Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Fruits of Appeasement

There's a long article in both my local newspaper and on NewsMax about a huge bunker found in Anbar Province:

Marines Find Weapons, Huge Bunker in Iraq Wires - Sunday, June 5, 2005

LATIFIYAH, Iraq - Hundreds of Iraqi and U.S. troops searched fields and farms Saturday for insurgents and their hideouts in an area south of Baghdad known for attacks, and the Marines said they discovered 50 weapons and ammunition caches and a huge underground bunker west of the capital fitted out with air conditioning, a kitchen and showers.

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To the west of the capital, the 2nd Marine division said its forces had discovered 50 weapons and ammunitions caches over the past four days in restive Anbar province. The military said the find included a recently used "insurgent lair" in a massive underground bunker complex that included air-conditioned living quarters and high tech military equipment, including night vision goggles.

That bunker was found cut from a rock quarry in Karmah, 50 miles west of Baghdad. The Marines said the facility was 170 yards wide and 275 yards long.

In its rooms were "four fully furnished living spaces, a kitchen with fresh food, two shower facilities and a working air conditioner. Other rooms within the complex were filled with weapons and ammunition," the announcement said.

The weapons included "numerous types of machine guns, ordnance, including mortars, rockets and artillery rounds, black uniforms, ski masks, compasses, log books, night vision goggles, and fully charged cell phones."

This bunker wasn't built after the US invasion. It probably wasn't built during the six months of useless argument as the US tried to get the United Nations and America's European allies to back a resolution allowing the use of force to topple the Iraqi government. This bunker was probably built between the time the US and its allies forced Hussein to withdraw from Kuwait and the current war.

Nor is it likely this is the only one of this type of bunker in Iraq.

Saddam Hussein began preparing for the "second" Iraq/US war as soon as the first one ended. Everything he did was aimed at preparing for a strategic showdown between Iraq and the United States. Unfortunately, while he was ruthless with his own people, and managed to keep dictatorial control of the country, he wasn't able to instill into his conscript army a sense of pride in the defense of the nation, and it fell apart against a superior armed force.

Hussein was allowed to build up his defenses and resupply his select troops through bribes, coercion, and fraud. He was actively aided by France, Germany, Russia, and perhaps some dozen other nations, and by greedy men in dozens of places throughout the world. The rest of the world spoke words without meaning, and pretended to care about what was happening in Iraq, but lacking the willpower to actually do anything constructive. It was Munich time again. In the meantime, Hussein stockpiled weapons, ammunition, supplies, and huge sums of money that could be used against an invading force.

It's apparent that Hussein believed the United States was defeated by an insurgent force in Vietnam, and planned his defense to model that of the Viet Cong activities. Unfortunately for HIM, we know this war MUST be won, and on our terms. Nor did the US military "lose" the war in Vietnam. In the end, the US government cut its support for the South Vietnamese government, which was then overrun by the North Vietnamese army, backed and supplied by Russia and China. There's a massive propaganda campaign, pushed by those aligned against the US government and its allies, aimed at the United States to persuade it to cut its support for the fledgling Iraqi government, just as the United States did with Vietnam in 1975.

The new Iraqi government is not the corrupt government of Saigon in the 1970's. It's a duly elected government of the people of Iraq, who not only support its activities, but hate the Ba'ath party and Saddam Hussein. A growing number of the people support the new Iraqi government, the US, and its allies. They want the current democratic government to succeed, and for the Ba'athists to be defeated.

This is probably not the only bunker of this type that exists. All of these weapons caches, bunkers, "safe houses", and other places of concealment for those attacking the Iraqi government will eventually be discovered and removed. The number of places the terrorists can hide has already been greatly diminished. Each day, Iraq becomes a little bit more safe for the people, the military, and the many aid groups active there.

However, just as it was impossible to win a war when there is a constant flood of fresh bodies and supplies pouring in from the north in Vietnam, it's going to be impossible to win the war in Iraq without stopping the flow of money, men, and arms from Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. The United States will eventually be forced to be nasty to the leaders of these nations in order to shut down that flow. None of these nations are our friends. The sooner we realize this, and the sooner we start treating these enemies as what they are, the sooner we will have peace in Iraq.


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