Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Chance favors the prepared mind - Louis Pasteur

Permanent Vacation
by Lee

Following up on this post from yesterday about the new American embassy in Iraq, I have some thoughts on why this is so damn important.  I think this is more a psychological thing than anything else.  Yes, there are some practical considerations like making it a defensible, self-contained center.  But consider this, from a PBS interview with Osama bin Laden in 1998.

After our victory in Afghanistan and the defeat of the oppressors who had killed millions of Muslims, the legend about the invincibility of the superpowers vanished. Our boys no longer viewed America as a superpower. So, when they left Afghanistan, they went to Somalia and prepared themselves carefully for a long war. They had thought that the Americans were like the Russians, so they trained and prepared. They were stunned when they discovered how low was the morale of the American soldier. America had entered with 30,000 soldiers in addition to thousands of soldiers from different countries in the world. ... As I said, our boys were shocked by the low morale of the American soldier and they realized that the American soldier was just a paper tiger. He was unable to endure the strikes that were dealt to his army, so he fled, and America had to stop all its bragging and all that noise it was making in the press after the Gulf War in which it destroyed the infrastructure and the milk and dairy industry that was vital for the infants and the children and the civilians and blew up dams which were necessary for the crops people grew to feed their families. Proud of this destruction, America assumed the titles of world leader and master of the new world order. After a few blows, it forgot all about those titles and rushed out of Somalia in shame and disgrace, dragging the bodies of its soldiers. America stopped calling itself world leader and master of the new world order, and its politicians realized that those titles were too big for them and that they were unworthy of them. I was in Sudan when this happened. I was very happy to learn of that great defeat that America suffered, so was every Muslim.

This is the impression that the Arab world has had of us for the past 30 years or so, that if they just fight back enough we will turn and run, that the US is a paper tiger.  Well, here in Baghdad we’re building a massive monument to show them that not only is the US not a paper tiger, but that we’re not leaving anytime soon, that we as a nation can withstand any low-level attacks that you might make against our soldiers and/or our interests, and that we have the ability to build the most modern, obviously-western structure in the country, big enough to dwarf some of Saddam’s palaces, and we can make it so that your bombs won’t be able to reach it.

From a psychological standpoint, that’s a hell of a message to be sending. It’s exactly the message we should be sending, that no matter how many short term tactical victories you may achieve, you will NEVER achieve your strategic goals.  “You fuckers had your chance at democracy, and you blew it.  You seem to only respond to strong leaders.  Alright, here you go.  You want a strong leader?  We’re the biggest, baddest, strongest fucking leaders in the world.  Try attacking this building, you pricks.  You can cut the water, you can cut the power, you can do whatever you like.  You’re not going to hurt us one bit, we’re self-contained.  The only thing you’re going to do is hurt the Iraqi people.  So hit us with your best shot, the only thing you’re going to do is make us look all the better.”

Bush might not do a lot of things right these days, but he’s absolutely right about this.

Posted by Lee on 04/15/06 at 02:31 PM (Discuss this in the forums)


Posted by on 04/15/06 at 03:53 PM from United States

And now we have moonbat goatfuckers in Iran mouthing off pretty much the same thing “we can kick your ass; we have very powerfull weapons that nobody has ever seen and can almost build an atomic bomb.  We will use it if you piss us off.”

I wonder if any of those camel fucking Iranians have considered how fast their entire country would be nuked if they actually did use one of their own?

Posted by on 04/15/06 at 05:27 PM from United States

To paraphrase the old Jim Croce song

“you don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger, and you don’t mess around with the USA!!!!!!!”

Posted by on 04/15/06 at 05:40 PM from United Kingdom

Half of me completly agrees with you, half of me thinks this is a measure way too late that is only going to alienate more Iraqis from the Coalition presence. I don’t have an alternative suggestion though - just hope this is a good move.

Posted by Aaron - Free Will on 04/15/06 at 05:53 PM from United States

I think there is definitely an element of “day late and a dollar short” here.

Unfortunately, the same thing was true of our response to fascism. It made the crushing response harder, but it still worked.

Posted by on 04/16/06 at 10:25 PM from United States

It also shows the Iraqi populace that we aren’t planning to “cut and run” like we did in Viet Nam, Bierut and Somalia.

At least until 2008.

Then all bets are off....

I was going to say 2006 but given that the democrats are just as incompetent politically as the Republicans, I don’t see more then a handful of seats “changing sides” one way or the other.

Posted by on 04/16/06 at 10:48 PM from United States

Bush might not do a lot of things right these days, but he’s absolutely right about this.

Oddly enough, I disagree with you. I think this is one of the things Bush does wrong. Rather be strong and agressive as he was at the start, he is now a Clintonesque finger-in-the-wind type president who, rather than standing on the enemies bullet wound is instead asking him to let him know if it hurts.

His ability to go hard (fnar fnar) has been lost after years of liberal whining about how bad we are being to the brown people. He is fighting a war with one arm tied behind his back, or at least held behind his back by his liberal critics.

Instead of pandering to the opposition, and trying to somehow appease those who oppose him (as he has on social issues) he should be showing the enemy the iron fist instead of the comfy blanket which should only be used for Iraqi civillians.

Anyways, enough of that, since you supported Bush on that point, and I disagree, I must start calling you a Bush-loving-sycophant ;-)

Posted by on 04/17/06 at 11:00 AM from United States

"He is fighting a war with one arm tied behind his back, or at least held behind his back by his liberal critics.”

I don’t know about that.  Some pols and reporters asked Bush and others in the admin. if they would send more troops if they thought it was needed.  They responed that troops would only go if the officers in the field asked for them.  They haven’t, so no more troops.
I’m a liberal, or progressive or a moron or whatever you want to call me .  And nothing would make me happier that seeing the President send more troops in so we can try to make the borders a bit more secure and finally knock out this insurgency, or at least calm it down to the point where The iraqi govt can get control on their own.

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