We’ve been in the tunnel long enough that the light from the entrance has been reduced to a small speck. The light ahead appears to be the glow of fire shrouded in smoke. Yet we push on. Several of us are pleading to go back but those ahead can’t, or won’t, hear us.
The tunnel has been dug by the neo-con puppet masters in Washington. They are leading us forward to certain disaster but they have the will of God on their side so they march on. Today the International Institute for Strategic Studies released its 2005-2006 edition of The Military Balance and it codifies what we all know. We are up against an enemy we underestimated, don’t understand, and don’t know how to beat. The Gulf War convinced the military establishment that American ingenuity as evidenced by laser-guided bombs and stealth aircraft had made war simpler and easier to fight and win. Buoyed by this tragically false assumption we wandered into Afghanistan and now Iraq believing we could rout the enemy and make the world safe for democracy. In both cases, we now know, the standing armies indeed melted away in the heat of our laser guided munitions but the fighters simply doffed their uniforms and walked into their homes. From there they fight a war of attrition and resistance. We don’t know how to win these wars, we never have. We fought one once and won it, The American Revolutionary War. But that was the last one and we were on the other side from the Imperial Army.
We must rethink our fallible policy of shock and awe. If we ever hope to fashion a policy that gets us safely to the next generations we must look to understand the causes behind these wars. Religious fundamentalism and large scale disenfranchised populations make a lethal brew. We embrace fundamentalism and dismiss the disenfranchised as unmotivated. We have dug this tunnel and we need to unify our voices in a cry of “fire” before we are all immolated.