Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Friday, April 30, 2004  

Iraq Revisited

Our occupation in Iraq has clearly failed in a number of areas for a number of reasons.

I had always believed that our forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq were woefully undermanned, but not being an expert in military planning, and devoid of any such experience apart from reading history books and weighing the opinions of experts in various journals, I put my faith in the judgement of those in charge, and hoped for the best.

Our undermanning of force in Afghanistan has not hurt our aspirations there as badly as it has in Iraq, but nonetheless, we are far from pacifying that nation and providing it with security and law throughout.

If our goal is to stymie oppositional factions, then the warlord gambit (supporting various warlords against each other) will work, but Afghanistan will not progress in any material or spiritual way.

At this point, I have such little hope for Muslim peoples that I don't much care if Afghanistan remains a sick backwater forever. But I still believe that if we had (or would) invest in a complete occupation there, we would stand a much better chance of advancing that nation into the future and prosperity.

From the beginning, I believed that our occupation of Iraq depended on immediate and overwhelming force in the restive areas. I figured we needed at least a quarter million men, and should have conducted house to house searches for weapons (and resistors), set up concentration camps, destroyed the left over ammo dumps which numbered in the hundreds, and begun executing outlaws and the so-called insurgents publicly as soon as possible.

We should have arrested hostile mullahs, raided mosques or destroyed them with impunity. We must give up the desire to be liked by others, and prefer being feared. The hearts and minds idea is a serious joke along with the waste of manpower in painting schools, and passing out toys. Let others do that sort of thing. The immediate suppression of resistance is paramount. Crush the opposition before you offer the dog a bone.

An invader and occupier must make that nation earn its liberties with good behavior.

Despite our mistakes, and foolish notion about creating democracy in the region, we cannot simply cut and run. We must establish some form of legitimate government there. Our men are dying there so that more people will not die here. We cannot escape our enemies by hiding at home anymore. They intend to come and kill us. They are determined to do so.

We need to maintain strong support and aid to the Kurds. They are a stable people and a bulwark for our presence. We must do everything possible not to betray them as we have often betrayed other groups when administrations here change.

We will hand over government to the Iraqis, but I don't believe that nation will ever see free democratic elections. Some pundits prophesy they will see only one. I am not even that hopeful. I do not think the new government will ever overcome factionalism enough to institute itself by popular mandate.

I expect that in two years, the country will be divided and at civil war between the Sunnis and Shiites. The Kurds will have unrest among Sunnis in the north, but I believe that they will dispatch them in no time. The Shia should be able to overcome the Sunnis and claim the oil in the south. Whether they will establish an Iranian style theocracy remins to be seen, but it is very likely given the support they will have from Iran, and the fact that fanatics tend to wear down more moderate forces. Normal people tire of struggle, battle, death, and deprivation. Religious fanatics do not which is why they generally have to be annihilated to secure peace for any length of time.

Of course, any involvement by the UN will only make everything worse.

I do hope that Bush is re-elected (although I am not certain I will vote for him. He will not likely win my state anyway, and I'd rather send him a message regarding other policies and failures of his like illegal immigration), but his mistakes of vision are beginning to grow larger under the lens of time. (Time = History; i.e. time creates perspective to judge recent events.)

Bush's vision that "freedom is God's gift to mankind", and so people must prefer it, and will actively cooperate in securing it for themselves, is suffering when run up against the preponderance of sin -- that the light shone in the darkness but the darkness did not see it.

Someone once wrote that "an evil people can never get good government." Some cultures are so distorted, twisted, and pyschologically sick that nothing but a wholesale destruction of their foundation can bring them any hope. Islam is a religion so thoroughly steeped in evil, destruction, oppresion, force, murder, rape, perversity, depression, cruelty, and death that the only hope for the people trapped in it is Christianity. (As lovely, rich, and positive as Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism can be in themselves, only Protestant Christianity is transformative not merely spiritually but politically and economically for entire peoples.)

There is no place in the world where Islam is now that isn't suffering because of that religious culture.

We shall not leave Iraq anytime soon, but the mess we see there is not likely going to improve in the short term. We simply underestimated the force of evil in that region and in those people. If ever a people lived under a satanic cloud of despair and cruelty, it is there.

Bush was naive to think Muslims want what Americans want from life. I do not fault him for that, though. It is to our glory and good nature that we incline to positive appraisal of others; that we give other people the benefit of the doubt regarding their primary motives. It looks like such regard for others will have to change, though, if we intend to protect American lives.


After 9/11, I thought we should have immediately declared war on both Afghanistan and Iraq and either drafted a million more men, or recruited that number. I felt certain that success in the aftermath of war (we would win easily enough the battles) depended on forceful occupation and institution of law and order.

A declaration of war would have done two marvelous things. It would have made dissent a matter of sedition, and laws could have been used to silence the liberals and left who want us to fail and lose.

The second thing would have been to put the nation on a true war footing, a girding of the national loins for a holy crusade -- that is the sacred right to protect our life, liberty, and happiness from international criminals and despotic monsters.

Instead, we now have the liberals and left trying to replay the Vietnam era where they see themselves as saviors by practicing appeasement, and preying on the fears of ordinary people that their children should never fight and die for America for any reason.

This time, though, the liberals no longer own all the media, and people no longer pay as much attention to their organs because the monopoly on news dissemination has eroded. Also, most Americans aren't impressed by the idiot thugs of the left and their liberal apologists on TV.

There is no doubt we hate seeing our men die, and it is worse when they are dying in a country that is despicable in all respects, and which ought to be left to devour itself, but if we leave it as it is, we will suffer worse, and I think many Americans realize that also.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 2:43 PM |