Iraq War Strategies under Hitler, Roosevelt or Truman, versus Bush
"I want to compare how a dictator would wage the War in Iraq, versus how US democracy must wage it.''Hwei Ming.
Furthermore, I want to compare how Roosevelt or Truman would wage the war versus how Bush is waging it. There are advantages for a dictator in waging war, but also disadvantages. The same is true for a democracy, and especially for our democracy post Vietnam and post Watergate.Moreover, there is a difference in leadership style between US leaders in WWII and US leaders now.
How would Hitler wage the War in Iraq? He would use his own judgment and wield absolute control to effect it. Knowing Hitler, he would use overwhelming force quickly. He would also be aware that Iran and Syria are funding, training, and even sending troops into Iraq, so he would open up fronts against both these countries simultaneously, aiming to crush them and perhaps even take them over. In Iraq, he would confiscate the oil fields and use the revenue to pay for the war effort. He would annihilate neighborhoods that harbored terrorists or insurgents. He would not hesitate to ethnically cleanse either Sunnis or Shias if they continued to be troublemakers.
ResultsWhat would the results be? Hitler sults be? Hitler would probably win the War in Iraq. He would have conquered Iraq by now, and maybe Syria too, and at least reduced Iran's influence in the region, including stopping them from developing nuclear weapons and decimating their army and warlike capabilities.
The rest of the world would be building armies and weaponry to oppose him and defeat him eventually. A quiet insurgency would begin building within Iraq, Syria and Iran to one day take their lands back. Knowing Hitler, he would eventually open up too many fronts, and eventually be defeated.
Roosevelt or Truman
How would Roosevelt or Truman wage the War in Iraq? Actually, they would fight much the same way as Hitler, except without the ethnic cleansing, and without the permanent takeover of Iraq, Iran and Syria. Plus, after the war, they would return the oil fields to the Iraqis, and develop a Marshall Plan for that country.
The results? There would be peace in Iraq, and Roosevelt or Truman would then use this as a springboard to forge a peace between Palestine and Israel.
You need strong leaders like Roosevelt or Truman to sustain a war effort that could effect such results. Such leaders are rare.
How is US democracy waging the War in Iraq under George Bush?
America's Perpetual War Against the Peace Advocates
America always seems to have a large peace contingent. It had anti-war folks before all of our wars. So to enter any war, millions of peaceniks or neutral folks must convert to favoring war. Franklin Delano Roosevelt wanted to go to war against Hitler's Germany long before Pearl Harbor, but it took that disaster to mobilize enough Americans to favor the war. Roosevelt used Pearl Harbor to get us into the war, and then used Allied victories, carefully orchestrated propaganda, and the power of the bully pulpit to sustain American fervor for the war, all the way to victory.
George Bush is operating under a number of handicaps compared with Roosevelt and Truman:
First, we are post Vietnam and post Watergate. Many Americans are instinctually anti-war because of the mess of Vietnam. Those same Americans, plus others, are distrustful of their government and leaders because of Watergate.
Second, the perpetual war between congress and the president over who has more power is in a stage where congress is emboldened to tip the scale in their favor. Democrats sense a weakened president, and so are pressing their case for more congressional power and less presidential power.
Third, George Bush has been less than effective in explaining the war to the people. He has not been able, as of late, to overcome the Democratic and some Republican opposition to the war by virtue of the bully pulpit. Part of the reason is that he has had a slow learning curve in giving effective speeches and communications; and part of it is that, until recently, he has not leveled with the American people about the truths of the war.
Fourth, Bush and Cheney et al made crucial strategic and tactical mistakes in Iraq, such as too few troops, not guarding weapons caches, and leaving the Iraqi army unemployed, which set up the inevitability of the insurgency and the failures in the Iraq War.
Fifth, Bush has chosen to fight a politically correct war. For example, he let Muqtada al-Sadr go when he had him cornered, so as not to anger the Shias; he would not attack the enemy in mosques; he was "careful" when going into insurgent strongholds not to harm the neighborhoods nor the "innocent" people harboring the terrorists; and he allowed Maliki to prevent the U.S. from going after Shia insurgents. Literally, George Bush has had the United States walking on eggshells, fighting a "careful," politically correct war.
Sixth, as a result, the War in Iraq has not gone well. Though the U.S. wins every outright battle decisively, we get slaughtered in the covert war, and public opinion continues to increase against the war.
Seventh, the U.S., along with Bush's ineffective championing of the war, is not engaging in any active propaganda war. Admittedly, in the age of the Internet, YouTube, and MySpace, this would be hard to do anyway, but there seems to be no massive educational campaign about why we are fighting and how high the stakes are. We just have one, lone Texas Ranger, who can't communicate well, telling us to trust him on this one.
Hitler would have won the War in Iraq by now, hands down. On the other hand, he would have continued his expansionism until he angered so much of the world that they would eventually mass and defeat him, as happened in WWII.
Roosevelt and Truman
Roosevelt and Truman would have won the War in Iraq by now, but they didn't have the handicaps that Bush has. We'd be well on our way to world peace, including in Palestine and Israel, under Roosevelt or Truman.
In my opinion, Bush was wise to invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein. This was a good thing for world peace and the War on Terror. It's too bad the American people don't see this and aren't patient enough to witness the resulting good things that will come from its successful conclusion. Bush is winning the actual war in Iraq, undoubtedly, but has not won the PR nor the propaganda war, and so has lost the hearts and minds of Americans, Iraqis, and the world. Though Bush is winning the battlefield war for control of the territory and assets of Iraq, he is not winning the peace, the battle for law and order in Iraq. Due to military blunders, strategic and tactical, and through fighting a politically correct war, Bush has not been able to quash the nascent civil war and bring peace and security to Iraq. So, as in Vietnam, America is in danger of being driven from Iraq, not by the force of a standing enemy army, but by a deadly insurgency that instills fear, and by the force of public opinion.