Wednesday, July 18, 2007

When Thomas Sowell goes defeatist

One of the first things that can be expected from Thomas Sowell is to take pot shots at people he deems "elite" (oh, by the way, he is a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution). Defeatist because they want to quit the fight for Iraq which the U.S. Military "won" of course but we are still "pacifying" the country. And I should further add, that Sowell would like, I'm sure to question the worth of their opinions because they disagree with GW's foreign and domestic policies. However, in reading through the rest of Sowell's column for Creators Syndicate and republished in the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington, Sowell shows plenty of occasions for crying defeat in the face of both political and military daunting objectives and tasks.

Political; how do you introduce democracy in a region where obviously it has never existed? It would be very difficult. Where sectarian differences are so great that they even threaten experiments in democracy. The extremists get voted in and the present government shuts the whole thing down. Suggested reading, decades old issues of Time, Newsweek, etc. Elections get called, terrorists become the government, as happened in the Palestinian territories. Then a civil war, also in the Palestinian territories between terrorists as to which organization will control government and turf. As with Michael Barone, Sowell does have a problem looking at inconvenient facts. Democracies don't start wars? Germany happened to be a "democracy" prior to World War 11 and guaranteed the rise of racial extremism. Hitler used the "democracy" that gave him power to begin formulating a "third empire." Around a hundred odd years ago, France became a "democracy" by way of putting all of its royalty to death by guillotine. And yet, Napoleon rose to power through France's new Democracy and went on to seek conquest of Europe and beyond. And this country starting a war in Iraq on very questionable principles? Democracies don't create peace. And democracies at their best are internally riven by the sort of dissents where physical and violent clashes can occur between factions, beliefs, etc. for diverse reasons. Such is the history of this nation. Do people of differing political and religious views actually get along in this nation? No. How prone are we to truly violent outbursts? Often. So, we aren't a "peace loving nation" that can dictate to a so-called "sovereign" people how they should behave. And as they have ably demonstrated, we have yet to successfully intervene militarily to "pacify" them in their course of slaughtering one another. Which is why "pacification" hasn't happened yet in Iraq and probably never will.

Sowell whines about the politicians who "micromanage" what the troops in Iraq can and ought not do. Wow, does he mean Congress or the GW administration? GW makes the argument that he is the commander in chief, he and not Congress will make any final decisions. Well now, the POTUS is the consummate politician. And this one has yet to understand what it takes to untangle a mess that he has personally created in Iraq. Do you argue "reconstruction" when no peace treaty has been signed? Do you "hold elections" when the war truly isn't over? Do you return a "sovereign" nation to a people who are already engaging in carnage as much against each other as they are engaging in hostile acts against the foreign forces? How about a nation "run by a government" that needs the protection of the "green zone" before it can operate? A long time ago, GW and co. put up timetables for running a war as though they were opening a new business enterprise. A war can never be fought that way. Those of us with the experience of history do know a war isn't fought that way. You fight to succeed, you fight to the point where the enemy is exhausted and wants to plead peace with you. You fight to the point where the enemy lays down his weapons and refuses to pick them up again. Only one man has chosen not to fight the war in Iraq that way. That is GW.

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