Yesterday I was chatting with my neighbor who is an agent with the Defense Intelligence Agency. I was telling her of my experience when I was in Bangkok back in 1990. I remember reading in the English language Thai neswpaper how the last Communist insurgents were surrendering in a general amnesty. They were forgiven by the government if they came in and turned in their weapons.
Back in the 60s and 70s Thailand was also fighting a significant Communist guerilla movement with American help. The Vietnam War actually saved Thailand from the Communist plague by giving the Thai government time to defeat its own indiginous problem before the guerillas could get supplies and reinforcements from the Communist North Vietnamese.
I asked my friend "Is there a lesson we can learn from the Free World's success in Thailand?"
She answered "NO. The Thais are Budhists and the Iraqis are Muslims. Muslims just want to kill and die."
Hmm. I asked her "Well, can you tell me where an Islamist insurgency was defeated?"
And she answered "Algeria."
I then called my long time Algerian friend Kamel and asked him to tell me about how Algeria is doing now. Kamel was a Captain in the Algerian Army of Houari Boumedienne where his military specialty was "interogation." He always ducks my questions about that experience.
"Much better" he said. "Abdelazziz Bouteflika is the new president and he's a good man. His army has killed most of the Islamist insurgents with help from the French and the Americans. He forgave most of the rest with an amnesty, and there are now only a few holdouts in the mountains."
"When was the last battle?" I asked, and he responded "Just a few months ago."
These developments have given me hope that there is light at the end of the Iraqi tunnel as long as we stay the course.
Following is a BBC article about recent Algerian history: