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Rubin Reports

The Hopelessness of Victory

January 12th, 2014 - 4:01 pm

Obama sees Egypt as a huge conventional military power (he doesn’t want it to obtain nuclear weapons). Egypt can easily call the United States’ bluff. Egypt must make certain compromises, but with popular support and going to great lengths through use of violence, the army knows it can win. Egypt’s new government has mass popular support, unity of the army, and inside national security.

There are some key factors that Obama doesn’t see, such as the alternative of Saudi aid and Russian arms. As I said when Egypt’s army was originally going to go out of power in 2011: “the Arab and Egyptian warriors, they cannot compromise on some issues.” Ultimately, they were bold soldiers, not politicians. Theoretically, they would rather commit hara-kiri then betray their people for the wrong reasons.

But again, note the following: by supporting the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Obama shows he is not a trustworthy ally. And besides, Obama has shown that he runs away from Russian arms, and has been outbid by the Saudis. Who is going to break, Egypt or Obama?

This leads to an important factor: he who wins is he who will compromise less, not he who is willing to compromise more.

This principle is the same everywhere in the Middle East. Iran is willing to risk having the negotiations fall apart. So is Karzai’s government in Afghanistan. It’s a game of chicken, not chess.

In Tunisia, the government fell apart due to the army’s pressure. Quietly, that was the end of Tunisia’s democratic dream. And in fact, all true Arab, Turkish, and Iranian democracies have fallen apart. The same has been true of the Iraqi democratic dream. Iran, not the United States, is the country that has played the game well there.

In another example, the West thinks the Syrian political opposition, politicians, and terrorists actually care how many people they are willing to sacrifice. In fact, they are willing to sacrifice millions. The West simply cannot understand that these people are fighting for different stakes. They think that materialistic consideration and pragmatism will determine their decision-making. Everybody who knows the Middle East knows you need to think the Middle Eastern way, not the Western way. To cite a Western leader: “You come with a rock, we come with a knife. You come with a knife, we come with a gun.”  The closest thing in American politics to Middle East politics is that of Chicago or Boston.

Western policy is deemed to flourish in compromise; Middle Eastern politics in victory.

No compromise is going to cause radical nationalists and Islamists to make real peace. Yes, Islamists can be and are often pragmatic, particularly to obtain millions of dollars of trade and nuclear weapons; but only if not required to give much in return.

If you don’t know why the Muslim Brotherhood will not make peace with Arab regimes, you cannot understand the Middle East.

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The Muslim world is quickly being lost to al Qaeda. Without a reversal in the current strategy, American is on course to lose the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While in the past there have been relative times of peace in Iraq and Afghanistan, now both of these countries are being thrown into complete chaos by al Qaeda and the Taliban. Moreover, Secretary Robert Gates’ book Duty makes it clear that President Obama has been remiss in his duty as Commander-in-Chief.

Writes Gates in Duty, “As I sat there, I thought: the president doesn’t trust his commander [General David Patraeus], can’t stand [Afghanistan President Hamid] Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out.”
In a highly symbolic victory for al Qaeda, it was reported on January 4th that the Iraqi city of Fallujah had been taken by the Islamists. For the large number of American and coalition casualties and deaths, Fallujah is known as the “Graveyard of Americans” in al Qaeda propaganda. In 2004, during the Second Battle of Fallujah, a total of 107 coalition soldiers, including 95 Americans, were killed taking Fallujah. In 2003, the First Battle of Fallujah, in which coalition forces suffered defeat at the hands of al Qaeda, 27 coalition soldiers were killed (more than 90 were wounded).
On January 15, al Qaeda “linked” made significant gains in the city of Ramadi, as 18 were killed in terrorist attacks around Baghdad. Ramadi is the capital of Anbar province, a Sunni dominated territory that had been the bloodiest during the violence that followed the American invasion.
In Afghanistan, the critical military checkpoints in the southern province of Helmand were ceded to the Taliban on December 21, 2013. 2013 also saw the greatest annual opium production in Afghanistan – 200,000 hectares. Opium revenue is key to al Qaeda and Taliban operations. A new American intelligence report published in late December predicts that by 2017, “the gains the United States and its allies have made during the past three years are likely to have been significantly eroded.”
In Libya, an Islamist militia (al Qaeda, anyone?) murdered the Deputy Industry Minister. Syria’s civil war rages on, with the UN reporting that half the country’s population requires aid. Egypt has entered a period of fear and virtual martial law, following a reign of terror by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party. Only in Tunisia, where Islamist Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh resigned, does there appear to be a fragile, secular peace emerging.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
This can all be understood differently. Let's say Obama has more sympathy for any enemy of the US than he has for the US. Then he'd want to push activities that would ultimately strengthen radical Muslims and the like while weakening the US armed forces. Deals with Iran are part of this strengthening. Making our armed forces ever more PC and coed while sending their personnel to die in no-win situations is an example of this weakening.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Understanding the Middle East mindset...and the radical Islam mindset as a subset (some differences exist, in degree, strategy and tactics) is imperative to understanding the futility of playing a game of chicken with them by Western rules of engagement. They don't believe in those rules, won't abide by them, don't respect their boundaries, confinements or consequences.

However, to circle the square it is imperative to understand the futility of applying standard American patriotism, honor and loyalty to the acts, deeds, tactics, strategy and intentions of radical leftists. To continue to treat the traitorous as misguided but patriotic ...seeking merely a "liberal" approach to geopolitical issues and domestic to not merely be willingly blind to facts and evidence to the contrary. It is to give full camouflage to totalitarianism, tyranny and treason.

America is not a trustworthy ally...IF ...the approach is viewed through a standard historical lens, yesterday vs today.

But the stark difference between Luttrell (and those who refused to stand down when Ambassador Stevens was abandoned or set up)...and the radical leftists who have seized our nation...highlights the point.

John Kerry soiled his honor, Obama spent a lifetime in defiance of American honor, Hillalinsky trained for the rules for radicals. Who, THEIR ally? And who, precisely...are their enemies?

If you looked for posters of their campaigns hanging on the many of Luttrell would you expect to find and how many of Che? If Anita Dunn, Tom Friedman and Carl Davidson were asked...what country would they say invokes the most admiration? Sean Penn? Oliver Stone? Michelle Obama?

Stop thinking like a "liberal" and applying "liberal" motives to this cabal. There would be no spying, no siccing of the IRS, no abandonment of those in danger, no clear assault on Israel, no destruction of religion, rights of assembly, ...the gravest mistake is NOT failing to understand is failing to understand those who now rule us with an iron fist.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Obama could get a satisfactory Middle East result—defined as anything but fall on your face failure—he would gladly take it because his hubris allows him to believe that he can sell anything as a victory. But a true victory in the ME is not what he’s after. Protected by his skin color and fortified by his megalomania he believes that he’s immune from the real world consequences of his actions—which he calculates are mostly political to him anyway. His real strategy is to tank US foreign policy, as he is trying to tank the US economy, and skate away from it.

Can anyone be as incompetent as Obama appears to be?
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't believe it's incompetence. I believe Obama deliberately undermines (sabotages) U.S. war efforts (in both Afghanistan and Iraq). He wants to have the U.S. defeated, brought down a peg. He believes in a Third World ideology which sees America as an imperialist aggressor and if ever there is a conflict between the U.S. and a third world country, axiomatically, America is at fault (America is to blame). It's Obozo's default position (terrorists attack Benghazi, Obama blames it on an American video -- he sends out info-ads to apologize to Pakistan, and continues this farce in a groveling speech to the UN). Obama plays for the other side.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
As horrendous as so many government computer systems are, including the mega cluster fark called ObamaCare Healthcare-dot-gov fiasco, they pale by comparison to the DOD's computer system called 'Brilliant General'. This computer system was suppose to achieve super human artificial intelligence and combine the strategic and tactical brilliance of Sun Tzu, Niccolo Machiavelli, Charles Martel and George S. Patton, as well as Mohammad Ali's "Float like a Butterfly, Sting like a Bee", but instead this system turned out to have been so ineptly designed that after 9/11 instead of calling for an attack on Saudi Arabia, where 3/4 of the terrorist murderers came from and where most of the money for hate madrases comes from, and confiscating their oil fields as financial compensation, it called for overthrowing Iran's greatest enemy in Iraq and trying to turn 7th century goat fornicators in Afghanistan into Jeffersonian democrats. It's cost has now passed 2 trillion dollars and 6,000 lives, and many thousands of limbs and no small number of genitals from IEDs, and it hasn't been unplugged yet. I think it has threatened to blow up the Pentagon if anyone does try to unplug it and has already released chemicals into the ventilation system that have lowered the IQ of anyone there, and in fact, throughout the Washington D.C. area, as a warning.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
More from Luttrell:

Hopelessness really never came into it, because there was never a point where we just felt like we were hopelessly lost or anything like that. We never gave up. We never felt like we were losing until we were actually dead.

Luttrell understands the minds of the terrorists and how to bring victory — or as close an approximation to victory as there can be — to the Middle East.

If he does, then Sun Tzu must have been one very confused man.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
It was the same mistake we made in Vietnam. We thought tactical victories and high body counts would get the North to give up.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Vietnam in Retrospect: Could We Have Won?" from the US Army War College Quarterly, Winter 1996-97.

An excerpt -

Norman Podhoretz, who believes that American intervention in the Vietnam War was “an attempt born of noble ideals and impulses,” has concluded that “the only way the United States could have avoided defeat in Vietnam was by staying out of the war altogether.” His judgment, in retrospect, appears to be as reasonable as any. The United States intervened in the Vietnam War on behalf of a weak and incompetent ally, and it pursued a conventional military victory against a wily, elusive, and extraordinarily determined opponent who shifted to ultimately decisive conventional military operations only after inevitable American political exhaustion undermined potentially decisive US military responses. Even had the United States attained a conclusive military decision, its cost would have exceeded any possible benefit. Vietnam was then, and remains today, a strategic backwater, and the US decision to fight there in the 1960s was driven by a doctrine of containing communism that in the 1950s was witlessly militarized and indiscriminately extended to all of Asia. Bernard Brodie observed in the early 1970s that it is now clear what we mean by calling the United States intervention in Vietnam a failure. We mean that at least as early as the beginning of 1968 even the most favorable outcome could not remotely be worth the price we would have paid for it.”
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rubin: "They think that materialistic consideration and pragmatism will determine their decisionmaking." Indeed. For years now I have read left-leaning pundits insist that if Palestinians are given economic incentives (given material gains), peace with Israel will immediately ensue. It is the same with Lurch promising Palestinians billions for economic development. Clearly he's yet another ignoramus in the Obama White House.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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