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  • Friday, March 28, 2003


    Dr. Krauthammer and...Dr. Krauthammer.

    As pointed out below. Charles Krauthammer is really big on getting rid of the bad guys in Iraq through military means and everyone should just hush up until the deed is done.:

    And then on Sunday, bloody Sunday, the media discovered that war is hell and descended into a mood as dark as any of Churchill's "black dogs." But the blackness came from confusing two different phenomena: war and battle. The narrow focus of the camera sees not war but individual battles, which, broadcast live, gave the home front the immediate (vicarious) experience of the confusion and terror of combat. Among the chattering classes, a mini-panic set in.

    By Monday the media were in full quagmire mode. Good grief. If there had been TV cameras not just at Normandy, but after Normandy, giving live coverage of firefights at every French village on the Allies' march to Berlin, the operation would have been judged a strategic miscalculation, if not a disaster. The fact is that after a single week we find ourselves at the gates of Baghdad, servicing the longest supply lines in American history, with combat losses astonishingly low by any standard.


    The way to win hearts and minds is not to try to appease those who wish us no good but to stay in Iraq and use the authority of the victor to build a decent and open society. We will not win the propaganda war with words. We will win it by overthrowing Hussein and exposing the nature of his barbarism -- and the shame of those who supported him and tried to shield him from the just fate American and British soldiers are trying to visit upon him today.

    Here's Dr. Chuck...back in the day:

    THERE are two ways to look at war. One school sees it as a temporary emergency, the result of bad people taking control of important countries and wreaking havoc. The other tends to see conflict as endemic, ingrained in human nature and the perpetual striving of peoples for power and dominion.

    Liberals, with their belief in the perfectibility of human nature, tend to believe the first. Dour conservatives tend to share Ambrose Bierce's definition of peace as "a period of cheating between two periods of fighting." The liberal view borrows its prestige from a pretty major example, World War II. The problem, however, is that the Clinton administration deployed the idea indiscriminately to any place it wanted to intervene.

    It was this logic that got us into Haiti, for example. Some evil generals, it was explained, were doing terrible things to the country. Our goal was to get rid of them, restore democracy and fix things up. So we invaded, sent the bad guys into exile and brought back the "democratically elected president," Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Six years later, Aristide held a sham election, sent his thugs to physically attack the opposition and had his senate call for the arrest of the head of the opposition alliance. Haiti remains the impoverished, murderous dictatorship it was when our troops arrived.


    The Albanians did not wait for their Kosovar state. They have already struck. And peaceful Macedonia, some of whose soldiers went into battle this week in sneakers, is a poor candidate to fight a deadly counterinsurgency. This conflict was never caused by one country or one man. Yugoslavia, after an interlude of quiet imposed by totalitarian repression and fear of the Soviet Union, has reverted to its centuries-old state of convulsive ethnic and religious conflict.

    What to do?

    Unfortunately, getting out is not an option. Even though the original commitment was folly, once a superpower makes a commitment to Balkan stability, its very presence creates a new national interest -- credibility -- where there was none there to begin with.

    We have two options: deputize and "Vietnamize."

    (1) Deputize the Europeans to do the dirty work. NATO has just announced that a British-Scandinavian unit in Kosovo will deploy near the Macedonian border. This makes sense. While we're stuck with peacekeeping because of our previous commitment, an escalation to counterinsurgency is absurd. It is the Europeans' front line, not ours. They ought to man it.

    (2) In Vietnam, we tried to get out by getting the locals to replace our soldiers. In this case, ironically, the locals are Serbs. We've already "Vietnamized" one part of the conflict by allowing Serbs to return to a border region that had become a center of activity for the Albanian guerrillas. Macedonia is a harder case, but in the end it may be Serbia that will guarantee the security of Slavs in Macedonia.

    There is little more that we can do about this quagmire. But it should be a lesson the next time a president comes to the American people and asks for intervention in a local war, on the grounds that if we could only get rid of the bad guys, peace and light will reign. Sometimes that is true; most times it is not

    Wow. Looks like Dr Krauthammer has more personalities than Sybil. Maybe he could write himself a prescription for either Hypocaway or Denyitall.

    Better double the dosage, Dr.

    (Thanks to Tresy)

    posted by tbogg at 11:38 AM



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