Monday, July 24, 2006

War today

There are so many wars raging in the Eastern Hemisphere that it's hard to keep track, or find a satisfying analysis. It is especially hard when idiots like John Roberts on the CNN network are allowed to pose as intelligent people, saying yesterday, apparently with a straight face while commenting on Lebanon, "Typically Middle East conflicts don't usually have much of an affect on us here in the United States, but the world is changing." One wonders if he has ever been based in New York City, or even visited the place.

When you do find some good analysis, or even honest reporting in the public sphere, it's good to latch onto it.

A lot of people are talking about the difficulties of "fourth generation war" which is supposedly war where "non-state actors" can take on and beat militarily establishments, where moral and morale components are more important than how many guns, helicopters or computers you have. Whether this analysis or terminology is valid, certainly "non-state actors" have done well against superpowers in the last generation.

The current war in Iraq (in danger of being forgotten by the very people paying for it) is a good example, and one that will come up in History of Islamic Civilization. Explanations for the dramatic failure of American efforts in Iraq are obscured by the fact that lots of influential people are still denying that there has been a failure. So this article, part of a series in the Washington Post, is welcome. You might be interested in the whole series, or the book it comes from, Thomas E. Ricks' Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. It hasn't actually been published yet but it will sell like hotcakes. The NU library will have one, if our buyers can shove themselves to the head of the line.

The picture above is of Grozny, in Chechnya, a real forgotten war.

2 comments:

  1. Now, come on, who can expect more from J.D. Roberts, former V.J. and pop-star wannabee?

    That said, I'll keep an eye out for Fiasco: sounds like an interesting read!

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  2. Three cheers for Dr. Muhlberger. Pointed wit and cunning commentary.

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