By: Ted Lang

There are many ways to summarize the impending military failure in Iraq, and all of these time-worn truisms will serve: "The bigger they are, the harder they fall;" or "The best offense is a good defense;" or, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it."

The 1993 attack on the World Trade Center taught US absolutely nothing thereby ensuring the 9-11 terrorist attacks that brought the towers down. America is hated, and that hatred is growing by leaps and bounds all around the world.

The protection from foreign invasion that we had enjoyed until shortly after the end of World War II was always attributed the natural shield of two great oceans. But that is a self-centered assessment, especially in light of our recent colonial expedition in Iraq. Much has already been offered to confirm that we haven’t the slightest reason or justification for our military incursion there. Using that as an example, perhaps it can be offered that the nations of Europe, Asia and Africa were actually safe from US because of those oceans.

The real reason for US presenting a horrific danger to the rest of the world is the political erosion which has changed US from being a self-reliant people to a nation of whiney wimps appealing to the whiney wimps in government to provide US with security as well as superior status amongst all other nations. This has ushered in a role reversal that in all likelihood will not easily be changed. Our original strength was derived from immigrants that came here to take on the challenge of hard work that individual freedom allowed, who were then rewarded with ascension to middle class and even upper class economic wealth and status. Our power today is based upon those foundations and our national achievements; these are quickly slipping into the past.

The threadbare admonition of "eternal vigilance" is devoid of meaning in a nation without a free and independent press. And the real protection we as a nation enjoyed wasn’t because of prohibitive transoceanic logistics, but because of the separation of powers; and no, I’m not speaking of the constitutionally-referenced mandate – I’m speaking of the two distinct political entities of our once great land: the people and the government.

Our biggest critics as concerns the breakdown of our former republic and its constitutionally limited government are the very Arabs and their terrorists we now choose to denigrate in the same manner as the communists of the former Soviet Union, or as George Orwell’s "evildoer," Emanuel Goldstein. Our strength was our distinction as a people separate from, and in control of, our powerful central government. The world recognizes that we have become subjects of our government. It makes no difference to our enemies now whether a government installation [Pearl Harbor] is the way to launch an attack, or merely a public gathering place where many people are concentrated. In fact, better than merely killing many Americans, destroying a symbol of America’s once great past becomes an even more desirable objective.

The terrorists have all the time in the world and they will strike US when and where they please. In this regard, eternal vigilance and government security bureaus are worthless. And the same is true with respect to Iraq. This is a nation with abrasive differences in both ethnic groups and religious sects, formerly governed by a brutal, secular dictator that kept it all together. It was not a melting pot, but one boiling over, and removing the lid as we have done, we’ve released the pressure by transferring it upon our military forces. Like the terrorist attacks that are coming, and will be terrifyingly successful against US, the patriotic Iraqi revolutionaries will also succeed. Time and logistics are on their side – check the pump prices at your local gas station.

If in a defensive mode, horrific genocide is always justifiable, even well after the fact. Think of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Dresden. Were these horrors either justified or necessary? Think of these civilian targets in terms of 100,000 plus American troops on the ground during those retaliatory strikes. Would we have proceeded anyway? Of course not, but that is now the situation in Iraq. We cannot carpet bomb; we cannot nuke them; it is their country, so why are they "insurgents?"

World opinion, especially after Abu Ghraib, will not permit US the use of unlimited force, and that is precisely what is needed to be victorious. There remains only one sensible option: retreat now!


"Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."

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Ted Lang is a freelance writer and political analyst. He is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.

Ted Lang can be reached at: tlang1@optonline.net

We invite you to visit his website at: www.tedlang.com

Published in the August 13, 2004 issue of  Ether Zone.
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