Thursday, October 26, 2006

Reject Peace in Our Time

Major Mike

Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.” In business, this meme is used over and over by process improvement engineers to drive change, improve the product, and ensure success.

The key is …changing the formula in a way that can affect the results. There are many moving parts to a manufacturing process, some process changes will affect the results, some will not. Some factors are key drivers, and some remain relatively stable regardless of how they are manipulated. The essence for true change-agents is making adjustments that affect the results, and leaving the stable processes alone.

Mort Kondracke has an excellent post today entitled… “Vietnam-like Defeat in Iraq Will Have Far Worse Consequences.” Morton’s take is excellent and the key paragraphs are quietly hidden in the middle of the piece.

I think history shows that the United States and South Vietnam might have prevailed against the North but for the flagging will of the American people and opposition from the media and Congress.

For sure, as recent commentary has reminded us, the 1968 Tet offensive was a colossal military defeat for the communists -- 58,000 killed in two months -- even though it convinced Walter Cronkite and American elites that the war was unwinnable.

And so, it became unwinnable. Once Gen. Creighton Abrams took over as U.S. commander in Vietnam in 1968 and instituted new tactics, U.S. and South Vietnamese forces began winning battle after battle, but, as Abrams complained to his staff, "we never get a break from the umpires" in the media or Congress. (my emphasis)

As I pointed out in my third post ever on my retired Major Mike site… “Iraq is Not Another Vietnam.” Not in the ways that would make a difference militarily…terrain, equipment, tactics, firepower…all even more in our troops’ favor than in Vietnam. As in Vietnam, we have yet to suffer a military defeat, yet again we find ourselves on the precipice of a national humiliation…and why? Which parts have changed…which parts are being manipulated in the same way as during Vietnam? Which part of the process is delivering the same results?

As in Vietnam, some strategic and tactical miscalculations have been made on the ground in Iraq, but they are not severe enough to warrant throwing in the towel. Our strategic and operational planners have the ability, and the resources to solve the difficult military and political issues in Iraq, and produce satisfactory results…results that would look, smell, feel, and taste like victory.

Abrams was right, and Kondracke is on the verge of being right. There are only two groups advocating a policy that ensures defeat in Iraq…the press, and those political animals that feel that an anti-war stance will give them a better chance to get elected in this, and possibly the next, election cycle. These are the insane ones. They are the ones driving home a defeat. A defeat they are engineering via, their biased reporting, their defeatist interpretations and their narrow reporting of the actual events on the ground in Iraq, their wholesale rejection of the views of the American fighting men on the ground, and their continual hammering away at the will of the American people for their own, short-term goals.

Each war needs to fought in the manner that it takes to win. The Napoleonic stalemate of World War One was finally breached with the onset of mechanically driven, maneuver warfare. World War Two was won the through massive supply and logistics effort this country was able to muster to support troops on two disparate and massive fronts. Korea was stabilized by the efforts of determined and experienced WWII vets, and it taught us a lesson about malaise and complacency. Vietnam was lost at home…as Kondracke aptly points out…by politicians and by the press.

We won Desert Strom through superior firepower and brilliant strategic thought. We won the invasion of Afghanistan through righteousness of cause, and tactical superiority. We overcame serious geo-political obstacles to free 25 million people from tyranny, and eliminate the production (proven) of WMDs that were being developed by a sworn enemy of the US, a dictator who had previously used them.

Yet we find ourselves in a phase of war, in both Afghanistan and in Iraq, that we, as a country seem incapable of fighting. Our military is more than willing, and more than capable of fighting this phase. This is the pacification and democratization phase, and it will not be short lived. It will be long and arduous. And it will cost, daily, American and Iraqi lives. And it will be continual fodder for opportunistic politicians and the pathetically anti-American press…running the defeatist plays of the Vietnam era. The duration of this phase will not be clearly understood by the uneducated, and it will be exploited by the opportunists. This is the similarity with Vietnam that Kondracke notes…Congressional opportunists, fueled by an anti-government (anti-Bush in this case) press, will consciously, or sub-consciously conspire to undermine the will of the American public, for their own, selfish purposes. We seem powerless to win wars that extend beyond two election cycles. It is ominous.

And in the end, our military will be saddled with another “defeat,” brought on, not by the enemy, but by forces within our country that are integral pieces to our very democracy. In essence, we will be defeating ourselves. And once done, we will replicate the finger pointing and blaming that occurred post-Vietnam, but in truth, as Kondracke points out…the defeat will need to be blamed on the intangible erosion of the American will to pursue and fight a determined enemy…a will eroded by our press and our politicians.

The major difference between this defeat, and the defeat in Vietnam, however will not be the overrunning of a single fledgling democracy, but this defeat will result in a wave of assaults on democracies across the globe. Emboldened Islamacists, and indeed, anti-democratic forces worldwide, will recognize that will is the Achilles’ heel of democracy, and they will exploit that fact ad infinitum.

The struggle for peace in Northern Ireland came at a great cost, and after nearly 30 years, but the results are overwhelming worth the price. True, sustainable peace, can only be won through the lengthy and determined efforts of a society that has the wisdom to do what is right, and the will to see it through.

Have the will to see the right course of action through to its just end. Reject peace in our time; support peace in your children’s time… Vote Republican

© Michael McBride 2006


Mr.Atos said...

Peace is afterall, the desire of cowards... those uncertain of their own virtue and unconvinced of their own right to exists. Peace is nothing more than a surrender to extended confusion and inevitable chaos. Try making peace in your home with cockroaches, termites, rats, or dry rot. The idea of peace with barbarous fascist butchers is no different. Their idea of peace, like that of destructive vermin and fungus, is to be left alone while they spread and devour.

The Left's notion of peace is simply to spread more paint, thicker and lock the basement.

Ultimately they sell the house to some sucker and flee.

Peace is chimera without victory. And victory is impossible without perserverance.

Messenger said...

I admire the template used on this site and congratulate its designer.

Mr.Atos said...

Thank you Messenger. I really just evolved one of the templates from blogger with words and pictures of my own.

While I do appreciate the compliments and the solicitation, do please show respect for that flag here!

dueler88 said...

I am disheartened by the general sense of pessimism and victimhood that seems to run rampant in American society. An unemployment rate of less than 5% is called a "horrible economy." A death rate of over 10 soldiers in one month IN A WAR ZONE becomes a "bloodbath" or a "quagmire" or "unwinnable." Are we really that ignorant of history? I suppose this proves it.

We haven't experienced a significant economic downturn in about 25 years - this, in spite of a devastating terrorist attack 5 years ago. We haven't had a threat to our existence as a nation in over 60 years. So somehow, significant economic downturns and real threats simply can't happen . . can they?

My friends, they have, they can, and they will - but only if we lose our will. Our will, our belief in ourselves, our society and our constitution.

Yes, the United States IS better than every other country on the planet. Millions of people that have gone before us have thought so, and not just because of blind hubris. They believed in themselves, and were grateful for the opportunities that the United States gave them in paving the legal and ethical way for them to reach their full potential.

If our ancestors were alive, they'd be deeply ashamed of us - ashamed of our lack of faith, ashamed of our lack of wisdom, ashamed that we take for granted all of the things we have (tangible and intangible) for which they sacrificed.

We *used* to be able to muster the will to unite and confront threats to the nation. Storms are gathering on the horizon, and too many of us think that they'll dissipate if we just hope hard enough. They won't.

If you're ignorant of the forces of history (or insane, as you put it, Mike), you'll vote Democrat this November.

Anonymous said...

"As in Vietnam we have yet to suffer a military defeat". This I will take exception to. Remember the battle of the Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam. Regarding the war in Iraq, whether you like it or not, America's military has suffered at least one humiliating defeat there: the First Battle of Fallujah, when 5 times American troops reached the city center only to be repulsed and forced to retreat 5 times, before quitting the battle and turning Fallujah over to the Rebels. This was in April of 2004. If you doubt this, then I ask you just why was a Second Battle of Fallujah in November 2004 to retake the city necessary?

Mr.Atos said...

Fort William Henry
The Battle of New York
The First Bull Run
Kasserine Pass
The Pusan Perimeter

'Defeat', like 'peace' is in the eye of the beholder... and speaks the lessons ofvolumes about one's character.

Victory is the product of determination, perseverance, desire and will.

I suggest, Anon you might begin your journey with 1776, by David McCullough... before jumping to the lessons of Vietnam or Fallujah. You might actual learn something about what Mike is discussing

Major Mike said...

Anon, Technically speaking the Bn that relived Hal Moore's Bn, suffered a defeat via piss poor leadership. Nonetheless, that defeat had zero impact on the outcome of the war. The type of defeat that may or may not make a difference in the outcome of the war, as Atos points out, is still lacking in both Vietnam and in Iraq. Fallujah, not excepted.

As with the Brits in NI, it is our determination that will/will not carry the day in Iraq. The capabilities of our troops in the field will not be the reason this country stumbles to defeat will be because of biased reporting and self-centered politicians clamoring for office on the back of our servicemen...those dead and those still serving their country with distinction.