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Doomed to Repeat Failure: Big Time!
September 19, 2001
by Tom Plachta

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It is 1861. Lincoln meets with Winfield Scott, head of the US military. Scott was the hero who won the Mexican War, but now is old and obese (over 300 pounds). Neither condition has affected his mind, however. He tells Lincoln of the Anaconda Plan, to surround and choke the Confederacy. The US military laughs, as this would run counter to US dogma - a small elite army vs a credible enemy. A few years later, Grant and the US win the war - essentially using the Anaconda Plan. How does the US beat the Confederacy? A huge military with a large industrial base supporting it.

That has been US military dogma since: overwhelming force, a large "tail" (support personnel), overpowering the enemy. This dogma was used in the Spanish American War, WWI and WW II - successfully, against a conventional enemy. Post WWII, the US military had a tie (Korea - a "limited war"), a loss (Vietnam - where US military dogma failed against an unconventional, hard to find enemy) and a win (the Gulf War, where US military dogma succeeded against a conventional, easy to find enemy). Also, post WWII, we engaged in several limited actions. Criticism came when goals were not clearly outlined, and problems existed.

NOW, we are asked to fight a losing war!

1. The conventional US approach will not work vs Afghanistan. See 1980s: Soviet Union. We support Taliban, under another name, USSR loses conventional war.

2. We have no clearly defined goals. Stolen from democrats.com:

BUSH'S WAR IN HIS OWN WORDS

What are we fighting for?

9/15: An comprehensive assault on terrorism... a broad and sustained campaign to secure our country and eradicate the evil of terrorism

9/14: To rid the world of evil

9/13: To root out and to whip terrorism

9/11: We stand together to win the war against terrorism... we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Who are we fighting, and why did they attack us?

9/15: Opponents who believe they are invisible

9/13: The people who conducted these acts and those who harbor them

9/13: These people can't stand freedom. They hate our values. They hate what America stands for.

9/11: America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world.

How will we fight and win?

9/15: Victory against terrorism will not take place in a single battle but in a series of decisive actions against terrorist organizations and those who harbor and support them.

9/14: It will end in a way and at an hour of our choosing.

Colin Powell states that after we whip Bin Laden, we are going after Hezbollah and other named groups. If we adopt this approach, we will radicalize the Muslim world against us - terrorists win.

Example: Pakistan. They pledge to help, but their people are not on board. I predict revolution there soon, against the US.

When was anyone consulted about this new war, and its unending nature? Bush decided to cover his own cowardice and stupidity (examples: fear which led him to run for days from terrorist attack and failure to lead the America people, AWOL from US military, no reaction to report from bi-partisan committee on terrorism, backing down because of bombing of US ship in Persian Gulf) by becoming "great war leader."

We must engage in a debate on this. We are NOT able to eradicate "evil" and must plan, not react.

Like all Americans, I agree we must attempt to solve the terrorism problem. But Bush will only make it worse by radicalizing Muslim states and killing lots of innocents in his attempts to redeem his failed presidency by sounding the war tocsin. Not to mention ending civil liberties in this country.

Let's not be intimidated. We need a debate on the best approach to revenge, and limiting attacks in the future. Once again, Bush's approach to major problems is simply wrong.

 
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