Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Straighten Your Facts when Turning a Phrase about The War

Media folks, politicians, pundits, and the guy under the bridge who tries to sell me his underwear when I'm waiting at the Bellevue and I-25 traffic light all need to get their facts straight when discussing the current conditions of military action in Iraq. It's not a war.

1. The War in Iraq is Over

It was over by April 2003, when the bulk of the Iraqi military, leaderless for the most part, surrended en masse to coalition forces. It was over when Baghdad fell and the Iraqi government officials disappeared, were killed, or surrrendered. It was over when the U.N. Security council voted unanimously to lift economic sanctions against Iraq.

After April 2003, any casualties, military action, bombings, or miscellaneous fighting that occurred was (and is) strictly postwar unrest. Emphasis on the post. It is related to outside influence or internal political posturing and civilian reaction to the presence of an occupying force and is separate from the actual war. As the various factions of this unrest coalesce into definite groups with names, strategic goals, leaders, headquarters, and the investiture of identity, then in my opinion the unrest becomes civil war. Regardless, to say that we are still fighting the war in Iraq is inaccurate.

2. We Cannot Win the War on Terror

It is about as possible to win a war against terror as it is to win a war against drugs. And ships carrying tons of cocaine, headed for the U.S. in this day and age are proof enough that we can't win a war on drugs. Terror is an amorphous concept and drugs are inanimate objects. They don't do anything on their own until someone decides to use them. Terror is a tool used by groups to control the actions and thoughts of others. You cannot wage a war on the tool, only on the groups that weild it. If our "war on terror" is a response to the attacks of 9/11, then we should call it a War on Al-Qaeda, and focus on Al-Qaeda.

Terrrorist organizations are criminal organizations. They should be monitored, investigated, infiltrated, crippled and dismantled by criminal justice forces, not military forces. If the terrorist organization is sponsored by or otherwise supported by a government, then the war on terror should be a war on the terrorist-supporting goverment.

We can dismantle terrorist organizations and the governments that support them, but we cannot win a war on terror. Throwing your formidable military force against every perceived threat is a waste of precious resources and lives. We have a great military and their purpose is to defend our nation from other nations' militaries. We don't use the military to hunt down serial killers or bank robbers. Hasn't four decades of James Bond films taught us anything? The same should go for terrorists, terrorist cells plotting within our country and terrorist orgnaizations abroad. We should use the vast police networks we have honed to near perfection to do what they do better than any tanks, infantry, special forces, artillery and air cover can ever do.

1 Comments:

Blogger wil said...

I've made a few similar points before, mostly of the variety that it is war, but one between Sunnis and Shia.

3:51 PM  

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