Reason for hope?
the Words At War series before. One of its episodes gives a unique picture of a previous occupation and how it succeeded. 'Mother America', by Carlos Romulo, describes how we turned the Philippines from a colony into a generally friendly ally. I'd guess modern military strategists are trying to follow this same model in Iraq; the similarities are remarkable.
Will it work there?
I must admit ... my sense of our total failure and idiocy has been modified by hearing this example of the very same techniques with the very same early indications of failure, followed ultimately by success.Here's
a 10-minute segment from the radio program. It's told in the form of a conversation with a Filipino version of John Doe. Sounds a bit corny now, but the 'common man' theme was a standard way of setting up a story in the '40s.
The book 'Mother America' is probably out of print, availablefrom Alibris.
Afterthought: There is one big strategic difference. The Filipino insurgents in the early 1900's were purely local, with no external support or implications, while the Iraqi insurgents of today are acting for, and assisted by, the global Mohammedan caliphate. Thus allowing the Filipinos to have their own form of government was simply a matter of 'respect and dignity', as Romulo says. When we allow the Iraqis to implement sharia law through democratic means, we are giving the worldwide enemy more territory.
So unfortunately the analogy fails.
Cynically: If Kindler Gentler George were interested in selling or explaining his actions, he would do well to use the Philippine example. In this case it's probably best that he doesn't want public support, because this story is mighty
attractive and persuasive, and would postpone our awakening. If the example were used with modern advertising technology, it would anesthetize our natural impatience with an administration that can't figure out who the enemy is; an administration that uses Democracy as a tool to give territory to the enemy.