January 13, 2006

Al-Qaeda and diplomacy

I think it's part of the plan. Asymetrical war isn't like usual war. It take subtlety and real nuance. Not New York Times nuance.

The Sunni resistance is the Baathists, criminals, and anyone else that would benefit by a Sunni return to power. It's not just the average Sunni citizen on the ground.

It's not a diplomatic contacts. It's fear. When people fear AMerica more than they fear the terroists, they start to understand that fighting the terroists benefits them less than fighting us.

The image of the terroist or Arabs as fanatical to the hilt, obscures the truth that they are still human.

The term isn't anger, it is terrorize. And it would have worked. If the US acted like other nations, i.e. Britain in Basrah.

Washington isn't competent enough to split the Iraqis. Most of the State Department people still believe that Sunni and Shia won't work together, that a secular Saddam would never work with Islamic terroists, and so on.

Most of the work may be attributed to the Iraqis. Specifically the Kurds and the Shia. They've done most of the reconciliation and the separation of the soft-core insurgents from the hard core.

Washington bureacrats tend to want to take the credit for everything. And disavow anything that goes wrong.

The AMerican military tries, but their grasp on local politics isn't nearly as intuitive as the local Iraqis are. And the military leaders know that. Besides, they have been ordered "Not" to interfere in political matters.

The Sunnis will turn on the jihadists completely when we initiate the Phoenix Program in Iraq.

The game plan works for all insurgencies. Find out what the factions are and then separate the soft-core from the hard-core. The people who just want to live in peace and protect their families from the people who want to destroy. Then you assassinate and get rid of the hard core, while providing rewards for the people loyal to your side.

The CIA even has a book on the internet for this. Which is how Al-Qaeda is so expert in the use of propaganda. CIA methods are on the internet, readily accessable.

The Sunnis will never turn completely on the terroists, because America has not raised the cost of aid to the enemy high enough nor have they increased the rewards. The way it works today, most of American money is filtered to corrupt bureacrats. The Sunnis definitely know how to make money "disappear" from experience. And Sadr's goons are learning as well. Therefore the bulk of the Sunnis, may feel some gratitude towards Americans, but not enough to kill all the terroists. It makes sense, nobody's going to have their family assassinated by terroist head chopper squads, if America is seen to be as weak, fearful, or unable to provide us protection. Terror tactics are the same whether outside the US or inside the mob. And the countermeasures are the same as well.

Nor will Bush order people in Iraq assassinated or even summarily court martialed and then executed. He operates by "civilized" international law, as embodied in the Status of Forces Acts we have across the globe. Which determines criminal jurisdiction. This puts the ball into the Iraqi's court, which takes a lot longer obviously, to get into the hoop.

Bush is gambling that we'll win out in the end, because we won't need a Phoenix Program or anything that might interfere with local matters. This means that more people will die, more people will have their reconstruction funds stolen from them, and more time for IEDs to blow up Americans and Iraqis.

Bush has the power to win this war decisively, he just thinks it shouldn't be used. I suppose he thinks the risk is greater than the rewards.

The popular portrayal of US heavy handedness as making people angry and more America haters, is a false one. It was the lack of US interference, that led to looting, destruction of evidence, and stupendous chaos that hurt a lot of people, made them think we were as dishonorable and weak as we were in the Gulf War, and so on. It reinforces the Osama image, that AMerica is a paper tiger, and therefore you just keep your mouth shut and let my terroist buddies hide out in your home. Cause we'll be here a long time after America has run away.

After 100 terroists have been executed by firing squad in the middle of Tikrit, how many people would still think America is going to cut and run? After a nuclear bomb has been dropped unto captured suicide bombers in the middle of nowhere, as a demonstration execution, how many Sunnis would think to fight America or let the terroists do whatever they wanted in front of them? Would they not fear being bombed as well, and therefore would that not provide a strong motivation for Sunnis to fight terrorism in their cities?

Guerrila movements cannot function without the support of the local population. And the local population will NOT support America's enemies, if they see America as stronger, more ruthless, and more generous than our enemies.

We got the generosity down, but a lot of peeps in Iraq think we are soft and ineffectual. Our allies and our enemies.

We are winning, but only because we have 1/2 of the solution.

A lot of Americans fear using the power so many Americans have died to secure. They are under the mistaken assumption that military force=people dieing. Executing people that have already been sentenced to die, does not kill any innocents. But it demonstrates will, and strikes fear into the enemies of innocents, and reassures the innocents. And that saves a lot of good lives.

If we had demonstrated this by reducing the city in which Iran held our hostages, to rubel, 9/11 wouldn't have happened.



Bush can fear being heavy handed, but any future deaths will not be on my hands. That's why he gets paid the big bucks.

I define diplomacy as getting people to do what you want without fighting a war with them. Bush defines diplomacy as getting along with others and talking things out. What world does he think we live in, a Yale Fraternity meeting?

The reason why diplomacy doesn't work anymore in this world, is not because humans have become immune to diplomacy, it is because the Western governments are incompetent at diplomacy.

In response to

Out of curiosity what do you think of the apparent Al-Qaeda/Iraq-Resistance split? It has been well known that the terrorism/resistance in iraq has been carried out by two groups of people so far- the jihadis who wish to throw out the Americans and re-establish the Muslim Caliphate in Iraq- and the (mostly Sunni) resistance which simply wants the Americans to leave. Evidently due to American diplomatic contacts there is increasing stress between the two groups. Al-Qaeda is angering the native populous and the native resistance with the killing of so many Iraqis, plus they have much wider goals that the sunnis do not embrace (the sunnis wish to keep this government that has been installed for them as evidenced by the recent elections). American military, intelligence, dept state agencies have evidently been contacting the sunni resistance in an attempt, successful for the most part, to splinter the jihadis. The main splitting point in negotations so far has been a timetable for American withdrawl. Recent successes of the negotations can be seen in events such as the Sunni resistance groups refusing to attack the voting polls, and in some isolated cases protecting them from jihadis. How long do you think it will be until the Sunnis turn on the jihadis completely?


As a side note- i find ironic how America is always judged to a failure in its methods. I cant but help remember the Cold War.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally I take in the mid-1800's version of diplomacy, where war is an extension of diplomacy by alternate means. Now I do not mean that as a trite saying, I mean it in the traditional sense. War is used to achieve specific goals and functions in order to exert greater political influence. This was the case in the mid-1800's, as demonstrated by Bismark as an example. Then the world went back to a system of war that reverted to total destruction, and now we are back to the diplomacy/war relationship.

Diplomacy, is in short, the process of an exchange of threats, promises, and actions to reach a desired goal. War being a part of that process.

As far as American leniency- I do believe that behind the scenes organizations such as the CIA, DELTA, etc are engaged in some very shady political and military affairs in order to bring this war to end. Obviously you are right about splitting the soft core from the hard core, which adheres to basic philosophy of divide and conquer. But I continually get the sensation that we are only seeing half of the picture in this war. This comes from working in the State Dept and military contacts.
Next, from my personal experience many career people in the State department are split on that quip about the Sunnis and Shia working together. There is a difference and debate of opinion on going. But then, thats just my experience.

Another question for you- do you think that Bush's lack of heavy handedness has more to do with a weakening of his power at home?

-Cyne

13 January, 2006 20:09  
Blogger Ymarsakar said...

No, I don't think it has to do with political considerations. Or at least, not because Bush wants to win elections or something like that. Bush is principled and he is stubborn. While in some ways that is a plus, it is also a minus. Rather, I think his weakening at home is proportional to his lack of ruthlessness and determination, as shown by his body language, speeches, and word choices.

Meaning, the Jacksonian tradition is very much alive in this country. And when people like me see Bush pussyfooting around, we're not exactly confident in his ability as President.

While Delta is a secretive black ops organization, allowing it to do many things none of us know about except Bush, that also has a weakness. Which is that whatever effectiveness and ruthlessness Delta, SEALs, or Marine Recon shows, nobody knows about it. And the whole point to making examples of people, is so others know about it, so you don't have to do it again. Since the world doesn't know what Delta is doing, they keep doing it, and Delta keeps having to fight them.

Bush would get a lot more of what they call political capital, if he said this beside Angelina Merkel.

"While I disagree with the Germans releasing a terroist that truly tortured an American soldier, to make him scream out for help so that the terroists would benefit, I understand that Angelina is not totally to blame for that. While I have recieved the letter of the parents of the servicemember, and I feel their pain, I also recognize a greater duty to my nation, to defeat all the terroists. Not just one terroist. And that is why while I don't like German bureacrats, I still work with them in the War on Terror. And I am confient Merkel will do her best to aid us"

But did he mention anything about the terroist released? No way. And that pisses people like me off.

Here's another one.

"This shows that terroists use torture on Americans, and it doesn't work. It also proves that Americans have more courage, more strength, and more will. And that is why we may endure under torture. But the terroists, they cannot endure torture. So if we refuse to torture terroists, it will be because we are scared of them. Not the other way around. I am here to tell the American people, that the terroists is not worthy of American fear and appeasement."

Bush doesn't know how to uplift the morale of his constituents. That is why people don't support him as strongly. If he doesn't get on the bully pulpit and act angry and powerful, then there is nothing to support.

Bush, instead of appearing powerful, ruthless, a bit crazy, and determined, makes self-deprecating jokes about himself in that press conf with merkel. Look, the terroists are watching, don't appear like a damn clown in front of them. You represent America here, not a college campus. If Bush started acting like he was Darth Vader, here on Earth to put the fear of God into the terroists, he'd make America feel a lot better. If he told Iran that they would be wiped off the map if they keep acting like scared children, then that would make America feel better.

He was mad on 9/11, he was mad after the NSA leaks. Guess what, most of AMerica is on his side in these issues. Not a coincidence.

13 January, 2006 20:31  
Blogger English Professor said...

"So if we refuse to torture terroists, it will be because we are scared of them. Not the other way around." Excuse me? Perhaps I am misunderstanding this statement. Is he truly saying that we have to torture terrorists to prove we're not afraid of them?

18 January, 2006 17:19  
Blogger Ymarsakar said...

That is certainly one interpretation you might derive. But that isn't what I said.

There are two kinds of fears on the international scene, retaliation and cost-effectiveness. A lot of people think torturing terroists doesn't work, makes them complain to Human Rights Watch, and simply makes more terroists. This is the fear of it not being worth it. Therefore it slots in the former, cost effectiveness.

The retaliation fear is something the terroists shouldn't rely on, but one in which America places much importance on. People like McCain, who are worried about Americans would be tortured and this would be justified if we torture the terroists. That fear is unrealistic.

Therefore like I said in the original, if we don't torture terroists it is because we fear them, their reactions, and their retaliation instead of not torturing them because we fear we will become like them.

There is no realistic chance of either sinking to their level or placing Americans at risk of torture. Therefore people who fear such situations are taking counsel of their fears.

Not torturing terroists will not save American military members or civilians from torture, torturing terroists will not sink us down to their level. It's pretty simple.

The only group of reasons why we don't, is because of fear. Of the terroists or of ourselves, but I bet on the fear of the terroists as the primary motivation.

19 January, 2006 11:53  

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