November 29, 2005

Back! says Forward

The one time Bundist, now fairly zionist Jewish newspaper Forward has an article by Martin van Creveld not simply arguing for, but arguing for the inevitability of, a hasty US retreat from Iraq whilst, at the same time arguing that a complete withdrawal from the region is impossible. Van Creveld is quite an expert on military matters and, as Forward notes, he is the only non-American to feature on the American army's reading lists for its officers. I know that comparisons of Iraq with Vietnam are obvious and rather cliché now but van Creveld puts it well and doesn't have much quarrel with US imperialism as such. That doesn't make his argument more valid but anti-imperialists would compare the Iraq war to Vietnam because they would want a) America not to invade in the first place, and b) if America did invade they would want them to lose. so the guy's got no axe to grind here.
Confronted by a demoralized army on the battlefield and by growing opposition at home, in 1969 the Nixon administration started withdrawing most of its troops in order to facilitate what it called the "Vietnamization" of the country. The rest of America's forces were pulled out after Secretary of State Henry Kissinger negotiated a "peace settlement" with Hanoi. As the troops withdrew, they left most of their equipment to the Army of the Republic of South Vietnam — which just two years later, after the fall of Saigon, lost all of it to the communists.

Clearly this is not a pleasant model to follow, but no other alternative appears in sight.
It's a remarkable article and it goes into a lot of detail about how difficult the essential withdrawal will be, right down to the fact that if the retreat is too hasty much costly, too costly, equipment will fall into the hands of the resistance.
simply abandoning equipment or handing it over to the Iraqis, as was done in Vietnam, is simply not an option. And even if it were, the new Iraqi army is by all accounts much weaker, less skilled, less cohesive and less loyal to its government than even the South Vietnamese army was. For all intents and purposes, Washington might just as well hand over its weapons directly to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Ok, that's enough cuts on the war itself. Let's skip to the end:
For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time to mull over their sins.
Ahh, I love a happy ending.

Tip: JS Narins

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