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Reinart der Fuchs
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"The War" - YOUR Plan?

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  • "The War" - YOUR Plan?

    Okay. I have just appointed you United States President [I'm a contrarian fascist, I have the self-appointed authority! Ave, Ave, All Hail Perssonicus! Peace through superior firepower!]

    The responsibility for this war now lays in your hands, Mr. President, as of right now. No pointing fingers backwards, no slinging blame. The buck stops now, and it stops with YOU.

    Your plan for the War, Mr. President? All the resources of the US are at your disposal. We will take as read the willingness of a few Allies to back you up.

    What is your plan? List your ideas, and if you would as well, please also list the unintended consequences that may result. Think carefully, and lay out your plan. The world awaits with baited breath. General Perssonicus is head of your Joint Chiefs of Staff. I am here to advise only; the civilians make the policy, I carry it out, but I will respond with advice. I, and the forces you command, await your marching orders, Sir. Lead the Way!
    Last edited by Perssonicus; 01-17-2007, 12:17 PM.
    "My candle's burning at both ends, it will not last the night;
    But ah my foes and oh, my friends, it gives a lovely light" - Edna St Vincent Millay

  • #2
    A little clarification (before anyone accepts your challenge) if you don't mind.

    Are you asking people to detail how they would fix the present 'broken' situtaion in Iraq, taking into account everything that's already happened since March 20, 2003?


    Are you asking what would we do differently, assuming that the time 'now' is March 19, 2003?

    Reason for asking is that there are two very different solutions to two very different problems. The first expects us to fix something that we may not have wanted any part of in the first place, and is therefore (imo) fundementally flawed and unfair.

    The second is more reasonable (again imo) and basically boils down to:
    1. Wait for UN Weapons Inspectors to finish their job and report that there aren't any significant stocks of - what was the phrase? "current and active programs of WMDs"?? Hence no 'clear & present danger', and thus no grounds for invasion.
    2. Maintain sanctions and no-fly zones of Iraq, etc. as prior to 2003 in order to continue restricting Saddam's influence on the Middle-East.
    3. Concentrate on the rebuilding and democratizing of Afghanistan and the search for Al-Qaeda in known locations (ie not Iraq).
    4. When 3. is achieved (ETA TBC), then (and only then) re-evaluate need for 'regime change' in Iraq.
    Everything beyond those actions is basically hypothetical/supposition, so can't be articulated imo.

    Will await your clarification, Gen. Perssonicus.
    _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
    _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
    _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
    _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."


    • #3
      I've seen this exact topic pop up on other forums as a way of suggesting that "president bush is doing his best" and that "liberals like to criticise but don't/can't offer any solutions". I sincerely hope that's not that tack that is being pursued here...

      This probably won't answer the question posed - but assuming we're talking about "the now", I think that the fact that there is so much difficulty in finding a decent solution to the mess we currently find ourselves in is a vindication of the view that even if this war were not a fundamentally bad idea to begin with, that the planning of it was bungled from the top down.

      Its not that people don't have ideas - its that we now find ourselves in a politically precarious position with extremely limited options, where none of the tabled options (increase troops, withdraw troops, pull out entirely etc) offers much benefit.

      I still can't fathom support for this President when 4 years ago he declared "mission accomplished" from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln - and here we are... 4 years later still embroiled in massive hostilities against a deeply divided population that only seems to half want us there.

      In fact, I seem to remember the now redundant Donald Rumsfeld suggesting in the run up to the war that we would be in and out of there by late 2005. As with a lot of the excuses for "Failed Intelligence" it seems to come down to either the guy was lying, or he was just generally incompetant. Neither of which are desirable attributes for his (former) job.
      Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

      Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!


      • #4
        As the machine says:

        "The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?"
        _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
        _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
        _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
        _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."


        • #5
          In my view, it all depends on the al-Maliki government.

          They have to decide if they are the government of the Iraqi people, or simply the lead players on the Shi'a faction of a sectarian civil war.

          If the al-Maliki government can govern impartially, then they have to start making the attempt. And the primary way to do that is to take on the supporters of the sectarian violence regardless of their previous allegiance or current agenda. That means confronting and disarming the militias, particularly the al Mahdi miliita controlled by Moqtada al Sadr. From my understanding that's what the Bush admin is pushing for at this moment, and NPR reported that al Maliki has told Moqtada al Sadr that the militias have to disarm or he will be forced to move against them. The foremost Shi'a cleric, al Sistani, has also been pressuring the Mahdi militia to reduce the violence level.

          If this is true, it could be the pivotal moment in the current government's short tenure. The best possible result would be such a disarmament, but it's more likely that the democractic government will be forced to act. Then it matters on whether the people in positions of power in the government are willing to act against the Shi'a militias - in the past they haven't been. One of the foremost complaints of both the US soldiers and the leading commanders of the Iraqi military and police is that the Iraqi authorities often order them to not pursue militia members engaged in terrorist activities. The appalling civilian death toll is the direct result of that.

          If the al Maliki government is unwilling to address the sectarian violence, then any point of the US forces being in Iraq becomes futile. We won't be able to stop the violence if it is the democratic government itself that is pursuing it. We should leave as soon as possible at that point.

          On the other hand, if the al Maliki government can be galvanized to act against the shi'a factions that in the past have supported it but are now leading the country further and further down the path to civil war and potential genocide, then we have a fighting chance. It doesn't assure eventual stability, and in the short run it will likely escalate the violence as the militias respond to the attempts to disarm them.

          But it does mean that the presence of the US troops will matter, and that the government will start to evolve to a more fair representative and caretaker of the Iraqi people.

          So in short, if the al Maliki government won't act against the militias then we should leave before the end of the year. We are simply attempting to stem the tide of the inevitable violence that will follow, and even with the appalling death statistics we see almost all of the experts I've heard have said it will be much worse without the US presence. But the question then becomes how much responsibility the US has even after the removal of Saddam to save a people that don't want to be saved.

          If they do start taking effective steps in stemming the private little armies and wars, even the ones on their own side, then I think the US forces can make a difference, and help protect a government attempting to do the right thing until they can work out their sectarian issues and at least divest the government of infiltration from those loyal to invidual warlords and clerics. That is a task that the US could perform that all sides would profit by.

          Finally, while I agree with much of the reasoning if not the execution of the plans of the Bush administration, I think one thing is perfectly clear - the Al Qaeda foreign fighters will not profit by our absence there. While the Iraqi people seemed to be split on whether or not they want the Americans there for the short term to help stabilize the country, they seem to be united in their hatred for AQ, that has been intentionally targeting the different sectarian groups in an attempt to start a civil war.

          The US has a responsibility to help because we are responsible for the removal of the previous government. But I personally think our goals in Iraq in terms of the war on terror are met - AQ there is largely dismantled, and reviled by the populace. So our presence there now is largely humanitarian, and in our vested interest to protect the fledgeling democracy there.

          That only goes so far however if the Iraqis can't be convinced not to engage in sectarian purges. If the government is compromised by that ideology to the point that it is no longer capable of governing, I'm afraid our only real option is to let them do what they will. Unfortunately a lot more innocent Iraqis who have no stake or interest in such a conflict will once again be the ones who pay the largest price. If we have a chance to stop that, we are honor bound to try.


          • #6
            I go on TV and apologise to the Iraqi people.

            Then I impeach Bush, Powel, Rice, Cheney, and any other hawk I can find. After the impeachment I hand them over to the Hague to be tried for war crimes.

            I also extradite Bliar and charge him with war crimes.

            That would probably calm the situation down.


            • #7
              Turn Blair and Bush over to the Hague for war crimes?

              I can think of a lot of possible reactions to that, but very few of them involve 'calming things down.' :)


              • #8
                Originally posted by zilch
                I go on TV and apologise to the Iraqi people.

                Then I impeach Bush, Powel, Rice, Cheney, and any other hawk I can find. After the impeachment I hand them over to the Hague to be tried for war crimes.

                I also extradite Bliar and charge him with war crimes.

                That would probably calm the situation down.
                I'm on board. Realistically, it doesn't really help the Iraqis.
                Infinite complexity according to simple rules.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Reinart der Fuchs
                  I'm on board. Realistically, it doesn't really help the Iraqis.
                  It'd do the Iranians a world of favours though! They'd wait a few weeks for the Shi'as and Sunnis to mutually self destruct and then move in and beat up whats left of the Kurds..

                  Then the Kuwaities, a bit of Saudi, slice of Jordan, annexe some of Syria and then..... Israel! Yep, that'd certainly quieten things down after that little lot.

                  Or am I being a bit negative here?
                  He's well smoked


                  • #10
                    We should have left 5 minutes ago and not let the door hit us on the way out. !ran and Saud! Arab!a are both scared sh!tless that the army of occupation WILL pull out, with their buffer/scapegoat/boogeyman gone, who knows where it would end...the Kurds do need a good backup plan.
                    Last edited by Talisant; 01-18-2007, 01:54 PM.
                    "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER


                    • #11
                      My plan to end the war would have been never to have started it in the first place....

                      To quote Jeffrey Record (who teaches strategy at the Air War College) from his 2003 article "The Bush Doctrine and War With Iraq" as published in Parameters, The US Army War College Quarterly in (Northern) Spring 2003 - a source I would expect Perssonicus to give some credence to....

                      The Bush Administration is absolutely right in identifying the possibility of a 9/11 with nuclear weapons as the gravest threat to American security today. Every possible effort, including preemptive attack, should be made to forestall this threat’s materialization. Al Qaeda seeks our destruction and is inherently undeterrable. We have been at war with al Qaeda since 9/11 (which renders preemption moot), and we are committed to continued military operations against that enemy and its Taliban allies in Afghanistan until we are satisfied that we can leave that country strong enough to prevent its relapse into a haven for al Qaeda.

                      Why, then, does the Bush Administration seek to start a second war against Iraq? Why, reportedly, just one day after 9/11, did Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and his deputy, PaulWolfowitz, suggest in a National Security Council meeting that the al Qaeda attacks be used as a pretext for a US attack on Iraq?
                      Many commentators have observed that Saddam Hussein represents unfinished business of the first Bush Administration, and that Saddam Hussein did sponsor a plot to assassinate President GeorgeW. Bush’s father. But what is the connection between Iraq and al Qaeda? President Bush declared in late September 2002 that “you can’t distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terrorism. They’re both equally as bad, and equally as evil, and equally as destructive.” He added that the “danger is that al Qaeda becomes an extension of Saddam’s madness and his hatred and his capacity to extend weapons of mass destruction around the world.”

                      But the Administration has presented no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to 9/11 and no convincing evidence of an operational relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. Both Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden may hate the United States, but the former is a secular dictator on the Stalinist model who has never hesitated to butcher Muslim clerics, whereas the latter is a religious fanatic who regards secular Arab regimes as blasphemous. Other than hatred of the United States, they do not have a common agenda, though the history of international politics is replete with very strange bedfellows (e.g., Hitler and Stalin, and then Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt).

                      As for the Administration’s asserted threat of a revenge-motivated Saddam Hussein’s transfer of WMD to al Qaeda, there is no evidence that such a transfer has been made, even though Hussein has had chemical and biological weapons for years. Moreover, the Administration has not addressed the question of whether the Iraqi dictator could ever be certain that he could make such a transfer without a trace of evidence. And even if he could be certain on that score, would he not also have to worry that the Bush Administration would consider an al Qaeda WMD attack to be prima facie evidence that such a transfer had been made? There is also the issue of control. Saddam Hussein and his regime are about absolute political control because control means survival. How likely is it, therefore, that Saddam, a Stalin-like paranoid and megalomaniac who has a long record of repressing radical Islamists in his own country, would transfer his own hard-earned WMD to an Islamist terrorist group beyond his control?

                      If there is a plausible scenario of Iraqi first use of WMD, including indirectly via transfer to a terrorist group, is it not in response to an American attack on Iraq that placed Saddam in the position of certain doom, thereby removing any “deterrent” obstacles to taking down as many of his enemies as possible on the way to his own extinction? During the GulfWar, Saddam pre-delegated orders to Iraqi Scud batteries to launch biological- and chemical-armed missiles at TelAviv if the coalition forces advanced on Baghdad.
                      President Bush himself has acknowledged that an “Iraqi regime faced with its own demise may attempt cruel and desperate measures.”A CIA assessment concluded that Saddam, if convinced that a US attack could not be deterred, might “decide that the extreme step of assisting Islamist terrorists in conducting aWMDattack against the United States would be his last chance to exact vengeance by taking large numbers of victims with him.” At a minimum, Saddam would target Israel and thereby guarantee his posthumous fame among many in the Arab world. Thus, would not a US attack on Iraq make Saddam’s first use of WMD a self-fulfilling prophesy? (All of this assumes, of course, both a US decision for war and the survival, despite UN reinspection efforts that began in December 2002, of deliverable Iraqi WMD.)

                      And if the aim of the Bush Doctrine is to prevent the marriage of terrorism and WMD,should it not concentrate first and foremost on destroying the vast and poorly secured stocks of WMD in the countries of the former Soviet Union? Unlike Iraq, al Qaeda is a truly transnational organization with cells in at least 60 countries. As such, and given its impressive financial resources, al Qaeda seems well positioned to exploit opportunities posed by the presence of so much loosely protected WMD, to say nothing of securing the services of impoverished former Soviet WMD scientists. Yet, inexplicably, the Bush Administration has sought to cut the very Nunn-Lugar funding designed to enable Russia to destroy its great stocks of WMD.
                      The heart of the threat is al Qaeda, not Iraq, and a US war against Iraq inevitably will divert strategic attention and military resources away not only from the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and the destruction of al Qaeda, but also from America’s still unacceptably weak homeland defenses. It was precisely for this reason that former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft warned against an American attack on Iraq. “Our pre-eminent security priority . . . is the war on terrorism,” he declared in August 2002. An attack on Iraq “would seriously jeopardize, if not destroy, the global counterterrorist campaign we have undertaken,” in part because the international unpopularity of a US attack on Iraq would result in a “serious degradation in international cooperation with us against terrorism.”In that same month,
                      The New York Times’ Frank Rich commented that in Iraq “we have chosen a first-strike target, however thuggish, that may be tangential to the stateless, itinerant Islamic terrorism of the youthful Mohamed Atta generation.” The Wall Street Journal’s Gerry Seib agreed: “Saddam Hussein is 65 years old . . . and represents the threat of yesterday and today. These young terrorists [of al Qaeda] are the threat of today and tomorrow. And we shouldn’t fool ourselves: By itself, taking out the Iraqi leader will do little to eliminate them as a threat. In the short term, in fact, going after Iraq may stir them up further.” For former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, “It makes little sense now to focus the world’s attention and our own military, intelligence, diplomatic, and financial resources on a plan to invade Iraq instead of on al Qaeda’s ongoing plans to murder innocent people. We cannot fight a second monumental struggle without detracting from the first one.”

                      Indeed, because virtually the entire Muslim world strongly opposes an American attack on Iraq, the Bush Administration risks turning action against Iraq into a powerful recruiting tool for al Qaeda which, by October 2002, had displayed clear signs of recovery via the apparent survival of Osama bin Laden, bombings in Indonesia and the Philippines, and its reconstitution of small training camps along the Pakistani-Afghan border.
                      Unexpected Islamist electoral victories in Pakistan’s Afghan border provinces in that same month were attributed in part to popular backlash against threatened American military action against Iraq. Sound strategy involves differentiation of threats and prioritizing of enemies.

                      Lumping terrorist organizations, weak states that harbor and assist them, and rogue states together into a monolithic threat impairs the ability to discriminate and risks diversionary applications of attention and resources.
                      During the first two decades of the ColdWar, the United States treated communism as a centrally directed international monolith. In so doing, it failed not only to discern critical national antagonisms within the communist world, but also failed to recognize that communist insurgencies in the decolonizing Third World were first and foremost the product of unique local circumstances, requiring tailored rather than one-size-fits-all responses. The result of this strategic myopia was intervention and defeat in Vietnam. Failure to differentiate the threats posed by Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda is, likewise, a recipe for policy failure. Indeed, two former NSC staff members responsible for counterterrorism issues recently concluded that the Bush Administration’s “confusion about these matters and the ease with which the war on al Qaeda has blurred into a move against Iraq suggest that America’s leaders may not yet have taken al Qaeda’s full measure.”

                      So! Having just saved somewhere over $1 Trillion (perhaps close to $2 trillion,2763,1681119,00.html) I would have the funds to secure the US' energy reuirements for the future by investing in renewable energy sources and driving the US economy on to a sustainable basis. I could also fund a national health system and provide guaranteed basic levels education to my citizens.

                      I would then get another $10 billion by stopping military (only) aid to Israel and instead bring economic and political will to bare on bringing the Palestinian people justice. This would effectively rob "the terrorists" of their cause celebre and provide a referenceable basis upon which to build serious peace initiatives in the rest of the Middle East and simultaneuosly undermine the recruiting practice for AQ and the like....

                      More to come....
                      Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.


                      • #12
                        Good plan.

                        I tend to think Syria would be as likely and logical a recipient of WMD's, though.


                        • #13
                          They should certainly have not started the war to begin with and focussed on finishing what they started with Afghanistan.

                          I don't think anyone in the administration is really serious about resolving this war (certainly not within the next 2 years) - the focus now seems to be on the 2008 Presidential election and pointing the finger of blame on the "other guy" for failing to clean up their mess.

                          Regardless of what Bush does to resolve the situation in Iraq, I'm not about to clap the guy on the back for turning a big turd into a slightly smaller one. A turd is still a turd after all.
                          Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                          Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Reinart der Fuchs
                            I'm on board. Realistically, it doesn't really help the Iraqis.
                            Well, it's kinda psychological, if they feel justice is being done maybe they will cool off a little. It would also deter other military dictators from .....oh, sorry that was hanging Saddam......

                            Yep, a tiddly bit negative, Iran hasn't actually started a war in recent history, the Saudis are too busy getting diabetic on ice cream to fly around in all that hardware they bought but they do have some of the most advanced gear available. They could always hand it over to an ambitious Yemenite .......

                            I don't think George (Vietnam Vet, ace pilot & succesful businessman) Bush is all that stands between the world and Islamic dominance. I think this idea of Islam as a threat is a bit of a con designed to scare Joe Voter into obedience while his civil liberties and life savings are stripped away.

                            The war in Iraq & the war against terrorism increase the return on investments of the already wealthy, a guy I know who works as a trader admitted that this war has been great for those that know how to play the market, because war makes the market more predictable. You only have to watch the gap between the rich and poor widen to understand this.

                            The Taliban would even have handed over OBL at a price.

                            After taking over the area, the Taliban promised to control Bin Laden but failed to do so. In August 1998 Bin Laden's supporters bombed the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, killing hundreds of people. Shortly afterwards, the US launched reprisal attacks on Afghanistan and Sudan which seem to have scuppered the handover plans.


                            In the Afghan capital, Kabul, some civilians warned that America's uncompromising position was in danger of uniting the public behind the Taliban, even though they are loathed for their harsh Islamic laws.

                            Equally significant has been the growing rift between the hardliners who surround Mullah Omar in Kandahar and the moderates who form the government in Kabul and have had to deal with the international community and the growing humanitarian crisis in the country.

                            The moderates are fellow travellers with the Taliban hardcore and do not subscribe to the harsh ideological edicts issued by Mullah Omar, such as the destruction of the two giant Buddha statues in Bamiyan earlier this year.

                            They do not like the increasingly powerful political role that bin Laden and his Arabs have come to play within the Taliban decision-making process.

                            It was not clear yesterday whether Mullah Omar would support the decision by the scholars, although a spokesman said he would. Having been given the title of Amir ul Momineen, or Commander of the Faithful, in 1995 by the same gathering of Islamic scholars, he has the right of veto.

                            Ultimately, both bin Laden and Mullah Omar are confident that they can suck the US into a war it cannot win if it attacks Afghanistan, just as the Afghan mujahideen did to the forces of the Soviet Union after it invaded in 1979.
                            my bold


                            What these quotes show is the refusal to take the diplomatic approach is polarizing the world, and this has to be a deliberate policy. It is predictable that when you destabalise a secular state like Iraq and the fundamentalists take over because they already have a network and a motivation to seek power.

                            So the solution is that simple, you try Bush & co for war crimes, and engage in diplomacy, which starts with an admission of fault and an apology. Perhaps because the west has lost the concept of honour we are incapable of understanding how far this would get us with people for whom honour is still important.