October 2, 2009

The Empire is Falling...

I have always liked A.Toynbee view of the cyclical nature of History, the rise and fall of Empires...It has a very Taoist twist to it - what goes up, goes down...

And oddly enough, I trust more the words from military men than from politicians. Not that I have a crush on the American military, God forbid...but military men are trained to win battles and when engaged in a losing battles, they hold out as long as they can before admitting defeat. Now the one step before admission of defeat, which you may call the one step before the fall into the precipice comes in the form of sentences brought to you fresh from the battle field...

When you come to think of it, this is serious stuff, because in parallel to armed warfare there is a psychological warfare, and one can tell the first signs of defeat when the psychological battle is lost...

I will use two examples here. The case of Afghanistan and Iraq and the two statements respectively made by U.S. Generals McChrystal for Afghanistan and Odierno for Iraq.

McChrystal - " Violence in Afghanistan is growing and the success of the campaign against the Taliban cannot be taken for granted, General Stanley McChrystal, the head of US and Nato troops has said. Delivering what he called an honest assessment of the eight-year-old conflict...he said,the situation was serious and time was running out..."Whether we like it or not, we have a conventional warfare mentality," "We must do things dramatically differently, even uncomfortably differently,"..."I discount immediately anyone who simplifies the problem or offers a solution ... or says 'this is what you have got to do' because they absolutely have no clue about the complexity of what we are dealing with."

Ok now have a look at what General Odierno said:

" The top American commander in Iraq said Thursday it is unlikely the U.S. can declare victory by the time forces leave at the end of 2011.
"I'm not sure we will ever see anyone declare victory in Iraq, because first off, I'm not sure we'll know for 10 years or five years" adding "it's going to be several years before we know " if Iraq will meet the objectives of why the Americans occupied it.

How do you read the above ? I read Formidable Resistance equals Defeat for the Occupier.

In Afghanistan. it is clear that the Afghan resistance is winning. Numerous reasons for that.
First a unified front against the occupier. Secondly geographical conditions that Afghans are used to and master well in comparison to the US and Nato forces and which play in their favor. Third, the Afghan resistance has extensive previous experience in guerilla warfare. Fourth, there are no thousands of Iranian armed Shiite militias there ready to drill, rape and torture alongside the occupier and its puppet's forces. Fifth, there is no Al-Qaeda either.

Furthermore, the flagrant human rights abuses and killing of civilians by the US and Nato troops plus the U.S government acceptance of the fraudulent election results and endorsing the stooge Karzai despite massive fraud, has mobilized the Afghans even more against the occupier's stooges, hence a regain of popularity for the Talibans amongst the local population. And of course, the inescapable fact that the Talibans are formidable warriors. No doubt about that.

Insofar as Iraq is concerned, the situation is intricately more complex.

The U.S cannot declare victory in Iraq for reasons which I will try to simplify here.

There was a formidable Iraqi Resistance against the occupation, a valiant and brave one that did not get much coverage, publicity and support, for many reasons I really can't go into now.
However, I can tell you that -- ALL the gains made by the IRAQI resistance have been recuperated and capitalized upon by Iran and its militias.

The Resistance is not to be blamed for this, this is a natural consequence when you are dealing with a dual American - Iranian occupation coupled with an Israeli occupation in the North.

Furthermore, the role of the Shiite militias and the Al-Qaeda, both helped in the long run the consolidation of the Iranian presence in Iraq. It is a known fact that Al-Qaeda at least some good parts of it not only massacred Resistance fighters but also thwarted their battles. It now transpires that Al-Qaeda was partly funded by Iran and one of its master planners is in hiding there, even though the Iraqi puppet government denies it.

This coupled with the grotesque crimes of the Shiite militias funded, armed, and trained in Iran, in ethnically cleansing Iraqis, plus the role of U.S and U.K led mercenaries, dirty gangs, special forces, security contractors in igniting sectarian civil strife in Iraq, have prevented a rallying around the Iraqi Resistance like in Afghanistan.

Moreover, it is important to note and never underestimate the ideological and cultural dimensions here. Iran and its clergy hold much power over Shiites worldwide and particularly in Iraq for obvious historical reasons. And that too played a very important role in favor of the dual Occupier. In the first lieu, for the Americans and in a second and final lieu, for the Iranians.

In other words, those who managed to reap the fruits and benefits of the Iraqi Resistance's victorious gains against the occupier was/is Iran and its Shiite parties and militias in Iraq.

Hence, when Odierno says we can't declare victory in Iraq, he knows full well, as a military man, that the political objectives for which the military invasion and occupation of Iraq took place, were not reached, not even remotely so.

Odierno as military man, was probably not expecting a Shiite theocracy to spring instead of a democracy, nor was he expecting to see the handing over of Iraq on a silver platter to Iran the way it was done. He had a job to be done and he and his men failed to deliver politically the fruits of their military enterprise, in terms of a "democratic model" for the rest of the Middle East.

I am simplifying the whole thing here and am sure there are other angles to this that I have not covered in this relatively short post, but overall, this is how I read those two statements by the U.S army generals. They are admitting defeat both militarily and politically.

And in a battle, one person's defeat is one person's victory.

And it's all downhill from there on...