Thursday, February 19, 2015

God, Give Me Strength

We made mistakes in Iraq? Thanks Candidate Obvious:

Jeb Bush on Wednesday acknowledged that the administration of his brother, former President George W. Bush, made mistakes before and during the Iraq War.

What war doesn't have mistakes?

The "mistakes" complaint is simply stupid. What war doesn't involve mistakes in a contest of two sides shooting at each other?

World War II had Pearl Harbor, loss of Philippines, defective sub torpedo design, Kasserine Pass, unescorted daytime strategic bombing, Bari mustard gas release, surprise in Ardennes, etc., etc.

Yet we persisted and won World War II. Mistakes? War is a series of mistakes.

In what alternate world do you live in that a massive chaotic event like war, in which you try to compel by focused violence somebody else to do what you want while they are trying with equal fervor to force you through focused violence to do their bidding, can be carried out without mistakes? Often serious? Usually costly?

That type of war happens only in one alternate universe. The one where if only you spend the time to craft the perfect plan, that you can plan away friction and enemy surprises--with any deviation safely included in your appendices--and win on your timeline.

Early in the Iraq War, I judged our Baathist enemies in Iraq as having made the biggest mistake of all--allying with the jihadis in the mistaken belief that the Baathists could use the dumb fanatical hicks as their cannon fodder and then sweep them aside in victory to regain control of Iraq. That was a bad plan.

Saddam's Baathists are still at it.

Face it, we won the war in Iraq.

Sure, we could have left Saddam in place. But all in all, the war made sense.

Since we left in 2011, it deteriorated enough to compel even President Obama to re-engage.

Yet even though Iraq is weak now, at least they are a weak asset in the war against jihadis rather than an enemy that supported terrorism.

Mistakes in war. Imagine that.