Sunday, July 18, 2004

It’s Time To Take Off The Gloves

by Ray Starmann
After the end of the first Gulf War in 1991, I was stopped by a resident of Damman, Saudi Arabia. He looked at me and remarked, “We thought America was a weak country, but you are strong, very strong indeed.” While temporarily vanquishing the ghosts of Vietnam, the Gulf War also showed our enemies and friends across the world that an angered America was a lethal foe in the arena of war. To the Saudis and the other Arab peoples, the U.S. military was once again the bad boy on the block. In two rounds, we had KO’d the local Iraqi bully into a bleeding, retreating, crying pulp.
Now, almost three years since 9/11 and over a year since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the United States appears more as a dithering, withering opponent than a mighty superpower. As we battle a re-burgeoning Taliban in Afghanistan, fight through a nebulous abyss in Iraq, and tangle with radical Islamic maniacs in two dozen nations, we must ask ourselves the following question: Why are we obsessed with fighting a world war by politically correct rules that would make the Marquis of Queensbury blush?
The time has come to take off the gloves and win this war.We must first adjust our philosophy. The War on Terror is not a conflict limited to one area. It is a world war. It is also total war.
 Our enemies are currently waging total war against us. It is time we waged total war against them. While Al Qaeda guerillas kidnap and behead our citizens in Saudi Arabia, we are still afraid to mutter that terrible “C” word, crusade. To borrow a line from Ike, this is also a “Great Crusade” and if the PC crowd can’t deal with it, that’s too damn bad.
 The War on Terror is a clash of civilizations. Our free republic, allied with the civilizations of Western European democracy are continuing a fight started over a thousand years ago. Our Muslim enemies are the embodiment of evil. They seek to kill any who do not conform to their ideas of a twisted, religious theocracy. If they were to win, the world would be plunged into a new, barbaric, dark age for a millennium. The president and many other leaders seem unwilling to label the War on Terror as a religious war. Our enemies know it is. We know it too, but are unwilling to admit it, on the grounds of insulting someone, somewhere. This is a war of Muslim extremists against Judeo-Christian civilization. Labeling it any other way would be ludicrous.President Bush has remarked on more than one occasion that the War on Terror may last years, perhaps a decade or longer. I believe this theory is based on the fact that the War on Terror is still being viewed as largely a conflict that will be won by small police actions, special operations and HUMINT investigations. Certainly, they have a role to play, but the war on terror must be won by the heart of our conventional military forces.
For it is only with the combat power of our conventional forces that victory can be assured. The “let’s bring ‘em to justice” mentality must be completely abandoned. There are no more courts, lawsuits or lawyers for this enemy. There is only a violent death awaiting them at the hands of the U.S. military. We have consistently fought the War on Terror with the conservatism of a Montgomery and the might of Mr. Bill.
In Afghanistan, we let Bin Laden and his minions escape the caves of Tora Bora because we were afraid to take the fight to him in that rugged terrain. Instead, we had the Afghans fight our battle and in Afghan style, a deal was made and the emissary of evil fled. Fallujah and the Sunni Triangle still remains a bastion of terrorism and Muslim extremism. Worst of all, the Iraqis know we lost the Battle of Fallujah. We justified reasons for retreating and abandoned the area after repeatedly promising to wipe out the insurgents. In the long, glorious history of the U.S. Marine Corps this is nothing less than a total disgrace.
Fallujah is not going to go away until we deal a death knell to it. We must give all women and children 24 hours to evacuate the city, than finally seize it. Our so-called “Shock and Awe” air campaign in Iraq looked more like a giant swatting flies. More concerned with hurting one lone civilian than striking terror into the hearts of the enemy, the air campaign appeared to be orchestrated by JAG lawyers more worried about violating international law. A round-the-clock, two week long air campaign using thousands of planes would have done the job. A follow-on invasion force of 300,000 to 500,000 troops was also needed. During World War II, the Nazi Werwolf (guerilla) movement never took hold in Bavaria for the following key reasons: We invaded the country with a gigantic force, we moved quickly and violently, and our bombing campaign also terrified the local population into submission.
After securing Afghanistan and Iraq, we must finally deal with Syria and Iran. We must launch full-scale invasions of both countries and take down two regimes that have spread terrorism for 25 years. If necessary, we may also have to occupy Saudi Arabia. This can only be accomplished with a much larger military.To accomplish this, the U.S. Army must be expanded to at least twenty active-duty divisions. The Pentagon Powerpoint magicians still portray a successful, healthy volunteer Army. Behind the smoke and mirrors is a basic fact; the volunteer Army is dying. Young people are not signing up in droves. Therefore, there is only one solution. We must begin a draft. It’s time to get the whole nation involved in the War on Terror. The draft must include people of all classes, from all walks of society. We must return to an Army that represents the whole nation, not just the lower and middle classes.
The Reserves and National Guard must stop being utilized as active-duty troops. They should be used for homeland security. Particularly, the National Guard should be placed on the Mexican border with the mission of halting illegal alien traffic into the country. Civilians should also become involved in various homeland security capacities.We must also amend the ridiculous screening rules at airports. Security screeners must focus on the people who are trying to kill us: people from Middle Eastern countries and other nations which are predominantly Muslim.
The Italian grandmother from Chicago, the Texas man with the Charlie Daniels belt buckle, the minister from Wisconsin are probably not terrorists. Stop spending time and resources doing lengthy searches on them. Finally, as we fight this war, we must remember the words of William Shakespeare, written almost 500 years ago.“Arm yourselves and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict, for it is better for us to perish in battle, than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar.” Ray Starmann is a Contributing Editor of DefenseWatch. He can be reached at Send Feedback responses to

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