October 01, 2003

Iraq is Not a Quagmire

Via Samizdata.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at October 1, 2003 09:21 AM

It should be interesting to see how this chart bears out over time. Another useful chart would be the Afghanistan numbers.

Oddly enough, attacking the US becomes easier now that summer is winding down. Gathering together the will to go out in 115 degree heat in the middle of the day and bomb the Coalition troops is one thing, sticking out like a sore thumb because you are the only one stupid enough to do so is another. Now that the weather is improving and the nights are longer, it should be easier to move around using civilians as cover. Of course, it should be much easier for our people to stay alert while wearing full body armor now that the temperatures are reducing.

The strategy of maintaining a continuous stream of bad news for the major media to gorge upon might be failing. How long it will take for this feedback to reach Saddam or whoever is in charge is another question. I doubt they terrorists operating in Iraq have another tactic to use, thought.

Posted by: Patrick Lasswell at October 1, 2003 09:52 AM

Actually that chart shows that it's only in the past month that we're seeing a fairly significant drop in casualties (excluding the plunge immediately after the end of major combat). The chart is encouraging but we need to see at least a couple of more months of declining casualties to be able to declare it a trend.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at October 1, 2003 11:51 PM

Yes, but in Vietnam major combat never did stop. This detail is lost on plenty of people.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 2, 2003 12:40 AM

A critical piece of the Vietnam war that a lot of people keep forgetting is that we were fighting a competant opponent. We are not fighting a competant, motivated, or financed opponent in Iraq. The after action reviews of this are going to be very interesting and not comfortable for a lot of the quagmire blowhards.

Posted by: Patrick Lasswell at October 2, 2003 11:15 AM

In Vietnam we were fighting an opponent that had direct backing from the USSR, China & several other major powers. Without that backing, our opponent would have been quickly defeated. We were unwilling to take the steps to cut off that backing (whether we should have done so is debateable), so we were in a much more difficult war. Here, there is no evidence of outside backing by a major world power, and I doubt very much we would tolerate it if it occurred. The result: the situation in Iraq will very likely be under control in due time.

Posted by: Ben at October 2, 2003 11:44 AM

Also in Vietnam, the viet cong were fighting for something they believed in.... at the time, Vietnam was basically a new "ex-colony" & the communist north was selling a Glorious pie in the sky that sounded mighty good to former/current peasants tired of having nothing.(or something along those lines).

On a side note, it was a french colony, who saw fit to cut a deal to give the north to the communists, and get us involved in the area. thanks france!

anyways, who & what are these "resistance" fighters fighting for? Aside from simple hatred, I can't think of much of anything. It's not like it's a major ideological fight to free themselves of colonial oppression & are going to replace it w/ a utopian society.
unless of course, by utopian society, you mean power vacuum, civil war & the creation of an even worse tpye of leadership/situation than you had w/ saddam.

Posted by: wes at October 3, 2003 12:05 PM

wes -- I think many on the Left are using Iraq as a platform to relive their glory days of protesting the Vietnam war. Some of them appear to be incapable of seeing the world through any other lens (ie, US = colonial oppression; Third World = resistance to colonial oppression). The Vietnam war was a tragedy all around, and its ghost is still haunting us.

Posted by: Ben at October 3, 2003 01:29 PM


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