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Why the War on Terror is in jeopardy
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, May 30, 2006

While reading an article by Owen West in the NY Times, I was struck by the thoughts in these three paragraphs:
We are at the outset of a long war, and not just in Iraq. Yet it is being led politically by the short-sighted, from both sides of the aisle. The deterioration of American support for the mission in Iraq is indicative not so much of our military conduct there, where real gains are coming slowly but steadily, but of chaotic leadership.

Somehow Operation Iraqi Freedom, not a large war by America's historical standards, has blossomed into a crisis of expectations that threatens our ability to react to future threats with a fist instead of five fingers. Instead of rallying we are squabbling, even as the slow fuse burns.

One party is overly sanguine, unwilling to acknowledge its errors. The other is overly maudlin, unable to forgive the same. The Bush administration seeks to insulate the public from the reality of war, placing its burden on the few. The press has tried to fill that gap by exposing the raw brutality of the insurgency; but it has often done so without context, leaving a clear implication that we can never win.
I think West has managed to distill, in those three 'graphs, the very essence of the problem which may see us eventually lose the War on Terror (or maybe lose isn't the best term, but at least abandon).

His first point. The political war, ongoing in our nation, is being led by "the short-sighted, from both sides of the isle". I couldn't agree more. There's certainly a war going on, but it is all for political advantage.

It is a pernicious tendency in American politics to gear everything toward 2 year election cycles. No long view. No particular appreciation for the impact of actions today a few years down the road, if actions today will yield political victory in the next election.

We saw one of the worst results from such short-sightedness during the Vietnam war manifest itself afterward with the timidity it engendered in our foreign policy for decades. We saw it in the tentative use of our military and how, when we hit the first obstacle, we withdrew our military and our support. Had the USSR not been on it's last legs, that could have been devastating. And it was that loss of political confidence which ended up with those that wish us harm viewing us as a paper tiger.

That brings us to point two. West points out that because of the political squabbling now taking place, we risk losing what we have gained in Iraq, the proof to the world that we will do what we think is right and we will suffer the consequences, in terms of blood and treasure to do that. That's especially true if the opponenets of the war come to politcal power. As West says, Iraq "has blossomed into a crisis of expectations that threatens our ability to react to future threats with a fist instead of five fingers."

We already see that manifesting itself in talking about Iran. Don't get me wrong, I want to see us negotiate with Iran and do so successfully. But if you don't believe the political fight which has erupted here over Iraq hasn't effected the foreign policy calculations concerning Iran, you're simply not paying attention. And that is dangerous.

Most of us innately realize dictators are bullies, and we also understand bullies recognize weakness in opponents and ruthlessly exploit it. One of the reasons Israel has been able to survive in a hostile atmosphere is because it has never allowed that preception of weakness to grow among it's enemies.

Lastly West addresses the role of all the parties which have brought us to this point, and frankly, I think he hits the nail on the head when he says: One party is overly sanguine, unwilling to acknowledge its errors. The other is overly maudlin, unable to forgive the same. ...The press has tried to fill that gap by exposing the raw brutality of the insurgency; but it has often done so without context, leaving a clear implication that we can never win.

It is those three factions, two of them political, through which we find ourselves doubting our abilities in the foreign policy arena again. Despite some bad mistakes, Iraq continues to make slow, but inexorable progress. We haven't again been attacked here in the US in almost 5 years by terrorists. We've also had foreign policy successes, such as Lybia, because of the changed perception within the world. Their belief in our willingness to use the blunt instrument of foreign policy if necessary helps negotiations, it doesn't hurt them.

Unfortunatly, what we're in the middle of, and this is West's message, is turning back the clock. We have opposition political parties which have politicized the war and a press who, overwhelmed by the story, is unable to tell it properly, or, as West points out, in context. And, forever dwelling the the violent and negative has managed to leave "a clear implication that we can never win."

That, of course, has effected the debate and, in my estimation, the support for the war in Iraq specifically and the War on Terror generally. It is also one of the reasons, in my opinion, that there is a general level of disgust for politicians of both parties by those of us out here in flyover land. It is also the reason that the press is held in lower and lower esteem by the public in general, and alternatives, like blogs, are sought out more and more.

In summary, on the one hand, we're tired of being told that everything is rosy and under control. It obviously isn't. Be straight and upfront about what is going on, warts and all and Americans, in general, will back the effort all the way. It will also, by the way, have political benefits.

On the other side, Americans, in general, are just as tired of being told that we are inept, corrupt, heartless, cruel, mistaken and hated. We're also tired of every mistake, no matter how minor, being picked at and politically trumpeted as proof of the above. Getting behind the effort instead of standing in front of it will also have political benefits and, by the way, constructive criticism is still appropriate.

As for the press, it has serious problems and it knows that. How it decides to address the problems West points too is the key to its survival as the entity which brings us the news. In a world of instant communication and no real bars to entry (anyone with a pc and an internet connection can post on-line) in the "journalism" field, news organizations need to reassess their role and focus. Maybe its time to go back to good old facts-based reportage with context as West suggests. But something has to change or the esteem with which the public presently holds "the press" will only slip lower. And until they focus on the whole story in context, they do us all a great disservice.
 
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We saw one of the worst results from such short-sightedness during the Vietnam war manifest itself afterward with the timidity it engendered in our foreign policy for decades. We saw it in the tentative use of our military and how, when we hit the first obstacle, we withdrew our military and our support. Had the USSR not been on it’s last legs, that could have been devastating. And it was that loss of political confidence which ended up with those that wish us harm viewing us as a paper tiger
.


The USSR didn’t fall, it was pushed. It was pushed, not by our armed forces but by our economy, our freedoms, and our ideas. They wanted to be like us. Had we not learned any lessons in Vietnam and started preemptive wars the Soviet military would have remained in control of the USSR and the cold war would still be going on. After 100 years of internal and external wars they were never going to disarm in front of a military foe. By keeping our soldiers ready but at peace we chose to make the battle between ideas and economies rather than soldiers. We chose a battlefield that we could not lose upon. That’s what good leadership does. It all worked out as well as any major war ever has.

 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
Cindy B, there are so many problems with your argument I don’t know where to start. Here, I choose the easiest:

"They wanted to be like us."

Let’s just ignore the Korean war or the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan where obviously ideas, freedoms, and the economy didn’t help much, but American weaponry did.

So, great, the soviets wanted to be like us....excellent.

Does that mean the current enemy does as well?
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
As for the press, it has serious problems and it knows that.

And until they focus on the whole story in context, they do us all a great disservice.
You wouldn’t happen to have any examples for (... and this is for you bub,… ahem …) claryfication?
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Where the heck are these pundits and politicians telling us "everything is rosy and under control"? While we are at it, where are the ones who won’t admit to any mistakes?

Please stop reinforcing the leftist talking point that supporters of removing Saddam from power are being oblivious to the problems and difficulties in Iraq.

The true difference is that the pacifist/isolationist crowd point to things like the long delays in holding elections, writing the new constitution and forming a government as examples that Iraq is on the brink of disaster while OIF supporters realize that democracies are always messy and filled with compromises.

It’s not that "everything is rosy and under control" but rather most of these troubles were to be expected. Any student of early US history should recognize the process currently underway in Iraq.

And yes the whole thing is in danger of being lost because of this battle between unrealistic expectations vs. flse expectations.
 
Written By: dvorak
URL: http://
Dvorak:
Where the heck are these pundits and politicians telling us "everything is rosy and under control"?
Who’s been telling us they have had the right mix of everything in Iraq and their planning was pretty much right on the mark?

Mostly the administration, whether you care to admit it or not. To make the point we’ve recently had the president admit mistakes have been made in Iraq... finally. That’s a good thing, and hopefully that sort of honesty will continue. But don’t pretend that until then there weren’t those who were trying to fit us all with rose colored glasses.

Pogue:
You wouldn’t happen to have any examples for (... and this is for you bub,… ahem …) claryfication?
I’ve talked about context in reporting for at least two years on this blog and provided examples when doing so. The search engine is ready when you are. Hopefully that will find your claryfication there, big fella.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Harun ,

FYI, We fought the Chinese in Korea.

BTW. Those guys wanted to be like us so much that they are buying our country.




 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://

"...wars the Soviet military would have remained in control of the USSR"

The soviet military was never in control of the USSR. The communist party went to great lengths to prevent that. They had influence, but they were always kept subordinate to the party. Georgi Zhukov, Nikita Khruschev, and many others could testify to that.

"FYI, We fought the Chinese in Korea"
We fought Chinese, N. Koreans, and Soviets.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"Who’s been telling us they have had the right mix of everything in Iraq and their planning was pretty much right on the mark?"

This is much too generic. Almost every "mistake" we hear about iraq has two (or more) sides. The Not-enough-troops crowd have a strong case, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a case that we may have suffered negative consequences from Too-many-troops. Many argue against dissolving the Iraq army but there is a strong case that we didn’t actually have a choice. etc, etc.

And just because we have tried things that didn’t work doesn’t mean we made mistakes. For example if you try to turn on your computer and nothing happens, you might first try unplugging it and putting it into a different socket. That won’t fix the problem if your power supply is dead, but you didn’t really make a "mistake" with your first attempt to get the computer started.

How about this, give me one speech where Bush doesn’t spend several paragraphs saying things like "there is hard work yet to be done" and "it will require more sacrifice" and "the war against terror won’t be over in our lifetime."
 
Written By: dvorak
URL: http://
The search engine is ready when you are. Hopefully that will find your claryfication there, big fella.



Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve read most of them already and you’ve made your contempt for the media quite clear. It is your usual, “if only the press would report the GOOD news, then we’d be able to see the whole picture” nonsense. Or there is the, “if only the press weren’t cowardly, lazy sods sitting in their hotel rooms” BS that nobody takes seriously, especially after what happened to the CBS crew on Monday. (what?…, no props?)
I’m not exactly sure, anyway, on how you would expect reporters to tell us the news and keep it within your “context”. What would it be like, I can only imagine,

Thirty Iraqi civilians were killed today in a bomb blast outside a restaurant… but it’s going to be okay, remember the big picture… back to you, Bob.

Or,

Two Marines were killed in a fire fight in the streets of Mosul today, … don’t worry, President Bush has a plan… back to you, Bob.


Seems to me that they put in context all of the time. I constantly hear or read things like,

One soldier was killed today and three were wounded in a fire fight in the streets of Mosul while sweeping an area for insurgents.


Or the like.
And the reporters say that they can’t report about the school or hospital openings for fear of reprisal. And that comes at the request of the government.
So I’m still in the dark about your “context”. You’ve really never quite explained what it is you’re not hearing or reading. That the situation in Iraq is going well??? Isn’t it time to face facts, McQ? And this particular “context” you seek may not exist.

But anyway, I asked for examples because I’m interested in this new “context” that the media is ignoring that will cause the destruction of the War on Terror, or the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism.

Do you have any specific examples of the media ignoring context so as it will destroy the War on Terror?
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
I think West has managed to distill, in those three ’graphs, the very essence of the problem which may see us eventually lose the War on Terror (or maybe lose isn’t the best term, but at least abandon).

We saw one of the worst results from such short-sightedness during the Vietnam war manifest itself afterward with the timidity it engendered in our foreign policy for decades. We saw it in the tentative use of our military and how, when we hit the first obstacle, we withdrew our military and our support. Had the USSR not been on it’s last legs, that could have been devastating. And it was that loss of political confidence which ended up with those that wish us harm viewing us as a paper tiger.

I don’t disagree with everything in your post, but the core of it is exactly the core of a misguided worldview that - being up front about it - constantly motivates me to post here. Here, rather than, say, Hugh Hewitt, where the climate is generally in disagreement with me, but the owners will at least treat factual and strategic arguments as arguments, things that can be argued about, not voices of the fifth column. (The audience is another story.)

Let’s stick with the middle paragraph. One you start from the all-too-common assumption that withdrawal from Vietnam was in some way not the right choice to make, everything flows from there. The paper tiger routine, the deliberate blindness to the limits of military force in achieving political objectives, the tendency to blame anyone - press, hippies, journalists - for the fundamental failure of strategy - the whole rotten foundation. Vietnam wasn’t just, but tossing morality aside, it wasn’t smart - enormous expenditure of men and treasure for marginal potential gains at best, in an east asian sattelitte state of minimal value, trying to ram an unpopular government down the throats of a hostile population against all the momentum of the decolonization zeitgeist, against an insurgency backed all the way to the top by an enemy with a nuclear deterrent. Like CindyB says, we didn’t win the Cold War with p*ssant interventions. (reffering to Vietnam, specifically). We won because the Soviet Union collapsed because of its fundamentally overextended political-military complex and its fundamentally flawed economic paradigm. Ronald Reagan was long on confrontational rhetoric and that was fine, but one reason he rode a winning foreign policy hand all the way through the 80’s was because the USSR was engaged in its own Vietnam, in Afghanistan - and inevitably lost the upper hand due to the tar baby it was stuck on in there.

Moving onto the current day - and sticking purely to a Clausewitz-style arugment about America’s national interest - if the "paper tiger" doctrine was really the only thing happening here, how come the Iraqi insurgency hasn’t folded up and gone home, now that we’ve shown everyone how willing we are to die in Iraq? Could it be that, inconveiently for us, not everyone who hates us is the equivalent of a chickenhawk? Aren’t people already willing to blow themselves to smithereens in the very act of striking at us unlikely to be deterred by the fact that they’re likely to die as a result? That doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to be gained from military assualts on Al-Quieda, it just means that if you’re going to take a serious look at solving the problem of A), an insurgency and b) the jihadist movement, you have to go further then "let’s have them realize that we’re willing to die to defend ourselves." When both sides are willing to die, and neither of them can wipe the other out, what you have is: a lot of death. Grim neccesity? possibly. Vision for victory?. I quite doubt it.

I read your post as yet another justification of the Iraq war, and our current endless counter-insurgency, simply to prove we’re not a paper tiger. It doesn’t wash, and the reason is the reason that the war on Al-Quieda is good and the war on whomever in Iraq is bad. In order for force to work, you have to apply it overwhelmingly, or you’re better off not even attempting. We all pretty much agree on that general principle, right? Well, when an entire population is against you, either you use genocidal tactics to break the collective will of the population - the neccesary overwhelming force - or someone sits down and works out a deal with someone else - or else goes home - the unilteral and multilateral variants of "the paper tiger". That’s it for options.

We have the ability to apply overwhelming force, almost for the first time in history, specifically to Al-Quieda and global terrorist institutions with historically low levels of blowback from the populations they reside in. And what do we do? We squander that level of precision and specificity by sending in 150,000 soldiers to turn a country with a mostly indifferent native population
completely upside down. 150,000 soldiers make provide the relatively easy targets and the general levels of antagonism neccesary to keep the jihadist movement alive. Left to itself, Al-Quieda would certainly have likely overplayed its hand and dried up like a sponge. It will probably happen anyway, because they’re even worse than we are at playing double-or-nothing on a lousy hand. But it’s all a lot uglier and more chaotic than was neccesary to achieve victory.


Most of us innately realize dictators are bullies, and we also understand bullies recognize weakness in opponents and ruthlessly exploit it. One of the reasons Israel has been able to survive in a hostile atmosphere is because it has never allowed that preception of weakness to grow among it’s enemies.

Wrong. Israel has survived because of the backwardness of its opponents. Arabs attacked in ’48, when they percieved Israel was weak, and they attacked in ’73, when they knew quite well that Israel was strong. Furthermore, Israel has taken all kinds of actions since 1973 to "create a perception of weakness" - pulling out of Lebanon, leaving the Gaza strip, hell, accepting peace with Jordan, negotiating with the PLO, etc, etc. Finland fought like hell in 1941, and they lost anyway. When you pick stupid fights with no clear plan to victory, sometimes you lose no matter how tough you are. This is even more true for democratic nations, which when push comes to shove have a lot more going on and a lot more at stake than whether or not some dribbling fanatic will learn very incorrect lessons from an intelligent withdrawal.

On the other hand, when you don’t realize that the hand is unsalvageable - when you lack the tools to achieve the objective - when you fail to realize that you have brought a knife to a gunfight or a hammer to an origami-folding contest, and just push on regardless, forces at play will rapidly render you weak, and thus forfeit the whole ballgame anyway.




 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Do you have any specific examples of the media ignoring context so as it will destroy the War on Terror?
Didn’t we just go through this Pogue?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
This is much too generic.
Good lord, man ... it’s a generic (or general if you prefer) point.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
McQ,

Nobody likes a loser. The media was solidly behind OIF when it started and even when it ended (It officially ended on May 13 2003 according to "Mission Accomplished"). It started its retreat from the Bush administration’s position on Iraq after they figured (correctly) that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. My criticism of the media lies in the fact that they were so quiet BEFORE the commencement of hostilities....

-Ivan
 
Written By: Ivan
URL: http://
I don’t disagree with everything in your post, but the core of it is exactly the core of a misguided worldview that - being up front about it - constantly motivates me to post here.
Or said a way which makes more sense, it is your misguided worldview which has you contantly at odds with what is written here.

OK, that’s cool. Just so you don’t spit on the floor while you’re doing it.
One you start from the all-too-common assumption that withdrawal from Vietnam was in some way not the right choice to make, everything flows from there. The paper tiger routine, the deliberate blindness to the limits of military force in achieving political objectives, the tendency to blame anyone - press, hippies, journalists - for the fundamental failure of strategy - the whole rotten foundation.
Actually it was none of the above. Funny how badly you got this wrong.

"Paper tiger" is how the North Vietnamese characterized the US after VN to all those in the world that ask "hey, how’d you do that?!" Whether true or not, it was the perception they sold. And Lebanon and the hostages in Iran (not to mention Desert 1) did nothing to dispell that perception. It made those that shouldn’t have act more boldly. As someone would say when a smaller guy has a few beers and starts trying to pick a fight with a much bigger guy, "he’s got beer muscles". Well, after VN, a lot of countries developed beer muscles.

That’s it. That’s the point. Not your wrongly premised over-analysis.

Moving on:
I read your post as yet another justification of the Iraq war, and our current endless counter-insurgency, simply to prove we’re not a paper tiger.
See here you’ve gotten it wrong as well. You have a tendency to focus in on one part of an argument and ignore the rest of it which gives the argument it’s context. It’s about what ’nost? It’s about the political will to stay the course once we’ve committed ourselves to it.

The military portion, at least in Iraq, is just the most visible part of that. But it isn’t about the miltary. Everyone knows our military can take anyone out.

It’s about the political will to properly use the military and suffer the loss that might entail. We can and do have the finest military in the world, but if there’s no will to use them, then we are indeed a paper tiger. I’m surprised you missed that part of the argument.

You almost got it here:
Wrong. Israel has survived because of the backwardness of its opponents. Arabs attacked in ’48, when they percieved Israel was weak, and they attacked in ’73, when they knew quite well that Israel was strong.
Uh, no. They have survived because everytime they got a bee sting they took a flame thrower to the hive. There has never been any hesitation to react with overwhelming force. Consequently, they are rarely bothered by their neighbors anymore. Of course you can’t apply the same strategy to religous wing-nuts who don’t mind blowing themselves up for a half a gross of virgins. But the reason Israel is still there today is because it has never allowed its enemies to steal a step on them, nor has it ever been inconsistent with it’s reaction to a provocation.
On the other hand, when you don’t realize that the hand is unsalvageable - when you lack the tools to achieve the objective - when you fail to realize that you have brought a knife to a gunfight or a hammer to an origami-folding contest, and just push on regardless, forces at play will rapidly render you weak, and thus forfeit the whole ballgame anyway.
Well other than a fine collection of mixed metaphors to whom are you pointing this? Hopefully at the political circus in Washington DC since that was the point of the post. But given your past performance, I’m forced to ask.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"Paper tiger" is how the North Vietnamese characterized the US after VN to all those in the world that ask "hey, how’d you do that?!" Whether true or not, it was the perception they sold. And Lebanon and the hostages in Iran (not to mention Desert 1) did nothing to dispell that perception. It made those that shouldn’t have act more boldly. As someone would say when a smaller guy has a few beers and starts trying to pick a fight with a much bigger guy, "he’s got beer muscles". Well, after VN, a lot of countries developed beer muscles.

That’s it. That’s the point. Not your wrongly premised over-analysis.


That’s your point - the same point you made before - and it’s still wrong. The point I was making if that the problem is other people attacking us, the cause is not neccsarily whether or not they think we’re paper tigers. example a: the current Iraq insurgency. We’re not paper tigers, and guess what, we still have no military solution. that was the point. Or, to be a little more specific, that "proving we’re not paper tigers" is a self-destructive, shortsighted, amateur excuse for a coherent foreign policy, and it is making us weaker, not stronger. As Vietnam weakened our country - not the anti-war protests - the war. As Afghanistan weakened the USSR. As the Iraq war weakens us now.

You’ve completely sailed past this point, so I’ve cut down the word count for you. Maybe you’ll get it this time.

Uh, no. They have survived because everytime they got a bee sting they took a flame thrower to the hive. There has never been any hesitation to react with overwhelming force. Consequently, they are rarely bothered by their neighbors anymore.

Again, you said exactly what you said last time, and you’re still wrong. Arab attacks did not cease based on their perceptions of Israel’s strength, as demonstratably obvious based on a detailed look at their military history, the 73’ war being the best example. An even better example is the war in Lebanon, for a point rather more germane to the current situation. Israel went in there to prove how big their d*ck was and they got bled for it. They weakened their country fighting a war they had no clear plan to win and no clear options for victory. Coincidentally, it was also an occupation slash insurgency. Since then, there have been other examples or Israel acting like a paper tiger - like the examples I mentioned and you ignored - and yet they still survive. Therefore, your opinion of why they survived is contradicted by facts.

Perceptions of strength and weakness - perceptions of the other guy’s political will - are only a tiny component of evaluating whether you can win a fight, or gain more than you lose. Insurgents the world over have predicted that they can win insurgencies against democracies - fighting on and for their soil against an enemy with much less at stake, by definition. They are right. They’re right if we have no political will, and they’re still right if we have plenty of it. There will never be the mythical level of political will you require.

Countries full of political will lose wars all the time. The answer is not that they should have whipped their homefront into more of a frenzy. The answer is that it was a stupid war to get into.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
That’s your point - the same point you made before - and it’s still wrong. The point I was making if that the problem is other people attacking us, the cause is not neccsarily whether or not they think we’re paper tigers.
Where have you been?

Osama bin Laden has been quoted numerous times using that very term.
Describe the situation when your men took down the American forces in Somalia.

After our victory in Afghanistan and the defeat of the oppressors who had killed millions of Muslims, the legend about the invincibility of the superpowers vanished. Our boys no longer viewed America as a superpower. So, when they left Afghanistan, they went to Somalia and prepared themselves carefully for a long war. They had thought that the Americans were like the Russians, so they trained and prepared. They were stunned when they discovered how low was the morale of the American soldier. America had entered with 30,000 soldiers in addition to thousands of soldiers from different countries in the world. ... As I said, our boys were shocked by the low morale of the American soldier and they realized that the American soldier was just a paper tiger. He was unable to endure the strikes that were dealt to his army, so he fled, and America had to stop all its bragging and all that noise it was making in the press after the Gulf War in which it destroyed the infrastructure and the milk and dairy industry that was vital for the infants and the children and the civilians and blew up dams which were necessary for the crops people grew to feed their families.
Saddam too has used the term. There is no question that they had bought the perception sold by NV. In fact, Saddam even talked about his discussions with NV prior to the "Mother of all Battles".
“Foreign Minister Aziz has assured me,” Galloway went on , “that if the Americans come, thousands of them will never go back home. And so they wisely backed off. That should send a strong message of hope to our brothers in Damascus and Libya — and despair to all other the troublemakers in the shadows — about the American paper tiger. ”
Etc., etc ...

Look, if all you can come up with in rebuttal is to say "you’re wrong, you’re wrong" in the face of facts to the contrary, we really haven’t much else to discuss.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Osama bin Laden has been quoted numerous times using that very term.

Come on, we both know this isn’t serious. General Boykin was quoted saying, effectively, "our god can kick their god’s a**" - does that make it the reason we went to war in Iraq?

More to the point, if history is replete with examples of enemies who attack despite obvious big d*ck behavior by their opponents, who attack after being defeated, who continue to fight after absorbing and inflicting heavy casualties, why do you equate "we’re showing that we’re willing to die" with "we’re going to win?"

Isn’t that the same flaw in thinking that the more unrealistic guys on the other side make?

Taking this one step at a time - do you think that the Iraqi insurgency still thinks we’re paper tigers? If so, that would invalidate your whole quoted reason for going, right? If not, why are they still fighting, if proving our willingness to stand up and fight was what was needed to change the calculus?

For that matter, since we proved so definitively that we weren’t weak in WWII and Korea, how come anyone was willing to fight us in Vietnam in the first place? With our reputation for strenght firmly in hand, shouldn’t that war have fizzled out once we replaced the demonstratedly-weak (from Algeria) frenchmen?


 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Come on, we both know this isn’t serious. General Boykin was quoted saying, effectively, "our god can kick their god’s a**" - does that make it the reason we went to war in Iraq?
Glasnost, go, read, do some homework. You’re completely out in left field here. In fact, you’re not even in the ball park.

Nice talking with you.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I think you’re talking past each other here. We may, in fact, be paper tigers. Certainly, our military could defeat any other major military, but that’s hardly relevant to the fight in Iraq.

An insurgency wins so long as it doesn’t lose. All of our superpower assets — nukes, aircraft carriers, large standing army, etc — don’t address that fact. Maybe we can defeat the insurgency in, e.g., Iraq, but the US military won’t do it. They may help, but it’s largely out of our hands, now.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Didn’t we just go through this Pogue?
What, that’s it!?

You tell us that the media’s disregard for context will, in part, cause the failure of the all important war on terror.

I ask you specifically what that context is.

You tell me, “Happy Hunting”.

!?!?!?!?!

Talk about lack of context.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
What, that’s it!?
That’s it.

Cheers.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

 
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