Wednesday, June 27, 2007

WWCAD (What Would Caesar Augustus Do)

A Billy Joe raised this point in the comments to this post and thought I would bring the discussion back to where everyone could see it:

"I'd simply like to comment that we already subjected Iraqis to Shock and Awe. Remember? Rumsfeld said that it would be unlike any war the world has ever seen. What's left? If we couldn't beat a bunch of marginal soldiers who can barely use an AK with Shock & Awe, what brilliant ideas do right wingers have left?"

Point one: The "shock and awe" part of the operation was intended to defeat Saddam Hussein's military and topple his government. It succeeded brilliantly. Saddam was nowhere to be found, his military no longer offering resistance and his former slaves dancing in the streets and tearing down his statues within days of the beginning of major ground operations.

It is the next war, the one not against Iraq, but against the foreign terrorists who have infiltrated the country and attempted to start a Sunni vs Shiite civil war that we have handled badly. The reason we have done a poor job, as I tried to explain in my post, is that we are restraining ourselves. If we were willing to go wherever was required and do whatever was required the whole affair would be over now.

What do I mean by "do whatever is required"? Well America keeps getting accused of being an empire so let's look at what a real empire actually did in the same situation. From the time the Roman Empire annexed Judea the Jews were restive and unwilling to submit to rule by pagans. They finally rebelled one too many times and in the first century the Romans decided to once and for all put an end to their "Jewish problem". They did this by killing hundreds of thousands of Jews in battle and by crucifying tens of thousands more. They destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem (the center of the Jewish religion) so totally that the only thing remaining of it was a retaining wall. They forbade Jews to live in the city of Jerusalem (considered sacred by Jews) and after burning the city rebuilt it as a Roman colony city and renamed it. They took most of those Jews who survived the final rebellion and transported them out of the region. When they got to the far flung corners of the Empire they were put up on the block and sold as slaves. So many Hebrews were sold into slavery that the price of slaves temporarily collapsed.

As a final insult, sort of grinding salt into the wound, the Romans renamed the nation. No longer would it be called Judea. From that point on it would be called Palestine, after the Philistine race which were the traditional enemies of the Jews in Old Testament times.

That is how a nation, or an empire, which is willing to use all of its available power ends resistance from a defeated opponent.

How would this apply to Iraq? Well, the first thing that we would do if we were a real empire is realize that the source of the problem in Iraq is outside of Iraq. The Sunni part of the insurgency is inspired by the Wahhabi sect of Islam and Wahhabism is a product of Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism is the official religion of Saudi Arabia by the decree of the Saudi royal family and the Saudi Royals use the immense wealth brought to them by their nation's oil reserves to export Wahhabism to every region of the globe. Add to this the direct financial support they provide to Wahhabi terrorist organization al Qaeda as a type of protection money to keep al Qaeda's terrorism outside of Saudi Arabia and it becomes apparent that the application of sufficient pressure to the Saudi government would cause a dramatic improvement no only in the US situation in Iraq, but in the entire world's Islamic terrorist problem.

The Shiite part of our "Iraq problem" is centered in Iran. The Iranians are supplying money, guns and IEDs to both Shiite and Sunni terrorists in the hopes of causing enough American casualties to cause an irresolute congress to withdraw our forces and to spark a Shiite vs Sunni civil war which the Shiites would win by virtue of their massively greater numbers. This would allow the merging of Iran and Iraq into the beginnings of a greater Shiite Caliphate ruled from Tehran. Syria and Lebanon would soon be brought in as well making the "Shiite Crescent" a single unified polity. This would make the next logical step in the United States' pacification of the region the removal of the Shiite regime in Tehran and the suppression of Shiite Islam.

While all this is going on an important side project would be to work with the Israelis to put an end to their Palestinian problem. A good beginning on this would be to move into Gaza and kill pretty much everything that moves. Then Israel should annex the area and let the Jews who owned property there move back in and give them financial help rebuilding. There would be no danger of Palestinians taking back over because they would all be dead and no more would be allowed in.

You can see how this would change the entire dynamic of relations between the Muslim world and the United States. Instead of being a "paper tiger" who would collapse with just a few hard pushes we would be seen as "They Who Must be Appeased If Islam is to Survive". The focus of the Islamic world would center around proving to America just how pro-Western they were and just how little danger they presented to us.

This has been how it has worked throughout history. When Islam is met with weakness it becomes militant and advances through conquest and bloodshed. When Islam is met with overwhelming force it retreats and becomes quiescent.