Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Business As Usual

Mark Steyn, in an op-ed piece written immediately after the elections referred caustically to a Boston Globe editorial exhorting America to "accept defeat" in Iraq just as it did in Vietnam. We are going to leave the field to enemy anyway, so the argument goes, so why not do it now?


The goal of "peace with honor" assumes that the nation's honor has not already been squandered. During Vietnam, for all the widespread opposition to the war, the American public was never ready to face the full truth of what had been done in its name, and so the martial band played on. And on. ... The only way out of the disaster was to accept defeat, and that America was loath to do. ... This time, can we accept defeat?

What Mark Steyn understood was that "defeat in Iraq" was yet another dishonest euphemism -- along with "responsible redeployment" -- for a program to reinstate the post-Vietnam era without the miracle of a Ronald Reagan. The Left's real nostalgia isn't for Bill Clinton's Year 2000 but for Jimmy Carter's 1980. That was the Road of History from which America unaccountably strayed. But it is not too late. As Steyn wrote:

What does it mean when the world's hyperpower, responsible for 40 percent of the planet's military spending, decides that it cannot withstand a guerrilla war with historically low casualties against a ragbag of local insurgents and imported terrorists? You can call it "redeployment" or "exit strategy" or "peace with honor" but, by the time it's announced on al-Jazeera, you can pretty much bet that whatever official euphemism was agreed on back in Washington will have been lost in translation. ...

For the rest of the world, the Iraq war isn't about Iraq; it's about America, and American will. I'm told that deep in the bowels of the Pentagon there are strategists wargaming for the big showdown with China circa 2030/2040. Well, it's steady work, I guess. But, as things stand, by the time China's powerful enough to challenge the United States it won't need to.  ...

As it is, we're in a very dark place right now. It has been a long time since America unambiguously won a war, and to choose to lose Iraq would be an act of such parochial self-indulgence that the American moment would not endure, and would not deserve to. Europe is becoming semi-Muslim, Third World basket-case states are going nuclear, and, for all that 40 percent of planetary military spending, America can't muster the will to take on pipsqueak enemies. We think we can just call off the game early, and go back home and watch TV.

It is this sense of assured security and the unshakeable belief in the inalienable right to pursue "business as usual" that is so evident in Nancy Pelosi's decision to nominate Alcee Hastings, a former Federal Judge impeached for soliciting bribes in Florida, to head the House Intelligence Committee. This signals a basic contempt for national security threats by certain sections of the Democratic Party. The arrow of causality runs both ways. Not simply is America endangered by its refusal to win wars overseas, its ability to win wars overseas is endangered by its refusal to accept any possibility of danger to America. The Boston Globe editorial writer got it right when he said the band played on and on. What he got wrong was the identity of the band.

In the curious mythological world of the Left, American defeats occur without a corresponding victor. It is acceptable for America to "lose" in Vietnam -- and probably in Iraq too -- but politic never to mention who wins. It was Communism the case of Vietnam. In Iraq is almost certainly Iran. Jim Dunnigan at the Strategy Page correctly understands that not only has the Sunni insurgency not triumphed, it has put itself along with America in the loser's column by its catastrophic attempt to hang on to power.

Despite a lot of bravado on the Internet, the Sunni Arabs are losing. Not just in body count, but in terms of sharply decreasing Sunni Arab population. The Shia Arab death squads are killing more Sunni Arabs than the terrorist bombs are killing Shia Arabs. ... Anbar is being abandoned, as Sunni Arabs flee the country from both Anbar and Baghdad. While some Sunni Arab towns and neighborhoods can organize private guard forces, even these are helpless against police or soldiers moonlighting as Shia death squads. ... The death squads are very popular among the Shia Arabs, and the Shia Arab politicians who dominate the government know it. While the Sunni Arab leadership has gone through the motions of trying to suppress the terrorists, it has not worked. The Shia Arabs see this ineffectiveness as tacit support for the continued terror attacks on Shia Arabs, and have increasingly turned on Sunni Arab leaders. The army and police now go after the well guarded Sunni Arab leaders, and arrest them on "suspicion of supporting terrorism." ...

The perception among some quarters in Sunni countries, according to Dunnigan is that "Saddam's Sunni Arab supporters are being driven out of Iraq. And now the Americans, tired of the casualties, are going to pull out of Iraq, leaving it a new province of Iran." Dunnigan goes on to say that Iraqi Shi'ites are by and large hostile to becoming a province of Iran. But recent events may reinforce that theory. Stanley Kurtz at the NRO denounces attempts to offer a Grand Bargain to Iraq. Grand Bargain as in Bargain Sale. And it won't matter what the Iraqi Shi'ites think then.

Increasingly, it looks as though the United States may attempt to negotiate a “grand bargain” with Iran. To settle our fundamental differences, Iran would surrender its nuclear-weapons program, stop supporting terrorism, and stop undermining America’s position in Iraq. In return, the United States would offer Iran security guarantees, and would pour in aid and investments. This seems to be the solution favored by the “realists” now running the Baker commission, and soon to be running the Defense Department.

But "aid and investments" would almost certainly be a fig-leaf to cover the real payment.  As Kurtz put it, "I don’t put much faith in this approach. The mullahs are less interested in a settlement than in consolidating their leadership of the Muslim world." Therefore they would want nothing less than dominion over Shi'ite Iraq in much the same way as they obtained it over Southern Lebanon. Come to think of it, in the new world of open appeasement and pay-off, Pelosi's choice of Alcee Hastings may be inspired. Steyn understood what the Boston Globe elided. That voluntary defeat in Iraq is not simply a local loss over honor; it is a voluntary surrender to a specific strategic regional threat. In particular to Iran. And the curious thing is that the instrument of America's own political defeat was its military success against the Sunni insurgency, a development which allowed the long suppressed Shi'a to gain ascendance and combined with the intransigence of both parties to keep fighting, provided leverage for political jujitsu which the Left was only too happy to employ. Both Sunni and Shi'a armed bands might have been beaten into submission by a strong willed America. But the American electorate chose what it thought was on offer. And that, though it sugarcoated with all the claptrap about "putting adults in charge", now without its coating works out to putting Iran in charge.

117 Comments:

Blogger desert rat said...

It has not been a "War" for years, not in Iraq, anyway.

Welcome aboard the Peace Train. Some of us saw it comin' down the tracks long before the Johnny come latelys, but here it is pulling into the Station right on schedule.

11/15/2006 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

The problem is that the idea that we could get American-style peaceful democracy going in Iraq was well-meaning but impossible in practical terms to implement. It's just the nature of the region, the nature of the culture. Outsiders, especially "kuffars" like us, can't change them.

Lawrence Auster has it right: what we should do with dictators like Saddam whom we decide are a threat to our security is this: blow in with overwhelming military force, hunt them down and kill them and their top leadership, and leave. And then come back again in a few years and do it again if necessary, while making no attempt to "fix" the country. Leave it to the Iraqis to sort that stuff out.

The good thing about the Iraq situation is that there will probably be no appetite for trying to fix other countries for a long time, and maybe never again. We hadn't fully learned the lesson from Vietnam. Grenada, Panama, Bosnia - these invasions encouraged us to think once again that we could set things right in foreign rat-holes. We confused our ability to overwhelming whip an Arab army with an ability to shape them into peaceful, friendly neighbors. They will never be peaceful, friendly neighbors as long as they are muslim, because Islam commands them to conquer us.

Meanwhile we'll have to lose face when we leave there, but so what? Most of the world has contempt for us anyway (and I don't think that matters much at all). Yes, muslims will be emboldened to broaden their attack, to take it to our homelands again. Well I think that battle is coming one way (immigration) or another anyway. So let's have it out now while our historic populations are still relatively strong. Let's not leave it to our grandchildren who may be too outnumbered to survive. Let the muslims overplay their hand and maybe we will be aroused to drive them out of our homelands. And then there will be a chance of peace again.

11/15/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

There are NO good options.
We (and the Iraqis) are truely screwed.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/floyd/floyd39.html

11/15/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Coisty said...

Steyn: for all that 40 percent of planetary military spending, America can't muster the will to take on pipsqueak enemies.

That would require sheer brutality resulting in the deaths of many innocent people. But how do you go about that when you claim, as the US has done, that you are there for the good of the Iraqi people? You can't and so predictably enough a traditional colonial style insurgency has gone on for more than three years and will continue for as long as the US is there.

The American people can't be blamed for wanting to avoid many more years, even decades, of casualties in the name of social engineering abroad. The blame for the loss in US prestige and the paper tiger image goes to the politicians who have sent US troops abroad not to destroy enemies but to supplement their social engineering schemes.

11/15/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are NOT the lessons from Iraq:

- Co-opt political opposition through a long UN process.
- Rebuild a enemy's nation before defeating them.
- Allow a fractured nation to kind of police itself after deposing its tyrant.
- Play whack-a-mole for years with too few troops to maintain order.
- Don’t have rapid field trials and executions of insurgents early on.
- Trade enemy military and propaganda victories political unity (ours and theirs).
- Maintain tenuous truces with antagonistic militias.
- Avoid a wider war by tolerating insurgent support in neighboring countries.
- Loosely manage political support for the war here and overseas.

Other than those little errors, this war could have been won.

11/15/2006 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

Who cares if Iran uses southern Iraq for a staging base against Jordan and anyone else in that neck of the woods? What in the F*** would the mullahs of Iran want with any of the oil money coming out of southern Iraq anyway?We can always have the UN slap sanctions on Iran if they get aggressive and force them to sell all their energy to China and India - that'll fix 'em!

11/15/2006 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger dla said...

This is a battle, not the whole war. If we choose to lose this battle, we are still in the war. We can't run from our enemies - they will take the battle to us.

11/15/2006 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Cruiser said...

Jim said "There are NO good options."

That is probably true, but there are some options that are less bad than others.

On a level broader than just Iraq there are interesting developments going on - all hinting at different directions for our foreign policy in the mideast.

Cozy up to Iran developments. The Iraq Study Group, Tony Blair and John Howard (???) are all suggesting negotiations with Iran to calm the Middle East. Add to this that Bush personally approved former Iranian president Khatami's visit to the U.S. in September (see http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/760604.html) and shortly after that visit the U.S. approved commercial aircraft part sales to Iran (see http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20061011/pl_afp/usirannuclear_061011012528). IMHO, negotiating with Iran would be a disaster because the price for Iran's aid would be much too high (at least unfettered nuke development and proxy control of Iraq and Lebanon) and because Iran wouldn't follow through on the deal anyway.

Isolate Iran; Engage Syria developments. In several reports recently Bush has seemingly rejected any advances towards Iran without a change in their behavior. Also, somebody leaked to the Telegraph that Iran is trying to retool AQ to serve its interests, much to the embarrassment of Blair (see above). I have also seen several reports that Syria may be reestablishing diplomatic ties with Iraq and statements that the Iraqi government wants to work with Syria. This is coupled with a reported come-to-Mohammed meeting between Abazaid and Maliki regarding confronting Iranian-supported Shiite militias. Finally, there is the announcement today that the US will allow Russia to enter the WTO.

I wonder what we got in return? Perhaps an agreement to permit meaningful sanctions on Iran.

If such developments can be married with the Golan for Syria (and more western trade for Syria) and the end of Syrian support of Hezbollah and the end of Syria's close ties with Iran - we may see some real progress in our Mideast foreign policy. Given the dire condition of our policy at present, this would be an accptable development to me. Iran would be left with few friends (Venezuala?) terribly weakened proxies and would be surrounded by enemies.

Would the Golan for Syria (and a peace deal) be worth a crippled Hezbollah for Israel?

There may be other directions this takes. Regardless, we are in for some interesting times.

11/15/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger RoadtoSerfdom said...

Steyn is good on the macro stuff, and his critique of US policy is good. The solutions don't flow as easily from the page, however.

If we could truly control Iraqi borders and then disarm the militias, it would be worth sticking it out in Iraq. But we need more boots on the ground from elsewhere, and no other country will help.

The problem with Europe is that they are still playing "The Emperor's New Kurds" and refuse to recognize, or at least to state out loud, that they have huge, nearly insurmountable Muslim insurgencies gestating in their borders - so they can't help on the ground in Iraq, or the virus might rear up.

So it's just us - America Alone, as Steyn says. Ditching the purple fingers is morally indefensible, but cappping the Iranian-fed violence is nigh on impossible. Somewhere, somehow, new stakeholders have to be brought to the table, with new terms - and other regional regimes must be involved, as flea-bitten as some of those are.

It is a dirty business.

11/15/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger dla said...

RoadtoSerfdom wrote
but cappping the Iranian-fed violence is nigh on impossible

Who told you this is impossible? The MSM? What credible source has analyzed and concluded that we are in a death spiral because of Iran and that we are powerless to control Iran's contribution? I'd like to know - seriously.

I certainly hope that posters here are not under the influence of Osama's well-planned media campaign - which is really nothing more than a haunted house to scare the American public into electing the Cut and Run squad. Boo.

11/15/2006 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger The Machinist said...

Why not rustle up some Kurds to run the borders? Don't have to worry about mixing in Shia/Sunni conflicts and I'm sure they'd like a crack at the foreign infiltrators.

My feeling has always been the Iraqis would do what they were told. TOLD, not asked or hinted or pretty-pleased. "Obey!" in a word. They want a strong hand. If the original plan to Iraqiize a la Garner was not going to be followed, we had to show a firm hand.

In fact, probably at the point where the looting started, we should hae let maybe 24 hours of that go on, then start shooting looters, and anyone who resisted. They would follow direction; that is all they have been able to do for the past forty years or so. They were not prepared to deal with a vaccuum.

11/15/2006 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger dla said...

Some very smart people have noted that war is fundamentally about economics. Here are the Gross Domestic Products, in US dollars, of some select countries:


US = $13 trillion
China = $2.2 trillion
Russia = $1.6 trillion
Iran = $560 billion
Saudi Arabia = $330 billion
Egypt = $316 billion
Israel = $130 billion
Syria = $60 billion
Jordan = $26 billion
Lebanon = $18 billion

1% of US GDP = 130 billion

CBO estimates of Iraq war cost todate = $342 billion.

I'm guessing that America could afford to stay in Iraq for a very long time.

11/15/2006 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger The Machinist said...

Meanwhile, why are we always making the public payoffs and concessions and expecting reciprocation in private? When did we become professional suckers?

11/15/2006 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In the end the decision was made by the ultimate expert, the fickle and feckless US voter. Led by their Decider in Chief and their Anchors in Chairs. Going to War with the Society they've got.

The trail has already been blazed, the sign posts in place. We did not empower the correct Iraqi and there's no time to make ammends.

The Play is in it's final act, the fat lady ready to make her entrancce, stage right.

11/15/2006 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

dla wrote:

I'm guessing that America could afford to stay in Iraq for a very long time.

Ask the mother of an American KIA to assign a dollar value to her son's life, and divide the GDP by that to get a better picture of how long we can afford to play World Police in Iraq.

11/15/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger JAF said...

I'm as RedState and as any could get and I'll probably get flamed for this, but I think its time for Dubya to step down. There are a lot of others that should share the blame, but the buck stops with him.

11/15/2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

the machinist wrote:

Why not rustle up some Kurds to run the borders? Don't have to worry about mixing in Shia/Sunni conflicts and I'm sure they'd like a crack at the foreign infiltrators.

Kurdistan has been operational since the inauguration of the Northern No Fly Zone and what they really want is recognition of statehood for greater Kurdistand, which would include chunks of Iran and Turkey. So Kurds and borders ought not be mentioned in the same sentence.

11/15/2006 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

mark said:

Lawrence Auster has it right: what we should do with dictators like Saddam whom we decide are a threat to our security is this: blow in with overwhelming military force, hunt them down and kill them and their top leadership, and leave. And then come back again in a few years and do it again if necessary, while making no attempt to "fix" the country.

Excellent. So when the next President has a "Mission Accomplished" photo-op, it really will be mission accomplished. Unfortunately this is the "partisan" "cut'n'run" position.

11/15/2006 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Lord Acton said...

Gentemen (and Ladies),

Lots of cards have been dealt since 9/11...we are starting to see most of the deck now. I see the train coming into the station very soon now, but not the one the rat has been expecting. We'll see.

11/15/2006 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger foxenburg said...

i was on a train to paddington station, london, this morning. wearing, as always, my small stars and stripes button-hole badge. there was a group of french youngsters, probably students, in the set of seats on the other side of the aisle. seeing my badge they started making repetitive loud remarks about "hamburger chewing cola swilling surrender monkeys". only kids, i know, but ouch!

11/15/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

Oh Please. When did the DJ put on the music for the chicken little dance?

When did the sky start falling?

My goodness, as we used say back in those halcyon days aka the sixties "Dig yourself".

Where to start?

let's try this:

The problem is that the idea that we could get American-style peaceful democracy going in Iraq was well-meaning but impossible in practical terms to implement. It's just the nature of the region, the nature of the culture. Outsiders, especially "kuffars" like us, can't change them.

Let me be sure I'm getting this right. We took on a thousand year old culture, in its geographic heart. We've gone at it hard for three years and Mark is ready to fold. Why? Because it's hard and ugly and dangerous? Because you're sick of bad news on your TV?

How about this little piece of pontification?
That would require sheer brutality resulting in the deaths of many innocent people.

Just exactly what is wrong with sheer brutality in the face of sheer brutality? How many people did Russia kill in crushing the Chechens? Some estimate 25,000. Grozny is rubble. yet Iran relies on the Russians to shepherd them through the UN. Why?

Simple Answer: our foe knows weakness when he sees it and he see it right here on this comment board. Our foe also knows strength when he sees it and killing the enemy with abandon and not giving a damn about "world opinion" shows strength to this enemy.

How about Bill's laundry list of errors? Well that settles it, if we're going to make mistakes, we'd best just give up now. right?

How many men died in Operation Market Garden? at least 8,000. And how did America respond to such a massive display of military misjudgement? Why by electing the general who authorized the operation as president. TWICE.

This is interesting:

So it's just us - America Alone, as Steyn says. Ditching the purple fingers is morally indefensible, but cappping the Iranian-fed violence is nigh on impossible.

a couple of questions:

(1) what if we don't want to cap the iranian violence? It seems to me that the cold calculation here is simple, bad guys killing bad guys gives a net result of fewer bad guys. Are we really on the hook for arab on arab mayhem? Who said?

(2) Is Iran invincible? If so, what do they possess that makes them so mighty?

This is particularly egregious:

Ask the mother of an American KIA to assign a dollar value to her son's life, and divide the GDP by that to get a better picture of how long we can afford to play World Police in Iraq.

this is naked, undisguised emotional blackmail. There is no other way to view this statement. CW is saying that no effort that involves the deaths of US soldiers is worth the effort. let's disband the military and go get oprahfied!

finally, and he asked for it:

There are a lot of others that should share the blame, but the buck stops with him.

Blame for what? WTF are you talking about here? Blame?

My goodness what an embarrassment. This is a non stop 24/7 whine-a-thon. How does that old saying go? "When the going gets tough, the not so tough post defeatist comments at BC"?

I think I got that right.

11/15/2006 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger JAF said...

Blame for what? WTF are you talking about here? Blame?

I will use your words for which I totally agree with:
"Our foe also knows strength when he sees it and killing the enemy with abandon and not giving a damn about "world opinion" shows strength to this enemy."
I blame Bush for not killing the enemy with abandon. (ex. Sadr)

11/15/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger dla said...

womancatholic wrote: "Ask the mother of an American KIA "

Why would any intelligent being on this planet do that? Only the Oprah crowd, who are prima facie evidence for repeal of the 19th amendment, would querry a spectator on the sidelines. Remember, Cindy Shehan is not a hero - just a woman with mental issues. Her son is the hero.

We have a volunteer army. And fighting is a highly popular occupation. Don't assume that fighting is wrong and everybody just wants to get along. There's a reason why our volunteer army meets it's recruitment goals.

Making decisions based on emotional discomfort leads to global wars, Neville.

11/15/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Congratulations Rat, you're, sir, are a F'ing genius.

11/15/2006 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger sammy small said...

Bill said of our lessons:

- Rebuild a enemy's nation before defeating them.

Major fatal error on our part.

But we mustn't offend the Iraqi women by entering their homes while they are present. Must keep mosques sacred. Mustn't intimidate or humiliate Iraqi prisoners.

This wasn't a war, it was a visit from merry maids.

11/15/2006 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

who made the choice that let Sadr live?

Bush? Bremmer? Alawhi? Adnan Pachachi?

How about Sistani?

think that could be it?

Granted it was a dumb choice, but the fact is from the beginning we wanted this to be Iraq for Iraqis. Thus Sadr was let off the hook twice.

What do you think this means? that we're ultimately going to lose?

And if Sadr was dead, so what? Plenty more where he came from, no?

11/15/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger JAF said...

I understand that Sistani had a hand in bailing out Sadr and that Iraqi's should do for Iraqis. But there does come a point to where enough is enough. Sadr is a danger to the effort and yes killing him, and there will be others to follow. Kill them SOB's as well.

11/15/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Coisty said...

skipsailing - How about this little piece of pontification?
(coisty)That would require sheer brutality resulting in the deaths of many innocent people.

(skipsailing)Just exactly what is wrong with sheer brutality in the face of sheer brutality?


Nothing. Unless of course you claim to be there to help the Iraqis as then you will have a hard time explaining bringing Grozny to Baghdad for its own good. Obviously brutality would be needed to crush the expected Iraqi resistance to US occupation. Equally obvious was that the US would not go all Grozny on the Iraqis.

All I'm saying is that invading another country for its own good puts your soldiers in an imposssible situation when the natives get restless. So the result is predictable.

So assuming Steyn and the other advocates of invading Iraq also knew the US wouldn't resort to Russian-style brutality one is led to the conclusion that they didn't expect any significant Iraqi resistance. The cakewalk crowd (including Steyn) got it all wrong and now they are deriding the American people for being cut and runners who are jeopardising the US standing in the world. Those who got the country into the war are to blame for the loss of US prestige, not the disillusioned Americans voters who were sold this cakewalk in the first place.

11/15/2006 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

JAF said...W should step down.

Get a grip JAF. I still stand with W even with all the problems because I don't judge current results through the prism of hindsight.

If we had done nothing in Iraq 1. we'd still be there in the overfly zones, 2. Saddam would still be in power and 3. we would never have seen our 'allies' as well as Democrats choose sides.

Perhaps ousting Saddam should be thought of as our exit strategy.

Would we really have been better off patrolling Iraq no-fly zones for 20 more years with Saddam taking pot shots every week?

I blame any perceived failure in Iraq on our 'allies' who chose to stab us. We should change the direction of criticism so that it points at those who both refuse to carry water and 2. kept shooting holes in our water buckets.

We should alter our relationship with EUnuchstan and the UN. What better time than now?

11/15/2006 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Cruiser,
Iran has OUR back against the wall and can smell blood now more than ever. If we are making any peace overtures with them it will be window dressing so that we can continue to condemn them for not being willing partners in peace. In short, we are asking a scorpion to be a duck.

11/15/2006 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

And what or who sir, is to blame for your loss of nerve?

Is the war too tough for you? Too many news stories to surf by?

Or is it about timing? It seems that you've declared defeat and thus a "loss of prestige".

Why?

Let offer a much different platitude: you never fail until you stop trying.


to all and sundry:

Honestly, I really did mean this, dig yourselves. Just listen to the defeat you're spouting. You're not over there fighting, so why are you throwing in the towel now?

It seems to me that many of you have bought the BS offered by the defeatist among us and that makes no sense. the major change that I see is here, not there. You've caved en masse.

Shame on ya.

11/15/2006 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger NavyDoc said...

I think we're getting a little carried away here. The Iraqis will need to fight a civil war, which appears to be ongoing. I didn't go to Iraq to force another dictator on these people but to help them be free. If their unfortunate choice is to use their freedom to fight each other, so be it. Protect the oilfields and Kurdistan. Prevent foreign powers from directly invading, and let the Iraqis have at it. we had a civil war, why shouldn't they?
We'd be a much stronger country if we had a stronger right wing that didn't become hysterical every time we had a setback. Let's make it so.

11/15/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The historic "right wing" is not a nation building group.

It was a rejected Policy, failed at in every attempt. So told US Ms Rice, Mr Bush's Foreign Affairs advisor. Mr Clinton derided for his halfhearted efforts and failures.
Haitai & Bosnia both come to mind.
Let us not even think of Somolia's effort.

Mr Bush was elected on an antiNation building campaign blank.
He's managed the War on Terror 180 degrees from what was promised as a "Guiding Principle".

To expect the "Right" to continue supporting Wilsonian progressive interventionism evidences a lacking of historical perspective.

11/15/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

jaf, I agree with you, but if some one else makes a different decision does that mean we've failed?

I don't think so. How much do you think propping up Sadr and Nasrallah is costing the mullahs? How well do you think that is going over with the unemployed or unpaid Iranians?

I'm not defending the decision, I'm saying that the world is a complex and mysterious place and we can find any number of alternative explanations and reasons why things could go our way. yet another cliche: glass half full.

the tendency is to extoll the virtues of our enemy while minimizing our capability. that's natural but its not mandatory.

the doom and gloom here is pervasive and unnecessary. The only thing that has changed is the election. We've been so bombarded with "ain't it awful" that many of us now believe it. "Ain't it awful" is a fun game but its a stupid basis for foreign policy.

11/15/2006 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

Coisty, perhaps we should have allowed Saddam to keep Kuwait the first time? If we had then no second war would have been needed.

Almost everyone is unanimous that the first Gulf War was the right move. The ouster of Saddam became inevitable due to the failure of containment.

Our 'allies' and Russia and China made containment impossible. American morality made it impossible for US to step back from the no-fly zones. We ended up contained by the no-fly zones.

11/15/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger JAF said...

Arthur,

You are correct in that certain allies have not been helpful and there are more than enough people who are willing to shoot holes in the water bucket. However, I can not stand by Dubya and his soft handling of the war. Innocent people are being kidnapped, tortured, and killed. The time to be brutal towards those who aid, abet, and support the terrorist insurgency is past. The revolving doors on the prisons should be one-way and the inciters publicly stomped.

I'm not a historian nor even a decent armchair general, but I just don't think we are stomping enough heads into the ground. I don't think that I'm being defeatest.

11/15/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

hooray for navydoc.

11/15/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Edwards is on Cavuto discussing the crisis in Uganda, millions displaced, hundreds of thousands dead. Another place we could but will not help.

11/15/2006 01:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask the mother of an American KIA to assign a dollar value to her son's life WC

A comment from the previous thread perfectly encapsulates the new “rough and tough and pro-America while advocating quitting” tone of the Dems who want Viet Nam redux so badly they’ve learned to selectively weep for people when they need them as victims. Today they shed tears for our troops, but yesterday the military were torturers and tools of an illegal pre-emptive foreign war. Yesterday, the Dems wept for the poor Iraqi people beset by inept Bush-Rumsfeld policy; today those same Iraqis aren’t worth diddly and they stink, too:

I've even seen this guilt-trip phenomenon here on BC when people tried to defend the American adventure in Vietnam by laying the boat people's plight and the killing fields of Cambodia on the cut'n'runners. By the same token we don't owe the Iraqi people squat and we can leave any time we've a mind to. In fact they owe us, big time, for taking the yoke of Saddam off their smelly neck. WC

All the manufactured bluster in the world can't cover up the fact that if we quit now, we paint the bullseye on us to suicidal proportions.

11/15/2006 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

JAF,
I'll give you a heads up here. You're advocacy of killing the enemy doesn't go down well here at the BC.
I started out advocating the same thing but the daisy here just went berserk .. kill the enemy? How neanderthal. Hell I wanted to Aec-Light the entire frigg'in place.
You'll find a much more accepting, better informed audience at the Elephant Bar.
ELEPHANT BAR

11/15/2006 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger putnam said...

As I keep telling my german friends, europe has a lot more to lose than America from American disengagement.

They can't get past the mind set that America will take care of the problem no matter what. I guess they got that message when they won even tho they stabbed us in the back when Reagan deployed the pershing missles.

I think the problem extends accross the left, and unfortunately they will have to be defeated along with the islamists. The problem is that things will have to get a lot worse before this is possible.

11/15/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Coisty said...

And what or who sir, is to blame for your loss of nerve?

I opposed the Iraq war from the start because I didn't see any sense in it. I've been reading neocon columnists since about 1990 and I immediately smelt a rat when they tried to connect Iraq to the WOT.

Is the war too tough for you?

No, it's too disconnected from reality for me. It is rooted in egalitarianism - all cultures, ethnic groups, races are really just the same bullshit. We all want the same thing. Those who oppose the war are guilty of the racism of low expectations, bla bla bla. As a traditional conservative I never bought into any of that leftist nonsense.

Just listen to the defeat you're spouting. You're not over there fighting, so why are you throwing in the towel now?


Because it can't be won if winning means creating some kind of magical political reformation in the ME. The tribal conditions that prevail in Iraq can't be changed by outsiders. Besides the condition of Iraq is of little relevance to Western security.

Imagine throwing away lives in Iraq in a war against terrorism while at the same time increasing the number of visas allocated to Saudi students and threatening to prosecute US airlines for profiling. The real battle with Islam is here in the West, not the ME.

11/15/2006 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

and there's some damned tasty recipes at EB as well. Possum sausage with grits and gravy is pretty much my favorite, but ya gotta git the crittah right soon after it's been run down by the pickemuptruck.

OK. so let's examine this so called failure, shall we?

here is the "to do" list for America, courtesy of Austin Bay:

"Pity Gen. Tommy Franks or, for that matter, any American military commander tasked with overseeing a post-Saddam Baghdad. For in that amorphous, dicey phase the Pentagon calls 'war termination' ... U.S. and allied forces liberating Iraq will attempt -- more or less simultaneously -- to end combat operations, cork public passions, disarm Iraqi battalions, bury the dead, generate electricity, pump potable water, bring law out of embittering lawlessness, empty jails of political prisoners, pack jails with criminals, turn armed partisans into peaceful citizens, re-arm local cops who were once enemy infantry, shoot terrorists, thwart chiselers, carpetbaggers and black-marketeers, fix sewers, feed refugees, patch potholes and get trash trucks rolling, and accomplish all this under the lidless gaze of Peter Jennings and Al-Jazeera."

I don't see anything on that list that we've "botched" so badly that we must now admit defeat.

Are we going about these things in a way that makes everybody on this board happy? Hell no. But we ARE going about them and experiencing tremendous success.

I just cannot believe how much negativity is emanating from the commenters here.

Perhaps we should watch Animal house once again. Especially that scene where bluto tries to buck up the frat boys with a bunch of bogus historical examples of perseverance.

If we do, Iran best watch out, the net result of that was the death mobile.

11/15/2006 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Kinuachdrach said...

Recent snippet in UK news -- the British Army TODAY has more forces in Northern Ireland than in Iraq! After more than 30 years of active British military involvement within Britain's own borders, Brit politicians STILL dare not redeploy their armed forces out of that province. Thirty years or more.

Now, what would we call the British military involvement in Northern Ireland? If we call it a war, then Britain has been at war on its own territory for 30+ years with no end in site. But the Brits don't call it a war; at worst, they call it a "situation".

The Iraq "war" was a rip-roaring, jaw-dropping US triumph. The Iraqi army -- the same army that destroyed Kuwait's modern military forces overnight and went nose-to-nose with the Iran "superpower" for 8 long bloody years -- was totally defeated in three weeks by only a part of the military forces available to the US, fighting under restrictive rules of engagement. The Iraq War was won years ago.

What we are left with now is Northern Ireland in Iraq. We have to make the same kind of calculation that the Brits have made about the costs & benefits of keeping military forces in that kind of environment. Or we have to develop an alternative strategy -- one that recognizes that Iraq is not to the US as Northern Ireland is to the UK.

For example, the US could choose to wipe out the Iranian & Syrian militaries with unconstrained rules of engagement, and then walk away. Or we could choose to stick our heads in the sand, if we can squeeze in between the rear ends of all those EUnuchs.

11/15/2006 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

coisty:
Oh, I see, you get a pass if you were always against the war, right? The always against the war people have an inalienable right to declare defeat now at this particular juncture? What seminal events lead to your declaration or is this just a general all purpose apply anywhere "see I told you so"?

The real battle with Islam is here in the West, not the ME.

So are you going to cruise through, oh say, dearborn and scope out the potential enemy? got any real plans? You sound like a buchananite isolationist am I reading you correctly? Are you advocating that we limit ourselves geographically? If so, why?

Besides the condition of Iraq is of little relevance to Western security.

given the stakes, oh say 300 million American lives, tell us why we should believe that statement.

and this:

Because it can't be won if winning means creating some kind of magical political reformation in the ME. The tribal conditions that prevail in Iraq can't be changed by outsiders.

Again, kindly tell us why we should believe that this is true. What evidence have you? Or is this just a generally accepted "truth" that the prescient take for granted?

What if the reformation is not magical? What if it's the result of damned hard work? Does that count?

...while at the same time increasing the number of visas allocated to Saudi students

Are you advocating a quarantine on the Middle east? I would certainly support that, whole heartedly. If that's your position would you tell us how it can be brought about?

I don't doubt your sincerity or your conservative credentials but I strongly disagree with you. I see a clear connection of Iraq with the war against Islamic radicals and their fascist agenda and I see that our enemy has done a wonderful job of using propaganda against us.

Kinda sucks to lose to a bunch of guys that can't assemble anything more complex than IED, doncha think?

11/15/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

D-Rat said:>>Uganda ... Another place we could but will not help.

Simple-Not much oil there.

11/15/2006 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

What do the commenters think that the other governments in the region will do if Iranian "proxies" (which may be too strong a term for the relationship) end up victorious in the non-Kurdish parts of Iraq? Will the Saudis, Syrians, et al stand still for that, given that they are primarily Sunni?

11/15/2006 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger dbsfacs said...

My research into the Hastings case reveals that he may not hold "a position of honor, trust, or enrichment" in the government. Obviously this does not preclude election to congress but should certainly pertain to a committee chairmanship, especially one which involves national security. How disgusting!

11/15/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger ipw533 said...

I disagree that Sistani was the prime mover behind Sadr's excessive longevity. It seems to me that when he went to London for medical treatment during one of the latter's periodic flare-ups he was also making a discreet (as would be the norm) political statement: "Solve this problem for me and don't trouble me with the details."

We failed to do that, and Sistani returned to find Sadr only momentarily chastened. And he knew it was only momentary. And so he seems to be biding his time.

I doubt Sistani wants Iraq to be a "province of Iran"; he's well aware that Kerbala and not Qum is the real center of Shia Islam and is thus leery of Tehran. Sadr, on the other hand, can't see past his own personal aggrandizement and seems more than willing to be a Persian vassal if it means his personal fiefdom.

What now appears to be a nascent "civil war" between Iraq's Sunnis and Shi'ites is a preliminary phase; the real showdown will be between the Shia factions. Iran will heavily support Sadr as their Iraqi Nasrallah--for that reason alone we should be prepared to both remain in Iraq and to bludgeon te Iranians should they step any further out of line.

The former involves keeping ground forces in place in Iran ready for combat with Sadr's forces; the latter can and should be accomplished largely by air and naval assets. The problem with this strategy is that the window for it is rapidly closing--it will no longer be feasible once the new Congress is sworn in....

11/15/2006 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Skipsailing said...

"I just cannot believe how much negativity is emanating from the commenters here."

Here's a clue why:

The MSM and moonbats won the last election.

If the Republicans had held the congress, there would now be singing and dancing at the Belmont Club. As it stands, we can look forward to "cut and run" from Iraq followed by the inevitable free 9/11 hit on an American city (hardly grounds for celebration unless one is a terrorist or a moonbat).

11/15/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger ricpic said...

What's the logic of the cut and run crowd? Okay, we cut and run. And then what? Since the only event worthy of a response, to cut and runners, is a horrific attack at home...we wait for a horrific event at home. But what constitutes a horrific attack? Probably, again in the c&r world, anything less than a nuke is...less than horrific. So we wait for a nuke. That's the position the c&r crowd has maneuvered us into. Nice.

11/15/2006 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger dla said...

I'm just glad that I don't live in any of east coast metro-centers that the Jihadists are likely to hit for their next terrorist attack.

The only good thing about the cut & run loons running today's Congress is that the next attack will lay squarely on their shoulders, flushing them into the sewers of history. America will then wake up and get into the fight.

Fortunately the military might of the Islamo-nutballs is insignificant. Otherwise we might be headed for a global conflict.

11/15/2006 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, Ralph Peters and O'Reilly watch the testimony and came away with a "timetable" to success or withdraw.

“I would not say we’ve turned the corner,” said Abizaid, who heads U.S. Central Command.

Asked by Democratic Senator Jack Reed to estimate how much time the U.S. has to curb the violence in Iraq before it becomes uncontrollable, Abizaid said: “Four to six months.”

11/15/2006 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

pp,

"...if we quit now, we paint the bullseye on us to suicidal proportions."

We certainly paint, but it's just a freshening up of the bulls-eye that has been there since the late '70s. It's not anymore suicidal than the current, and evolving, course of (in)action.

The mistake was trying to do the job without using "an army of occupation". Once that concept was woven into the planning, the current experience was guaranteed. Given the force commited and the "get the Iraqis out front ASAP" directive, I think things are going decently.

The Iranians (insurgents in some quarters) keep attacking Iraqi police and military to delay their (Iraqi) strengthening, but the Iraqis do not show any loss of resolve. The Shiia Iraqis were always going to have at the Sunni Iraqis; the Sunni Iraqis were the boot on their throats for 35 years.

The cut n' run mantra is just that. A difference from Viet Nam the cut n' runners do NOT want to address is that the NV were not pursuers, the jihadis ARE...as a matter of fact they dispensed with the pursuit aspect and came here first, starting in '93. As I have said here before, I have never seen a positive result come from walking away from a bully. These are theocratic bullies.

Walking away puts off the day of reckoning. It does not cancel it. A second, sadder, effect is that it will increase the energy level of the final event(s). It won't decrease it. Slaughter now or slaughter later. Look at human history, wherever you choose to look, it will be slaughter. I like our (USA) odds now.

11/15/2006 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

They said it couldn't be done,

but with a smile, he went right to it.

He tackled that job that "couldn't be done"!

He couldn't do it.

(just a joke. I'm hoping, along with skipsailing & others, that we ain't done yet. Pelosi putting Murtha up, perversely, gives me a little hope)

11/15/2006 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Skipsailing said:
Let offer a much different platitude: you never fail until you stop trying.

If your spending years at a time trying to suck the ocean dry with a straw it's a failure no matter how much you suck.

The Americans have laid their straw down in Iraq and are sucking for all they are worth. All the time the Iranians and the Syrians and the Gulf Islamists are p*ssing in more and more ocean. Betting the Americans lose the taste before the Islamists run dry.

Platitude part III - do or do not, there is no try.

11/15/2006 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

The problem with having a "War on Terror" is that we are prohibetted from using the type of inexpensive assymetric warfare that our enemies are free to embrace. We drove Russia out of Afghanistan under Reagan by simply supplying some anti-air missiles to the local insurgents. One $5000 missile could take out a $1,000,000 helicopter.

Now we are firing $200,000 JDAM missiles at $5000 pickup trucks containing a few terrorists.

Then the terrorists are magically transformed by CNN into innocent school kids on their way to a picnic. Since the JDAM leaves little behind, who can prove that Ted Turner is working for the terrorists?

11/15/2006 06:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...if we quit now, we paint the bullseye on us to suicidal proportions."

We certainly paint, but it's just a freshening up of the bulls-eye that has been there since the late '70s.

3case, I agree the target's been square on us for while, but we've already made it a little bigger and brighter by voting in a Dem Congress.

If the Dem Congress succeeds in pushing for an early withdrawal that gets spun as retreat by the Arab world, Europe and the global gang, which it surely will be, then the target will have been tattooed over our entire corpus in indelible ink.

War for TV-era America is either like a sitcom or a Hollywood movie- if it's not resolved in thirty minutes with some good times thrown in, it'll be done in two hours max, with lots of computer-enhanced gore and villians we learn to empathize with in a plot twist.

11/15/2006 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

"Last month, when Senator Levin and I returned from Iraq, in press conferences, we both described the situation as we saw it," Mr. Warner said. "I used a phrase that was given to me by a Marine sergeant in the darkness as we were departing the Al Anbar province.

I turned to him and I said how do you think things are doing? And he simply said, 'Senator, I simply say that Iraq is going sideways.' "


Iraq Timetable

11/15/2006 06:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try "villains" in my last line.

Should have typed "bad guys"- that's more my speed.

11/15/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Wretchard said . . .
That voluntary defeat in Iraq is not simply a local loss over honor; it is a voluntary surrender to a specific strategic regional threat. In particular to Iran. And the curious thing is that the instrument of America's own political defeat was its military success against the Sunni insurgency, a development which allowed the long suppressed Shi'a to gain ascendance and combined with the intransigence of both parties to keep fighting, provided leverage for political jujitsu which the Left was only too happy to employ.


The "curious thing"?! Curious? You must be kidding. Such an occurrence was easily predicted by dozens of commentators and anyone with even minimal knowledge of regional ME politics. Check out old issues of The American Conservative for just such analyses.
http://www.amconmag.com/2002/2002_10_07/the_road_to_folly.html

http://www.amconmag.com/2002/2002_10_07/after_the_war.html

http://www.amconmag.com/2002/2002_10_21/iraq.html

http://www.amconmag.com/2002/2002_10_21/the_real_nitty-gritty.html

http://www.amconmag.com/2002/2002_11_04/iraqi_intelligence.html

http://www.amconmag.com/2003/06_30_03/index1.html

The Left were tendentiously whiney assclowns with their silly jeremiads about a "war for oil" but plenty of realists and conservatives warned of tipping the country over to Shiite Islamofascists. Why weren't we taken more seriously then? Why did so many believe that this would be easy, a "cakewalk", with Iraq as a "house of cards"?

SCIRI and Dawa were ALWAYS the largest political parties in the exile community, and CIA knew Chalabi was a snake long ago. This was NO SECRET. The whole project was a tremendous mistake from the get go and the only way to sell it was to claim it would be easy while denying obvious political realities.

Both Sunni and Shi'a armed bands might have been beaten into submission by a strong willed America.

Really? And who would run the country while we were fighting a two front war against both a Sunni insurgency and popular Shiite religious parties? To declare war on the Shiite Islamofascists you would have had to throw out the plans for democracy and rule as a liberal colonizer, and Wretchard -- let's be honest -- you don't believe in big, liberal welfare projects do you? Even if you did, that's not the Bush administration, they simply don't have the bureacratic capacity or know how to recreate the Marshall plan or run a country as thoroughly as MacArthur.

I'd like to hear a little bit about how Iraq could have worked in your fairy tale book, specifically, what political party, individual or social base you would have put in charge.

First hangovers are terrible things, and there's still a lot more Neocon Kool-Aid to be barfed up, but perhaps that what's required to learn moderation. . . and maturity.

11/15/2006 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Is it my imagination or are the Sunni's and Shiates starting to squabble and go for each other's throats in places other than Iraq? That whole "religion of peace" thing again, don't you know.

Can someone remind me why one group of blood-thirsty Muslims killing another group of blood-thirsty Muslims throughout all the countries of the Middle East is a "bad thing" that we want to stop?

I don't suppose we could start a whisper campaign along the lines of, "Pssst! Sadr, dude! That Sunni over there says your momma wears combat boots!" And vice-versa to the incredibly well-educated and well-read Sunni sheikh's that the Shiate's are claiming that Sunni momma's also wear combat boots.

'course the ensuing fracases would probably blow up a few more of our "winning their hearts by rebuiilding their infrastructure" projects, but I, for one, could live with that.

11/15/2006 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

NahnCee said...

Can someone remind me why one group of blood-thirsty Muslims killing another group of blood-thirsty Muslims throughout all the countries of the Middle East is a "bad thing" that we want to stop?

Exactly! Pull out. Let it bleed. Open a beer and watch it burn. Neither Sunni nor Shiite is going to claim much of a victory over our leaving if they're both drowning in a Muslim bloodbath. The only way we can win is through their mutual self-destruction.

Oh sure. If you're a bleeding heart then you can give tickets to those brave SECULAR, Christian, and loyalist Iraqis who want to fly to freedom. At this point the exodus shouldn't require more than a plane or two.

11/15/2006 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Can someone remind me why one group of blood-thirsty Muslims killing another group of blood-thirsty Muslims throughout all the countries of the Middle East is a "bad thing" that we want to stop?

Need oil supply, other than that not a dammed thing.

11/15/2006 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

nahncee, it will even get more interesting if Iran gets nuclear weapons. Egypt and Saudi Arabia will not allow that to happen without having their own nuclear deterrence.

11/15/2006 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Glenn Beck is showing a special on CNN Headline News on Islam and their duplicity. I'm amazed that CNN let him on. The only problem that I see is that he has a CAIR type individual as a guest who is trying to mitigate the forthcoming response after the mufsidun are successful in their next strike against us.

11/15/2006 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger gumshoe1 said...

Mike H. said...

Glenn Beck is showing a special on CNN Headline News on Islam and their duplicity. I'm amazed that CNN let him on. The only problem that I see is that he has a CAIR type individual as a guest who is trying to mitigate the forthcoming response after the mufsidun are successful in their next strike against us.


i saw a web promo for the Beck piece.

when i realized what CNN would be running back to back with it
(on CNN Int'l) i knew it wouldn't be much to look at.

did you see the recent posting of the Newsweek covers around the world alongside the cover of the US edition?

a mujahedeen w/shouldered anti-tank rocket titled "Defeat in Afghanistan" vs. photogahper Annie Leibowitz and toddlers on the cover.

http://tinyurl.com/hf37d

they're just raking in the cash until too much of the globe is toast to collect.

BTW -
for laughs,have a look at the DU take on the same cover story:

"OUT-effing-RAGEOUS: -- Newsweek Cover in America versus rest of the World"

http://tinyurl.com/y84v7l

11/15/2006 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

NewsWeek has interests in Afghanistan. That's where most of the deaths they caused with the fraud toilet/Koran story happened. So, now they're trying to atone, in the only way they know how.

11/15/2006 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger The Machinist said...

Teresita, I mean Catholic Woman, I mean woman catholic,

1) You said it was "Western" and materialistic of me to pose a torture example in terms of one's PIN number. Is it "Eastern" and sneaky, or whatever you are, to mince off in a hissy fit saying you're outta here, then returning under a transparent pseudonym?

2) To the point: Your reply to my idea about the Kurds was non sequitur. I'm not talking about the parochial interest of Kurdistan in terms of their potential contribution to the coalition effort. What I am talking about is,

a) They are natives, fierce fighters, many Arabic speakers, and have no love for our enemies.

b) Their enemies are our enemies. They ally with neither Shia nor Sunni.

c) They owe us, bigtime, and are "Western" enough to realize it.

Given that we need more men, that we could really use Arabic speakers and ME natives, and that above all these allies or proxies should be people we can reasonably trust, ISTM the Kurds would be really suitable candidates for a local proxy force.

Now, while they might be of more use in interior enforcement than the variously effective Iraqi Army as it stands (esp. as they should contribute neither sort of death squad), it might make trouble for them to be involved in internal pacification. Therefore I suggested border-guard duty.

I imagine (I have not run the numbers) that they could spare a reasonable body of men of high quality and inherent loyalty.

If it's too much trouble, they can say no - everybody else does. If they felt like making themselves useful, I think they could make a great contribution, even though they might not sleep in their own beds every night.

I'm sure they would like to continue to ingratiate themselves with us, their only protector and promoter of interests (such as federation and non-being-mashed-by-Turks). Therefore, why should Kurds not be mentioned in any domain where they may be of service?

11/15/2006 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

There's a wild thought from Jaf in the Red States:Bush ought to step down .Well sure he can wait until the new Congress is sworn in January and resign.After the vultures harass Cheney into Coronary ICU;San Fran Nan will be the new President.Wouldn't that be a hoot;At one of the most precarious times in US history,we'll be led by a Marxist granny without a clue.
The time of recriminations is pretty much over(other than in Congressional committees the next two years)Whoever screwed this mother up doesn't matter now.What is is.If we leave without a favorable resolution,the wolves circling the camp will only be enboldened.Its a bad world out there folks.When they quit fearing us,the party's over.
I've seen and heard alot of grieving moms of fallen soldiers not playing the ass like Mother Sheehan or weeping on the talk shows,but proudly honoring their sons' sacrifice.
Dang ,Reo-con,I went looking for my back copies of the American Conservatives and couldn't find them.Then I remembered since the Sears Catalogue store shut down,we had to use 'em in our outhouses down here in Alabama.I'm sure one day there will be a special leather bound edition of the wit and wisdom of Justin Raimondo.

11/15/2006 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

CW - Ask the mother of an American KIA to assign a dollar value to her son's life, and divide the GDP by that to get a better picture of how long we can afford to play World Police in Iraq.

Pretty insipid fare, considering many of her posts are spot on.

America may not fight another single war if a single mother objects ahead of time over the possiblity their volunteer son and less frequently daughter paid to go in harm's way might be harmed?

And this is a picayune war except for the massive China-funded expense. In terms of casualties and REAL WARs, 3 1/2 years in Iraq equates to less than 4 hours of a US Civil War major battle and 30 minutes of certain Napoleonic, WWI, WWII battles.

And, why mothers? Why not wives, husbands? Fathers? Or brothers and sisters? Or sons and daughters? OR BFFs? Why this fatuous presemption that the only stakeholder is the mother of an adult volunteer who must be accorded "total moral authority".

Besides an argument against female irrationality and emotionalism from a 19th Amendment repeal perspective - traditionally, society acted against raging, bitter mothers venting about how their personal war loss trumped the interests and safety of the whole nation:

In steps:

1. There, there, we grieve your loss....but FDR is not worse than Hitler, dearie. Can we help?

2. Look, lots of other people have had friends or family that are suffering the loss or tragic wounding of a loved one..Enough. Enough. You are taking your grief into a personal self-indulgence and sense of entitlement that spills over to other peoples space.

Finally -

3. Shut the fuck up bitch. We are sick of hearing you. You dishonor your son's memeory.

Many cultures maintained taboos or actual laws against excessive grieving. As harmful to the public harmony and tranquility. Nor are societies after an initial indulgence, much tolerant of psychotic relatives making threats, expressing hatred, seeking vengence on the medical caregivers, other driver in an accident, gov't leaders they hold "responsible"...

11/15/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger RCM said...

Horray for Skipsailing AND NavyDoc!

You know who the biggest whiners are?

The ones who "think" they don't have anything on the line. No one wonders why the reinlistment rates are so high..."somebody" believes in this effort. Curious that they are the one's doing the dying, and all the one's on this board are wringing their hands.

I used to tell my teenagers when they were growing up that they could see 45 minutes into the future, could remember only 15 minutes in the past, and that they had absolutley no peripheral vision.

I see a lot of that in the defeatism on this board...and quite frankly, I wouldn't see much more over at the Democratic Underground.

Hey! I know something that will cheer the defeatocrats here on the board!

Maybe after we "cut and run" not only the Iraqis will get gutted, but the Jordanians, too! Maybe if the Irainians "own" the Persian Gulf, they might just turn off the spiggot and threaten all their neighbors to sell oil to everyone 'but' the U.S.

Oh, no. they wouldn't do that...they're not that mean.

We cut today, there will be a "Mother of all MidEast Wars" in 10 years.

11/15/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Fen said...

Everyone needs to relax. We're living in a massivly complex, multi-diminsional battlespace and we're going to have to cycle through the OODA loop many, many times in the course of our lives. Most of us will be dead before this war is truely over. The best any of us can do as individuals is to carry the fire for as long as we can then pass it to the next generation. We're privileged to live in a time peaceful enough to see the resurgence of an ancient enemy so sit back and enjoy the ride.

11/15/2006 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Ed onWestSlope said...

Looking back in these comments, I find many 'one-liners', with DR & CW being especially prolific. However, serious discussion toward term results do not seem to be their bag. Reocon puts forth long arguments emphasizing a lack of any peripheral vision and somehow believes that a forceful part argument will carry the day because ... because ... well , we really can't see the because.

I also agree with RCM
Horray for Skipsailing AND NavyDoc!

Skipsailing has asked the questions. Now either come forth with a concise argument or go snarl at the world with Murtha. Put up or Shut up.

11/15/2006 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger TonyGuitar said...

This is all terribly WRONG!

First, the Bush administration failed to clearly join the dots and televise a clear picture for the warm hearted liberal free world.

That failure allowed the uninformed to vote Democrat in the midterms with a clear conscience, cutting off military funding at the knees.

Ahmadinejad in contrast made many spirited motivating speeches to school and university audiences. Those televised events provided clear concepts that informed and inspired Muslims worldwide.

Like Hitler, Ahmadinejad will not be satisfied extending the Iranian border around Iraq and eventually Syria.

A rude awakening looms ahead.=TG

11/15/2006 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

The Machinist:

I'm sure they would like to continue to ingratiate themselves with us, their only protector and promoter of interests (such as federation and non-being-mashed-by-Turks). Therefore, why should Kurds not be mentioned in any domain where they may be of service?

Good Idea. It will make them feel useful and help in freeing up US troops.

But the border will still be open to smugglers and the civil war will still be on going. Think it is time to admit that it cannot be stopped and to do the right thing and pick a side. Shia are best bet because they are the democratically elected government, making them the most legitimate and they are the biggest, best armed side so it will be easier to ensure they win. Plus helping them keeps some large faction out of Iranian control. All America needs to do is accept the Shia carrying out a few massacres on the Americans behalf and this thing can still be won.

11/15/2006 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger TonyGuitar said...

This is an excellent thread of 76 comments at this point.

Most who come in at this spot onwards may not have the time or energy to read everything.

I*m glad to say a decent number here are not *Cut & Run* types at all.
======== Non-Quitters ======
Skipsailing
dla - 12:34pm
Sammy Small
Jaf
Arthur Dent
Prolapsed Presby 1:38pm
Skipsailing 2:48pm
===== posts to ponder ===

Exhelodrvr 11/15 3:18pm [Sunni question]

IPW533 4:53 [Sistani=moderate]

Eggplant 4:54pm [MSM & Moonbats]

3Case oops.. [before 11:21]

Uanha-closp 11.21pm [joining with a Shiia faction] tough to swallow, but a concept I have seen elsewhere.

Iran-watch.com

And Big Oil says . . .

http://www.petroleumworld.com/Ed110706.htm

11/16/2006 12:54:00 AM  
Blogger R C Dean said...

a “grand bargain” with Iran. To settle our fundamental differences, Iran would surrender its nuclear-weapons program, stop supporting terrorism, and stop undermining America’s position in Iraq.

Sounds exactly like the grand bargain with Kim Jong Il.

How's that working out?

11/16/2006 04:07:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

the machinist said:

Teresita, I mean Catholic Woman, I mean woman catholic

There is only one thing I find to be unforgivably annoying, and that is to be called names...specifically, names other than Woman Catholic. Welcome to my Do Not Call list.

11/16/2006 04:39:00 AM  
Blogger slimslowslider said...

Cedarford said...
"raging, bitter mothers venting about how their personal war loss trumped the interests and safety of the whole nation:"


unfortunately I agree with Cedar on this. Volunteering for a Combat force is one huge step to manhood or for the women that choose to do this, adulthood. The fact that we are an all volunteer force makes those that serve that much more noble and adult. The 60's peace movement may have been premature (and probably accelerated by the drugs).

11/16/2006 04:49:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"That failure allowed the uninformed to vote Democrat in the midterms with a clear conscience...."

My undergrad degree is in political science. One of mt focuses was American political government. What happened last week was nothing other than the norm, historically. 6th year of a presidency Congress goes solid to the party out.

To me, the intriguing thing is how close it was. It should not have been that close; particularly given the negatives dogging the 'pubs: Abramoff, Foley, bridge to Siberia, klown leadership...And the final factor, the Dem megaphone (MSM); i.e. klown media.

Here's my truly gripping question of the day re: Congress: Will the Speaker of the House be able to go a full 2 years without plastic surgery?

11/16/2006 05:26:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/16/2006 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Solutions, easier solutions were available three or even two years ago. Today the options are much more limited, for a free republic.

As I was taught long ago, performance counts and poor performance has consequence.
More so than just words, which many believe have consequence as well.

The Insurgency in Iran should be well advanced, but is not.

The US should have rolled on to Damascus in '03, but did not.
The Syrian armor should have been the target for 34 days, not the bridges and slums of Lebanon, but was not.

The US Army could have massed on the Syrian border, during the 34 day war, but did not.
The US should have taken training a secular Iraqi Army, from before the initial invasion, seriously, but did not.

Today, the first step, in Iraq is to define the Enemy. Is the Iraqi Government of Mr al-Sadrs' minions really the enemy or the ally.
The Sunni Insurgents, what is their status in the Regional War?

Who do we target, tomorrow?

Today, the choice is War or Retreat.
A larger Occupation is not more "War" is just a larger garrison playing basketball and drinking lattes between Guard Mounts.

11/16/2006 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

2164th wrote:

nahncee, it will even get more interesting if Iran gets nuclear weapons. Egypt and Saudi Arabia will not allow that to happen without having their own nuclear deterrence.

There's a lot of things that people have predicted that nations will not accept. This whole meme was buried the day the Norks tested their "unacceptable" nuke. We have seen the future and it is nothing but ineffectual verbosity.

11/16/2006 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

slimslowslider wrote:

Volunteering for a Combat force is one huge step to manhood or for the women that choose to do this, adulthood.

Men attain adulthood by testing in extreme experiences (drugs, gangs, combat) how they will meet the final experience, which is death. Women attain adulthood by carrying a new life for nine months, which is a way of actually defeating death in a species-wide sense. So young men will volunteer for tussles overseas because that is their biological nature, and their mothers will vote for politicians who extract us from tussles overseas because that is their biological nature.

11/16/2006 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

recon wrote:

"First hangovers are terrible things, and there's still a lot more Neocon Kool-Aid to be barfed up, but perhaps that what's required to learn moderation. . . and maturity."

BRILLIANT! and all too true!

11/16/2006 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger slimslowslider said...

Woman Catholic said...

It's not that clear cut anymore. as a matter of fact, after working in the public and private sector I realize now that the saying "women and children first" is Passé. In reality it should be "children first and let the men and women battle it out". Besides fathers feel the pain of losing thier sons or daughters equally.

11/16/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

So young men will volunteer for tussles overseas because that is their biological nature, and their mothers will vote for politicians who extract us from tussles overseas because that is their biological nature. Woman Catholic

This is horse manure. Many, many women vote for real men who would protect their families and people. Some of us aren't so stupid, as you suggest, as to think that our ignoring or appeasing a vicious enemy who has already drawn blood will protect the next generation we bear and nurture.

Some women along with their husbands raise their sons to be the good warriors we see in American armed forces. That the Dem Party has so many soft-headed women AND men is a failure of education and critical thinking in an affluent society.

11/16/2006 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

I should mention the obvious here, that there are a number of women serving in the US military who take their duty to defend this country quite seriously.

11/16/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

TrangBang68 said . . .
Dang ,Reo-con,I went looking for my back copies of the American Conservatives and couldn't find them.Then I remembered since the Sears Catalogue store shut down,we had to use 'em in our outhouses down here in Alabama.

A question for ya, TrangBang: who was far more accurate in their warnings and predictions for this Middle East misadventure: The Weekly Standard, The National Review or The American Conservative? Check out some of the links I sent and get back to me on that one, I dare ya. Go ahead, take a bite . . it's only crow. It might be worthwhile to retrieve some of those back issues you put down the memory hole just for the sake of your learnin' 'bout wuld affairz.

I'm sure one day there will be a special leather bound edition of the wit and wisdom of Justin Raimondo.

Raimondo's a loon, but a loon that got it right, which is more than I can say for Victor Davis Hanson or The National Review. At this point he's analyzing a war occuring on some distant solar system far from earthly concerns. In addition to Raimondo you might try this piece by Eric Margolis:

http://www.amconmag.com/2002/2002_10_07/the_road_to_folly.html

Margolis wrote back in 2002:

But the most important practical reason not to attack Iraq comes from General Fuller. What will the US do with this Mideast Yugoslavia once it conquers Iraq? . . .

This chronically unstable “Pandora’s Box,” as Jordan’s King Abdullah calls it, is the nation the U.S. plans to rule. When Saddam falls, Iraq will almost certainly splinter. This is the very reason why Bush père wisely decided against marching on Baghdad in 1991. President Bush Sr. and his Arab allies concluded Iran would annex southern Iraq.


Care to debate that now, smart guy? Now, just where did you put those back issues?

11/16/2006 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

slimslowslider wrote:

It's not that clear cut anymore. as a matter of fact, after working in the public and private sector I realize now that the saying "women and children first" is Passé. In reality it should be "children first and let the men and women battle it out". Besides fathers feel the pain of losing thier sons or daughters equally.

Right after 9-11 women were totally on board with Bush on defending America and our families here, and this carried the 'Pubs over the mid-terms in 2002 and even helped give them 2004 (also the fact that Kerry was a slimeball helped). We beat the Taliban in Afghanistan and took vengeance for our three thousand dead. America, funk yeah! Then Bush started things in motion for the invasion of Iraq, and we're all, like, "okay"...and we watched the thunder-run in Baghdad on Fox with pride, and felt good when Bush landed on the carrier in a S-3 Viking and it was "Mission Accomplished". It's been all downhill from there, and now we are reduced to cowering in the Green Zone and sending a mathematically-computed optimal fraction of our troops out on patrol every night to drive up and down the IED-riddled roads just like a mindless video game. No mother wants her son to die to prolong a policy that isn't moving toward victory. To hell with that, all hands on deck, let's win this thing and go home.

11/16/2006 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

My goodness the voice of defeat is shouting loudly still.

In the debate between trangbang and reocon I have to go with trangbang at this juncture. simply put the "I was always against this" crowd has empty its magazine of "see I told you so" rounds quite some time ago.

Like the much fabled boy who cried wolf, the IWAAT bunch have declared defeat so often that we've simply stopped listening.

Trangbang did the right thing with those back issues of naysayers monthly. I'm so sick of Rich Lowry's endless declarations of defeat that I'm hardly bothering with my national review and I'm wondering about my subscription renewal.

If I want endless doom and gloom I'll read comments from Ash. They, at least, are free.

11/16/2006 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

WC/ Teresita, you were not on board for the invasion of Iraq. You called it an illegal pre-emption and railed against it here at BC.

You're being faux tough just now, but what it is you actually propose is to get out of there. You were hoping this past election would rout the Repubs to stop the supposed torture policy and illegal war.

The use of motherhood for your arguments against Iraq (and it would seem wrt all "foreign tussles") is more than a little offensive to some of us. Are you even a mother-- in the biological sense? Your former persona was a feminist who liked females. You belittle all the mothers who are proud of their sons' and daughters' service, and insult their grown offspring who have chosen to sign up and fight when and where called to duty.

By and large, our troops are of the opinion that the war from the outset was a good one, and that they have accomplished much. There are problems, and it looks as if they will be addressed. Effectively or not remains to be seen. I vote that they will be, if Iran is pushed back.

Your injecting gender and motherhood into discussion of our wars is grossly inappropriate, emotionally manipulative and unfair to women.

11/16/2006 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

skipsailing said...
I'm so sick of Rich Lowry's endless declarations of defeat that I'm hardly bothering with my national review and I'm wondering about my subscription renewal.

Shows what you know. Lowry isn't declaring defeat, he's -- along with William Kristol -- calling for an increase in troops. Lowry's pessimism is just an honest appraisal of how badly this whole war has gone. Are you saying it's going well?

Like the much fabled boy who cried wolf, the IWAAT bunch have declared defeat so often that we've simply stopped listening.

Which is funny published on this blog for how often has Wretchard declared "victory"? Maybe the Iraqis just weren't listening.

But enough of the cant and the insults; Skipsailing what do you propose for Iraq. Are you joining with Lowry in calling for an increase in American troops to help defend the worthless, Shiite Islamofascist government of Nouri al-Maliki? That'd be rich. If you can't admit just how bad things are now, or how mistaken the whole endeavor was from the start, you're not going to have a lot to contribute to the present. So, what do you got? Are you a groveling supporter of Shiite Islamofascism? If not, then who do you have to run Iraq?

11/16/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

Oh my I've been challenged with a dichotomy it seems. Either I agree with reocon or I'm groveling.

I see.

First, let me say a word about Rich Lowry. He dedicated an entire issue of NRODT to "why Iraq sucks". He's written pieces on NRO that echo that sentiment as well.

Last week he wrote this on the Corner (paraphrase alert) "I wish America had more patience with Iraq."

I could hardly believe it. I sent him an email pointing out that IMHO he had contributed to this lack of patience by via his editorial efforts.

No Reply. Oh well.

Let's see, what do I think we should do in Iraq? Just off the top of my head let me list a few:

(1) Relocate Iraqi units that are in quiet zones to B-dad. This will show us their loyalty and ability. It will also improve their capability. As an adjunct, set up a rotation schedule to keep units moving into B dad routinely.

(2) Alter the RoE's to permit more aggressive action. Use America's well proven lethality only as necessary and only in a manner where death and destruction are the main goals.

(3) Slow down catch and release to reduce the population of thugs looking for trouble. A man arrested for suspicion should expect a good long stay in clink. We can get back to the oh so sensitive bullsh*t about habeus later. This raises the stakes for the thugs and makes the cost benefit calculation for crime dramatically different.

(4) step up the tempo of whack a mole. As our gracious host pointed out, moving is tough on gangsters. Accept whack a mole as a fact of life and keep these guys moving. Even well adapted fish, swiming is a sea of support need rest. Deny them this.

(5) Launch an intense guerilla campaign in Iran and Syria. I read of an attack on Imamadjihadi's motorcade and I'm fine with that. bomb their oil pipe lines, damage the electric grid give the syrians and Iranians reason to feel insecure while we publically point to the government's failure to provide security for its subjects.

(6) find a way to shove Maliki aside. he's not up to this. One contributing factor now is the vacuum that was created as the boys in B dad haggled over the government. We need a transparent transfer of power for a variety of reasons. Sadly, we need it sooner rather than later. We can't have a vacancy at the top, but I don't think Maliki is the right guy.

(7) Encourage Israel to take aggressive action against hezbullah while publically supporting the siniora government. force Iran to tend to both fronts. Pressure egypt concerning its role in all of this. Cash in some foriegn aid markers.

(8) Launch a disinformation campaign concerning our relationship with Russia. The muslims don't f*ck with the russians like they do with us because the russians understand the management of savagery. We don't but we do know how to launch a PR campaign. Let's lie.

that's just off the top of my head.

My prediction is that you'll claim that all of these are either impossible or futile. I base that prediction on my impression that you've essentially ceded victory to the enemy.

11/16/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

skipsailing said . .
My prediction is that you'll claim that all of these are either impossible or futile. I base that prediction on my impression that you've essentially ceded victory to the enemy.

Enemy? Skippy, who are our friends? That is the pivotal question and it's the one you can't answer. We're surrounded by enemies in Iraq and have exceedingly few friends . . . that's the whole knot to this conflict that we helped to tie ourselves. "Victory" isnt't just killing everyone in Iraq, it's building a viable government with a popular mandate and all the choices are awful.

You got nothing but totally uninformed suggestions and more cant. Very little thinking here. I'll give just a a few brief examples because I'm sure there's chores better worth doing.

1) Relocate Iraqi units that are in quiet zones to B-dad.

Oh get real. You have to know that the last time that was tried, only 1 1/12 Iraqi brigades out of 6 called up showed up. Southern military units have no desire to fight and die in Baghdad. This sad story was published all over the MSM and blogosphere.

(3) Slow down catch and release to reduce the population of thugs looking for trouble.

That's not going to cut into our enemies among the Shiite death squads. Maliki will have them sprung just like he's done for two of Sadr's captured lieutenants. Once we turned Iraq over to the democratically elected Shiite Islamists, we ceded the ability to cut into their command structure.

(6) find a way to shove Maliki aside. he's not up to this.

Totally agree, now here's the rub: what member of the democratically elected Islamofascist United Iraqi Alliance do you want to put in his place? Ayatollah Hakim? Sadr? Bring back Jaafari?

Skippy, you seem unable to grapple with the political complexities on the ground. Complexities that were well predicted before the war. Try being specific about who you want to prop up in Iraq, for isn't that the only way to "victory". If you can't find reliable Iraqi allies, then really, what have you got?

11/16/2006 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Desert Rat, Reocon, and Coisty - good posts!

Especially well said by Coisty -All I'm saying is that invading another country for its own good puts your soldiers in an imposssible situation when the natives get restless. So the result is predictable.

Go in and liberate a pile of batshit crazy treacherous, intolerant, murderous shitheads and call them noble purple fingers and swear that you will have the most restrictive ROE even if it costs you many, many more casualties and the obvious happens. (soldiers die in house to house because there might be noble Iraqi civilians inside and better out guys die than grenades or artillery taking out a family of "innocent enemy"). Knowing all but a person actually caught with a gun in hand is safe, Iraqis can show open contempt for enemy Americans, as you hand out presents to children that are corrected later, have US taxpayers pick up sunni and shiite death squad payroll costs.

We are surrounded by an undefeated enemy that will gladly tell anyone who asks that they hate the Americans, wish them dead, and they have no fear of the infidel enemy because infidel rules keeps them safe from consequence as insurgents in their neighborhood use snipers to pick off troops or blow the infidel scum into hamburger.

So Americans get Punk'd.

3 1/2 years later, as long as we fought in WWII, we have gone from being able to walk around Iraq w/o danger to a situation where no sane American can safely mingle unarmed with Iraqis, outside Kurdistan. And only when armed in adequate numbers, and only when snipers and IED users are suppressed.

Of course the South is quiet. Iran has pretty much locked up leadership in the Shiite militias down there and has commanded they be on standby, waiting for the Civil War.
*************
roadtoserfdom - If we could truly control Iraqi borders and then disarm the militias, it would be worth sticking it out in Iraq. But we need more boots on the ground from elsewhere, and no other country will help.

The problem with Europe is that they are still playing "The Emperor's New Kurds".....- so they can't help on the ground in Iraq, or the virus might rear up.

So it's just us - America Alone, as Steyn says. Ditching the purple fingers is morally indefensible, but cappping the Iranian-fed violence is nigh on impossible. Somewhere, somehow, new stakeholders have to be brought to the table


1. As you say, we cannot put new boots on the ground. IMO, because Rumsfeld and Bush made a decision 5 years ago that the military shouldn't appreciably grow in infantry, artillery, AF logistics, Navy - to preserve tax cuts for the wealthy. No new large cadres of basic skill infantry were created. So we have undermanned elite soldiers (Rangers, SEALs, Airborne, Marine shock brigades) being blown up at road checkpoints, war sold as cakewalk easy, US citizens told to shop and enjoy their tax cuts if they are in the immune socioeconomic stratas.

2. Even if we had the troops, most of the country has lost confidence in the competency of Team Bush. Not just on Iraq, but foreign policy in general and whole swaths of domestic policy.

3. We can ditch the noble purple-fingers if we want, aside from the Kurds, who have comported themselves well and (and even they must be ditched if it comes to siding with them or with Turkey if the Kurds declare they will continue to try and take 1/3rd of Turkey through terrorism.. And the Purple-fingered freedom loving noble Sunni and Shiite Arabs, for all I care, can butcher each other to the last baby.

4. I see no one eager to get to be a new stakeholder in Iraq. Russia, China, Europe, and the Arab countries warned Bush that his neocons were moving him into catastrophe with Iraq in the awful postwar that waited. So did several senior centrist Democrats and "realist" Reagan and Bush I Republicans. He didn't listen.
Now most foreign nations are just delighted to see Team Bush's tit in a wringer, America getting it's Zionist kow towing comeuppance, and none are in a mood to help. Stopping Iran is a different story.

And watch the neocons trying the gutless CYA they are famous for. Claiming their ideas were gold while Team Bush was shit on implementing neocon ideas. Basically, they are courtiers looking for a new noble to suck up to after their last Leige fell out of favor.


***********************
dla - I certainly hope that posters here are not under the influence of Osama's well-planned media campaign - which is really nothing more than a haunted house to scare the American public into electing the Cut and Run squad. Boo.

It is evident that you are still locked into believing it's still 2003 and Mission Accomplished...rather than the 4-6 months away from all out civil war. The overall deteriorating security situation since 2003 has the military commanders now admitting in front of the Senate and House Armed Services committees we have a few short months to fix it or sectarian violence will escalate beyong our ability to control it.

11/16/2006 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

I have a surefire method of determing when an opponent has run out of cogent replies. he or she will call me "skippy".

It just seems oh so clever doesn't it? It seems "cute" and "demeaning" and it displays a complete lack of insight. Honestly, are you so unused to challenge that this is best you can do?

it's like calling me "honkey" yeah, that will irritate me, ya betcha.

the basic problem is, reocon, I got you right. You're whipped and now you're demanding that the rest of us join you in a giant pity party. sorry pal, you may be out of ideas, you may have permitted negativity to overcome your alleged good sense but I haven't.

You want to quit? by all means drop your weapon, such as it is. pardon me if I'm willing to soldier on. And further, pardon our military if its willing to soldier on.

Let's look at your dire predictions, shall we?

Oh get real. You have to know that the last time that was tried, only 1 1/12 Iraqi brigades out of 6 called up showed up. Southern military units have no desire to fight and die in Baghdad. This sad story was published all over the MSM and blogosphere

Gosh, there's no evidence of defeat in these words is there? oh no. The MSM told you that these guys don't want to fight and you believe it, right?

Read my post again. what did I say? If they don't want to fight, that's an important fact for us to learn. Testing them now just makes sense. They guys that don't want to fight can return to the goat herds, the guys that do want to fight will be IN THE FIGHT.

Too complex for ya or what?

then there's this:

That's not going to cut into our enemies among the Shiite death squads. Maliki will have them sprung just like he's done for two of Sadr's captured lieutenants. Once we turned Iraq over to the democratically elected Shiite Islamists, we ceded the ability to cut into their command structure

I see a couple of very interesting bits of defeat here.

First is the assumption that Maliki runs this. Really? If we catch them they are subject to OUR procedures. We don't have to be in a rush at all do we? sure it would enrage the peace pussies, but since everybody on the planet is already pissed, why worry? If it takes two or three weeks to get to a first hearing, that's ok, we've got time.

next, you're making an unsupported assumption that we've ceded to the shi ite islamists. Show us some evidence, please. bluster won't cut it, sorry.

Oh you agree about Maliki but despair that everybody in Iraq is just like him? Frankly I'd never heard of Karzai before he got his job, but somebody had. I sincerely doubt that you have anywhere near the amount of info about prominent Iraqis that you'd need to make this assumption that they all suck. You're just plain panicked it seems to me.

finally, your position is just plain sad. What I hear you saying is this: Its tough and complicated so f*ck it.

No thanks reocon. I've never seen a problem that was improved by panic and that's what you're doing it seems to me.

Love and hugs

Skippy

11/16/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

Yea, dla, get with the C4 program! quit now! why wait?

C4 is confident in his prediction of utter doom for everybody in iraq in four to six months, so we might as well just hang it up now.

so come dla, join the cognoscenti already, quit while you're behind.

11/16/2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, skipsailor, if there is evidence to suggest a turn in how we move forward, coming onto a course based upon on your reccomendations, please tell us.

I'd be pleased as punch to see some of your reccomendations implemented. Years ago, yesterday, today or even tomorrow.

New RoE, been saying that for years, what makes you believe the Military is about to discard the postmodern doctrine it has adapted?

Is it possible to turn a page and start a new chapter in Iraq? Why sure, but is it probable, I tend to doubt it.

11/16/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger TonyGuitar said...

Cedarford,

Regret to oppose you in friendly debate but,your point. .

**
3. We can ditch the noble purple-fingers if we want, aside from the Kurds, who have comported themselves well and (and even they must be ditched if it comes to siding with them or with Turkey if the Kurds declare they will continue to try and take 1/3rd of Turkey through terrorism.. And the Purple-fingered freedom loving noble Sunni and Shiite Arabs, for all I care, can butcher each other to the last baby. **

=========

You must know this can not be slipped by clear thinking North Americans.

To abandon our friends the Kurds, Christians,[in Lebanon too] and all those Iraqi who risked their lives to wear a purple finger is WRONG.

You know it. We all know it.

Gr. Ayatollah Sistani may be a far better leader than Maliki.

You and Reocon would abandon everyone including our friends to Muqtada Al Sadr and his Blackshirts.

How is that different to Chaimberlin feeding Poland to Hitler, to buy time?

The choice is either [A] or [B]

[A] We and Nato do what is required to increase our base of peace, building out from the Kurds and friends in the ME.

or

[B] We return in desparation later [with Nukes?], to try and stop the spread of Islamofascism in the form of Al Sadr Blackshirts across multiple borders and extending the borders of Iran in the process.

The Saddam Baath Suni minority in Iraq were the enemy, but there are many Sunni in surrounding countries who hate the advance of Persian Shiia and are likely to support our stabalizing efforts in Iraq.

So yes times are rough in Iraq and we are short handed.

This is exactly the time to remain firm and earn respect, else we fold and become *Paper Tiger*.

Remember, 2/3rds or more of the free world do not see this picture clearly and so logically do not support the aim.

The picture that has been so poorly detailed by the Pubs.

It was Glenn Beck vs Al Jazeera amd the Miscreant Spin Media.

No wonder the Dems made such gains. = TG

11/16/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

hush now DR.

I was asked for suggestions. And I gave them. Wow did I tick that guy off or what?

do I think we'll do some of these? Dunno, but somethings are going to change, why not hope for the best?

11/16/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Skippy said . .
next, you're making an unsupported assumption that we've ceded to the shi ite islamists. Show us some evidence, please. bluster won't cut it, sorry.

WOw. You really are behind the times, aren't you Skip? Let's take this real slow and see if you can keep up. Let's start with the basics: Who won the elections in '05?
Name the Shiite Islamofascist parties that make up the United Iraqi Alliance?
How many Americans did Sadr kill in his two uprisings?
What does democratic legitimacy do to protect Sadr?
Why do you support a government that includes Sadr?
Are you getting it yet? Let me make it clear for you: to support the present Islamofascist Shiite Iraqi government is to support the ENEMY.

The MSM told you that these guys don't want to fight and you believe it, right?

OK. So you're saying that the Army Times was wrong and that all the Iraqi units did show up for the Battle of Baghdad. You ain't convincing anybody with delusion, sailor. Are you really convincing yourself?

I sincerely doubt that you have anywhere near the amount of info about prominent Iraqis that you'd need to make this assumption that they all suck. You're just plain panicked it seems to me.

You doubt wrong, boyo. It's not just the elites, Skippy, it's the mass parties themselves that won the elections, the parties from which the elites are chose. Do you support:
SCIRI ?
Fadhila ?
The Iraqi National Dialogue Front
The Islamic Coalition?
Sadr ?
Dawa?
The Iaqi Islamic Party?
The Iraqi National Accord?

IF so then you support ISLAMOFASCISTS. In my book, SKippy, Islamofasicts "suck". Why do you support them? What, you don't? Then who the hell do you support in Iraq that's capable of governing the country? Wake up kid . . . it's gonna hurt, but you'll be better off once the scars heal.

For my part, it ain't panic, baby, it's what I've been saying since before this war: that Shiite clericalism would rule Iraq if we were to go down the "democratic" path. I was right. Now, reread your post. Do you have any specifics to offer, or just more lame sloganeering and desperate cant. You've got no real policies or suggestions to offer because you still haven't figured out the politics on the ground.

It's simple Skippy. I want to see alot of Sunni Islamists dead. I want to see alot of Shiite Islamists dead. We can't do both because we need to pick one side to rule. . . if we stay. Ergo, we pull out and let the bonfire rip. All we need to do is get the few remaining fools like yourself, who want to grovel in front of the Shiite theocrats, out of the way.

11/16/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger TonyGuitar said...

Reocon,

Not speaking for SkipSailing here, but you do have a point that is reflective of the a crass Iraqi culture in the sense. .

Something happens to young Iraqi minds by the age of 9 or 10 from Mosque schooling or life in Iraq.

You may have seen the photo of headless men hanging from bridge girders where the boys were jumping up and down and laughing happily.

I thought, same bridge, same awful scene and American youth would NOT be jumping and laughing.

The ME problem runs deeper than most can imagine. = TG

11/16/2006 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Reocon said:

I want to see alot of Sunni Islamists dead. I want to see alot of Shiite Islamists dead. We can't do both because we need to pick one side to rule. . . if we stay. Ergo, we pull out and let the bonfire rip. All we need to do is get the few remaining fools like yourself, who want to grovel in front of the Shiite theocrats, out of the way.

Not going to happen if America simply leaves, bonfire won't let rip for nearly long enough. The Shia outnumber and outgun the Sunni in Iraq. The Sunni left to fend for themselves will lose quickly. The only thing preventing this happening now is the interference of American morality in the governance of Iraq. Winning the war in Iraq has never been that logistically difficult - attack the enemy until they flee or are dead or submit.

Making the bonfire burn for a long time is possible, only if the Sunni Islamist side is supported actively. To make Reocon's scenario play out will require active support by America of Al Qaeda or associated Sunni Islamist group, a very hard thing to imagine.

After the probable short war the concern is what form the peace takes. Most likely is that the war, massacres and violence will be blamed on America due to the original sin of toppling Saddam. The slaughter that is to come in Iraq will be a uniting cause for Muslims everywhere to attack an America that will be viewed as a vile butcher of Muslims, but also a defeatable cut & run coward.

Best that America stays involved, hopefully assisting the Shia in crushing resistance (massacres, exiling, submission and all). This will still leave America hated by the majority of the Muslim world (this is inevitable), but whilst they hate they will also fear, because America will show it is prepared to stay and get its hands dirty and win.

11/16/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

OK, now I understand the troubling nature of the guy with whom I am trading comments.

As I read your comments, it all comes down to this: anything that stands in the way of your goal is to be spat upon.

And your goal? Mass deaths of sunni and shi'a shitheads, right?

I mean here's your words:

It's simple Skippy. I want to see alot of Sunni Islamists dead. I want to see alot of Shiite Islamists dead. We can't do both because we need to pick one side to rule. . . if we stay. Ergo, we pull out and let the bonfire rip. All we need to do is get the few remaining fools like yourself, who want to grovel in front of the Shiite theocrats, out of the way.

so if I don't want endless carnage I'm a fool? If I want to win the war I'm in your way? Am I getting this right?

Don't misunderstand me, I think that a lot of arabs will have to die before we have peace. The shithead factory has been working at excess capacity for a long time so there's a whole bunch of madmen out there.

But what you're suggesting makes no sense to me. Your approach confronts the output of the shithead works, but does nothing to shut it down.

My approach does both, IMHO.

Sure let's be brutal and lethal when we have to be, but let's lay a foundation for something better so we have a shot at shutting down the processes that are generating these guys.

And I'm not groveling in front of anybody. The fact that I support the current government in B dad isn't groveling, its hoping. Guys like you don't hope, I know but hey. We are saying to the Iraqis "there is an alternative". Let's see if they take us up on it.

We've gone the military confrontation route on a regular basis through out history. If we just lay waste to the muslim lands now, we'll get an uneasy peace but at some point they'll be back. The shores of tripoli and all that doncha know.

its a grand scheme, I admit, and it may not work. but you've offered nothing, and I mean nothing, that dissuades me at this point.

I can sincerely understand your anger though. I've been thinking about all this surrender crap I've been reading and I'm seeing a few patterns. Here's a couple of the camps:

"War is not the answer" these guys won't fight and don't want anybody else to either.

"they aren't doing it the way I think they should so failure is inevitable" That's you and a few others as well.

"I have no problem with war but too many mistakes have been made and now there's no way out." I see this one a lot. Its probably the most amusing of the various camps.

there are some others, but those are the defeat styles I've seen so far. What I'm waiting for is "Noboby can beat the arabs so why did we even try" camp. I'm sure that'll be out there any day now.

xxxxooooxxxx
Skippy

11/16/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger TonyGuitar said...

Una-clop and Xs & Os.

I like the fresh air here. Refreshing. = TG

11/16/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

skipsailing said;

so if I don't want endless carnage I'm a fool? If I want to win the war I'm in your way? Am I getting this right?

Welcome to the pinko liberal Cut'N'Runner table, skipsailing, home of the Wary On Waterboarding Wimps and the Nattering Nabobs Now Nay on Nationbuilding.

11/16/2006 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Skpsail wrote 8 suggestions that I agree with as solutions that ideally should happen, but I do not feel are possible or politic.

(1) (2) (3) (4) all require more troops, when Americans are not readily available. Will require heavy lifting on the part of the locals.

(5) Launch an intense guerilla campaign in Iran and Syria. I read of an attack on Imamadjihadi's motorcade and I'm fine with that. bomb their oil pipe lines, damage the electric grid give the syrians and Iranians reason to feel insecure while we publically point to the government's failure to provide security for its subjects.

World oil supply is at issue when attacking Iran. See also below.

(6) find a way to shove Maliki aside. he's not up to this. One contributing factor now is the vacuum that was created as the boys in B dad haggled over the government. We need a transparent transfer of power for a variety of reasons. Sadly, we need it sooner rather than later. We can't have a vacancy at the top, but I don't think Maliki is the right guy.

He is democratically elected, supported amoung the Shia Arabs of Iraq. Removing him will signal distrust of the Shia Arabs, who are (with the Kurds) the most likely source of guerillas in Iran restricting options in point number 5.

(7) good idea

(8) good, but gives truth to the notion that America is not capable of brutally suppressing insurrection. PR will need to be backed by some substance.

Basically do not think America can win alone in Iraq, because it lacks the troops and brutallity neccesary. Ssolve these problems by allying with Shia Arabs, numerous - brutal - eager and grab the political advantage that this can happen as part of a phased withdrawl. It is risky as it will require commitment through immorality and will be in general cooperation with Iranian interests, but possible.

11/16/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger TonyGuitar said...

Dependancy of our economy on oil is likely the reason for the USA giving in and not disrupting oil prices.

*91 to *94 GM had EV-1s leased to some drivers in California.

The Big Oil and Auto lobby beat down California air standards, the reason for the EV-1 electric auto.

GM heaved a sigh of relief and promptly crushed the [much loved], leased EV-1s in their secure Arizona compound.

If the lobbying had been resisted, we would all be driving EVs by now.

Denying progress has made us and our economy captive to Islamofascists.

The Tesla Roadster is too little, too late.

Affordable EVs are made ugly so they will not be popular.

Nothing to fix. Few moving parts. No Big Oil or Auto profits.

Hybrids are a last ditch attempt for the buggy makers to stay profitable.

There is no need for two cars in one. Too complex and too expensive.

Profitable though. = TG

11/16/2006 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger pst314 said...

"Ask the mother of an American KIA to assign a dollar value to her son's life"

Have you forgotten the Gold Star Mothers who have spoken up to support the war? Or are we to count only those who agree with you?

Shame on you for your emotional bullying and your dishonest attempt to speak for women who disagree with you.

11/16/2006 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

Tony Guit-Fiddler said:
Something happens to young Iraqi minds by the age of 9 or 10 from Mosque schooling or life in Iraq.
----]

It sometimes works the other way, in a really big way.

Iraqi's, some of them, have street smarts. Some of them with street smarts know. They know. They can smell the enemy and it is not Amerikkka. Of course humans tend to have a poor sense of smell.

Necessity. however, is a form of capitalism. Capitalism, as bad as it might be is better than...

11/16/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger R2K said...

: )

11/16/2006 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger TonyGuitar said...

Here is proof from the mullah himself.

http://tinyurl.com/yklhrz

Hez = Iran Occupation Force. = TG

11/16/2006 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

unaha-closp said...

Not going to happen if America simply leaves, bonfire won't let rip for nearly long enough. The Shia outnumber and outgun the Sunni in Iraq.

Ah, but the Sunni have a major resource in their favor: Sunni financial, paramilitary and logistic networks, including Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia (KSA). That's nothing to scoff at and should give the Shi'a a run for their dinar.

Skippy said . . .
so if I don't want endless carnage I'm a fool? If I want to win the war I'm in your way?

What does it mean to win the war? To back a Shiite Islamist government that is pro-Iran and pro-Hezbollah? That ain't victory, that's fighting for your own defeat. Any other suggestions?

My approach does both, IMHO.

No, it doesn't. Your approach comes down on the side of the Shiite theocrats who've already killed scores of our troops. You can't win with Maliki/Sadr/Badr. What else is there that is capable of governing Iraq?

And I'm not groveling in front of anybody. The fact that I support the current government in B dad isn't groveling, its hoping. Guys like you don't hope, I know but hey. We are saying to the Iraqis "there is an alternative". Let's see if they take us up on it.

You really are a naif. Why don't you support Hamas, Hezbollah and Ahmadinejad while you're at it? They are democracies too you know (do you?). I'll tell you why I don't "hope" on Maliki/Badr/Sadr, Skippy. It's cause Sadr killed over a hundred Americans in two uprisings, and Maliki and Hakim had no problem welcoming him into their thuggish alliance. I've got no hope for these f*ckin Islamofascist thugs because I know their histories, their dossiers and I know their goals. Maliki, Hakim and Jaafari were trained in Iran in the 1980s and if you want to know more about SCIRI's plan for Iraq read this:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iraq/2003/06/iraq-030604-rfel-164005.htm

Do you have any idea what your dealing with with these parties, have you done any research whatsoever? Look, kid, Chamberlain had hope too. When it comes too Islamofascism, hope = traitorous naivete. You've made your pathetic point clear, even after Maliki has made his colors plain for all too see -- by springing Sadr's murderous lieutenants from custody and lifting the checkpoints around Sadr City -- you're still eager to punk for clerical fascism. May your debased dhimmitude be brief.

its a grand scheme, I admit, and it may not work. but you've offered nothing, and I mean nothing, that dissuades me at this point.

I can sincerely understand your anger though. I've been thinking about all this surrender crap I've been reading and I'm seeing a few patterns.


You didn't list the one that matters most though: "To support Shiite Islamofascism is to support Shiite Islamofascism. Why do that when we can set one Islamism off the other?" Think about it for another couple months and it should be clear by then.

11/16/2006 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Jeez, I think I read every comment so far.

It was interesting, entertaining and educating.

Lots of good ideas, kinda like a mini-think tank on steroids.

Iraq (the battle) is not about Iraq anymore to the Muslim world.

It is about the United States (you know- the America that they all hate)

Even Russia and [e]urope think that it is all about America, as do most of the Americans themselves.

Iraq (the battle) in my not so humble opinion needs to be continued, in earnest, for fifty or seventy five years.

No matter how many Americans are KIA or WIA.

Why? Because it is an important battle (as is the Afghan) in the war against .....what ever name you want to give the many groups of Islamics that want our destruction or our subservience.

Actually the war is against Islam, you know, the most evil cult ever placed on this planet.

You see, Islam makes these people crazy, it tells them what, how, who to believe and makes anyone who is not a "true believer" the enemy.

That is us.

So, we need to win every battle with Islam. No matter how long it takes, and no matter where it is.

It will be in Africa, the ME, in [e]urope and in places we have not imagined yet.

Maybe on the block where you live or in a city near you.

They mean to win, not only by the sword, but by deception, and by using our governments freedom against us.

Watch who is going to be running in your local elections.

Detroit is a good example of where Islam is winning without firing a shot.

This is going to be a long war, and very soon, we won't be able to get by with the military we have now. We will have to conscript new Soldiers and Marines, no matter if we like it or not.

Because we have no choice. We must defeat Islam, no matter how long it takes or how many are killed.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

11/16/2006 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Reo-Con:Maybe I was a bit flippant with your American Conservative crowd.It just seems to me that they and the bunch at Chronicles are not people I agree with on much.You take the aforementioned Mr. Raimondo(what's conservative about being a liar,a fraud and a sodomite to boot?);along with Thomas Fleming ,the late Sam Francis,Joe Sobran,et al,stir the pot and you get alot of at least veiled and anti-Semitism.I agree with Mr. Buchanan on alot of his points on immigration and the doleful effects of globalism on blue collar America(my crowd),but reading his autobiography,it seems Pat sort of longs for 1950's Washington where the darkies knew their place.
The same holds true with foreign affairs.It seems like alot of Paleo-Cons pine for some 19th century pastoral small town world that probably never existed.One fearful truth of globalism is WMD's can get here nowdays.We're not Fortress America as much as we're a big target.We better beat these madmen or the consequences are too dark to contemplate.
Incidentally,I never cared for the "Weekly Standard",still read NR some.I'm as apt to read the "Atlantic Monthly" as any of the conservative periodicals.

11/16/2006 09:48:00 PM  

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