General Joseph P. Hoar, USMC (Retired) would like to point out out that it’s the American Revolution in Iraq, but we’re the redcoats. He’s obviously a wild-eyed emo liberal towelhead-hugger who… oh wait, no. He’s a crewcutted 70-year-old professional hardass covered in combat medals.
Some notable quotes:
…when you think about Iraqi democracy, don’t think about Iowa. Think about Lebanon, you know, and that’s again best case. It’s going to be messy.
If you’ll permit me a sea story: In 1966, I – my first time out there, I was an advisor with the Vietnamese marines, and we were up along the DMZ and there was a Vietnamese airborne battalion that got in trouble in a place called the marketplace, which was just north of Con Tien. That battalion had 211 soldiers killed that day, and we went to relieve the pressure and we covered for them. We stayed there the next day and were involved in a pretty good-sized fight. And the bad guys broke off because of the artillery and air – the whole works.
But any number of months from 1966 until the Americans disengaged in that area, if you ever wanted a fight, all you needed to do was go to the marketplace, and you got a fight. And they killed 20 or 30 of our people and we killed a couple hundred of theirs, and then everybody went home again, and then at some unpredicted time in the future we went back up to the marketplace and did it all over again.
When you talk about the Middle East, if you don’t talk about Balfour and Sykes-Pico and McMahon and General Mott and Gertrude Bell and that whole crowd of people and what’s been going on out there throughout the 20th Century, you can’t begin to understand the dynamic that exists today. And we are the direct linear descendants of those colonial overlords. And that, in my judgment, is the problem, and we’ve done very little to dispel that belief.
I want to leave you with something that I think is really important. I was in the Middle East on a trip of five countries this past winter, and in Saudi Arabia there seemed to me to be agreement that, regardless of what happens in Iraq, these jihadis that are now there – we don’t know how many, or at least I don’t know how many there are – of 15 to 20,000 bad guys, how many of them are hardcore guys that are going to continue to fight? But regardless of what happens, these people are going to be well trained and be out of a job, and they’re going to disperse into the local countries and continue their work.