Saturday, October 07, 2006

Don't despair. We're winning.

An emailer to -: "We're not losing momentum in Iraq. The Pentagon strategy is a very deliberate form of tough love that is forcing the Iraqis to defend their own country.

Arabs are culturally the most passive, fence-sitting people on the planet. By their own admission they follow the strongest leader out there. If we had sent 500,000 troops to Iraq and fought a Soviet-style counterinsurgency, the end result would have been an Iraq with no incentive to do the very hard work of creating viable fighting forces from scratch. We would've been their new masters in perpetuity.

We also can't attack Iran and Syria right now because the Iranians would then activate their Iraqi militias and send a million Basij into Iraq. Syria would do a Saddam and start firing WMD-tipped missiles at Israel. The entire region could go up in flames.

Don't let the media convince you that things are going badly in Iraq. The Anbar tribes are now fighting al Qaeda on their own initiative, and the Shi'ite-dominated government is slowly dismantling al Sadr's Mahdi Army. 'Experts' predicted that neither of these things would ever happen because of secular loyalties, but they are happening, and only because we're forcing the Iraqis to stand up and fight for their country.

Finally, take a look at what happened when the French, Soviets, and Russians fought Muslim insurgencies with the kind of aggressive, 'proactive' approach so many Americans claim to want.

The French lost 18,000 in Algeria, a KIA rate three and a half times ours. The Soviets lost 14,000 in Afghanistan, a KIA rate twice ours. The Russians officially lost 5500 in the First Chechen War of 1994-96, but Soldiers' Mothers of Russia puts the actual number at 14,000, a KIA rate ten times ours. Nobody knows how many Russian troops have died in the Second Chechen War, but Soldiers' Mothers of Russia had the number at 11,000 by 2003.

Our strategy in Iraq is sound. It's keeping our own casualties down, and it's forcing the Iraqis to defend themselves.

Don't despair. We're winning."

And it's undermining al Qaeda's ability to bring terror to the US (5 years and counting). It's interesting to me that many assume that George Bush and all who agree with him, on Iraq specifically, are incompetent idiots when brilliant arguments can be made to understand the Iraq strategy. You may not agree with the rationale outlined above and it may not work but it's not the work of an idiot. And it seems to be working better than other possible historical alternatives.


Rich Bledsoe said...

Thanks for posting this Ryan. Very encouraging. I have a sense that the Democrats are going to be very disappointed come Nov 4. There is a sense that what we are now dealing with is survival. It is deadly serious, and all they can do is (ho-hum) sex scandals that don't even have any sex. "I'm shocked. I'm shocked. There is nasty sex going on in Washington DC." Ho Hum...

Rich B

Andy Nagel said...

Hm. Is this what I am to prefer over the MSM? Anonymous e-mailers?
"Don't believe the media. I'm an anonymous emailer, and I'm telling you: Things are really going well. Trust me--we're winning. And anyway, it could be much worse." Oh. Okay then.

You then write, "You may not agree with the rationale outlined above, and it may not work, but it's not the work of an idiot." Oh. Okay then--you have persuaded me that we might be doing the wrong thing in Iraq, and we may indeed fail, but at least Bush should not be called an idiot. I feel better now.

And then--why dismiss the "(ho-hum) sex scandal that don't even have any sex"? Is this really so unimportant? Or are we being selectively outraged? (Clinton: IMPEACH!!; Foley: ho-hum, tell me when there's some real sex involved.)

Sorry if I'm interpreting uncharitably--just how it reads from my screen.

On another note, Hope you're enjoying Boston, Ryan. Not sure if you're updated, but I am now an Associate Pastor in the DC area (Maryland). And, Beth is expecting!! (Due date is mid-April). Cheers!

McRyanMac said...


As to anonymous, logic needs no author, only admirers.

If Iraq does work, and it seems to be working, you will feel much better. If not, you will feel much much worse.

As to sex, I don't remember Clinton resigning. Do you? It was a long time ago and all. Maybe I just can't remember it. This Foley guy isn't in office anymore and the scandal broke what 10 days ago. I guess there is one difference between the parties. It's not sex, only the consequences.

As to you. Wow! and congratulations. Great to hear from you.

Andy said...

Logic depends on the correspondence of its premises to reality, which is precisely what can't be evaluated by claims made anonymously. For all I know--this person might be a four-star general...or a precocious 10-year old. For all the problems of the MSM, here we see the great Achilles' heel of the blogosphere--everyone is an expert, even those who aren't.

McRyanMac said...

I find just the opposite to be the case. The Blogosphere is far more transparent than the MSM if you know how to use it.

The emailer is not anonymous, she is known to the Instapundit: Glenn Reynolds. Glenn is a law professor at the University of Tennesee. This is verifiable. His views on the issues of the day are far more transparent than any columnist (or opinion writer for that matter) than anyone at the New York Times. Glenn also has demonstrated to me a fair-mindedness that far exceeds the usual fare of the NYT. He and I would disagree on many issues, but his analysis is sober and his word is credible over the years that I have been evaluating his analysis.

Glenn knows who this email is from but agreed not to share her identity. I trust Glenn to be sharing credible information from credible sources.

You may not trust Glenn. Do you dispute the facts in the email? Do you dispute the facts in Glenn's voluminous writing. It's not that they can't be wrong, it's whether they get it right more often than the MSM. They pass that test with flying colors.

Finally, back to my point about authors, let's assume that it is a 10 year old in his pajamas who wrote this email. What facts in it do you dispute?

Just because a little boy points out that the emporer has no clothes (or in this case has clothes to belabor the analogy) doesn't make his analysis any less cogent. That's the power of the blogosphere.

andy said...

"I trust Glenn to be sharing credible information from credible sources." Fair enough. And valid. Anonymity is less of a problem if you trust the mediating source (in this case, Glenn).

Re: authorial credibility. When dealing with issues that I cannot directly verify (i.e. the actions of the Anbar tribes, or that status of the Mahdi Army), it matters to me if the author can say, "I'm John Doe, and I am in Iraq, and I have seen this." Otherwise, an intelligent person could be fabricating the "facts," and if I cannot verify who this person is, I have no way of discerning the likelihood that his analysis is or is not accurate, so I am suspicious of his claims.

As for facts I might dispute, how's this: "Arabs are culturally the most passive, fence-sitting people on the planet."

You and I both know that CU football fans are far more passive and fence-sitting than Arabs.

McRyanMac said...

Touché. They ought to fire Gary Barnett. ;-)

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