Remarkable in the rhetoric of all the major leadership voices on the Iraq issue is the repeatability; you can trust that again and again cookie-cutter responses of wrongness will be popped out, the same errors re-treaded with apparently no imagination whatsoever. It is also appalling that nobody seems to know how to crush the insurgency in Iraq decisively. Forgive me for saying the very, very obvious, but here’s how.
First, the No. 1 rule in Islamist-Arab politics is … kill the head guy. He who kills the head guy becomes the new head guy. Brutal, unpleasant, but true. So? The USA does not have legitimacy in the eyes of the Shia rebellion because it hasn’t killed Muqtada al Sadr outright. Because he is still around they believe he must be more powerful. So they follow him. Put a cruise missile through his window and he becomes instantly less popular.
The reason the Sunni insurgency is still around is because Saddam Hussein is still allowed to rave on TV like a wino driven by drugs manufactured in a genetically modified Babylonian goat. Step two is to hang Saddam by the neck until dead.
Step three is to institutionalize and promise the targeted killing of the head of the Shia insurgency, the head of the Sunni insurgency, and the head of al-Qaida in Iraq, whenever and wherever those heads emerge.
Don’t you remember that group that became a lot, lot, less dominant and effective when we waxed al-Zarqawi?
Oh yeah …
Next, the fact is when you waffle and promise troop reductions in the press, the terrorists take heart, swap Jane Fonda DVDs, stick it out and attack you. So, announce that there will be 5,000 troops arriving new, every month, because the president enjoys crushing insurgents and he shows the video of them getting wiped out at home. The inevitability of the failure of the insurgency must be hammered home to the insurgents so they are crushed and have no hope.
Continuing, you don’t plead sweetly in the press for Iran and Syria to, pretty please, quit doing unhelpful things. Here is what you do instead. You tell both countries that the borders will allow crossings at only two or three points of contact. You station massive numbers of Iraqi troops there, then American troops behind them. Everything that goes through the border is searched by both. Then you tell Syria and Iran that anything and everything crossing into Iraq at an unapproved border location will be blown off the map.
To complete the process, you order the U.S. military to vaporize anything that crosses and has gotten one kilometer into Iraq. You do this relentlessly. If the situation doesn’t improve and Iran and Syria don’t start behaving, you move this line toward the border. Five hundred meters. Zero meters. Negative one kilometer. You keep on encroaching Iranian and Syrian territory with bombing runs, wiping out anything that looks like it is aimed at crossing the border until they quit crossing the border.
Smile sweetly at Iran and Syria and let Iraq explain, then, how it needs them as partners. As soon as they arrive at the assist-Iraq conference, double the bombing runs and keep it up the entire time. You will get wonderful results, great speeches and marvelous attitudes. Smile and enjoy it, speak with flourishes and politeness – but keep bombing.
Next, explain to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey that the border policies with Syria and Iran have finally taken root and that the lunatics who formerly were being porous problems have developed civilized sides. They will praise you for your work ethic.
Continuing, the American forces should, wherever possible, be put on search and destroy missions for insurgents, and the day to day wandering the streets should be given to Iraqis. They should continually and insistently using crushing force, putting up with nothing, finishing each job decisively. Bombs should fall on insurgent headquarters often. When the insurgents sue for peace, the U.S. should double operations and keep them up for a month before considering offers. The U.S. should not show favoritism when coming across insurgent groups fighting each other – the U.S. should kill them all. Eventually people will realize: Quitting the insurgency means participating in 5 percent annual GDP growth … and being alive. Why not try anything once?
Last, terrorists should be humiliated according to their own customs. Kitchener of Khartoum crushed the Sudanese insurgency and brought relative calm to that country for 50 years by opening up with the British naval guns on the tomb of the revered Mahdi, utterly leveling it. Any sight revered by a terrorist insurgent should be pulverized with a very American bomb and, preferably, a C-130 full of pigs dumped on it from a few thousand, splat, feet. (Can’t we figure out how to make a cruise-pig that could be targeted with GPS coordinates, trotted gruntingly to its destination, and then exploded?)
Do that and you will settle the problems. That’s how to make the enemy despondent so he recognizes that it’s evil to be an insurgent.
Don’t do those things and keep losing time and lives needlessly.
We don’t need some tweedy self-congratucrat trying to burnish his man-of-the-century vitae. We just need 28 percent more John Wayne.
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Andrew Longman is a Christian and an applied scientist.