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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Monday, November 28, 2005

Defeat Through Good Deeds

The ever-brilliant Herb Meyer has a terrific piece on why the war in Iraq is dragging on today in the American Thinker. He makes the case that wars are not won by good deeds, and that our ``winning the hearts and minds`` strategy of rebuilding and reconciliation are only encouraging the enemy. He`s right.

An enemy, any enemy, must know they are defeated before reconstruction. Consider the Texas revolution; Mexico had to be repelled on several occasions after Texas won her independence; Mexico once actually captured San Antonio! Why? Because the Mexicans never believed they had been defeated by Sam Houston at San Jacinto. They had trounced the Texicans in all previous battles, and only through the carelessness of Santa Anna had they been defeated (and Santa Anna captured). They didn`t SEE themselves as beaten, so they tried to renege on Texas independence. That all changed with the Mexican War, where the United States gave them a thrashing.

Consider the case of WWI Germany; the Germans surrendered and were humiliated by Clemenceau and his patsy, Woodrow Wilson, (Lloyd George was the only one with any sense) but Germany was not actually BEATEN. There was no D-day style invasion, no march through the Fatherland to Berlin. As a result, the treaty signed at Versailles enraged many Germans, including a young corporal who was recuperating from a mustard gas attack and who would eventually plunge the entire World into the greatest war in human history. Most Germans saw the Armistice as a betrayal because the people never actually felt defeated. This state of affairs opened the door to Der Fuehrer and his Thousand Year Reich.

The gentle treatment of Napoleon by the British lead to the Corsican`s return from his ``kingdom`` on Elba to raise an army which would again imperil Europe is another such example.

The destruction of the Confederacy and the destruction of Germany and Japan in 1945 stand as examples of what happens when an enemy understands they are beaten; reconstruction went largely unopposed because the people knew that further struggle was futile.

Iraq folded so quickly, and our efforts have been so gentle that the Sunni see themselves as having a credible shot at kicking us out and returning to power-and they`re absolutely correct! They learned the lesson from Vietnam; what is lost on the battlefield can be won through persistant resistance. If we continue to fight a politically correct, kinder and gentler war we will lose. The enemy must first know they are beaten, then we can win their ``hearts and minds`` afterwards. We put the cart before the horse.

It has been said that victory in war comes not to the strongest but to the most determined. Who could credibly say we are the more determined?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Part of the problem I think is political correctness, but even more so is the idea of moral equivalence. Unless an enemy is seen to be evil and needing to be beaten no matter the cost, then neither the leaders or the people are going to have the heart, determination and stamina to carry the job through. Which is why WW2 was winnable - people believed that Hitler had to be taken down no matter what it took.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Aussiegirl said...

Great article from you too, Tim. As always you give us all the great examples from history. I think in the current media climate that if you are going to wage a successful war you have to go in with all guns blazing and crush the enemy quickly - like we did in the first Iraq war. Once we had bombed them for 30 days those Iraqis were kissing the soldier's hands and begging for mercy. But when Shock and Awe turned out to be more Schlock and Yawn and the Iraqis looked at each other and said -- that's it? -- and then were free to go home and loot, well -- you have a recipe for disaster. With the present climate you have a very small window to get in there and give 'em hell and win the thing quick - once it starts to stretch out you are lost. I hope it's not too late for saving and stabilizing Iraq. But the war has been too PC all along. To gentle, to kind, too concerned with not offending.

3:06 PM  

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