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The Terrorists are Losing Just Like the White Russians

The Mystery of the Insurgency: “But insurgents in Iraq appear to be fighting for varying causes: Baath Party members are fighting for some sort of restoration of the old regime; Sunni Muslims are presumably fighting to prevent domination by the Shiite majority; nationalists are fighting to drive out the Americans; and foreign fighters want to turn Iraq into a battlefield of a global religious struggle. Some men are said to fight for money; organized crime may play a role.”By 1919 it was easy to see that a horrible regime had taken control of Russia. It was breaking Russian tradition and intent on destroying the character of the nation. Strongly religious Russians could never make their peace with this regime. Nationalist Russians felt (because it had come with German support) that it was a foreign ideology imposed on them by a friendly occupying army. The Communists lost the only free election held at the time badly. They broke the government elected and took control by force.As a result, civil war broke out in Russian. How could the tiny Communist party win? How could a madman like Lenin be allowed to destroy an entire nation and way of life?Smart money bet on the opposition.However, the Whites (as opposed to the Communist Reds) were never really a single movement. They were composed of tsarist factions, thugs, socialists, democrats, simple farmers who hated talk of collective farms, and ethnic groups that desired autonomy from the central state. Almost the only thing that unified them was hatred of the Communists. Any time they made progress winning the hearts and minds of the peoples of the old Russian Empire the anti-Semites and the thugs would set things back. There was no real White Russian government or political program. With the Communists, you knew what you were getting and perhaps it would better. Who knew for sure in 1919?The Communists also had a unified command structure, better generals, and a consistent (albeit evil) ideology to offer. As a result, despite all their disadvantages (and they were huge), the Communists prevailed. They even did so fairly easily. The bad guys won because they had the four keys to success in winning a national struggle: a coherent ideology, the best army (with foreign aid), control of the cities and elites, and an opposition that they kept divided and on the run for most of the struggle. The Whites got some foreign help, but it was half-hearted and ineffective. In some ways it was counter-productive because it allowed the Communists to ignore their own foreign aid (German) and accuse the Whites of aiding “invaders.”The result of the Civil War was hardly ever in doubt.The good news from Iraq is that the bad guys are in a worse position than the Whites in 1919.The terrorists have no unifying ideology. They are always on the run and every “victory” is followed by a crushing defeat. The “insurgents” do not have any figures that are as charismatic as Kolchak, Wrangel, or Deniken (White leaders) were in the Russian Civil War and that is damning the insurgent leaders indeed. The insurgents unlike the Whites have no armies at all. Unlike the Whites there is no single region of the nation where they are safe (as the Whites were in the Cossack region the Russian Empire).The democrats in Iraq and their American allies have a coherent democratic ideology. They have far and away the best army and the only real generals. They control the cities, media, and elite opinion. They are keeping the opposition on the run. The American presence in Iraq is benign and almost utopian when compared to the German occupation of the most productive third of Russia and the actions of the Communist butchers in Moscow. Americans are just much harder to hate than Lenin and company and are providing much less pretext to keep the opposition going.I cannot think of a single asset that the bad guys in Iraq have.In short, there is no chance that the bad guys can win in Iraq if we stay. Their external help is limited to under the table aid from nations like Syria and Iran . . . much less than what the Whites received from Britain, Japan, and the United States. Potential allies such as Syria and Iran are rightly afraid to help them openly knowing we will crush them if they do. In short, this is nothing like Vietnam. . . it is more like Russia in 1922 and this time the good guys have learned history’s lessons and will win. –

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