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To Win a War, Make Rubble!

The Same-Old Same-Old or Iraq-Iran and the Vietnam Redux
By Col. Thomas Snodgrass and David Yerushalmi
Fri, August 17, 2007, 1:46 pm

President Bush formally labelled the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps this week as terrorists. This could be the predicate for the Bush administration's effort to go after the IRGC while claiming not to be targeting Iran.

In other words, this could be the Bush version of the Johnson administration's efforts to pinpoint bomb North Vietnam without doing any real damage to the communists' war-making capability. We all know how that turned out. What can we expect if the inference we suggest here is correct in the Iraq-Iran theater of battle?

In an article this week (The media missed a big one yesterday), Lt. Col Ralph Peters (US Army, ret.), the well-known military commentator and indiscriminate religion-basher, is sanguine about the August 15th designation by the Bush Administration formally labeling Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) -- a component of the Iranian armed forces -- as a terrorist organization. Col. Peters reasons that such a diplomatic action by Bush & Company was a legal necessity before attacking this terrorist organization and that it signals the beginning of selectively bombing IRGC installations. Whether President Bush has the courage to bomb IRGC bases is a matter of conjecture that will be answered sooner or later (probably later if it happens at all). But here is where we part company with Peters (on this particular point because we have long ago condemned his well publicized attack on all religions as the cause of war and his failure to properly discriminate between the Judeo-Christian West and the murderous political ideology of Shari'a-based Islam) and do not share his optimism.

If Bush starts playing "tit-for-tat" bombing with the mullahs, he will have taken the first step on the dubious road that Lyndon Johnson took when he started bombing North Vietnam in response to the Gulf of Tonkin incident in August 1964 and later in retaliation for the VC attack on Pleiku in February 1965 that killed 8 GIs. This VC mortaring of Pleiku was the impetus for the launch of US FLAMING DART air attacks. FLAMING DART air attacks then grew into ROLLING THUNDER air attacks. The objective of these air campaigns was to demonstrate to the North Vietnamese we were serious and, consequently, they had better scale back their war of aggression against South Vietnam (which would be the same objective with respect to Iraq in bombing IRGC bases).

The fallacy which was the failure of FLAMING DART and ROLLING THUNDER was the targets; they were always restricted. In other words, Johnson limited the attacks to targets that might hurt North Vietnam (think IRGC bases in Iran's case), but he would not strike to militarily incapacitate Hanoi to end the war. Rather than a strategic offensive (or total war), which would have included the bombing of the Red River dikes, Hanoi logistic depots, railroads coming out of China, fighter airfields, SAM sites while they were being constructed, and the Haiphong harbor docks, the Johnson administration chose a defensive strategy of limited war based on selective, restrictive bombing to send diplomatic messages.

If Bush embarks on a bombing campaign of Iran that is based on a restrictive "gradualism" to send his own version of the Vietnam-era diplomatic message, patriotic (AKA "right wing") Americans will be happy after the initial attacks, but when Iran then escalates its attacks against the US in retaliation, the appeasers (AKA "left wing") Americans will say: "You see, bombing never works; it only encourages Jihad and makes matters worse."

And in a sense, the anti-war contingency will be correct, unless, that is, we bomb to completely destroy Iran's capability to make Jihadi war against us. Restricted and gradual "tit-for-tat" bombing will have the same result that it had in Vietnam: Iran will understand our self-imposed limited war approach and ratchet up the ante knowing our domestic limitations. And, almost as if in concert, the anti-war appeasement movement will immediately scream: "This bombing is inhumane! Disproportionate!" Never mind the inhumanity in what Ahmadinejad promises for the US and Israel and in what Ahmadinejad has already accomplished killing hundreds of GIs with IFPs/IEDs in Iraq while successfully fueling the violence of the Shia militias further confounding the efforts for an Iraqi political resolution.

And it is this call of "inhumanity", or put affirmatively, the demand for universal "human rights" that effectively ends war for the West. The Islam of the Jihadists of course recognizes no such "humanity" except as it serves Allah's will as expressed in his perfect (perfectly murderous) law known as Shari'a. But if those of us in the West, especially the US, cannot recognize that OUR humanity is more important than our enemies', on what basis can we war? How can we ever justify the violence and killing of "innocents" inherent in war?

This is of course how the world's media and the cry of the International Elite captured Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in a vice-like grip of effeminacy in the Lebanon war of the Summer of 2006. Every Lebanese death was immediately measured against an Israeli fatality and after a quick comparative analysis found "disproportionate". Olmert bought the scientific equation hook, line, and sinker. His own citizens were, at best, granted the "human rights" of all citizens of the world, including the enemy's. One Israeli citizen = one Lebanese citizen. The war was doomed from the start. The Jihadists of Hezbollah and around the world fully understand this crisis of identity which is fast degrading national existence in the West.

In other words, we can no longer defend our national sovereignty because "human rights" trump the "discrimination" inherent in defining one's nation (or put more properly, existing) as a people with a distinct border, culture, and moral duty to protect one's own. Without "discrimination", the moral duty of self-preservation -- which is quite obviously existential if not ontological -- will crumble against the collective weight of the "rights" of the others around the world who would make a claim on what is not theirs. This is true whether we are discussing "collateral damage" or illegal immigrants.

Returning to the US and the battle for Iraq, naturally the Democrat (and lesser but still effective Republican) surrender caucus will use the inhumanity of it all with the ineffectiveness of the bombing to stop Iranian aggression to sow the seeds of despair and defeat. The war will once again be blamed in largest part on "US aggression and the violation of human rights". Polls will be taken. Soccer moms consulted. Then we will lose (again).

Doesn't anyone in Washington learn from the past?

If we bomb Iran, and indeed we should, we had better embark on this venture with the intent of making the rubble bounce. As the old military adage goes, "More rumble, less trouble."

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