|Iraq is just a battle in
a long epochal war
Roman Legions lived and died in places they hated for over 400 years
(1200 years for Roman Byzantium). America and Allies enter but the
third year of war in Iraq. The Romans won battles and lost whole
legions, but as long as Rome was willing to send reinforcements, Rome
crushed any contender — like the siege of Masada — to send a message.
Afghanistan (OEF) and Iraq (OIF) told enemies how far and how much
the U.S. would do to defeat a threat.
Like Rome, ambitious immigrants are drawn to our power and wealth
while everyone else in the known world will hate, fear, resent, and
envy us — regardless of how we use our power and wealth. The purpose
of our power is to create 'security and stability' within real limits
in the world order. Such is the odd lot of the reluctant Imperial
Uber-Super Power of insular Americans.
Likewise, the small, hard professional army, our U.S. Army, fought
battle after battle, called wars, through the later half of the
Indian Wars (1608-1890). The culture of each Indian tribe shaped the
circumstances of each unique war. Similarly, the transforming Army
that evolves after deployment upon deployment will be different from
the popular, citizen soldiers of the occasional large conflict.
Rome's decline from Republic to dictatorship to ruin began when Roman
law became what men said it meant. When Rome wouldn't man its own
Legions, the long decline tipped. Rome had the means, but lacked the
Will to survive.
The Indian Wars were a different war of National survival, because
the no-quarter clash of cultures was confined to the frontier. The
understanding of the wars changed with each mile and year an American
was removed from the threat of being killed by Indians.
Winning in Iraq means it isn't an Islamist base and is relatively
secure and stable, non-threatening, among its neighbors. If Iraq
produces oil, then all the better.
The Iraq War, however and whenever it is defined as a win or loss, is
worth it, if it helps, through victory or defeat, the U.S. win WW IV.
We lost the Vietnam War, but won the Cold War (WW III) — in part
because President Reagan learned from the loss.
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