In his June 13, 2005 post, Kevin of "Boots on the Ground" writes:
I can definitely tell you from a military view, that the US and Iraqi forces are on the high ground in Iraq. The enemy has no real chance of taking power as long as we are here.
I agree with the first sentence, but in my opinion the second sentence falls into the category of "true but beside the point."
Some historians have said that the first requirement of a government (if it is to draw any support from the governed) is to provide for security, to physically protect its people from the barbarians. A government that cannot do so has no perceived legitimacy, and no perceived strength. It is soon discarded.
The bad guys in Iraq, the ones with the car bombs and like that, the ones who kill civilians as a matter of policy, they want power, and the defeat of the US occupation, in some ratio mysterious to us and perhaps even them. They may not know about our secret weapon, that the US is capable of declaring victory under almost any endgame scenario. It's just a matter of PR. But to them, it will be a great day of victory when the US occupation ends and they roll up the Iraqi 'government' like a used facial tissue.
The whole goal of the endless, omnipresent massacres and bombings is to keep those invalidation quotes around the government we engendered. They keep killing innocent people so that everyone will see that the 'government' is powerless.
Oh, and they want to kill our troops too.
The history of insurgent warfare has shown that outwaiting the occupier is sufficient. Some day America will get tired of Iraq and leave (while blaming the mess on liberals). And so Kevin's statement that "The enemy has no real chance of taking power as long as we are here" strikes me as true but not on point. We are not going to always be there, and therefore neither is the new Iraqi government.
The bad guys will eventually take power in Iraq if we continue to conduct the occupation as we now are, and as the dunces in Washington are likely to.
This is just my opinion as an observer of history. I'd love to be wrong. And no, I don't have to have the solution in order to comment on the problem.
Left grip is 40 pounds (31, 35, 40), right grip is 91 pounds (80, 91, 86), left leg balance is 11.9 seconds, and inhale volume is 4500 mL.