Thursday, November 09, 2006
Rumsfeld's Only Mistake
Before I get started, let me offer a caveat. I'm by no means an expert on Iraq, politics, the White House, military doctrine or anything else beside perhaps digitally editing movie posters to add my friends faces. I've never even watch a full episode of the Daily Show or The O'Reilly Factor. However, I've probably read over 20 books on those subjects over the past 5 years. Without further adeau here are my thoughts on Rumsfeld.
First, I'd like to congratulate Rumsfeld on what I think was his biggest accomplishment: one that I believe is widely overlooked and will truly change the world forever -- transformation. Can anyone even tell me what transformation is? Basically, transformation is a military strategy that says a tiny force (by military standards) can accomplish a great deal. Iraq is perhaps the greatest military victory in modern warfare. Basically, a force of 150,000 or so defeated a force of over 1 million. (Editor's note: Pizarro's 200 conquistadors defeat of 80,000 Incas is probably the greatest military victory of all time). I believe the success of the traditional war in Iraq is the biggest event in military history since the two atomic bombs ended World War II.
Which leads us to the mistake: the debaathification of Iraq. For those of you who don't know, the Baathist Party was Saddam Hussein's ruling political party. Put crudely, the Nazi party was to Hitler what the Baath Party is to Hussein (or as some might say, the Republican party is to George W. Bush). Anyhow, almost everyone with any sort of power in Iraq was in the Baath party. I bet a lot of them didn't even like Hussein but had to be in the party in order to get ahead in life. All of these people were prohibited from participating in the new government and many of them suddenly became blacklisted from everything. So what you have is a bunch of formerlly educated, rich, and powerful people now with nothing to do but form insurgencies. While I do believe that many insurgents are punks and thugs, there are bound to be many, MANY formerly-respectable people who joined the Baath party for pragmatic reasons who are now part of the insurgency. This situation should have been foreseen and is absolutely inexcuseable.
As all of you readers know, I'm about as pro-USA as they come. That doesn't mean I support every US policy blindly and naively. I'm glad Rumsfeld resigned and I'm glad he didn't do it BEFORE the election. While I generally vote Republican, separation of power is a good thing. Now how do we get McCain-Lieberman elected in 2008?
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