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After Iraq, then what?

I've been mulling over this Mark Steyn column, republished today on the WSJ's OpinionJournal.com site, for a couple of days, and after reading Wretchard's take on it and GVDL's apocalyptic prognosis for the problem of Eurabia and the GWOT...and it all sounds familiar, really. I'm surprised the parallel didn't occur to either Wretchard or GVDL - they're men in my age group, old enough to remember the Cold War, after all.

I remember reading this sort of essay in the 1970s, especially in the years of the Carter Administration when it seemed like Invasion America might well be a useful simulation for the end of the Last War. People seemed to be locked into a dualistic view of the "long twilight stuggle" against the Soviet Union: either we surrender to them or go out in a suicidal blaze of glory. No one really thought we could actually win; the best that could be hoped for was to break even and prolong the game for another hand, another inning, a few more years. At which point Ronald Reagan showed up, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The big difference now, of course, is that the Islamofascists don't have the atomic arsenal the Chinese have, much less all the missiles possessed by the old USSR. They're also considerably more dispersed than the Soviets were. On the other hand, our means of selectively picking out and killing those who need it have gotten a lot better, and I daresay if 9/11 were to be repeated with any kind of WMD, the mullahs responsible would be dead in very short order without us having to incinerate an entire city to get at them. (I'm not sure the French and Germans would be quite so discriminating if push came to shove, but that's really not my problem.) All that aside, do I think we'd throw down and declare a new Crusade to drive the paynim forth from our City on a Hill? Probably not - but I think a lot of imams currently drawing their pay from the Saudis would be looking at hard time in Marion or the gas chamber, and a lot of other folks would find out what it's really like to be on the wrong side of the fence when America's at war. We tend to be awfully Jacksonian around these parts when we get pissed off, and the middle ground tends to disappear pretty quick.

UPDATE Father Fessio says on the Hugh Hewitt program that the Pope doesn't think Islam is capable of change. OTOH, His Holiness isn't swapping the Popemobile for a Leopard III just yet.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
433
Jan. 6th, 2006 06:00 am (UTC)
I'm more concerned about China's attack being economic - what's our trade deficit with China these days? - than nuclear. I'm also more concerned about al-Queda (or whoever over there) using a nuke to EMP the hell out of us. I'm not as doomsday as some people who think that a single warhead, detonated a couple hundred miles over, say, St. Louis, will knock us all out, but the possibility for EMP attacks is fitting with their 7th century worldview.
wombat_socho
Jan. 6th, 2006 03:40 pm (UTC)
The thing about an EMP bomb is that it's not just a device that generates a big ol' pulse, it's a warhead that happens to put out more of a pulse than normal. So while having all the soft electronics go crunch would be bad, you'd still have all the carnage from the blast to deal with, and as the boys at FARK might say, "Slaughter ensues."

I'm not so worried about the Chinese trying to fight an economic war against us. Who's going to buy all their crap if we don't? Besides, since they hold a lot of our notes, it's not to their advantage to cripple our economy so we can't pay off. It's an international version of the old saying that if you owe the bank a few thousand, you've got a problem, but if you owe the bank a few million, they're the ones with the problem.
tjstriker
Jan. 6th, 2006 07:47 am (UTC)
Kick um in the Ass
I believe in the WWII US General Patton.

"Kick um in the ass, and kick um in the ass back to Berlin!"

However, in this case it would be... "Kick um in the ass back to Damascus, Tehran, and Jakarta!" I'm surprised GW Bush hasn't turned the tanks 90 degrees in either direction and attacked. Not that I'm saying the American people would support him.

As for China, please understand that China civilization is a 6000 year history of isolationism and internal revolt. With the current communist government breaking at the seems, they couldn't do much if they really wanted to. All the west would have to do is continue to promote democracy and they will crack. Just don't try selling them anything, that is where the west continues to go wrong.

Iradicate the evil now before it gets too strong.

~ TJ
wombat_socho
Jan. 6th, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Kick um in the Ass
Things are moving in our direction in Syria - it looks like Baby Assad may not be able to hold things together for much longer, what with former government officials comign out against him publicly. Just a few years ago that would have earned you a quick trip to the afterlife.

Iran...there have been rumblings of discontent and severe unhappiness over there for quite some time. I suspect that as things cool down in Iraq there may be some cross-border covert stuff going on to encourage the people who are tired of the mullahocracy.
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