Saturday, October 21, 2006

Is history repeating itself?

From The Washington Post:

Attacks and sectarian fighting have flared beyond Baghdad in recent days -- from Amarah in the south to the Tigris River town of Balad and the northern city of Mosul -- in some cases requiring the urgent intervention of U.S. forces. Sunni insurgents have also been staging bold military displays in cities and towns in the vast western province of Anbar, which a senior U.S. military officer this week described as "an al-Qaeda stronghold."

The eruption of violence around Iraq comes as thousands of U.S. reinforcement troops are tied down in aggressive operations to secure Baghdad, where attacks have nevertheless surged 43 percent since midsummer in a trend that an American general there this week called disheartening."

At least 75 U.S. troops have been killed so far in Iraq this month -- the highest daily rate since January 2005. The United Nations has said that more than 100 Iraqis a day are being killed in raging sectarian violence.

It is not an accident that this is happening during the run-up to an American election.

It is becoming fashionable to compare the current escalation of violence in Iraq to the Tet Offensive in Viet Nam. I believe that to be an apt comparison for the following reason:

What Americans came to call the Tet Offensive (because it occurred during the Vietnamese lunar New Year holiday, called "Tet Nguyen Dan") was called the "General Offensive" by the National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) insurgents who planed and executed it.

Briefly here is what the Viet Cong planned and what actually happened.

The communist forces believed, because Marxist doctrine told them, that the people of South Viet Nam would rise up and overthrow the capitalist government if only they were shown that it was possible. To that end virtually the entire fighting force of the NLF was mobilized in an operation timed to coincide with the Lunar New Year celebrations.

On the night of January 30-31, 1968 they struck in an attack having two objectives. One, gain control of the major cities and two, to bottle up US forces in their bases so that they would not be able to interfere.

Once American forces were engaged and unable to intervene in the cities the Viet Cong operators began to systematically murder those whom thy considered to be upholding South Vietnamese government rule. Police officers and their families, South Vietnamese military officers and government officials and their families. Even school teachers who were seen as friendly to the government were executed.

This was to demonstrate to the South Vietnamese people that victory over their government and its US allies was possible and inspire them to rise up. With the vast majority of the population in rebellion and the South Vietnamese government destroyed the Americans were expected to have no choice but to withdraw their forces and recognize the new united Viet Nam which would be governed from Hanoi.

It failed miserably. The Viet Cong were forced to face the fact that the people of South Viet Nam did not support them and did not share their goals of reunion with the North under communist control. However this realization came too late to save them. They had committed virtually their entire military force to the operation. They had come out in the open and were engaging the South Vietnamese Army and the US military in a conventional battle which they could not possibly win.

The NLF was for all intents and purposes destroyed by the Tet Offensive. From that point forward the war was fought between the US and South Vietnamese and the North Vietnamese Army.

The Tet Offensive could very well have ended the war with a victory for the United States and the South Vietnamese government except for one thing. The news media in the United States took the deliberate and calculated decision to misrepresent the facts of the Tet Offensive and its results to the American people.

The media presented the Tet Offensive to the American people as a massive defeat for American and South Vietnamese forces and proof that the US could not win the war.
Let me say this again. The US news media chose to mount a giant propaganda campaign of disinformation in order to spin a spectacular American victory into a defeat. This was the beginning of the end for US involvement in South Viet Nam. The communist victory in Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos – the re-education camps, the killing fields and the Boat People all flowed inevitably from the decision of Walter Cronkite and his friends to lie.

This is the connection to events in Iraq. The “insurgents” in Iraq have learned lessons from history, some valid and some not. The invalid lesson is this that the Red Army’s loss in Afghanistan brought down the Soviet Union. It played a part, but it was not the primary reason for the USSR’s collapse.

The valid lessons which the Islamists have learned are that the American news media is an enemy of the American nation and will work to destroy it. Another lesson they have learned from contemporary American events is that the Democrat Party is also an enemy of the American nation and will work against its interests. They have also learned that the American public has a short attention span and will not continue to support a war that does not produce a quick victory with few losses.

Taken together these lessons, both the valid and invalid ones, tell the Islamofascists that if they will commit their forces to a massive assault in Iraq in the period leading up to the November elections that the American news media will do all in its power to magnify their gains and American losses in order to create the impression that the war cannot be won and that continued involvement is a waste. The terrorist forces hope that this will bring Democrats to power in the US legislature because they know that Democrats will withdraw US forces from Iraq allowing them to overthrow the still weak elected government and install a Taliban style theocracy.

This, they believe, will be the beginning of the end for the United States. If American will retreat from Iraq they believe that all they will need to do is apply pressure by dramatically ramping up terrorist attacks against American targets and we will go the way of the USSR.
That this is not true is of no consequence. They believe it and people act on their beliefs. A loss for the US in Iraq will invite one 9/11 type attack after another.

The Islamofascists have likely committed the great majority of their forces to the current operation. If we destroy them, as we certainly will given enough time and support from back home, it will likely end the “insurgency” in Iraq.

Unless the American people panic and elect the Surrender Party next month.