Monday, December 19, 2005

Bush Does Not Understand The Goals of the Iraqi Conflict

"My fellow citizens, not only can we win the war in Iraq, we are winning the war in Iraq,"
- George W. Bush

One of the first things you realize when living in the Middle East are that the rules, whether they be the rules of war, business, politics, love, or whatever, the rules of Western civilizations do not apply in the Middle East. Middle Eastern countries, whether Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or Druse, all live by a completely different rule book then the US and Europe. And if you play in the Middle East, you better read the rulebook or expect trouble.

In war, we are trained to believe that by killing or neutralizing more of our enemies then troops than are killed or neutralized on our side, we are winning. We are also trained to believe that if we control strategic locations, military installations, and other areas coveted by our adversary, we are winning.

But in the Middle East, you can control a location militarily, or you can control a location by owning the hearts and minds of the people. The people themselves, with limited support from any established national military, can be a weapon of great destruction against an adversary, and their existence in and amongst the total population makes your enemies impossible to find.

I know, this is pretty basic stuff to everybody by now. We have all come to the same conclusion I'm sure. But evidently, Bush hasn't.

It may be true that, in the traditional sense we are winning the war in Iraq. But does that mean we can win the war? I doubt it. Hatred for America and our way of life only grows as our troops are stationed there, practicing our beliefs without respect for Iraqi values, destroying their country, defiling their holy locations.

The longer we remain in Iraq, the more likely it is that any government that has truly been democratically elected in Iraq will be sworn enemies of the US and all the values we hold sacred. If winning the war in Iraq means helping stabilize the region and insure the long-term safety of the US and Europe from Iraq, I don't believe that we can ever win this war.

Posted by Scottage at 11:30 AM / | |