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Murtha: Don’t join the military
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Question of the day: What was he thinking?
Rep. John Murtha, a key Democratic voice who favors pulling U.S. troops from Iraq, said in remarks airing on Monday that he would not join the U.S. military today.

A decorated Vietnam combat veteran who retired as a colonel after 37 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Murtha told ABC News' "Nightline" program that Iraq "absolutely" was a wrong war for President George W. Bush to have launched.

"Would you join (the military) today?," he was asked in an interview taped on Friday.

"No," replied Murtha of Pennsylvania, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees defense spending and one of his party's leading spokesmen on military issues.

"And I think you're saying the average guy out there who's considering recruitment is justified in saying 'I don't want to serve'," the interviewer continued.

"Exactly right," said Murtha, who drew White House ire in November after becoming the first ranking Democrat to push for a pullout of U.S. forces from Iraq as soon as it could be done safely.
Wonderful.
"Let me tell you, war is a nasty business. It sears the soul," he said, choking up. "And it made a difference. The shadow of those killings stay with you the rest of your life."
Yes that's right. It seared the souls of those who fought at Concord, Gettysburg, Verdun, Okinawa, Pork Chop Hill, Dak To, Somolia, Kuwait, Kandahar and Baghdad as well. Unfortunatly that's the price of combat and why we should always honor our veterans. They've always stood up and done the dirty (and necessary) work of democracy. But the vast majority did what had to be done instead of whining like old women and warning others away from future service in the military.

Murtha has become an embarrassment.
 
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Sounds like John Murtha is channeling Smedley Butler, another Marine, iirc, who once wrote that "war is a racket."
 
Written By: Lurking Observer
URL: http://
I suspect that Murtha’s comments will not sit well with his fellow Marines....especially those who are this very moment placing themselves in harm’s way so that we and he can enjoy the freedoms that we take for granted!
 
Written By: RAZ
URL: http://
Except this war has nothing to do with democracy, nor of protecting the home country, nor of anything except a pursuit to control oil,

and,

a furtherance of killing.

Fourteen members of one family have been killed in a US air strike that destroyed a house in northern Iraq, an Iraqi official has said.

An Iraqi official from the body that liaises between Iraqi and US forces said the attack occurred in Baiji, 200km (125 miles) north of Baghdad.

Ghadban Nahd Hassan, 56, told AFP news agency that 14 members of his family had been in the house when it was it bombed.

"I was with some friends in a small shop 100m away from the house when I heard the bombing at around 2130 (1830 GMT)," he said.

"I rushed over to see. My house was destroyed and there was smoke everywhere."

So far, the bodies of a nine-year-old boy, an 11-year-old girl, three women and three men have been found in the rubble.

January 3, 2006
 
Written By: no-name
URL: http://
No-Name conviently leaves out the part where three people who were setting an IED were followed to the house before it was bombed.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
No-Name conviently leaves out the part where three people who were setting an IED were followed to the house before it was bombed.

And expected to get away with it I suppose.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
If one beleives that a nation is engaged in an unjust and unneccesary war, I would think that not joining the military and participating in said war would be a perfectly logical choice stemming from said earlier beleif.
They’ve always stood up and done the dirty (and necessary) work of democracy.
What if one beleives that the current dirty work being done is not neccesary, for either Democracy or for the nation as a whole? Would a reluctance to join the military during such a time not be a perfectly natural and logical consequence given that specific beleif?

I dont see the issue here. There is nothing wrong with these specific comments directly. Where the issue lies is that there is a fundamental disagreement between those who beleive this war is neccesary and appropriate and those who do not.

If you beleive that this war was neccesary and proper, of course Murthas comments appear offensive. If you dont, they seem perfectly logical. Your issue dosent seem to be over these comments directly, but the underlying implications.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
I have to concur with Rosensteel on this.

Awhile back, there was quite a debate raging over whether the content of a particular Website was ’treason’ or not. I see some of the same sentiment here. This is a Constitutional Republic, and G-d willing shall always remain one ... meaning, Murtha can say what he believes. That is what he fought for.

-Abject.
 
Written By: Abject_Disappointment
URL: http://www.justinbuist.org/blog
Murtha can say what he believes.

And, oddly enough, so can we. Is that so fucking hard to figure out?

 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
I’m willing to serve my country, but not the radical neo-conservatives that use the US Military as pawns in their own games of greed, hatred, and arrogance.
 
Written By: mizerock
URL: http://
Is that so fucking hard to figure out?
If one is Pro-War in this instance, and one assumes that the war is about maintaining Liberty and Freedom in the face of terrorism, it is quite difficult to figure out why anyone that speaks out with their opinion is attacked so vigorously (Murtha has not been attacked thusly herein, but it has been a general theme as I look over my usual assortment of blogs, hence the reference). For the sake of this site’s discussion, the attacks are vieled, but are still exist in a slightly more civil tone.

I’m honestly waiting for someone to say "The function of a citizen and a soldier are inseparable" as far as loyalty to the ’cause’ goes.

-Abject.

 
Written By: Abject_Disappointment
URL: http://www.justinbuist.org/blog
I’m willing to serve my country, but not the radical neo-conservatives that use the US Military as pawns in their own games of greed, hatred, and arrogance.
Yes much better to run an ineffective "Meal-on-Wheels" program that sounds good than actually try to make the world a better place....
If one is Pro-War in this instance, and one assumes that the war is about maintaining Liberty and Freedom in the face of terrorism, it is quite difficult to figure out why anyone that speaks out with their opinion is attacked so vigorously...
From my viewpoint I attack them because MOST of them are pulling for the other side, Abject. Now you can pull for the other side, the US Constitution grants you that right, but that don’t mean I gotta like it or them, for that matter. The First Amendment gives you the right to speak, it doesn’t say anyone has to LIKE what you have to say or that you have a RIGHT to a civil discourse or respect for your opinion.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
If one beleives that a nation is engaged in an unjust and unneccesary war, I would think that not joining the military and participating in said war would be a perfectly logical choice stemming from said earlier beleif.
Agreed.

But even if you believe that the war was not unjust or unnecessary, you might still be inclined to not join the military for the simple reason that the civilian leadership is so incompetent that "winnning" is simply not possible.
I suspect that Murtha’s comments will not sit well with his fellow Marines....especially those who are this very moment placing themselves in harm’s way so that we and he can enjoy the freedoms that we take for granted!
While the Marines are doing what they can,to suggest - especially with the benefit of hindsight, but even without it - that our freedoms were in jeopardy as long as Saddam ruled Iraq is simply insulting and demeaning. Neither you nor I were in any danger from Saddam in February of 2003, or from the Sunni insurgency in January 2006. Nor are our freedoms as fragile as you suggest.

What you say is insulting because it demeans the efforts of those who defended us from actual threats. To put Saddam or the Sunni insurgency on the same level with actual threats to our freedom - for instance, Hitler and the Japanese empire in 1941 - is to insult those persons who so valiantly fought to repel those actual threats.

The Marines are doing their job. And I give them credit. But to suggest that they are doing so to repel some actual threat to our freedoms is to punch your ticket as a card carrying member of the Bush cult.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Awhile back, there was quite a debate raging over whether the content of a particular Website was ’treason’ or not. I see some of the same sentiment here.

How do you conflate "embarrassment" with "treason"?

I think what he said is embarrassing. He sounds like a blubbering old fool. And while I don’t at all agree with him on this, I don’t question his right to say it.

I’m honestly waiting for someone to say "The function of a citizen and a soldier are inseparable" as far as loyalty to the ’cause’ goes.

I guess I’m just old school, and believe when the nation commits to war partisanship should end at the shoreline. Murtha, et.al, had their chance to do this prior to the war by voting against the resolution to go to war. The fact that Murtha (or for that matter, anyone) didn’t forsee the problems attendent in Iraq today isn’t at all surprising or particularly relevant.

He voted to commit the US to war. He ought to now have the backbone to see it through instead of this undignified whining in which he’s now engaged. Say what you will about Cynthia McKinney, but when given the chance to vote to pull out now, she was one of three Democrats in the House to do so. The rest voted, instead, to protect their political viability and then engage in the sort of nonsense which Murtha’s statements represent.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
The only embarassment is the arrogant A**HOLE Bush who NEVER SERVED!!! sent us into harms way based on lies and deceit and the thousands of dead and seriously wounded and the billions of dollars that the US could hardly afford for WHAT REASON??? Freedom for who??? Saddam was not a threat to the US. Bush and his neo-cons are the threat. I could go on and on but I don’t have the time. Hopefully we will survive for the next few years. Yes, I saw war in Viet Nam.
 
Written By: disgusted
URL: http://
McQ:

On that much I will actually agree. The Democrats desperately need to form a coherant stance regarding the Iraq issue. As of late, they have been talking out of both sides of their mouth.

You can be against the war, against our continued prescence there, and in that context it makes perfect sense to discourage joining the military. You can be for the war, be for our continued prescence there, and be in favor of joining the military in order to advance that cause. You can even be of the opinion that the initial invasion was unjustified, but that the mission must be completed, but so long as you are in favor of maintaining troops there it makes no sense to discourage against enlistment that is neccesary to complete said mission.

On this, I can at least understand the argument against Murthas comments. He, along with many Democrats, are unwilling to officially call for a complete withdrawl. As long as they are going to continue to support (even if only half-heartedly) our continued prescene there, it dosent really make much sense to discourage recruiting.

Democrats need to figure out which way they want to have it. There is nothing wrong with thinking the initial invasion was unjustified but continuing to support the continued effort for various reasons, I consider that to be my own position, but this continued wavering between that and ’bring them all home now’ needs to stop.

 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
I can’t blame Murtha....after all, who would want to join a broken military that was living hand to mouth or whatever the phrase was that he used to denegrate it?

Thank god for people like Murtha....if he didn’t exist, Karl Rove would have to invent him.

Perhaps the House GOP can schedule another snap vote on a resolution based on this...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
What is the matter with idiots like NoName? Were these bombers who were blown up eligible to vote? Were they free to organize their neighbors, hold meetings and back candidates in their government? They chose to become criminals and to make and place bombs, presumably in order to acquire more political clout (and control over oil) than they would otherwise be entitled to by the power of their votes and persuasion of other voters. The majority acted against this criminal conduct, as they should, and innocent children died. Yes, it is tragic.
For people like NoName to cast this necessary government action against those who break the law to unfairly further their own desire for political power (and control over oil) as being a bad thing indicates …. what? Do they want more blameless troops to die in efforts to separate the children or taking other steps before killing the parents? Apparently.
What idiots like NoName fail to understand is that their desire for political power (and control over oil) is so nakedly obvious when they make stupid comments like the above.
Certainly their comments are not backed by logic, coherency or patriotism. NoName is an obvious NYT reader who has been trained by reading the Times that it is OK to omit facts in order to “tell the story”.
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
I suppose it is fortunate that the three suspects were not seen entering a hotel or other public building. The article says that precison guided munitions were used; evidently not precise enough. and jwg leaves out the part that says:

"The statement did not say whether a roadside bomb was found."

Airstrikes are not an appropriate response to incidents like this. I could conclude that this response was used rather than a platoon of troops because there were not enough troops on hand, but we have it on good authority that we have sufficient numbers.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I guess I’m just old school, and believe when the nation commits to war partisanship should end at the shoreline.
It’s not partisanship - it is simple competence. What is the duty of a soldier, or a citizen for that matter, if his commander is so incompetent that the mission cannot be completed? Is he to simply sit back and say nothing? Is he to not warn others of the incompetence? Suggest they not join the service?

The position of most wingers is that no matter how incompetent the Bush administration is, it is the duty of every American to not say a word about the incompetence as long as troops are in harm’s way. I disagree. It is the mark of a totalitarian society. Thank god, but no one told Hitler it was a mistake to invade Russia in 1941, or that the was really screwing up by diverting resources away from the Battle of Britain.



 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
It’s not partisanship - it is simple competence.

It’s competence to declare an army, which is doing just fine, "broken"?

It’s competence to use hyperbole when declaring the war in Iraq "unwinable" and call for immediate withdrawl and abandonment of our responsiblity there?

It’s competence to vote for war and then bellyache about the consequences while trying every excuse in the book to excuse your vote?

If that’s competence, God save the Republic.

Thank god, but no one told Hitler it was a mistake to invade Russia in 1941, or that the was really screwing up by diverting resources away from the Battle of Britain.

Yeah, that’s a relevant comparision. BTW, I call Godwin’s law.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Airstrikes are not an appropriate response to incidents like this.
Thanks for your expert military opinion. Maybe the commanders making the decisions have a little more information and experience in this particular situation. Did you consider that time might be a factor? The subjects were followed by an aircraft. How long would it take for a squad to arrive on scene? The combatants put their family/friends in danger by using the house. Civilians don’t deserve to die, but their risk of death is surely increased while they are sheltering active combatants.
jwg leaves out the part that says...
Two points: 1) I did provide a link so that everyone could read it for themselves. 2) So what? Are you claiming that unless the military provides the actual munition, then you’re not sure if they are telling the truth? Considering the US has previously admitted to killing civilians accidentally, I don’t see why we should doubt their explanation in this case.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I must step up and admit that I did indeed bring forth a valid point for "Godwin’s Law" earlier by using a quote attributed to Mussolini.

My apologies, I was not familar with this particular ’law.’ With that said, I do find it quite to my liking, and shall try to abide by it henceforth.

-Abject.
 
Written By: Abject_Disappointment
URL: http://www.justinbuist.org/blog
with actual threats to our freedom - Hitler and the Japanese empire in 1941

Ohh, I’m keen to hear this one.

So, MK, exactly how were the Third Reich and the Japanese empire a realistic threat to our freedom in 1941?

 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
"Neither you nor I were in any danger from Saddam in February of 2003..."

What is the general leftist philosophy regarding the amount of slack a proven tyrant and terrorist should be given before military action is pursued?



 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
So, MK, exactly how were the Third Reich and the Japanese empire a realistic threat to our freedom in 1941?
Because, Mark they were Fascists and Fascism is ALWAYS a threat to our freedom. However, unless you’re a Fascist you generally are only a Third World Nationalist/Agrarian Reformer forced by Western Colonialism/Finance Capitalism/Global US Hegemony/Haliburton into acting to preserve your sovereignty/Authentic Cultural Heritage. See it’s simple. As a heurestic, just remember if Ramsey Clarke likes you, you’re NO threat. IF a Republican likes you, you’re Satan Incarnate.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
So, MK, exactly how were the Third Reich and the Japanese empire a realistic threat to our freedom in 1941?
You’re serious, aren’t you?

If I have to explain the difference between the threat posed by the Axis in 1941, and that posed by Iraq in 2003, well then I assume you are congitively impaired and anything I say will be lost on you.
It’s competence to declare an army, which is doing just fine, "broken"?
Not if it is not broken. On the other hand, since Murtha has better contacts in the military than you or I, your opinion about whether it is broken is irrelevant.
It’s competence to use hyperbole when declaring the war in Iraq "unwinable" and call for immediate withdrawl and abandonment of our responsiblity there?
No - because it is "unwinnable." Again, all you are offering up here in response is your opinion. You still haven’t answered the question: if Murtha is right, is he being responsible.

It’s an exercise in abstract reasoning - I am trying to get you to assume a point for purposes of argument only in order to tease out of you the principle on which you are relying. I am not asking you to agree with the point for any other purpose. But for some reason, you seem unwilling or unable to do so.
It’s competence to vote for war and then bellyache about the consequences while trying every excuse in the book to excuse your vote?
It might be - new facts cause some people to change their mind. It’s actually a sign of good mental health.

Again, you offer up opinion that Murtha is wrong. Ok, I got that. But humor me. If Murtha is right about the facts, is it responsible for him to say anything about it?

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Sorry about all the block quoting.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Not if it is not broken. On the other hand, since Murtha has better contacts in the military than you or I, your opinion about whether it is broken is irrelevant.


And yet Michael Yon and others that Blog from Iraq don’t see a broken Army... could it be that Murtha’s competence is a function of his agreement with your opinion’s MK?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
And yet Michael Yon and others that Blog from Iraq don’t see a broken Army... could it be that Murtha’s competence is a function of his agreement with your opinion’s MK?

Nor do reenlistment rates (and having been in the post-Vietnam army which was broken, I can attest to the fact that it saw nothing even close to those sorts of reup stats).

But oh, that gives me a position from which to make a judgement which conflicts with Murtha (and is also roundly ignored by him), so thus it must be "irrelevant".

As to your question, Joe ... yes, it does bear on MK’s assessment of Murtha’s competence. My guess is he’d find GEN Pace completely incompetent as he feel’s Murtha is full of crap. But what does Pace know, he’s only the Chairman of the JCS.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Well Paul, was Hitler a threat to the US in say 1934 or 1938 (after the Munich Agreement)?

What in your view is the trigger that deems a foreign power a threat?

 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Sorry about all the block quoting.

That’s ok, use ’em, that’s what they’re for.

Now to the rest of your junk:

No - because it is "unwinnable." Again, all you are offering up here in response is your opinion. You still haven’t answered the question: if Murtha is right, is he being responsible.

And you and Murtha are offering "fact". As they say in Missouri, "show me".

It’s an exercise in abstract reasoning - I am trying to get you to assume a point for purposes of argument only in order to tease out of you the principle on which you are relying. I am not asking you to agree with the point for any other purpose. But for some reason, you seem unwilling or unable to do so.

Is it? Well do us all a favor then and lay it out. We’ll see. You don’t need me to argue the point. Go for it.

It might be - new facts cause some people to change their mind.

Uh huh ... both the "Bush lied" and "we were wrong" memes have died horrible deaths, neither of which were anything but attempts to slip their responsibliity in the matter.

Facts aren’t their problem, the screaming and howling of their extreme base is their problem.

Again, you offer up opinion that Murtha is wrong. Ok, I got that. But humor me. If Murtha is right about the facts, is it responsible for him to say anything about it?

We’ve been through this before. I made the point, if you’ll recall, that it is indeed responsbile to point out when a nation is being led into an obvious catastrophe. Note the key word ... "obvious". There is absolutely nothing obvious about that in this instance, nor does Murtha have any "facts" on his side that credibly argue that point. We simply have his blubbering conjecture unsupported by anything most would consider to be valid evidence.

It’s his opinion just as this is mine. But when a situtation is at worst neutral (and at best showing progress) and you have troops in combat, I think it is IRRESPONSIBLE to carry on as Murtha is doing.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Well Paul, was Hitler a threat to the US in say 1934 or 1938 (after the Munich Agreement)?
Yes, he was. HOWEVER, he didn’t meet the level of threat proposed by Walzer in Just and Unjust Wars for a "preemptive war" I would argue. And to me, that is "The Bible" for questions of ethics/morality in the use of force (Walzer isn’t always right in his conclusions, but it is still a valuable resource.)

It could be argued, as some Buchanites do, that Hitler did NOT represent a threat to the US in 1941. He had no ability to influence the course of US political/social/economic life. Had he conquered the Eurasian landmass he would have been a threat. However, he represented an unprecedented "Humanitarian Disaster" that justified US intervention, though the scope and scale of that disaster was unknown on 11 Dec. 1941.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I haven’t read Walzer, Joe, but I believe history is crystal clear on the extent that tyrants will go to achieve their means. They get away with as much as humanity allows. Apparently there is some segment of the human race that either doesn’t learn these lessons or somehow believes that this time it’s different.

We (humanity) ought to have few reservations about eliminating tyrants early in their run. A single well-placed bullet in 1938 may very well have saved millions of lives.
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
I think this World War 2 comparison is horribly off-track, but it should be noted that it was Germany who first declared war on the United States, after the United States declared war on Japan for their agression at Pearl Harbor.

The populace of the United States was feircely isolationist at the time. Had the tripartite pact not required Nazi Germany to declare war on the United States after the United States declared war on Japan, we may not have ended up immediately entering the European war.

Besides, I think most would be willing to agree that direct and open warfare against several of our allies would consitute a legitimate threat. It also isnt entirely clear that in its current state Hussein posed much of a threat to anyone outside of his nations borders, and even within his borders large swaths of territory were free of his control (Kurdistan comes to mind.) So the comparisons really arent particularly relevant.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
"Yes that’s right. It seared the souls of those who fought at Concord, Gettysburg, Verdun, Okinawa, Pork Chop Hill, Dak To, Somolia, Kuwait, Kandahar and Baghdad as well. Unfortunatly that’s the price of combat and why we should always honor our veterans. They’ve always stood up and done the dirty (and necessary) work of democracy. But the vast majority did what had to be done instead of whining like old women and warning others away from future service in the military.

Murtha has become an embarrassment. "

You are quite an expert on sacrifice. Which branch of the service did you serve in, and where did you see combat?
 
Written By: Ben S.
URL: http://
Rosensteel:

While it was Germany that first declared war on the United States, it was hardly Germany that fired the first shot against the US.

If you examine the range of activities sanctioned by FDR before December 7, you will find that, in fact, FDR had engaged in an undeclared (and certainly illegal) war against Germany long before the German declaration on December 8.

FDR committed the use of the US Navy to escorting British merchant ships through the North Atlantic, relieved British divisions on Iceland with American troops, and even had US Navy and Coast Guard vessels render aid in the hunt for the Bismarck. He even ordered US Navy vessels to fire on German warships, then when they were in turn attacked, blamed the Germans while neglecting to mention the American firings. This resulted in the loss of the USS Reuben James and severe damage to the USS Kearny.

All of which, under international laws governing the behavior of neutral states, are illegal (far more blatantly than, say, ordering the monitoring of international communications).

As for the "Pact of Steel," it is hardly the case that Germany declared war on the US for that reason; otherwise, why did Japan not commit itself to war with the USSR? Indeed, the fact that the Japanese failed to inform their erstwhile allies of their plans to bomb Pearl Harbor would suggest that Germany was, in fact, under no obligation to declare war on the US (a course much of the Generalstab expected, in fact).

It will remain a major mystery of World War II exactly why Hitler did declare war on the US. (Some have posited that FDR’s meetings w/ Churchill, in peacetime, and their agreement to make Germany their first priority persuaded Hitler that war w/ the US was inevitable. Others have posited that Hitler believed that the US, a "mongrel nation," could never sustain a major war effort and its own politicians would backbite the war effort to death.) But upholding treaties would seem to be a minor part of it.

As for "major US allies," perhaps you could point to the relevant treaties that made the US an ally of Britain, France, the USSR, Poland, or Czechoslovakia as of 1938 or 1940?

Joe:

By your argument, you implicitly are suggesting that going to war w/ Hitler over the Sudetenland (1938) or the Anschluss w/ Austria, or the remilitarization of the Rhineland (1936) would all be immoral or unjustified b/c the threat didn’t rise to a sufficient level.

Would this apply to France and Great Britain (treaty allies w/ Czechoslovakia) as well? Would invading Poland justify war? Why Poland and not Czechoslovakia?

Admittedly, there’s a certain degree of hindsight at work, but one has to wonder at what point actions against Germany would be justified, even if it might be seen as "preemptive"?
 
Written By: Lurking Observer
URL: http://
"So what? Are you claiming that unless the military provides the actual munition, then you’re not sure if they are telling the truth?"

The article never says that an actual weapon was seen. The suspects were digging a hole consistent with the use of an IED. Having had some experience with the military I am aware that, like any bureaucracy, embarrasing mistakes and other misdeeds are sometimes covered up.

As for time being critical, a unit of army or police could have been alerted while the drone was following the suspects. Assuming, of course, that such forces were available. Even more time could have been saved by calling in an artillery barrage, since collateral damage doesn’t seem to be an issue. Why do you assume time was critical?
I think this is a cue for McQ. What do the laws of war and/or rules of engagement or sop say about this type of situation?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
You are quite an expert on sacrifice.

Am I?

Which branch of the service did you serve in, and where did you see combat?

Army. I was an infantry officer for 28 years.

Viet Nam.

And you?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
The article never says that an actual weapon was seen.
Yes, the article stated the drone only showed digging "following the common pattern of roadside bomb emplacement" at 9 PM. Maybe they were burying their dead gerbil in the dark and it just happened to be alongside a roadway in the middle of a town with known insurgent activity?
Even more time could have been saved by calling in an artillery barrage, since collateral damage doesn’t seem to be an issue.
Since you read the news report, you know that collateral damage was/is an issue, hence the use of "precision guided munitions."
Why do you assume time was critical?
Like you, I don’t know the conditions that led to the decision in this case. However, unlike you I am not second-guessing the decision based on my lack of knowledge. I a merely offering potential circumstances that counter your solution for handling this situation.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
When your army can smash its way through, over match and annihilate any oppostion you have a competent army and will win any war given a competent strategy. Murtha says do not join up for this war, because he judges the strategy to be incompetent. This is why he criticises the President (who decides the strategy) and does not criticise the army.

If you join the army you are going to Iraq in the knowledge that you will be targeted by fanatics motivated & funded by Iranian religion, Saudi religion and assisted by Syrian intel. In Iraq you will follow a strategy that will not have you close with and destroy Irans religion, Saudis religion or Syrian intel - even though you could easily do so. Mr Murtha says you can find a better career than volunteering to be a target.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
Maybe Murtha would be more credible about how bad an idea it was for Bush to declare war if he hadn’t actually voted for the actual war declaration.
 
Written By: Phelps
URL: http://donotremove.net
This is why he criticises the President (who decides the strategy) and does not criticise the army.

But he did criticize the army, even if it was in a backhanded way. And he was wrong. I believe the real reason he didn’t criticize it even more is he realizes that’s political suicide and he’s not that "courageous".

If you join the army you are going to Iraq in the knowledge that you will be targeted by fanatics motivated & funded by Iranian religion, Saudi religion and assisted by Syrian intel. In Iraq you will follow a strategy that will not have you close with and destroy Irans religion, Saudis religion or Syrian intel - even though you could easily do so. Mr Murtha says you can find a better career than volunteering to be a target.

Ah, so fostering three elections in a year, training x number of ready Iraqi battalions, turning over x square miles of Iraqi territory to the ISF, making thousands of infrastructure improvments and enabling and ensuring self-government is now "volunteering to be a target"?

Well gee, with that view, why isn’t Murtha speaking out about being a cop. Afterall, you will be targeted by criminals, funded by organized crime, and will follow a strategy which will not allow you to close with and arrest the criminal until he does something. Must be a better career than that too, eh?

Interesting, if not cynical, interpretation.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/

You are quite an expert on sacrifice. Which branch of the service did you serve in, and where did you see combat?
Boy, that chickenhawk shit just won’t die. These idiot newbies don’t even research who they try to use it on.
 
Written By: jinnmabe
URL: http://
Ah, so fostering three elections in a year, training x number of ready Iraqi battalions, turning over x square miles of Iraqi territory to the ISF, making thousands of infrastructure improvments and enabling and ensuring self-government is now "volunteering to be a target"?

Yes, the army is acting extremely competently in Iraq. But the problem is now people crossing the border saying "our God is your God, you don’t want to side with these infidel Americans against God, here have some money/guns/inspiration and fight for God". Can this problem be solved in Iraq?

Well gee, with that view, why isn’t Murtha speaking out about being a cop. Afterall, you will be targeted by criminals, funded by organized crime, and will follow a strategy which will not allow you to close with and arrest the criminal until he does something. Must be a better career than that too, eh?

Because once a crime is comitted a cop you can chase down the scum. Pursue them to the ends of the earth, lock them up in gaol for 100 years or kill them. There is no where they can hide.

Now you chase the terrorists all over Iraq, but as soon as the trail leads to Iran, Saudi or Syria you stop and wait for them to send someone else. And each time you wait you give the enemy a chance to refine their tactics and be better.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
Yes, the army is acting extremely competently in Iraq. But the problem is now people crossing the border saying "our God is your God, you don’t want to side with these infidel Americans against God, here have some money/guns/inspiration and fight for God". Can this problem be solved in Iraq?


As has been said any number of times here, that’s not the job of the US military. That is the job of the Iraqi nation when it is able to undertake it.

Because once a crime is comitted a cop you can chase down the scum. Pursue them to the ends of the earth, lock them up in gaol for 100 years or kill them. There is no where they can hide.

Well sorta. The vast majority of the time the criminal is back out on the street before the cop gets the paperwork finished. And there are places to hide, and criminals hide successfully for years.

Then you have organized crime. Etc.

So it’s not quite as cut-and-dried as you’d like to make it. And, in that line of work, you are indeed a target for a portion of the population ... you know, just like our soldiers are a target for a certain portion of the population.

It comes with the job. Soldiers realize and accept that. So do cops. Apparently you and Murtha haven’t figured that out yet.

Now you chase the terrorists all over Iraq, but as soon as the trail leads to Iran, Saudi or Syria you stop and wait for them to send someone else. And each time you wait you give the enemy a chance to refine their tactics and be better.

Sort of like pursuing a criminal to the Mexican border, huh? If he gets across you have to hope Mexico is a) interested and b) will actually do something.

Chances are, given the state of Mexico these days, neither will be true.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
"You are quite an expert on sacrifice. Which branch of the service did you serve in, and where did you see combat?"
Gee, Ben, your slam dunk comment that just kills in the liberal cocoon doesn’t seem to work so well outside it. Wonder why?

 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
It will remain a major mystery of World War II exactly why Hitler did declare war on the US.
Well, Germany had signed the Tripartite Pact to pressure the Soviet Union and the US by making it obvious that an attack on Germany of Japan would throw the US/USSR into a two-front war. So, part of it was that. He still could have gotten out of that since Japan attacked the US first, but then he also realized that the US was already de facto engaged in the war against Germany without doing so too openly.

One interesting argument has it that Hitler was psychologically driven to take on the world — to give himself insurmountable odds. That’s part of why he invaded the Soviet Union when he didn’t have to do so. It was part of his Super Man complex.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Sort of like pursuing a criminal to the Mexican border, huh? If he gets across you have to hope Mexico is a) interested and b) will actually do something.

Chances are, given the state of Mexico these days, neither will be true.


Yep as you can see it has worked so well, and in Iraq instead of trying to steal your TV and sell you dope, they’re trying to kill you.

As has been said any number of times here, that’s not the job of the US military. That is the job of the Iraqi nation when it is able to undertake it.

This is wrong. It makes the responsibility of protecting itself from foriegn powers (who are all richer, better armed) the task of a defenseless little poor country that is trying to form a new democracy.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
Yep as you can see it has worked so well, and in Iraq instead of trying to steal your TV and sell you dope, they’re trying to kill you.

That’s kind of the way war works, Angus. That’s why they call it ... war.

This is wrong.

Uh, no, it’s not.

It makes the responsibility of protecting itself from foriegn powers (who are all richer, better armed) the task of a defenseless little poor country that is trying to form a new democracy.

Good grief ... which is why, as has been stated here and elsewhere, to include the by administration, ad nauseum, that we’re there to buy them the time they need to get in the shape (both militarily and governmentally) necessary so they can take that task on themselves.

How many times and in how many ways does it have to be said before it sinks in?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
If collateral damage was such an issue, why did they wait until the suspects entered a building?
As for Murtha, there will come a time, if we live long enough, when we will all be an embarassment. Mercifully, most of us will be an embarassment in private.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
If collateral damage was such an issue, why did they wait until the suspects entered a building?
You’re right...concern about collateral damage is just a ruse. They’re actually just a bunch of bloodthirsty sadists who wait to strike until they can kill the most people possible. [/sarcasm]

As I’ve repeated, we don’t know the conditions of the situation as they were occuring that night, nor do we know what information they might have had regarding the occupants. Now it is being reported that 6 people were killed rather than 14, so we can’t even get a consistent news account about the event.

 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I love the armchair quarterbacks trying to criticize this one from the bits and pieces of an AP reporter who cut and pasted from the DoD website to put this together. Not to mention the chickenhawk dig... classy, mate.

What’s disturbing to me is the involuntary politicization of the military. Those who served know the constitutional restrictions of service and the separations, civilian control and all that. The military uphold that, but others want to politicize it- ACTIVELY INTERFERING WITH ONGOING OPERATIONS along with attempting to ACTIVELY UNDERMINE THE SUSTAINMENT OF LONG-TERM MILITARY POLICY, ie ’Murtha on Recruitment. Am I the only here to think it’s kinda fucking odd someone’s not holding up their side of the bargain?

Criticize the shit out of Bush/Republicans, I’ll counter with my observations and raise you one or two. But leave the damn military out of it if you’d like this constitutional arrangement we’ve had going for over 200 years last a little longer. If that’s not possible, maybe ask someone who knows more about military affairs than the NYT.
 
Written By: Sunguh
URL: http://pmclassic.blogspot.com
Sunguh

Better get used to it, it’s been going on for about 200 years.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
How many times and in how many ways does it have to be said before it sinks in?

All I am saying is that it could be a whole lot more effective if the military went cross border with it. If it is more effective America spends less time there and there is less chance of the conflict lasting into the next presidential administration which may decide to arbitarily declare victory and withdraw troops regardless.

How many more years before it works? How many more years before America quits?
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
All I am saying is that it could be a whole lot more effective if the military went cross border with it.

Effective in what particular way, Angus?

Buying time so Iraq can stand itself up or embroiling us in a second war with Syria?

Frankly I don’t see the utility nor is such an incursion worth the risk.

Our job is to prepare Iraq to face threats from Syria and others, not engage Syria ourselves.

How many more years before it works?

Many.

How many more years before America quits?

That actually depends on which side wins the ’08 election. If the Dems win, I think I can say pretty definatively that we’ll be completely out before the year closes.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Effective in what particular way, Angus?

If terrorists are allowed to operate through Syria, they will do so and continue to kill Americans in Iraq. This is bad, the Syrians need to be motivated to stop the terrorists.

Buying time so Iraq can stand itself up or embroiling us in a second war with Syria?

You over ran Saddam in 3 weeks. You lost few men in the process. Syria will not make a war out of this, because Syria know it will lose such a war. Syria does not make a war out of Israel holding a chunk of Syrian territory and you are 10x as powerful as Israel.

 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
If terrorists are allowed to operate through Syria, they will do so and continue to kill Americans in Iraq. This is bad, the Syrians need to be motivated to stop the terrorists.

There are ways other than invading Syria to do that.

You over ran Saddam in 3 weeks.

Yes, and as you point out, Syria knows that. So my guess is something very much short of an incursion might encourage Syria to clean up it’s mess.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
So my guess is something very much short of an incursion might encourage Syria to clean up it’s mess.

All means other than invaion certainly, but those other means only work if Syria believes you could invade. So America should make a show of planning an invasion, maybe shift some UAVs to cruise over Syrian soil, stick a carrier or two off the coast. If it happens that you don’t need to then well and good, but whilst terrorists are still infiltrating through Syria...
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/

 
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