Seems like the Give War A Chance strategy didn’t work out so well:
Scathing indictments of the way the Israeli government and its military have conducted the longest war in the nation’s history filled the country’s newspapers and airwaves yesterday, as Israelis began to feel safe enough to return to their national pastime of blistering political debate.
Israeli analysts across the political spectrum branded the war against Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon “an embarrassing defeat” for a “semi-rookie government” that should have known the goals it set for itself were “impossible to achieve.”
Wow, so they completely decimated the infrastructure of Lebanon, and Hezbollah’s still hanging around? Brilliant. And good on Condi for not calling for that immediate cease-fire a few weeks ago, since continuing the war for a few more weeks certainly brought some clarity to the situation, right?
And continuing the now-surreal nature of anything this administration does, President Bush celebrated that “Hezbollah suffered a defeat in this crisis.” And further down the rabbit hole they plunge.
… Related to this, and to the terrorism/law enforcement theme I discussed yesterday, is the armed forces’ better-late-than-never reassessment of how to win a counter-insurgency:
In classrooms, on training bases, and even on the battlefield, military scholars and combat veterans are struggling to teach the world’s most lethal military force how to calibrate its immense firepower and avoid the kind of heavy-handed tactics and cultural insensitivity that have engendered so much ill will and helped fuel insurgencies in Afghanistan and, especially, Iraq.
At the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., nearly half the curriculum this fall is focused on guerrilla warfare and tactics to counter it, marking the biggest academic overhaul in decades, according to military officials. A heavy emphasis is being placed on the foreign cultures where analysts believe US forces may find themselves operating in the coming years: failed states in Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia that may become breeding grounds for terrorists.
Man, what a bunch of !@#$#@! pansies. Cultural sensitivity my ass! Oh, so we should all start speakin’ A-RAB now! We should just bomb ’em back to the stone age! You Osama-loving liberals at the Army War College don’t understand — we’re at WAR!
Oops, looks like if you want to win and keep your country safe, you kind of do have to think about what people think of you. Cheney even appealed to that concept in saying we’d be greeted as liberators. Too bad he didn’t make sure that was going to be the case. A more sophisticated cultural approach might have done wonders for us.
Maybe, just maybe this November, we might find out that the public does have a limit to how much Soviet-style, top-down viciousness and stupidity they’re willing to put up with when it comes to defending our country from attack. They did re-elect Bush, unfortunately … but gosh, he really does give ignorance a bad name.