Sunday, September 14, 2014

It's a Whole New World. Get With the Program!

by Alan McEwen

One of my friends followed me to your page last week or so, and so did one of HIS friends. They're both critics of the President, so their comments did not surprise me, except for in the way they always surprise me...in the way that they will reach for the most ridiculous criticisms when valid ones are not available. Just to give an example, I've noticed lots of comments saying the President has been indecisive (an argument so pat and overused it's become cliche'), and then the day after the President made his address, outlining his basic strategy, my friend immediately chided him for announcing his approach over public airways to the American people. What do they want? For the President to telepathically assure them that he is putting pieces into place? 

On your page last week we discussed the President's approach. I was trying to make the point that we cannot fight terror groups with the same strategy we have employed in the past. That the President was seeking alternatives. My friend's friend jumped in out of nowhere with the meaningless, cliche' statement that "this president is a failure...the terrorists will have time to entrench themselves...etc." I see this kind of amateur, armchair quarterbacking from these guys all the time. I hardly pay any attention to it anymore. It's mindless drivel parroted from the blogposts they visit and pick up the latest talking points to spread their derision. But I would like to address some of those criticisms now. I can't find the old thread, so I'll have to do it here.

As far as the terrorists becoming "entrenched", ..it just doesn't work like that. This isn't WWI. ISIL doesn't build trenches. They don't build fortifications, or even permanent bases. ISIL is a guerrilla movement. When they move into a territory, they slaughter, pillage, and then leave a small band of bullies in their wake as they move on to the next objective. Those left behind as rear guard are set up in normal office buildings that can be taken out by our mildest weapons. They are not reinforced concrete bunkers that can withstand a 500lb bomb.

We re-learned a lesson in our forays into Afghanistan and Iraq. People resent an invading force. Surely, we could clean out ISIL's gains with a company of well equipped soldiers here, and a battalion of armor there. But the locals get rattled after 2 weeks of armor running through their streets, and they wind up joining the terrorists to repel the invaders from America. We HAVE to let them handle this. The terrorists KNOW what will happen if we deploy heavy forces there. We will turn the people we are trying to help against us.

While my friend and his fellow antagonist are petulantly pressuring our own President to act quickly and without thinking it through, the President himself has been making arrangements with nations in the region to act cooperatively. I can see it already. Next week they'll be dragging out another stale old criticism. They'll say the President is "leading from behind," because we're not pushing people around and using our tanks and infantry to clear villages. What will actually be happening is that people who LOOK like and SPEAK a common language with the Iraqi people will be dealing with these thugs. The locals will not feel threatened and humiliated by G.I. Joe. They will sense that things have a POSSIBILITY of returning to normal in the near future, instead of seeing a new "Camp Freedom" being built by American forces who will be roaming the streets for years to come.

The President told us all two months ago that he would not allow us to become a substitute security force for Iraq. The reasoning for this is that the underlying issue, Shi-ite oppression in the Iraqi government needed to end FIRST. Had we come to Maliki's rescue, and dealt with his problem, he would have held on to power, and we would be guilty in the eyes of Sunnis of propping up a regime that excluded them from participation in the governing of their own country. By denying Maliki such a life line, he was forced to step aside and allow a new governmental structure to begin to be built. If this new government is more inclusive, there is less incentive for the Sunni population to harbor ISIL. After all, THEY are from Syria, mostly, and it is THEY who are the invading force. Not us. This President deserves more credit than he gets for not panicking, thinking things through, and applying the BEST means to the end, not the quickest, most expensive, and destructive. We may have decades of struggle with extremists ahead of us. This idiotic criticism by neo-cons that every armed insurgent group must be confronted by 20,000 soldiers and trillions of dollars of our national treasure must be recognized by the American people for what it is. A short-sighted, outdated methodology that has been proven to fail since the mid 60s. Welcome to the 21st century neo-cons. It's a whole new world. Get with the program!

Note: The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of James E Parks Jr or the Humans Blog and the James Parks Channel.