Retired Military Expert; “Preventative Military Strikes”
By James Donahue
With all of the saber rattling and war threats coming out of the White House over
the Iranian issue, much like the rhetoric from the Bush Administration prior to our attack on Iraq, we wonder if it has occurred
to our military leaders how dangerous “first strike” military confrontations have been throughout history.
An excellent editorial comment by writers Bill Burkett and Mike Hersh, in the
Online Journal warns about the "slippery slope" Mr. Bush wanted to lead us into in the days before he launched the Iraq invasion.
"History teaches us the folly of 'preventive war.' It almost always backfires.
Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany plunged Europe into World War I and his nation into ruin by attacking his neighbors in the name
of defense. Imperial Japan awoke a slumbering giant and assured its own demise with its 'preemptive strike' at Pearl Harbor.
In a world of only one superpower, any unprovoked military attack by the US risks alienating our allies and fomenting an international
realignment in which we stand alone against the world."
As it has turned out, after destroying the Iraq culture and infrastructure, murdering
perhaps a million or more innocent civilians and laying the foundations for a civil war that may rage on for years, the United
States is now attempting to get its forces out of Iraq after a decade of constant war. And as it was in Vietnam, we are exiting
Iraq in silent defeat. The leadership is not calling it defeat. But that is what it is. After throwing our country trillions
of dollars in debt, and leaving a nation in crumbling ruins, we are at long last giving up on Iraq.
Now, with the constant urging of Israel, we are hearing political leadership speak
of a similar assault on Iran because of rumors that there is nuclear research going on there, and there is a fear that the
Iranians are trying to build a nuclear bomb. This, according to a recent New York Times story, has not been proven, however.
Russia is supporting the Iranian nuclear project. Iran claims to only be interested in building an electric generating facility.
Both Russia and China, which neighbor Iran, are interested in that nation’s
untapped resources of oil. Is the U.S. motive also linked to the Iranian oil? Would an attack on Iran awaken the slumbering
giants, Russia and China, and trigger another world war?
Mr. Bush made a similar mistake after the attacks of 9-11. Rather than go after
the terrorist, who had cells stretching across not only the Middle East but into Africa, Indonesia and even into the United
States, he chose to attack Afghanistan, where the al-Qaeda plot was allegedly hatched. This has turned out to be the longest
fought war in U.S. history, still raging after 11 years and with no end in sight.
Indeed, terrorism has turned out to be a very effective way for small and undeveloped
enemies to fight against a powerful military complex like the United States. Like the Revolutionary fighters that battled
successfully against the British in 1776, Islamic terrorist cells are using unconventional guerrilla tactics to strike and
retreat. Fighting such an enemy might be comparable to stepping on an ant hill in an effort to destroy the entire colony of
Mr. Bush apparently felt overly confident that new black budget toys developed
by the military guaranteed an easy victory against any foe. But consider the case of retired Marine Lieutenant General Paul
Van Riper who participated in a recent military sponsored war game called Millennium Challenge.
General Van Riper, who served in Vietnam, the Middle East and Desert Storm, and
has a distinguished career as both a student and instructor of war tactics, assumed the role of a Middle Eastern enemy commander
during this war game.
Even though the U. S. military brought forth its best minds and finest arsenal of advanced
technical killing toys, a New York Times story said Van Riper proved, at least on a computer, that a well-organized guerrilla
force could still defeat us.
The trick would be doing something unexpected . . . like suicide pilots crashing
hijacked passenger jets into the World Trade Center towers. That an enemy force has the intelligence and the willingness to
commit such an act proves that the unexpected can be expected once we have committed to such an act of aggression.
According to the Times story, Van Riper used the very same tactics in Millennium
Challenge to defeat us.
He said he reasoned that the United States would attempt a surprise strike and
decided to attack first.
As the U. S. fleet entered the Persian Gulf, Van Riper gave a signal in a coded
message broadcast from the minarets of mosques at the call to prayer. Once they had their queue, suicide bombers using small
pleasure boats and propeller planes laden with high explosives suddenly rammed both ships and strategic airfields in al-Qaeda-like
The guerrilla force also fired cruise missiles from some of the small pleasure
boats and succeeded in sinking the only U. S. aircraft carrier and two marine helicopter carriers.
Thus in one quick move, Van Riper's tactic wiped out the entire United States
armada of ships and aircraft poised to strike his unnamed Middle Eastern nation.
By the time the game ended,
16 U.S. naval ships were at the bottom of the Persian Gulf and thousands of marines were dead, the Times story said.
As the U. S. made preparations for that terrible strike against Baghdad we still
wonder why the American people weren’t in the streets in open protest. Indeed, it appears that we learned a serious
lesson in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Occupy Movement now building across the land is protesting any thought of going to war
against Iran. We just hope the military commanders and President Barack Obama are listening.