My wife and mother-in-law and I were watching CNN at a restaurant last night and the shock and awe was pretty awesome, so much so that my rabidly pro-war wife suddenly grew squeamish: “aren’t civilians in there somewhere getting shocked, awed and blown up?”
I had the opposite reaction, the amazing power displayed by those pictures to the world is very much a part of the plan and Tommy Franks’ briefing this morning confirmed that things are going remarkably well. This is a targeted campaign, and the tragets – and only the necessary targets – are being destroyed with a precision unknown even a year ago in Afghanistan, and undreamed of 12 years ago in the first Gulf War.
The war has begun, and once that decision has been made, the focus must be on winning in the most efficient way possible. I was very heartened to realize that “winning” in this instance is as much political as military, and “winning” means keeping civilian and EVEN IRAQI MILITARY casualties to an absolute minimum.
Rather than being the end of the world order leading to the ostracism of the US by the rest of the world, this campaign to remove a murderous, prevaricating, Stalinist thug and his cronies from power – and the damning evidence against the regime that will be found in the aftermath – will the be the beginning of a reinvigorated international order based upon a new conception of what is “acceptable” behavior: attacking neighbors, mudering and torturing your own people, defying international bodies, lying about weapons of mass destruction will no longer be viewed as acceptable. And, rather than punishing the populace – which has been the primary REAL, and even intended, result of military action over the last hundred years or so – the steely precision and awesome destructive power now afforded by US technology will allow the removal of unacceptable regimes – North Korea take note – without undue harm to those who shouldn’t be harmed, the people.
I am very cheerful today and the world is very much a safer place than it was a week ago. Is this “might makes right”? No it’s “right makes might makes right” for only by choosing the right system could we have ended up in this position: only a democratic system that places the highest value on the individual could have – ironically – created a collective power that we now enjoy.
Sometimes the good guys win.