Thursday, July 21, 2005

On Overwinning

It occurs to me that we in America have a habit of sometimes overwinning our wars. What I mean by this is that we tend to take actions in the course of our wars which cause us problems in the longer run. If such actions are truly necessary to avoid losing the immediate war, it may be rational to take the hit and clean up later. If such actions aren't necessary, an option which protracts the war yet avoids the long-term problem may be the better option.

In the aftermath of The Great War, we took the occasion of our victory to impose punitive measures on Germany which almost guaranteed the rise of Adolf Hitler's fascism.

We then found ourselves dealing with Adolf Hitler's Third Reich.

In the course of World War II, we aligned ourselves with the brutal and bloodthirsty Josef Stalin in order to take out Hitler's Wehrmacht.

We then found ourselves dealing with Stalin's Soviet Union for the next 44 years.

In the course of the Cold War, we aligned ourselves with Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda (and Saddam's Baath Iraq, Iran's mullahs, Syria's Baathists etc.) in order to clean up the Soviet problem.

We now find ourselves having to deal with bin Laden's Al Qaeda (and Iran's mullahs, Syria's Baathists, etc.).

This is like some kind of bizarre video game, where your partner always tries to frag you as soon as the level boss is killed.

So, what I'm thinking is: in the course of this war, the one we're in the middle of right now, can we try to avoid teaming up with the most evil, nasty SOBs we can find? If we know our allies are gonna try and frag us when we wipe out Osama, can we pick some allies (the French?) whose asses we can kick pretty easily? Can we give them guns that stop working unless we update the codes every week or so (McAfee Missiles)? Can we keep their children as collateral? Make them wear a neck collar that'll decapitate them if they get out of line?

Just a thought...


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