The Naked Emperor

14 April 2004


14 April 2004

Due to work and travel, I'm a bit behind, I beg forgiveness.

Recently we've been seeing increased American casualties in Iraq. Casualties? In a war? PANIC!!! Oh my GOD, they're trying to kill Americans!!! PANIC!!!

To listen to the pundits, this is the worst thing to happen to the Coalition since the sand storm during the invasion, the last time they could all cry "we're losing!". Quite proudly I might add. Not a one of them sees any historical parallels that are good. This is all doom and gloom. This is Bush's "Vietnam".

This is proof to me that pundits are a life form that each contain a single brain cell and can only amplify bad news. Apparently they don't have enough brain power to think independently. Nature limits them to collectively cry "alas" whenever anyone does anything right.

As I've said before, this is a war. And in war, people die. Including good guys.

I've always found that it's wise to look fully at an issue, both sides, before panicking.

Let's look at the war in the Iraqi theater from our enemies point of view.

In the initial invasion, the enemies tried to meet our forces with military might. They lost, badly. The only significant delay in the offensive was the sandstorm, an act of nature not man. We didn't quit.

Then the enemy tried acts of terror against our forces. Roadside bombs, snipers, RPG, and mortar attacks. We kept our resolve.

Frustrated, they went after the smaller Coalition nations with terror in Iraq and at home. Only the Spanish caved. We still didn't quit.

Now they are attacking civilian workers. They kidnap the civi's and threaten to kill and immolate. Sweet kind people, our enemies. (Liberals, remember that when you say you want to put Rumsfeld "against the wall" and "pull the trigger", I and many others lose the distinction between "loyal opposition" and terrorist murderers.) These are desperate acts. We still won't quit.

We now also face al Sadr and his Mahdi army. Why? It seems Sadr had another shiite cleric, a rival, executed. Murdered. The Iraqi courts issued an arrest warrant for him, for murder. Under Shariya (islamic) law, the punishment is death for murder. He had secretly built an army, awaiting handover so he could control the shiites, thereby controlling Iraq. The murderer is now desperate, too. If he must die, he figures he'll take as many others with him as possible. Not just Americans, but civilians and his own forces as well. Also he wants to divert attention from his murderous past and claim he's carrying our the will of the people. I just can't see George Washington claiming he had to murder Thomas Jefferson for American independence.

So we now have increased opposition in Iraq. Desperate opposition, making desperate moves.

There is a historical analogy in American history's 20th century. And no, gentle reader, it's not Vietnam. It's Germany, December 16, 1944. Other murderous enemies, desperately fighting to survive, launched a surprise offensive. Our casualties dramatically rose. Many people, including military leaders had been caught up in the "war is over" fever. The offensive caused panic. Only a few, including Supreme Commander Eisenhower, saw the real situation. It was a desperate move, just like now. The enemies, rather than hiding behind defenses were out in the open and could be targeted and killed. History records the Battle of the Bulge as the greatest American victory in Europe during WWII.

Now we fight shadowy forces, who don't wear uniforms. They hide among civilians and in cities and towns. Now, they have chosen to fight it out in the open. Good. They tried it before, and got pasted. Now we can see them. If we can see them, we can target them, and what we target we kill. The American military currently is the best trained, equipped, and led in the world. If these yahoos choose to openly fight us, GREAT!!!! They can, and have been dying by the numbers. The more we kill now, the quicker we will win, and the quicker our boys and girls can come home safe.

This is not a panic situation, it is a golden opportunity.

This is a situation where we can not be beaten militarily. Our enemies know this. They can not win a straight fight, force on force. Their objectives are different. They fight us here, at home. They use the media and images to isolate us and divide us. The only way we can lose is if we quit. Our enemies want us to delay or delete the June 30 handover deadline so they can say "See!! The Americans lie!!!" And Mr. Kerry's desire to push back the handover plays into this. I once saw a movie with the lines "To win all you need to do is stand and fire three rounds a minute. We know you can fire three rounds a minute. But can you stand?"

Ah, that's the rub. Can we stand? To win we must ignore the critics and pundits, and have clarity of thought and purpose. We must be steadfast and resolute. Let's see, the critics and pundits have gone from "no western winners in Afghanistan, ever" (We won), to "but the French and Germans aren't with us" (who cares?), to WMD's, to "PANIC They're fighting back." Apparently clarity and resolution lie with other parties. I wonder who?

Remember, dear reader, that we are in the fight for our lives. For the world. The islamic extremists seek to impose their will on us and the rest of the world. To achieve their aims, they use terror. "If you don't (whatever current demand is), we'll (kill/bomb/set on fire) (whatever innocent civilians are handy) This is the standard line of our enemies. If your child said "Mom, if we don't have pizza tonight, I'll hit my sister", you might be a tad angry. And would not tolerate such behavior. (Yes, VIrginia, there IS a woodshed to go behind at my house!)

And all you have to do to stop the bad guys is to let others go about their work. We return to the central question. Can YOU stand?

I have a few other thoughts on the conduct and coverage of the Iraqi theater.

Civilians. Innocent victims. Sorry people, but we are the most conscientious military in the history of man. We do all that is possible to avoid innocent deaths. Our enemies revel in the death of civilians. Remember Saddam's mass graves and torture cells? According to the media, any civilian deaths were caused by us. Apparently the terrorists and Baathists have never hurt anyone. Why they just love bunnies and kittens. If you ignore the media's characterizations and look at the facts, which side works to avoid civilian deaths and which side targets civilians like oh, truck drivers and Japanese peace activists? Also remember that our enemies do not wear uniforms. Apparently the body of the masked man with the ammo pouch on his belt and a Kalashnikov next to his remains is an "innocent civilian" to the media.

Recently Mr. Andy Rooney had a column stating that American servicemen and women in Iraq are not heros. He thinks they are mere victims. I vehemently disagree. Yes, they pay a much higher price than you, me and columnists. But remember that they are all volunteers. They willingly bear this enormous burden for you and me. A famous quote, by who I can't recall, is "no greater love hath a man than to place his mortal body between his homeland and war's desolation". That willingness to do a very difficult job under extreme circumstances IS heroic.

We have many heros amongst us. The cop who risks his life every time he makes a traffic stop. The firefighter rushing into a burning home. Coast Guardsmen braving dangerous seas to rescue innocents. And yes, Virginia, soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who brave enemy fire and loneliness to bring freedom to the oppressed and safeguard columnist's rights to be critical of their defenders. They are all heros. Many people eulogize heros in tearful manner. Perhaps we should notice the heros around us and say "Thanks for what you do for me" while they are still alive. All of our heros are underpaid. A simple thank you from a friend or stranger van help make up for this inequity.

Until later,

Dr. Peter M. Grout


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