Does anybody besides myself remember the movie Red Dawn? It’s a cold war morality play in which America is invaded, conquered and occupied by the Soviets: the story revolves around the exploits of an underground resistance, consisting mostly of teen-agers, that springs up to combat the Red Army and its collaborators. The resistance starts out small, with minor acts of sabotage, and escalates over time into a well-coordinated and virtually unstoppable general rebellion that ends in the defeat of the occupiers.
“Red Dawn” happens to be one of my favorite movies, by one of my favorite directors, John Milius, who also directed “Conan the Barbarian,” “The Wind and the Lion,” and my personal favorite of all Milius’ movies, “Farewell to the King.” I own a copy of it on VHS tape, and can assure you that the resistance portrayed in the movie never “escalates over time into a well-coordinated and virtually unstoppable general rebellion that ends in the defeat of the occupiers.” Well-coordinated, yes, but quite stoppable and never including more than about a dozen members (hardly a “general rebellion”). The movie ends with it’s being stopped by the Soviet Spetznaz (special forces) counter-terrorist soldiers, the leaders of the resistance being killed, and the survivors escaping to Free America – territory still held by the armed forces of the USA. The epilogue to the movie refers to the Soviet invasion being defeated, but not by the guerillas. In the 3 phases of guerilla warfare as defined by the 20th century pioneer of the theory and practice of guerilla warfare, Mao Zedong, the guerillas in “Red Dawn” never reach Phase 3, conventional operations in which the enemy is directly engaged in open combat and decisively defeated in battle. “Red Dawn” is a heroic tragedy, not the triumphalist work Raimondo makes it out to be.
Raimondo is evidently letting his wishful thinking about how things will go in Iraq today influence his memory of the movie. However, serious students of the history of guerilla warfare know that, among other things, guerillas must have foreign support in order to succeed, to provide them with supplies, safe haven, etc., and the Iraqi fedayeen and jihadists have very little foreign support today. What little they have they’re getting primarily from Syria & Iran, both of which are highly vulnerable to U.S. pressure.