Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Unpopular Message

The number of visitors to this blog rose steadily by about 10 percent per week. Yesterday the number of visitors took a 25 percent dent however, especially in visits from the USA. I guess my message about the lost war in Iraq was not a popular one.

Still I stand by my endorsement of Van Creveld's assessment.

The war in Iraq is not going well. There is no victory in sight. I saw some horrible footage yesterday from a film made by Jihadi's. It was shot of American soldiers on the streets in Iraq in armoured vehicles and humvees. They were getting shot by Jihadi snipers. The footage was accompanied by religious chanting in Arabic. The footage of well-equipped US soldiers with million dollar Equipment and sensors standing around seeing nothing is an illustration of the warnings of Van Creveld.

What to do against the Jihad against the West? The democratisation of the Middle East is not working. I have always maintained that it is impossible. Because Iraqi and most other Middle Eastern societies are too fractured along religious (Sunni, Shia) and tribal and ethnic lines to be able to live in a democratic society. Francis Fukuyama wrote a book "Trust" about the necessity of trust and understanding between citizens in a society in order for people to co-operate vulontarily. This is a necessary precondition of democracy. Middle Easterners do not trust one another. High levels of trust are only found in Europe, European derived societies such as Australia and Japan. That is why they need dictators to run societies. That is why civil wars break out.

That is why democracy in Iraq won't work. So if we pursue a defence against Jihad we must shed our illusions about the possibility of democratisation of reshaping the enemy in our own image. The US Army is not an instrument of social reform. Conservatives should understand this. There will be new terror attacks on Western targets. Globally. And something needs to be done. Otherwise people in Europe and the US will lose confidence in their governments and we get instability in our homelands.

14 comments:

nouille said...

Snouck: "The US Army is not an instrument of social reform"


So true, and well said!

We are fighting an enemy that doesn't wear a uniform, doesn't abide by the Geneva conventions and uses women and children for their cause.

José María said...

Your opinion is valuable but very dangerous. If you are right and democracy is not possible in Muslim countries if they go on attacking the West and not assimilating when they live in the West then...the only solution is their total destruction.

I think it is better to be patient and wait what happens. You are too sure that things cannot change and I am very sure on the opposite. Let us wait until the game is over.

Snouck said...

Yes Nouille, the US Army is fighting "asymetric war" as they call it. Both sides fight according to completely different rulesets. The US Soldier do not have a chance, because they do not know where to hit the enemy where it hurts. Instead they hit civilians. The survirors become recruits for the Jihadi's. Pointless war.

The rest of the world does not want to become like the West. They understand our rules, such as the geneva convention and turn them against us. We have to completely rethink our way of living (immigration) and fighting in order to counter the challenge they pose.

We Westerners have always been smart, flexible and creative. In the end we will surprise them and ourselves with the answers that we will come up with.

Desmond Jones said...

The answer has already been found. It is tyrannising the West. The West is no longer homogeneous, a requirement for liberty that even J.S Mill recognised. A greater concentration of power to control a heterogeneous society is necessary. If Iraq and the ME cannot be democratised and it is strategically unwise to vacate that geographical region, then the only solution is the slow, (Patriot Act, wiretaps w/o judicial approval)progression to despotism in the West. It's done under a cloud of fear and justified as protecting the nation.

The US is not doing so badly in Iraq. The British were there for 40 years before the herculean endeavours of WWII bankrupted them and forced their withdrawal. Total British fatalities were something over 40,000 so in comparison the Americans are doing reasonably well.

Snouck said...

J Maria,

why must they be destroyed? What kind of real threat do they pose to us? The biggest danger would be if they would be peaceful. Because then they would take over Europe demographically. But because they are violent, our civilisation is waking up again.

Spain has shown how to deal with the demographic threat in 1609. No reason to destroy anything or anybody. On the contrary moral destruction is the gravest danger for a civilisation especially ours with its basis in Christian guilt.

Snouck said...

Desmond,

I recognise what you say about homogenity (cultural and ethnic) is a precondition for liberty. And I understand the consequences: cessession, expulsion and assimilation. These are not strict binary choices but can be pursued at the same time.

Things are going badly in Iraq, because the American people have stopped supporting the war. The goals for the war are not realistic. To democratise Iraq is impossible, both if tried by outside or inside forces. And to just occupy it in order to suck out the natural resources will meet with understandable disgusted opposition from the Democrats AND most of the rank and file of the Republicans.

It is got to end. Oil can be bought on the free market for a price that is determined by market forces. No need for military antics. Occupation do not increase the size of Iraqi reserves. If the occupation serves the interests of oil companies and other big business interest that means that US Soldiers are giving up their lives and souls for a rapacous oligarchy. Their souls the soldiers will corrupt because of the transgressions against the local populace that are a natural and unavoidable fact of any occupation. Especially where cultures are far apart as between Middle Easterners and Americans.

Snouck said...

A difference between the British and the US is that the US has been thoroughy demoralized from within by the 1968 counterculture. And even Britain handed over most internal power to a Iraqi regent. In 1941 they had to send in troops to topple the Iraqi regime because of a Pro-Nazi coup d'etat.

I did not know that 40.000 Brits lost their lives in Iraq. Where they partly (largely) non-white troops like Indians?

José María said...

Well, as you know, some centuries ago, muslims took white slaves from Europe, in total the North African Islamic pirates abducted and enslaved more than 1 million – 1.3 million White Europeans between 1530 and 1780 in a series of raids that depopulated coastal towns from Sicily to Cornwall.

The next century the Marines started to end the problem and only fully finished with the colonization of North Africa.

Why do I say all this? Because I know that it is absolutely impossible to live peacefully with Muslims, their faith and their goal, world caliphate, are in conflict with our values. So it is "they" or "we".

The solution is not only deportation or stopping inmigration (I agree that is part of the solution) but also is required tue use of force to change their values. If that is not possible they must be destroyed as a last step.

But I think that Europe will be destroyed first and Americans will finally understand the real nature of the threat we face.

Desmond Jones said...

Snouck,

It's not clear that the US public is demoralised by the war. They may not like the way Bush is handling the war, however, 69% in a CNN/Gallup poll (12/16-18/05)believe the US can win the war and 82% believe the US will be in Iraq > one year and 29% believe longer than 3 years. They also believe (74%) that the Dems can do no better.

Democracy runs not in black and white but on a continuum. Even if Iraq is not capable of liberal democracy it may prove a useful transition tool for elite cooperation in the process of creating political order. Political order is necessary to provide security. It's not about draining Iraq of its resources but securing the resources in the region (including Saudi Arabia).

Buying oil on the open market is one thing, however, ensuring a timely and orderly delivery of oil to the industrialised and emerging world economies is entirely different. It's a Pascalian wager. Even under the assumption that the interruption of the flow of oil from the ME is unlikely, the potential benefits of intervening are so vast as to make betting on it rational. In other words the potential consequences of an interruption in the timely flow of oil from the region, despite the unlikelihood, makes rolling the dice on a successful nation building effort reasonable.

The Guardian cites British and Commonwealth deaths in Iraq, most at Baghdad and Kut, over 51,000. 22,300 British graves are in Iraq which probably are mostly white troops because the Indian dead, per their custom, were creamated. This compares to ~1,480 white American deaths (74% of ~2000).

Snouck said...

Well, I think that the American public is losing its confidence in ultimate victory.

You are right that that democracy does not exist in a binary continuum. Neither does occupation. If the Americans pull back out of the urban centres to bases in the desert areas things will improve.

American fire power will be effective in the desert and not hit civilians. There will be no possibilities for guerilla's to sneak up on the Americans. The Americans can still guarantuee the oil flow and leave the administration of urban areas to militia's and the Iraqi army. Most of the oil wells are in the Kurdish North so the flow of oil can be secured through Turkey and Jordan.

I am definately maintaining that the US should give up its strategy of democratising Iraq by using the US Army as an instrument of social reform. Government intervention is anathema to conservatives when it is about the state reforming America's population. That a "conservative" government thinks it can use a state service to reform a FOREIGN population goes against all the tenets of conservatism. This shows that the core beliefs of Democrats and Republicans are closer to each other than many think. Not a good thing.

If the US use their occupation of Iraq for the stabilisation of the oil flow the question remains: "why does the US Army have to do that in Iraq and not in other countries". And who is benefitting from that stable oil flow and who is paying the price?

I am looking forward to your answers on those questions, Desmond.

Snouck said...

Desmond,
I added a link to a paper on Israel's experiences in Lebanon, between 1982 and 2000. It is a long read, about 2 hrs, but quite relevant for what the US Army is encountering now in Iraq.

The link's name is: "Hisbollah defeats Israeli Army 1982-2000"
You will find it on the right hand site of this blog near the bottom of the "Anglosphere links"

There are other similar links to studies about 4th generation warfare (4GW) by the USMC.

Snouck said...

J Maria,

it is anoying to have Muslim pirate states raiding European coasts. But it is also good. If Muslims raid us we can convince our people to defend ourselves from attacks by the outsiders. We have the moral high ground. With the moral high ground our position will be sustained. If we occupy foreign lands and force the inhabitants of those countries to comply with our will THEY will occupy the moral high ground and OUR morale will be undermined by those of a softer nature. We will bleed and lose in such a conflict and weigh our souls down with guilt.

Maybe Europe is going to lose. But consider the following. Some countries are strongly affected by Muslim immigrants, like The Netherlands and France. Others are less affected. If The Netherlands goes down, what will be the effect on Germany and other European counties? They will become fiercely anti Islamic and support the White Dutch population against the Muslim overlords and oppressors. This will be great to win over the hearts and minds of the waverers. Losing an European county is the best that can happen to our cause. When Spain was occupied by the Muslims wasn't it Aragon and Castilia who began the reconquesta? So it must be in Europe. First we must lose something. Then we will lose our arrogance and really start fighting against the Left and our foreign Islamic garrisons. Be patient my friend. Be patient.

Just think about the anxiety in the Hearts of the Leftists. Every time something (New Orleans, Paris Riots, Danish Riots, Murder of Van Gog, London bombings, Aussie Riots) happens that exposes the failure and the lies of Multiculturalism they become more nervous and doubting. We will win, survive and prosper if we keep Truth as our ally.

We should not be afraid to speak the Truth as we see it. Even if it means censure or jail. Because the future will prove us right. We should thank God because we have the opportunity to be prophets and martyrs. What more could we ask for?

Desmond Jones said...

That a "conservative" government thinks it can use a state service to reform a FOREIGN population goes against all the tenets of conservatism.
Agreed, however this US gov't is not conservative.

"why does the US Army have to do that in Iraq and not in other countries".

The fact is they do, in Georgia and Colombia to site but two examples. As much as 200 billion barrels of untapped oil lie ready to be discovered in the Caspian area, about seven times the amount left in the United States. The only way to transport its oil to market in the West is by pipelines crossing the Caucasus region. The US has already assumed significant responsibility for protection of the pipeline, providing millions of dollars in arms and equipment to the Georgian military and deploying military specialists in Tbilisi to train and advise the Georgian troops assigned to protect this vital conduit.

The State Department is providing "$25 million in anti-terrorism funding and $6 million to jump-start training for Colombian army units designated to protect a vital oil pipeline.

In our FY03 budget request we are asking Congress for $439 million for Colombia and an additional $98 million to train and equip Colombian military and police units protecting the Cano Limon-Covenas pipeline." Colombia is the 9h largest supplier of US oil.

http://www.state.gov/p/11498.htm

who is benefitting from that stable oil flow

Japan receives ~80% of its oil supply from the Persian Gulf and China currently 59% rising to 70% in ten years.
http://www.iags.org/china.htm

"A report by Morgan Stanley shows China's low-priced quality products have saved American consumers over $600 billion over the last ten years and $100 billion in 2004 alone. Take children clothes for example. Young American parents spend $400 million less because of purchase of Chinese goods. At the same time, American businesses also make huge profits.

In recent years the fastest growing market for US exports is in China China was the 9th largest market for US exports in 2001 and by 2004 it has grown to be the fifth. In the first eight months this year[2005] US exports to China for the first time exceeded those to the UK and China has become the fourth largest market for US exports. From 2001 to 2004 annual growth of US export[s] was 4.45 percent in average. During the same period US export to China grew by 21.85 percent each year while the Netherlands the fastest growing market among the rest of the top ten markets for US exports had a growth rate of only 7.65 percent."
http://english.people.com.cn/200511/30/eng20051130_224707.html

Who owns the lion share of US debt? Why Japan and China of course.

The US secures Persian Gulf oil by invading Iraq, most of which goes to China and Japan, whose markets greatly advance the welfare of Americans and US corporations, as well as Chinese and Japanese exports, and China and Japan lend the US the money to finance the Iraqi war.

A perfect symbiosis.

Snouck said...

Thanks for the sources you provide Desmond. They are excellent.

I wonder if you are being cynical about the "perfect symbiosis" part. Basically your rationale has been that US forces are needed to stabilize the oil flow. And that US forces are used because of Asian countries financing US debt.

On the medium term this is not a stable situation at all. The value of the US defense budget is much higher than the export value of the Iraqi oil. Oil account for not more than 4-5 percent of GNP of Westen Nations. If it rises to 7 or 8 percent well, tough. It is no reason to fight a war over.

In the end the US will have to adjust their spending to their means. US debt is getting out of control. It is already causing interest rates to go up and investment to go down.

The main benificiaries are Japan, China, American parents and big companies, whether companies in the oil business, in services (Halliburton), Mercenaries (Blackwater) or Defence and Aerospace.

The US Taxpayer has to foot the bill, in order to pay the defense budget and in order to service the debt. Corporate profits and lower textile prices are no adequate justification. Meanwhile lower middle class American boys are killing and dying to forward a political system that is foreign to the Middle East. When they come back to their jobs in Red State America they may well find it has been taken by a Mexican or other immigrant. The corporate backers of the Republican Party are selling out the interests of Middle America.

Let the Shi'ites and the Kurds secure that oil and work out a system that works for them. It is much cheaper. And they are better at it than the US Army, because they understand the enemy. It is also better for relations with the Middle East.

This war is a "Tragedy of the Commons".