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Why They Fight

If North America was invaded, Americans would resist - just like the insurgents in Iraq.

by James Leroy Wilson
June 15, 2006

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Why They Fight
It's 2056. The main technological advances of the previous five decades was to convert the USA's oil shale and Canada's oil sands to petroleum cheaply and efficiently. They become the two most important oil producers in the world. At the same time, their governments fall further into corruption and tyranny. Elections are still held, but everyone knows they're rigged. Oil profits "trickle up" to the rich, and North America's middle class, once the envy of the world, disappears. The USA has also become militarily weak.
At the same time, in a seemingly miraculous turn of events, the people of China have converted to evangelical Christianity. Where once abortions were encouraged if not required, they are now banned. Filled with the crusading spirit, the Chinese look in horror at the once-great United States and, especially, the million-plus abortions performed there every year. At the same time, the Chinese military has become pre-eminent; China is now the "world's only superpower."
What should the powerful and righteous Chinese do? They decide to save the lives of all those innocent unborn American babies slaughtered every year. The United States must have a regime that protects life, not one that allows life to be destroyed. So if Americans don't ban abortions by themselves, someone must do it for them. That is, the Chinese.
Think tanks are created in China addressing this very concern. There had already been several diplomatic crises between China and both the USA and Canada. Both are promoted by the Chinese media as "threats" and the Chinese people believe it. One Chinese group's position paper promotes "liberating" Canada first, as the linchpin of taking the United States, the "prize."
The Chinese government manufactures a false provocation and attacks Canada. Overwhelmed by the sheer number of troops, the Canadian military falls quickly. The Chinese claim they are only there to help, to end the horror of abortion and rebuild the country. While some pro-life Canadians may collaborate, determined patriots in both English Canada and Quebec want to expel the occupiers from their land. Their own government may have been corrupt, and their laws may have been unjust. But neither warrants an unprovoked attack and occupation by foreign troops; Canadian affairs should be in the hands of Canadians.
What would an American do, even an evangelical, pro-life American? Applaud the Chinese invasion north of the border, or take measures to defend the country?
Some of them might find abortion so abhorrent that they would welcome this invasion of the continent. But I know what patriots would do. They would flood into Canada to fight the Chinese. They know the plan. They know America is next. They would fight the Chinese in Canada so they wouldn't have to fight them in the USA. They would hope to frustrate, demoralize, and exhaust the Chinese so that they never invade the USA.
Both Canadians and Americans would know one thing beyond a shadow of the doubt: the invasion had nothing to do with abortion. It was about Chinese imperialism, about securing Chinese access to North American oil. Cynically, many suspect that the real purpose of the war is to keep oil prices artificially high to provide windfall profits for Chinese oil companies.
But here's a problem. The agenda of the American fighters would not be identical to that of the Canadians (and among Canadians, the agenda of the Quebecois may not be the same as the Anglos). Canadian insurgents may plant roadside bombs that target Chinese tanks and troop carriers; their target would be the Chinese army, but they don't want to destroy themselves in the process. The Americans, however, may think differently. They want to drive the entire country into chaos, to create a "quagmire" for the occupying troops. The "collateral damage" of Canadian civilians matters less to them. They would be more inclined to set off bombs in marketplaces and buses - better to have Canadians suffer now, than Americans suffer later, they rationalize. War is nasty business, after all.
There wouldn't be any doubt of the justice of the tactics and aims of Canadian insurgents - they are defending their own lives, families, and homes from an unprovoked attack. If that is not just, then justice doesn't exist.
The situation of the Americans is a little more complicated. Would these Americans be "terrorists?" Yes. Would their tactics be just? No. But is their cause just? Yes. For they, too, are defending their country. The Chinese couldn't launch a criminal attack on Canada and then exclaim "no fair!" that Americans resort to ruthless means to resist it. The terrorism would not have occurred if the invasion hadn't.
One of the great errors of the American invasion of Iraq is that our leaders - if they were indeed well-meaning - failed to recognize how Iraqis and their neighbors would interpret it. When going to war, what matters as much as having "good intentions" is to empathize with the enemy. This is something Robert McNamara remarks on in the documentary film Fog of War. As Defense Secretary during the Vietnam War, he thought the Americans were fighting communists. But decades later, in a meeting with a Vietnamese counterpart, he was told that they were fighting a war of national independence.
It's something we should have taken to heart. Taking on Iraq may have, to us, meant "liberating" a country, deposing a "madman," and fighting the terrorists "over there so we won't have to fight them over here." But would any of this make sense to the average young Iraqi man? His job has been lost, and members of his family have been killed thanks to an invasion by a country that Iraq never threatened. It is no surprise why they would resist the occupation, and also no surprise that men from neighboring countries would join the fight.
This was all quite predictable, and the only solution is for the USA to withdraw from Iraq.

Comments (13)

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rabbit from u.s. writes:
June 19, 2006
this is all well and good and i think this is a great analogy

of what is happining.. but what do you suppose would happen if we just left?

keep in mind that i completely agree with you...

but the story seems unfinished....

kovakss from uk writes:
June 20, 2006
not really a good analogy....couple nukes and there goes the chinese prob. try again...

SleepyD writes:
June 20, 2006
Intellectually sound analogy... but blatantly, intentionally narrow-minded response/conclusion. To the average Japanese or German in 1945, the Americans were occupying forces. None-the-less, the majority of the population appreciated their new found freedom, just as the majority of Iraqi citizens enjoy THEIR new found freedoms. I have spoken with many, many veterans of the Iraq war, most of whom VOLUNTEERED for multiple returns to the region exeactly because of the gratitude of teh civilian population.

The problem in the region is not the chaos, but in teaching a people that have been violently oppressed by a tyranical regiem for decades to learn to stand up for themselves. Many of the younger people in Iraq and Iran have never knnown freedom of thought and expression, and fear that turning in the insurgent will surely mean their death.

Zarkawi (spelling wrong, I know...) is dead because someone ON THE INSIDE finally understood that the minority insurgent movement is detrimental. Someone finally understood that we will leave ONLY when the country is stabilized.

In truth, just as their was not an endless number of insurgents in post-WWII Germany and Japan (read you history - there were years of post-war violence by insurgents - read guerillas - after WWII...and we stayed until the rebuilding was done and the violence ended.)

If lilly-white pacifists like you were around in WWII, you would speak either German or Japanese. Thank GOD the country unified once the terrorists attacked Pearl Harbor for no other reason than that we refused to supply Japan what they wanted for their war against China.

Oh...I could go on - but I suspect your ears are deaf - stuffed full witht eh left-wing, liberal rhetoric of the party trying to regain power at any and all cost.

By the way, have you actually looked up the number of deaths and road-side bombs over the course of the war? I recommend you actually do a little research before you blather out lame connclusions. The truth is that over the past year the number of violent events in Bhagdad and other cities have dramatically dropped. US deaths and dramatically down. YOu don't hear this on the left-wing news....but hey - We're WINNING the war...

Psion from San Jose, Ca writes:
June 21, 2006
Sleepyd... I was with you until you pulled a really bad trick...instead of attacking the arguement you attacked the person. If you can't post intelligently....try not posting.

SleepyD writes:
June 21, 2006
Psion - sorry - You are absolutely correct in that I should not have attacked a person. None the less, I stand by the basis of the attack, which is that individuals should not be putting forth comentary without doing their due diligence. People that spew forth opinions based upon feelings rather than fact simply bbecause techonology offers them the forum are dangerous to a society in which far too many individuals parrot the ignorant, instead of researching history and facts and drawing their own conclusion.

Therefore, while intellectually it weakens my argument to attack the individual in some minds....the argument stands upon it's own merits, NOT my mistake of attacking a person. I should have sent a second post to attack the person! :) But rest assured, those that will attack an event not based upon the merits of the event are doing no less than attacking the people that caused the event. Is there any doubt in your mind that the author is violently anti-Bush? Is there any doubt that the author most likely would be all for the war had a Democrat found himself in office during the same war?


James Leroy Wilson from Independent Country writes:
June 21, 2006
Rabbit, I suspect that if we left, one of the factors of the violence and instability in Iraq - our presence - will disappear. America will save hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives, the threat of terrorism will be greatly reduced at home and abroad, and America's tarnished image will start undergoing repair. No, I'm not optimistic about the future of Iraq, but even less so that American forces can make a positive contribution to it.

Kovakks, I forgot to mention that nuclear disarmament also occurred. That's as likely as China converting to Christianity, but this was an analogy.h

SleepyD, I understand that with this article you and many others have read my work for the first time, but rest assured that I am not a partisan Democrat. I take great offense at the suggestion that I would have supported this war if a Democrat started it - the reality is that I view Clinton as a war criminal for what he did to Serbia. The best I can say about the Democrats is that these days I believe they are the lesser of two evils, but I thought the same of the Republicans during the Clinton era. I concede that I am violently anti-Bush, but that for many of the same reasons I was violently anti-Clinton: the enlargement of government, the war on the Bill of Rights, wars against nations that never attacked us, and fiscal irresponsibility. That I believe that Bush is even worse than Clinton isn't a factor of partisanship, it's a matter of the evidence: http://www.partialobserver.com/article.cfm?id=1730

Regarding this, In truth, just as their was not an endless number of insurgents in post-WWII Germany and Japan (read you history - there were years of post-war violence by insurgents - read guerillas - after WWII...and we stayed until the rebuilding was done and the violence ended.) I suggest SleepyD check this link:http://www.counterbias.com/627.html.

Regarding this: If lilly-white pacifists like you were around in WWII, you would speak either German or Japanese. I could go on and on about this, but will remark on one point: Japan attacked us (well, an ill-gotten colony of ours) and German declared war on us. Iraq did neither, and lacked the capacity to shoot down one airplane or sink one ship even if it did. To oppose this stupid war on Iraq does not make one a pacifist.

If we are winning the war, you should tell the U.S. Ambassador in Iraq, because he sure doesn't sound like it: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002690071

There's more to winning and losing wars than body counts.

Demosthenes from South Bend, IN writes:
June 25, 2006
I notice there had been no repsonse to the last post...I can only hope that more and more people begin to see that this war is nothing more than a shallow pretense based on an even shallower motive: profit. The lives that are lost in Iraq, on either side, are rung in with dollar signs and the brilliant cha-ching of gas station cash registers exploding all around like a 4th of July extravaganza. Men and women pay with their lives for a blinded ideology that stresses spreading democracy while constantly passing laws in the good ol' US of A that not only restrict our freedom of speech, but throw 13-year old children in jail for making a mock-up of a Misfits song. Welcome the the new era of freedom, where you're free to know that you're chained down. Please, open your eyes. This isn't about freedom, it's about control.

Jamie from Canada writes:
June 27, 2006
Aw man! Why do they always want to invade us in their hypothetical futures? Doesnt anyone realize that one of the things that made Russia impossible to invade also exists in Canada? Lots of land, lots of it and nothing in between. Those Chinese supply routes would constantly be at risk. Plus does China really want to tread into the world of Quebec separatism? I think not.

Josh from NorCal writes:
June 28, 2006
very intresting story. I enjoyed reading it greatly. unfortunantly there are several discrepencies with the senario:

1. china incourages abortion as a population control measure

2. as mentioned above, canada is the north american russia, it would be impossible to launch an effective, long-term ground offensive against north america.

3. most insergants in iraq are foriegn jihadists that are there to DIE fighting The great satian

4. majority of those in this country that are against abortion are also the some of the most finatical pro-america people ever

5. there is a civil war being fought in Iraq, its one they dont talk about on CNN because Gay marrage and brad-galina's baby are more intresting.

6. there is a huge religious gap in iraq today between the sunnie and shiite muslims

i was against the war from the begining, unfortunantly we are stuck there until we can set up an autonomous government that can police and protect its own people. if we dont iraq will fall to the same fate as afganistan after the soviets pulled out.

remeber if you tear down a burnt out house and start building it again, no one can live in that house until you finish

James Leroy Wilson from Independent Country writes:
June 28, 2006
Josh and Jamie, I know the scenario is most implausible. The fact is, every single scenario of foreign occupation of North America is most implausible. But I had to create one to make my point. There hasn't been a major war here for over 140 years, so Americans may not understand what a real military threat and a real invasion and occupation is like. Many of us seem shocked that anyone would fight against American liberators, but we must remember that we are seen not as liberators but as imperialists and occupiers.

muzaffar from Iowa writes:
June 28, 2006
I thought the allegory was to the point and well concieved, and in the best spirit (for the warmongers in the house) of what even Sun Tzu wrote about knowing your enemy. However, I personally believe that (1)a true and lasting Democracy by it's very nature cannot be imposed from outside a country by means of war or any other means but must be freely chosen by the people of that country in the absence of any foreign influences. Needless to say, genocide, torture and armed occupation are all out of the question.

(2) I believe that one cannot (as the current administration has) pretend to be fighting evil men by committing even more evil acts and presume to take the moral high ground. I think it goes without saying that we have allredy killed many times more innocents in Iraq than ever died on 911, and that in violation of many international laws that our country took the lead in putting into place to stop countries from behaving in the rogue way that ours currently is .

(3) Finally, as a person who see no hope in either political party, I am truly embarrassed by the self-righteous, fascist, nazi-like American supremacy that is spewed over the airwaves daily in this country as well as the brainwashing about jihadists and arab terrorists. How cowardly and spinelessly it is that most Americans willingly surrendered their freedoms which were bought with blood to a tyrannical regime which is not content to only deprive sovereign foreign governments of their rights but has now turned cannibal on it's own citizens. We have already lost the war in Iraq because although we Americans don't yet recognize what Mr. Wilson's allegory so eloquently states the enemy is us.

Timothy writes:
January 16, 2009
I may be late to this story but the answer is Americans would and are doing nothing to an invasion of their land. Twenty million estimated illegal immigrants mostly from one country is an invasion. The battle we are waging is economical,social a generational.And the sad thing is they are winning.

The problem with your story is this. Iraqis have lived on their land for thousands of years. Americans on the other hand are nothing more than a multi-ethnic group of invaders who first arrived here only a couple of years ago and stole the land and its resources from the indigenous people who lived there and moved them to reservations to control them.

Now with the governments involvement, the multi-generational "American" families are being replaced by immigrants legal and illegal. A new cheap work force who will not complain about the lack of benefits that us born here Americans demand.Our paradise is so much better from where they came from.

With in a generation America will be just another third world country.

sp3d2orbit from Phoenix writes:
July 10, 2009
I understand the desire to setup a valid analogy. However, if the US had a corrupt, tyrannical government (like Iraq) then the correct analogy would be a Chinese invasion to restore Democracy.

I would bet most citizens would support the restoration of Democracy.

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