
The far enemy (US) is blowing up its goddamn satraps with its insane financial and economic policies. That strain is exactly what bin Laden wanted, he says so in his writing.
He’s dead, but he’s winning. And I think that’s a deal he would have happily taken if offered to him September 10th, 2001.