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How Wars End
Posted by: Dale Franks on Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I don't know what I can add to what Jon and McQ have already written about the Maliki plan for Iraq, and the amnesty that is part of it. I mean, I'm gonna do it anyway, but I'm just saying.

Look, at the end of WWII, we didn't penalize German Soldiers who fought against us. When they surrendered, we popped them into POW camps for a few months—or several months, depending on their situation—then we repatriated them as soon as was practicable to do so. At the end of the Civil War in this country, we more or less excused not only the Southern soldiery, but the lion's share of the Confederate leadership, too.

At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself what's more important, prosecuting people who waged war against you, or creating some basis for peace and reconciliation? Speaking as a former career soldier, and working daily with the US Marine Corps, I think I can say, categorically, that both past and present US soldiers don't really care, at the end of the day, that their former enemies are laying down their arms and going home to their families instead of facing some condign punishment. I know that the Marines I work with every day, most of whom have spent more than one tour in Iraq, are far more concerned with stability and peace in Iraq, than they are with seeing the insurgents that shot their buddies swing from a gibbet for his heinous crime.

At the end of the day, any war, whether it's an insurgency or a recognized military conflict, has to end with everyone just...going home. Once it's over, there's nothing to be gained by hounding the adversary's soldiers, except in cases of egregious violation of the laws of war. Once you create a post-war status-quo that everyone can live with, the conflict is over.

Indeed, the prime mistake that the WWI allies made at Versailles was to try and enforce a peace that didn't comport with the realities of European politics. Had they done so, the carnage of WWII would probably have been entirely avoided. Frankly, I'm not keen to make the mistake of Versailles in the context of Iraq.

As far as I'm concerned, if we end up with a relatively free and independent Iraq, then...mission accomplished.
 
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From a speech Bush gave in October of 2004:
The desperate executions of unarmed Iraqi security forces show the evil nature of the terrorists we fight. It proves these terrorists are enemies of the Iraqi people, and the American people, and everyone who loves freedom. The terrorist insurgents hate our progress, and they fight our progress. But they will not stop our progress. (Applause.) We will stay on the offense against these terrorists and we will prevail. (Applause.) We will help the Iraqis get on the path to stability and democracy as quickly as possible, and then our troops will return home with the honor they have earned. (Applause.)
Unlike WWII, the War on Terror will not end regardless of the outcome in Iraq. Our Commander in Chief has told us that the Iraqi insurgents are terrorists. One in the same. Offering amnesty to them is surrendering in the middle of a battle in the War on Terror. You do not surrender to the enemy in the middle of the war. You do not offer him amnesty while you are still fighting the war. You may offer him amnesty only after the war is over.




 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Unlike WWII, the War on Terror will not end regardless of the outcome in Iraq.
That assumes that the Iraqi insurgents will migrate to other battlefields than Iraq. If that’s not true, then your "point" is specious and pejorative.

Like, well, almost all of your "points".

Besides, what do you care? If Iraq is stable enough to withdraw our troops then haven’t your goals in Iraq been accomplished? If so, then what are you whining about?

I mean, you’re the guy who’s been advocating a unilarteral withdrawal from Iraq in any case, irrespective of what is, and isn’t done to the insurgents. So let’s not pretend that you give a f*ck about either justice for the insurgents, or the efforts of our troops.

You don’t get to have it both ways.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
That assumes that the Iraqi insurgents will migrate to other battlefields than Iraq. If that’s not true, then your "point" is specious and pejorative.
From the Boston Globe, July 17, 2005:

’’The terrorists know that the outcome [in Iraq] will leave them emboldened or defeated," Bush said in his nationally televised address on the war at Fort Bragg in North Carolina last month. ’’So they are waging a campaign of murder and destruction." The US military is fighting the terrorists in Iraq, he repeated this month, ’’so we do not have to face them here at home."

Bush has told us that insurgents are terrorists, or "terrorist insurgents" as he called them. He said we are fighting them there so we do not have to fight them here. If we offer them amnesty, we will not be fighting them there. Ergo, according to Bush, we will be fighting them here.



 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
I mean, you’re the guy who’s been advocating a unilarteral withdrawal from Iraq in any case, irrespective of what is, and isn’t done to the insurgents. So let’s not pretend that you give a f*ck about either justice for the insurgents, or the efforts of our troops.
Now now.

If giving a f*ck about our troops means sending them to die in Iraq simply so that we can hand the keys to the country over to the Iranians, well, I guess you’re right.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
MK,

Did you see my comment that included the US amnesty given to Philippine insurgents ?
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Dale Franks asks of mkultra:
"If so, then what are you whining about?"

The same thing that causes mkultra to be derogatory towards people who actually do something that she agrees with.
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://
Did you see my comment that included the US amnesty given to Philippine insurgents ?
Phillipines’ insurgents were not terrorists in a larger ongoing War on Terror. Moreover, neither McKinley nor Roosevelt ever said we would have to fight them here if we did not fight them over there.

You are missing the point. Bush’s position and that of the war’s supporters is that Iraq is the front line on the War on Terror. Bush and the war’s supporters label the insurgents as enemy fighters in the War on Terror, i.e., terrorists. Bush and the war’s supporters claim we will have to fight the terrorists here if we don’t fight them there.

Again, name one war in which which the US has, in the middle of the war, given amnesty to enemy fighters. Just one.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
You are missing the point. Bush’s position and that of the war’s supporters is that Iraq is the front line on the War on Terror. Bush and the war’s supporters label the insurgents as enemy fighters in the War on Terror, i.e., terrorists. Bush and the war’s supporters claim we will have to fight the terrorists here if we don’t fight them there.
Huh. I see. So, tell me, how do you propose we withdraw from Iraq by a date certain, and also ensure that the insurgents are properly punished?

Again, you can’t have it both ways. Your position cannot simultaneously be that we must withdraw from Iraq, and that the insurgents must be punished. Again, you have argued repeatedly that we should withdraw from Iraq. Since that is so, it’s obvious that you don’t particularly care whether the insurgents are punished or not, your touchingly obvious concern for justice notwithstanding.

Moreover, you seem to conveniently forget that the condition of amnesty is that the insurgents lay down their arms and go home. To stop fighting. If they stop fighting, then, obviously, there is no longer any need to fight them over there, or over here.
Bush and the war’s supporters label the insurgents as enemy fighters in the War on Terror, i.e., terrorists. Bush and the war’s supporters claim we will have to fight the terrorists here if we don’t fight them there.


And now, it may be that that portion of the conflict is ending. Unless you posit that we must remain in Iraq until the Global War on Terror is completely over—something, by the way, the Bush Administration has never even hinted might be necessary—then it’s really hard to see what your point is. As usual.

By that logic, we should’ve done everything possible to keep the Afrika Korps in Libya until Nazi Germany was defeated, in order to draw off strength from Hitler’s defense of mainland Europe. That’s just nonsense on stilts.

But, campaigns end. If the Iraq campaign is ending, then the operative assumptions to which you refer are no longer valid. Undoubtedly a new campaign will have to begin, in which the operating assumptions may be wildly different.

It’s a funny thing, war. Things keep changing. That you seem unable to grasp that childishly simple concept, says volumes about you, and very little about the Bush Administration’s GWOT strategy. Your argument appears to be that, if the Bush Administration asserted something was true at one point in time, it must remain true for as long as the sun burns hot in space.

That’s a remarkably silly argument.

Also, it neglects to take account of the fact that a more liberalized Iraq and Afghanistan, might, over time, serve as a salutary example of what can be done by Arab Muslim states to increase the happiness and well-being of their people. In that case, one of the frustrations that contribute to radicalism and terror might be removed.
Again, name one war in which which the US has, in the middle of the war, given amnesty to enemy fighters. Just one.
The Indian Wars of the latter 19th Century. Indian chieftains were given amnesty on a regular basis, if they laid down their arms, as part of the campaign to pacify the Plains tribes.

You know, I’m just guessing here, but military affairs isn’t really your "thing", is it?
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Sour grapes though, that IS the thing.
What’s charmingly most obvious is this is really "all about Bush" for MK.

"...as long as the sun burns hot in space." - now that was a good one, well done!
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
"You know, I’m just guessing here, but military affairs isn’t really your "thing", is it? "

Bullseye, Dale!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
When a persons point rests on the semantics of the President, I think that person is on shallow ice...
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
So, while mk has made a valid point "the GWOT will not end when the war in Iraq ends" he get’s there the wrong way.

The War in Iraq is a part of the Global War on Terror, not the global war on terror itself.

The GWOT will not end with Iraq because it did not start in Iraq. It did not start in Afghanistan.

And just so we set the record straight...

http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/iraq/iraq_strategy_nov2005.html
The enemy is a combination of rejectionists, Saddamists, and terrorists affiliated with or inspired by Al Qaida. Distinct but integrated strategies are required to defeat each element.

Each element shares a common short-term objective — to intimidate, terrorize, and tear down — but has separate and incompatible long-term goals.

Exploiting these differences within the enemy is a key element of our strategy.

Our comprehensive strategy will help Iraqis overcome remaining challenges, but defeating the multi-headed enemy in Iraq — and ensuring that it cannot threaten Iraq’s democratic gains once we leave — requires persistent effort across many fronts.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
Here’s another way of looking at it:

Dale’s smackdown of mkultra is just one front in the Greater War on Stupidity. Now that it’s foolish argument has been handled, the battle in the comments section of this particular post is over. Further arguments from mkultra are unlikely, but there may be a small, desultory flare-up at a later time - nothing unmanageable.

But make no mistake, mkultra will make an equally asinine and disingenuous argument in another post, which will have to be dealt with separately. Like Terror, Stupidity is not always state-sponsored, so you have to fight it wherever it rears it’s head.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
But make no mistake, mkultra will make an equally asinine and disingenuous argument in another post, which will have to be dealt with separately. Like Terror, Stupidity is not always state-sponsored, so you have to fight it wherever it rears it’s head.
Make no mistake - the Jeff’s of the world will not substantively respond to arguments. Just engage in a little name calling. Classic winger m.o.
Again, you can’t have it both ways. Your position cannot simultaneously be that we must withdraw from Iraq, and that the insurgents must be punished. Again, you have argued repeatedly that we should withdraw from Iraq. Since that is so, it’s obvious that you don’t particularly care whether the insurgents are punished or not, your touchingly obvious concern for justice notwithstanding.
God, you can be so dense sometimes.

My point was that you and Bush and the rest of the Friends of Iran are contradicting the very reason for which you claimed we fought this war: the insurgents are terrorists in the larger War on Terror. We heard from you and your pals that terrorists cannot be negotiated with. Yet you negotiate. We heard they weren’t soldiers in a recognized army. And yet now you are treating them like they are. Your reason?
It’s a funny thing, war. Things keep changing. That you seem unable to grasp that childishly simple concept, says volumes about you, and very little about the Bush Administration’s GWOT strategy. Your argument appears to be that, if the Bush Administration asserted something was true at one point in time, it must remain true for as long as the sun burns hot in space.
Things keep changing? What "things" Dale? Nothing has changed. Sunni insurgents are still killing Americans and actively fighting the Shia dominated/Iranian friendly Iraqi government. You of course make no showing that things have changed.

Nice try though.

You argue politics like you argue the law - very clumsily. Today the Supreme Court smacked down your defense of the NSA wiretapping program. You got that wrong. And you got this wrong too.

As for the Indian Wars, comparing them to the GWOT says more about your ignorance of history than anything else.

From Wiki:
Although the term Indian Wars groups Indians under a single heading, American Indians were (and remain) diverse peoples with their own histories; throughout the wars, they were not a single people any more than Europeans were
exactly. Indeed, you only make my point further, Dale.

You get a B- for effort.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
mkultra:
Make no mistake - the Jeff’s of the world will not substantively respond to arguments. Just engage in a little name calling. Classic winger m.o.
20 words later:
...you and Bush and the rest of the Friends of Iran...
 
Written By: Scout
URL: http://
Make no mistake - the Jeff’s of the world will not substantively respond to arguments. Just engage in a little name calling. Classic winger m.o.
20 words later:
...you and Bush and the rest of the Friends of Iran...
Nice of MK to label himself and his MO, huh?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Bush has told us that insurgents are terrorists, or "terrorist insurgents" as he called them. He said we are fighting them there so we do not have to fight them here. If we offer them amnesty, we will not be fighting them there. Ergo, according to Bush, we will be fighting them here.
mkultra, I understand your point. I believe you really do understand the situation but are engaging in a snarky game of semantics and logic, which I admit can be fun.

Supporters of the GWOT understand that the overall goal is transformation of the region, and one strategic goal of this is helping establish democratic rule in Iraq. The "fight" is more than putting bullets into terrorists. To win, supporters believe it is more important to foster democracy in the region — otherwise, we are going to have the bullet fight over and over.

Technically, it is the Iraqi government that is offering amnesty. But that doesn’t matter. If the Iraqis believe that offering amnesty at this point will put the final pieces of their fledgling democracy into place, we need to go along with it. This must be their call or their democracy means nothing, and a democratic Iraq is how we win and the enemy loses this particular battle of the larger war.

If you really don’t see the non-partisan view of those that support the war, I will be glad to provide you with viewpoints and rationales behind the support. You’ll probably disagree with the base viewpoints, but you would understand the non-partisan perspective.
 
Written By: Scout
URL: http://
Here’s another name for you, MK: "dead-ender".

You just can’t give it up, can you?
From Wiki:
Although the term Indian Wars groups Indians under a single heading, American Indians were (and remain) diverse peoples with their own histories; throughout the wars, they were not a single people any more than Europeans were
exactly. Indeed, you only make my point further, Dale.


I predicted another asinine comment, and you delivered on cue. Indeed, not only were former enemy tribes (excuse me, diverse peoples) given amnesty, some allied with Mighty Whitey agin’ the other savages.

Since you seem to require simplicity, take the Chiricahua Apache. Cochise fought with such ferocity that white settlers had to withdraw from the area. In 1861, when Union soldiers were recalled to fight in the Civil War, we basically had to abandon Arizona to the Apache (I know that’s what you and other Friends of Terrorists hope for in Iraq, but sorry - won’t happen).

After Cochise and his band were defeated, Cochise retired, yes, RETIRED to a reservation where he died of natural causes. And then Geronimo picked up where he left off until he was defeated. Did he receive amnesty? Well let’s see: HE RODE IN THEODORE ROOSEVELT’S F*CKING INAUGURATION PARADE.

And he died at the age of 90 after making his fortune selling pictures of himself.

Tell me, how bad does it suck being wrong all the time?
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
And another thing:
Make no mistake - the Jeff’s of the world will not substantively respond to arguments. Just engage in a little name calling. Classic winger m.o.


Are you that dense that you don’t realize "winger" is name-calling? Stupid is as stupid does, there, Forrest.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://

 
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