Monday, December 21, 2009

Bring Back the Bad Guys

By Jeff Huber

Conquerors immemorial have known that the secret to successful occupations is to let the guys who surrender stay in charge of the yokels. We are presently bogged down in two quagmires because we haven’t learned that lesson.

Iraq’s government and security forces are incompetent and corrupt, the Kurdish situation remains unresolved, and nobody seems confident that the country will ever be able to function as an independent state again. Oh, for the good old days under Saddam Hussein! Whatever you want to say about the son of a sand dune, he didn’t need a field manual to figure out how to run his country. Neither did Mohammed Omar’s Taliban need a book on how to run Afghanistan. They have lived in the neighborhood for a very long time.

Decapitating regimes through military force is the most foolhardy of foreign-policy acts. The Prussians discovered this the hard way in the Franco- Prussian War. They defeated the French Army at Sedan and took Napoleon III prisoner along with 140,000 of his soldiers. But the war dragged on for months because the French formed a new government and a new army and kept fighting. They didn’t like the idea of Germans occupying their country. Imagine that.

Few military victories have been more stunning than the fall of Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom, but the fighting continues almost seven years later. We supposedly ousted the Taliban from Afghanistan eight years ago, and we’re still trying to oust them. We’d be better off by far if we had never invaded either but worked instead with the power structures already in place. As Tip O’Neill said, “All politics is local.”

See the rest at The American Conservative.


  1. Exactly, nobody can match the USA for military power.
    The only reason we keep on with the idiotic little wars of choice is for profits. Got to keep pumping huge, obscene actually, amounts of borrowed money into that military-industrial complex. Have to make those rich stockholders ever richer. About all we make here now are weapons and weapon systems
    There are very few real jobs left in America now. The military becomes the employer of last resort. What else are the working class folks going to do?
    War, it is now the main export of America.
    Glad to see you posting again.

  2. Thanks, Charlie, glad to be back.


  3. Nobody talks about the fact that we are waging war in two countries without Congress having declared war.

    We must end this practice of war waged by Presidential fiat.

    By the way, I was reading BNN's site summary and the TOP metro post was listed as having 26 clicks. If that is true, does this mean nobody reads these damned blogs, or are the clicks only those who post comments?