Last October, when many liberal commentators in the media were predicting that America and its allies would end up in a quagmire in Afghanistan—“another Vietnam,” they foretold—they would have been better advised to ponder the statistics compiled by Victor Davis Hanson about the previous conflict between a Western and an Islamic power.[1]

On January 17, 1991, Hanson reminds us in his book Carnage and Culture, a coalition of U.S. allies faced the veteran army of Iraq, which included 1.2 million ground troops, 3850 artillery pieces, 5800 tanks and 5100 armored vehicles. The Iraqis were entrenched on their native soil, easily supplied by highway from Baghdad, and equipped with the best military hardware, from poison gas to tanks and mines, that petrodollars could buy. Yet the Western allies defeated them in just four days, leaving tens...


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