December 31, 2007

Good news to wake up to...

Lovely morning! Bad news for lots of bad people. Good news for the good guys. From Gatewaypundit:

With 24 hours remaining...
The US military is on track to see the lowest number of monthly fatalities in Iraq since the war began in March, 2003.

In February 2004 the US lost 20 soldiers in the 29 day period.This month the US has lost 21 soldiers in the 31 day period.

The Bush Surge continues to show amazing results.

This follows the news yesterday that 75% of the Al-Qaeda network has been eliminated in Iraq.

I don't think most people understand what has happened here. In war you always try to choose to fight where the situation is advantageous for you. It's very hard to do—you enemy is trying his best to make just the opposite happen.

And in fighting against a guerilla enemy it's harder yet. In fact it's common to put ones forces in a bad position just so the enemy will be tempted to come out and fight!

And we've all been learning a little bit about Pakistan lately, right? (As the old saying goes, war is God's way of teaching Americans geography.) That would be the worst place to fight al Qaeda. We may have to do just that one of these days, but if we do we will wish we were still fighting in Iraq.

President Bush chose to fight in Iraq, and forced al Queda to come and attack us there. In a country where we automatically had some natural allies—if one group is against us, their old enemies would tend to be for us. And where the population was advanced enough to be immune to most of al Qaeda's blandishments. (For instance, creating alliances by forcing local daughters into marriage with al Queda bosses did not work at all with proud Sunni tribes.) There are many other reasons why Iraq was a smart move. (Here are a few.)

Obviously the administration did not anticipate what a scrap it was getting into. Perhaps that's good; it might have been paralyzed if it had. The historical comparison I keep thinking of is the Guadalcanal Campaign in WWII.

In mid 1942 we were NOT ready to fight Japan head on. Seizing the island of Guadalcanal was very rash, and we were several times close to being defeated there. But, this situation was tactically advantageous for us because we held the airfield, while Japanese air support had to fly hundreds of miles to support their troops. They had better planes and pilots, but we usually knew they were coming, and they arrived with almost no reserves of fuel. Even a little bit of damage or bad luck would mean that the Japs lost a plane and pilot, while our guys had their planes (and wounds) patched-up time and again. The attrition of skilled Japanese pilots over six months of fighting was devastating to their long-term hopes. Everything else—thousands of soldiers killed, dozens of ships sunk—was secondary to that fact.

It was very easy at the time (or later) to perceive the fighting in the Solomon Islands as a pointless stalemate, and as military incompetence. Blood was being shed copiously, but the lines on the map did not move at all! But the real battle was almost invisible. In the Pacific War, air power trumped everything else.

I think Iraq is something similar. The arhabi have poured men and resources into Iraq, and their defeat will be a devastating blow, especially for future recruiting. Bin Laden boasted that Americans would not fight, that we would run away like we did from Somalia. (And our lefty nihilists have done their damnedest to prove him right.) That boast is not going to work any more.

It was decades of weakness and appeasement—pacifism—that caused the global war we are in. And it is only toughness and lots of bloody fighting that will end it. The real pacifists, the real Christians of our time are serving in the United States military.

Posted by John Weidner at December 31, 2007 7:43 AM
Weblog by John Weidner