Thursday, July 07, 2005


Interesting post on Political Animal. From yesterday (pre-London bombing) but relevant.

The commander of US Marines in the Pacific says:

This is no more a war on terrorism than World War II was a war on submarines. It’s not just semantics...Words have meaning. And these words are leading us down to the wrong concept...The center of gravity, the decisive terrain in this war is the vast majority of people who are not directly involved but whose support, willing or coerced, is necessary to insurgent operations around the world. Hearts and minds are more important than capturing and killing people.

And a recently retired general says:

...there is powerful opposition to the American presence, and that our troops are having great difficulty with the cultural and social challenges of combating an urgan Iraqi insurgency that, in his words, has as its sanctuary the Iraqi people. Thus, notwithstanding how overloaded our troops are, General Abizaid and others have concluded that more American forces would make the problems worse, not better.

Kevin Drum writes:

This is pretty much at the heart of the liberal/conservative divide over Iraq. Is our real battle with terrorists themselves? Or is it with the fact that far too many people are sympathetic with their aims? George Bush and his advisors appear to believe the former. I believe the latter... As long as 10-20% of the Islamic world is actively on the side of al-Qaeda, there's not much chance of ever truly defeating them. So far, though, most of our actions in the Middle East have just made this worse. When are we going to get serious about taking on the real enemy?

When indeed.


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