GWOT - Now what?
by nanobot, Tue May 03, 2011 at 12:17:33 AM EDT
Anywhere from a substantial minority to a small majority of Americans are sympathetic to Matt's suggestion, Declare Victory In The “War On Terror.
Similar or greater numbers of Americans are hopefully also sympathetic to this suggestion from a James Fallows article that Matt quotes:
This is heartening news in its own right, and even more so if it might mark the beginning of the end of a period in which America felt that it had to change its essential nature and values in order to be safe. We're never going to be completely safe, but perhaps this will be the occasion for talking again about the long-term balance between our values as a free people and our ability to defend ourselves.
It would also be nice if the tooth fairy started leaving $100 bills under our pillow instead of nickles and dimes. Is there even a remote possibility of rescuing our national dialogue from the Fox News/Koch Bros./Tea Party/Neo-Con alliance from hell?
(I'm going to give it the ol' college try after the jump)
The War Nerd posted an intriguing mea culpa last week about the GWOT that included an analytical comparison of the tactics employed by Al Quaida and the IRA and Fight Club Rules For Terrorists:
The first job of a guerrilla force is to continue to exist. In fact, that’s almost everything. You could do it like those Fight Club rules:
“The first rule of guerrilla strategy is: Continue to exist.
The second rule of guerrilla strategy is: Continue to exist.
The third rule of guerrilla strategy is: Do a small, noisy attack on a symbolic target, avoiding civilian casualties, every few weeks to remind your home folks you still exist.”
Here's my money quote from The War Nerd's analysis of what he characterizes as the Nerf War tactics of the IRA:
The Brits go a little crazy when Ireland comes up, always have, seem to lose their heads. They might have hung on for another generation except for Clinton. And this is why they still love Clinton over in Ireland, way more than people—well, white people anyway—do over here. Clinton wanted a foregin-policy badge, and he saw what the Brits couldn’t: that the leadership of Sinn Fein/IRA were calm, intelligent people who could be talked to. So he got on the phone with them, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness (who’s supposedly the real brains of the operation) and Tony Blair. Blair had an Irish mother, didn’t hate Micks on sight the way most of them did, so he was willing to make a deal to stop the British economy from bleeding out for the sake of a few Baptist loonies in Belfast. When big money meets smooth Arkansas patter and a Prime Minister who missed out on the old tribal hatreds, it’s pretty easy to settle.
I would quibble with War Nerd's description as "pretty easy" and substitute "eminently possible". The point is that the collaborative efforts of Clinton and Blair absent the old tribal hatred mindset is what made agreement possible.
This brings me to The Big Question: Is there anyone on the horizon with the political muscle and absence of tribal hatred who can drag America into a cease fire in our psychotic GWOT?