April 23, 2004
War endeavors can be deceivingCould the United States be brought to its knees by invading a militarily weak nation?
Our current war in Iraq was started with the premise that we could overthrow a militarily weak Arab Nation. We could then change the society to a democratic one. The rest of the Arab nations would then become democratic and through the "domino effect."
The thinking being, as soon as the people of those nations saw how much greener the grass was in "New Iraq," democracy would be demanded and even fought for.
The problem with the "domino effect" objective is that it is naive to believe that anyone can ever predict the long term repercussions of fighting a war.
Two quick peeks at history make this apparent. Do you think that when Hitler invaded Poland he would have ever imagined the war ultimately leading to the creation of the State of Israel?
A deeper example: in 1914 when Arch Duke Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was assassinated. The ruling family of the empire, the Hapsburgs, blamed the murder on the Serbs. The Hapsburgs were related to the German Kaiser. Therefore, both countries decided to invade Serbia. The Russians joined the war on the side of the Serbs and World War I, the war to end all wars, began. By the time the war ended in 1917, there had been 8.5 million military deaths alone. The Kaiser's Germany was in ruins.
The Hapsburg Dynasty, which had ruled for nearly four hundred years, was completely destroyed. Then in 1918, at the beginning of the Bolshevik Revolution, Czar Nicholas II's family was shot in a mine inside Ekaterinburg. Certainly none of these rulers imagined the ruin of their countries or the end of their dynasties when they began a war over militarily weak Serbia.
Could the United States be brought to its knees by invading militarily weak Iraq? Probably not is our first answer, but let us not forget Vietnam War.
More than fifty-thousand dead American soldiers and still our efforts to curb communist advancement were unsuccessful. So as in World War I and Vietnam, how the "weaker" combatants fare in Iraq probably depends on who comes to their aid.
In the future, our children will be the ones to decide if invading Iraq was a sound political and military decision. However, before we flex our military muscle again in the 21st century, we would be advised to remember that those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.
FORUM HEADLINESBush has made his mark College life challenges disposition War endeavors can be deceiving
WEEKLY FEATURESNewsLiving & ArtsUniversity UpdateForumSports