26 January 2007
Recently I said that the President’s decision to increase troop levels in Iraq was consistent with one of only two choices: we leave or we stay. Each of those two choices likewise have two choices. If we leave we will do so immediately or over a period of time. If we stay we will: (a) decrease troop levels; (b) increase troop levels; or (c) leave troop levels where they are.

Many are claiming that by increasing troop levels the President is ignoring the results of the recent elections. It may be that, unlikely as it may be to some, the President actually knows more than the electorate. Nibras Kizimi explains:

“The wider Sunni insurgency — the groups beyond Al Qaeda — is being slowly, and surely, defeated. The average insurgent today feels demoralized, disillusioned, and hunted. Those who have not been captured yet are opting for a quieter life outside of Iraq. Al Qaeda continues to grow for the time being as it cannibalizes the other insurgent groups and absorbs their most radical and hardcore fringes into its fold. The Baathists, who had been critical in spurring the initial insurgency, are becoming less and less relevant, and are drifting without a clear purpose following the hanging of their idol, Saddam Hussein. Rounding out this changing landscape is that Al Qaeda itself is getting a serious beating as the Americans improve in intelligence gathering and partner with more reliable Iraqi forces.” (Read more

If Kizimi or, more correctly, his sources, are right then this would be a good time to increase troop levels. Not to do so would be to miss an opportunity to seize the initiative.

Of course, one question is why the Lame Stream Media do not report this. Obviously one answer would be that they know it isn’t true, that Kizimi’s sources are wrong. Maybe that’s true. But this stream of media have been around since since the days of the Viet Nam conflict. And,
as I’ve mentioned before, (i.e., with respect to the aftermath of the Tet Offensive) they are well practiced in depicting victory as defeat, or vice-versa. Don’t miss my point. It’s not that the media deliberately mis-reported the results of Tet, or that they are deliberately mis-reporting events now. It’s that they do not know, apparently, how to appraise situations in terms of military objectives. For them, appearance is reality.

Sadly, in war that is not necessarily the case. For example, during the Civil War, General Braxton Bragg was certain that he had won the battle against Major General William Rosecrans on 31 December 1863 at Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He was arguably mistaken. As a consequence of this error, he ended up the loser at the end of the campaign because Rosecrans, who did not think he’d lost, seized the initiative and managed to rescue victory from the jaws of defeat.

There’s a few important lessons here: (1) If you think you’ve beaten your enemy make darn sure that he knows it also; (2) The fact that your enemy has retreated (as Rosecrans did on 31 December) doesn’t mean you’ve won; (3) Conversely, the fact that you are retreating doesn’t mean you’ve lost; (4) Quite possibly, if you don’t think you’ve lost then you may not have done; (5) The fact that you’ve lost 3,000 men (as Rosecrans did) does not mean you’ve lost the battle; (6) and most obviously, The fact that you think you’ve won means nothing.

Now, if it’s possible for a commanding general to be mistaken about the outcome of a battle that he has just fought, it is certainly not difficult to believe that a journalist could be.

Given the demonstrated ineptitude of the LSM in analysing things military I’m going along with Kizimi on this one.

Laura Ingraham


About Me

James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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