Friday, April 23, 2004

War on Terror Tactical Suggestions
By Alexander Marriott 23 April 2004

Several problems have presented themselves in the War on Terror as of late in Iraq and in the world at large which suggest that the tactics of the United States may need refining. The outlaw cleric Muqtada Al Sadr and his hiding out in the Ali Mosque in Najaf, the holiest site of the Shiite faction of Islam, is one such problem. The suggestion that a draft needs to be set up to pump more troops into the field represents a tactical solution to problems in Iraq and ongoing efforts to find Osama Bin Laden. What really needs to be done in the cases of these tactical conundrums though?

In the case of terrorists and outlaws hiding in mosques the general reaction should be to flatten the mosques. However, in the case of the Ali Mosque in Najaf, I would suggest that an ultimatum be given to the local Iraqis and Shiites in general to get him out of there and turned over to us or other authorities, within a week, or we’ll blow their holy site to hell. That way it’s clearly his fault (which it already is) and the Iraqis, and more importantly the Shiites, are given a full opportunity to save their mosque. The Ali Mosque was built in an age when the Arabs were the civilized giants of the world, today they are teetering on the edges of barbarism, but even they are aware that they would be hard pressed to rebuild such a structure and if it means as much to them as they proclaim, they will move quickly to present us with Al Sadr’s head (to use the Caesar-Pompey example). As it stands now, everyone knows that the United States has pledged to not blow up mosques even when militants are in them, as the pictures and videos from Afghanistan showed most disturbingly.

The question of the draft is amusing because those advocating it, like Charley Rangel of New York, led the charge to get rid of it in the early 1970’s. Not only that, they got rid of it for the same reasons they want to bring it back now, because it was unfair and drew heavily from the poor and from minorities. He declares now that the all volunteer force has too many poor and minority people in it and a draft is needed to spread the burden. Much has been made of whether or not we need more troops, not only in Iraq, but in general. I would say yes, because there are other countries to invade, like Iran and Syria. But the government hasn’t even used its considerable powers to call for volunteers yet, which makes any talk of drafts very premature. There is also the larger issue of whether drafts are a proper tool for Free states to use in any circumstances. What would it say about the country and the war if the government were to make a call for volunteers in this war, the War on Terror, and then not get enough? I would be appalled. I would join if that were the case, but I doubt that would be the case. The government has not sounded the alarm that troops are needed, if it did that then I would expect a rush of volunteers.

Nuclear weapons. There has been talk of using battlefield nukes and bunker nukes in the war as tactical weapons. In cases like Iran I think this is warranted because the possibility of nuclear weapons being there requires immediate and overwhelming force that conventional tactics might not be able to bring quickly enough to prevent potential use against Israel or our own troops. Anyone who has seen the giant craters in the Nevada desert from the underground nuke tests knows that terrorists deserve nothing more than a nuke that bores under the surface and disintegrates them (and everything else). My only concern is that the destruction would be so complete that we would not be able to gain genetic proof of deaths with such weapons.

Trials. This tactic is annoying. Why would Islamic terrorists and fanatics who fly planes into buildings care about being indicted other than as a situation for propaganda? Military tribunals, as these people have declared war against us (both the Bin Laden thugs and the mullahs in Iran), should be the only trials that occur. Justice will be swift and complete. These people have dedicated themselves to eradicating civilization and are therefore not entitled to any of its benefits, except of course for the relatively swift and painless death of the firing squad.

UN Resolutions. These don’t work, and it’s no big surprise. What UN army has ever invaded a country for disobeying it? The Korean War was put under UN command but that was only done by the United States to establish the UN’s relevance. So the answer is none, no country has ever been invaded by the UN to enforce compliance and no country ever will be. Libya didn’t move on its own WMD problem until it saw the United States would invade terrorist states that had WMDs, despite numerous economic sanctions and UN resolutions. Only concerted military action or the serious threat of it will have any effect and if it’s unilateral then so be it. It is better to be right, alone, and alive than wrong, unanimous, and dead.

Finally there is the tactic of building new governments in the wake of our victories. This tactic was created in the aftermath of World War II, not so much to correct the mistakes of World War I, but to establish prosperous countries to prevent Soviet sponsored communism from being attractive to France, West Germany, Italy, and Japan. If we insist on doing it, it ought to be done correctly, with a constitution, written and enforced by Americans if necessary, which enshrines private property and individual rights. If we won’t do this, and cannot do this, as it would contradict our own mixed system, then we ought to merely issue a proclamation to all countries we liberate that if they don’t get their acts together and renounce terrorism and anti-Americanism (thus reverting to how they were before) then we shall destroy these places and their people entirely. We gave them the velvet glove once, if we have to return it will be with the force of an iron fist.

Of course these tactical suggestions are just that, suggestions. Perhaps they would work, but they seem to be more rational and more resolute (seeing that we are fighting a war) than what is currently being done. It is clear that the current solutions to these problems are not working.