Stay the Course part deux
There's a whole lot of high-pitched discussion about George W. Vichy's latest speech. Why, I don't know. It's totally unsurprising.
Fact 1: A 'cycle of violence' only ends when [at least] one side is so thoroughly destroyed and discouraged that it gives up.
Fact 2: The best way to keep a 'cycle of violence' running is to introduce 'peacekeepers' whose job is to damp down the violence. This prevents either side from making the conclusive strike that would convince the other side to give up. You can see this phenomenon among kids on the schoolyard, among criminals in prison, and among primitive quasi-humanoids like Arabs. When teachers, prison guards, or peacekeepers are watching, you can fight at a moderate level without ever killing enough of the enemy to reach a conclusion.
Fact 3: Worst of all, the teachers, prison guards, or peacekeepers can become a common enemy, and end up taking most of the violence.
This is exactly how the UN functions, and exactly why the UN keeps wars going instead of stopping them. Adding more 'peacekeepers' only spreads out the moderating effect, allowing the 'cycle' to continue even more widely and kill more of the 'peacekeepers'.
So the New Way Forward is just more UN-style thinking from the man who felt he had to justify the Iraq war in a way that would satisfy the UN. It's simply Stay The Course Part Deux, improved and enhanced with even more American casualties.
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Afterthought: The three examples (school, prison, Iraq) have something else in common, which I didn't intend, but which shows the other
way to break up a cycle of violence.
All three are cases of forced mixing, Stalin's favorite trick. 1. Find groups that can't stand each other. 2. Push them together. 3. Let the fighting run for a while, then bring in the authorities to calm down the fighting. Guarantees that the pre-determined "victim" group will love the authorities, no matter how brutal.
In the case of Iraq, the mixing was done by Britain in 1920, probably without Communist intentions, and Saddam took full advantage of the phenomenon. It appears that the Shia and Sunni subspecies are very quickly doing their own de-mixing, but our fantastically stupid (or just Stalinist) insistence on maintaining the mix will get in the way of this natural calming process.