Hezbollah’s Iwo Jima

The American Thinker compares Hezbollah’s strategy in Lebanon to Imperial Japan’s strategy on Iwo Jima:

The pro-Iranian, Lebanese Shiite terrorist organization has turned a number of southern Lebanese hillsides and towns into fortified death-traps. It has spent the better part of the past six years since the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon turning several hilltop towns into an Iwo Jima-like maze of fortified bunkers, spider holes, pill-boxes, sniper dens, fields of anti-tank mines and IEDs, and interconnected tunnels.

Over whatever time remains before the conflict is forced to end, the IDF will take apart the Hezbollah terrorist-guerrillas that made the ultimate error of remaining in fixed positions. It is Hezbollah that is stoked in the passions and delusions of over-confidence. If Hezbollah takes comfort from fighting in fixed positions, they need only brush up on Napoleon, who said “the army that remains in its forts is beaten.” Or perhaps read up on how General Kuribayashi Tadamichi’s Japanese force of 21,000 at Iwo Jima was reduced by the United States Marines to just over 120 POWs (an additional 900 wounded were captured).

I’m glad someone else notices the similarities here. I’ve been thinking along these lines for awhile now.
More Iwo-esque commentary:
Theodisy
Update: Steve Schippert at ThreatsWatch.org thinks Hezbollah’s on the ropes. Maybe so, if Israel stays focused on crushing the Hezbos where they sit, andif the IDF can do it fast enough to beat the unspoken deadline (defined as “the point when political pressure inevitably weakens the Bush Administration’s willingness to delay a ceasefire”).
Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt

It’s time for cyberwar

I’ve read through the National Security Strategy for 2006 released last Friday by the White House, and overall it’s a hardheaded and realistic approach to dealing with current and future enemies. However, I think they missed something: aggressively conducting cyber warfare against jihadi web sites and bulletin boards.
For years now it’s been common knowledge (even in the mainstream media) that the Islamists use web sites and online bulletin boards to coordinate their efforts and recruit new adherents to their cause. They also use encrypted e-mail to transmit commands, coordinate their finances and handle logistics. The jihadis expertly manipulate the media into broadcasting their calls to jihad, their videotaped bombings, and worst of all the beheading of hostages.
Encouraging words, but where’s the follow-up?
Continuing a theme he’s advanced since 2002, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld noted last month:

We are fighting a battle where the survival of our free way of life is at stake. And the center of gravity of that struggle is not just on the battlefield. It is a test of wills and it will be won or lost with our public and the publics of free nations across the globe. We will need to do all we can to attract supporters to our efforts, to correct the lies being told which so damage our country, and shatter the appeal of the enemy. [emphasis added]

My first reaction to the speech was, “Great! Let’s start taking down their websites and bulletin boards and e-mail servers.” Based on Secretary Rumsfeld’s comments, I figured that there’d be something along those lines in today’s new National Security Strategy … but I don’t see it in there.
4/4/2007 Update: Is the behemoth finally waking up? Maybe.

Is China the threat we assume it to be?

Australian optimist Arthur Chrenkoff looks northward toward China and reads the tea leaves to see if future conflict with America is really a foregone conclusion. Chrenkoff gathers disparate threads from the news that demonstrate China’s ambition to control East and Central Asia (military buildups, diplomatic overtures, business deals), but then throws in an interesting wild card I hadn’t thought much about recently: the rise of Christianity in Chinese culture, especially among that society’s elites.
Fascinating stuff.
But I wonder … whatever happened to China’s secretive Assassin’s Mace program? It sure has dropped from sight in the news, but that doesn’t mean a doggone thing. Anybody have any news about it?
One other wild card comes to mind: capitalism (see Dinocrat’s related post). If free market economics continue to make inroads into Chinese society, can China long remain a communist nation? If it does become some sort of democracy or republic, then it would be much less likely to clash militarily with America. After all, democracies don’t attack each other.
Definitely something to ponder.

UPDATE: More China blogging from Why are all the good names gone …

From Reuters, we have “U.S. Warns Iran Over Missiles, Punishes Chinese Firms.” Since the release of Seymour Hersh’s article on Monday, MSM sources have turned an increasingly sharp eye toward anything involving Iranian friction with the U.S.
Oddly, no official announcement of the sanctions was made, leading me to wonder if this is because the United States has no desire to highlight disagreements with China over Iran. Considering U.S. efforts to highlight Iran’s intransigence, I would have otherwise expected this to receive more play from the administration:

The most indepth coverage was provided in the Times. I found the end of the article to be the most informative. China is a high-growth country with ever-expanding energy needs. Considering the fact that U.S. interest in the Middle East stems largely from a desire to meet its own energy needs, our position on the “moral high ground” regarding the spread of WMD is based primarily on the same sort of realistic calculations China has made in seeking to secure its own national interests:

The article suggests that Chinese nonproliferation efforts are taken more as an economic step (to avoid U.S. sanctions) than out of genuine concern for the spread of WMD and delivery system technology:

Talk of China and its expanding role in regions such as the Middle East reminds me of the recently waged debate within the EU regarding an end to the current arms embargo levied on China.
I’ve discussed the idea of political realism outweighing the notion of “shared values” here and here. Steps by some members of the EU (most specifically France) to court China as a strategic balancing point to U.S. influence serve as a reminder that national interests often take precedence over shared values.

Interesting Iranian/French angle. It can be maddening, trying to keep everyone’s hidden agendas straight in one’s mind.
Want to get really complex? Throw into the mix Colin Powell’s recent statements revising America’s stance on the “One China” policy, which appear to leave Taiwan twisting in the wind (presumably in exchange for an as-yet-unmentioned something from China). I wonder what Condi Rice will have to say about this (if anything)?
UPDATE 2: Finally! The shipping lane map I’ve been hoping for! Great find by Little Red Blog, along with more good analysis on the EU-China arms connection.
UPDATE 3: This post has merged at high speed into today’s Beltway Traffic Jam.

Marine shoots wounded(?) terrorist

NBC correspondent Kevin Sites, embedded with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, videotaped a Marine on Saturday shooting an apparently wounded and unarmed terrorist in a Fallujah mosque.

On the video, as the camera moved into the mosque during the Saturday incident, a Marine can be heard shouting obscenities in the background, yelling that one of the men was only pretending to be dead.
The video then showed a Marine raising his rifle toward a prisoner lying on the floor of the mosque. The video shown by NBC and provided to the network pool was blacked out at that point and did not show the bullet hitting the man. But a rifle shot could be heard.
The blacked out portion of the video tape, provided later to Associated Press Television News and other members of the network pool, showed the bullet striking the man in the upper body, possibly the head. His blood splatters on the wall behind him and his body goes limp.
Sites reported a Marine in the same unit had been killed just a day earlier when he tended to the booby-trapped dead body of an insurgent.

Here’s Sites’ description.
The Marine in question stands accused of violating the rules of engagement, and has been removed from the front pending an investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Before we all rush to judgment, let’s calm down a little bit. This is a combat zone we’re talking about, and a very dirty one at that. Keep in mind that our side isn’t the bunch that decapitates hostages, targets civilians, fakes white flags, and lures the opposition in with fake wounded. There could very well be a satisfactory explanation tht mitigates what seems (at first glance) to be a war crime. Give the NCIS time.
Not everything, including this …

Colonel Loan executes a VC prisoner

… is what it seems.
More blogging:
Winds of Change
Wizbang
Right On Red
Blogs of War
Armies of Liberation
InTheBullpen.com
Conservative Revolution
ISOU
Say Anything
The Shape of Days
PoliPundit
Ace of Spades
American Soldier

UPDATE: More on treatment of enemy wounded in Fallujah, courtesy of The Command Post. Also, see cameraman Kevin Sites’ blog.

Keep driving and don’t make eye contact

L.A. Indymedia has video of two Marine LAVs (not “tanks” as claimed) that showed up at an International ANSWER protest outside the Westwood Federal Building on Tuesday. Watch the video to see how compassionate lefties treat the troops they claim to support.
So was this an episode of repression? Did AshKKKroft send jackbooted thugs to crush dissent wherever it sprouts? Uh, not exactly. The Marines got lost on their way to a Veterans Day parade and celebration.

I talked to one Marine with one of the “Striker” vehicles. He told me they had driven the vehicles up from Camp Pendleton the night before (Tuesday) on the freeway. Getting off the 405 Freeway going north, they would have passed Wilshire and Veteran where ANSWER had called a rally to protest the attack on Fallujah in Iraq.
I asked him if he was “rolling around Westwood” Tuesday night. He said, “Yeah, and we drove past that anti-war demonstration. We was lost. We’re not from L.A. We didn’t know where this place (WLA VA) was. We were trying to find it.”
“Did you drive around the block twice?” I asked.
“Yeah, we did. We stopped to ask them (the protestors) directions, but they weren’t very nice.”

I wonder if the LAV guys need any bumper stickers?
Hat tip: Passionate America

Muslim death cultists aren’t subhuman

Again with the beheadings.

Today the Islamists have sawn off the head of Jack Hensley of Marietta, Georgia. Yesterday they sawed off the head of Eugene Armstrong of Hillsdale, Michigan.
I’m not surprised. Hopefully we’ll preserve our collective outrage over this, but I suspect this kind of thing’s already becoming blas&#233 in our jaded and media-saturated culture. Amid all the outrage expressed in the blogosphere, I’ve noticed a theme that needs correcting if we’re going to keep the right perspective. My blogging brethren often express their fury with epithets like “animals” and “subhuman scum” when they refer to the evil men who saw off captives’ heads in the name of a “merciful Allah.” It’s understandable to use those labels, but it’s not right because it lets these evil muslims off the hook for their actions.

We feel anger when we find out about these slaughters precisely because these evil men are more than just animals. They’re people, and that means they know better. When a cougar mauls a child, we hunt it down and kill it without much passion because it’s a dumb animal with no sense of morality. When men shoot fleeing children in the back or saw off the heads of helpless civilians, they earn our undying enmity because they know they’re committing evil.

For you left-leaning readers who feel uncomfortable with arguments based on right and wrong, think of this from a legal perspective. The Model Penal Code (which forms the basis for many states’ criminal codes) breaks down most crimes into four categories, asking whether the perpetrator committed the crime negligently, recklessly, knowingly, or purposefully. If a man fires a gun through a flimsy backstop in his backyard and the bullet accidentally kills his neighbor’s child, we’ll likely prosecute him for negligent homicide. But we hold him less culpable than the man who recklessly fires his gun into the air and kills the child playing in her yard two streets over. Worse still is the man who fires his rifle over a crowd of children, knowing he’ll probably kill someone. Worst of all is the man who fires a bullet into a fleeing child’s back for the purpose of killing her. Even our legal system emphasizes degrees of culpability and the importance of the perpetrator’s state of mind. It’s about as close to moral condemnation as our relativistic legal system ever gets.

I think the moral argument and our inherent sense of right and wrong provides the strongest foundation for holding these evil muslims responsible as people who consciously choose to do evil. You might find the legal approach more comfortable. Either way, intentions count for a lot.

From now on, I’m going to try extra hard not to understate the depths that these men have sunk to. I’m not going to call them animals or subhuman scum; these muslim death cultists are evil, and that’s why I’ll smile when they die violent and painful deaths.

I hope my fellow bloggers will do the same.

Derb is pessimistic about America’s grit

John Derbyshire stops just shy of a “kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out” approach to our enemies, but he thinks America will stop short of decisive victory in Iraq because our culture is too squeamish to annihilate the enemy.

Consider, for example, those news photographs we see every couple of days, of streets thronged with fired-up young men — in Fallujah, or Gaza, or Tehran — waving their fists, or sometimes automatic weapons, carrying pictures of some imam, or bearing the coffin of some tribal panjandrum we have killed. When I see one of those pictures, my thoughts run along the following lines. These young men hate us. Nothing we do will make them stop hating us, and pretty much any action we take in our own rational self-interest will end with them hating us more. The right thing to do is to kill them, while they are all conveniently gathered together like this. These demos go on for hours. We have spy satellites, remote-controlled drones, and so on. Why don’t we take these people out? What are daisy-cutters for?
These are not, I admit, very charitable thoughts. I can’t see anything wrong with them, though. War consists mainly in one bunch of fired-up young men setting out to kill another bunch of fired-up young men. Wars are won when one side runs out of young men, or out of fire-up. They don’t end until then. Our problem in Iraq, basically, it seems to me, is that we have not killed enough fired-up young male Iraqis insistent on killing innocents.

He’s dead on target about the nature of victory in war, but I hope to God that Derb’s underestimating our lack of guts. The Islamofascists suffer from no such weakness.