February 26, 2005

TO WAGE IT IS TO WIN IT:

Official: Pakistan Dismantled al-Qaida (RIAZ KHAN, 2/26/05, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Pakistan has "broken the back" of al-Qaida by dismantling its network and arresting hundreds of suspects, a top government official said Saturday. [...]

"The remnants of al-Qaida are on the run. Their network is no more in tact. They are scattered and not in a position to even plan attacks," Sherpao said in this northwestern border city. "The al-Qaida leadership is no more effective."

Pakistan has arrested more than 700 al-Qaida suspects since the Sept. 11 attacks, including top leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was captured near the capital, Islamabad, in March 2003.


There's always just one concern when America goes to war, that it will choose to stop too soon, due to popular pressure from within, and not complete the job it set out to do. As Mr. Bush pushes even our putative allies to liberalize their regimes and as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia--two of the allies who need reforming--crack down on the terrorists within their borders, the possibility exists that we will complete, and therefore win, a war for the first time in our history.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 26, 2005 1:24 PM
Comments

I understand your point about losing the European side of WWII, but is not our campaign against Japan a grade-A example of pursuing war to its conclusion? We won -- Japan is to this day an good ally. And we stayed until the early 50s to do it. That's not bad.

Posted by: rds at February 26, 2005 2:01 PM

Japan was a sideshow in the war against the isms.

Posted by: oj at February 26, 2005 2:35 PM

OJ,

Please do what you rarely do when you make comments like these - define "win".

Posted by: Brandon at February 26, 2005 2:37 PM

Brandon:

ease up on the bitchy pills, huh?

We write about the topic of how we fail to follow through until a war is completed., therefore making the next inevitable or casting the aftermath into doubt, frequently. Thus the failure to finish Civil War led to Jim Crow and thence to the Civil Rights conflicts, WWI to WWII, WWII to the Cold War, WWI, WWII & the Cold War to the war against Islamism, etc. Here are a few instances:

http://www.brothersjudd.com/blog/archives/016388.html

http://www.brothersjudd.com/blog/archives/005495.html

http://www.brothersjudd.com/blog/archives/006746.html

http://www.brothersjudd.com/blog/archives/cat_losing_of_wwii.html

http://www.brothersjudd.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/reviews.detail/book_id/824

http://www.brothersjudd.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/reviews.detail/book_id/829

Posted by: oj at February 26, 2005 2:52 PM

Let's see:

1. Americans love war.

2. All American wars are voluntary.

3. All American wars are incomplete, leaving the stage set for the next war.

Works for me.

Posted by: David Cohen at February 26, 2005 4:22 PM

David:

Two other necessary elements:

Each has been unnecessary (though fun)

Each has been premised on lies by the Executive.

Posted by: oj at February 26, 2005 4:34 PM

All wars are voluntary - you can always surrender. And since no nation has escaped having to fight war after war, by this ridiculous definition, no war has ever been won. Which would seem to imply that no war has ever been lost. And yet nations and peoples who once existed, exist no longer. They must have lost a war a some point. Unless perhaps they disbanded voluntarily.

Illogical. Illogical. Norman, coordinate.

Posted by: Brandon at February 26, 2005 4:52 PM

"nations and peoples who once existed, exist no longer. They must have lost a war a some point."

You've made the point. Carthage never bothered Rome again, nor, as you point out, the Japanese us.

They're quite easily won and permanently with some sticktoitiveness. Democracy mitigates against said.

Posted by: oj at February 26, 2005 5:01 PM

Brandon: America has never fought a war the loss of which would have made a material difference in the lives of Americans as led before the war. On the other hand, all of our wars except Vietnam have led to a better future.

Posted by: David Cohen at February 26, 2005 5:20 PM

David,

1812. Civil War. WWII. Cold War. Each of those could have been lost and lost catastrophically.

OJ,

Then you admit that we "won" the war against the Japanese?

Posted by: Brandon at February 26, 2005 5:31 PM

Brandon: I can't even begin to imagine how losing the war of 1812 would have made the slightest difference to the lives of most Americans. If we had lost the Civil War, the north would have been better off than it was before the war, and the south, including the slaves, no worse off. The "Cold War" was a metaphore, not a war. It's no more relevant than the war on malaise, or whatever the heck it was that Jimmy Carter called the moral equivalent of war. I'm not sure what "losing" the Cold War would have consisted of, but it probably would have looked a lot like the 1970s.

Which leaves us with WWII. I suppose that it is within the scope of imagination to suppose that we could have botched it so badly that we would have been invaded by the Nazis or the Japanese, or had a Quisling government forced upon us, but reality doesn't quite stretch that far. Dealing with a Nazi Europe or a successful Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere would have looked a lot like the 1930s.

Posted by: David Cohen at February 26, 2005 5:56 PM

Brandon:

Japan was a battle in a larger war. Battles are easy. Note no one ever refers to an Americo-Japanese War. It was WWII and we lost.

Posted by: oj at February 26, 2005 7:28 PM

Mexican-American War, if you consider Texans as American.

Being as how the present President is a Texan, it could have had an effect on other Real Americans in New Hampshire and MA.

Posted by: h-man at February 26, 2005 7:57 PM

h:

What would the difference be? Even the Mexicans we let keep their own country now condsider themselves Americans and ignore the borders and sovereignty questions.

Posted by: oj at February 26, 2005 8:22 PM

"consider themselves Americans"

I agree they consider Texas, NM, AZ, CA etc as their land.

Posted by: h-man at February 26, 2005 8:39 PM

OJ,

If we lost WWII, then who won? The Germans, who were blasted into rubble? The Soviets, whose nation non longer exists? The British, where is the Empire? The French? The Chinese? Japan? Who?

Posted by: Brandon at February 26, 2005 9:13 PM

h:

Thereby disproving your own point.

Posted by: oj at February 26, 2005 9:20 PM

Brandon:

The Soviets and the Democrats.

Posted by: oj at February 26, 2005 9:22 PM

The Soviets? So we lost because we had to undergo the Cold War after WW2, but the Soviets, who also had to undergo the Cold War, won?

Without being "bitchy", I still don't get what you mean by won or lost.

(BTW, Democrats, that's just silly.)

Posted by: Brandon at February 26, 2005 9:35 PM

Brandon:

The Soviets and Democrats got an additional fifty years in power which neither deserved.

http://www.brothersjudd.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/reviews.detail/book_id/864/

Posted by: oj at February 26, 2005 9:41 PM
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