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July 30, 2007

Comments

Andrew Davey

Sorry, Matt, but I have to side with The Register here. This war should have never been started, and there's no reason to keep this occupation indefinite. Bush lied us into Iraq... Why must we allow him to lie to keep us in there?

redperegrine

"In war, sometimes it’s important to pick the right adversary, and in Iraq we seem to have done so."

Not so. The adversary we started with is not the one(s) we've got now. In fact, we helped create Iraq as a Mecca (no joke intended) for terrorists of all kinds - surely the worst omen of all.

The Register isn't defeatest, it's realistic.

Jubal

Bush lied us into Iraq...

This has become an article of faith in the antiwar Left that transcends reason, so there's no point in arguing that point with you.

But at this point in time, it is beside the point.

We're in a hole in Iraq. Rather than trying to get out, the anti-war Left would rather argue about who's fault it is we're in the hole in the first place.

Jubal

RP:

Again, without conceding your contention, it is beside the point. We have the enemy that we have. We have a general and a strategy that seems to be turning the corner. It realistic to stick with that and try to obtain something of a victory -- and thereby preserve American prestige, our promise to our allies and to those Iraqis who have put their trust and their lives in their hands. It is defeatist to complain "we shouldn't have gone in in the first place," bug out and leave the Iraqis to the tender mercies of our mutual enemies.

Jubal

In fact, we helped create Iraq as a Mecca (no joke intended) for terrorists of all kinds - surely the worst omen of all.

I always find that "we're creating the terrorists" argument strange. Prior to 9/11, we weren't fighting any wars on Muslim soil, nor had we invaded any Muslim countries. In fact, we had waged war in Bosnia to protect Muslims from being slaughtered by Christians.

And yet Muslim terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center.

It seems clear to me the U.S. policy doesn't "create" these terrorists. They'd hate us and want to harm us in any case. And does anyone think they'll turn their AK-47s and IEDs into plowshare if we retreat?

"Rather than trying to get out, the anti-war Left would rather argue about whose fault it is we're in the hole in the first place."

Jubal you got to be kidding? I believe there are Dems on the Hill trying to push time tables to get of Iraq. Also, they are trying to fund the exit of Iraq.

Everyone knows whose fault it is for getting us into Iraq; George Bush, and his puppet master Dick Cheney. No one is arguing that point. Bush did lie about WMD's, about terrorists, about Iraq's involvement in 9-11 ad infinitum.

This was a war of choice, and a seriously bad choice at that. While we were busy fighting the real war in Afghanistan, and letting Bin Laden escape when we had him on our grasp, and then diverting all our evergies, and resources in Iraq, North Korea, and Iran both developed nuclear programs and weapons.

Iraq will forever be a Pox on the Republican Party, Neo-Cons, and Conservatives alike. The apologists will find themselves turning their collars to the cold and damp at the next National GOP convention. Their credibility is forever vanquished and they will be cast from the GOP to wander the earth shamefully with the weight of thousands of lost American lives on their heads.

Jubal

I believe there are Dems on the Hill trying to push time tables to get of Iraq. Also, they are trying to fund the exit of Iraq.

Ah, defeat on a timetable! How responsible.

Everyone knows whose fault it is for getting us into Iraq; George Bush, and his puppet master Dick Cheney. No one is arguing that point.

If by "everyone" you mean residents of the Left Wing Fever Swamp, then you're right. How else to forget about the Congressional majority -- including many Democrats -- who voted for the war?

Bush did lie about WMD's, about terrorists, about Iraq's involvement in 9-11 ad infinitum.

Someone should tell the Left that simply saying something over and over and over again doesn't make it true. Bush was wrong about WMDs -- that is vastly different than lying. And the Bush Administration never, never, never claimed Saddam was involved with 9/11. They claimed -- correctly -- that Saddam's regime had contact with Al-Quaeda.

I'm amazed at how quickly the Left has conveniently forgotten so much of the immediate post-9/11 atmosphere in this country in which there was bipartisan agreement that American had to take pro-active measures against terrorists and the regimes that sponsored and nurtured them in order to prevent what happened on 9/11 -- or something even worse -- from happening again.

...and resources in Iraq, North Korea, and Iran both developed nuclear programs and weapons.

And what exactly is your solution to dealing with those countries?

The Iraq war is good

The Iraq war is a good war. Daily, hundreds of scumbags who would otherwise father more islamic extremist, are killed - That is good. Daily, women and children are learning that they too have freedom - That is good. Daily, the people of Iraq are learning how to live in a democracy instead of a theocracy - That is good. Daily, electricity and fresh water and schools and hospitals are being brought to areas of Iraq that previously experienced them sporadically - that is good. Daily, Iraqis are starting to fight back and kick out the illegal aliens who are bringing their islamic hatred of anything Western to Iraq -that is good. The list goes on but sadly, too many left-leaning Americans don't understand that islamic fundamentalists don't think like us or act like us; there is no apeasing them. To negotiate only buys them time to rebuild and recruit; to retreat only shows weakness and lack of resolve. This will cause them to attack all the more. There is only one solution: Fight them in that part of the world and kill as many of them as possible as often as possible. The world will be better off for our efforts. More importantly, the United States of America will be better off and its Citizens safer for the efforts we put forth today.

There's only one poll that should matter to all Americans; the reenlistment rate of our fighting men. That rate is exceptionally high. They're the ones on the ground over there. They know what's going on. All you anti-American peaceniks can listen to the anti-American media and the Democrat dufuses; as for me, I'll listen to my fellow Americans in uniform.

The Iraq war is a good war!

redperegrine

My point was not that we created Islamic terrorists. My point was that we created a wild-west free-for-all where outside terrorists (al Quaida) and home-grown nut-jobs can have at it.

(BTW, they hate us for our undying support of Israel, remember?)

Who are our ememies anyway? The Shia and Sunni mad bombers? They surely didn't exist as a threat to the US until we made it our business to nation build. The al Quaida cells now operating in Iraq would surely target US interests even if we weren't there, but we made a fine target for them (when I say "we" of course I don't mean you and me).

As to "turning the corner" I'm willing to give you big odds that by the end of the year we'll still be turning it; or seeing the light at the end of the tunnel; or some such cliche. Of course by then we may have yet another enemy - unanticipated or otherwise.

PS to the lefties out there. The Democratic party is just as culpable as the Republicans - maybe even more despicable on this subject. The pusillanimous pushovers in Congress supported Bush the whole way into this mess. Clinton, Kerry, Lieberman - the whole sorry cast of characters.

RHackett

An interesting use of the language by the NYT. If "we might just win", one could construe it implies we are losing or barely holding our own.

How bad can things in Iraq be for the Iraqis if the parliament believes it okay to go on vacation for a month while Americans are being killed every day? It tells me all I need to know about their veracity in establishing a government that is prepared to fend for themselves.

Jubal

How bad can things in Iraq be for the Iraqis if the parliament believes it okay to go on vacation for a month while Americans are being killed every day?

And how is that proof of anything -- other than that the anti-way Left will seize on any item, no matter how small, to beat the drum for surrender...er, "redeployment."

Bladerunner

Jubal--You know you're in trouble when RP has seen the light. He's hardly a lefty, que no?

Is this another " bad economic indicators, Fredo has lied once again under oath," the President's approval ratings are in the toilet so its time to beat the terrorist drums again" mantra?

Face it- outside the hard core GOP base, the country realizes we're bogged down in Iraq in a war thats doing more harm then good for our national security.Thats why an overwhelming majority of the country wants us to leave sooner rather then later. Forget how we got in---fighting the kind of war we are fighting will result, as RP put it so well, in turning a corner to find yet another corner. Bush has never asked the country to sacrifice for this war--no raised taxes, no rationing, no draft--because he knows the country doesn't support the war. Time for the exit strategy that will try to minimize bloodshed when we leave and bring in neighbors(as much as we may dislike them) and allies that you freedom fries loving friends may not like--the French and the Russians--to help. There's no easy answer and all solutions are painful. But staying the course in Iraq will have the same result as did George Pickett's charge.

Quang

Hey, "Iraq is a good war" poster. You get over there and do some killin' instead of hiding behind this blog. These damn summer journalists parachute into Iraq for a week or two and write rosy reports. What do you think the officers and troops are going to say for their dog and pony show report, uhh... NYT Op-Ed?

Reenlistment is not up. Army junior officers are leaving in droves. Frankly I am surprised that all the betting is on ONE American general. Win or lose, staying or withdrawing, Petraeus will be the hero or the scapegoat. Only one percent of this great nation's citizens will pay/have paid any price and bear any burden in this war. The military advisory model has not been successful, in Vietnam or Iraq.

And please, don't use the word "allies."

redperegrine

"Jubal--You know you're in trouble when RP has seen the light"

Sorry BR. I've never supported this idiotic adventure. And I didn't support Bush I in Kuwait, either for that matter.

Conservatives know that these sorts of exercises increase the size of government, create massive budget deficits, impinge rights and open the flood gates of all sorts of unforseen consequences. We haven't even seen the worst. Watch out for outright civil war in Iraq and a tsunami of Sunni refugees reading up on John Locke and Thomas Jefferson.

redperegrine

And, BR, thanks for the Pickett's Charge parallel. It's funny (in a perverse sort of way) how military apologists are forever telling us that just one more charge will break the enemy's will.

I strongly encourage anyone who cares to watch Kubrick's "Paths of Glory" for a portrayal of the mindset.

Jubal

RP:

Funny how often one more charge does break the enemy's will. If you and BR had been in command of the Normans at Hastings, William would never have acquired the sobriquet "Conquerer."

Or those instances when the attack was broken off at the moment the enemy was at the breaking point.

You guys might to take a break from the mutual admiration exercise and read some more military history.

What I find funny is how the intelligent set finds withdrawal and acceptance of defeat the smarter alternative to persistence even in bleak times. I'm sure George McClellan could have counted on both your votes in 1864, or those exhausted Allied politicians who'd have allowed the German Empire to keep its conquests as the price of peace in WWI.

The Iraq war is good

Hey Quang, Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt - as a Marine on the ground. Would love to go back in a heartbeat, but I'm "too old" to be considered.
...and you're wrong, flyboy, reenlistment has not gone down as a result of the war; quite the contrary. And who gives a hoot about junior officers? I'm talking about the men doing the real fighting - the SNCO's and NCO's and their men. You're wrong again regarding the military advisers in Vietnam and Iraq. The model is just fine if you can keep the anti-American leftist media and their darlings in the Democrat party (the super-majority of which have never served one day in this man's military forward deployed) out of our military's way.
War isn't pretty or fun; that's why it has to be prosecuted with extreme prejudice on behalf OF the United States, not AGAINST us.

The Iraq war is good. Our men our doing a fine and noble job. When the boots on the ground stop believing in the cause, then and only then will I stand against the proper action we are currently taking.

Jubal

Is this another " bad economic indicators, Fredo has lied once again under oath," the President's approval ratings are in the toilet so its time to beat the terrorist drums again" mantra?

BR, you're smarter than that. You've read my postings long enough that to know better than that.

I refrain from brining national/international issues onto this blog, but once in a while I get tired of the defeatists and whiners and historically ignorant who carp about Iraq -- seizing on even the smallest misfortunes, carping about the circumstances of the invasion, offering no solution other than for the United States military to do what it has never done in its history (in the words of military historian Victor Davis Hanson): abandon an entire theater of operations. I get annoyed when the defeatist OC Register editorial pages reveal stunning historical ignorance by waxing nostalgic about the good old days of isolationists like Sen. Robert Taft. Taft was a great defender of limited government, Europe would have been under either the Nazi or the Soviet boot, and this country would likely, out of necessity, have transformed itself into an armed camp like something from Alan Bock's nightmares.

If we listen to the weak sisters and defeatists -- and that is what they are -- regarding Iraq, we will deeply regret it.

RHackett

And how is that proof of anything -- other than that the anti-way Left will seize on any item, no matter how small, to beat the drum for surrender...er, "redeployment."

It is proof the Iraqis won't be in any hurry to fend for themselves as long they have big brother standing behind them. When they realize we have an end date to our support, there will be an incentive to get things prepared for them to stand on their own.

But I see no reason to continue to have Americans risk life and limb for a group who are indifferent to the urgency within their own country.

redperegrine

Jubal, your criticism of me was disingenuous. I was not using Pickett's Charge literally to criticize battlefield tactics, but figuratively to represent the kind of mindset that can't recognize the waste of resources in a futile effort. That's why I used the word "parallel" and made reference to the Kubrik film.

The battle tactics at Senlac are irrelevant to discussion of throwing lives away in Iraq and running up massive deficits for no apparent reason.

On the subject of Iraq, there's a big difference between defeatists and realists. The latter can recognize that there has been a constant modification of goals adumbrated by Bush since the beginning, and a constant lowering of aims and expectations until at last all we have is the hope that violence will be lessened. Turn the corner? There is no corner, only a circular wall with a tortuously long radius. Those wrapped up in jingoism or die-hard defense of an incoherent presidency may not be able or willing to grasp this. Others who throw around the word "defeatist" cynically should know better.

As for the remark about "the intelligent set" (whatever that may be) I feel honored that you seem to include me, although I'm pretty sure you didn't mean it as a compliment. Still, it's better than being part of the "unintelligent set." A few days ago in another context I referred to Richard Hofstadter's "Anti-intellectualism in American History." I recommend it to the loyal OCBlog followers once again.

And as for the McClellan comment - well, that's about the strangest reference I've read lately. A backhanded comparison of Lincoln in 1864 to Bush???!!! Tell me you're joking, please.

Jubal

RP:

In a war, tactics and war-fighting methods adjust all the time. It's a dynamic environment.

You make a flat assertion there is no chance of any kind of victory in Iraq, but on what basis can you possibly make that when history offers plenty of examples where the stronger power -- in this case, the US-led Coalition -- wins. It can take several years, but the right strategy resolutely pursued will produce victory. And I think victory is vastly preferable to defeat -- even if one doesn't think we should have gotten into this war in the first place.

I think , and I have said this before, that the Bush Administration has mismanaged the conduct of the war following the successful invasion. But I'd rather we hit upon the winning strategy and win, rather than bug-out, consequences be damned for our country and those who have placed their trust in us.

As for the McClellan comment, it wasn't a comparison of Bush to Lincoln. McClellan was the candidate of those who thought the Civil War had gone on long enough, that we had suffered too many casualties in a war the North couldn't win -- if you'll recall, the war hadn't been going well for the Union -- and it was time to negotiate a settlement with the South and withdraw Union troops before more money was spent and blood split.

Jubal

RHackett:

The Iraqis are not indifferent. Their security forces are getting better and more effective all the time. Even war critics like O'Hanlon and Pollack admit as much.

But the Iraqis are aware of their present, though slowly diminishing weakness. The hollering and hand-wringing of the bug-out crowd back here in the US undercuts their morale. Now that the surge is happening (and news to the Left: all the forces for the surge have only been in place for a month) and Petraeus is implementing a new strategy, Iraqis see the difference and more are willing to stand with us against the terrorists in their country. But for those results to take root, we need to keep at it -- not bug-out now that we've found an approach that is producing results.

On the Fence

I really should follow this closer, but there are 1,200 Al-Qaeda in Iraq which is a country of 26 Million people. Why do we put so many resources there and ingore the root problem?


Al-Qaeda strong as ever, U.S. report warns
KATHERINE SHRADER

Associated Press

July 12, 2007 at 10:13 PM EDT

WASHINGTON — A new threat assessment from U.S. counterterrorism analysts says that al-Qaeda has used its safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistan border to restore its operating capabilities to a level unseen since the months before Sept. 11, 2001.

A counterterrorism official familiar with a five-page summary of the document — titled "Al-Qaeda better positioned to strike the West" — called it a stark appraisal. The analysis will be part of a broader meeting at the White House on Thursday about an upcoming National Intelligence Estimate.

killerjoe

How odd it is that leftys always throw out the VietNam issue. The one thing they never talk about is the millions of S.Vietnamese that were murdered as a result of kerry,and kennedy,fonda anti war activities. Even Giap said that kerry and fonda were the greatest pr that they had.
Spin that fact as you like, but you can't change the truth. If things go good in Iraq, well then the demoraats lose. Aint that a big fat mess? huh

redperegrine

My flat assertion is just based on the fact that nobody in the Administration has given a straight and consistent account of why we are there and what we hope to accomplish. Both rationale and expectations keep changing. If there are no fixed objectives and no commitment to these goals (on the strategic level - go ahead and charge the enemy trenches general) then all that can be offered in the way of a vision is an open-ended morass.

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