Now I'm probably gonna please the majority of my readers who seem to be in the opposition to Bush. I apologize to my non-left-wing comrades for this article - and those who believe that the war in Iraq is a really perfect example of success may want to stop right here. Look at this text.
http://www.cnn.com/ ... robertson.bush.iraq
That's a sort of surprising report. Before the war in Iraq started, the founder of the U.S. Christian Coalition, Pat Robertson, had had a private discussion with the Lord. (It's the same guy whom Einstein would have been sorry about if GR were not confirmed by the bending light experiments.) The Lord informed Robertson about the consequences of the war in Iraq. More precisely, God told Robertson that the war was gonna be A and B (the Lord often likes to make jokes) where A is a "disaster" and B stands for "messy".
One of the conclusions that Robertson made from this discussion with his boss is that there would be many US casualties in Iraq. It's not really important what method Robertson used to get his result. I obtained similar results using very different, albeit possibly dual, means (something based on the so-called rational reasoning); in fact, I was too afraid of the ability of Hussein's army and supporters to win in the initial military operations in the beginning.
There were 6 million members of the Baath party or so in Iraq, out of roughly 23 millions of citizens. The rules of that party require that each member holds a gun and protects the Arab socialist regime led by Saddam Hussein. Obviously, many of them take these rules seriously, especially if they feel that their country should not have been attacked. Saddam has also received 100 percent of the votes in his last elections. Well, the number 100 is obviously nonsense, but you can never make 100 out of less than 20. Even 20 percent of the population against you is pretty tough.
OK, so Pat Robertson derived this result. Because he thought that his new insight may have been important, he informed the president: "Listen, George, I just spoke to the Lord and He told me that the war will be A and B." The most unbelievable part of this story is Bush's reaction (at least this is how Robertson describes Bush's reaction):
"Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."
I think that the reason for this expectation is that God had distributed two contradictory statements, or He was just making rather bad jokes. Unlike Bush, God is not gonna face any elections in November, and therefore He can afford to make such bad jokes. Well, more than 1,100 US troops have died in that conflict so far, with 8,000 soldiers wounded. (I should also be counting the lives of Iraqis, but let me forget about them, especially about Saddam's supporters whom I don't care about so much.)
This just couldn't be unexpected - and in a sense, we should all be happy that the situation is so much better than in Vietnam. It's not perfect, however. It's just not so easy to fight in a country somewhere in Mesopotamia, especially if you're constrained by somewhat strict rules of humanity and you must be pretty careful to avoid killing innocent people. Don't get me wrong: the US army is still incredibly efficient in fighting the enemy over there and many operations are "surgically clean", but it just can't be 100 percent efficient and error-free. Of course that such a war could be much more efficient if one could nuke the whole country, but I guess (and I hope, in fact) that this is not what the nation would really support.
My guess is that the soldiers (I mean the generals) had to roughly know how many lives would have to be sacrificed, at least plus minus one order of magnitude. It's just a very appealing feature of Bush that he probably believes in God and His perfectionist support of Bush's actions. Although I am certainly not a believer in this non-trivial sense, there is something cute about this belief. On the other hand, some degree of realism may be helpful for the president, too.
I hope that Christianity does not prevent one from learning new things; well, it is the dominating religion that accompanied the birth of the modern Western civilization, a civilization that is certainly based on various self-correcting mechanisms. The intervention in Iraq can still turn out to be a brave and very helpful decision. But it may be better if we don't expect Iraq to become a new paradise, at least not too soon.