Sunday, February 04, 2007

Hell No, Hell ...

The anti-war slogan "hell no, we won't go" had its origins in opposition to the Draft. The Berkeley Beacon recalls, "In the 1960s and '70s, at the height of the antiwar movement, protesters ...  would chant for peace in Vietnam and an end to involuntary service. ... Few are unfamiliar with the grainy footage of demonstrators crying, "Hell no, we won't go!" as they swell in great numbers against police lines." But perhaps, the Beacon argues, involuntary service wasn't such a bad thing because it spread the sacrifices of fighting America's Wars through the population. But would the existence of the Draft have stopped the Daily Kos from snapping its fingers at the All Volunteer Army Who Did Go the way some celebrities crook their fingers at their household help? Here's what poster n00161 says in the Daily Kos:

Arkin Was Right - We Do Have a Mercenary Army and They Do Owe Us! ... You, the military, are the servants of the people. That is what you signed up for. We send you to war and we bring you home. We tell you when to wake up and when to go to bed. If you do not like that, GET OUT.


The "Arkin" the Kos poster was referring to was, of course, William M. Arkin of the Washington Post, who snapped his fingers at the help with somewhat more literary finesse.

I've been mulling over an NBC Nightly News report from Iraq last Friday in which a number of soldiers expressed frustration with opposition to war in the United States. I'm sure the soldiers were expressing a majority opinion common amongst the ranks - that's why it is news - and I'm also sure no one in the military leadership or the administration put the soldiers up to expressing their views, nor steered NBC reporter Richard Engel to the story. I'm all for everyone expressing their opinion, even those who wear the uniform of the United States Army. But I also hope that military commanders took the soldiers aside after the story and explained to them why it wasn't for them to disapprove of the American people.

It's very white of Mr. Arkin to concede everyone a right to their opinion, "even those who wear the uniform of the United States Army". Too bad though about the Marines, the Sailors and the Air Force; but it isn't the livery that makes it occasionally worth listening to the hired help. It's what they may know from direct experience. What eyes see; ears hear; skins feel -- even without the benefit of a subscription to the Washington Post. After all, since the facts on the ground in Iraq are central to arguments over American policy there, it seems slightly odd to dismiss the opinion of those who are actually there. Occasionally the help do know something and their views should not be discarded out of hand. For example, if the maid says to Mr. Arkin, "sir, I think there's a fire in the basement. I'm going to call the fire deparment," it would hardly be advisable for him to say, "Nonsense. It's all very well for you maids to have an opinion, but see here, there is no fire. I KNOW BETTER. As for you, keep your ignorant opinions to yourself and take out the trash. That is what you signed up for. I send you to the grocery and order you home. I tell you when to wake up and when to go to bed. If you do not like that, GET OUT." Foolish but probably decisive; because in one sense both the Kos poster and Arkin are probably right. The celebrity will prevail. Which is why one day the house will burn down. And later the neighbors will gather round the smoking ruin to inspect the blackened corpse, its mouth still drawn back in the rictus of command, saying to themselves, "he looked much better when he was alive." It will take a tragedy far greater than September 11 to wake Arkin and n00161 up. Until then, sleep tight Senor.

69 Comments:

Blogger desert rat said...

Sleep tight
don't let those bed bugs bite

2/04/2007 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger RDS said...

Look at the knots they get into!

These are the very same people who love to make the "chickenhawk" argument, namely that even among the non-military electorate --i.e., among people who aren't "the help" -- one cannot be pro-war unless one has combat experience.

But being currently in the military gets one's opinion stricken of validity as well.

It's about a vicious totalitarian delegitimization of all dissenting opinion.

2/04/2007 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Wretchard seems to think the "help" possesses a single, unified opinion. Does he grant the same weight and wisdom to those soldiers, officers and analysts who, from their experiences on the ground, have no trust in the Iraqi army or government?

During the week, the soldiers also received their first glimpse of the green Iraqi forces who will share the mission and eventually, they hoped, take it over. The soldiers talked about them with a mixture of bemusement, disdain and mistrust.

“You could talk about partnership, but you would be lying,” said one soldier who asked that his name not be used, for fear of punishment by his superiors.


Somehow I seem to miss those voices on the Belmont Club. Odd. Maybe they're warning us of something? Whatever could it be?

2/04/2007 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger hyperborealis said...

Nowadays each person is his own little a priori truth, irrefutable. Without a common language or culture, we are each a little island, where disputes can be resolved only by force. Arkin's appeal to the power of the purse is of a piece with the anarchist's bomb: both disdain the ideal of individual liberty.

I doubt even a greater tragedy than 9/11 should change Arkin's mind. Such a miserable event would only confirm what he evidently believes: that brute power is absolute.

David Joslin

2/04/2007 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Reocon,

Antiwar voices in the military are certainly legitimate. And when a country is losing, it is normally the military which is the first to know. Japanese infantrymen, German soldiers, Tsarist Russian soldiers -- all sensed what their leaders denied for much longer. They were losing. Why did they know the truth? Possibly because they had a front seat on events.

And that's why Arkin's argument is so wrong. Because his injunction to "do as you are told" logically applies to antiwar military opinion too. It does not depend on the truth value of the military person's opinion only on the subordination of that opinion to higher Powers. Unless of course what Arkin really means is that a soldier's opinion is valid only when it agrees with his and invalid otherwise.

Personally, I think that the perception of people actually in the field is extremely important; both in the negative and in the affirmative. We throw away that information at our peril. Now if it was dangerous for the Tojo to discard the perceptions of his men, why is not dangerous for Arkin to discard the perceptions of American soldiers? It's at least worth a listen.

2/04/2007 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

And therein lies the fifth column. And therein lies the nascent civil war here now.
A few months ago there was much discussion as to what time it was, 1938,'39 etc.
Well the sentiments expressed by the left today are those of the 1840's and 1850's.
Enough of us will not take the left in the streets en mass again, or Weathermen Underground, or Black Panthers denigrating a volunteer army. In fact it makes no difference to them if it's voluntary of not, they do not like America, so they want it torn down.
This is going on 40 years of this leftest bull shit.
Believe me, the old vets will join the new "all volunteer" vets to eradicate the socialist left. It will be done with murder,assassination and all the skills we have at our disposal.
War, we already have war. To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead and the left has been unmasked as having no reason. They would soon see Islam defeat America than allow Geo.Bush another breath.
Killing cannot be restrained forever.

2/04/2007 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Habu - Uuh Rah!

2/04/2007 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger putnam said...

Wrechard,

After reading about Arkin, I think that there is a lot more here than just the slandering of the military, or even the attempt to supress their right to free speech.

It looks like this is the next phase in the intesifying and increassingly desperate attempt to lose the war. This next step is blame the military. We haven't seen much spitting on returning soldiers, but don't think that the left is above it.

2/04/2007 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger jpe said...

This isn't about a factual scenario, though; it's about policy. Your analogy is fatally flawed for that reason (even having pointed it out, I'd be shocked if you were bright enough to understand the difference)

2/04/2007 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

It's amazing how often people who say "you're not bright enough to understand" forget they aren't talking to a mirror.

2/04/2007 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

wretchard,

Do you think Arkin would apply the STFU admonishment to 1st Lt. Ehren Watada as well? The Lieutenant does have a story to tell, after all, and the wicked, opinionated Court Martial has foreclosed his telling it - something about irrelevance. Of course, Watada and Arkin sing from the same sheet, but Arkin would never let that cloud his advanced sense of propriety, do you think?

2/04/2007 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

"We're still a right-of-center party. This nation is still a right-of-center nation.

And I believe the Democrats are the left-of-center party. So, do we need to make significant adjustments, learn the lessons of the 2006 election?

Absolutely."


McCain

2/04/2007 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Wretchard --

You must have seen my employer in action...I had to gently remind him once that *he* had to buy his monogrammed silverware, while some of us inherited ours.

Mamma always said "blood will tell," and she was right. That idiot had made a killing in the stock market while working in some consulate in the Middle East. Sheer luck, I'm sure.

Despite his Jewish ancestry, he was a devoted fan of Palestine while I wore my "I Love Israel" heart on my sleeve.

Drove him nuts but he couldn't get rid of me because his wife refused to let him fire me...'twas great fun. Nothing an Irish woman likes better than arguing with an idjit.

2/04/2007 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

re: "It will take a tragedy far greater than September 11 to wake Arkin and n00161 up."

Don't hold your breath, this is existential for them - "Better dead, if you can't be Red." As a student of human nature once wrote, "The saving of face can be more important than life itself."

2/04/2007 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I had thought that after the November elections and their victory(s), the Dem's might back off and become generous in the face of victory.

But if anything, they're just getting nastier. Now history is being rewritten as they attempt to deny that their forebears in street riots ever spit on returning vets, while *they* are beginning the spitting thing all over again ... on a disabled vet.

The current writer doesn't bother to hide his smug superiority as he calls American soldiers "mercenaries".

And rather than calming things down, the Democrats' November seems to have made the pot boil even faster and more furiously to the point where we're now seeing Americans begin to discuss what it would take to start shooting at each other.

Even in the midst of the most radial days of the 60's and the Vietnam protests I don't remember the public being that willing to get involved, and certainly there was mass revulsion at "Four Dead in Ohio" when the National Guard shot at Kent State students.

Habu1's scenario for this go-round is that not only would it be alright for the National Guard to shoot at college students, but a whole bunch of other fed-up citizens would be right there alongside the Guardsmen, also shooting at a bunch of Americans who are more and more perceived as being traitors.

2/04/2007 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

More likely, nahncee, habu will be shooting at the Guardsmen. As those Guardsmen protect their fellow citizens, and the Constitution, as is their oath.

2/04/2007 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

Milton Friedman on America's 'mercenary' armed forces:

Gen. William Westmoreland, testifying before President Nixon's Commission on an All-Volunteer [Military] Force, denounced the idea of phasing out the draft and putting only volunteers in uniform, saying that he did not want to command "an army of mercenaries."

Friedman, a member of the 15-person commission, interrupted him. "General," Friedman asked, "would you rather command an army of slaves?"

Westmoreland got angry: "I don't like to hear our patriotic draftees referred to as slaves."

And Friedman got rolling: "I don't like to hear our patriotic volunteers referred to as mercenaries." And he did not stop: " If they are mercenaries, then I, sir, am a mercenary professor, and you, sir, are a mercenary general. We are served by mercenary physicians, we use a mercenary lawyer, and we get our meat from a mercenary butcher."

2/04/2007 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

My experience has always lead me to believe that there "Nothing an Irish woman likes better than arguing."...and that they considered the "idjit" part a bonus.... :-)

2/04/2007 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

As to Arkin and the Kos-hacks, they are wretches. It is that simple.

Love the Friedman exchange with the Dolt Westmoreland. I wonder if the dolt ever figured out he had brought a knife to a gunfight in that exchange...probably not.

The Left needs the draft reinstated in order to destroy the military, which they need to do in order to destroy the country so that they may be the pure dictators they wish to be...and are in their hearts.

The 2d Amendment is a beautiful thing.

2/04/2007 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Despite what Libertarian God Freidman says, the standing military that we made volunteer was designed for a high tech conventional or nuclear battle with Russia or China, and outside that, ability to fight 2 smaller wars until the Draft could start and the military grow to adequate long-term strength. If you look at the debate about the volunteer forces, it was always about enough to fight thermonuclear war, or one small war with reserve for the Koreas. When the Soviets fell, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II all gutted military. Bush I was the worst, or best gutter - as you prefer. Rumsfeld the Transformer saw high tech wonder toys winning all, and had planned to gut the Army of 2 further DIvisions and Marines of one division equivalent so light, unarmored high tech wonder soldiers could win the day.

One of Bush's greatest failures was refusing to build up strength of military because it jeopardized his tax cuts for the wealthy back in 2001-2002...though in classic penny-wise pound foolish manner, Iraq is now the 3rd most expensive war the US has ever fought, behind only the Civil War and WWII.

In 2003 if he had been truthful, he would have said a limited Draft was needed to prevent burning out the Reserves and dealing with a growing insurgency. But he was terrified of a Draft.

And those that point to reenlistments as a sign of high morale omit that the bonuses had to be doubled and done tax-free to get adequate returnees.

The lesson should be that any time we have a protracted conflict, unless it is worth getting the American people to agree to a supplemental Draft, it isn't worth fighting.

Nor is it particularly sane to brag how many troops killed doing menial jobs and low-skilled missions like guarding Burger King supplies going to a FOB were incredibly skilled soldiers with nearly a million in training and Masters degrees unfortunately made into hamburger themselves by a Iraqi civilian paid 100 bucks to plant an IED and if caught, released in two weeks by American lawyers or Iraqi judges.
**************************
And I think Wretchard is generally wrong about troops in the trenches having the best strategic picture. Troops generally believe the most positive angle, and generals that tell politicians that strategy is sanctified because soldiers cheered as they charged the machine guns of the Somme are the "Happy Talk liars that infect the High Command in any losing side in a War. The troops in the trenches of Moscow and Saipan believed victory was immenant from High Tech Wonder weapons or through the Emperor's smashing successes on other Fronts they were told about. Hence the inhuman morale of Nazi troops in 1943, or Argentinians soldiers convinced they had beaten the Brits in the Falklands right down to the final two days before surrender.

Only a few in war like Yamamoto know their goose is cooked and tell superiors, fewer still are allowed to give their prognosis. America unfortunately had a career cadre of suckups in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 saluting dear Rummy and insisting the "hero" troops were happy as clams, progress was everywhere, the noble purple fingers were stepping up, Bremer's de Ba'athification was a genius move going quite well..and above all, to skeptical people like Warner and McCain, insisting that we not only had all the troops any commander wanted in Iraq, but we had wads and wads free for another conflict and the big deal was getting the F-22 and doing "Transformation".

2/04/2007 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

cedarford,

From the end of WWII until about five years ago, the policy of the United States called for the fielding of sufficient forces to engage simultaneously two significant threats. That is why during the Vietnam War, for example, the United States maintained a huge military presence in both Europe and Southeast Asia, with additional substantial divisions in Korea.

You are one of the few people who will admit without badgering that Bush I by far surpassed Clinton in military downsizing, or as they used to like to crow, "right sizing". (Bush’s 6 divisions to Clinton’s 2, if memory may be trusted.)

As to bonuses, recently I saw some vocational fields paying upwards of $100,000, although it should not be forgotten that only a handful of troops qualify and that the tax-man can demolish bonuses as readily as lottery winnings. On the whole, however, the vast majority of bonuses are in the $8,000-$10,000 range, payable over a period of years. Military.com has information accessible to the public.

Although I will catch Hell for saying it, your criticism of Mr. Bush's broken promise to fix a broken military is correct. For those who doubt, there is the internet - politicians can run, but they cannot hide.

2/04/2007 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

C-4, I join Allen in his comments on your post. I may add that your comment:

...."The lesson should be that any time we have a protracted conflict, unless it is worth getting the American people to agree to a supplemental Draft, it isn't worth fighting. "...

is on the money and I would add that if a President doesn't have the guts to raise the taxes to pay for the war, along with conscription, he is the unworthy coward.

2/04/2007 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Deuce,

Touching on our theme the other evening citing Spengler and the definition of art, Gateway Pundit is not a fan of the art of Billy Joel.

Uninspired Billy Joel Dogs the Slog at the Super Bowl

***

2/04/2007 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger Dusty said...

n00161's little tantrum has the typical logic of a bottomer in the third grade.

Of course we send them to war and we bring them home, if the "we" he is talking about is the people of the United States, and not just his fuzzy minded crowd of troop well-wishers on the left. Ditto the decisions to send and bring home; we the American people make those decisions.

And if that is so, then we aren't talking about the normal master-servant relationship, Wretchard. They aren't the typical hired help. They are also part owner of the home whose basement might be on fire. They are American citizens, too, and they have a say. To tell the truth, they do it more than a mite better than n00161, too.

So taking n00161's advice to "get out", just means they will come and say the same damn thing they said with their uniforms on.

What n00161 is primarily saying with his little tantrum is that he's afraid of the speech these gallant young men and women offer. Their speech is doubly fearsome to people like n00161, or Arkin, not only because they are on a par with him in ownership of the house and involve themselves in the daily political chores (in a more professional manner. I might add), but that they do the hardest work required for keeping it safe, too. The last is, likely, something n00161 would not have the courage to do under any circumstance. That's why n00161 is "not in".

I don't believe what those in our military think is necessarily the be all and end all. Some of what they say may tend to forrest-trees. But ours can tend to trees-forrest. In any event, I put great value in what those in our military do and what they think and it should be included in our decision-making. I'm sure n00161 would agree and, likely, praise the godlike wisdom of the troops if they had echoed his point of view.

But that's not to be. So, right now, he is just throwing a fit, just like Arkin did. Their faces are red with anger. They've been stitching together a loud outfit for everybody to wear for the "end of the war" party and the troops just said it looks ugly. Now they are worried we, the American people, might agree and that ugly outfit might go to the curb like so much garbage on collection day.

For my part, I agree it's ugly. Let's take it to the curb.

2/05/2007 12:28:00 AM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Ah Cedarford, the selective memory fails you. The Bush I administration proposed an Army of 12 divisions. Remember there was a peace dividend everyone wanted to spend. The Clinton Administration decided that ten divisions would be just fine and that is what Bush II inherited. The missing two divisons from what his father had planned sure would have made life easier for Mr. Bush's army don't you think? And before you go ranting about the tax cuts for the rich (read Jewish bankers) just remember the women of United States spend a boatload of money on cosmetics (8 billion) and Americans spend even more on petfood (10+ billion). All a matter of priorities, my friend. Most of our countrymen don't want to spend more money on the military if it means that they might be put out.

2/05/2007 01:10:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen Renico said...

These protesterss are just more people in a long line of lesser people who resent those who are better than they.

2/05/2007 04:56:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

We have heard this kind of attitude before. In 1979 Eugene McCarthy (a Brand X version of George McGovern, for anyone who has never heard of him) repsonded to calls for better pay for the volunteer military by saying "We have a bunch of mercenaries in our military." So, after working as hard as they could to destroy the honor of those in the military, McCarthy and his ilk say that honor shopuld be enough.

And rds makes a good point: this is something like the Chickenhawk argument turned 180 degrees. Those who serve in the military are merely hired hands and should not be able to have valued opinions.

And let us not forget that the Left showcases the tiny, tiny fraction of military that are "anti-war" apparently on the basis that their opinions are the only ones that matter.

Nor do in cases such as the Ports Ownership deal or the Troop Surge do the opinions of the experts really seem to matter. It is as if you went to a highly qualified doctor, got his diagnosis, and then took a poll of the general populace to decide what to do about your medical problem.

2/05/2007 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger Brother D-Day said...

Transman,

Do remember that Bush II has been in office for six years now. 9/11 happened nine months into his presidency.

His team has had ample time to make the case to shore up the two divisions that Clinton had cut, yet they have not.

When his approval rating was at 80%, he could have asked for the buildup and gotten it in a heartbeat.

Now he's going to have to fight tooth and nail to get 22,000 extra troops into Iraq, 65,000 new soldiers and 27,000 Marines.

2/05/2007 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Cedarford,
"Troops generally believe the most positive angle,"

Since when? If anything, the opposite tends to be true.

2/05/2007 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

exhelo,

C4 likely has never heard of "BOHICA"...or seen one of those "I must be a mushroom" posters in troopies' cubes.

2/05/2007 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Reocon said... During the week, the soldiers also received their first glimpse of the green Iraqi forces who will share the mission and eventually, they hoped, take it over. The soldiers talked about them with a mixture of bemusement, disdain and mistrust.

Exactly the same sentiment we had toward the RVN. And I suspect the sentiment held by most imperial forces toward local levies.

2/05/2007 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Jambon said...

Call it universal conscription or universal service, the consequences to those nations that have or lately had it have been far from dire. I speak of Switzerland and Israel, neither of whose citizens resemble slaves as I visualize them. One of Robert A. Heinlein's modest proposals, hypothesized in the book "Starship Troopers" (which was mocked by the unfortunate film of the same name) was that one did not receive the franchise to vote unless one served in some capacity at the pleasure of the government. If you were willing to serve, a place would be found for you to do so without regard or exemption for your limitations or abilities. Failure to serve would not restrict you from participating in commerce, just in government. And government at its best is service, not power.

2/05/2007 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Oldcrow said...

As former Army Captain Kevin O'Meara aka n00161 said "Arkin Was Right - We Do Have a Mercenary Army and They Do Owe Us! ... You, the military, are the servants of the people. That is what you signed up for. We send you to war and we bring you home. We tell you when to wake up and when to go to bed. If you do not like that, GET OUT."

Hmm let me see below is the oath I recall taking:

I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Or if an Officer:

I, _____ , having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.

Nope don't see anything about obeying the orders of the people in either of those. See the good mister n00161 aka Mr.Omeara seems to be misunderstanding is the U.S. is a Republic not a democracy that means the rule of law is supreme and the supreme law of the land is the Constitution which says in Article II that the Commander In Chief is the President of the United States, you see the people do have a say in military matters and the use of the Army it is called an election and the country elected George Bush TWICE donchta know anyway Arkin and all those who support him and the Libtards and anti-war fools can kiss my pimply-arse. All these discussions never address the eight hundred pound Gorilla in the room and that is what happens if we pull out before the job is finished? Answer that and then we can talk about other things but you see it will never happen and on another note we are not "losing" in Iraq we are not winning but we are also not "losing".

2/05/2007 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/16616389.htm

Soldiers in Iraq view troop surge as a lost cause

By Tom Lasseter
McClatchy Newspapers

Tom Lasseter/MCt
Staff Sgt. Nekia Whatley, 29, of Montgomery, Alabama, questions two Iraqis digging a ditch on the side of the road to see if they were preparing the site for a roadside bomb.
More photos
Mahdi Army gains strength through unwitting aid of U.S.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Army 1st Lt. Antonio Hardy took a slow look around the east Baghdad neighborhood that he and his men were patrolling. He grimaced at the sound of gunshots in the distance. A machine gunner on top of a Humvee scanned the rooftops for snipers. Some of Hardy's men wondered aloud if they'd get hit by a roadside bomb on the way back to their base.


"To be honest, it's going to be like this for a long time to come, no matter what we do," said Hardy, 25, of Atlanta. "I think some people in America don't want to know about all this violence, about all the killings. The people back home are shielded from it; they get it sugar-coated."

2/05/2007 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

kviExhelodvr -

The nature of war is the "grunt", while justly lauded for courage and duty, is largely clueless about the world and the war -as it is - past their eyesight. While cynicism is rampant in troops, they persist in believing that they are not "losers", they are "winning" clearly or despite set-backs or even retreats.

Proud Soviet generals, a class of careerist politically correct dick-smokers if ever there was one, reported back to the Politburo how wonderful the noble Afghan people were. They proudly relayed testimonials from "the troops" on how many schools the troops had opened, Soviet progress in opening up Afghan women's rights, and the success of Spetsnaz and other elite troops against the evil barbarians out to wreck the modernity and progress the Soviets offered. The troops were "doing all that was asked" and doing it well. For every Soviet soldier, as was the case in America in Vietnam - for every drug-addicted coscript loser& burnout - there were 4 others saying they were kicking Mujahadeen ass and the Afghans loved them.

In both Vietnam and Soviet Afghanistan, plus WWI Germany, Imperial Japan, the gentry running Confederate Richmond - it was the Ruling Elites that quietly concluded the war was unwinnable, long before the troops knew they were losing. In some cases, they troops walked away so convinced they "had won", that they rationalized the loss as nothing of their doing given their valor and skill - but "a stab in the back within the homefront".

***********************
Bush I did the majority of the gutting of our military, AF, and Navy. And base closures. Clinton added two divisions and kept Bush I's "temporary" capital construction limits in place, allowing major additional attrition of ships and planes in the US inventory.

Bush I came into office with Rumsfeld determined to cut an additional 3 Divisions from the Army and Marines - calling them obsolete "Cold War dinosaurs" when the future was all about "Smaller, faster, lighter" high tech wonder soldiers.

In the 5 1/2 years since 9/11 Bush has only attrited our forces further. While he grew the spending of the Fed Gov't by 40% and it's size by 20% - he left troop strength stagnant and burned out hundreds of fighter jets by having them flying donuts over US cities simply because "there was no military value, but it made people feel safer". He let our Navy attrit further (down to ~200 ships from Reagan's 600 ship Navy) and has nearly burned out Reservist active duty eligibility for the next 5 years.

Because to do otherwise would risk his tax cuts for the wealthy.

********************
The Military Selective Service Act exists on the premise that in a long war, or a major war involving several fronts that the volunteer military will run out of people. The only way the Volunteer Armed Forces was passed into law was on assurance that conscription could instantly go into gear to provide the needed manpower in a national emergency beyond the volunteer's capacity.

Even in WWII, an existential war nearly all agreed must be fought and won - only 4 of the 16 million that served were true volunteers. The rest were Draftees or, handed a draft notice, decided they would rather volunteer for a branch and get duty they had more affinity to than be a basic GI grunt. Same pattern happened in Vietnam - you got your draft notice and that was incentive to "volunteer" for the Navy, AF, or Marines.

Selective Service is on active standby, ready to begin if at any point the President and Congress agree the volunteer forces are too small to fulfill the missions the US Armed Forces must undertake:

(a/b) The Congress declares that an adequate armed strength must be achieved and maintained to insure the security of this Nation.

(c) The Congress further declares that in a free society the obligations and privileges of serving in the armed forces and the reserve components thereof should be shared generally, in accordance with a system of selection which is fair and just, and which is consistent with the maintenance of an effective national economy.

2/05/2007 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Oldcrow said...

Cedarford said... Proud Soviet generals, WWI Germany, Imperial Japan, the gentry running Confederate Richmond

Note all losing sides that no longer exist that is the lesson that should be taken away from your little screed of misdirection also I might add all except the Confederate were dictatorships and were not known for allowing freedom of speech. We are now hearing directly from those grunts not from some General although most of them are speaking up also.

Cedarford said...they are "winning" clearly or despite set-backs or even retreats.

What setbacks or retreats would those be in Iraq? Oh I know you must be talking about the other side you know our enemies there.

Cedarford said...The nature of war is the "grunt", while justly lauded for courage and duty, is largely clueless about the world and the war -as it is - past their eyesight.

Maybe this was true in the 1940's but not now in the information age as you well know. What a bunch of tripe you post! And finally answer the question smart guy/girl/whatever how exactly are we "losing" in Iraq? And if we retreat tomorrow what would be the result? What tactical, strategic goals have the terrorists in Iraq acheived? Have they won any battles? The answer is none to all of the above so how exactly are we "losing" besides in the fever swamp minds of the anti-war crowd?

2/05/2007 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Cedarford,

"The nature of war is the "grunt", while justly lauded for courage and duty, is largely clueless about the world and the war -as it is - past their eyesight."

I completely disagree about the troops in today's military. They are not more cutoff to news (in relation to the rest of their society), as they were in past conflicts. Just because they believe in what they are doing, which goes counter to what you feel on this issue, does not mean that they are clueless.

2/05/2007 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

C4, there's room over on the bench next to Sen Kerry, y'all can set a spell and scrape that doo-doo off yer boots.

2/05/2007 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger das said...

The left hates the volunteer army because it cannot rewrite the voluteer army's narrative.

The volunteer army says, "I'm here because I believe in it" and the left can't knock that reason off its high pedestal. The left wants to say, "NO, you are here because you are poor, or stupid, or deceived, or brainwashed or a victim of the masters of war."

Lack of ability to rewrite the soldier's narrative is killing the left.

2/05/2007 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Sorry, you sorry-ass neocon holdouts, but you only have to go back to the 2003,2004,2005 milblogs (and to Wretchards own posts) to see that "the troops" were guilty of the same bad judgements as Bush, Rummy, Cheney and all the rest with "access to all the information".

On how the noble purple-fingered Iraqis mostly loved Americans, were doing a great job with their new democracy after their "courageous votes". How much the children loved the Americans who built playgrounds in Fallujah, the "Peaceful Shia", the "booming stock market", how oil production would double by the end of 2004.

How the milbloggers back then said we had "all the troops needed since more Iraqis are stepping up every day", how successful De-Bathification was, that most violence was Al Qaeda or 'dead-ender' driven.

All the "Happy Talk" interviews Ollie NOrth and others did with "just average soldiers, Marines" who proudly said they were beating the insurgency badly and bringing victory in the cause of "Iraqi Freedom". Those wonderful interviews with credulous young Americans saying how "great" the Iraqi Army and police were doing in 2004.

Looking back at those 2003 2004 and 2005 interviews, it is amazing how deluded the troops were based on the lies they worked off of and their "hopes" for the people of a culture&history they didn't understand, speaking a language they didn't speak.

How dick-smoker after dick-smoker was trotted out of the Pentagon after saluting "Yessir, yessir three bags full, sir" to Rummys neocon civilian staff - and sent to lie to Congress about "all the metrics getting better each week", "plenty of troops, all the commanders asked for", "excellent cooperation with the new purple-fingered government leaders", and so on.
As a lie-fest, the Uniforms perhaps outdid their Vietnam dog and pony show.....

OldCraw - also I might add all (those on the losing side) except the Confederate were dictatorships and were not known for allowing freedom of speech.

Not true. The pattern on a losing side is troops find life easier with a little self-delusion and wishful thinking. Otherwise, that whole patrol blasted out of existence outside a city full of noble purple fingered freedom loving Sunni who, BTW, hate our guts would be a waste. It wouldn't be seen as a worthy sacrifice for such a wonderful people's future or showing America can impose a just society by force as an alternative to what the Sunnis have had for 1400 straight years as their preferred society. The survivors of the Somme similarly refused to become demoralized - the 300,000 casualties HAD to mean something towards the Greater Good. Concluding that the soldiers of a democracy like the noble Iraqis have, the noble French have, the Brits, Americans are "delusion-free" about how a war is actually going while only bad 'ol dictatorships soldiers alone self-deceive is ridiculous.

Going forward, we need a little less of the "Grunt" who has no contact with the Iraqis except when they are shooting at him claiming "we are really helping those Hadjis", and a little more realism from objective sources.

The Israelis, along with CIA retirees, old hands in various contries have actually have done a pretty good objective job in detailing in this Fiasco, all the lessons the Bushie Americans ignored. From the Israeli experience with Arabs, how the Americans ignored their own highly sucessful Vietnam counterinsurgency tactics, how past Occupations that worked - were done.

A kid 1 year out of high school (if they graduated, military quality standards have lowered greatly since 1998) in little or no contact with the people under occupation isn't much of an expert on anything except ROE, certain survival skills. Definitely not how a complex war is going.

2/05/2007 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Dear Prof. Wretchard,
This is one of your best ever, and that's coming from a fan of First Fallujah, the butcher bar, the Kipling references, and so much more. This one rocks! Just one sample:

It's very white of Mr. Arkin to concede everyone a right to their opinion, "even those who wear the uniform of the United States Army". Too bad though about the Marines, the Sailors and the Air Force; but it isn't the livery that makes it occasionally worth listening to the hired help. It's what they may know from direct experience.

It's very white, it isn't the livery, ahhh, this IS the Writing Philosophy blog, right?

2/05/2007 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Oldcrow said...

You know Cedarford you are one dodging slipping sliding POS, you are so full of sh$t your eyes are brown and your breath stinks. In all that crap you spewed you did not answer a single one of my points/questions with anything except the usual libtard rhetoric and hyperbole and the usual "neocon" trash. Well thanks for showing you have nothing but feelings typical leftard imbecile. Go back to trolling KOS you fit right in with those morons.

2/05/2007 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Marker said...

It is very simple what they are doing. The Left moves to silence all civilian war supporters by calling them "chickenhawks", then moves to silence the military war supporters by telling them they have to right to speak up because they serve the people.
All dissent silenced without having to go through the messy task of actually addressing arguments. The only remaining voices aloud to be heard are those of the Left.

"The pride of man makes him love to domineer, and nothing mortifies him so much as to be obliged to condescend to persuade his inferiors." - Adam Smith

2/05/2007 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

kC4, how can you write so much about the grind, without mentioning the enemy's part in it? Maybe you prefer that no one think about how much the anti-war faction in America has contributed to his endurance? You could read General Giap, tho, for a few hints along that line.

2/05/2007 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Buddy Larsen said...
kC4, how can you write so much about the grind, without mentioning the enemy's part in it?

Buddy, by "the enemy", do you mean the Shiite Islamists that are aligned with Sadr, thoroughly backed by Iran, anti-Israel and pro-Hezbollah? The Shiite Islamists that won power in 2005 and are now playing us for fools? Isn't Maliki's Da'wa party -- which as an Iranian front was declared a terrorist group by the Reagan administration -- our enemy? Or do you put your faith in the coalition partner, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq?
Iraq is full of enemies, Buddy, even the Kurds are completely infiltrated by Iranian agents that they've been working with for years. Perhaps when you say "enemy" in Iraq, you could be a bit more specific.

2/05/2007 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I mean the anti-western jihadis, reocon. I realize some are more committed to it than others, and that some are in it or agin it depending on the hour of the day and whoever is nearby.

But is an overall concept (such as "people are warring on us") too simplistic, because its execution, expressions, permutations, and manifestations are so fiendishly complex?

2/05/2007 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

The Left is becoming more incoherent as, one by one, their "arguments" against the construing of this conflict as a war (not a law enforcement matter)are destroyed and laid bare for all their mendacity. Now they have Mr. Arkin putting into words exactly what nearly all of them feel, but have been afraid to utter. But, now that their great November victory is behind them, the elixir of victory has loosened their tongues.ikh

2/05/2007 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Did we go to war on the basis of having a simple, easy to fight enemy, or did we go to war to stop the people who are trying to violently subdue us?

I don't like it any better than you do, reocon. I just don't think we have much of a chance at the world we--and our friends--want, if we let that jihad-friendly bunch run the mid-east.

If you think different, why, may I ask?

What is your vision of the future, with the people warring on us, in power over the mid-east?

2/05/2007 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2/05/2007 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

From Webster's:

Main Entry: 1 mer·ce·nary
Pronunciation: 'm&r-s&-"ner-E, -ne-rE
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -nar·ies
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin mercenarius, irregular from merced-, merces wages -- more at MERCY

: one that serves merely for wages; especially : a soldier hired into foreign service


Thank you das, for the 04:14:00 PM entry. The Left cannot fathom serving in the military for any reason other than money...it is one of the indicia of their fecklessness.

2/05/2007 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Buddy points out:

Did we go to war on the basis of having a simple, easy to fight enemy, or did we go to war to stop the people who are trying to violently subdue us?

I don't like it any better than you do,


We went to war on the basis that a determined enemy had declared war on us, and our fancified Euro-diplo-end-of-history reaction was to treat the enemy as funny little trick'n'treaters showing up on our doorstep ... when they bombed the WTC in '93.

Since history had ended, there was no reason to fight any more wars, they were so boring and stressful. Surely if we showed them we weren't mad at them, our enemies would leave us alone, forget about us. And if we had to twist their little noses with an Op Desert Fox bomb-fiesta-long-weekend now and then, so be it, no harm, no foul.

Then they betrayed our loving understanding, tender patience, and Candide-simplicity nature by the way they acted out against our oppression on 9/11.

But you can still understand how we really just have to find the Right Way to SURRENDER to the Islamofascists, so we don't make them feel threatened by us.

I can't decide if I'm going to dress up in my Candide or Scarlett O'Hara outfit for the big event. World Peace with No Global Warming.

2/05/2007 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Scarlett: Fiddle-dee-dee. War, war, war; this war talk's spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream. Besides... there isn't going to be any war.

Scarlett's first lines in "Gone with the Wind."

2/05/2007 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger Oldcrow said...

And cedeford since you are so fond of bringing up past wars here are a few FACTS for you about previous wars this comes from Greg Richards at American Thinker:

Civil War
Duration (years) 4
Deaths 620,000
Wounded 350,000
Amputations 50,000

World War I
Duration (years) 1 ½
Deaths 120,000
Wounded 200,000
Amputations 2,600

World War II
Duration (years) 3 ½
Deaths 405,000
Wounded 670,000
Amputations 15,000

Korea
Duration (years) 3
Deaths 36,000
Wounded 103,000
Amputations 1,500

Vietnam
Duration (years) 7
Deaths 58,000
Wounded 153,000
Amputations 5,300

Iraq
Duration (years) 4
Deaths 3,100
Wounded 23,000
Amputations 500
Of the 23,000 wounded in the Iraq War, 13,000 were returned to duty within 3 days. That statistic is not available for the other wars.

So tell me again how the grunts are self deluded, no the only one self deluded here is you.

2/05/2007 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Miss Scarlett, she knew more, tho, by the end of the book.

2/05/2007 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Brother D-day, the day we start reading in the papers about all the hundreds of thousands of young men that the military turns away from enlisting is the day that enlarging the military will be possible. As it stands now the Army barely meets its recruiting goals. Marines, Navy and Air Force do a little bit better, but raising the force will require a lot more than just saying do it. As Rumsfeld once famously said, "You go to war with the Army you have rather than the Army you wish you had." The same can be said about the country: "You go to war with country you have rather than the country you wish you had." This is USA 2007 (pampered, self-indulgent, self-important) not USA 1942 (disciplined, focused and ready to fight). My seventeen year old has decided to enlist come his eighteenth birthday. He is the exception, not the rule. When he is the majority of young men is the day when can talk about a bigger Army. Until then smaller and deadly is the way we are going to have to go. And in this era of “small” wars do we really need a bigger Army? We demolished the Taliban with air power, a few Special Ops and the help of the locals. We overran Iraq with a force a third the size of what we had in Desert Storm. All this talk about increasing the military is to do what? Raise an army of occupation. Period. We don’t need two new divisions to chase down bands of terrorists. Squads/platoons of Spec Ops will do just fine for that. We need those divisions to babysit Iraq. Remove the need to police Iraq with the US military and you instantly remove the need for those new divisions. Mr. Bush decided initially that the additional troops needed to hold the “fort” in Iraq should be Iraqi, not American. In the long term it is the correct decision. The Iraqi Army needs to safeguard its own citizens’ security while the American forces safeguard the region’s peace. But getting there will take time and effort, and patience and commitment are not national traits of USA 2007.

Cedarford, what exactly would we do with those extra 600 ships? Unless you plan on blockages of Iran and North Korea, or have all those extra ships running around the globe on HR missions, they’d be nothing more than window dressing. And costly to boot. The United States has no rival on the open seas. Downsizing the Navy was going to happen, WoT or no WoT. And the “burn-out” of the fighters patrolling the USA skies was politically necessary. Can you imagine the hue and cry if the President didn’t put up CAP over the US cities after 9/11? And please stop with the tax-cuts for the rich, bs. The tax cuts went across the board. My federal taxes are lower thanks to Mr. Bush, and I ain’t no rich guy. Federal tax receipts are GREATER, not less than when Mr. Bush took office. Federal tax receipts in 2001 was 2 trillion. Today it 2.9 trillion. That is a 31% increase in revenues, Mr. Tax-cuts-for-the-rich. Inflation accounts for about 60% of that, the rest is from the increased economic activity spurred by, gasp, the tax cuts! There is plenty of money in the federal treasury. As stated before it’s all a matter of spending priorities. In Mr. Bush’s ’07 budget HUD is to receive 36.2 billion. Of that, only 1 billion is mandated by law. 35 billion is discretionary spending. Maybe instead of handing out rent vouchers we should be handing out enlistment papers. In fact, nearly 40% of the budget is discretionary. Plenty of fat to trim for a bigger military or smaller deficit. But let’s ignore all that. The fact remains that the President isn’t a dictator and must go hat in hand to the Congress for even a dime. Congress has to agree to increasing the military, replacing worn-out planes, keeping ships afloat. You act as if the President snaps his fingers and all falls into place. Bush-Clinton-Bush all had Congress as their accessories in the funding/non-funding of the military. In fact, Bush I was responding to pressure from Congress to start spending that peace dividend. The base closures were mandated by Congress. Except, of course, when a base was about to close in so-and-so’s district and then the hue and cry would break out. It got so bad that an independent commission had to be agreed upon that had the final say. Remember that? Or is your selective memory kicking in again? The history of the United States is a history of small armed forces. Only in the last 60 years has the United States maintained a large standing Army, and our big Navy is a legacy of WW II. The first place Congress looks to cut is the military. They’re in charge of funding. Not the President. He can only ask for the monies he thinks is needed. Often Congress tells him otherwise. Crusader artillery pieces anyone? Let’s see the new Democratic Congress step up to the plate and increase the funding for the military before anything else. Never happen, and you know it. But like most of your arguments, you love to throw up the strawmen to point to.

Bottomline: the left and opponents of the liberation of Iraq pissed and moaned about how Mr. Bush failed to send in enough troops. Now that he is doing the very thing they championed they oppose it. Only reason they champion a draft is so that they can oppose it when be real.

2/05/2007 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

What Old Crow said about the cynical gasbag known as Cedarford.I was offended deeply at your arrogant writing off of grunts as being clueless automatrons being duped by the Jews and neo-cons.I'm offended not so much because I've been one,but because you and chunks of excrement like Arkin and the Koskid in your blind elitist ego trip defame the best of this generation.I know some folks who lost a boy last week in Iraq and subjective as my view may be ,I'd bet the farm that boy was twice the man you'll ever dream of being,you cynical punk ass fool.

2/05/2007 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Oldcraw - libtard rhetoric.... typical leftard imbecile

Brainless partisans love their "in house" pet insults for the other side. Hitlery, Chimpy McHitlerburton, cancerative, rethuglican, dhimmicrat.

I personally like it because it is a good way to distinguish a brainless partisan like you from an actual thinker.

**********************
tarnsman - All this talk about increasing the military is to do what? Raise an army of occupation. Period. We don’t need two new divisions to chase down bands of terrorists. Squads/platoons of Spec Ops will do just fine for that.

Well, if you think we win an ideological war with just several thousand "high tech specialized supersoldiers" of the sort illiterate Iraqis are turning into hamburger for someone giving them 100 bucks to place a booby trap - fine. Having your "wonder boys" chase around the world playing "evildoer whack-a-mole" hasn't panned out too good in the last 5 years. We lack intelligence on where the "supreme evildoer mastermind kinda guys" are, for starters. Second, if we did know, the bulk of the people in those countries don't want us in. Third if we did go in, we need to hold ground until all the terrorists/nuclear scientists/generals/evildoers in a major city of several million are rounded up.
You not only need a large Army for occupation. You need it for counterinsurgency or when you need to deter something a lot larger and more sophisticated than a bunch of Arabs.

Tarnsman - the rest is from the increased economic activity spurred by, gasp, the tax cuts! There is plenty of money in the federal treasury

No, for every dollar Bush borrowed from the Chinese or Saudis to give to the wealthiest for the most part - the US Treasury got 30% of that, according to the CBO. Which explains why Bush has saddled us with another 3.3 trillion in debt since taking office...an amount that has dwarfed every "spendthrift Democrat" in the last 50 years....combined.

************************
trangbang68 - I was offended deeply at your arrogant writing off of grunts as being clueless automatrons being duped.

Good. You should be if your logic in a complex ideological conflict presumes that a small number of kids with no knowledge of the culture or history, unable to even speak the language if they WERE able to interact with Muslims in any significant way --hold the answers. They don't. Any more than you would if you say the "solution" to all our school problems rests with seeking out and doing what the junior public school teachers "in the trenches" want. Or that the wisdom of solving the energy crisis rests with the average Joe bitching about the cost of filling up his Geo tracker.
The question are we winning in Iraq and against radical Islam and are we using the right military, diplomatic, economic, cultural levers does not rest with a teenager drawn from the 20th to 80th quintile range of Americans, generally, in terms of ability.

Trangbang68 - I know some folks who lost a boy last week in Iraq and subjective as my view may be ,I'd bet the farm that boy was twice the man you'll ever dream of being,you cynical punk ass fool.

Glorifying the dead as being "more right and moral" than the living is a common behavior, Trangbang, your martyrification of some acquaintance is hardly unique.. The Romans did it, the Nazis did it, the Brits did it, we do it. Too bad. But like the Roman kids, Nazi kids, Brit kids that fell on some forgotten battlefield - they died thinking they made a difference. Time will tell if the Iraqis were worth it, or if this is largely a waste of lives fought by a US clueless of who the enemy in Iraq actually is.

2/05/2007 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Buddy Larsen said...
I mean the anti-western jihadis, reocon. I realize some are more committed to it than others, and that some are in it or agin it depending on the hour of the day and whoever is nearby.

Anti-western jihadis?! Whomever could you mean? Surely you're not referring to the Dawa party, an Iranian front group that the Reagan admin. declared a terrorist organization. A terrorist organization who's "Jihad Office" was run out of Damscus by one Nuri al-Maliki? Perhaps you're referring to some other anti-Western jihadis?

Maybe you're talking about the Sunni jihadis supported by Saudi Arabia? From today's NYTimes we learn, however:

In recent months, Saudi Arabia has also increased its public involvement in Iraq and its support of the Sunni-led government in Lebanon. The process is shaping up as a counteroffensive to efforts by Iran to establish itself as the regional superpower, according to diplomats, analysts and officials here and throughout the region. . . .The shift is occurring with encouragement from the Bush administration. Its goal is to see an American-backed alliance of Sunni Arab states including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, along with a Fatah-led Palestine and Israel, opposing Iran, Syria and the radical groups they support.

Yet Riyadh’s goals may not always be in alignment with those of the White House, and could complicate American interests.


Buddy Larsen said...
Did we go to war on the basis of having a simple, easy to fight enemy, or did we go to war to stop the people who are trying to violently subdue us?

I don't like it any better than you do, reocon. I just don't think we have much of a chance at the world we--and our friends--want, if we let that jihad-friendly bunch run the mid-east.

If you think different, why, may I ask?


A "jihadi-friendly bunch run the Mid-Easy"?! Ho, Ho! Isn't that precisely what the Bush admin. is currently doing to counter Iran? We invaded Iraq to stop the spread of Sunni Islamism which, predictably, tilted the country over to Shiite Islamists and now we're back to sucking up to the Sunnis!

You want my opinion, my solution? We shouldn't be spending our own blood and treasure keeping our enemies from killing each other!

Iraq was clearly a mistake. We should pull out and let it bleed. Let rip a Thirty Years War of Islamic felo de se until the religion and the region learns tolerance and reason. That's a lesson I don't think we're going to teach them by ourselves.

2/06/2007 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I had already gotten your point, reocon, but thanks for the restatement.

I was trying to agree that although there are as you say a lot of things in play and changing fast, that an outcome favorable to western interests is still up for grabs (or so say many experts), and that this favorable outcome, whatever the odds are now, will go to zero if we fold our hand, and that if we do fold, the odds of having to ante up again down the road a piece are probably very great.

And the next ante may be much higher, and for a far smaller pot, and with much less chance of success.

That's just guiding on 'history', but you can "ho ho" at that, too, if you wish. But remember, there's more than one way to make a foolish, bloody, costly, bet.

2/06/2007 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Oldcrow said...

Cedarford said...
Oldcraw - libtard rhetoric.... typical leftard imbecile
Brainless partisans love their "in house" pet insults for the other side. Hitlery, Chimpy McHitlerburton, cancerative, rethuglican, dhimmicrat.

Hey if the shoe fits and all that anywho you still have not given anything not one shred of facts or proof that we are "losing" the war in Iraq. Come on you must have something besides hyperbole, rhetoric and opinion.

2/06/2007 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Craigicus said...

Arkin and Kos are stepping up a theme. But why are they tickling this note now?

If there were massive numbers of military who were convinced of a US defeat, I'm sure Kos and Arkin would have said "it is time for the CIC to listen to his troops". So, does it mean that they really aren't finding enough anti-war voices in the military? Does it mean they have given up on finding them?

Warfighters below a certain rank know anecdotes very well, but they may not know the big picture for years or forever. Yes it is important for the CIC to listen to the voices on the front, but not to take votes from the uniformed on what to do next.

If there were military seething against the CIC, such as there was under Clinton, then I, as someone who has served too, say the bad-talk about the CIC is to be criticized and the troops are supposed to obey the CIC. But with Bush we don't have that problem.

2/06/2007 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Buddy Larsen said...

I was trying to agree that although there are as you say a lot of things in play and changing fast, that an outcome favorable to western interests is still up for grabs (or so say many experts), and that this favorable outcome, whatever the odds are now, will go to zero if we fold our hand, and that if we do fold, the odds of having to ante up again down the road a piece are probably very great.

Could you tell us just what exactly is that "favorable outcome", Buddy? You leave it completely unaddressed and in the hands of unnamed experts. It woulnd't happen to be the liberal, secular Iraq we were promised by the neocon backers and their Iraqi analysts (Makiya, Chalabi), would it?

Oldcrow said...
. . .anywho you still have not given anything not one shred of facts or proof that we are "losing" the war in Iraq.

I guess then that turning Iraq over to a bunch of pro-Iranian, pro-Hezbollah, Islamofascists is victory then. But if so, why didn't we leave in '05?

If we aren't "losing" then could someone please explain how helping a bunch of Iranian allied, Shiite Islamists consolidate their territory is a "victory"?

Perhaps you haven't read want Wretchard wrote on the current thread ("Minipax'):

wretchard said...
Our partners for peace.

CNN quotes US intelligence sources describing a current Iraqi parliamentarian, Jamal Jafaar Mohammed, as an assassin, Iranian agent and guilty of bombing the US and French embassies in 1983.


http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/02/05/iraq.lawmaker/index.html

U.S. military: Iraqi lawmaker is U.S. Embassy bomber

From CNN Correspondent Michael Ware

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A man sentenced to death in Kuwait for the 1983 bombings of the U.S. and French embassies now sits in Iraq's parliament as a member of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's ruling coalition, according to U.S. military intelligence.

Jamal Jafaar Mohammed's seat in parliament gives him immunity from prosecution. Washington says he supports Shiite insurgents and acts as an Iranian agent in Iraq.

U.S. military intelligence in Iraq has approached al-Maliki's government with the allegations against Jamal Jafaar Mohammed, whom it says assists Iranian special forces in Iraq as "a conduit for weapons and political influence. . ."We don't want parliament to be a shelter for outlaws and wanted people," al-Maliki told CNN. "This is the government's view, but the parliament is responsible. I don't think parliament will accept having people like [him] or others currently in the parliament."

Al-Maliki's political party, Dawa, claimed responsibility for the Kuwait bombings at the time but now disavows them. The Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim party was forced into exile under former dictator Saddam Hussein, who was executed in December."


OldCrow, you've had plenty of evidence by now as to the nature of the Dawa/Sadr/SCIRI gov't. Why do you support its jihadi agenda?

2/06/2007 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

bWell, reocon, there is for a fact much to criticize. A lot of it has to be counted as success for the opposing forces. If that's your point, you've made it. Too bad it's a real war, or else we could stop right there. Assign blame, tote up the score, shake hands and all go home. Or maybe we can do that anyway?

I dunno--you're good at noting what hasn't been addressed on the thread(tho the Pentagon may have so addressed it in the world, and just not 'let on'), but have you noticed that you've been invited to address the most momentous question of all, that is, "what, now"?

Drill into it, with all those hindsight details, and tell us what will happen next, out a few months, out a couple years, if we give it up as unwinnable.

Give us something besides the critique, with which we're already pretty much familiar. Tell us why there should be less fear of quitting now than not.

2/06/2007 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Buddy Larsen said...
. . . but have you noticed that you've been invited to address the most momentous question of all, that is, "what, now"?

We pull out and let it bleed. We let our jihad enemies, Shiit and Sunni slaughter themselves into the exhaustion and eventually wisdom.

Edward Luttwak puts it best in today's NYT. It's only a matter of time before we adopt this strategy, the only questin is how soon we face up to reality, the incompetenc and goals of the Shiite Islamists that now rule Iraq, and decide not spend any more lives or money defending it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/06/opinion/06luttwak.html

Excerpts:

THE sooner President Bush can get his extra troops for a “surge” in Iraq, the sooner he will be able to announce that all American troops are coming home because of the inevitable failure of the Iraqi government to “live up to its side of the bargain.” In fact, in the run-up to the surge proposal, it is unlikely that there was any real two-sided bargaining before Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki was induced to issue promises — particularly in terms of government troops taking on Shiite militias — that he cannot possibly fulfill. Mr. Maliki, it seems, simply agreed to whatever was asked of him, to humor the White House and retain American support for a little while longer.

For the Iraqi Army and police to disarm the Shiite militias, the prime minister would have to be a veritable Stalin or at least a Saddam Hussein, able to terrorize Iraqi soldiers and policemen into obedience. Mr. Maliki, of course, has no such authority over Iraqi soldiers or police officers; indeed he has little authority over his own 39-person cabinet, whose members mostly represent sectarian parties with militias of their own.

Actually the situation is even worse than that, because only the Kurdish militias unfailingly obey their political leaders — one is the president of Iraq no less, Jalal Talabani — while for the rest, it may be more true to say that Iraqi militias have political leaders to represent their wishes. The largest and most murderous of the Shiite militias, the Mahdi Army, which is invariably described as belonging to the truculent cleric Moktada al-Sadr, is actually divided under a bevy of local commanders, some of whom obey Mr. Sadr some of the time. . .

Fortunately, there is a promising, long-term policy ready and waiting for President Bush whenever he decides to call off the good old college try of his surge: disengagement. By this, I don’t mean a phased withdrawal, let alone the leap in the dark of total abandonment. Rather, it would start with a tactical change: American soldiers would no longer patrol towns and villages, conduct cordon-and-search operations, or man outposts and checkpoints. An end to these tasks would allow the greatest part of the troops in Iraq to head home, starting with overburdened reservists and National Guard units.

The remaining American forces, including ground units, would hole up within safe and mostly remote bases in Iraq — to support the elected government, deter foreign invasion, dissuade visible foreign intrusions, and strike at any large concentration of jihadis should it emerge. This would mean, contrary to most plans being considered now, that United States military personnel could not remain embedded in large numbers within the Iraqi Army and police forces. At most, the Americans would operate training programs within safe bases.

What would be the result of disengagement along these lines? First, it would not be likely to increase the violence afflicting Iraqi civilians. The total number of American troops in Iraq — even including any surge — is so small, and their linguistic skills so limited, that they have little effect on day-to-day security. Nor have they really protected Iraqis from one another. At most, the presence of American soldiers in any one place merely diverts attacks elsewhere (unless they themselves are attacked, which is a sad way indeed of reducing Iraqi casualties).

Intelligence is to counterinsurgency what firepower is to conventional warfare, and we just do not have it or the capacity to gather information on our own. Thus the sacrifices of our troops on the ground are mostly futile.

Politically, on the other hand, disengagement should actually reduce the violence. American power has been interposed between Arab Sunnis and Arab Shiites. That has relieved the Shiite majority of responsibility to such an extent that many, notably the leaders of the Mahdi Army, feel free to attack the American and British troops who are busy protecting their co-religionist civilians from Sunni insurgents. For many Arab Sunnis, on the other hand, the United States must be the enemy simply because it upholds the majority of the heretical Shiites. . .

One reason for optimism on that score is that the violence itself has been separating previously mixed populations, reducing motives and opportunities for further attacks. That is how civil wars can burn themselves out.

In any case, it is time for the Iraqis to make their own history.


Agreed, Buddy?

2/06/2007 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

reocon, it's a good opinion piece. I don't know enough to comment on it other than to say that it's refreshingly clear of the NYT's usual blatant expression of partisanship-over-military exigency. I'm sure many of its points are in the mind of David Petraeus (to whom I'm trying to stay tuned).

I guess what I was after was your own personal thoughts on the world's oil dependence, and what effect an advancing of jihadi influence over OPEC might have in the forseeable future. I know that's a crappy question because it requires far too many words for a blog post, so, no real need to answer. And no one should die for ecomomic growth, I know that.

Certain sorts of trade/economic problems can cause such relative vulnerabilities, though, that they have been, for nations, historically, worth a fight--I wonder if we are in or near such sorts of problems. If so, then the OIF debate really ought to broaden out a bit, don't you think?

2/06/2007 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Cedarford,I was not making my friend's child a martyr.I was only responding to the dehumanizing you and those of your ilk heap on our soldiers.They're clueless,unworldly wise etc.Why they're in the 20-80 percentile.Gasp they're average people.The Pharisees said of Christ,"Have any of the rulers believed in him?"In other words this prophet had no credibility to the elites of his day.
Empty,cynical people mock the concept that someone might actually believe in God and country.They may see their sacrifice as noble in confronting fearsome evil.I read countless accounts of military men whose highest loyalty even when grievously wounded is to their comrades and their cause.You don't get it do you?
I wouldn't be too quick to compare others to the Stormtroopers of the Third Reich with your paper trail.

2/06/2007 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger gr said...

r0x/pTe5v

-----------


das says "The left hates the volunteer army because it cannot rewrite the volu(n)teer army's narrative." I agree.

Yep, it's all there. Pull up the websites anytime you want. Pontificate about the stupidity of the 'mercenaries,' all you want and you are only talking about Iranian/Syrian/AlQ thugs.

I know, my community knows the everyday people (mostly National Guard) who go off every month to war. They're better educated often than WaPo pundits. Not "A kid 1 year out of high school." Sorry. And, after all, they are in Iraq. Where are we, who vastly un-informed, to pontificate with vupon their task?

(from cedarford -2/5/7)
"'Glorifying the dead as being "more right and moral" than the living is a common behavior, Trangbang---

Actually, the MSM and Left don't engage in this. They simply flaunt their unworthiness to be called Americans by villifying the representatives of their country.


--your martyrification of some acquaintance is hardly unique.. The Romans did it, the Nazis did it, the Brits did it, we do it.--(cedar)

And, if we did, why shouldn't we? Americans are not Romans or Nazis, but a free democracy with citizen soldiers at war. Why should we as a people not celebrate the honor and sacrifice of good men and women? It's OUR country-- if not yours.


-- Too bad. But like the Roman kids, Nazi kids, Brit kids that fell on some forgotten battlefield - they died thinking they made a difference.---(cedar)

Haven't they? You're living in a world where AlQ is on the run, instead of dictating which terrorist target is next in Pennsylvania or Calif. It's a world these young people have made possible for the moment. I certainly doubt they fight to protect your sneering arrogance.

-- Time will tell if the Iraqis were worth it, or if this is largely a waste of lives fought by a US clueless of who the enemy in Iraq actually is.---(cedar)

Time has nothing to do with it. If you are unable to see the necessity of a stable Middle East, you are certainly uneducated. If you are unable to see the world wide terror offensive, you choose inane illusion.

Whatever-- It is not up to you, Cedarford, or your kind, to decide what 'a waste of lives' means, since you contribute nothing except backbiting, envy, and discord. You have no say.

It's not hard to see the Islamic jihadist who is the enemy, except for those, as you, in this country who will not see. And you, in that sense, serve a common cause with the enemy in Iraq, that is the injury and death of the very many, whose blood coats YOUR hands.
It's YOUR GUILT.

2/07/2007 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

gr--see Hating Horatio.

2/07/2007 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger ben said...

"This isn't about a factual scenario, though; it's about policy. Your analogy is fatally flawed.... blah blah"

JPE must be on the far Left, where "factual" and "policy" are considered mutually irrelevant. We expect and hope, JPE, that the policies our leaders develop in some way account for the factual scenarios we face. In the example, "Fire in the basement" is a factual scenario, "Call 9-1-1" or "ignore it" are policy options. In the real world, the policy options regarding Iraq that the Left support are not consistent with those supported by the people with the best view of the factual scenarios. Got it?

Ben

2/08/2007 08:34:00 AM  

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