Sunday, December 10, 2006

What a Wonderful World

The West is not at war with terrorism, or radical Islamism. In fact, it's not at war with anyone. Every British soldier killed or injured in Iraq or Afghanistan past a certain date can claim compensation for criminal assault, not combat, because the lawyers have determined there is no "war" going on. And there are no enemies. They are in fact -- or perhaps more accurately in fiction -- only criminals. The Daily Telegraph reports:

Hundreds of troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan are to be awarded millions of pounds in compensation following a ruling by the Government that they are victims of crime not war. ... Payments will be made on a "sliding scale" of about £1,000, for a small facial scar, up to a maximum of £500,000, for the loss of a limb. The ruling was agreed, it is understood, after Government lawyers raised fears that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) could be subject to a legal challenge by troops claiming they were victims of crime because they were wounded in Iraq after the end of "at war" hostilities in May 2003.


All those injured fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, but who have decided to remain in the Army, could be entitled to lodge claims with the newly revised Armed Forces' Criminal Injury Compensation (overseas) scheme. ... The new ruling and expansion of compensation to the Iraq and Afghan conflicts means insurgents or terrorists launching surprise attacks and sabotage missions are also regarded as criminals and not enemy troops. It is thought the only circumstances where troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan would not be eligible for criminal compensation is when they were involved in pre-arranged, offensive operations directly targeting insurgents.

Military analysts who find themselves dissatisfied with the progress of the campaign against terrorism can analyze many things. Force structure, doctrine, logistics, training, tactics. And yet despite the most searching examination they may fail to notice the single most important shortcoming of all. A defect capable of negating every other military advantage. Some kind of brain fog has descended upon Western Civilization, a species of madness or abstraction that makes victory against the enemy impossible, not simply because victory is inconceivable, but the very concept of an enemy or warfare has become unthinkable to the postmodern bureaucratic mind. It is the very thought of fighting a foe -- fighting under any circumstances, however justified -- that has become the ultimate taboo. War has been banished, not from reality, but from the list of allowable thoughts. It has become a Thoughtcrime and it is expunged from the Newspeak of our times. Welcome to our Perfect World. While it lasts.

43 Comments:

Blogger 2164th said...

I read this and also posted it. Giving it some thought, if the courts award some asshole $500,000 for spilling hot coffee on himself, then some GI burned in a humvee deserves at least as much.
Very few people are suffering in this socalled WOT. They are not going into the military and not suffering financially. Let them dig into their pockets. It is a good idea. Save the medals and hand out the cash.

12/10/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Wow,

What is going to happen when some crappy Jihadi finally types the magical 5x10^6 in that left hand column:

5,000,000
x
1,000,000
=================
5,000,000,000,000

This is absolute proof there are millions of folks out there that don't think we are at war. So we must not be!!!

Hey, 216th, does the math work for you too?

12/10/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2164th wrote, "Very few people are suffering in this socalled WOT. They are not going into the military and not suffering financially."

That's one of Cedarford's more weighty points, that the President took us basically into World War III on the buy-now-pay-later plan, without even asking for a tax increase or rationing.

12/10/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2164th wrote, "Very few people are suffering in this socalled WOT. They are not going into the military and not suffering financially."

That's one of Cedarford's more weighty points, that the President took us basically into World War III on the buy-now-pay-later plan, without even asking for a tax increase or rationing.

12/10/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2164th wrote, "Very few people are suffering in this socalled WOT. They are not going into the military and not suffering financially."

That's one of Cedarford's more weighty points, that the President took us basically into World War III on the buy-now-pay-later plan, without even asking for a tax increase or rationing.

12/10/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2164th wrote, "Very few people are suffering in this socalled WOT. They are not going into the military and not suffering financially."

That's one of Cedarford's more weighty points, that the President took us basically into World War III on the buy-now-pay-later plan, without even asking for a tax increase or rationing.

12/10/2006 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Boy, what I've said for a couple of years now has been expressed in our Ally's Policy.
That it ain't no War, just a Police Chase with soldiers.

So much feigned surprise when Reality slams US into the wall.

12/10/2006 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Desert Rat,

And, reality does kick in every once in a while.

When it does it might be the soldiers - discretely stationed on some island in the South Pacific - that will be in the safest locale.

Unless, of course, some new mayor or governor didn't read the NYT (an article that tells the nation we are finally at war now that five million are dead - and why the hell did we wait for the enemy to strike us again) and demand that we remove our rapacious military.

All these silly, unworldly, unworkable 'laws' in a time of need.

12/10/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

One bit of comfort...

DR, his kid, 214th, and the folks I just spent a pleasant Christmas party with can hit a target at 300+ meters. It does not matter on which continent they pull the trigger. Even ours if we wait a bit too long for Diplomacy (capitalized and bolded) to take hold.

A Marvelous Christmas Party.

A Pleasant Gathering for all.

Peace, Not Appartheid!

Merry Christmas!!!

12/10/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

The West reacts like lawmakers who think lawlessness resulting from failure to enforce laws can be addressed by passing more laws.

We face an enemy whose entire doctrine -- deliberately slaughering innocents and hiding military assest behind civilians -- is a war crime by any reasonable definition.

Yet we pre-occupy ourselves with an ever more obsessive focus on our occasional failure to observe Marquis de Queensbury rules.

The denial is getting deeper.

12/10/2006 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like the world is coming to an end?

12/10/2006 10:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truely alarming, though, not without precedent of the West's laced cuff and glove approach to the War.

Not only did Bush go to war with the Army he had, but also with the West we have. Unfortunately, this West has been standing in front of the mirror for so long that it has forgot what ugly, misanthropic humanity really is. The red in tooth and claw variety of human existence is clawing its way back on to the stage while the West admires itself.

After this bizarre week of the Gates confirmation and the ISG, I put the West's chances of avoiding a major terrorist strike at less than 50% now. The two debacles in the US government are too great a display of willful ignorance to be dismissed. And both were actions taken by the leaders that supposedly believe we have to fight the Long War. The West will not fight unless the stakes are raised and made more apparent to everyone.

We will be hit again. There are not enough serious people in the West worried about their existence to further the fight against the Islamonazis. We are going to have to lose a lot more people, money, and more of our sense of the sureties of Western Civilizaton.

I suppose the big question will be then, if the West receives bigger, and bigger blows will some decide to join the "stronger horse?"

12/10/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris said, "Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like the world is coming to an end?"

A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on. - Carl Sandburg

(PS, sorry wretchard for the triple post above, I think blogger was having a brain fart. I wonder what happened to the garbage can icons.)

12/10/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/10/2006 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Not only did Bush go to war with the Army he had,

The only reason why there aren't enough troops is because President Bush didn't ask for more. If he had asked for 10 or 20 more divisions right after 9/11, no one in Congress would dare to vote no, and there would have been plenty of volunteers.

12/10/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Hundreds of troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan are to be awarded millions of pounds in compensation...

In Great Britain the elected parliament has the final say, not the courts or a constitution. So if the people and their representatives disagree, they can easily change this with a majority vote.

If all that happens is that the wounded British troops receive money, it sounds like a good idea to me. Giving additional rights to the enemy would obviously be bad.

12/10/2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> the very concept of an enemy or warfare has become unthinkable to the postmodern bureaucratic mind. It is the very thought of fighting a foe -- fighting under any circumstances, however justified -- that has become the ultimate taboo.

This is not true. Why blame the people because the politicians screwed up? The British Parliament could have chosen to declare war, and even at this point can quickly fix the problem by a majority vote.

The people do want to fight our enemies. That's why the US public supported overthrowing the Afghan government which attacked us, both Taliban and Al Qaeda. That's why they supported overthrowing Saddam Hussein in Iraq. That's why they support Special Forces killed Al Qaeda all over the globe. That's why everyone, including the most liberal Democrats, supports leaving troops in Iraq to kill Al Qaeda thugs.

The reality is that the Commander In Chief was doing a very bad job of fighting the war on terror, so the people did exactly what they should, giving him a kick in the bottom to straighten him out. Bush is the one who is weak, not the public. He has our military tied up fighting in an Iraqi civil war that has nothing to do with terrorism, and he doesn't even try to lead or motivate the country.

It's been over five years since 9/11, and Commander in Chief Bush still hasn't asked for more troops. If we have enemies in Iraq, Bush can say publicly who they are and ask for support. He can say what our goals are and how we can win the war. Our problems come from a weak commander in chief, not the people.

12/10/2006 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Okay, so it's not a war, it's a Police Action. Another one.

Glad we cleared that up.

12/10/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Chris, buck up, son, nobody ever gets out of this alive, anyway.

But it is true, what C4 and others have said, about the mismatch between the White House war rhetoric, and the normalcy of everyday life.

I think the rhetoric is right, and the citizenry's going about everyday life is right, too.

So, something is different. I think it's the lack of enemy formations, drawn up in battle array. We never see it--we never see anything but ambush results, and an enemy long gone.

Gotta be a response. Maybe start hiring our own terrorists? Where's Wild Bill Donovan when we need him--

12/10/2006 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Wu Wei said:
"If he had asked for 10 or 20 more divisions right after 9/11"

Wow, just snap the fingers and 150,000 to 300,000 trained soliders just appear. The reason there aren't more troops in Iraq is many fold:

1) The Clinton Administration cut an additional two divisons from the Army beyond the reductions planned during the Bush I Administration. Remember we had won the Cold War and we had that "peace dividend" to spend. Congressmen and Senators tripped all over themselves with their pet programs funded from the cuts in the military. The 500,000 we were able to commit to liberation of Kuwaitt no longer exists. And the only reason we had that Army to begin with was the because of one man: Ronald Reagan. Desert Storm's success is the legacy of his stubborn insistence to build up the US military to face down the Soviet Union.

2) A ten division Army and two plus division Marine Corps = not enough troops to go around. Remember we have other commitments besides the ME and the troops need to be rotated in and out of the area, otherwise the Army and Marines will really be broken.

3) The Army and Marines are meeting their recruitment goals, barely. And for some of the "jobs" the Army, at least, is forced to rely on "stop gap" extended enlistments. Very few get turned away. This notion of yours that there would be enough willing to step into breech to fill the ranks of addition Army divisions is not supported by the facts.

4) The active duty Generals haven't asked to more troops, at least publically. There is a school of thought that more troops = more targets and that without a WWII sized commitment of troops the additional of 10-20,000 troops may not make the big of difference.

5) Bastiat is absolutely correct in that Bush went to war with the military he inherited as well as the political climate. Given the opposition to the war, his Administration and America's desire to fight "on the cheap" he is working with the "toolbox" at his disposal.

6.) To fight against terrorists doesn't require divisions, it requires specialized squads, platoons, companies and battalions. It requires intel and air assets to strike deep and fast.
The US military has more than enough to deal with terrorists. Trying to hold together a whole country the size of California is a different matter. Which is why the US is training an Iraq Army as fast as it can. Better to have your ten-twenty divisions be Iraqis rather than Americans, don't you think?

Finally to this notion that Bush is weak, let's review, shall we? November 2001, two months after 9/11, the Taliban are driving from power in Afghanistan using local forces with US special forces and air power. You think for a moment that would have happened with a President Gore? A few cruise missle and B-2 strikes would have been it. Bush's Afghan campaign is one for the history books. April 2003, Saddam and the Baathists are driven from power in Iraq after another campaign for the history books: the fastest armored assault in history. And one we should add that was minus one division and one front (thanks Turkey!). If a criticism of weak is to be leveled at Mr. Bush it is that he didn't continue the assault into Syria and toppled that regime as well, and then wheel those forces to the east and massed them on the Iraqi-Iranian border, telling the mullahs "You're next!". The war powers act gives him 90 days to do has he pleases before having to go before Congress. Problem is he didn't have that mandate and imagine the howls from the Left/Democrats if he had. Also, the notion was that toppling Saddam would set off a chain reaction in the ME. A hope for sure, but again
Americans thinks that wars can be fought on the cheap, and Mr. Bush knew that. Which is why he kept Rumsfeld so long as "cheaper, better" was the SoD's mantra.

12/10/2006 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

re: Wild Bill

He couldn't even get a job interview in the current PC climate. That is not, by the way, the fault of the liberals, unless DC is a liberal cesspool. Hmmm...that requires some additional meditation.

All is well in Mississippi, though.

12/10/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

You know, it just dawned on me, Chris is the Iraq vet who writes in here. Please ignore my comment, Chris. I've been an old fart sitting on his porch so long, I forgot to whom I was speaking.

12/10/2006 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Allen, sadly, you're right. Wild Bill would have to fight from a FoxNews chair, today. Thank you, Sen Frank Church.

12/10/2006 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger redaktør said...

This is truly a satanic conflict. When I read about these lawyers, I am immediately reminded of the scene from the movie The Devil's Advocate, staring Al Pacino. Perhaps the most inspired moment in the movie, is when the devil is made to blame for everything evil that has happened. The devil then replies to the hotshot lawyer: "Wait a minute. Who MADE those decisions?"

12/10/2006 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> The Army and Marines are meeting their recruitment goals, barely.

> The active duty Generals haven't asked to more troops, at least publically.

As I said above: If he had asked for 10 or 20 more divisions right after 9/11, no one in Congress would dare to vote no, and there would have been plenty of volunteers.

Bush should have asked for the troops just on the principle. It is better to have too many than too few, given that we were under attack and the war on terror was beginning. The whole country looked to Bush as commander in chief, and he failed us.

Just about everyone has said that having more troops shortly after the invasion would have been helpful.

As for Bush being weak, I go back to what I said above: He has our military tied up fighting in an Iraqi civil war that has nothing to do with terrorism, and he doesn't even try to lead or motivate the country. Now, after we lost both Houses of Congress, Bush is finally starting to act, to defend the Iraq War politically.

12/10/2006 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

We hear of the "Greatest Generation", which is true. However, I am convinced that the present elite find something inherently evil about the unconditional way WWII was waged. The heroes of that era would not last a day in the new model military. What would the elite make of Patton's language or Lemay's cigar? Why, Eisenhower was a four pack a day cigarette smoker, what sort of example is that? I won’t even go into the ubiquitous overindulgence in Devil Rum. The only flag officer of that time I can see as having a chance today would be MacArthur.

When the US began the Afghanistan campaign in October 2001, it took more than a week for a general officer to use the word "kill" - a Marine brigadier. As events have unfolded, my misgivings at the time have been proven correct.

None of this is the fault of Mr. Bush. The wussification of the military hierarchy has been a bipartisan project, first publicly evidenced by the “atrocious” Tail Hook scandal – rating right up there with the “war crimes” of Abu Ghraib. ;-)

12/10/2006 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Point 1 - There is a cognitive dissonence in the UK if they insist on one hand that the enemy is not criminal but entitled to full Geneva protections, and radical Muslims within the UK advocating violence are "political dissidents" - not criminals - while insisting that soldiers and civilians killed by such Muslims are "victims of criminals" deserving compensation.

Britain has a big problem if it trys to go forward with such a Schizoid Perspective. In the long run, it is unworkable.

I agree with 2164th that even though the British approach makes no rational sense in this war, that we should consider extra comp for the maimed. The dead get a pretty good death benefit to family --that was finally fixed by legislation. But many of the maimed, while they do get good medical care, are mired in poverty and dependent on the help of others for their other needs because disability checks are so small.

Point 2 - Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like the world is coming to an end?

I wouldn't call it the end of the world, Chris...since the major nuclear powers are not at each other's throats and have no inclination...I think..to drift that way.

But a Big Ugly appears to be coming. King Abdullah warned the ME is headed that way, and others in different regions (Prez Luna of Brazil on instable LA regimes, Thai gov't, etc.) A multiplicity of problems seem to be forming and not being fixed.

That multiplicity stems from technology and information diffusion enabling the oppresed villager with a cell phone and laptop to stoke his rage, and coordinate with others. It is from the failure of diplonatic institutions erected after WWII to have any meaningful impact. It is from how all the "enemy/terrorist rights" laws lovingly foisted on the world by EuroLeft and transnational Jewish progressives have made people waging assymertric war feel pretty safe [So I kill the infidel. Kill his infidel family. What will they do? Carpet bomb my village? No, their laws keep me safe unless I am physically caught fighting, and keeps my family safe. And, if caught...I have more rights as a captured killer of Westerners than I do under my present Arab ruler!]

The Big Ugly is coming, IMO. Large conventional war and some WMD use. WMD usage stopped pretty quickly when the live coverage of a nuked or nerve-gassed or anthraxed city happens.
The UN might not survive.
The perhaps well-meaning laws making the conflict a "criminal/human rights conflict will go. The "human/enemy/terrorist rights" laws the EuroLeft and secular Jews tried to bind us with are actually a thin veneer that will peel away in the heat of widespread war....but it will take lots of our innocent's blood to get us to that point.
The illusion Bush tried that this can be WWII in rhetoric but be lived through as a bountiful peacetime especially for the wealthiest, with no sacrifice required, will be dispelled.
The illusion that war can be one with "surgical bombing" or a single armored thrust to "capture the capital" are pretty much gone.

The world won't be coming to an end, Chris, but we will unfortunately be having to return to the idea that war must smash and kill the enemy, civilian and soldier alike, until they are defeated and broken. That war and tax cuts for the wealthy do not mesh. That we cannot accept generations of "unagreed upon borders" or powers agreement on whose interests must be respected and honored. If they can't be agreed to, they must be imposed by force.
On Iran. On KSA. On Israel. And yes, by pressure on America itself, to fix a few things within our own domestic and foreign policies that contribute to global instablity and war. (No energy policy, failure of the US crony capitalistic model, the Israel tilt, systemic paralysis and institutional ossification of the former "THE can-do nation" of America, by lawyers)

Point 3 -

Bastiat - I put the West's chances of avoiding a major terrorist strike at less than 50% now.

Well, if we are truly in a "defining war of our time that threatens the existence of all of us, and calls for Great Churchills to Rise to save us all"...a major terrorist strike confirms that.

The longer we go without any "major terrorist strike" belies the "major war" rhetoric, the less likely people are to believe we are in one...and instead the pawns of Ruling Elites using the fear of terror to get their way and concentrate wealth to their supporters on their terms.

If 9/11 was just a (relatively small as real wars go) one-time strike, it loses currency and motivating power with each passing year.

Point 4 -

The Cedarford of November 2001 sent a letter to Bush II simply thanking him for the nearly perfect Presidential leadership and response to 9/11.
The Cedarford of Nov 2006 just saw his Congress Rep and Senator - both solid decent performers of high integrity and no scandal and 60% + voter approval - both lose - and he automatically mutes Bush on TV when he comes on from a visceral antipathy to him.
(Taking after my Dad who insisted no word uttered by Jimmy Carter would be heard by him if he was in the room. Dad became a Reagan Democrat and proudly said he has reverted to the Dems as the party of the middle class in the last election)

12/10/2006 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Wu,

Time for a history lesson. The media and the Democrats want you to believe that somehow the 2006 election was different, something special. No, the losses the GOP suffered WERE to be expected. Let us review, shall we?

President / Mid-term / Senate / House

Grant (R) 1870 -4 -31
Grant (R) 1874 -8 -96
Hayes (R) 1878 -6 -9
Arthur (R) 1882 +3 -33
Cleveland (D) 1886 +3 -12
Harrison (R) 1890 0 -85
Cleveland (D) 1894 -5 -116
McKinley (R) 1898 +7 -21
TR (R) 1902 +2 +9
TR (R) 1906 +3 -28
Taft (R) 1910 -10 -57
Wilson (D) 1914 +5 -59
Wilson (D) 1918 -6 -19
Harding (R) 1922 -8 -75
Coolidge (R) 1926 -6 -10
Hoover (R) 1930 -8 -49
FDR (D) 1934 +10 +9
FDR (D) 1938 -6 -71
FDR (D) 1942 -9 -45
Truman (D) 1946 -12 -55
Truman (D) 1950 -6 -59
Ike (R) 1954 -1 -18
Ike (R) 1958 -13 -48
JFK (D) 1962 +3 -4
LBJ (D) 1966 -4 -47
Nixon (R) 1970 +2 -12
Nixon (R) 1974 -5 -48
Carter (D) 1978 -3 -15
Reagan (R) 1982 +1 -26
Reagan (R) 1986 -8 -5
Bush '41 (R) 1990 -1 -8
Clinton (D) 1994 -9 -54
Clinton (D) 1998 0 +4
Bush '43 (R) 2002 +2 +6
Bush '43 (R) 2006 -6 -28


(1) With only four exceptions, EVERY single President since Lincoln has lost seats in the House in the midterm elections. The only ones to buck the trend were the Roosevelts (TR because he was the mostly popular President EVER his first term, FDR because of the Depression), Clinton (because of Republican miscues during the Impeachment) and Bush '43 (because of 9/11). GW was bound to lose this one.

(2) Midterm years that are the dreaded "six year itch" are 1874, 1894, 1906, 1918, 1938, 1950, 1958, 1966, 1974, 1986, 1998 and 2006 . I have marked 1966 as one in that LBJ was finishing out what would have been JFK's second term. GW is his sixth year. Losses in the midterm were almost certain.

(3) Wilson (1918), FDR (1942), Truman (1950) and LBJ (1966) all lost seats both in the House and Senate when the country was at war. McKinley (1898) gained Senate seats, but lost seats in the House. Guess the country had mixed feelings about thumping Spain. Bush '41 can also be considered in this group as the country was gearing up for Gulf War I. Another category that the 2006 election fits into.

(4) In terms of serious setbacks in the midterms this one doesn’t even come close. 1894 ranks as the all-time thumping with an astounding 116 House seats and 5 Senate seats changing hands. 1994, 1974, 1966, 1958 (I thought everyone liked Ike), 1938 (so much for the New Deal being popular), 1946, 1930 or 1874 were much, much worse.

(5) Voters don't like scandals and take it out on the party in power. Foley, et al doomed the Republicans at the start.

(6) Voters don't like excess spending. The thumping the Republicans received in 1890 was a voter rebellion against the "Billion Dollar Congress". The same can be said about FDR's spanking in 1938 (New Deal overreach) and Clinton's in 1994 (attempted takeover of the health care system). With bridges to nowhere is it any wonder the GOP lost seats?

(7)The historical average is a loss of 3 Senate seats and 34 House seats for the President's party in the midterms. For the "six year curse" the averge is 6 Senate seats and 39 House seats. The 2006 losses fit the historical norms.

8) The margin of victory in three of the six lost Senate seats were razor thin. A swing of a couple thousand votes in one of those races and Republicans would have retained control in the Senate.

Given the political history of our nation and add in the fact that most of the races were decided by very thin margins all the hand wringing over the elections is unjustified. This little history lesson should remind you that in our Republic the political fortunes of the parties ebb and flow.

And to your other point that the US is tied up in Iraq in what manner, pray tell? Army combat divisions, yes. Special forces, no. It is the special forces that are the hammer against the terrorist. The divisions, brigades and even battalions are not needed. Having the US Army and Marine Corps sit in Iraq doesn't diminish our ability to go after terrorists cells one bit. Now if you want to invade a country.....

12/10/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

nice slug of info, tarnsman--

12/10/2006 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> the losses the GOP suffered WERE to be expected

No, there are no magic patterns, no force of nature that requires the president's party to lose seats in Congress, as the "exceptions" prove. Just as they did two years ago, the Republicans could have kept the Congress, but they didn't partially because Bush was such a bad communicator about the war. Pointing out that scandals were a part of the reason for the loss contradicts the "president's party" always loses theory, and it also shows that other factors like the war could be involved. And in fact polls showed that scandals and the war were issues #1 and #2.

Since the election I've read a dozen columns by pro-war conservaties saying President Bush did a terrible job communicating, so it isn't just my opinion. This is a brand new one from American Spectator:

Total effort includes informing and motivating the citizenry, at the very least...

George W. Bush couldn't handle that. He couldn't stand up to it. He had his moment, he had the ball right after 9/11, and he dropped it. I have come to agree, agonizingly, with Mr. Bush's liberal mockers in one regard. The man just can't talk. We have needed a good talker, so, so badly.


Link

The public hasn't turned on the war but they want their President to answer questions about the war, say why we are fighting and how we will win.

President Bush apparently thinks the election had something to do with the war, since he fired Rumsfeld and is doing a total review. He is going to give a speech with the new direction by Christmas.

12/10/2006 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Buddy and Cedarford,

The 'world' may not be literally ending any time soon, but I worry a sort of paradigm shift is coming.

The Age of Enlightenment came to a close with the carnage of WWI and the West has been dying slowly ever since. WWII: the second to last nail in the coffin. I hear the pounding of the last nail being driven home.

This post-modern age will see the death of Europe and I'm afraid the American Empire will never be the same.

Dark times

12/10/2006 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> We hear of the "Greatest Generation", which is true.

No, it's false. My dad fought in world war II and people were so anti-war before Pearl Harbor that some recruits had to train with broomsticks instead of rifles. That generation was no better than people today.

We responded to 9/11 by taking out the government of Afghanistan, just like world war II took out the countries responsible for Pearl Harbor.

What happened next though is we went off on tangents, attacking a country which had nothing to do with 9/11, Iraq. After taking out their government and making sure they don't have weapons of mass destruction, we remain there for some reason known only to the President. World War II had nothing like that. Apparently we are "nation building", something Bush campaigned against.

12/10/2006 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Wu Wei,

Tangets? Why did we invade North Africa when it was the Japanese who attacked Pearl Harbor? The Italians had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor either. Nor did the Germans. The whole of the European campaign was a tangent.

After WWII we remained in both Germany and Japan--we still haven't left. Apparently we were nation-building.

12/10/2006 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The goal was to create a modern peaceful government in a region which, left alone, promised more attacks on America.

This is not hard to understand, as a concept.

Execution has been a different matter.

But the concept--given achievability--is practical, far-sighted, and noble.

12/10/2006 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

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12/11/2006 03:48:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> The Italians had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor either. Nor did the Germans.

They were in a military alliance with Japan, who bombed Pearl Harbor, and they declared war on us.

Not only did Iraq not declare war on us, but it was run by a secular dictator who hated Islamists like Al Qaeda, and who also hated Iran, the sponsor of most Islamic terror in the world. The Bush administration has admitted that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

12/11/2006 04:03:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The Japanese did not attack Pearl Harbor. There was no WWII. I am not an Animal!

12/11/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

A snip from yesterday's "The Corner":

And re: Iraq. I remember as well the old conventional wisdom that Iraq under Saddam Hussein was a terrorist haven. As far back as 1990, Congressman Broomfield, for example, inserted the following into the Congressional Record, " New reports reveal that in the past few months, the Iraqi leader has built a network of old and new terrorist allies who could be called upon to conduct terrorist operations against American interests. Among Saddam's new friends are notorious terrorists Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas, and Abu Iyad—all star performers in the sordid world of international terrorism. As many as 1,400 terrorist operatives may now be living in Iraq as guests of Saddam Hussein. Iraqi involvement with terrorist groups is so extensive that the Department of State recently put Iraq back on the list of countries that support terrorism."

12/11/2006 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger neo-neocon said...

Coincidentally, I just posted the first of a two-parter on the problems inherent in defining "victory" or "success" in this particular war. Semantics do matter. If we don't know what success would even look like in this messy business, how will we know when we achieve it? And is relative success OK? This war isn't even defined as a war by many, and certainly not as a necessary one. So, to them, it's acceptable--and even desirable--to declare it a "failure" and leave.

12/11/2006 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> If we don't know what success would even look like in this messy business, how will we know when we achieve it?

We won't know, which is currently a big problem, as your article discussed. As you said,

> One of President Bush's major communication failures was on the subject of what success would look like in this particular war.

And the important question is "why"? Why didn't the President clearly lay out our goal?

I think it may have been that Bush, like a lot of America, went overboard after 9/11, expanding the scope of the war too broadly. And this wasn't the kind of thing anyone would dare say out loud, or even admit to themselves, so Bush and the GWOT kept quiet.

Their logic seemed to go something like this: (I don't agree with this but am just saying what some others seem to believe)

Al Qaeda is a group of terrorist Islamists which repeatedly attacked the US
Therefore every Islamist wants to attack the US
Therefore every Muslim wants to attack the US
Therefore every terrorist wants to attack the US
These terrorists can easily get nukes the size of a lunch box which will each blow up an entire US city
The best way to fight this is to send our troops over to run around the Middle East
It doesn't matter which countries we invade first or which Muslims we kill first because they are all out to get us
Diplomacy and protecting innocent Muslims while we fight is weakness, a waste of time, because they all have already turned against us and are all out to get us
If we are brutal enough and kill enough people, every terrorist on earth will be afraid of us, so afraid that not a single one of them will use his lunch box nuke to blow up a US city. Even the suicide bombers will be afraid that we might kill them. This is the only way to we can be safe.

So with this kind of stuff floating through Bush's head, no wonder he can't define victory in the war. He doesn't dare say it out loud. Traditionally war was simple in that it was based on self-defense, where we attacked the military and government of countries who attacked or declared war on us. Afghanistan was an example of that. Attacking Al Qaeda across the globe was an example of that.

Yet because of the muddled thinking following 9/11 we put ourselves in the position of having to try to fight an idea and a brand of religion, such as Sharia law. So over throwing the government of a country wasn't enough any more. We need to somehow make sure that not a single one of them uses his lunch box nuke to blow up New York. We have to make sure that not a single one of them practices a form of Islam we think is dangerous.

12/11/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

well, i had no idea. thanks for clarifying all that.

12/12/2006 03:58:00 AM  
Blogger Major Mike said...

It is becoming obvious that Western thought has morphed into mush. We seem incapable of understanding, or recognizing, any type of warfare that doesn't involve the massacre of thousands in seconds. We fail to grasp, along the Ho and Mao model, that there are patient, yet lethal and determined warrriors, who have the will to outlast our Ipod attention span, and in the end, do us great harm. Problem is, those not killed will simply roll over and hit the snooze button, not to awake until their home IS occupied by some proponent of Sharia law with a gun...good luck then in "negotiating" him out of your house with your vacuous liberal thought...he'll laugh and not even waste a 7.62 round...he'll thrive in his physical domination of the galactically stupid.

12/12/2006 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger sexy bikinis said...

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2/25/2007 07:04:00 PM  

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