This WAR is for REAL!
Dr. Vernon Chong, Major General, USAF, Retired
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
To get out of a difficulty, one usually must go through it. Our country is
now facing the most serious threat to its existence, as we know it, that we
have faced in your lifetime and mine (which includes WWII).
The deadly seriousness is greatly compounded by the fact that there are very
few of us who think we can possibly lose this war and even fewer who
realize what losing really means.
First, let's examine a few basics:
1. When did the threat to us start?
Many will say September 11, 2001.
The answer as far as the United States is concerned is 1979, 22 years prior
to September 2001, with the following attacks on us:
* Iran Embassy Hostages, 1979;
* Beirut, Lebanon Embassy 1983;
* Beirut, Lebanon Marine Barracks 1983;
* Lockerbie, Scotland Pan-Am flight to New York 1988;
* First New York World Trade Center attack 1993;
* Dhahran, Saudi Arabia Khobar Towers Military complex 1996;
* Nairobi, Kenya US Embassy 1998;
* Dares Salaam, Tanzania US Embassy 1998;
* Aden, Yemen USS Cole 2000;
* New York World Trade Center 2001;
* Pentagon 2001.
Not quite. ’79 may have been the first blatant act of terrorism, but it was hardly the starting point. The statement here makes it sound like the US Embassy was simply attacked with absolutely no provocation or reason.
Taken directly from the Jimmy Carter Library Online:
“Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, began his reign in 1941, succeeding his father, Reza Khan, to the throne. In a 1953 power struggle with his prime minister, the Shah gained American support to prevent nationalization of Iran's oil industry. In return for assuring the U.S. a steady supply of oil, the Shah received economic and military aid from eight American presidents.”
“Early in the 1960s, the Shah announced social and economic reforms but refused to grant broad political freedom. Iranian nationalists condemned his U.S. supported regime and his "westernizing" of Iran. During rioting in 1963, the Shah cracked down, suppressing his opposition. Among those arrested and exiled was a popular religious nationalist and bitter foe of the United States, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.”
“Between 1963 and 1979, the Shah spent billions of oil dollars on military weapons. The real price of military strength was the loss of popular support. Unable to sustain economic progress and unwilling to expand democratic freedoms, the Shah's regime collapsed in revolution. On January 16, 1979, the Shah fled Iran, never to return.”
“The exiled Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Tehran in February 1979 and whipped popular discontent into rabid anti-Americanism. When the Shah came to America for cancer treatment in October, the Ayatollah incited Iranian militants to attack the U.S. On November 4, the American Embassy in Tehran was overrun and its employees taken captive. The hostage crisis had begun.”
I’m definitely not saying the hostage event was justified. No person could. But you do have to take into consideration the opposition’s perspective. Here they are being completely suppressed politically by a US-supported regime, with the US supplying long-term military aid simply to maintain a steady supply of oil. With the Shah catering only to the acquisition of military weapons, and overlooking his popular support and economic progress, opposition would be the first thing to brew. Even if the US had very little to do with the Shah’s policies or behavior, of course it is going bring condemnation if the US looks even the slightest behind it all.
(Note that during the period from 1981 to 2001 there were 7,581 terrorist
2. Why were we attacked?
Envy of our position, our success, and our freedoms. The attacks happened
during the administrations of Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton and
Bush 2. We cannot fault either the Republicans or Democrats as there were
no provocations by any of the presidents or their immediate predecessors,
Presidents Ford or Carter.
No provocations by any President? Are you kidding? We tangled our way into Middle Eastern affairs throughout this century. It is completely acceptable to involve ourselves in the affairs of other countries, especially if our actions are for the benefit of all involved. But it is just not plausible to take a side in conflict and not bring some opposition into the mix. A brief list (note that I am not say each one is worthy of the backlash the US is now receiving, rather that they are all pieces of a growing wealth of issues). These are only thoughts on events I know a bit about, there are far more that others can claim as major turning points.
- Continued support of Israel – With most Muslim nations’ governments believing it should be “wiped from the face of the Earth,” how can our support for the country not bring opposition? I fully believe that Israel has every right to exist, and that our initial support was well warranted and honorable. But you must see the simple fact that if we support something other people don’t like, they probably won’t like us.
- This goes even further with current events. Israel is acting completely belligerent toward Lebanon at the moment. Yes, they have every right to defend themselves, but does the kidnapping of one soldier warrant the killing of hundreds of innocent civilians? Now I won’t speak about Israel’s reasons for their actions, because I do not know enough about it (which is OK to say at times people), but if the country is holding thousands of Lebanese citizens, be them soldiers, Hezbollah, whoever, and they act this disproportionately when 1 of theirs is taken, and you have the US, the world Hegemon, right behind them the whole time, yeah, that’s going to make some people angry.
- Israeli Nukes – The US overlooks that they are clearly breaking the Non-Proliferation Treaty, yet brings the world down on Iran for nuclear programs. How can anybody see this as fair? Oh, because if they are our allies, it’s alright.
- Iran-Contra Affair – Has playing both sides ever really worked or been beneficial? Yes it can, if we are serving as mediators in conflict, not as weapons suppliers to only continue the battle.
- Iraq, Both Times – I think the US did some fine work in the first Gulf War, accomplished our mission fast and without meandering. But it did indeed set a standard. We sell Hussein weapons, he acts out, and we bomb Hussein. The second time, we have an administration blatantly alter intelligence (which is well documented, this is not my opinion), and go in to take Hussein completely out with force. I’m not going to even comment on the problems with Iraq, because others have done so plenty, but to think that we can go across the world, and basically try to make a colony of the US, and not invite resentment or backlash, all the while based on a false pretense, would be quite the misjudgment.
I think there are plenty of times when a forceful response is appropriate, and I would be the last to say that there aren’t times when it is completely necessary to get our nation’s hands dirty. Was the atomic bomb necessary to end WWII? I completely understand the argument for its use. But to expect that our actions won’t be met with repercussions is outlandish.
3. Who were the attackers?
In each case, the attacks on the US were carried out by Muslims.
4. What is the Muslim population of the World?
There is no way that you could write this, and believe that you didn’t just call all Muslims terrorists.
5. Isn't the Muslim Religion peaceful?
Hopefully, but that is really not material. There is no doubt that the
predominately Christian population of Germany was peaceful, but under the
dictatorial leadership of Hitler (who was also Christian), that made no
difference. You either went along with the administration or you were
eliminated. There were 5 to 6 million Christians killed by the Nazis for
political reasons (including 7,000 Polish priests).
And with this comment, he just said that it doesn’t matter what religion it is, all have the ability to kill.
Thus, almost the same number of Christians were killed by the Nazis, as the
six million holocaust Jews who were killed by them, and we seldom heard of
anything other than the Jewish atrocities. Although Hitler kept the world
focused on the Jews, he had no hesitancy about killing anyone who got in his
way of exterminating the Jews or of taking over the world - German,
Christian or any others.
Same with the Muslim terrorists. They focus the world on the US, but kill
all in the way -- their own people or the Spanish, French or anyone else.
The point here is that just like the peaceful Germans were of no protection
to anyone from the Nazis, no matter how many peaceful Muslims there may be,
they are no protection for us from the terrorist Muslim leaders and what
they are fanatically bent on doing -- by their own pronouncements -- killing
all of us "infidels." I don't blame the peaceful Muslims. What would you
do if the choice was shut up or die?
You actually think that they focus all attention on the US? Every country in the world, save a few rare Middle Eastern ones, absolutely condemned 9/11. But you are right, Muslim terrorists do have a nasty tendency to bring out the US’s hypocrisies. But that’s the best part, they are teaching us what to change. Some of their “suggestions” are definitely insane, and never should we simply cater to their desires, but it does offer an opportunity to rectify our misdoings. Fathom that, your biggest enemy telling you exactly where your weaknesses are? Imagine the power you could wield with that sort of information…
6. So who are we at war with?
There is no way we can honestly respond that it is anyone other than the
Muslim terrorists. Trying to be politically correct and avoid verbalizing
this conclusion can well be fatal. There is no way to win if you don't
clearly recognize and articulate who you are fighting.
You are right, can’t deny that. But what about the homebrew terrorists? Something turned the English bus bomber away from his country, and it definitely wasn’t a flick of the switch.
So with that background, now to the two major questions:
1. Can we lose this war?
2. What does losing really mean?
If we are to win, we must clearly answer these two pivotal questions:
We can definitely lose this war, and as anomalous as it may sound, the major
reason we can lose is that so many of us simply do not fathom the answer to
the second question - What does losing mean?
It would appear that a great many of us think that losing the war means
hanging our heads, bringing the troops home and going on about our business,
like post-Vietnam. This is as far from the truth as one can get.
What losing really means is:
We would no longer be the premier country in the world. The attacks will
not subside, but rather will steadily increase. Remember, they want us
dead, not just quiet. If they had just wanted us quiet, they would not have
produced an increasing series of attacks against us, over the past 18 years.
The plan was, clearly, for terrorists to attack us until we were neutered
and submissive to them.
I’ll roll with this for a bit, yet he forgot to make any conclusions. Who would be that premier country then? From the writing, it definitely makes it sound like he thinks the Middle Eastern extremists will be the new world power. If anybody thinks that this is even a possibility in the near future, I hope that you will reconsider the current world economic & military situation. Not the most important, as terrorist attacks prove the world’s largest army is still vulnerable, but it does mean something regarding the “premier” status (as he put it) of the world’s countries.
1. USA - $ 12,360,000,000,000
2. Entire EU - $ 12,180,000,000,000
3. China - $ 8,859,000,000,000
4. Japan - $ 4,018,000,000,000
20. Iran - $ 560,700,000,000
27. Pakistan - $ 393,400,000,000
67. Syria - $ 72,330,000,000
107. Lebanon - $ 23,690,000,000
1. USA - $ 518,100,000,000
2. China - $ 81,470,000,000
3. France - $ 45,000,000,000
25. Iran - $ 4,300,000,000
26. Pakistan - $ 4,253,000,000
57. Syria - $ 858,000,000
71. Lebanon - $ 540,600,000
I want to make very clear that this is meant solely as financial indicators of a state’s hard power. To me, most important is our country’s soft power, which has been so incredibly degraded in the past five years by our willingness to only fight and not consider the views of others, that this is what we should be considering as our downfall. Bring back public diplomacy? I should think so.
We would, of course, have no future support from other nations, for fear of
reprisals and for the reason that they would see; we are impotent and cannot
I’m afraid that is not from people attacking us, it is from our attacks on other people. International support is already faltering, and definitely not because of 9/11, but because of our response to 9/11.
They will pick off the other non-Muslim nations, one at a time. It will be
increasingly easier for them. They already hold Spain hostage. It doesn't
matter whether it was right or wrong for Spain to withdraw its troops from
Iraq. Spain did it because the Muslim terrorists bombed their train and
told them to withdraw the troops. Anything else they want Spain to do will
be done. Spain is finished.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Spain didn’t pullout because of those attacks alone. Oh wait, I broke my own rule regarding pure instincts and foreign policy. Then here are some news reports:
The next will probably be France. Our one hope on France is that they might
see the light and realize that if we don't win, they are finished too, in
that they can't resist the Muslim terrorists without us. However, it may
already be too late for France. France is already 20% Muslim and fading
How is this not interpreted as saying “France is 20% terrorist and falling fast!” How many Muslims come to France seeking freedom and human rights? Further, the recent spat of violence can mostly be chalked up to some rather oppressive practices by the French government:
If we lose the war, our production, income, exports and way of life will all
vanish as we know it. After losing, who would trade or deal with us if they
were threatened by the Muslims. If we can't stop the Muslim terrorists, how
could anyone else?
Gross overstatement. The idea that the US economy will simply cease to exist is a bit over the top. More importantly, if our economy just stopped, so would everybody else’s. Who buys all those cars from Japan, all the clothing from China? Who owns the major global companies, more importantly, who do they serve? Hardly any country could afford to cut business relations with the US without serious domestic economic repercussions.
The radical Muslims fully know what is riding on this war, and therefore are
completely committed to winning, at any cost. We better know it too and be
likewise committed to winning at any cost.
Why do I go on at such lengths about the results of losing? Simple. Until
we recognize the costs of losing, we cannot unite and really put 100% of our
thoughts and efforts into winning. And it is going to take that 100% effort
There is absolutely nothing to disagree with here. He is fully right that when we understand what is at stake, we can all work collectively to solve it. COLLECTIVELY. He said it himself. Work together and succeed, go alone and stumble.
So I say, US unilateralism is the greatest cause for current international resentment, so he is right. Waging a lonely War on Terror doesn’t work, so why did we think it was right in Iraq?
So, how can we lose the war?
Again, the answer is simple. We can lose the war by "imploding." That is,
defeating ourselves by refusing to recognize the enemy and their purpose,
and really digging in and lending full support to the war effort. If we are
united, there is no way that we can lose. If we continue to be divided,
there is no way that we can win!
You are talking about a divided America, which isn’t the problem. We have 125,000+ troops there, fighting there hardest, even though more people want the troops home than to be there: http://www.zogby.com/NEWS/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1075
But as he has been arguing the entire time, terrorism is a global problem. That is why we can’t be doing this alone. We need the support of other countries, and therefore should be understanding of the views of the world.
Let me give you a few examples of how we simply don't comprehend the life
and death seriousness of this situation.
President Bush selects Norman Mineta as Secretary of Transportation.
Although all of the terrorist attacks were committed by Muslim men between
17 and 40 years of age, Secretary Mineta refuses to allow profiling. Does
that sound like we are taking this thing seriously? This is war! For the
duration, we are going to have to give up some of the civil rights we have
become accustomed to. We had better be prepared to lose some of our civil
rights temporarily or we will most certainly lose all of them permanently.
Racial Profiling didn’t stop just because Norman Mineta didn’t like it. If you are saying that it doesn’t go on, that would be a drastic mistake. I would also be cautious about saying the US government, especially the Dept. of Transportation, is not taking terrorism seriously. Flown on a plane lately? Visited customs? Noticed that since 2001 there is a new agency dedicated solely to Homeland Security? How much money does each major city in the US get from the Federal Government every year? The country, it would seem, takes the threat of terrorism pretty seriously.
And don't worry that it is a slippery slope. We gave up plenty of civil
rights during WWII, and immediately restored them after the victory and in
fact added many more since then.
Do I blame President Bush or President Clinton before him?
No, I blame us for blithely assuming we can maintain all of our Political
Correctness, and all of our civil rights during this conflict and have a
clean, lawful, honorable war. None of those words apply to war. Get them
out of your head.
This is exactly the reason we should be mindful of our “cleanliness” in foreign policy. Re-read this statement, he just said that we need not be honorable, we must only win. Might makes right, correct? As noted earlier, “tweaking” intelligence on Iraq, I’m going to say is pretty shameful. I don’t want my people fighting because I had to fabricate information just to get them there.
If we had been cleaner before, we wouldn’t have to be dirtier now. As I noted above, I do believe a country has to fight at times. Stopping terrorism should be our goal, and that is truly a noble pursuit. But there must be justification! 9/11 was justification to up our terrorism-fighting efforts, and it is very important that we did. The government has already announced several foiled terror plots, and we are all safer for their efforts. But creating a false connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq just doesn’t count. It must be a just war, and that means basing it on a solid, truthful foundation. Deposing a brutal totalitarian such as Hussein is truly dignified, but playing as dirty as he does makes us equals.
He said up above that “they envy our position, our success, and our freedoms. If they abhor our freedom, why should we obligingly hand it over to them? Is that not their goal?
Some have gone so far in their criticism of the war and/or the
Administration that it almost seems they would literally like to see us
lose. I hasten to add that this isn't because they are disloyal. It is
because they just don't recognize what losing means. Nevertheless, that
conduct gives the impression to the enemy that we are divided and weakening.
It concerns our friends, and it does great damage to our cause.
You are right, there are people in the US that would like to see us lose. I am not one of those people. But the reason many feel this way is because they know we should have learned our lesson. America has always prided itself on fighting justly and for the greater good of the world’s people. Yet can we truly say we are doing that now? 9/11 tested our resolve and our fundamental beliefs as a free and open society. Yet is fighting a “dirty, unlawful, and dishonorable war,” exactly what he condoned in the paragraphs above, upholding these values?
Of more recent vintage, the uproar fueled by the politicians and media
regarding the treatment of some prisoners of war, perhaps exemplifies best
what I am saying. We have recently had an issue, involving the treatment of
a few Muslim prisoners of war, by a small group of our military police.
These are the type prisoners who just a few months ago were throwing their
own people off buildings, cutting off their hands, cutting out their tongues
and otherwise murdering their own people just for disagreeing with Saddam
And therefore we should do the same?
And just a few years ago these same type prisoners chemically killed 400,000
of their own people for the same reason. They are also the same type of
enemy fighters, who recently were burning Americans, and dragging their
charred corpses through the streets of Iraq. And still more recently, the
same type of enemy that was and is providing videos to all news sources
internationally, of the beheading of American prisoners they held.
He noted, “We have recently had an issue, involving the treatment of
a few Muslim prisoners of war, by a small group of our military police,” taking care to note that such acts were by a small group. Yet he just characterized all Iraqis as people who drag the “charred corpses” of Americans through the streets of Iraq. That my good sir, is not the majority, and our greatest fallacy is thinking that. I have a good friend that goes to school with me. She’s Iraqi. She has a full ride to my university. I strongly doubt she has any such intentions. The Iraqi citizens running helpless through the streets you see on the news every night are running because such things scare them, not because they want to take part in it.
Compare this with some of our press and politicians, who for several days
have thought and talked about nothing else but the "humiliating" of some
Muslim prisoners -- not burning them, not dragging their charred corpses
through the streets, not beheading them, but "humiliating" them.
Can this be for real?
Yes, of course it is real. Why? Because our country values the fair treatment of all people, recognizing that each person has the right to live a normal, peaceful life. If we want to be a superior society, we have to act like a superior society. We cannot just whine that because they do it, we should to.
The politicians and pundits have even talked of impeachment of the Secretary
of Defense. If this doesn't show the complete lack of comprehension and
understanding of the seriousness of the enemy we are fighting, the life and
death struggle we are in and the disastrous results of losing this war,
I think it shows more that an increasing number of people understand that our conduct in war should be above that of our enemies. He is right, we are fighting a war on terrorists, and that means people will get hurt. That is a sad fact, but very necessary. I fully understand this. Privacy will be violated at times, boundaries will be overstepped. But how can we hardly expect to progress as a nation if we keep going back and forth, taking away civil liberties, then giving them back, taking away, and giving back.
America was once the beacon of hope for countless citizens of the world. When we brought relief to Allies, we were heroes. When we opened our doors to immigrants around the globe, we were saviors. When brothers from the South cross our borders seeking a better life, we give them opportunity, and they in turn are a boon to our nation’s economy. We can again be that city upon the hill, but only if we are willing to stand up there.
To bring our country to a virtual political standstill over this prisoner
issue makes us look like Nero playing his fiddle as Rome burned -- totally
oblivious to what is going on in the real world. Neither we, nor any other
country, can survive this internal strife. Again I say, this does not mean
that some of our politicians or media people are disloyal. It simply means
that they are absolutely oblivious to the magnitude, of the situation we are
in and into which the Muslim terrorists have been pushing us, for many
Remember, the Muslim terrorists stated goal is to kill all infidels! That
translates into ALL non-Muslims -- not just in the United States, but
throughout the world. We are the last bastion of defense.
Bin Laden also recently said that the US and al-Qaeda could come to an agreement for peace if we undertook some rather overwhelming social changes. While I would never, ever say his declarations are correct, or should be considered as worthwhile, I invite you to simply read his recent “Letter to the American People.”
For one moment, let your disgust with the man slip away, and read what he says, just for one second. Then let your anger come back, it is yours do what you will with. But hopefully, just maybe, you will come away with a better understanding of al-Qaeda’s true feelings. Because who is being the ignorant party in the conflict we don’t even care to understand our opponents position?
As Sun Tzu said:
“And so in the military---
Knowing the other and knowing oneself,
In one hundred battles no danger.
Not knowing the other and knowing oneself,
One victory for one loss.
Not knowing the other and not knowing oneself,
In every battle certain defeat.
A side note, Sun Tzu also said “One Hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the most skillful. Subduing the other’s military without battle is the most skillful.” Perhaps we should heed the advice of the ancients and make a triumphant return to diplomacy.
We have been criticized for many years as being 'arrogant.' That charge is
valid in at least one respect. We are arrogant in that we believe that we
are so good, powerful and smart, that we can win the hearts and minds of all
those who attack us, and that with both hands tied behind our back, we can
defeat anything bad in the world! We can't!
The charge is valid in another respect. How often do we listen? How many people in the US read Bin Laden’s letter?
Again, I’m not saying Bin Laden’s advice is worth considering, far from it. But should we know all angles? It simply serves to better our position, and make ours all the more worth fighting for.
If we don't recognize this, our nation as we know it will not survive, and
no other free country in the world will survive if we are defeated.
And finally, name any Muslim countries throughout the world that allow
freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of the
press, equal rights for anyone -- let alone everyone, equal status or any
status for women, or that have been productive in one single way that
contributes to the good of the world.
Well, he did say Spain has already fallen to Muslims, and France is just about there. Also, how many non-Muslim countries don’t provide many of these freedoms? I know one. Try the most populated country in the world.
This has been a long way of saying that we must be united on this war or we
will be equated in the history books to the self-inflicted fall of the Roman
Empire. If, that is, the Muslim leaders will allow history books to be
written or read.
See earlier comments about world powers. Many people seem to think China is the next world power. I fully respect and am impressed by Chinese culture and people. I mean come on, it’s my major in school. But they don’t allow many of the freedoms we hold so dear in the US. They are doing pretty well economically and the military is growing every day. Yet why is no one worried that their influence will overtake our liberties? I certainly do not think this is a possibility, but it would seem much more likely than us all succumbing to radical Islam.
If we don't win this war right now, keep a close eye on how the Muslims take
over France in the next 5 years or less. They will continue to increase the
Muslim population of France and continue to encroach little by little, on
the established French traditions. The French will be fighting among
themselves, over what should or should not be done, which will continue to
weaken them and keep them from any united resolve.
Doesn't that sound eerily familiar?
Democracies don't have their freedoms taken away from them by some external
military force. Instead, they give their freedoms away, politically correct
piece by politically correct piece.
He just said that we should give them away at our own free will in order to fight a dishonorable war.
And they are giving those freedoms away to those who have shown, worldwide
that they abhor freedom and will not apply it to you or even to themselves,
once they are in power.
But we should apply it to ourselves.
They have universally shown that when they have taken over, they then start
brutally killing each other over who will be the few who control the masses.
Will we ever stop hearing from the politically correct, about the "peaceful
I need examples here. Maybe I am being arrogant, or just under-educated. So please tell me exactly where this has happened. And as he said, it’s universal, so there shouldn’t be even one contradiction.
OH Wait! I already found one! Turkey.
As the CIA World Factbook says, 99.8% Muslim. Oh no, and it’s a Republican Parliamentary Democracy.
I close on a hopeful note, by repeating what I said above. If we are
united, there is no way that we can lose. I hope now, after the election,
the factions in our country will begin to focus on the critical situation we
are in, and will unite to save our country It is your future we are talking
about! Do whatever you can to preserve it.
After reading the above, we all must do this not only for ourselves, but our
children, our grandchildren, our country and the world.
Whether Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal and that include the
Politicians and media of our country and the free world!
Please forward this to any you feel may want, or NEED to read it. Our
"leaders" in Congress ought to read it, too. There are those that find
fault with our country, but it is obvious to anyone who truly thinks through
this, that we must UNITE!
UNITE!! But Unite with the rest of the world too! What I urge above all is discussion, not criticism, but honest to goodness discussion. If you disagree, tell me PLEASE! Because when we convey ideas and new thoughts, we all learn. I ask that you always consider every angle to the utmost possibility and be open to changing your opinion. If someone can prove my thoughts wrong, I am happy to hear it and I will evolve my statements. That is what is most important in politics, and what is so severely lacking. Why can’t anyone ever change their position? Maybe they learned something new, maybe they became more intelligent. Partisanship hurts everyone, think for yourself from all the facts you can acquire. And before you question others, understand their positions as well as you know your own. Listen to others; I say that such a step alone could solve much of our problems.