[lit-ideas] Re: Priorities

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2005 12:37:47 -0800

I suppose we could use the word "war," in several different ways, but in
this case the matter was hinging off a statement I had made, namely that our
War in Iraq was extremely successful when compared to other major wars and
that we suffered the fewest number of casualties of any major war.  

In regard to the insurgency, I'm sure the insurgents would claim they were
in a war, but I doubt they'd claim it was a war of attrition because they do
not have big numbers on their side.  Rather they would hope to stir up
enough trouble to cause the U.S. to cut and run -- something the Middle East
had grown used to during the Bush Sr and Clinton administrations. 


Osama bin Laden hoped to involve the US in a long drawn-out war in
Afghanistan.  George Friedman (founder of Stratfor) in America?s Secret War
argues to that effect.   OBL and Al Quaeda probably ?war game? as much as
any military force, and they considered all the possibilities they could
imagine and didn?t think they could lose in Afghanistan.  What the US
actually did there caught them and the Taliban by surprise.  We can see by
OBLs recent messages that he would be satisfied if we would get bogged down
in Iraq (he previously hoped to bog us down in Afghanistan).  He urges the
insurgents to keep on fighting.  


However, I?m convinced that OBL will be disappointed once again.  Our
fall-back position isn?t to hunker down and battle insurgents for years.
Our fall-back position is to declare victory and leave.  But this would
result in a civil war, Shiite against Sunni that would probably keep Middle
Eastern nations and Islamists preoccupied for a good long while.  By that I
mean getting the Shiites up to speed militarily and then saying ?good luck,?
and leaving.  Many of the Shiites are holding grudges against the Sunnis and
if we left prematurely, they might well engage in a little ethnic cleansing.
That would take care of the insurgents rather quickly and neatly if it
weren?t that the Syrians and other Sunnis would probably come to their aid.
Iran would be supportive of the Iraqi Shiites.  Saudi Arabia hates the
Shiites and would panic.  They would open their coffers to pay for as much
support of the Iraqi Sunnis as they could buy. 


Knowing that events could play out that way, we are trying to make sure that
there is a Democratic government in Iraq that guarantees rights for Sunnis,
Kurds and Shiites before we leave.


Lawrence Helm

San Jacinto


-----Original Message-----
From: Steven G. Cameron


**Might this then (currently) qualify as a war of "attrition"??




/Steve Cameron, NJ




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