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Israel-Hizbullah war - Excellent article...

SamurAchzar

Platinum Member
Feb 15, 2006
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Article

The author is a former Iranian who writes for many major publications around the world. This was published at an Arab newspaper printed in London, IIRC.



LEBANON: THE MYTH OF HEZBOLLAH'S VICTORY
by Amir Taheri
Asharq Alawsat
August 18, 2006

Was it Tacitus who said, "Defeat is an orphan while victory has a thousand fathers"? Whoever said it, the dictum now applies to the latest war between Israel and Hezbollah.

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert boasted of a tactical victory, a day after the United Nations Security Council ordered a ceasefire. President George W Bush has also claimed another victory in his own global war against terrorism, without telling us how or why this was the case.

Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah went further by claiming "a strategic victory" which, taken literally, means that his movement is now in a position to crush not only Israel but also "Global Arrogance", i.e. the United States, in the near future.

A "strategic victory" comes when the initiative passes irrevocably into the hands of one side and against the other. Churchill spoke of "strategic victory" after Allied forces had landed in Normandy on 6 June 1944. Truman spoke of "strategic victory" after US planes had dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

By those standards, it is hard to see the basis for Nasrallah's claim.

Claims of victory have also been made on behalf of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of the Islamic Republic and President Bashar al- Assad of Syria.

In Tehran, the foreign ministry spokesman asserted that Israel had suffered "total defeat", implying that Ahmadinejad's promise of "wiping the Jewish stain of shame off the map" was soon to be realised.

Some Western commentators have echoed that claim, pointing to what they see as an Iranian success against the United States in a proxy war. They believe that Tehran is now in a stronger position to face the diplomatic coalition led by the US on the issue of Iranian nuclear ambitions.

Also in Tehran, Ayatollah Ali- Akbar Mohtashami, the man who created the Lebanese branch of Hezbollah, claimed "victory", presumably for his own genius in setting up the

Shi'ite militia.

There have been even more bizarre claims of victory.

Political allies of Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora see the way the war ended as a victory for his government. None, however, takes the trouble of spelling out in what way this might be the case.

We have also had claims of victory on behalf of the United Nations, the rubber stamp used to bestow an appearance of legitimacy on the most hypocritical of compromises.

Beyond officialdom, debate about "who won" has raged in the Arab world and Israel, not to mention the Western media.

Some Arab writers have continued a long tradition of self-deception that represents every defeat as victory. Others, a new breed, have manifested acute symptoms of self-loathing. Like anti-American Americans who see every evil under the sun as a result of US machination, these anti-Arab Arabs are always ready to think the worst of their people and deny the Arabs any credit whatsoever. A similar situation can be observed in Israel where Jewish self-loathing seems to have a growing constituency.

The Western media have been divided across traditional party lines. Anti-American newspapers have hailed Hezbollah's victory while supporters of the Anglo-Saxon alliance have tried to portray Israel as the victor.

One British newspaper speaks of "a convincing victory" for Hezbollah while another claims that Israel "won by achieving most of its objectives."

When all is said and done, however, such claims and counter-claims are irrelevant. The reason that the protagonists know in the heart of their hearts, what the real situation is. Even those who are delusional genetically know, deep down, whether they have won or lost.

So, what is the ordinary citizen to think of all those claims and counter claims?

The first point that merits consideration is that the world today seldom allows war to do its job to the full.

War occurs when two or more adversaries realise that there are no other means of resolving a political conflict. The task of war is to help the adversaries discover each other's threshold of pain. Once one adversary is pushed to that threshold he would surrender, allowing the war to end with a clear winner and a clear loser.


Nowadays, however, war is not allowed to continue until that threshold of pain is discovered. In most cases, the so-called "international community", symbolised by the UN, intervenes to stop war before it has done its job. As a result, in the past five or six decades, the world has become full of inconclusive wars each of which has bred an even bigger conflict. The mini-war fought between Israel and Hezbollah is no exception.

It was the continuation of their earlier war in 1996, only on a grander scale. The "international community" did not allow the 1996 war to do its job to the full and come up with a winner and a loser. The result was this latest war. This is exactly what has happened again, this time with the new UN-sponsored ceasefire. Because neither side was pushed to his threshold of pain, there is no winner and no loser. And, this is a recipe for a bigger war sooner or later.


Let us consider some questions?

Was Israel hurt enough to think of surrendering or at least to change its overall policy in the Middle East?

What about the United States? Has Bush been hurt enough to abandon his

"Greater Middle East" plans or, at least, stop pushing Iran's back to the wall on the nuclear issue?

Has the Islamic Republic been hurt enough to realise that it cannot challenge the American script for the Middle East through proxy wars?

Has Hezbollah been hurt enough to understand that it cannot offer the Lebanese Shi'ites long-term leadership by dragging them into what is essentially a duel between an aggressive US administration and a defiant Iranian leadership?

The answer to all the above questions is: no.

Israel could have continued to fight for many more months, if not years without its people thinking of running away from the Middle East. Also, Israel has the firepower to blast the whole of Lebanon out of existence had the war pushed it closer to its ultimate threshold of pain.

The US, too, was nowhere close reaching its threshold of pain, even in purely political terms.

Hezbollah could have continued to fight for many more months. Nasrallah's private army was firing an average of 80 missiles at Israel. At that rate, Hezbollah could have continued the missile attacks for at least six months before it ran of supplies. Even then its losses could have been easily made good with fresh supplies from Iran, enabling it, theoretically, to continue attacking Israeli civilian targets forever.

As for Iran, financing and arming Hezbollah represents a very small investment in a big confrontation. The Islamic Republic could keep Hezbollah, and many militias like it, alive for years.

While we cannot be certain who won in this mini-war we can be certain that none of the protagonists were pushed anywhere close to their respective thresholds of pain.

That, however, is not the case with the people of Lebanon who will have to pay the price of the conflicting claims of victory made by the various protagonists. They did come close to their threshold of pain and were clearly not prepared to see the war continue much longer.

That may well be the only good news to come out of this tragedy. Those who wish to plunge Lebanon in another war for whatever reason may have to think twice before they pull the trigger.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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I also regard this as no victory for either side----as both side spin it as a glorious victory----but I am also a chess player---and don't regard this conflict as a stalemated position.
Sooner or later a conflicted position such as this will reach a resoluition if present trends continue---but not anytime soon---and for now, any fan of terrorism and random death can leap for joy as much new blood will be spilled in the near future as the power of each side to shed blood increases.

While some of us sitting on the sidelines---and are really puzzled on only one question---namely which side is more in the wrong---can only shake our heads and wonder just how pig headed people can be.--------this 58 year old conflict now stretches all limits of human stupidity.

The question now is how this conflict can be fairly settled?---------and at this point----I still think a settlement will have to be imposed from outside---because those too close to the conflict are too emotionally involved to think clearly---and are acting like bratty children run amock.
 

SamurAchzar

Platinum Member
Feb 15, 2006
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You know exactly how can this be settled. There's absolutely no justification for the very existence of Hizbullah - not as an armed movement, at least. Disarm it completely, make Lebanon a normal country again (one with no independent army policing it's borders) and isolate Lebanon from the Syrian-Iranian axis of evil. Then it won't have any reason not to sign a peace agreement with Israel, as these countries have no disputes whatsoever.

Isn't that just too logical?
 

Aimster

Lifer
Jan 5, 2003
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Originally posted by: SamurAchzar
You know exactly how can this be settled. There's absolutely no justification for the very existence of Hizbullah - not as an armed movement, at least. Disarm it completely, make Lebanon a normal country again (one with no independent army policing it's borders) and isolate Lebanon from the Syrian-Iranian axis of evil. Then it won't have any reason not to sign a peace agreement with Israel, as these countries have no disputes whatsoever.

Isn't that just too logical?
well Israel needs to give back that Golan Heights area to syria/lebanon.

Let them battle out who it belongs to and then Hezbollah wont have anything to nag about.

I dont see why Israel is still occupying it. It doesnt belong to them. Once Israel gives it back Hezbollah will have no excuse for having weapons.
 

Red Dawn

Elite Member
Jun 4, 2001
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So what do you suggest, we just let Israel go at it with Hezbollah and Lebanon and then Iran and Sryia? Don't you think that Israel will suffer more if this happens? I surely hope that you don't think that the USA needs to join in that folly as it will never happen.
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,520
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Originally posted by: SamurAchzar
You know exactly how can this be settled. There's absolutely no justification for the very existence of Hizbullah - not as an armed movement, at least. Disarm it completely, make Lebanon a normal country again (one with no independent army policing it's borders) and isolate Lebanon from the Syrian-Iranian axis of evil. Then it won't have any reason not to sign a peace agreement with Israel, as these countries have no disputes whatsoever.

Isn't that just too logical?
It doesn't matter how it looks to us, what matters is how the Lebanese people see it...and what they've seen in the last month is Israel bombing the crap out of them, and Hezbollah (in their minds) fighting to defend them and help them rebuild. The Lebanese people have no reason to trust Israel, and Israel's recent actions have made Hezbollah look like the good guys to many people in Lebanon. I highly doubt that the Lebanese people are exactly eager to disarm Hezbollah and trust the Israelis.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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The reason this current escalation is so dangerous can be summed up in a few points.

1. The conflict has now jumped the shark---its no longer the arab state that is a danger to Israel---its now the terrorist--who are organized in large and small groups.

2. Israel now confuses the terrorist with the State---when the terrorist is stateless---and is still acting without the knowledge or consent of the State. Expect that concept to be tested
in States other than Lebanon in the near future. If Israel then bombs the infrastructure of that State--depite the best efforts of the arab State itself to prevent the terrorists from acting
within its borders------this will quickly turn into a kill them before they kill me conflict.

3. Israel is now somewhat wacked out---and seem to think they are morally superior to an arab---any arab---and therefore have a right of life and death over their neighbors. A delusion a superior military has allowed them build up to the point where its a total full blown national Psychosis that has developed. Of course the hatreds are creating a similar effect on the other side. The point being the numerically more numerous side can somewhat afford having a small proportion of its population join the extremests----and the smaller side can't---but when Israel collectively goes Psychotic---there is no internal voice of reason to say you are going too far.---which then risks the entire world siding against a totally irrational and out of control small State--by stomping it out like a bug----a very effective cure for delusions of grandeur.---and something that has happened three times in recorded Jewish history.

What could Israel then do---nuke the UN?

 

imported_dna

Golden Member
Aug 14, 2006
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Originally posted by: Lemon law
2. Israel now confuses the terrorist with the State---when the terrorist is stateless---and is still acting without the knowledge or consent of the State. Expect that concept to be tested
in States other than Lebanon in the near future. If Israel then bombs the infrastructure of that State--depite the best efforts of the arab State itself to prevent the terrorists from acting
within its borders------this will quickly turn into a kill them before they kill me conflict.
What you refer to as collective punishment has been used many times in the past, and is still used against Cuba and North Korea (but I don't hear you complain about that), and might be used against Iran if they don't stop their nuclear nonsense.

Also, there have been plenty of collective crackdowns in the Arab world. Saddam cracked down on the Shias after the attempted assasination; King Hussein cracked down on the PLO in 1970; many thousands dead due to collective punishment. I'm certain there have been other cases, and along with the other two I've mentioned they put the image of Israeli brutality -- that you are so avidly trying to promote -- to shame.

Stop trying to extract tears of compassion from us, and go watch some more children's videos in order to reaffirm your point of view.

3. Israel is now somewhat wacked out---and seem to think they are morally superior to an arab---any arab---and therefore have a right of life and death over their neighbors.
Funny, I don't recall a systematic dehumanization done in the Israeli media, as it is done in the Arab media (see video link above).

and something that has happened three times in recorded Jewish history.
Ah, the inner Mel Gibson finally emerges. Would the holocaust be one of those "recorded events" that you are thinking of?

Also, would you please stop that quadruple-hyphening? Reading what you write is difficult enough, without having to deal with this bizzare abuse of a punctuation mark.
 

imported_dna

Golden Member
Aug 14, 2006
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Originally posted by: Aimster
well Israel needs to give back that Golan Heights area to syria/lebanon.

Let them battle out who it belongs to and then Hezbollah wont have anything to nag about.

I dont see why Israel is still occupying it. It doesnt belong to them. Once Israel gives it back Hezbollah will have no excuse for having weapons.
The words of a naive, ignorant of history. I think they tried that with Hitler, and it didn't quite work out as expected.

The Golan dominates the area -- using artillery you can reach great distances, and even with light arms you could simply terrorize towns and villages that are at its shadow. Only a fool with no understanding of the implications of surrendering such a strategic area would consider this course of action.

And by the way, Hezbollah had no excuse to hoard weapons, espcecially since Israel got out in 2000. Also, the Shebaa Farms is made up issue.

I suggest you go watch these videos, and then you'll understand why Israel cannot give up any area without great reservations -- not when your neighbours are training their children to hate you. And they also spread lies with impunity. Plenty of interesting videos over there.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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No dna,

I am not thinking of the halocaust----I am thinking of earlier history against the Babolonians, the Egyptians, and the Romans.

And if you read more of what I am saying, you will discover I am not as anti-Israeli as you seem to think---and do support the 1948 creation of Israel.--and its right to exist.

But if there is ever to be a solution of this conflict---certain myths need to be debunked---since this is a mainly USA forum---and the Israelie press has in the past donminated
here, its mainly the Israelie myths I am debunking----were I on an Arabic forum---I would be debunking their slanted propaganda.

But as both the arab world and the Israeli world become increasingly segregated---the dangers increase----only when Israelies and Arabs start co-operating and becoming dependent on each other will a solution become more probable----I become increasingly depressed that a military solution will be the only drum beating.
 

Bitek

Diamond Member
Aug 2, 2001
9,116
3,074
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Originally posted by: dna
Originally posted by: Aimster
well Israel needs to give back that Golan Heights area to syria/lebanon.

Let them battle out who it belongs to and then Hezbollah wont have anything to nag about.

I dont see why Israel is still occupying it. It doesnt belong to them. Once Israel gives it back Hezbollah will have no excuse for having weapons.
The words of a naive, ignorant of history. I think they tried that with Hitler, and it didn't quite work out as expected.

The Golan dominates the area -- using artillery you can reach great distances, and even with light arms you could simply terrorize towns and villages that are at its shadow. Only a fool with no understanding of the implications of surrendering such a strategic area would consider this course of action.

And by the way, Hezbollah had no excuse to hoard weapons, espcecially since Israel got out in 2000. Also, the Shebaa Farms is made up issue.

I suggest you go watch these videos, and then you'll understand why Israel cannot give up any area without great reservations -- not when your neighbours are training their children to hate you. And they also spread lies with impunity. Plenty of interesting videos over there.


That's F'd up. I used to be highly skeptical of Isreal when you see them with tanks when the Arabs are throwning stones, natural tendency to root for the underdog I guess. But then you take a closer look at the situation and you see a lot of these images are not the whole truth. The very nature of the suicide bombing shows that Arabs would rather kill their children than live with the Jews. I wonder if vids like these were as well publicized as the Isreali bombing campaign in Leb if world attitutes would be more sympatheitic to Isreal.

Instead the West seems so afraid of the arabs, we won't print cartoons bc they'll get offended and riot and burn their own cities down, but narry a word when it comes to condemning radicalization videos. Hez was intentionally shooting missles at civilian areas, but we the world really only seemed to condemn Isreal when they accidently killed civilains while shooting at Hez fighters hinding amonst civilians for cover, hoping their own people would get killed to then gardner sympathy in the world media. The arabs are the world's biggest drama queens and the West falls for it. Isreal may be reckless, but the jihadis are calculating murderers.
 

imported_dna

Golden Member
Aug 14, 2006
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You have yet to debunk any myth; on the contrary ? you have been reinforcing old myths against Israel, and inventing new ones.

You talk of this moral superiority complex, as if it were common knowledge ? akin to the refugee myth. Would you be so kind and to provide us some evidence to that ?psychosis? that goes beyond the we-are-better-than-anyone-else notion that is prevalent within any group, e.g. Russians, Italians, etc.

Also, just the fact that you have to go at least 2,000 years back in order to justify your arguments already says something. Trying to compare the situation now, with events that took place over 2,000 years ago is simply beyond reason, just for the simple fact that we do not have a full and accurate account of what took place. Once you've provided the details, your argument became immeasurably weakened.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
29,683
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Originally posted by: Lemon law
I become increasingly depressed that a military solution will be the only drum beating.
That was already decided by Hizbollah waging war.

Originally posted by: Aimster
well Israel needs to give back that Golan Heights area to syria/lebanon.

Let them battle out who it belongs to and then Hezbollah wont have anything to nag about.

I dont see why Israel is still occupying it. It doesnt belong to them. Once Israel gives it back Hezbollah will have no excuse for having weapons.
Appeasement so you can achieve another "Peace for our time"? I find those ridiculous assertions. Hizbollah needs no excuse for its weapons; they are sworn to kill Israel and her Allies.

If you get what you want, what then? Hizbollah finds another excuse, and who in the world is going to call them on it? Lebanon has sworn not to disarm Hizbollah. The UN is NOT acting to disarm Hizbollah. Israel was until the UN stepped in. Long story short, no one is going to disarm them.
 

dahunan

Lifer
Jan 10, 2002
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I just wish we could takeover their tv stations and put on Mohammed and Friends Cartoon Network and watch them all riot and destroy themselves :laugh:
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
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Nowadays, however, war is not allowed to continue until that threshold of pain is discovered. In most cases, the so-called "international community", symbolised by the UN, intervenes to stop war before it has done its job. As a result, in the past five or six decades, the world has become full of inconclusive wars each of which has bred an even bigger conflict. The mini-war fought between Israel and Hezbollah is no exception.

It was the continuation of their earlier war in 1996, only on a grander scale. The "international community" did not allow the 1996 war to do its job to the full and come up with a winner and a loser. The result was this latest war. This is exactly what has happened again, this time with the new UN-sponsored ceasefire. Because neither side was pushed to his threshold of pain, there is no winner and no loser. And, this is a recipe for a bigger war sooner or later.
qft

btw we do this a lot in Africa as well.
 

Orignal Earl

Diamond Member
Oct 27, 2005
8,059
55
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Originally posted by: SamurAchzar
Article

The author is a former Iranian who writes for many major publications around the world. This was published at an Arab newspaper printed in London, IIRC.
This author caused a little stir up here back a couple months ago

Amir Taheri is an Iranian-born journalist and author based in Europe.

His writings focus on the Middle East affairs and topics related to Islamist terrorism.

Mr. Taheri's public speaking engagements are arranged by Benador Associates, a public relations firm with a predominantly neoconservative clientele.

On May 19, 2006, the National Post of Canada published two pieces, one by Taheri, claiming that the Iranian parliament passed a law that "envisages separate dress codes for religious minorities, Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, who will have to adopt distinct colour schemes to make them identifiable in public." [1]

The National Post retracted the story several hours after it was posted online. The newspaper blamed Taheri for the falsehood in the article, [2] [3] and published a full apology on May 24. [4]

Taheri apparently stands by his reportage

Amir Taheri
 

imported_dna

Golden Member
Aug 14, 2006
1,755
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Originally posted by: Genx87
qft

btw we do this a lot in Africa as well.
Bullshit. I'm sure regular people in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt couldn't care less about Israel, but they are constrantly bombarded with misinformation, and are goaded towards a state of hatered towards Israel. Watch the videos, and you'll see why it is a never ending cycle.

If you get rid of that cleric and others like him, then those children will grow up like normal kids do, and as adults they will be more concerned with their own position in their society, instead of a phantom enemy. At the end of the day people just want to work, earn money, advance in society, enjoy life. It is those in power, or those who wish to gain power, that are diverting the masses attention towards unworthy goals.

I'm sure that if you put a bullet in the heads of those so-called leaders of whatever factions in Africa, then things will calm down. Cut off the head, and the body will follow.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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Maybe we all need to look at examples from elsewhere-----in the Balkins---where Islam and Christians have battled for at least a millinium---as control of the region passed from one side to the other like some socker ball---and racial hatreds are passed along with mothers milk to every new born infant.

One of Hitler's unintended consequences was to unite Moslem and Christian in common cause to resist a common Nazi foe---and under Tito Yugoslavia flowered into a tolerant nation.
When Tito died, opportunist politicians played the race card and the Baulkins once again became a place where ugly human racial clensing became the new order of the day. Even though a peace was imposed from without, I am optimistic that for now, this region is healing---and its people have learned a lesson that exploiting hatreds hurts all.

Sadly I see no similar hope in the mid-east---where the various sides are totally segregated---and with no common cause or enenemy to unite against.---will it take hot-heads on both sides to ignite a war of unimagnable savagery to convince the few remaining survivors left that hatreds must in future be defused?
 

Buck Armstrong

Platinum Member
Dec 17, 2004
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I disagree with the premise. World War II ended several age-old regional conflicts for good. Why? Because the Allies decided to accept nothing less than total victory, and to occupy the Axis powers with overwhelming numbers for as long as it took. And it worked. Germany and Japan became marvels of modern democracy and economic power almost overnight, and their militarist cultures, which stretched back beyond the Middle Ages, were changed forever.

You can't compare that to Vietnam or Iraq, where we went in with our hands tied behind our backs and without the will to do what it takes to win. Today, we expect precision bombing to win entire wars without causing a single civilian casualty, and it proves to be a pipe-dream every time. Its just not possible to win a half-ass war...so you either commit totally, or you have no business getting involved in the first place. The result of the former is the total destruction of the enemy's armed forces, the utter exhaustion of an entire generation of fighting age, and the complete occupation of their country until it is reborn and rebuilt (as in WWII), while the result of the latter is an eternal war, with every single airstrike creating more enemies.
 

Buck Armstrong

Platinum Member
Dec 17, 2004
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Originally posted by: Aisengard
Germany and Japan became marvels of modern democracy and economic power almost overnight
Well, Western Germany and Japan at any rate :)
I see your point, but had East Germany not been split off in a futile effort to stop progress, it would've enjoyed the same results. For most of Germany's history before WWII, that part of the country was one of the strongest and most productive, and in fact was most responsible for Germany's unification in the first place (1870s).
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
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Originally posted by: Buck Armstrong
I disagree with the premise. World War II ended several age-old regional conflicts for good. Why? Because the Allies decided to accept nothing less than total victory, and to occupy the Axis powers with overwhelming numbers for as long as it took. And it worked. Germany and Japan became marvels of modern democracy and economic power almost overnight, and their militarist cultures, which stretched back beyond the Middle Ages, were changed forever.

You can't compare that to Vietnam or Iraq, where we went in with our hands tied behind our backs and without the will to do what it takes to win. Today, we expect precision bombing to win entire wars without causing a single civilian casualty, and it proves to be a pipe-dream every time. Its just not possible to win a half-ass war...so you either commit totally, or you have no business getting involved in the first place. The result of the former is the total destruction of the enemy's armed forces, the utter exhaustion of an entire generation of fighting age, and the complete occupation of their country until it is reborn and rebuilt (as in WWII), while the result of the latter is an eternal war, with every single airstrike creating more enemies.
But how does that work when the enemy is not nation states but state-less groups of radicals? Applying direct force doesn't work, and applying MORE direct force isn't going to work any better.

And I think it's worth pointing out that we DID what you suggest with Iraq, we crushed the armed forces of Iraq and fully occupied the country (although not with the number of troops experts recommended). While occupation and reconstruction in Germany and Japan went on for many years, there was not the kind of resistance we see in Iraq. The situations just aren't the same...
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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I am still amazed by any who think Israel can win this conflict in a war of extermination.---even with its present military hegmony.

Any who hopes for a such a victory---one side or the other totally prevailing in a war of extermination of this nature must conclude that this is an option that only the more numerous arabs have---while Israel must first exterminate Lebanon and Syria---then take on Egypt, Iran, Jordan, and some more---all the while occupying what they failed to totally exterminate.

As a nation of a mere 6 million people tries to occupy a huge area while its supply lines get ever stretched.
 

Buck Armstrong

Platinum Member
Dec 17, 2004
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Originally posted by: Rainsford
But how does that work when the enemy is not nation states but state-less groups of radicals?
That is a damn good question...and probably THE question....but I don't have the answer.

Originally posted by: Rainsford
And I think it's worth pointing out that we DID what you suggest with Iraq, we crushed the armed forces of Iraq and fully occupied the country (although not with the number of troops experts recommended).
We absolutely DID NOT do the same thing in Iraq. First of all, we didn't "crush" their armed forces, we took their weapons and let them go free, and we didn't even try to retain any of them as a core for a later army or police force. Secondly, we didn't "fully occupy" Iraq; instead, we sent in only 140,000 troops, because our idiot president thought the entire nation would turn out and throw flowers at the mere mention of esoteric words like "freedom" and "democracy". He was clearly wrong. First, you occupy the country in such force as to be able to actually enforce security and rule of law and order; then you worry about democracy. A "free vote" doesn't mean sh*t if half the populace is still getting blown up just trying to buy groceries or go to work.

We failed exactly because we did not "do the same thing" as we had with Germany and Japan. Sorry, but if you decide to knock over a country's government, then you are taking responsibility for filling the breach and putting them back on their feet. Watching $9 billion be carted away in wheelbarrows to be spent God knows where is NOT the same as the Marshall Plan.
 

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