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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

March 28, 2003

There is no substitute for Victory

John Derbyshire writing in the NRO has some telling points on the war.
Forget about democracy or freedom

We should, he [another writer]says, "use the coming war against Iraq to persuade Arab governments that they themselves have a compelling interest in putting Islamic radicals out of business. . . . What we should demand of Arab leaders is not ideological fealty, but simply responsible behavior." Exactly. There won't be any constitutional democracy in Iraq or Saudi Arabia in your lifetime or mine, and we are fools if we think we can bring this about. (And if we did bring it about, it would probably be a net plus for the Islamo-loonies.

Go for total absolute victory. Nothing else works.

The only true and proper objective of a war is to smash the enemy's armed forces to bits, kill all his best soldiers, humiliate his state ideology, and bring down his government. Anything less is just storing up trouble for yourself in the future.
And now we see what a vast and terrible blunder we made, not going on to Baghdad in 1991. Never, never let us make this mistake again. If we get into another war, let's fight it to the finish — defined to mean that the enemy is crushed, his leaders dead or in exile, his military smashed to pieces, his ideology discredited. Nothing else will do, nothing else works, anything else is just future trouble. And to hell with "international opinion."

(Editors note: The same goes for Israel)

Change strategy from “Win with little collateral damage” to “Win”

Are we being too nice? It is a point of pride for us, military and civilian alike, that we take the utmost care to avoid "collateral damage" — i.e. killing and maiming Iraqi civilians. Well, I am proud of that, too. Not so proud, though, as to forget that there is a calculus of casualties, in which being too punctilious about losses among enemy civilians costs lives among our own military. This is an ugly fact, but a fact just the same.
Remember “There is no substitute for victory.