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Iraq: Pandora's box or Pyrrhic Victory?

Reader comment on item: Salvaging the Iraq War

Submitted by Guy Leven-Torres (United Kingdom), Jul 31, 2007 at 10:42

In 275, Pyrrhus of Epiros was invited by the cities of greater Greece (Southern Italy/ Magna Graecia) to intervene against the Romans in their final bid to consolidate Italy. The King expecting an easy victory against this upstart barbarian city state on the Tibe, was somewhat shocked to find them building good militarily ordered camps and superb discipline.

When he engaged them he found it cost him dear, even if he technically won the contest in most battles. So costly were these battles with 'upstart' Rome, he soon came to understand that the war of attrition that had resulted would have eventually destroyed his forces to a point that he would become the loser of both his largely mercenary army and his own reputation. So he withdrew in time, in order to at least save his face.

Why is it that lessons like this learned and relearned even in the last 70 years and less that modern politicians and even the public never learn?

The Romans were an organised state with magistrates and formal government. Iraq is not except in name only but a mass of factions and local-regional loyalties..

Shias and Sunnis fight the Coalition, Shia fights Sunni, gang fight gang, criminal fights criminal, family fight family, brother fights brother, warlord fights warlord and/ or the Coalition etc etc etc. How the hell can conventional forces expect to win such a messy 'war'??? You have a choice, 'put the boot in' hard or withdraw.

History tells us that conventional armies do not fare very well against terrorists.

Again we have the Romans under Titus, attacking Jerusalem in 70AD fighting Jewish rebels. These also fought each other, even when faced with the Roman onslaught ,they persisted in fighting one another even if occasionally uniting against a concerted Roman effort.

The modern British learned that to beat such enemies they had to divide and conquer then put the military boot in as heavily as they could, despite protests from their own side by liberals and do gooders.

Britain forgot these lessons too, even quicker than the United States and would not even allow its soldiers to return fire against the Iranian vessels for fear of escalating the war. Such 'pussy footing' will never work and until the USA and Britain return to traditional 'put the boot in' they will continue to lose. The cost in lives will be greater too in the long run if they persist in what is after all, appeasement of an enemy that exploits the Coalition for all its worth.

This is the rot of Political Correctness of course and I also happen to believe, its proponents fully intended it to be so and to act as a self defeating 'philosophy' based around false ideas and guilt of war. I take the old fashioned view: fight and fight well and give the enemy a bloody nose so that he respects you and eventually comes to terms..or face annihilation.

As for placing the Coalition in the countryside and not the towns; forget it! Both must be controlled at once so restricting movement of the enemy. Only a larger army can do this, probably three times what we have in Iraq now and needing a scale of mobilisation not seen since WWII. Then allow the generals to have their heads without political interferance. In six months the Iraq situation will be well on the way to stability and Western pride and respect restored.

Submitting....

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