Monday, July 30, 2007

Laying a Golden Egg

Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post say that a positive report from Iraq might split the Democrat Congress "and impede ... efforts to press for a timetable to end the war".

[House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.)]Clyburn noted that Petraeus carries significant weight among the 47 members of the Blue Dog caucus in the House, a group of moderate to conservative Democrats. Without their support, he said, Democratic leaders would find it virtually impossible to pass legislation setting a timetable for withdrawal. ...

Many Democrats have anticipated that, at best, Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker would present a mixed analysis of the success of the current troop surge strategy, given continued violence in Baghdad. But of late there have been signs that the commander of U.S. forces might be preparing something more generally positive. Clyburn said that would be "a real big problem for us." ...

Clyburn also address the reasons behind declining approval ratings for Congress, which spiked earlier in the year when Democrats took over the House and Senate. The most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll showed just 37 percent approving of the performance of Congress.

The Washington Post story is a sad example of how events are politicized. In a complex event like a military campaign, there will be ups and downs, good days and bad days. New enemies may join the conflict. Others may drop out. Fortune and technological discovery can change the course of events. During the Second World War, Stalin was once Hitler's ally; then later his most implacable foe. Up until 1942 the Second World War went one way and after that it went another. But if Germany had developed the Atomic Bomb first it may have gone yet another. Nothing was "official" until V-J Day. But in Washington DC nothing has a life apart from the official partisan view. Not even the sun shines. Instead it is assigned a shadow existence, fitted into a narrative, and tortured into a Procrustean bed of arbitrary political specification.

The US campaign in Iraq is probably one of the most complex campaigns in military history. It is an event fundamentally unsuited to facile political characterization. And I am afraid that, if General Petraeus' efforts meet with some success, what was officially a "bad" war -- after first having been a "good war" -- will become a "good war" again, as politicians anxiously reposition themselves according to the latest polls. Iraq will become, whatever it is, exactly what the politicians want it to be. And that's bad. Because the one thing that Gen Petraeus is doing right -- if he is doing anything right at all -- is adapting; moving through the OODA loop faster than his enemies and unfettered by restricting shibboleths and doctrinal dogma. Success is based on seeing things as they are as opposed to viewing them through political lenses. In some sense you have to see things different from Washington to have a snowball's chance in Hell.

While Democrat support for creating political reform in the Muslim world, starting with Iraq would be welcome, however reluctant, it would be still more welcome if it were based on a sound assessment of the situation rather than politics. Much has been written about foreign quagmires. But perhaps the mother of all bogs is the really the domestic slough of talking points which clutch at our faculties in so many constricting ways. On both sides of the political aisle.

Flexibility and quickness in both kinetic and information warfare is probably behind much of recent successes in Iraq. Let's not kill the goose that laid the Golden Egg.


Blogger dla said...

Funny, but if all you did was read the American press, you would think that Iraq is the only issue in America. That works to the Democrat's advantage.

Health Care? Social Security? Immigration reform? The Democrats control Congress yet they're focussing their energies on (a)Iraq and (b) investigating the Bush Administration.

No wonder the public is sick of Congress. And Nancy Pelousi's dismal performance as House Speaker may sour the American public on the idea of a woman president.

7/30/2007 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Nomenklatura said...

I believe that part of the problem here is that the Democrats got used over several decades to being able to move opinion as and when they needed to. All they had to do was take the time to allow opinion to align across the many different left-leaning elite groups, including (all important) the media, and they could pretty much ignore whatever the facts were. The opinion leaders would manufacture whatever rationalization was needed to explain the facts away as the consensus emerged.

Their problem is that it's not just Petraeus who has now gotten inside their OODA loop, it's the whole d*mn world! The Democrats still rely on the ponderous assembly of a chain of pieties into a 'consensus' position, from which it is then safe to mock dissent. All too often now they find themselves caught in one of several deeply embarrassing postures:

- No consensus agreed among themselves (causes difficulty claiming other people should conform)

- Having a consensus, but one which visibly doesn't even address the issues at hand (e.g. 'war is bad')

- Having a consensus it took so long to assemble that by the time they are ready to impose it inconvenient facts are popping up all over the place (e.g. man-made global warming, and 'the war is lost')

These are all symptoms of the same underlying problem. Petraeus is actually a follower in this, chasing terrorists and new media which have been evolving and reacting faster than the US military. The Democrats are lagging way behind, trying to put a narrative together which won't be outdated by events before they can get every one chanting piously from the same songbook, as they did so many times in their 'good old days'.

7/30/2007 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Valentine Smith said...

The real underlying problem for Democrats is that they all suffer from chronic depression. Dante found a place for them:

“Fix’d in the slime, they say: ‘Sad once were we,
In the sweet air made gladsome by the sun,
Carrying a foul and lazy mist within:
Now in these murky settlings are we sad.’
Such dolorous strain they gurgle in their throats,
But word distinct can utter none.”

7/30/2007 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Pangloss said...

One thing in Petraus' favor is that he is a democrat himself, or so the rumors go. Thus he knows what democrats think like. He knows what matters to them. And he is addressing their needs in his own OODA loops as well as interfering at the political democrats' Decide, Orient, and Observe points, kinda 4/5GW style. He's also getting inside the OODA loop of the Badr and Sadr groups and it's driving Maliki crazy. He's empowering the Sunni rebels to balance Shiite militias do produce a standoff. In the short run it will cause a lot of internal displacement and heartache in Iraq. In the long run it will create stability by means of dynamic tension, kind of like detente. Shiites don't like that. Iran doesn't like that at all at all. Sunnis and Kurds are fine with it.

If you ask me the problem is when politicians read the polls and follow the polls. We don't elect representatives to follow polls. If we wanted that we could just govern by polls and cut out the middle man. We elect representatives to PAY ATTENTION and stick up for principles given the facts on the ground, without spending more of our money or creating any more restrictive laws than absolutely necessary.

7/30/2007 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger Christopher Jamison said...

I have been chewing over something for a while- not completely off topic- but I beg some latitude here. How long will we enjoy such a robust all-volunteer military if we continue to quit half-way through an objective? I most certainly do not feel entitled to speak for all military members, but as a nineteen year career veteran I have better access than most to the prevaling military mind-set.

We quit in Vietnam right when the NVA was ready to give up. (granted, we did not know it at the time but it does not change the reality.) We left Lebanon with our tail between our legs after the Marine barracks were destroyed and many Marines killed. (directly attributable to poor defense of the gates because we were afraid to offend our hosts, thanks to political posturing.) And now, after success after success in Iraq, the American public led by the left wants to quit once again. Simply because of American deaths? Not to be flipant about it but we OF ALL PEOPLE understand that in our line of work, people die. Do firefighters refuse to go into burning apartment complexes just because someone might die? No, it is their job and they accept the risks. Just as we accept the risks of our job.

How can our allies ever trust us to go the distance when we quit after the first couple of laps? (an effective analogy as I see the WOT as a marathon rather than a sprint) Even more importantly, most military members do not shy away from putting their lives on the line as long as it is not simply being used for political gain. Those who can not grasp the fact that, regardless of why this war began, this is THE front on Islamic extremeism, should simply be ignored as niave. Go back into the kitchen to the kids' table and let the grownups conduct business. We will call you when the pie is served.

It is a well known tactic that you fight on a field of your own choosing, not your enemy's. Those who truly understand military tactics and are well versed in military history understand why we chose to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. We did not want to fight this war in America. If we cut-and-run now, that is exactly what the future holds.

But if we continue to employ our military in a half-assed manner, there will soon come a time, and I hope it is a long time coming, when even the most patriotic of young men and women ask themselves, "what's the point; they are not going to finish it so why should I get involved?"

7/30/2007 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


You ask why people don't get terminally disillusioned. Maybe the answer is that you only have to be the lesser evil, not positively good, to hold a following. Reason in politics is optional.

For example, the Only Redhead in Taiwan writes that after long soul-searching he realized there was no rational reason for treating Taiwan like it wasn't a country when any damned fool could see that it was. Any damned fool, that is, except a politician.

My change of heart revolves around one crucial realization that I had as a result of being incensed by Taiwan’s most recent rejection from the World Health Organization. Not only is denying a country of 23 million people representation and protection an insanely hazardous move by an organization whose charge it is to improve and protect the health of, um, more or less the entire human race (aside from the Taiwanese people, that is), it’s a dismaying display of the truism that politics trumps reason. It’s no secret that China blocked Taiwan’s entry, even though the political lines we imagine around the world will bear little importance when a viral infection is allowed to fester in a country that is larger than seventy five percent of the countries in the UN.

Every word he writes is true and all of them are beside the point because politics, in normal times, is greater than truth. Only when reality can no longer be held at bay is truth temporarily allowed to overrule politics. Business as usual has come to mean "everything according to the narrative" and not, as some might imagine, everything according to nature.

Politics is nothing if not an exercise in entitling the undeserving, often in order to achieve the irrelevant for purposes contrary to reason. Politics is where you sell what you can't dispose of in a used car lot. And we accept this state of affairs on the grounds that it is better than bashing each other over the head. But apart from that, there's little to recommend it.

One writer declared that the reason the Allies won both world wars was that they committed fewer blunders than their opponents. And in that minimal sense of the word, we may live under the best of all possible forms of statecraft. Western politicians, for all their bumbling are least not stark, raving lunatics the way Zawahiri and Bin Laden are. And we had better weapons.

7/31/2007 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Great analysis, as per your usual W. It is very sad to see one side in our two-party system effectively invested in the outcome preferred by our mortal enemies. But that is where the Democrats, or too many of them, find themselves at this juncture.

That Clyburn can acknowledge as much is disheartening but also encouraging at the same time. Perhaps his realization will serve as a wake up call for some of the less invested within the Party. Well, one can hope.

And yes, we had and have better weapons. Unfortunately it has become acceptable to turn rhetorical and diplomatic weapons onto "friendlies". This is probably blowback from the celebritization of anti-war, anti-US protesters dating back to VN. Of course much of the left would probably see that as more of a feature than a bug in our political process.

7/31/2007 01:30:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I don't use the model that it appears most here employ, when contemplating an understanding of what is happening in my world and yours. I see my generation (here in America) as being one dominated by a narcissism which always limits one's perspectives; thus choices.

As to the Democrats of today, I see a feminine attitude, a posture where Freud's notion of hysteria seems to work quite well. The wife who constantly berates and heckles her husband, never providing leadership but always demeaning his every effort, leaving the outsider to wonder if such actions are merely a game for domination.

To read and hear that our military might be headed in a "winning" direction with "momentum" via those in the media who have for so long decried the evil of the Republicans only leaves me to wonder what games are really at play in such articles and features. Creating a new smokescreen wherein Democratic players can regroup and spew forth new, nuanced positions still leaves me wondering why so many line up to clap, shout and praise such people.

Hillary Clinton is not a stateswoman, buy any measure.

The late Jeanne Kirpatrick was, just ask around, here and abroad.

Barak Hussein Obama would be where if not for his skin color?

Would this country prefer someone like Colin Powell over him? I think so.

Governor Richardson is playing the dark horse for the second spot on the Democratic ticket. Does he really come across as someone who wants to help the Hispanics, or is he someone who becomes Hispanic to further his secret desires?

Democrats love the birth control pill, and the electric dishwasher. They love diversity, they hate control unless it is they who do the controlling. Women's rights... but is there not responsibilities that goes with every right?

Kill babies (human babies, that is) every day, but don't you dare touch that dog in a harmful way!

I feel your pain: Who tells us this? Speak truth to power: Who is perceived to be who in this game?

Hysteria may be driven by feelings, and fear drives what?

I want, therefore I am liberal.

I keep, therefore I am conservative.

Am I not both during my lifetime?
Is this not just another form of an eternal struggle? Why can't most of us see this when we look into our mirrors?

Maybe this is just the way nature plays the game of life, which we are all presently forced to live.

I miss Jeanne Kirpatrick; she was one hell of a woman, stateswoman to be more exact. I trusted her as best I knew her. I guess it just boils down to not trusting those Democrats who want power that I see on my screen.

Is this speaking "truth to power?"

7/31/2007 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger tony8489 said...

it is sad and stunning that someone, that someone being a democrat, would actually prefer to lose this war and keep the power, than the other way around. what is even more sad is the lack of outrage. this is something to expect now, the status quo. if we have the patience to pull this off, this will be the death of the democrats. how would they extricate themselves out of the cut and run corner they have painted themselves into?

7/31/2007 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

Just a couple of quick thoughts here:

First the tension between Maliki and the US military is IMHO a function of a change in our approach. We are now witnessing "Iraq the colony" as we circumvent those aspects of the Iraqi political process that are dysfunctional.

I have long advocated a short circuiting of the theives of Baghdad. By dealing directly with provincial ministers we cut out a significant group of grafters and thus get more bang for our buck. We also elminate the endless cycle of revenge and posturing that goes on in Iraq. So province X gets nothing from B'dad because they are on someone's shit list. Well we may still need stability in province X so we'll spend our money there directly.

This is an important change and marks a major shift in our attitude. We should be far less willing to defer to the Iraqis in many situations. I still believe that our prior problems with catch and release were the direct result of corruption in the Iraqi national government.

All discussion about the Democrats is interesting but IMHO overblown. The two guys in the NYT might just be calling it as they see it. There is no need to look for the invisible hand of Hillary. some people, yes even Democrats, have principles and are compelled to state their case directly. Why would the NYT publish it? Why not?

As for the golden egg issue, again I believe we are over thinking this. No legislative leader wants dissention. The "problem" isn't that we're winning. The "problem" this guy mentioned is that his job is tougher because he doesn't have concensus. He has to marshall bills through the house and a split in his membership means more horsetrading sooner. I didn't read his comment as "victory is a problem for my party" I read it as "a significant rift in my party will make my job more challenging".

Let's not over think this. The black helicopter stuff is fun but its also unproductive.

7/31/2007 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

By the way, the Iraqi parliament taking August off might be the best thing that could happen for Petraeus. Without them around, he can push like heck and maybe by the time they get back a marvelous fait will have been accompli'ed.
So all those who said it was irresponsible for the lawmakers to take a vacation may be proven wrong again.

7/31/2007 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Yours is a charitable interpretation of what the Democrats and Clyburn are doing wrt Iraq. Watch the second video at the Washington Post and you'll hear him clearly discussing the process of legislatively securing what can only be called a defeat in Iraq. The discussion is about coalitions and why House leaders can't just cut off funding right now. Seems to me that would be his preferred position if he had the votes. He and the Dem leadership can call it whatever they'd like (peace with honor, anyone?), but it'll still be a US defeat and an Al Qaeda victory.

7/31/2007 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 07/31/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

7/31/2007 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

If I were the good General in Iraq, I would have a plan already in place to take "great advantage" of the legislative holiday that the Iraqis have planned.

A General who intends to win would think like this, no? Yes, he most certainly would!

7/31/2007 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Pundita said...

Pundita was so excited about news that came to me that I had a senior moment while trying to post a comment here. So then I wrote Wretchard and crabbed at him that Google kept telling me I didn't know my own password. Okay, now that I have calmed down a bit --

Do you realize that by tomorrow morning, there might not be one MSM outlet supporting a Dem-led early withdrawal from Iraq!?

No wonder Bush did that crazy U-turn in his golf cart yesterday (with queasy-looking Gordon Brown alongside) and laughed!

Consider: CNN Wolf Blitzer interview last night w/ Pollack re NYT op-ed piece "War We Just Might Win;" Ignatius of The Washington Post; Time Magazine's Michael Duffy; NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell; and US News and World Report’s Gloria Borger on Chris Matthews show speaking against withdrawing our forces from Iraq. AND the USA Today piece today on Rep. Ellison and other freshmen Dem visits to Iraq -- all warning against going too fast on withdrawal.

I agree with commenters who urge that we not overthink the situation and remember that what is good news today can devolve tomorrow into tragedy.

Yet there seems to be a sudden sea change in MSM press coverage of the Surge -- a willingness to report on positive developments and give the Coalition some benefit of the doubt. We'll take whatever we can get, to buy time for Petraeus.

7/31/2007 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Good advice not to overthink these things --but that includes Mr. Clyburn's remark.

Maybe--and this highly generous--he was referring to the "problem" created by an OIF success being mainly technical and/or legislative, but that merely begs the question:

Why would an American success create a technical and/or legislative problem for the Democrats?

7/31/2007 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

I'm against the Iraq war for one reason. If we win, what have we won? We are spending huge sums of money on the war. What is the strategic objective that we wish to accomplish? Money spent in Iraq is money that we cannot spend elsewhere. With the money we have and will spend we could build enough nuclear power plants to remain energy independent for hundreds of years. With enough energy you could make fuel from the atmosphere. Although we would probably use coal or other materials. The fuels could be butanol, ethanol or whatever. U.S. policy is best served by not meddling in other peoples affairs.
As for "shrinking the gap" and other wild ideas. No one has enough money to control the chaos everywhere.
Now you say what would you do. You have no answer to the problem. I would pull all troops from EVERYWHERE except Iraq. This means worldwide. Make a ten mile or, larger if necessary, strip around the oil fields and link to the sea. Pump oil like crazy while we're building power and fuel plants. Kill anything that gets in the ten mile strip. Give the revenues directly to the Iraqi people, not the government, and leave after the fuel and power plants are built.

7/31/2007 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger cjrr said...

Both political parties have decided that politics is basically a zero-sum game played against the other party. The goal is purely to maximize your politcal power verses the other party. The effects of this game on the rest of us is thus irrelevent. Every effect other than political power for your side is an externality.

7/31/2007 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Pundita lives!

7/31/2007 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

How much of this comes down to the conservative/moderate Democrats needing to establish themselves as a group in the primary season? Once they are united behind Clinton/Obama/Edwards/Gore (whomever?) will they still be willing to cooperate with the Republicans on what is bound to be an essential political point?

7/31/2007 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Pundita said...

Red River: I should have given up blogging two years ago but Pundita stubborn old bird. Waziristan next! See David Ignatius (State Dept. pipeline) today Washington Post "Sept. 10 in Waziristan."
All power to Belmont Club regulars! Yay for Petraeus and the troops! Ooof! Too much excitement today! Need drop of sherry, for medicinal purposes only of course.

7/31/2007 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger vnjagvet said...

Using the OODA analysis is right on. John Boyd would be proud of you guys, because that was his approach to dogfighting and every other kind of competition, warfare and combat.

Sort of a "unified theory" of conflict.

7/31/2007 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger NoGenius said...

If Petraeus pulls this off, I think he is going to earn a place in history...

8/01/2007 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

I'm against the Iraq war for one reason. If we win, what have we won? We are spending huge sums of money on the war. What is the strategic objective that we wish to accomplish? - Sam

As a percentage of GDP, this is just about the least expensive conflict in our nation's history. The list of strategic objectives to be accomplished is lengthy, if not terribly obvious. Your statement here is an example of how poorly the Bush administration has broadcast the legitimate reasons to continue the conflict. . .or perhaps it's an example of the media's reluctance to relay those broadcasts. . take your pick.

Here's a few to get you going:
- Acheiving a degree of stability in order to prevent a massive loss of life and explosion of chaos in a nation with massive oil reserves.
- Preventing the furtherance of the notion that we are a fickle and weak nation, without the will to finish something we've started. This is fundamentally important with respect to our standing in future negotiations with other nations.
- Confronting AlQaeda in what they have described as the central front in the war on terror. It's where they want to fight, and I'd far rather we do most of that fighting there rather than Paris, London, or New York.

U.S. policy is best served by not meddling in other peoples affairs. - Sam

Where did you get this notion? All world powers maintain their economic well-being and security through constant negotiations and meddling in other nations' affairs. It was only as a result of direct meddling in the affairs of Europe (WW1 and WW2) that we became a superpower in the first place!

As for alternative energy resources like ethanol, a realist would note that each has substantial problems which would prevent it's being implemented as a solution to our dependence upon oil in the near future.

- Nuclear energy? NIMBY.
- Ethanol? I seem to recall reading how corn prices have more than doubled, and how if ALL the corn in this nation was used for ethanol, it still wouldn't fill the orders for petroleum products used in automobiles alone.
- Hydrogen? Requires more energy to produce than it provides (and of course, that energy comes from oil now).

Now granted, some of these things may change over time. . .but it's not realistic to believe that the amount of money we spend in Iraq would have a major impact on these issues. After all, it is a very small percentage of our GDP. . .so if we really had the will to put these alternatives in place, we could be doing so concurrently with Iraq. . .yet we aren't to any great degree.

8/01/2007 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sam said...
I'm against the Iraq war for one reason. If we win, what have we won? We are spending huge sums of money on the war. What is the strategic objective that we wish to accomplish?
Quite simply, to end the expensive 'forever war' in Iraq that started in 1991. Yashmack did an excellent job of enumerating several specifics, but the important point is that we were entangled well before the 2003 invasion. And unless you propose that we would have simply walked away we were bound to remain entangled for until 'natural regime change' occurred, prompting the inevitable civil war. ("Sanctions and inspections were working!" What? How can that be seriously stated when both were imposed as the result of Iraq's non-compliance with the conditions of the cease fire? It's a nonsensical argument!).

U.S. policy is best served by not meddling in other peoples affairs.

This statement has been patent nonsense since Jefferson landed the Marines in Tunis. That was 200 years ago. Do keep up.

8/01/2007 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

As a percentage of GDP, this is just about the least expensive conflict in our nation's history. The list of strategic objectives to be accomplished is lengthy, if not terribly obvious.

You have to add in the cost of all the bases in Central Asia and the cost securing the chain of crude carriers from the Middle East. The cost of the war being a small part of GNP is a straw man. I believe at the root of the cost is our need for energy. What could we do to provide independent energy for a Trillion dollars? By the time this is over the number will be much larger. You could do a hell of a lot with a trillion dollars. This is the REAL question that needs answering.
The list of strategic objectives to be accomplished doesn't seem to be so difficult to me. Peaceful democracy in the Middle East. Security for Israel. Which would supposedly lower the threat to oil supply's.

Preventing the furtherance of the notion that we are a fickle and weak nation, without the will to finish something we've started.

Notice I said Make a ten mile or, larger if necessary, strip around the oil fields and link to the sea. Pump oil like crazy while we're building power and fuel plants. Kill anything that gets in the ten mile strip.

This is not weak. It plays to our strengths. They must react.

It was only as a result of direct meddling in the affairs of Europe (WW1 and WW2) that we became a superpower in the first place!

You make my point for me. If we had not gotten into WWI there may not have been a WWII. Why is being a superpower important to you? If we're to control the world let's not do it for sentimental or ego reasons. Let's make some money off it.

Nuclear energy? NIMBY.

Yes. you have me on that one. I believe that the opinions on nuclear power are changing. Maybe given a choice of endless war or nuclear power people would choose nuclear. I'm particularly interested in Thorium based reactors.

I never suggested using corn for ethanol. I stated "With enough energy you could make fuel from the atmosphere". Although you would probably use carbon or carbon based waste. I personally prefer Butanol. It has more energy. I also have no problems with turning coal into fuel.

Hydrogen is a complete waste of time. If I didn't know better I would say the oil companys pushed hydrogen because they knew it would be a nonstarter;)

we were entangled well before the 2003 invasion

Yes we were. Saddam is gone now. Once again. What is our objective? Make Iraq a thriving Democracy? You know the British tried this and failed. It may not be possible. Yes I do know that things are getting better. I do not believe the Iraq's or the whole Middle East is worth our blood and treasure.

This statement has been patent nonsense since Jefferson landed the Marines in Tunis.

News to me that Jefferson tried to convert the Muslims to Democracy. We went and blasted them to get them to stop taking our ships and enslaving our sailors. I have no problem with this. My thinking on defense is Jacksonian.

U.S. policy is best served by not meddling in other peoples affairs.

When I say this I mean not trying to change by military force the habits and customs of others. If someone attacks us this is a wholly different matter. But I would not try to save them I would ruthlessly destroy them.
One last thing. I believe that we may can have fusion for less than a Trillion dollars. Would you trade fusion power for peace in Iraq?
Looking forward to your reply.

8/03/2007 01:57:00 AM  

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