The Second Version


How To Defeat an Insurgency

Sry Lanka has found the correct recipe: ally with a ruthless power like China, which is willing and able to tell the rest of the world to stuff it; pay no heed to the requests of the UN and other NGOs; keep foreign journalists away form the theatre and finally pursue the objective of victory without faltering to the bitter end.

Of course no two wars are exactly the same, so there is no guarantee that this procedure would achieve the same results in a different scenario (an important point is that the Tamil Tigers could not rely on any sanctuary abroad), but so far it cannot be denied that a couple of years of war fought in earnest have ended 30 years of a bloody uprising.

Will a new Tamil insurgency be reborn from the ashes of the old one? It is a function of how well (or badly) the Sri Lankan government will manage the aftermath; if they do it properly there is a good chance that Sri Lanka will be pacified for a long period of time.

I do not know if these events will change the course of conflicts at the global level. However, there are some lessons that countries facing insurgencies and other conflicts may learn. That the West and the UN are largely useless; that China may be a much more effective ally; that - ultimately - the use of force is still an effective instrument.

In these same days, even the Italian government is telling the UNHCR to go pound sand on the issue of the boatloads of illegal immigrants towed back to Libya - Italy's Minister of Defense, La Russa, is quoted as saying that the UNHCR "is completely useless".

Another lesson to take home from the recent developments in Sri Lanka is best expressed by Wretchard himself:
Any workable system of laws will never unduly penalize people who abide by the rules in favor of those who flaunt them. Just as an immigration system in which the legal immigrant is bypassed by the illegal cannot long remain legitimate, humanitarian regimes which effectively make it it impossible for a nation or a society to exercise legitimate self-defense will eventually be abandoned. It cannot be the case that those who obey so-called humanitarian rules not only lose the war but find themselves prosecuted for war crimes because they have subjected themselves to its strictures while those who ignored them from the beginning not only win the war but become media and marketing stars commemorated Hollywood movies, t-shirt logos and trendy scarves.

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