Friday, February 16, 2007

 

War escalation misses its first benchmark

Dan Froomkin writes about it for the Washington Post. Some highlights:
It seems almost inconceivable: The White House actually invites the press corps to hold it accountable -- but when the time comes, and a key benchmark is missed, the press is silent.

And yet that's exactly what has happened.

Back in January, when President Bush announced that in spite of the public opinion against the war in Iraq he was going to send in more troops, he repeatedly insisted that what was different this time was that the Iraqis were finally serious about stepping up.

....

"You're going to have to -- you're going to have some opportunities to judge very quickly," one senior administration official said at an official background briefing on January 10, a few hours before Bush's prime-time announcement.

"The Iraqis are going to have three brigades within Baghdad within a little more than a month. They have committed to trying to get one brigade in, I think, by the first of February, and two more by the 15th," the official said.

As the columnist goes on to describe, the 1st and the 15th came and left, with the promises found wanting. And the press is still asleep.

Comments:
Despite 9/11, Americans still don’t get it. In a breathtaking display of national immaturity, support for the War on Terror has steadily declined. However, war is not a popularity contest. That we now take (and heed) polls about matters of survival is offensive in and of itself, but equally alarming is the failure of so many to understand the special obligation placed upon American citizens in time of war.

Polls taken in early 1942 as the Japanese rolled through the Pacific and Rommel gobbled up North Africa undoubtedly would have shown World War II to be tremendously unpopular, yet we know that it was crucial that the war be fought and won. In fighting the war, we lost hundreds of thousands of soldiers.

Any American war, and particularly the War on Terror where the threat to western civilization is every bit as grave as in 1942, deserves the same commitment shown by the so called greatest generation during World War II. This terrorist enemy is every bit as repugnant as Imperial Japan and fascist Germnany and Italy. But, only a few years after it started, the War on Terror seemingly holds no more significance for many Americans than the housing market or the latest TV reality show. Many Americans also seemingly believe that a country can be defeated, pacified, and turned into a sterling democracy in less than three years. Such unrealistic expectations only come from the massive amount of leftist propaganda foisted on the American people on a daily basis.

The anti-war/anti-Bush faction has exploited this war attention deficit disorder by carving out the War in Iraq from the larger War on Terror, when it actually represents the boldest and most effective strategy for eliminating the roots of terror: fascist Islam.

Nothing better reveals this lassitude about the War on Terror than the constant moaning, "When will the insurgency stop?" or "What is our exit strategy?" – like a child in the car whining, "Are we there yet?"

What was the exit strategy in the Pacific in World War II? The defeat of the enemy. What was the exit strategy in Europe in World War I? The defeat of the enemy. Today’s complacent American apparently cannot understand that Iraq will be done, the Middle East will be done, this war will be done, when we defeat the enemy. We do not get to choose – beyond the commitment of our will, resources and forces – when that will happen, but we also do not have the option to pack up and go home because the enemy hasn’t the courtesy to wear uniforms, fight fair, or lose fast enough to accommodate our waning attention spans and aversion to unpleasant issues that disrupt daily life.

Support for the War on Terror and specifically the Iraq War should be unconditional, as every bit as unconditional as for other great World Wars. Besides the harsh reality that any conditional support for war gets soldiers killed and communicates a defeat strategy to our enemy (developed in Conditional Support for War), this attitude about the United States at war, a morally bankrupt residue of the 1960s, reveals a profound ignorance of why and how this great republic goes to war.

Dissent is not patriotic and is not an option. The very idea that the vacillating opinion of the American people once war has begun is relevant assumes that American wars happen for all manner of legitimate and illegitimate reasons and that the populace has a role, like the press in checking the government, in constantly re-evaluating the worthiness of war objectives. Nothing could be further from the truth. The check against illegitimate wars is built into our republican system of government, not into vacuous protest marches and the misuse of free speech. The definition of treason (Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort - US Constitution, Article III, Section III) demonstrates that the time for opposition has passed once the first soldier steps into harm’s way.

One cannot help but wonder at how much courage the terrorists have garnered from websites such as Eric's and the other left wing sites that destroy morale for Americans and raise morale for the terrorists.

When soldiers agree to place their lives on the line, the citizens whom they represent should agree to place their opposition aside. The soldier's commitment is unconditional and so must be the support of his fellow citizens. Elections should bring change. not the brown Shirt tactics of the "peace movement." Such an agreement is only feasible in a republican form of government where the authority to wage war has been vested in the people’s representatives and any decision to wage war has been arrived at through careful deliberation (thoroughly discussed in Federalist #41 and commented upon by the first Commander in Chief below).

The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure - George Washington so Nanci Pelosi may have a point regarding Iran.

But when the debate is done as in the case of Iraq and congressional approval given, the dissent is done. While every soldier may not personally endorse the mission, his actions are unequivocal. And while every citizen may not personally believe in the mission, their actions, too, must be unequivocal or else they aid the enemy.

Dissent is not banished; it is harnessed. Because of the extraordinary risks assumed by the military, consensus is essential before a commitment to war. The American mechanism for divining the will of the people in matters of war, however, is in no way inadequate; in fact, it is the most sophisticated and just of any system employed by any nation on Earth. Once again: in a republican form of government, the people, through their representatives, hold the power to wage war, and the representatives, bound by their oath to protect and defend the Constitution and through the process of extended and visible public debate, safeguard American military power, reserving its use for causes that align with the organizing principles of this country: defense of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Defense of the American people. Defense of freedom. And should this free country be so moved to war in defense of these principles, there is no room, no moral basis, for wavering or calculated support.

What does vacillating support for a war, such as the Iraq war, reveal about morality and motivations? It reveals the mentality of a looter or a poacher. If our support for a just war wavers as the cost or difficulty increases, then there was a subtle, immoral calculus employed in our initial support, an opportunism where we desired something easy, something cheap that our strength enabled us to seize. But once prevented from looting by the arrival of some form of resistance, we judge the cost of overcoming that resistance higher than the value of the loot, and we flee. This is an immoral use of force, an immoral basis for war. If we are a people with convictions, our support for a just war should be independent of what the battlefield throws at us. Our support for the Iraq war today should be no different than when the military was pulling down the statue of Saddam Hussein. Any other course of action is the action of a looter, a coward or someone who rejects the American system of government.
 
You are nuts. Go to Sempivirens immediatley please.
 
You are not going to win a war against insurgents. It is very difficult to occupy a country. Ask Hitler. Ask the Russians/Soviets (Afghanistan). Ask the British (Revolutionary War). Ask Vietnam. Ask Saddam.... oh never mind. Bush got rid of all the WMD (lol). He got rid of Saddam and boy is Iraq better off now. We won, right? Hey let's pack up our guns and go home. Call it a day.
 
SICK..., said, "Dissent is not patriotic and is not an option."

Read any Thomas Jefferson lately?
 
Well, to play devil's advocate here, didn't we successfully occupy Germany, Japan, and the other Axis nations following the war?
 
Well Eric do you always want to throw water on the fire? Do you have to be a stick in the mud? Sheesh. I think that Germany among the other European Axis countries wanted us to stay for a while and to compare Japan and Iraq I think the U.S. could stay as long as they wanted if they dropped a couple nukes in a couple strategic locations (Bush would probably screw that up though) around the country. But you have to admit that these Iraqis/Afghans/Arabs/Persians?Middle Eastern type people play for keeps. The Vietnamese were kinda adamant also. If the people of a country don't want to be occupied - look out! I would also bet that there would not be many people standing around if some other country tried to invade The Good Ole U. S. of A. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
 
well lets see about this war on terror,there are gangs in the cities with automatic weapons,the klan is on the rise,homlessness is a crime,cant get much medical care,yeah looks like a war on terror,and itz right here in the good ole usa
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
"...how much courage the terrorists have garnered from websites such as Eric's..."
Bad writing is the real enemy. Look at what it has done to the commenter above known as "Sick of Leftist Propaganda."

Does he imagine that we will smother the insurgents will poorly-formed sentences and loopy suppositions?

If our Congressional Representatives took seriously being "...bound by their oath to protect and defend the Constitution" we'd already have an impeachment trial for President Bush scheduled before the Senate.
 
What about the gangs in the hills of SoHum with automatic weapons and dobermans? If, say, the US Army were to clean them out, think of how much territory we would liberate.
 
Why can't this administration keep this war on schedule?

Why do wars always have to go astray?

Why couldn't we have given the UN sanctions a little more time?

Why are second-guessers labeled unpatriotic?

Why can't we all just get along?
 
Nice try, anon 8:59. It won't work to spread the blame. This is a problem we all have HERE. But maybe you're not part of the solution.
 
Boy Carson Park Ranger, you sure are a great debater. Wow! Your masterful response to substantive critcism of the war protesters is to complain the writing is sub standard. Did it ever occur to you that you "opposition" is illogical and recognized as a poor debate technique? Was that the best you can do? If so, you should simply identify yourself with the acronym CPR and we will all interpret that as another brain dead idiot mouthing off that could use a little CPR. Is your IQ actually higher than the ambient room temperature?
 
Sick,

The clumsy personal attack weakens your position. Again, have you read Thomas Jefferson on "dissent?"
 
"Sick of Leftist Propanganda" complains that my critcism showed "poor debate technique" and then proceeds to crudely insult me. It's as if he were attempting to address me as he primps before a mirror.

I didn't take on the assertions in SLP's original comment because they all begged questions which even the dimmest citizens of our great republic no longer assume to be true.

To do a point-by-point response might be instructive to SLP, but it would prove tedious to the rest of us.
 
"the organizing principles of this country: defense of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Defense of the American people. Defense of freedom. And should this free country be so moved to war in defense of these principles, there is no room, no moral basis, for wavering or calculated support."

But should this Free Country be so moved to war in defense of these principles, such as Freedom, there is no room, indeed, no moral basis for having any more Freedom. We must all march in lockstep with our Exalted Leaders, fighting for the Freedom which we no longer allow ourselves.

Golly gee, I see what you mean, Sick.
 
No CPR, SLP would most likely not find a point-by-point response to their post instructive. The right wing kool-aide is obviously in full brew over at their house. Frank Luntz and the rest of the right wing think tankers would be proud of SLP's rants. Hell Frank probably wrote a bunch of it himself. All of the right buzz phrases and labels were used. Priceless stuff like "fascist islam", "war on terror", "brown shirt tactics", and the lovely title of "leftist propaganda". And while they liberally (pun intended) throw around the labels ,there is also a healthy dose of bait and switch being employed throughout the peice. Oh, and lets not forget the mandatory mention of 9-11.
Yep, seen this movie too many times. I have, in the past, taken on posters like this with tit for tat rebuttle. Only to find that I wasted my time and theirs. No matter how many links and historical references used, they always come back with the exact same talking points. You know, the Heritage Foundation type stuff. Usually you don't get very far into the back and forth when you start getting called every name in the left bashing book. For those of us who think outside of the right wing spin machine, the responses to SLP's post are obvious and well understood.
As long as some people on the right continue to absorb the RNC talking point memos through their vast and various sources, there is no real debate of sustance that can be had. When these same folks are convinced that the media has an overwhemingly liberal bias to it because guys like Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck tell them there is, we don't have much of a chance at getting them to consider the reality of issues that affect us all. I'm not suggesting that we should just give up debate all together. Quite the opposite. Sadly, there are just some folks amongst us that are beyond rational discourse. To use a famous movie line: "what we got here, is a failure to communicate... some men, you just can't reach".
 
"Such an agreement is only feasible in a republican form of government where the authority to wage war has been vested in the people’s representatives and any decision to wage war has been arrived at through careful deliberation."
Well I guess that the Iraq war does not fit into the category of war you are describing. We sure know that there was no careful deliberation going into Iraq.
I don't really want to spend any more time trying to talk sense to a 22%er. There are a certain number of people who cannot understand reason. So it is best not to bother.
 
Reasonable requests. Let's do respect this, people. This is a good Blog. Let's not push it.
 
civil war

civil war

civil war
 
psychopath

psychopath

psychopath
 
"We sure know that there was no careful deliberation going into Iraq."

No, just a bunch of bald-faced lies about "weapons of mass destruction".

"No matter how many links and historical references used, they always come back with the exact same talking points."

I've experienced that too. These people are effectively mindless. They can't think for themselves. Truth and rationality do not matter to them. They've got another agenda, that of fascist control over others.

And when you start nailing them on their contradictions and lack of reason, they certainly do shift their tactics from mindless prattling dogma to mindless namecalling and personal attacks that are irrelevant to the subject, smokescreens thrown up so they can hide from simple, obvious, glaring realities.
 
Actually, I'm with SLP with regard to this thread. He or she's made a serious and conscious effort to open up a discussion of substance, putting a bit of time into what he wrote. I actually intend to respond in detail when I have a moment to breath. His approach may be a bit patronizing, and doesn't really address the specific issues of the initial post. But it is thoughtful and there are plenty of people who agree with him. I don't even disagree with all of it.
 
The only good leftist is a stifled leftist.
 
Anon said; "You are nuts. Go to Sempivirens immediatley please." This exemplifies the average ability of your typical leftist to debate a controversial issue. What does the left fear about legitimate debate? What does it say about leftists that all they can do is make charachter attacks?
 
SLP, True, you got a cowardly personal attack instead of an argument. But what kind of American insists, as you have, that "Dissent is not patriotic and is not an option?"
 
I agree that it is a controversial statement. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Ergo my over-the-top statement in reaction to the constant, irrational criticism of the U.S. and its legitimate goals.

To clarify, my point is not that there should be no consent, just that once the decision is made to pull the trigger that it should stop. During WWII the type of constant undermining dissent we see today would not have been allowed. The dissent we see today does embolden our enemies and it does undermine our efforts. That is very significant as the stakes are high in Iraq. We cannot let Iraq devolve into a full-on terrorist state capable of exporting terror and maintaining terror camps for international terror. We also have an obligation to the innocent Iraqis.

Of course, this is just an academic discussion as the modern 1st Amendment jurisprudence would not allow the muzzling of dissent like we experienced in WWII.

All I would hope to accomplish is to tone down the anti-U.S. rhetoric. The war can be criticized constructively without turning the dissent into an anti-U.S. diatribe. What most disturbs me is that it appears that many leftists actually want us to lose. They seem to hate the U.S. and Bush so much that they seem to want a U.S. defeat to vindicate their leftist ideology. The leftists have been so inundated over the course of their lives with P.C. rhetoric denouncing the U.S. that they are unable to place that rhetoric in its proper perspective and their exaggerated, hyperbolic anti-U.S. views are destroying our society. Bernard Lewis has written the best analysis of leftist sentiment I have yet to read.

He wrote: “The accusations are familiar. We of the West are accused of sexism, racism, and imperialism, institutionalized in patriarchy and slavery, tyranny and exploitation. To these charges, and to others as heinous, we have no option but to plead guilty -- not as Americans, nor yet as Westerners, but simply as human beings, as members of the human race. In none of these sins are we the only sinners, and in some of them we are very far from being the worst. The treatment of women in the Western world, and more generally in Christendom, has always been unequal and often oppressive, but even at its worst it was rather better than the rule of polygamy and concubinage that has otherwise been the almost universal lot of womankind on this planet.”

Mr. Lewis’ analysis placing America’s “sins” in perspective is undeniably accurate, but note how far afield it is from the modern left which seems to believe, Like the late Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, that America is the Great Satan. The modern left just uses different terminology because it hates traditional Western religions.

It seems inevitable that a culture that inculcates its young with a negative view of their own culture develops a culture that is unwilling to fight to preserve its culture. That is exactly what we are experiencing. What further disturbs me is that, when these issues are raised, all the hard-core left can do is engage in character assassination. Hence, the SLP pseudonym which is also responsive to Eric’s latest show as to why people post anonymously.
I post anonymously to avoid people like the Carson Park Ranger libeling me. CPR posts anonymously because he wants to avoid exposure for being a too intellectually challenged to mount a serious opposition to my views and he does not want to be held personally accountable for his elementary school level of sarcasm and debate.
Note how he writes off a serious response as beneath him. he takes that position because in his World, his views are dogma and he cannot even perceive that there might be a serious opposition to what for him has become a set of religious beliefs not subject to dissent. That is why no one rweads his blog, but Eric's continues to grow in popularity. While Eric no doubt bristled at a view that challenged his leftward ideology, he nonetheless is capable of responding, in essence, with a "hey this might be interesting lets take a look at it approach." Such an approach makes his website more interesting.
 
blah, blah, blah

You're never going to agree or win each other over.

Civil war now!
 
No. It is time for Jihad! The Ayatollah predicted the fall of the Soviet Union and Sadaam Hussein. Both have fallen. He also predicted that America will fall to Islam and it will because you Americans are so blind.
 
Jihad's been underway for 25 years and Islam remains a gutter religion. On the other hand, we have more Muslim on Muslim violence and most of your women still resemble goat anus.

I'll take America any day Sabu.
 
Good for you anon 1:56. It is wonderful to see that there is at least one other American out there that is willing to fight for America.
 
Hell, I'm willing to fight other Americans (if need be) so that we can start defending ourselves with the same zeal and ruthlessness our enemies employ.
 
I must say though that with respect to the statement "most of your women still resemble goat anus," I must disagree. The Islamic World has its fair share of attractive women. I saw two Iranian women in a restaurant in Sebastopol once and they were incredibly beautiful. Their hair was blue black in color . . .
 
Sabu...?
 
Eric said...
Actually, I'm with SLP with regard to this thread.

Really? So you too think we should give up our freedoms to our war-criminal rulers just because they drag us into a war we don't want?

And then we're supposed to pretend we're fighting for "freedom"?
 
No, I'm saying that when somebody spends that much time writing up an argument, that you ought to at least address the merits of the argument instead of going right to the ad hominum stuff.
 
Who's "going right to the ad hominum stuff"? The 10:54 comment IS addressing the content of the "argument," which apparently you haven't read too closely.
 
And was I necessarily talking about you?
 
Eric, why don't you address the content of the argument, instead of going right to the bullshit stuff.
 
Yet another leftist writes an over-the-top comment - "So you too think we should give up our freedoms to our war-criminal rulers . . ."

Why is it that leftists are seemingly unable to debate without using exaggerated speech? The Iraq war has been fought by the U.S. in as humanitarian a manner as possible. Yes, some troops committed atrocities, but no group of people will ever be devoid of criminals. Our soldiers have, overall, behaved in an exemplary fashion.

Why is it that one NEVER hears leftists complain about the atrocities of the terrorists or Saddam Hussein? Jeane Kirkpatrick was wrong when she said: "When Marxist dictators shoot their way into power in Central America, the San Francisco Democrats don't blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies. They blame United States policies of 100 years ago. But then they always blame America first."

The truth is that leftists blame America always and rarely anyone else. Years of leftist indoctrination in our schools has seemingly left them reprobate.

Can even one leftist, other than Eric, actually write a substantive opposition without engaging in personal attacks or hyperbole?

Is there even one intelligent leftist out there?
 
"Why is it that leftists are seemingly unable to debate without using exaggerated speech?"

Why are you rightists so immune to reality?

"The Iraq war has been fought by the U.S. in as humanitarian a manner as possible."

You are totally nuts. You call napalming and clusterbombing tens of thousands of civilians to death "humanitarian"?

"Yes, some troops committed atrocities,"

Many, many troops committed, and are still committing, horrific atrocities, just like they did in Vietnam.

"Our soldiers have, overall, behaved in an exemplary fashion."

You are a bald face liar.

"Why is it that one NEVER hears leftists complain about the atrocities of the terrorists or Saddam Hussein?"

Because you aren't LISTENING. Many leftists condemned the atrocities of Hussein, ever since the 1980s, when he was America's puppet in the war against Iran.

"The truth is that leftists blame America always and rarely anyone else."

You're a liar. You don't know what you're talking about, and you don't know leftists.

"Is there even one intelligent leftist out there?"

There are millions. But a crooked rightist like you would never notice.
 
Yet even more propaganda from the left. Leftists remind me of the pigs on George Orwell's Animal Farm. Orwell wrote AF as an allegory about the Russian Revolution, but it also applies to leftists as a group. The key lesson from AF is that an organization’s members often manipulate events for their own benefit, ending up even worse than the real or imaginary evils from which they originally revolted or protested.

Leftists are like AF’s pigs because they started with very legitimate complaints, but like the pigs they utilize public education and political correctness much like the pigs enlisted the farm's dogs as enforcers to put down any dissent. Leftists also teach the “sheep” (rank and file leftists) to speak the party line on demand. In AF the original party line was "Four legs good, two legs bad"- animals (four legs) are good, humans (exploiters) are bad, but the party line morphed, after the pigs start to walk on two legs, into "Four legs good, two legs better!"

Leftists have figuratively pulled the same bait and switch. They originally taught the sheep, quite rightly, that America had its faults and can better itself. That early truism has morphed into “blame America always for everything and denigrate all its accomplishments and exaggerate its faults.” In doing so, leftists have come to advocate a set of beliefs that is even worse than the set of beliefs it seeks to replace.

What is most frightening is the level of arrogance exhibited by the left. Its adherents believe themselves to have a superior intellect and a philosophy that results from more education. The left is better characterized as follows: Thinking themselves wise they become as fools.
 
That's an amusing little fairy tale. Do you have milk and cookies to go with it?

But the most amusing thing is that everything you said describes yourself perfectly. Thinking yourself wise you are only a fool.
 
Let us analyze Anon’s hysterical response. (I used a word here the left has unilaterally labeled sexist in rebellion to poitical correctness)

SLP said: "Why is it that leftists are seemingly unable to debate without using exaggerated speech?"

Anon’s response: “Why are you rightists so immune to reality?”

Analysis: reality appears, at best, to be a relative term to Anon, if not outright malleable.

SLP said: "The Iraq war has been fought by the U.S. in as humanitarian a manner as possible."

Anon’s response: “You are totally nuts. You call napalming and clusterbombing tens of thousands of civilians to death "humanitarian"?

Analysis: Note, once again, the exaggerated speech and historical inaccuracy. Leftist hysteria to the contrary, the U.S. has not napalmed and cluster bombed tens of thousands of civilians to death.

SLP said: "Yes, some troops committed atrocities,"

Anon’s response: “Many, many troops committed, and are still committing, horrific atrocities, just like they did in Vietnam.”

Analysis: Is "many, many" meant to mean more than some? Is the percentage of soldiers in Iraq committing crimes higher than the per capita crime rate in liberal cities like New York? I suspect not even though they are acting under very extreme conditions. Also, what is an atrocity to Anon? I suspect that it is any use of force by American troops targeted at the terrorists that kills even one civilian no matter how inadvertently. Such precision in warfare is impossible.

SLP said: "Our soldiers have, overall, behaved in an exemplary fashion."

Anon’s response: “You are a bald face liar.”

Analysis: Most people do believe, and rightfully so, that most soldiers have behaved in an exemplary fashion. What proof does Anon have to the contrary - none.

SLP said: "Why is it that one NEVER hears leftists complain about the atrocities of the terrorists or Saddam Hussein?"

Anon said: “Because you aren't LISTENING. Many leftists condemned the atrocities of Hussein, ever since the 1980s, when he was America's puppet in the war against Iran.”

Analysis: Really, I have been reading leftist blogs for some time and I cannot recall one piece devoted to the atrocities under Saddam. I am sure there has been a little lip service to the issue, but it is so overwhelmed by the anti-U.S. propaganda as to be meaningless. Moreover, Saddam was never our puppet. I disagree morally with any assistance we gave that monster, but to say he was our puppet is, once again, hyperbole at best - the left’s trademark.

SLP said: "The truth is that leftists blame America always and rarely anyone else."

Anon’s grade school response: “You're a liar. You don't know what you're talking about, and you don't know leftists.”

Analysis: None needed.

SLP said: "Is there even one intelligent leftist out there?" This was meant to be a challenge to try to evoke an intelligent response.

Anon’s response: “There are millions. But a crooked rightist like you would never notice.”

Analysis: I agree that there are millions of intelligent leftists, but they have been too often educated beyond their intelligence level. Their ability to synthesize and apply what they have learned is all too often lacking.
 
"That's an amusing little fairy tale. Do you have milk and cookies to go with it?"

I thought you leftists preferred organic coffee and tofu?
 
Let us analyze Sicko's dishonest response:

SLP said: "Why is it that leftists are seemingly unable to debate without using exaggerated speech?"
Anon’s response: “Why are you rightists so immune to reality?”
Analysis: reality appears, at best, to be a relative term to Anon, if not outright malleable.


You are simply describing yourself, Sick. You don't seem to know what reality is.


SLP said: "The Iraq war has been fought by the U.S. in as humanitarian a manner as possible."
Anon’s response: “You are totally nuts. You call napalming and clusterbombing tens of thousands of civilians to death "humanitarian"?
Analysis: Note, once again, the exaggerated speech and historical inaccuracy. Leftist hysteria to the contrary, the U.S. has not napalmed and cluster bombed tens of thousands of civilians to death.


Once again, you are lying. The U.S. has indeed napalmed and cluster-bombed tens of thousands of Iraqi civilian people to death, just as it did in Vietnam. And that's a conservative estimate.


SLP said: "Yes, some troops committed atrocities,"
Anon’s response: “Many, many troops committed, and are still committing, horrific atrocities, just like they did in Vietnam.”
Analysis: Is "many, many" meant to mean more than some? Is the percentage of soldiers in Iraq committing crimes higher than the per capita crime rate in liberal cities like New York? I suspect not even though they are acting under very extreme conditions. Also, what is an atrocity to Anon? I suspect that it is any use of force by American troops targeted at the terrorists that kills even one civilian no matter how inadvertently. Such precision in warfare is impossible.


An atrocity is when, for instance, American troops gang rape an Iraqi woman at an American checkpoint, and then murder her and her entire family in an attempt to cover it up.


SLP said: "Our soldiers have, overall, behaved in an exemplary fashion."
Anon’s response: “You are a bald face liar.”
Analysis: Most people do believe, and rightfully so, that most soldiers have behaved in an exemplary fashion. What proof does Anon have to the contrary - none.


Most people? You're wrong. Only grossly dishonest rightists like you believe that America's murdering, raping, torturing soldiers have "behaved in an exemplary fashion."

Proof? Have you been living in a cave for the last four years? The stories of American atrocities have been reported even in the mainstream American media.


SLP said: "Why is it that one NEVER hears leftists complain about the atrocities of the terrorists or Saddam Hussein?"
Anon said: “Because you aren't LISTENING. Many leftists condemned the atrocities of Hussein, ever since the 1980s, when he was America's puppet in the war against Iran.”
Analysis: Really, I have been reading leftist blogs for some time and I cannot recall one piece devoted to the atrocities under Saddam. I am sure there has been a little lip service to the issue, but it is so overwhelmed by the anti-U.S. propaganda as to be meaningless. Moreover, Saddam was never our puppet. I disagree morally with any assistance we gave that monster, but to say he was our puppet is, once again, hyperbole at best - the left’s trademark.


You are totally ignorant on the issue. Saddam was indeed America's puppet. And if all you're supposedly reading is leftist blogs, you aren't looking in the right places. There are also many leftist websites and books that deal with it, and they would be better material for you to study than blogs. Google it if you're honestly interested.


SLP said: "The truth is that leftists blame America always and rarely anyone else."
Anon’s grade school response: “You're a liar. You don't know what you're talking about, and you don't know leftists.”
Analysis: None needed.


You're wrong. You're presuming to know something about people whom you say you don't need to know about. Your twisted mind is full of contradictions.


SLP said: "Is there even one intelligent leftist out there?" This was meant to be a challenge to try to evoke an intelligent response.
Anon’s response: “There are millions. But a crooked rightist like you would never notice.”
Analysis: I agree that there are millions of intelligent leftists, but they have been too often educated beyond their intelligence level. Their ability to synthesize and apply what they have learned is all too often lacking.


That's a very good description of yourself. You just don't recognize your own reflection when you see it in others.

"That's an amusing little fairy tale. Do you have milk and cookies to go with it?"
I thought you leftists preferred organic coffee and tofu?


No, you misunderstood even that. The milk and cookies were meant for you.
 
Naplam has not been used in Iraq.
 
Well Anon, this old man is ready for his nap. It has been fun. Shalom.
 
I think you're ready for a little psychoanalysis too.

And napalm has indeed been used by Americans in Iraq, along with other types of firebombs. You really are ill-informed.
 
Eric, please explain how you have a "debate" of ANY real substance with someone who goes by the name of Sick of Leftist Propaganda? Do you really think that a rational discourse can be had with this person when you read the contents of their posts on this subject, let alone others? The very belief system that this blogger subscribes to is strongly rooted in projection. It is the old "blame your opponent for the very tacticts that you use" number.

This person (SLP) wants to complain that we on the left cannot engage him without namecalling. Yet, they never refer to us as anything but leftists and sheep. So I have to ask, why in the hell should we "leftists" extend respect to someone who has thus far shown nothing but outright contempt towards us?


But I get it, we are expected to refute the claims of SLP with proper debate etiquette. Responding to SLP's content will not alter their course in spreading right wing propaganda in order to promote the mess of the Iraq war. Their collective mind is made up. They are "staying the course".

Never mind, that things like the comparison to WWII being a farce. Actually, lets take that one for example. The right has been trying to draw the parallels between Iraq and WWII for a while now. And I might add, that they have dumbed it down as much as possible for the consumption of the American public. In order to buy into the right's argument that Iraq was akin to nazi Germany in the 1930's, you must first believe that the two dictators (Saddam and Hitler)and the respective plight of their populations were the same. That the people of Iraq were just dying to embrace western style democracy if someone would just liberate them from Saddam. Toiling under this delusion, we the American public were in fact told that ore troops would be welcomed with flowers and praise by the Iraqies upon toppling Saddam and his regime. We were assured this by virtually every member of the Bush administration in the lead up to the 2003 invasion. Hell, it was one of their biggest selling points. In order for the Iraqies to jump from dictatorship to democracy, they would have at least needed to have existed under a form of it, like Germany did prior to the rise of Hitler, before being ruled by Saddam. The truth is, there had been no form of the western style democracy that the Bush administration and the neocons at large wish to impose on the people of Iraq now. Furthermore, Iraq had never overcome the sectarian divide amongst their population before or during Saddam's rule. Hence, the civil war that the country finds itself in right now as we speak. Germany by contast had mostly overcome the strife amongst its factions before Hitler. This all leads to the simplistic veiw of Bush and his most ardent followers in that, like Germany and Japan post WWII, Iraq would become the shining example of democracy in the Middle East. It's not going to happen that way. Certainly , they nor ANY middle eastern country, will ever accept our form of democracy at the end of the barrel of a gun. Even if one does not take into account the fundamental differences between nazi Germany and Saddam's Iraq as being a pale comparison by virtue of their fundamental differences in culture and history, the pretense for going to war with Iraq was bogus. Saddam was not responsible for 9-11. Even Bush had to admit this in a press conference after the invasion. There was no link between Saddam and Osama. WMD's were not found. Remember the whole "45 minutes to a launch" capability crap in the lead up to war? Most important, the Japanese attacked us and Germany declared war on us during WWII. It was not the other way around, as in Iraq.

And I will say this. I take great offense at folks like SLP claiming that we on the left want America to fail. Nothing could be further from the truth. And this assumption is based off of what? Opposing all of the great success that we are currently seeing now with this Bush style foreign policy? Sorry my friend, but America IS losing under the current plan(s) that you are so fond of. That is why THIS American, and others like me do not support the "more of the same" policies. With the "patriotic" rants of those on the right like SLP claiming that Americans need to fall in line behind Bush and his policies during a time of war with no dissent, it is not hard for most folks in this country and abroad to see that America has turned away from the very freedom and democracy that it claims to defend. The very "freedom and Democracy" that the Bushites claim that they are trying to export to Iraq. It is the utmost of hypocracy to expect them to accept what we ouselves are not willing to practice! Thankfully, SLP and his gang are in the minority.
 
Anon 4:21 you make us liberals look stupid because you seem to be debating a ghost. More than half of what you argue about is not responsive to the old guy's points. Also, do you really claim we are not leftists? Do we not so self-identify?
 
4:47, how do I make "us liberals" look stupid by debating a ghost. What ghost am I debating? And please explain how half of what I argue about does not respond to "the old guys" points? More than one of his posts refers to the war that we now find ourselves in as being the same magnitude as WWII. As I stated, the neocons have been drawing this parallel for some time now, in an attempt to gain support for Iraq. And no, I do not claim to be a leftist in the condescending context that he uses. Doesn't mean that I am ashamed to identify myself as being a "leftist" or "liberal", but not in the way that he or others on the right like to use the terms. It is well known to most leftys, that the linguists on the right have used these descriptions of the left as derogatory slurs against us. I seriously doubt that he uses "leftist" as a term of endearment towards the left.
 
4:21/5:23 that was an excellent post with many points very well made. Sicko Rightist is a pathologically arrogant moron.
 
All right. The old man is up from his nap and ready to once again try to help you secular progressives find enlightenment.

Anon says that I have been trying to "draw the parallels between Iraq and WWII for a while now." I do not deny that there are lessons to be learned from WWII that can be applied to Iraq. But I have never made any arguments along the lines of what Anon is trying to rebut. I actually agree with some of Anon's points.

Anon then states: "In order to buy into the right's argument that Iraq was akin to nazi Germany in the 1930's, you must first believe that the two dictators (Saddam and Hitler)and the respective plight of their populations were the same."

I do not know what "right" he is referring to, but I have never said anything close to the foregong statement. In my view, the plight of the Iraquis was more akin to the plight of the citizens of the Soviet Union under Stalin. In fact, Saddam was an admirer of Stalin and made a conscious choice to adopt his reign of terror approach.

Anon says that: "the people of Iraq were just dying to embrace western style democracy if someone would just liberate them from Saddam."

I never said that either. I knew ab initio that turning Iraq into a successful democracy was highly improbable.

Anon then states: "Toiling under this delusion, we the American public were in fact told that our troops would be welcomed with flowers and praise by the Iraqis upon toppling Saddam and his regime."

I never said that either. I knew after our betrayal of the Kurds and Shiites after Gulf 1 that they would be quite reticent to trust us again.

Anon is debating his perceived summary of a collective right-wing view of Iraq. Even if such a collective view could be identified, it does not represent what I have argued herein or what I know to be correct.

It is also important to realize that what has happened so far in Iraq is behind us and, much like in a capital budgeting decision, we must ignore the sunk costs in determining what to do now. What to do now depends on the probable benefits of staying the course versus the probable consequences of
prematurely abandoning the Iraqis.
In my view, the probability is that trying to stay long enough to allow the government to govern is best for us and Iraq for numerous reasons. The most important is that we cannot allow the terrorists to turn Iraq into a base for exporting terror nor can we abandon the innocent Iraqis to the terrorists.

You may disagree, but to allege that I need psychoanalysis as one blogger has only discredits the left and adds nothing to proper debate.
 
Oh,I like that logic. The disaster known as the Iraq war thus far "is behind us, and we must ignor the sunk costs in determining what to do now". We screwed up from the get go, but lets just keep doing more of the same. That's priceless. So we need to stay long enough to allow the government to govern the best for us and Iraq. Yeah, "allowing" the Iraq government to to what it has already done and continues to do is working great for both us and them. And if we just give them more time doing what they have been doing, we ALL will be in good shape. In case you have not noticed, the Iraq government has little to no authority outside of the green zone. Even that control has no teeth without the protection of the US military. They can't even get a handle on the Shia militia, even though they (the Shia) dominate the government. And guess what, Iraq is already a breeding ground for terrorist. The US occupation is a huge catalyst for this. NO country embraces occupation. Why would they? If the shoe were on the other foot, would we accept it? I don't think so. Our occupation has been the best recruiting tool that terrorist groups could have ever hoped for. To "ignor the sunk costs" is to be doomed in repeating those costs.

It would be nice to know how we even sustain the "stay the course" plan given the current state of our military. We don't have the troops. The equipment is lacking or worn out. We our cashing checks to pay for this war and Afghanistan, that our treasury can't pay for. Our VA is not equipped or prepared to deal with the personnel that is there now, let alone thousands more. And now the Bush regime is looking at Iran.

Saddam was a tyrant. But it took a dictator like him to keep that mixed idealogical bag together. The Shia, Sunni, and Kurds do not see eye to eye. Either we the US accept that the country of Iraq gets split up into three seperate states (or more), or another strong man is going to have to be installed. These people are not going to embrace a democratic government that requires them to participate in it peacefully. If they do ever find a way to join together in a democratic form of government, it's not going to be because we forced them to do it. They certainly are not going to choose it from a government that takes its cues from the US administration. The country is in a civil war, we are not going to change that no matter how many troops we throw at it.

If we are truly concerned about the innocent Iraqies, then we need to redeploy. The US needs to lessen the military presence and and aid in rebuilding the country. This does not mean that US corporations and companies get to do the rebuilding. American profit motif need not apply here. We need to let Iraqies rebuild their own country. Do we need to help fund it? You bet. We helped destroy the country, it is our obligation to help pay for the reconstruction. But, as I stated above, none of this is going to be possible until the Iraqies sort out what kind of country that they want to live in. If we the US are afraid of what might emerge from the whole mess, then we should have heeded those who warned us against such a stupid move in the first place. The genie is out of the bottle, and it is not going to be put back in any time soon.
 
It may surprise you, but I agree that we would have a better chance of success if we divide the country into three zones. Beyond that, your assertion that "redeploying" will help innocent Iraqis is inaccurate. Most violence is sectarian and if we leave it can only get worse. Much of the money now being wasted could be used to finance and encourage re-settlement in one's religious zone.

Every parent soon learns that immature, not yet socially developed people who fight must be separated. That simple and obvious wisdom seems lost on many people. Until the Iraqis establish a sense of pluralism, we have no better option.
 
The whole problem can be boiled down to one thing: There has been no Islamic Reformation. Until that happens, there will always be 'Islamic Terrorists'. There will be no Winning the 'War On Terror'. That leaves US with very few options.

A) Continue on our present path for the next 100 years or so, until there is a reformation in Islam, making it non-militant.

B) Religoside: Take Islam out of the world. The annihilation of the religion. No Islam, no Islamic Militants.

C) Pull out of Iraq and let the Sunni and Shia fight it out. This will draw in all of the Islamic world into a civil war, hopefully causing a reformation after Islam witnesses the slaughter their 'peaceful' religion produces.

Basically, the same old story, Christian Nations against Muslim Nations (when not at each others throats), been happening for 1400 years.

Discuss.
 
"Most violence is sectarian"

Which is exactly what I inferred in my post. And our presence is not helping the situation. If we the US had been honest brokers in the first place, maybe (just maybe)there would have been a chance to effectively "separate" these factions. That time has passed. Most Iraqis do not trust the US occupation any longer. They want us out of their country. Look it up for yourself. Besides, you might find that for people that have been on three and four tours over there, that they would not appreciate your analogy to parents seperating "immature, not yet socially developed" people. The folks that I have conversed with at great length, who have seen and been caught in between the sectarian strife up close and personal, do not liken it to intervening in a fight over the remote control between kids. They feel like they are caught in a turkey shoot.

Furthermore, where does the United States come up with the resources, both human and material, to continue the referee role in the middle of this civil war? Top military brass have been saying recently that our armed forces are already being streched to the breaking point. The draft is off the table as far as the administration and most of its supporters are concerned. The idea of having to raise taxes in order to actually pay for this mess is definitely taboo to the same crowd. And yes, whether you like it or not, no president or political party will be sucessful forever in ignoring the will of the American people.
 
If we want to win the 'Terror War', why haven't we started the draft yet? Let's stop pussyfooting around and 'Get 'er done'. If the majority of our country was for this war in Iraq, how come they won't put their money (or children) where their mouth is?

Curious.
 
What makes you think a majority of Americans support our war crimes in Iraq? A majority are against it and want to pull out now.
 
I said WAS FOR it. Back in 2003. RTFP.
 
Your "FP" is poorly worded and confusing.
 
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