Prev | List | Random | Next
The jihadists follow our politics much more closely than people realize. A friend at the Pentagon just sent me a post by the “Global Islamic Media Front” carried by the jihadist Web site Ana al-Muslim on Aug. 11. It begins: “The people of jihad need to carry out a media war that is parallel to the military war and exert all possible efforts to wage it successfully. This is because we can observe the effect that the media have on nations to make them either support or reject an issue.”How wonderful. (By the way, I'm not the guy that sent him a copy.)
It then explains that for jihadist videos of attacks on Americans to have the biggest impact, “Some persons will be needed who are proficient in the use of computer graphics including Photoshop, 3D Studio Max, or other programs that the people of jihad will need to design ... video clips about the operations.”
Finally, the Web site suggests that jihadists flood e-mail and video of their operations to “chat rooms,” “television channels,” and to “famous U.S. authors who have public e-mail addresses ... such as Friedman, Chomsky, Fukuyama, Huntington and others.” This is the first time I’ve ever been on the same mailing list with Noam Chomsky.
His very next sentence:
It would be depressing to see the jihadists influence our politics with a Tet-like media/war frenzy. ButAnd yes, what follows that "but" is exactly what you'd expect - a call to leave Iraq. You see, he has the courage to stick to his convictions even though he knows it's exactly what the terrorists want him to do.
Which is why he's on the same list as Chomsky.
I thought that was a major venue at first.
Times select?Posted by BenJCarter at October 19, 2006 05:38 AM
That is why OCT has been such a tough month.Posted by CDR Salamander at October 19, 2006 10:27 AM
Posted by Bill Faith at October 19, 2006 12:03 PM
I excerpted and linked at Bill's Bites but the trackback won't take
Well, does President Bush also become a de facto Chomskyite with his
lukewarm assent to Friedman's Tet analogy to ABC's George Stephanopoulos:
Stephanopoulos: "Tom Friedman wrote in the New York Times this morning that what we might be seeing now is the Iraqi equivalent of the Tet offensive in Vietnam in 1968. ... Do you agree?"
Bush: "He could be right. There's certainly a stepped up level of violence, and we're heading into an election."
Is Barney now the last loyal American in the Oval Office?
What's happening?Posted by John deVille at October 19, 2006 12:51 PM
You missed the point, I think. The President agrees that it might be possible that the terrorists are trying to influence the course of events by having an impact on our elections. He is not saying we have lost.
Look at what he said; 1) stepped up attacks, 2) election approaching.
Where do you get defeat admission out of this?
I absolutely agree with you that one can't necessarily leap from "it's like Tet" to "it's over."
Except for that's what Friedman was trying to say in his column -- "it's like Tet in the sense that the situation is entirely grim -- it's so bad that even Laura Bush might not even support this war any more."
Now, it's unfair to say that Bush was agreeing with the entire Friedman article and the entire Friedman conclusion when the entirety was not quoted in the context of the question, but I do think Bush's lukewarm concurrence raises an eyebrow.
And, of course, no where does the President offer the slightest sliver of evidence that the insurgents/jihadists are trying to influence the election. I think a better explanation is the annual Ramadan spike in violence. Or, perhaps, the redeployment of American forces closer to the center of Baghdad where they are far more likely to incur casualties than on the periphery of the city is the cause of the recent upturn in servicemen fatalities. Plus, Anbar bleeds American blood constantly.
Finally, again -- there's no explicit defeat admission but for the President and his press secretary to suddenly say publicly that there is something in the Iraq War is similar to the signature negative turning point in the Vietnam War is a big deal. For any Administration member or representative to say there is anything remotely like Vietnam happening in Iraq is a tremendous switch from what we've been hearing for three years.
Thanks for the civil discourse.
What am I missing?Posted by John deVille at October 19, 2006 07:12 PM
Funny, as a postscript, it didn't take too long for CNN's Michael Ware to get tripped up in this jihad media blitz with their insurgent sniper video products.Posted by vinman at October 19, 2006 10:07 PM
The question is, what does "Tet" mean to President Bush? I don't know the answer - it's not clear from the sound bite. It's an honest question, and you'll see or hear more than a few conflicting answers to the question from pundits over the next few days. Read Tigerhawk's post linked above for an early example.
"I think a better explanation is the annual Ramadan spike in violence." - bingo, and there's an obvious example of comparison, the Muslim Holy month and the Vietnamese new year (coincidentally both lunar) - but since I've got a developing blog post on that topic that I hope to have time for I'll veer off for now. (But I don't think that's the analogy Bush was making.)
By the way, that you know there is a "Ramadan spike" in violence shows you are better informed than most Americans. I was in Iraq during one such month, and it was common knowledge exactly why the violence was increasing. But it's probably not "PC" to explain that to Americans - even though that celebration of Ramadan as "blood month" is limited to a minority of Muslims - the fanatics.
The point in the President's comment regarding elections is an interesting one. I don't think the US elections factored in to NV commanders' strategic decisions about Tet - they planned to win the battles they launched, their post-defeat political victory was an unexpected gift from the US media. (An event they might now be hoping to repeat - but since the first one was apparently a result of circumstances coming together just so I don't think an orchestrated attempt at a sequel will work out quite as well. Over-zealous sequels don't sell well to the American public.)
But back to the more direct point, without additional clarifying/expanding remarks from him I simply don't know what the President meant. Prediction: should such remarks be made they'll be labelled as "backing off his comments" by the same media touting them loudly today.Posted by Greyhawk at October 19, 2006 11:27 PM
Tet proved that the south Vietnamese government could'nt handle an insurgency offensive across the south. We had to step in annd defeat the VC. The american public had been told the insugency had been defeated before Tet. We had 500k+ troops in country and no clear reason why. Clark Clifford did the same thing in 1969 that James Baker is doing now, and got the same answers then that Baker is getting now.
As far as what the president thinks, who cares. He is an infant.
No, DK, I was talking about the Tet Offensive of 1968 in Vietnam, where
...battalion strength elements of the National Liberation Front's People's Liberation Armed Forces (PLAF or Viet Cong) and divisional strength elements of the North Vietnam's People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), against South Vietnam's Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), and United States military and other ARVN-allied forces. ...You've mixed it up with some other event involving "insurgents" who the US "claimed were defeated".
The Tet Offensive can be considered a military defeat for the Communist forces, as neither the Viet Cong nor the North Vietnamese army achieved their tactical goals.
...and we didn't have to "step in" in Tet - we were attacked outright.Posted by Greyhawk at October 20, 2006 04:50 AM
Sorry to school you Greyhawk, the Viet Cong were insurgents. 70% of they're ranks came out of the south. Every operation the US and ARVN conducted was anticipated because of infiltration by Viet Cong spies.
CIA did a study in 1963-64, collecting insurgent weapons to see if the Viet Cong were coming across from the north or home grown. This would confirm the strategy of ringing the south with firebases.
Of the 15,000 weapons that were captured, 750 were manufactured in communist countries. Pentagon buried the report.
Other reports were done on the numbers of Viet Cong. By the time they got to the pentagon those numbers were cut in half to match troop strength ratio's
Tet was an insurgent offensive that overwelmed ARVN forces. The battle of Hue was fought by US marines because ARVN forces could't/would'nt do it.
By january 1968, news reports and official goverment reports had the Viet Cong defeated. That's why it was such a suprise.
You don't win a war against insurgents by winning battles. I thought we learned that in Viet Nam.Posted by jasta1970@yahoocom at October 20, 2006 06:15 AM
Gosh you're right - if we ignore the Army of North Vietnam we can characterize America's war in Vietnam as "insurgency".Posted by Greyhawk at October 20, 2006 11:20 AM
Oy, the point I made is that the population was against us.
The south vietnamese army could not stand and defend on it's own, ever. We ended up pounding sand for ten straight years, and in the end (1975) the south fell to the NVA in four months! (The communists thought it would take two years.)
Oh, and if you thought the north was ready to fold against us. Read accounts of the Chinese invasion of 1979. Women and boys attacking tanks with demo charges i.e. suicide bombers
Greyhawk, you must have done alot of potatoe peeling in the military. You aint the sharpest butterknife in the drawer.Posted by DonkeyKong at October 20, 2006 04:16 PM
"Oy, the point I made is that the population was against us."
No, you were talking about Tet (an event where organized large armies battled) as if it were an insurgent campaign. You had no valid point.Posted by Greyhawk at October 20, 2006 11:34 PM
...a couple interesting articles on Tet.Posted by Greyhawk at October 20, 2006 11:38 PM
Ah yes, NVA divisions were smuggled into major south vietnamese cities as well as our embassy in bicycle baskets, then attacked using soviet military large army tactics.
What are you smokin GreyToke?Posted by DonkeyKong at October 21, 2006 02:16 AM
"Sorry to school you Greyhawk, the Viet Cong were insurgents. 70% of they're ranks came out of the south. Every operation the US and ARVN conducted was anticipated because of infiltration by Viet Cong spies."
"Tet was an insurgent offensive that overwelmed ARVN forces. The battle of Hue was fought by US marines because ARVN forces could't/would'nt do it."
"By january 1968, news reports and official goverment reports had the Viet Cong defeated. That's why it was such a suprise."
"You don't win a war against insurgents by winning battles. I thought we learned that in Viet Nam."
Posted by jasta1970@yahoocom at October 20, 2006 06:15 AM
"Tet proved that the south Vietnamese government could'nt handle an insurgency offensive across the south. We had to step in annd defeat the VC. The american public had been told the insugency had been defeated before Tet. We had 500k+ troops in country and no clear reason why. Clark Clifford did the same thing in 1969 that James Baker is doing now, and got the same answers then that Baker is getting now."
"As far as what the president thinks, who cares. He is an infant."
Posted by DonkeyKong at October 20, 2006 03:48 AM
School who? What war college did you hijack your degree from jasta? Wow, big revelation that the Viet Cong were South Vietnamese insurgents! And all of 70% of them were South Vietnamese. Who were the other 30%? Dog turds? And they anticipated every ARVN/USA move, eh? Must be why they lost 10 times the people lost by the ARVN and US forces from 1968 to 1972. Because of their omnipotent intelligence and vast reserves of knowledge and doctirne of how to beat the US in every engagement.
Perhaps that is why all the insurgents who weren't called the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) were called Viet Cong (VC). Tet was a major defeat for the NVA and Viet Cong. The VC wore no uniforms and hid in the civilian population just like every terrorist insurgent group ever has. They died in very large numbers in less than 30 days in 1968. The NVA infiltrated South Vietnam via the HCM Trail to assist and were also defeated handily, most of them in two weeks.
You can't really call it Victory if your entire team dies while attempting to meet your objectives and then none of your objectives are met. Pyrrhic, maybe. Symbolic, perhaps. But calling Tet a VC or NVA victory is akin to calling a dog a cat, or saying Big Brother Loves You.
As for the ARVN being unable to act in South VietNam, from Feb 1968 until they were defeated and overrun in 1975, the ARVN did a pretty good job keeping the NVA at bay until they were denied arms, ammunition and support by the American Congress (run by Dhimmicrats at the time, both houses). Yes it required American assistance from 1968 to 1972, but for three additional years they held out on their own until they were stabbed in the back by Congress. And that was certainly one of the American Democrat party's finest hours, wasn't it?
As for whether you "win a war against insurgents by winning battles", I'd sure hate to see the insurgency in which you win the war by losing battles. Those are all VietNam is about. Losing wars while winning every battle because whiney babies like DK and Jasta (and you, too Willy) all think they are George Washington, Strategic Genius, know better about winning and losing insurgencies than folks who have studied them for much of their life, and who are now, even as we speak, offering their vast storehouse of knowledge on how to win insurgencies up to..... whom???? No one, that's whom.
You decry American success because it doesn't fit your definition of pacifist. You root for enemies of the country because it makes you more important in your own eyes, a Legend in your own Mind, even. You insist that you know better than entire staffs of professionals whose job it is to plan and execute war, and think by snapping your fingers, you can MAKE Shiites obey, Sunnis love us, and terrorists blow up using some mind control technology or magic bullet. You insist that any war is unwinnable. You sound the raspberry salute for all efforts to do anything except retreat in the face of the enemy, because that is the extent of your plan. Retreat is your watchword. Defeat is your aim.
Your patriotism is showing. It needs a good cleansing. Your vast knowledge of military actions and affairs is also showing. It needs improvement.
Tet was a Defeat for the communists?
Our troop levels in Vietnam topped out at 540,000 in mid-1969, a full year and a half later. We stopped the Easter Invasion with air power. Dispite this, the South fell in 4 months after the invasion in 1975 rather than the 2 years the communist predicted.
Nixon wanted out, the American people wanted out, It has been 10 years. You use congress as a scapegoat.
ARVN forces were defeated in our invasion of Cambodia in 1970, and the invasion of Laos in 1971. Between 1968 and 1970 the South government changed hands a dozen times.
This was not conventional war won by firepower and willpower, this was and is something else. Some thing you don't understand. You bring a checkers stategy to a 3D chess game.
Oh, and enough of the, "you pacifists" crap. I have more respect for someone you can burp the ABC's then a Sean Hannity parrot.Posted by DonkeyKong at October 22, 2006 05:53 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(19) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)