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Dear Rep. Murtha ....
Posted by: McQ on Friday, November 18, 2005

Do yourself a favor and quit this:
Murtha, a Marine intelligence officer in Vietnam, angrily shot back at Cheney: "I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done."
And if your requirement is that it be someone in uniform, read this.

Remember how we, you and I, heard the same defeatist garbage from the same institution in which you now hold office back in that distant war that everyone likes to compare this one too? Remember how it felt? It's no different now than it was then for those fighting and dying in a foreign land for a cause they believe in.

Yet, there you are, spouting the same sort of crap we heard when we were in that young man's position.

Do yourself, the country, and especially our military a favor and show the resolve and support we begged for during that time. Make "never again" a reality for once in your pathetic political career. Show some backbone, some moral courage.

There is no "peace with honor" when you leave before the job is done.

See the job through to the end despite the obstacles and challenges.

Just once.

And yes, if it's important, I wore this country's uniform for 28 years as an infantry officer. I believe as much now in the oath I took as I did then. More importantly, I remember the feeling that my country had abandoned me as if it were yesterday, and I vowed if it ever tried it again, I'd speak up loudly and often.

It would be nice to believe you too remember that, and you too had made that sort of a vow.

But apparently, or at least so it seems, you've forgotten what it was like then. The emptiness in the pit of your stomach as you realize the cause you and so many of your comrades, some of whom had died for it, was simply too uncomfortable for those at home in Congress to bear anymore.

Funny, that ... you talk about being upset that men who've never worn the uniform are criticizing you, yet you feel no apparent problem with pulling the rug out from those in combat by all but declaring their mission has failed ... just like the '70s. Our military certainly doesn't seem to feel that way, if the young soldier with the 101st's email is any indication.

Yes it's pretty sad to see someone who actually knows what it was like, what it feels like in your gut when you hear people like yourself say what you've said, do it anyway.

Sad indeed.

It causes me to worry about America's future if you are indicative of what it can expect from it's "leadership".

UPDATE: Rep. Sam Johnson, decorated Vietnam Vet and former POW said this last night on the floor of the House while speaking of Congress sending mixed messages about troop support:
"I know what it does for morale, I know what it does for our mission, and so help me God I will never let our nation make that mistake again."
Nor will I if I can help it.
 
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Comments
Would you get over Vietnam, already? Iraq is not Vietnam.



War, as the saying goes, is politcs by other means. Murtha simply recognizes that the political goal of achieving peace and stability in Iraq can be better achieved by not maintaining a large U.S. military presence that unites our enemies. He is not telling our troops that they cannot succeed in their mission. He is telling them that they have already succeeded and should come home. And he is largely right.



Staying indefinitely only accomplishes 3 things. All bad. It encourages Iraqis to tolerate foreign fighters on their soil, which they otherwise would not do. It actually keeps the political process from moving forward because the militant factions will always be able to point at the U.S. and say "they are never leaving." And, lastly, it keeps us overextended.



I’m not saying that there aren’t problems with withdrawing. There certainly are. But you can’t even begin to discuss them if you begin from the flawed premise that withdrawing troops is "losing".



The goal is not to win a 3 decade old argument about Vietnam. The goal is to bring stability to Iraq. It’s time to realize that our problem is not a lack of military force.



Part of the problem is that Americans are pathologicaly incapable of seeing themselves in any role other than the shining knight or the sheriff in the white hat. When discussing any other country, whether the British in Northern Ireland, the Israelis in the West Bank, or India and Pakistan in Kashmir, Americans are perfectly capable of recognizing that even good countries can benefit from pulling back and looking to non-military solutions to their problems. And yet, when it is us, we become just as blinkered in our thinking.

 
Written By: space
URL: http://
Would you get over Vietnam, already?

No, I won’t ... not until I see people like you and Murtha committed to not making the same mistake we made with Vietnam.

Staying indefinitely only accomplishes 3 things.

What part of "finishing the job" says "stay indefinitely" to you?

And since no one I know who supports finishing the job translates that into ’staying indefinitely’, your points are irrelevant.

I’m not saying that there aren’t problems with withdrawing. There certainly are. But you can’t even begin to discuss them if you begin from the flawed premise that withdrawing troops is "losing".

Nonsense. You begin a job. You quit in the middle.

Tell me how that’s "winning"?

The goal is not to win a 3 decade old argument about Vietnam.

My goodness ... can you really be this historically blind. History, my friend, is what we’re talking about and I’m talking about not repeating it.

The goal is to bring stability to Iraq. It’s time to realize that our problem is not a lack of military force.

Funny, but that’s been my argument all along. No the problem concerns leaving the force we have for the time necessary to get the Iraqi force necessary trained up to handle their own security.

Our job is to buy that time.

Now, you tell me ... when is that day when they’ll be ready? Hmmm?

Murtha says now. Do you agree?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Mr. McQ is correct. I, too, fought in Vietnam. Of course I heard the protestors shouting for the NVA to win. Yes, I listened to senators and congressmen saying the war was lost. And all this while our fighting forces were wining every battle. After the glorified Tet offensive, the NVA could not field on combat-ready division. Yet, fools like Walter Cronkite said the NVA had been victorious. What rot!

Now my son serves in Iraq. I regularly read posting from there. We are kicking the butts of the “insurgents” every day. The bad guys are unable to mount anything near company sized attacks. They have reverted to roadside bombings and the killings of innocent civilians.

Two countries have now been able to hold free elections. They are heading down the path toward self-determination. Let’s give them that chance.

Take a look at what “space” said. He doesn’t think Iraqis want foreign troops on their soil. Germany, Britain, Italy, Japan, Poland, Kuwait, the Philippines, and several others, don’t seem to have any problem with it. He thinks our presence will affect Iraqi’s political process. Has it affected the countries named above? Then he thinks it keeps us overextended. From what? He was probably one of the folks who cheered when our military was severely cut back during the Clinton years. You can’t have it both ways.

Stay the course. Remember that we are fighting a foe who wants complete world domination, not just to beat us in Iraq. I guess “space” doesn’t recall that we were stuck dozens of times when we didn’t have forces in the field. Now we do. And those wonderful soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines should stay to finish the job.
 
Written By: Larry Knudson
URL: http://
Wow....GOP power move in Congress. Voting on an immediate troop pullout resolition tonight. Looks like the GOP is making the Dems go on record or shutup....

Per Drudge
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Cheney has brought this on himself. He is the one who has chosen to caricature his critics in a polemic manner. Rep. Murtha has just given him a taste of his own medicine.

A man who obtained five (five!) military deferments when his country called for his service hardly has the moral high ground to call others out on their lack of "backbone". We have been led into this mess by people who, by their lack of service, apparently thought they were playing Risk. Every military person who criticized their lack of planning and strategy well beforehand was either ignored or pushed out the door.

For the record, I don’t agree with Rep. Murtha that pulling out all troops right away is the solution—it will probably let Iraq devolve into civil war or Iranian domination. However, it seems to be heading in that direction anyway, and all Cheney and Bush want to do is clap their hands and insist that they believe in Chalabi, I guess. That is not a solution either.

If the administration truly wants to seek a dialogue and solution to this, perhaps they should start by not calling out their political opponents as mere opportunists. The fifth column card has been massively overplayed by a remarkably inept, corrupt administration, who had best start figuring out how to work with people, instead of just poking them with a stick when it suits their agenda.
 
Written By: Heywood J.
URL: http://hammeroftheblogs.blogspot.com/
[i]and all Cheney and Bush want to do is clap their hands and insist that they believe in Chalabi, I guess. That is not a solution either.[/i]

Wow, thus showing that you’re not qualified to be taken seriously...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
And do tell, what exactly is "the job"? What are your metrics for finishing "it"?

Another election, which could very well institutionalize a Shiite government that might be friendly to Iran, thereby combining two of our Axes of Evil?

Or do we stay until we kill all of those Iraqis (or Mideasterners) who just don’t seem to understand that their real purpose in life is to become "little Americans"?

I would really like to know what your definition of getting the job done is, so that I can have an idea of what to expect. You want my support, then tell me what "the goal" is and how we determine when we have reached it.

Surely, that’s not too much to ask.
 
Written By: dms
URL: http://
And do tell, what exactly is "the job"? What are your metrics for finishing "it"?

I’d tell you to go read the blog, but I imagine you’d say that was too much work, so I’ll point you to the answer I gave above in a comment:
Funny, but that’s been my argument all along. No the problem concerns leaving the force we have for the time necessary to get the Iraqi force necessary trained up to handle their own security.

Our job is to buy that time.
For instance, did you know that there are about 15,000 Iraqi troops presently engaged in Operation Steel Curtain?

That’s how you get them "trained up" to handle their own security. Joint operations. Unit training. Blooding them in combat. We’ve talked about this on the blog.

And, of course, what you also try to do is train up an NCO corps which becomes the glue which holds the military together. That too takes some time (years in fact). This we covered on the blog.

Now, 15,000 troops is not an insignificant number, but it is nowhere near what is needed to to secure Iraq.

So, the job remains undone until that number of troops is properly trained. And General Casey, and others have put a number on that (they’ve done it in battalions) and when they think they’ll be ready. That too has been covered in detail on the blog.

Then we can start withdrawing our troops in significant numbers, cut their footprint down to almost nothing and call it done.

Surely, that’s not too much to ask.

Nope, it’s not ... so I hope its not to much to ask that if you have any further questions you use the search function on the blog and read the answers.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
You want my support, then tell me what "the goal" is and how we determine when we have reached it

Your support isn’t wanted nor required. Judging by what you’ve written, you have your mind too closed. You’ll never believe that we’re not there to slaughter the Iraqi’s or that they’re incapable of building the stable govt they will have.

So you’re not worth the bother.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Remember how we, you and I, heard the same defeatist garbage from the same institution in which you now hold office back in that distant war that everyone likes to compare this one too? Remember how it felt? It’s no different now than it was then for those fighting and dying in a foreign land for a cause they believe in.
McQ,
Judging by your previous post, I read more than a hint of affinity between you Sen. Murtha. Now it’s obvious that Vietnam veteran’s, like yourself, can disagree with one another. But why the affinity with Murtha and not with Kerry or McCain?

I ask this because of my own experience with a Vietnam veteran. My uncle served two tours in Vietnam but he refuses to talk about it. Our family learned long ago not to bring up the war around my Uncle Bob. Our guess is that he has his own demons to deal with and he doesn’t wish to involve us.
We’ve learned through his good friend and fellow veteran, Ron (who once gave me the advice he says that is most important, “Don’t do anything you wouldn’t eat.”), that they disagree on just about everything except this war. They concur that bringing the troops home as soon as possible is the most important thing.
There is no "peace with honor" when you leave before the job is done.
That’s just it isn’t it? Just like Uncle Bob and his friend Ron, there are those who have served in combat that believe that this job is not worth finishing. And it has nothing to do with keeping honor, but more to do with preserving lives. One could argue, with many many valid points, that this conflict has unachievable goals, and that to pursue these castles in the sky would be wasteful and futile.

I honor those who have served in combat. Uncle Bob, Ron, McQ, Kerry, McCain, and the unnamed sergeant. And for those reasons, I give them more credence than Bush (TANG), Cheney (five deferments), or any other politician that speaks to war without prostration to those who have been there.

It sickens me that there are talking heads that mention Murtha or Kerry or McCain, and their like, with the same connotations applied to sedition, treason, cowardice, and the like.
(Sorry for rambling, I get a little emotional when thinking of my dear Uncle Bob, who once called my girlfriend at the time “jumper”. And when I asked him why he called her “jumper”, he said, “Because I think that everyone wants to jump her.” LOL. Thanks Uncle Bob.)

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Well, thank you very much for clearing that up for me, especially considering the kindness with which you offered the information.

Glad to hear we have 15,000 Iraqis engaged in Operation Steel Curtain. Does that mean that those 15,000 could have done the job themselves, or are we (that is, the US) helping along? I only ask, because we get such conflicting reports from our government. I remember hearing that we had trained several self-sustaining battalions, I think (and do forgive my military ignorance), only to hear from US military personnel that, amazingly enough, we only had ONE.

Not to denigrate the 15,000, but considering 150,000 or more of the finest, best-trained men in the world cannot provide even basic security to the people we are trying to liberate, much less their lawyers, I feel a bit skeptical of that 15,000 and the number of years, US bodies, and US money it might take to train (i.e., get bloodied) 150,000 or more Iraqis.

You, nonetheless, seem to be comfortable with the training of troops as a metric for success. Fine. So, if we produce enough Iraqi soldiers to support and maintain a government that might be hostile to us, and indeed might align itself with another government that is hostile to us, you would consider that a success, and a success from a cost-benefit analysis.

Okay, well at least now I know.
 
Written By: dms
URL: http://
Judging by your previous post, I read more than a hint of affinity between you Sen. Murtha.

Nope ... no afinity whatsoever, Pogune ... none at all.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Glad to hear we have 15,000 Iraqis engaged in Operation Steel Curtain. Does that mean that those 15,000 could have done the job themselves, or are we (that is, the US) helping along? I only ask, because we get such conflicting reports from our government.

Why don’t you ask the media?

Not to denigrate the 15,000, but considering 150,000 or more of the finest, best-trained men in the world cannot provide even basic security to the people we are trying to liberate, much less their lawyers, I feel a bit skeptical of that 15,000 and the number of years, US bodies, and US money it might take to train (i.e., get bloodied) 150,000 or more Iraqis.

There’s quite a difference between an army of your country and an army of another country.

Secondly, the job is to buy them time to do the job of quelling the insurgency, not do the job of quelling it ourselves. I don’t subscribe at all to the idea that we must quell the insurgency.

So, if we produce enough Iraqi soldiers to support and maintain a government that might be hostile to us, and indeed might align itself with another government that is hostile to us, you would consider that a success, and a success from a cost-benefit analysis.

As opposed to what? What existed before? At worst we’re then at least no worse off in that regard than we were before and we’ve at least shown the world that we will indeed fulfill our obligations.

On the otherside ... the side you seem to want to avoid mentioning, exactly the opposite might emerge and then you might, God forbid, have to admit that staying the course was the right thing to do.

Okay, well at least now I know.

Heh ... yeah, so do I.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Classic.

"As opposed to what? What existed before? At worst we’re then at least no worse off in that regard than we were before and we’ve at least shown the world that we will indeed fulfill our obligations."


Yep, as long as the USA can pound its chest and wag its testicles, that is all that matters. ’Course we can’t turn their electricity on, we can’t provide them with decent water, we can’t provide the security necessary for their children to go to all of those schools we’ve rebuilt, and most importantly, we can’t turn the oil wells on. But we sure are showing the world how powerful we are.


Pretty compelling argument that we’re no worse off than we were before. Tell that to the Marines. It’s especially compelling when you don’t even mention how much we have done for the Iraqis.


And what is what existed before? Certainly never a threat to us. Of course, a great number of Iraqis got killed by their own leader for no good reason. Funny thing is, none of you ever seemed to be concerned about that when Reagan and Rumsfeld were arming Sadaam with the weapons that allowed him to do that. Suddenly, it’s your cause celebre?


And just for the record, I would be more than happy were Bush’s policies to be correct. I would be more than willing to tell the world that I was wrong. Thing is, your plan and his makes it clear that I will die (as will many decent soldiers), and many more stupid wars will be fought before anyone can realistically say Bush was correct.


And you call us liberals pie-in-the-sky, ivory Tower dreamers.
 
Written By: dms
URL: http://
Bravo, McQ!

I am at this very moment watching a repeat of the disgusting speech that the Murtha gave yesterday.

He has thrown in the towel and used the backs of wounded soldiers to stand on to garner sympathy and to make a political point. What a disgrace!

Keep it up, McQ!

We must prevail for the sake of the Iraqi people and for our own security.

Sharon
An American Soldier’s Mom
 
Written By: Sharon
URL: http://
Classic.

Funny ... I was just thinking the same thing about you.

Go figure.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Thanks Sharon ... and give your son my best, he’s what this nation is all about (but then, so are you).
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Thing is, your plan and his makes it clear that I will die (as will many decent soldiers), and many more stupid wars will be fought before anyone can realistically say Bush was correct.
Why in the hell would you say something so stupid? I expect our troops to begin pulling out by middle of next year if everything keeps going the way it has.
Besides, all of the anti-war rhetoric in all the world hides one alarming and obvious fact. We really had NO CHOICE AT ALL in pursueing this strategy.
What other strategy than bringing pluralistic governments to the mid east had even a ghost of a chance of working? It is a long term strategy but the only sane one. Otherwise we would be forced to 1) continue to put up with destabilising regimes who hate us. 2) continue to be at the mercy of terrorists 3) continue to look weak to people and cultures who value strength. 4) continue to look weak and foolish to our allies 5) continue in a world where 1.3 billion muslims live in brutal conditions with no hope in their lives and are prey to Imans preaching Jihad.
I have heard no liberal give a coherent counter-strategy.
 
Written By: Kyle N
URL: http://
Good. Never answer anyone’s questions. Just tell them they’re wrong. And with Bush at 34%, you are convincing me of what?
 
Written By: dms
URL: http://
And with Bush at 34%, you are convincing me of what?

Uh, I’m not trying to convince you of anything since it became obvious three comments ago that your mind is closed tighter than Ebenezer Scrooge’s purse.

As for Bush, why would I care? I didn’t vote for the man in either election.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Funny how Cheney’s 5 deferments are such a big issue for Democrats, yet they didnt seem to have any problem whatsoever with a draft dodger expending the lives of our troops in Somalia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bosnia, etc.

Funny how Democrats gnash and wail that The administration needs to listen to the military in how to execute the war, yet ignore every statement by the military, from the enlisted man up thru the joint chiefs of staff that we must see the job thru.

Funny how 2000 deaths is a tragic landmark which should become a catalyst for major policy shifts regarding the war, yet 3000 deaths on 9-11 should be disregarded, 1000’s of casualties by the Iraqi’s themselves are totally ignored, given no more weight in regards to Iraqi commitment to building a free soveriegn state than if they sat in sidewalk cafes and smoked.

Funny how Democrats pay lip service to supporting the troops then the other side of thier mouth denounces them as tyrants on par with Nazis or Pol Pot communist enforcers. Taking every opportunity to display them as overzealous jingoist koran flushing torturers, murderers, heartless body burners, etc. etc. etc....

So you will have to excuse me DMS et. al. if I find your drivel less than persuasive.
 
Written By: Joel Mackey
URL: http://
Yep, Kyle, considering how good things are going, I would agree with your notion that troups will be pulling out of Iraq in the middle of next year. It, of course, won’t be because things are going well for the Iraqis, it will be because mid-term elections are happening.

As you state, "It is a long term strategy," so I ask how long? Why do you consider my question so stupid?

You of course haven’t answered how we’re going to get from 15,000 Iraqi soldiers who need our help to 150,000 brilliantly-trained soldiers (or more, since our 150,000 brilliantly and perfectly trained soldiers can’t provide jack shit for the Iraqi people), or how long it’s going to take to make them the brilliant peace-keepers that we have proved ourselves to be, but, hey, I’m stupid.

And, of course all of our brilliance is impressing the Iraqis and those in the Middle East. Funny how we perfect Americans assume our perspective and concerns are everyone else’s.

So my question still stands: What is the metric for success in this war. I want to know. I want people to stop dying.

Your host says number of trained Iraqis. I’m fine with that. So, when do we get there?

And answer the question: if those finely trained soldiers are supporting a goverment not necessarily kind to the US, are you willing to accept the result?

 
Written By: dms
URL: http://
Yep, Kyle, considering how good things are going, I would agree with your notion that troups will be pulling out of Iraq in the middle of next year. It, of course, won’t be because things are going well for the Iraqis, it will be because mid-term elections are happening.

As you state, "It is a long term strategy," so I ask how long? Why do you consider my question so stupid?

You of course haven’t answered how we’re going to get from 15,000 Iraqi soldiers who need our help to 150,000 brilliantly-trained soldiers (or more, since our 150,000 brilliantly and perfectly trained soldiers can’t provide jack shit for the Iraqi people), or how long it’s going to take to make them the brilliant peace-keepers that we have proved ourselves to be, but, hey, I’m stupid.

And, of course all of our brilliance is impressing the Iraqis and those in the Middle East. Funny how we perfect Americans assume our perspective and concerns are everyone else’s.

So my question still stands: What is the metric for success in this war. I want to know. I want people to stop dying.

Your host says number of trained Iraqis. I’m fine with that. So, when do we get there?

And answer the question: if those finely trained soldiers are supporting a goverment not necessarily kind to the US, are you willing to accept the result?

 
Written By: dms
URL: http://
Yep, Kyle, considering how good things are going, I would agree with your notion that troups will be pulling out of Iraq in the middle of next year. It, of course, won’t be because things are going well for the Iraqis, it will be because mid-term elections are happening.

As you state, "It is a long term strategy," so I ask how long? Why do you consider my question so stupid?

You of course haven’t answered how we’re going to get from 15,000 Iraqi soldiers who need our help to 150,000 brilliantly-trained soldiers (or more, since our 150,000 brilliantly and perfectly trained soldiers can’t provide jack shit for the Iraqi people), or how long it’s going to take to make them the brilliant peace-keepers that we have proved ourselves to be, but, hey, I’m stupid.

And, of course all of our brilliance is impressing the Iraqis and those in the Middle East. Funny how we perfect Americans assume our perspective and concerns are everyone else’s.

So my question still stands: What is the metric for success in this war. I want to know. I want people to stop dying.

Your host says number of trained Iraqis. I’m fine with that. So, when do we get there?

And answer the question: if those finely trained soldiers are supporting a goverment not necessarily kind to the US, are you willing to accept the result?

 
Written By: dms
URL: http://
"Troups?" Interesting spelling that, eh?

If Iraq is ’Vietnam’ then Zarqawi and the insurgency are the NVA
and the fledgling Iraqi government is South Vietnam.
What a pretty picture that will be a bit later eh?

Ah, but as a good liberal I should forget the nasty ugly crap that happened
while the South Vietnamese became happy participants in the peace loving communist government brought by the North.

Alas, very unlike the "North Vietnam isn’t going to invade the U.S.!" arguments we had to listen to back in the late 60’s these clowns WILL invade in a way. Boom, boom, boom, boom. The Mosques and hotels of this week become churches and shopping malls of the future...what fun!


 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Yep, Kyle, considering how good things are going, I would agree with your notion that troups will be pulling out of Iraq in the middle of next year. It, of course, won’t be because things are going well for the Iraqis, it will be because mid-term elections are happening.

As you state, "It is a long term strategy," so I ask how long? Why do you consider my question so stupid?

You of course haven’t answered how we’re going to get from 15,000 Iraqi soldiers who need our help to 150,000 brilliantly-trained soldiers (or more, since our 150,000 brilliantly and perfectly trained soldiers can’t provide jack shit for the Iraqi people), or how long it’s going to take to make them the brilliant peace-keepers that we have proved ourselves to be, but, hey, I’m stupid.

And, of course all of our brilliance is impressing the Iraqis and those in the Middle East. Funny how we perfect Americans assume our perspective and concerns are everyone else’s.

So my question still stands: What is the metric for success in this war. I want to know. I want people to stop dying.

Your host says number of trained Iraqis. I’m fine with that. So, when do we get there?

And answer the question: if those finely trained soldiers are supporting a goverment not necessarily kind to the US, are you willing to accept the result?

 
Written By: dms
URL: http://
And, of course all of our brilliance...

Speaking of brilliance, have you figured out yet you shouldn’t refresh or your last bit of "brilliance" will be reposted. You’d think after doing it three times you might catch on.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Ooooh, post it again, DMS— if four times doesn’t convince them, maybe five will!
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
Pretty pathetic; reviewing the 25 or so mud flings on this thread. And the war marches on....

It is scary to think what would happen if we all agreed on a solution that changes the status quo. But you know that the PTB will never allow that to happen.
cough::::pawns:::::cough

Lets see here: You got those who support war as a solution to peace, and those who support peace as a solution to war.

Hm. Wonder with Orwell would say?

Strike that, what would Christ say?
 
Written By: Rick D.
URL: http://
"Judas, could you please pass the fish?"
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Sorry folks, I only meant to send once. I guess it’s my stupidy, rather than your host network, that would make that happen.

I am so sorry.
 
Written By: dms
URL: http://
Saudi Arabia exists by the notion that Sunni Islam is the supreme religion with a G*d given right to rule over all others. Syria disdains democracy and wishes to see it fail. It is unlikely that people motivated by such an ideologies are ever going to stop trying to interfere in a democratic Iraq governed by Shia.

A tactic of trying to build a democratic state in Iraq (free movement, open borders, trade) as an isolated project may not be sustainable. The free movement, open borders, trade makes it difficult to stop the terrorists. This course of action needs changing, it is an ideal that is not achieveable under the present conditions - no matter how many lives are lost.

It could require substantially more troops like McCain has suggested. A complete withdrawl like Murtha suggests is an alternative. The paramilitaries locking up people in basements and running a de facto police state with American support offer another possibility. Whatever happens as long as Saudi, Syria or similar are capable of interfering then a free and open society in Iraq is not likely.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
My brother is an army officer. He has been to Afgahnistan. He says fight them now.

Pretty much sums up for me the method for dealing with all bullies and tyrants, even the wanna-be’s.
 
Written By: Mikey
URL: http://
Seriously - how long? How about you let the military have a say in that.
Sheesh, what a concept. I mean, after all, they’re the ones over there
putting their lives on the line today and tomorrow.

I suppose though that they can’t be trusted to make the right decision. By all means, it should be made by the members of the House and the Senate, and by the people in Hollywood and New York at "The Times". They need to be the ones to decide because I’m fairly sure they know what’s best for me. And when a couple of bombs go off here at Wendy’s and Saks Fifth Ave we can demand a Senate investigation to get to the root of who knew what when. And demand that someone
be impeached for allowing that to happen.

After all, once we bail out on Iraq the Islamic Jihadi’s would never have reason to believe they WON and that their cause wasn’t right, and they’d never consider making further attacks on U.S. interests here and abroad.

Of course not.

No, instead they’ll all go back to peacefully doing whatever it was they did before we overthrew Saddam. Let’s see...that was....oh yeah, it was plotting out how to fly planes into U.S. buildings to produce the maximum amount of carnage in the land of the Great Satan. By Allah, I like this plan. In three years President Hillary can blame Bush for our descent into a 12th century hell and we can get on with learning to worship Allah properly.


 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
It really is so amazing how intellectually cogent your arguments are. I’m ready to change from Independent to Republican.

Thank you all.

But, at age 51, and jobless, I have been considering a job change (well one can’t have a job change if one doesn’t have a job). My choices are nursing or law.

Thanks to you, I have decided on law. Nursing requires one be nice to someone; law means you can be an asshole, get paid for it, and feel good about it.

You all have proved your point and been an immense help in clearing my head.

Fuck reality, let’s go for money.

I’m all for it.
 
Written By: dms
URL: http://
But, at age 51, and jobless...

Somehow this doesn’t come as a surprise.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
How about becoming a history major. Course there’s not much money in that.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
It really is so amazing how intellectually cogent your arguments are. I’m ready to change from Independent to Republican.

Thank you all.

But, at age 51, and jobless, I have been considering a job change (well one can’t have a job change if one doesn’t have a job). My choices are nursing or law.

Thanks to you, I have decided on law. Nursing requires one be nice to someone; law means you can be an asshole, get paid for it, and feel good about it.

You all have proved your point and been an immense help in clearing my head.

Fuck reality, let’s go for money.

I’m all for it.
 
Written By: dms
URL: http://
You all have proved your point and been an immense help in clearing my head.

Yeah, but you still can’t quite grasp the refresh thing, can you?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I keep thinking; there are many out there who have no survival instincts. If we leave Iraq and the war moves to our shores, I’ll be too busy defending my family to assist you. Good luck.
 
Written By: Al Reasin
URL: http://
Right Al.

I have no survival instincts.

And where is it you live?

If we don’t leave Iraq and the war moves to our shores, what will you think then? Sort of ruins your morally reprehensible thought that we’d rather fight them over there than here.

After all, it is morally superior to let the Iraqis die for the freedom we decided to give them. They are, after all, just towel heads, and rather dark and scary at that.

And we do know that democracies never nurture terrorists. Of course, there is that pesky little Timothy McVeigh, but then he was just a bad apple.
 
Written By: dms
URL: http://
Bad apple - yeah, that does about sum it up.
McVeigh was a lousy jihadi, he didn’t have the moral conviction to blow his own ass up when he left that truck parked outside the Murrah building.
I’d scarely say ’we’ intentionally nurtured him.

Let’s see, Saddam on the other hand was handing out $10,000 to families of people who decided it was quicker to use TNT to get to Allah than it was to
wait for Allah to come knocking on their door after they’d lived a long and productive life promoting peace with dirty Jews and Satanic Americans. I’d kinda call that a little bit of nuture. But that’s just me.

Towelheads... no, I’m not thinking along those lines, but I’d be lying if
I said I’d rather see the war fought over here than over there.
I guess though you’re really morally superior, and think it’s only fair that we fight the war here and lose lives here to continue to maintain that moral superiority of yours. Fortunately there are multi-millions of others who are a little more realisitic about it. A lot of them are in the military.

See the problem with your moral plan (as with so many moral plans of people who aspire to the highest of the high ground by being better than the rest of us) is you can’t guarantee that you or only people you love (who you must be willing to sacrifice to maintain the lofty attitude) will be sacrificed on your moral alter. I’d prefer not to see anyone die, but I’m a knuckledragger realist about it, and since the jihadi’s are clearly determined to die for their alleged cause and clearly take as many others with them as they can, I’d prefer that they do it there, not here. Armed and trained troops might have a chance. What chance did the people on the 98th floor of the WTC have on 9/11?

So, yeah, I’m a knuckle dragging bastard, I want the war fought somewhere else if it can be arranged that way. Militarily that’s also a sound plan.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
dms,

Since we haven’t fought a foreign enemy on our shores since the War of 1812, maybe we learned that to fight "over there " is better for us; selfish, I know, but much more logical. But if you think it is more moral to fight here, then so be it. One thing for sure would occur. America would be united again against a common enemy.
 
Written By: Al Reasin
URL: http://
Good Lord, acknowledgement of practical self interest...shameful.
Time to get out the hair shirt and the scourge and chastise myself round
the moor for a few hours.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Hey Looker ... good to see you wandering the halls again.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Looker:

"I hereby commend you, and I counsel you by way of caution to forbear from crossing the moor in those dark hours when the powers of evil are exalted."

This from Hugo Baskerville to his sons Rodger and John, with instructions that they say nothing thereof to their sister Elizabeth.

Ah, the classic touch. Thank you.
 
Written By: Mikey
URL: http://
Because someone upthread asked, here’s the deal on Cheney and his five deferments:

I have no problem with someone who opposes a military conflict and does not want to fight it. No problem. But I, and many others, do have a problem with people who support wars but refuse to fight them, as Cheney did. If anyone can provide me with evidence that Bill Clinton supported the Vietnam war but ran off to England to avoid getting personally involved, I will gladly call him a chickenhawk. As that is precisely what Cheney did, the term fits him.

And I don’t believe that you need to fight every conflict that you support. However, if it becomes clear that there is a shortage of warm bodies, then it is time to sign up. That was true in Vietnam. And it is true today in Iraq. It may not have been true in March of 2003; I didn’t expect every war supporter to run off and enlist. But only the most brain-dead would deny that we are running into a shortage of military personnel, at least if we don’t continue to drag our National Guard back to Iraq every year for additional tours.

Which brings me to a related point. If you really want to support the troops, why not have a few less posts on war dissenters and a few more (or any) encouraging your fellow war supporters to go and sign up? But anyway, back to the Vietnam comparison.
 
Written By: space
URL: http://
If you really want to support the troops, why not have a few less posts on war dissenters and a few more (or any) encouraging your fellow war supporters to go and sign up?

Primarily because it’s a red herring. The issue isn’t a lack of troops. The issue isn’t who is or isn’t fighting the war (we have a volunteer military for a reason). The issue is supporting the mission in which they’re engaged and seeing it through to completion. That’s hou you support the troops.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
On Iraq/Vietnam: You continue to assume that "pulling troops out = quitting". But that simply isn’t the case. I’m not going to speak for Murtha, but many advocates of withdrawal are arguing the opposite: "pulling troops out = more likely to succeed".

Why? Because "pulling troops out = undermining nationalist movement against U.S." and "pulling troops out = forcing Iraqis to negotiate with each other" and "pulling troops out = dividing the interests of the jihadists from the interests of Iraqis".

Personally, I don’t have a problem leaving troops there a little longer if it means that there will be significant and quantifiable increase in the number of trained Iraqis. But, let’s get a few things out on the table.

First off, in a purely military sense, the Iraqis will NEVER be as qualified as U.S. troops. So, if we can’t succeed militarily there is no reason to believe the Iraqis ever will.

HOWEVER, there are several non-military reasons to believe that absent U.S. troops, the Iraqis might have more success than we have had. The first is increased legitimacy of Iraqi forces; without a U.S. presence, more Iraqis will be willing to sign up and fight against other Iraqis, without the qualms of fighting for a quisling government. Second is cultural understanding; Iraqi forces may be able to patrol areas and houses without incurring as much hatred, because of increased cultural sensitivity, and they may be more successful at obtaining intelligence on insurgents. Third is a reduction in the strength of the insurgency; without the U.S. forces fanning the flames of the insurgency, there may be many fewer insurgents to fight.

The point is that there is a tradeoff. On one hand, there aren’t as many Iraqi troops yet, as we’d like. On the other hand, there are CLEAR BENEFITS to withdrawing in the near future.

I’m willing to debate timeframes and metrics for assessing when the time is right. What I am unwilling to do is to entertain the arguments of baby boomers, left over from their views on Vietnam, that withdrawing U.S. troops is "losing", "giving up", or "not finishing the job".
 
Written By: space
URL: http://
On Iraq/Vietnam: You continue to assume that "pulling troops out = quitting". But that simply isn’t the case. I’m not going to speak for Murtha, but many advocates of withdrawal are arguing the opposite: "pulling troops out = more likely to succeed".

Only if you can cite specifics which lend credence to the claim that Iraqi security forces are ready to take on the job and succeed.

What you and Murtha seem to be saying is that the insurgency is aimed mostly at the US and if the US would leave, it would die out.

That’s blatantly false. The foreign element of the insurgency is mostly aimed at toppling the government of Iraq not killing Americans (oh they’ll do it if the opportunity presents itself, but the 100 killed yesterday in the mosques weren’t Americans).

Again, as we’ve discussed on this blog, there are 4 different elements which compose the so-called insurgency. Two of them won’t go away when we leave ... the Sunni Ba’athist and Al Queda.

The mistake that is continually made is to lump these elements together and falsely claim that our presense is what drives their violence. For some yes. For others, it is all about toppling Iraq.

First off, in a purely military sense, the Iraqis will NEVER be as qualified as U.S. troops. So, if we can’t succeed militarily there is no reason to believe the Iraqis ever will.

Who’s saying they need to be? When you train troops, you set certain minimum standards to be achieved. The goal is to train them to achieve those standards. Once achieved, they’re considered minimally ready to do their job. Then comes the experience factor they gain with their unit in the field. After a while they’re more than minimally competent. That’s where we want to get them. And, we want to ensure their units have the cohesion necessary to function as a unit in the field. That takes time.

HOWEVER, there are several non-military reasons to believe that absent U.S. troops, the Iraqis might have more success than we have had. The first is increased legitimacy of Iraqi forces; without a U.S. presence, more Iraqis will be willing to sign up and fight against other Iraqis, without the qualms of fighting for a quisling government.

They haven’t had a bit of problem recruiting and, in fact, have had to turn potential recruits away.

Secondly, the legitimacy is growing every day with areas of Iraq having been turned over to Iraqi troops already.

Second is cultural understanding; Iraqi forces may be able to patrol areas and houses without incurring as much hatred, because of increased cultural sensitivity, and they may be more successful at obtaining intelligence on insurgents.

That point has been made many time previously here and by commanders in the field. They understand that and they see that as an important factor, which is why they’re eager to get the training done and get these units in the field.

Third is a reduction in the strength of the insurgency; without the U.S. forces fanning the flames of the insurgency, there may be many fewer insurgents to fight.

Which is all moot if the Iraqis aren’t ready to take charge of their own security.

The point is that there is a tradeoff. On one hand, there aren’t as many Iraqi troops yet, as we’d like. On the other hand, there are CLEAR BENEFITS to withdrawing in the near future.

To whom? Certainly not the Iraqis or their fledgling government, that’s for sure.

I’m willing to debate timeframes and metrics for assessing when the time is right. What I am unwilling to do is to entertain the arguments of baby boomers, left over from their views on Vietnam, that withdrawing U.S. troops is "losing", "giving up", or "not finishing the job".

Well that makes us even then, as I’m not willing to discuss the issue with someone so historically blind that they refuse to consider the horrendus impact the decision had on the military or the nation during that time (and in the decades which followed), not to mention the Vietnamese who were abandoned.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I don’t think anyone is advocating a permanent opportunity for guys from Corinth Mississippi and Boulder Colorado (as examples) to do daily armed patrols on the streets of Baghdad from now till Allah calls us all home.

Except people who want us out NOW twisting the views of people who don’t think it’s time yet.

Am I missing something though, do we run daily patrols in the streets of Amman Jordan?
Do we have forces in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt?
Exactly how many of our guys were billeted in the Shiite mosques in Baghdad?, Mosul?, Najaf?, Karbala?

These clowns don’t have any plan other than continued instability, because that’s how they make their living.
I don’t see Bin Laden or Zarqawi martyring themselves, do you? And you
won’t either, because their vague long range plan is to become Caliphs
over a new kingdom that spans from the Hindu Kush to the Straits of Gibralter.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
McQ

Well, wandering is what I do...

Nice to be recognized though - means I can dispense with the "if found please contact" note pinned to my shirt.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Thank you, McQ, for a wonderful post.

I was appalled beyond words by Murtha’s actions and had pretty much the same reaction - that it was a betrayal of every one who had given their life - or an arm, a leg, or an eye - trying to prosecute our nation’s foreign policy goals.

And then we up and say..."Golly - I think we’ve done just about all we can do over there... time’s up!" and turn tail and run, breaking every promise we’ve made to our allies, those who depend on us, and those who’ve served us loyally. What in the blithering hell do you tell the wife of the guy who died over there now?

What do you tell that new recruit? Why should he lay his life on the line for his country, when at any moment the ADD nation may tire of the game and decide they’d rather be watching Survivor Vanuatu?

We have a volunteer military because, God help them, some people still believe in this country and in the ideals on those pieces of parchment in DC. One of them (he died in Iraq earlier this year) had only three things on his bedroom wall: the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and his boot camp graduation certificate. He was a recent immigrant - the man joined the Marine Corps the day after he got his green card. That’s how strongly he believed in America.

If only our leaders still believed.
 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://www.villainouscompany.com/vcblog/
Correction: I wrote about him earlier this year. I should not rely on my memory. He died in the assault on Fallujah, November 15th, 2004.

That was inexcusable. Preview, then post.
 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://www.villainouscompany.com/vcblog/
The foreign element of the insurgency is mostly aimed at toppling the government of Iraq not killing Americans (oh they’ll do it if the opportunity presents itself, but the 100 killed yesterday in the mosques weren’t Americans).

Yes, but the foreign element is generally regarded as constituting approximately 5% of the total insurgency. Furthermore, they rely on the Iraqis for support and protection. Without a parallel anti-U.S. and nationalistic movement among Iraqis, the jihadists would not be particularly welcome among the relatively secular Iraqi people.

[the Iraqis will NEVER be as qualified as U.S. troops.] Who’s saying they need to be?

Let’s see. If a superior military force cannot defeat an insurgency then absent additional non-military factors a lesser military force cannot defeat the same insurgency.

They haven’t had a bit of problem recruiting and, in fact, have had to turn potential recruits away.

That’s a startling statement. Care to provide any support for that, particularly the part about turning recruits away? The evidence that I’ve seen is that many Iraqis are reluctant to fight alongside a foreign occupier. Sure, some aren’t. But there really isn’t any question that Iraqis will feel better when it doesn’t appear that they are fighting for an occupation.

Which is all moot if the Iraqis aren’t ready to take charge of their own security.

Granted. Which is why I ask for metrics and timelines, not platitudes and purple fingers.

To quote Murtha: "General Casey said in a September 2005 hearing, ’the perception of occupation in Iraq is a major driving force behind the insurgency.’ General Abizaid said on the same date, "Reducing the size and visibility of the coalition forces in Iraq is part of our counterinsurgency strategy." "

I’m not going to debate the Vietnam war with you, but nobody ever claimed that leaving Vietnam was a strategic decision intended to improve the opportunity for success there; we left because we gave up. Here the opposite is true. Withdrawal is presented as a strategic decision made in order to WIN. Your choice to equate withdrawal with losing is your own—and it is wrong.
 
Written By: space
URL: http://
Yes, but the foreign element is generally regarded as constituting approximately 5% of the total insurgency.

Well gee, you don’t suppose that’s because we’re actively fighting to prevent their entry into the country do you?

Furthermore, they rely on the Iraqis for support and protection.

Well, of course they do ... Iraqis who have the same goal as they do ... which would up that percentage a bit wouldn’t it?

Without a parallel anti-U.S. and nationalistic movement among Iraqis, the jihadists would not be particularly welcome among the relatively secular Iraqi people.

That’s pure conjecture based in some pretty shaky assumptions. It is the clerics who’ve helped hold it together over there. It certainly doesn’t take much to assume that not all the clerics fall on the side of a democratic Iraq.

Let’s see. If a superior military force cannot defeat an insurgency then absent additional non-military factors a lesser military force cannot defeat the same insurgency.

You can’t have it both ways. Either the insurgency will melt away with us leaving or it won’t. If it does, then your point is moot. If it doesn’t it’s best that they be trained to the highest possible readiness so they can take on the job, huh?

But as has been said many times, the insurgency will not be defeated militarily, it will be defeated politically ... when Iraq can stand up and provide it’s own security as Gen Vines pointed out:
The solution to the insurgency in Iraq is not a purely political solution. It has to be a government that’s acceptable to the broad populace as a group. That has to be acceptable—Sunni, Shi’a, Kurd and other elements. And if that government, if the transitional government has the wisdom to oversee the constitutional drafting and drafts a constitution that is acceptable to the larger segments of the population and is ratified—I mean, my assessment is the insurgency could dwindle down very quickly. And that remains to be seen what form the constitution will take.

It could be sustained militarily for a period of time. Our responsibility is to provide space and time for this process to work, so that this new government and the constitutional process, the election process, is allowed to proceed without being murdered in its infancy by insurgents who don’t want to see it succeed.

The Iraqi security forces are making good progress, but the solution ultimately will be a political one, of course.
Fairly clear and straight forward in my estimation.

That’s a startling statement. Care to provide any support for that, particularly the part about turning recruits away?

Why of course not:
A SOUTHERN IRAQ MILITARY FACILITY, Feb. 15, 2005 – Between 8,000 and 10,000 men arrived by foot, bus and other means by sun-up Feb. 14 at an airfield outside an Iraqi army base to join the Iraq’s army, officials said.

Of that, about 5,000 made it through a screening process that led them onto the base, which is home to several thousand Iraqi soldiers and a contingent of U.S. servicemembers. Most will be transferred to other bases in Iraq to supplement existing units, officials said.

The process was a result of the largest recruitment effort for the Iraqi army to date, said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Woodley of Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq.

During screening, potential recruits were given a literacy test and a physical- condition check, and were questioned about prior military service. Once inside the base, they went through a medical screening and received uniforms, boots and other military-related clothing.

Leaders told those who were turned back or did not make it through the screening to return for another recruitment drive.
Questions?

Granted. Which is why I ask for metrics and timelines, not platitudes and purple fingers.

And those were given and have been given for quite some time. The fact that you don’t like them or haven’t bothered to find them doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

"General Casey said in a September 2005 hearing, ’the perception of occupation in Iraq is a major driving force behind the insurgency.’ General Abizaid said on the same date, "Reducing the size and visibility of the coalition forces in Iraq is part of our counterinsurgency strategy."

That’s fine, when the Iraqis are ready to take the job, and not before.

General Casey also said:
American military commanders acknowledge that the 90 battalions of Iraqi military and police forces vary greatly in quality. "Some of those battalions are good enough so that they can operate independently," General Casey told reporters on March 8. "But there’s not many of them."

Over the next year the United States will work with the Iraqis "so that you can have truly independent Iraqi operations," he added. "But it’s going to take some months for that to happen."

Iraqi military and Defense Ministry officials are slowly building military headquarters and staffs, and American officials cite several examples of steady improvement.
Again, you can’t have it both ways if the mission is to buy Iraq the time necessary to succeed. You have to assume the risk (continued insurgency and its cost) and accept the cost of buying that time to enable that success.

As for Abizaid, he also said this:
The key to success is helping the people of the region develop the will and capabilities to challenge al Qaeda. The "long war against terror" will be won by "self-reliant partners in the region who are willing to face the enemy within their own countries," he said.

U.S. and coalition forces must remain in the region long enough to "stabilize Afghanistan, stabilize Iraq, continue to deter Syria and Iran, and protect the flow of oil vital to all the peoples of the world and the economies of the region," he said.
Again, seems pretty clear from here.

Your choice to equate withdrawal with losing is your own—and it is wrong.

Actually it’s history which makes that determination and based on history I’d say it is you who are wrong.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
WWII on a Congressionally mandated timetable - "...if we haven’t knocked the NAZI’s out by March of 1945, well, we’re coming home and Europe can fend for themselves...Japanese surrender by September or else we call it off...".

What an absolutely FOOLISH notion.
As if this sort of thing can be done on exact dates like the construction of a building.

It would be nice if it were strictly about military force. It isn’t.
It’s about government. The military force is necessary to help buy time
for the government to become the government.

Funny though, I don’t hear the infant Iraqi government demanding our withdrawal on a short timetable. Why is that? Shouldn’t THEY know? Or is the liberal element in a better position to know what they’re thinking then thay are themselves? (Why not the usual cast of American intellectuals think they know what’s best for us here, why would it be a reach for them to think they know what’s best for the Iraqi’s over there...)

Oh, right, I forgot, the new Iraqi government is, no doubt, mostly dupes and pawns of the secret forces of those who desire eternal American occupation of Iraq (Bush=Hitler, Rove=Satan) for economic gain.

As for us, God knows we’re all hoping to see a few more people killed by IED’s just so we can prevent another Vietnam. None of us, including the guys on the front line, would be interested in doing something because it’s right... NO!, this just has to be to prove that we have bigger balls than the rest of the world. Otherwise the evil Bush administration and those of us resisting instant withdrawal would actually have a morally defensible position and people like Cindy Sheehan would be nothing more than opportunists making a living off the death of their child.





 
Written By: looker
URL: http://

 
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