How to win in Iraq

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Netfotoj, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member

    Here's an interesting item on the Iraq war from blog by Mary Katharine Ham, Townhall's managing editor, who I used to work with.
  2. WorldPax

    WorldPax Guest

    I think this guy has the right idea. ... ve=2005-01

    Monday, January 03, 2005
    Selling Ancient Iraq
    I'm having a hard time reconciling what I know of Iraq with what I see on Fox News. Probably comes from being an overeducated sort, but when I think of Iraq what comes to mind is Babylon, the great Islamic scholars who preserved the treasure of Greek thought during the Dark Ages of Europe, and of course all the stars that begin with Al-something-or-other. Every time I look at the night sky I remember that the men who named most of these stars, and first charted their course across the heavens, lived in the Middle East. They gave the world good mathematics, good food (especially if you like eggplant) and a treasure trove of knowledge. The library at Alexandria was, of course, nearby in Alexandria and is rumored to have contained the sum total of what we knew as a species to that point. Hey, guys, I'm impressed as hell, OK?

    Fast forward to the present day, and we have a steaming social disaster fueled by a near-overdose of modern religious fanaticism. The three great religions of the West all come from the sands of the Middle East, and I've experienced quite enough of our local variant of fire-bombing fundamentalism to know these guys are dangerous enough to maybe crash our civilization if we let them.. Suffice it to say that irrespective of the banner they wave, fanatics are just that -- fanatics -- and are best given a wide berth, preferably a continent or so. With enough money and technology a fanatic can make his dreams come true, which is not what the rest of us have in mind.


    The current approach of trying to make ersatz Americans of our Iraqi friends is not working as well as we'd like, and is in fact not working at all that I can see. Any gardener knows not to expect Brussels Sprouts where Tomatoes and Peppers grow best but we, technologically advanced folks that we are, are trying to plant Americans in the desert. I'm not sure they'll grow there. What will? Is there a middle path that leads to a peaceful coexistence?

    Better minds than mine have thought this over and come up empty, so I don't expect to do any better but I will offer this: does it make sense for a person to mold another to his view of what is right just because it's his? Most Americans would say no, and further say that's what we're trying to stop. Well, trying to stop it by doing the same thing, really. Maybe that's what we really hope for? More people like us?

    I have great respect for our Military and assume the folks who make the hard decisions there have better information that an idly interested reader-of-the-news, but I wonder: an army can fight another army, but how do you wage war against a set of ideas? Can we use another set of ideas? If propaganda can steer minds, can it steer minds to think for themselves? The French are horrified by the Americanization of their culture; maybe we can make this work for us. Perhaps recall the army and send in Madison Avenue to pitch 'em the glories of Ancient Iraq. We won't make Americans out of them, but we might help them to become themselves again.

    It's a thought.

  3. QPluralisT

    QPluralisT Guest

    Very interesting.

    My only concern is how these Shelks relate to unity on the national level; if they're as willing in reality as they were as stick figures to work with the US. How did Saddam use/control the Shelks?

    I realize this relates to security in the Al-Anbar province alone, but the problems in Iraq are not localized events as the NIE pointed out yesterday and fixing the problems in Al-Anbar will not solve hotspots elsewhere. A great example of this is the British taking Georgia during the revolutionary war.

    I am admittedly unaware of the exact situation in Al-Anbar; police build up may be the answer as it's ethnically unified under Sunni-ism with Al-Qaeda and insurgency issues. The province is very large, and mostly rural; I wonder if Patriquin took this into concern. Regardless, he certainly had the right idea.

    I'm glad some of our troops are looking at traditional and culturally sensitive solutions to problems which are facing Iraq. If our leadership showed an ounce of the same intelligence and resolve this might not even be an issue at the moment.

    Best wishes to his family.

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

    My understanding is that in the early days this was being done to good effect until Bremer and the beureaucrats came in and made everything a US show; cutting out the local power centers that were working with our military at the local level.