Thursday, September 14, 2006

B: Victory????

I just been wondering lately what does victory mean in this day of perpetual war against a relatively unknown enemy? I don't really understand who these people are or what they really want. How will we know if we have won or lost the war against Al Quaeda or the war on terror if we don't know what they want? How will we know?

I have really no idea what it is that Al Quaeda wants. I have heard they want to destroy democracy or secularism or Israel, or the entire US, but honestly, they are not really capable of any of these things, so what is it that they really want? Jobs? Peace? Prosperity? A final victory to the war they believe has been ongoing since the fall of the Ottoman Empire during WWI? I have no idea.

What is it that we want? Do we win when the terrorist attacks stop? Couldn't we achieve that goal if we allowed Al Quaeda to win? Won't they stop when they have what they want? Seems to me that we may not understand what winning a victory against terorism means. I am sure that I don't.

I guess that begs the question, is our and their goal really just to fight because there is no better alternative in the offering? Do they win their victories like hezbollah did in Lebanon simply by fighting? People will always support the David (hezbollah, Al Quaeda, ect) so long as they percieve a Goliath (Israel and the US). Maybe we need to figure a way out of being seen as the Goliath. Through non-militarized US human aid throughout these areas, could we maybe transform our soldiers into a bunch of little Davids helping people win the battles that actually matter like getting water and food and a bit of hope in their lives?

Just an idea.

7 comments:

susan said...

Seems to me that was a lot of the point of the Peace Corps...

I thought that was one of the biggest tragedies of the whole Sept 11/terrorism bit: americans were aching to help, and instead of directing all of that energy towards the greater international good, there was a leadership vacuum that people filled in by donating blood once, and then later that fall buying tons of crap to "support the economy". It seemed like if anyone had a JFK moment and directed all of that passion, we could be in a very different boat right now.

Bodie said...

Exactly...

I am trying to live my political life looking forward rather than lingering on the should have beens, but there is no denying that a few meaningful actions could have built a lot of good will for the US around the world.

Agent 1776 said...

Bodie, here let me break it down for you. Al Queda is interested in keeping the world in the stone age... the Muslim religion is all about that... the extremist Muslims openly declare against the West mainly because they see it as a threat to the stone age style of living... so essentially it is a war of civilizations. The extremist muslims will never stop; there will always be terrorism...

the question is how do we reduce it as much as possible... that's winning in itself. Historically, Arabs have only respected force. Any concessions is deemed to be weakness... again, this is all historical. The West's only resolve at this point is to lead the charge against the middle east fundamenatlist with force, threats and sanctions.

Given the fact Iran will eventually gain nukes, it is inevetibul that the country must be toppled... probably done only through the military...

...N. Korea might be too late, and hence, all the more justiviaotn to focus on Iran...

the thing is that liberal minset has this interesting idea that these terrorists can be appeased. This will never happen, they must be destroyed. If the WEst can remain united in this effort, we are looking at prbably a good 10 more years at best of problems in teh M.E... if we fail (as liberals seem determined that we do) then historically we will have one hell of a mess on our hands in less than 10 years...

it is my criticism of liberal thought is that it essentially lives in the imagination, the theoritical, the "what if" mindset... and yes, in thoery if we give money and aid to the middle east and even if we actually convert to Islam (that is how they feel they would win by the way), but in reality, it's where the REAL trouble starts... not ends.

mandy said...

Yes yes. Us liberals are "determined" to make the West fail. Really, that's what we live for. Becuase making the world a better place - now that's what I call failure.

What I really want to know is how in the hell do you propose to win? We can't eliminate terrorism. People have hated the US and the rest of the west for as long as we've been around and 10 more years of us in the Middle East isn't going to change that. We're not that good. There's way too much going on there beyond general hatred of the West for us to even begin to try to sort out. Who's living in the imagination? I'm thinking realistically here - with the current "strategy," we're doomed to fail.

countjrg said...

Victory? Hmmmm… I’ve often thought that the “war on terror” is a rhetorical war, not unlike the “war on drugs” or the “war on poverty.” That being said, I don’t see it on a win-lose paradigm, but more of on a danger-safe paradigm. Victory is elusive on this matter, but I think the best we (America) can do is make ourselves safer. Are we safer? Perhaps it’s all academic, but we haven’t been attacked since 2001.

Bodie said...

Count,

Precisely my point. It is a rhetorical war that is being waged both at home and abroad, with combatants both actual and rhetorical. Both political parties are talking up the war on terror like it is a real war with two armies pitted against each other. It's just not true, and that simplistic notion is dangerous if we accept it as fact.

Agent,

Whatever you say buddy. MuST bee grate alweys BeIng write.

Griffonage said...

Bodie,

I think you, and many others blogging out there would be better servered by using a model where you wait to post an opinion once its formed fast the question phase. All too often these day opinions are veiled in the form of a question, as if the thinly veiled attempts to coerce are actually effective.

please check out this daily show link more information on the poor use the the question mark. http://youtube.com/watch?v=QX5-YUVDgcg

The Period is firm, the Exclamation point stands tall....the Question Mark's back has been broken, it's weak