The iraq war isn't going to cause america to collapse internally. Once the US leaves iraq, its going to forget all about it. The US survived Vietnam,
where far more people were being killed, and far more people were rioting in the streets, and, at the same time, the civil rights movement was going
on. The polarization that's occured over the Iraq War really doesn't amount to much.
BUT, the problem is, what happens when the US leaves, and jihadis take over in Iraq? Are they going to not
attack the US? What if Iran gives
them nukes, or nuke technology? Or what if they simply use their vast oil wealth to build nukes entirely on their own, its certainly not far fetched
to think that radical muslims can do this, afterall, Iran is a radical islamic state and it has a nuke programme.
So the US certainly isn't going to be 'destroyed' or 'collapse' because of the dissent and difference of opinions over the Iraq War. BUT, it
might very well suffer a terror attack that makes 911 look like the opening skirmish to a major, nuclear, world war.
If history can teach us anything, it is that foreign "occupants" (as viewed by THE PEOPLE) can never truly "defeat" the masses, and in our case -
Thats simply not true. Normally, invading imperial powers can and do stiffle and defeat guerilla armies.
There are two 'problems', depending on how you look at it, in the modern era. One is that the guerillas have incredible firepowre these days.
Whereas in the past, if they wanted to 'hit' an advancing regular army column, they had to expose themselves physically and take some losses. Today,
they can plant a bomb on the roadside, and knock over an apc. Thats not really too much of a problem, in a sense, because the US Army isn't being
forced off the field by the insurgency. The vast majority of people targeted and killed by the insurgency are other iraqis, not US soldiers.
The real block to defeated insurgencies/guerillas/commandos is that, in the past, you'd use imperial and genocidal tactics. If men from a town
revolted, you round up everyone in the town, kill every tenth man older than 12, and then ship off the women and children to slave farms. This is
what 'decimation' literally means, 'systematically killing every tenth person'. We can't, for obvious reasons, 'decimate' entire iraqi towns.
The best we can do is fire when fired upon, and at the position we're being fired at from.
Even harsh sounding, but not genocidal tactics, are unavailable to us. When the British were fighting the Boer kommandos
, who were basically
insurgents utterly devoted to forcing out the brits from their land, they couldn't do much in terms of killing the kommandos
these guys were so dedicated, that they were known as c.f. bitereinders
, they're there until the end, even if its a hopeless situation. You
don't defeated troops like that, like suicide bombers, by chasing them around and shooting at them. The brits rounded up everyone in any Boer town
that the kommandos
had passed through to get supplies, burned the town and its fields, slaughtered its livestock, and held the civilians in
specially designed 'concentration camps' (not nazi era extermination
camps, but rather camps where the population is 'concentrated', and
then given food, medecine, etc, centrally). It pulled the rug out from under the kommandos
, and they were utterly defeated, captured, and
shipped off to prison camps for indefinite terms on the other side of the world.
But the US certainly can't, say, roll into Najaf, push everyone into trucks, and then unload them into a giant prison in the desert.
Even in the remote past in Iraq, the people that ran things would have to deal with insurgents. And they dealt with them by holding entire
populations, and moving them to the other side of the country. So the babylonians take the jews when they conquered israel, burned down their cult
center, and moved the troublemaking tribes into iraq, which was like the other side of the world for them. Hussein, btw, would do stuff like that.
When the marsh arabs became a problem, he drained the swamps and relocated them. When he wanted to make sure that he had control of the oil in the
north, he moved huge populations of sunni arabs into Kirkuk, where they still are today.
These kinds of tactics and strategies are simply unavailable to modern democracies like the US, and apparently they're the only way to defeat
entrenched insurgencies. OTherwise, you just stand still while the public back home gets 'war weariness' and decides to leave 'because its
Its a fascinating situation, really, the entire basis of ultimate order in the world is essentially being turned upside down.
[edit on 8-12-2006 by Nygdan]