Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
Finish the job in Iraq
Posted by: McQ on Monday, August 21, 2006

There are a lot of arguments about our effort in Iraq. They center around if it was a good idea (too late to worry about that), if we should stay, if we should go, if we've done enough, if we've still got to finish the job.

Mark Steyn addresses the latter point, and does so by talking about the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and how an angry America was perceived throughout the world and demanded and got cooperation from some unlikely players.

As Steyn points out, many believe that cooperation to be a result of sympathy. But instead, he believes it was the fact that suddenly the world's only superpower became scary. There was certainly an element of sympathy to be sure, but nations such as Russia and Pakistan don't react based solely on sympathy. Fund raisers and political speeches can convey that. Air bases, air space and intelligence cooperation speaks to more than that. We were riled and we made it known that we expected their cooperation or else.
What's the difference between September 2001 and now? It's not that anyone "liked" America or that, as the Democrats like to suggest, the country had the world's "sympathy.'' Pakistani generals and the Kremlin don't cave to your demands because they "sympathize.'' They go along because you've succeeded in impressing upon them that they've no choice. Musharraf and Co. weren't scared by America's power but by the fact that America, in the rubble of 9/11, had belatedly found the will to use that power. It is notionally at least as powerful today, but in terms of will we're back to Sept. 10: Nobody thinks America is prepared to use its power. And so Nasrallah and Ahmadinejad and wannabe "strong horses" like Baby Assad cock their snooks with impunity.
This is the danger we face in leaving an unfinished Iraq. It's not about like or dislike throughout the world. That's relatively unimportant in terms of geopolitics. It's not about whether we should or shouldn't be there. We are. It is about the message those who wish us harm would take from our early withdrawal.

Note the emphasized line above. Geopolitics doesn't usually operate on the emotional level. It operates on a very calculating and rational level. It is like high stakes poker. If we aren't willing to do what is necessary to play at that level, then some will be more than willing to run the calculated high risk bluff and go all in figuring we won't call. As is the way of the world, others will try to take advantage of any perceived weakness.

That's not to say the US should be stomping on and bullying the rest of the world. Or using its military power willy nilly. Superpower status is more than just military power. But if the rest of the world, and especially our enemies, believe that America hasn't the will or stomach to use its power, military or otherwise, even for its own benefit, then you can expect those who wish us harm to attempt to take advantage of that situation. It only stands to reason that ambitious and ruthless actors will attempt to fill a power vacuum voided by a bigger player. It is the way the world has worked in the past and every indication points to it continuing to work that way in the present.

Which brings us back to Iraq:
At one level, the issue is the same as it was on Sept. 11: American will and national purpose. But the reality is that it's worse than that — for (as Israel is also learning) to begin something and be unable to stick with it to the finish is far more damaging to your reputation than if you'd never begun it in the first place. Nitwit Democrats think anything that can be passed off as a failure in Iraq will somehow diminish only Bush and the neocons. In reality — a concept with which Democrats seem only dimly acquainted — it would diminish the nation, and all but certainly end the American moment. In late September 2001 the administration succeeded in teaching a critical lesson to tough hombres like Musharraf and Putin: In a scary world, America can be scarier. But it's all a long time ago now.
Addressing American will and national purpose, the two lines highlighted above are very important. The first talks about the perception that will be taken away by our enemies if we leave Iraq before the perceived job is done. Now, as I and others pointed out, the real final outcome there is in the hands of the Iraqis. Horse, water, drink, etc. But it is critical that despite all the calls for early withdrawal (like right now), we maintain our plan to ensure all elements of the Iraqi security apparatus are good to go and up to the standard we've established and can indeed take over and competently run whatever area they're assigned.

Whether the Iraqis then fail afterward or succeed beyond our wildest dreams isn't as important, concerning this perception I'm talking about, than everyone agreeing that we did our part and did it to its natural completion. Whether Iraq ends up as a basket case of warring factions or a model of Arabic democracy may not be as important in the long run as the perception that the US will do what is necessary to finish a job, no matter how tough, costly or distasteful.

The second line addresses the politics of this situation and the danger posed by thinking like Steyn points too. This isn't about Bush and the neocons anymore. In big picture, geopolitical terms, it wasn't about them the second we invaded Iraq. It was and is about the US and what it has in terms of fortitude and grit. National will and purpose. Iraq may have been a mistake. Iraq may not have been a war we should have fought. Iraq might have been better left as it was.

But none of those things matter now. If you're so inclined, rail against Bush and Company. Call them everything but children of God. Vote out the Republicans and elect a Democratic president in '08.

But for the sake of the United States of America and the future security of its citizens, finish the job in Iraq as well.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
In big picture, geopolitical terms, it wasn’t about them the second we invaded Iraq.
HAHAHAHA.....very funny. For some- many- oh lets call a spade a spade and just say practically everyone on the left - it’s always been about Bush, and nothing but.

And it will continue to be.

Don’t believe me? Watch as MK, Glasnost and the rest of the merry men comment and prove me right.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
If the only reason left for staying in Iraq (after all the others have been shown to be somewhere between misguided and dishonest) is to demonstrate our resolve and supposedly forestall some hypothetical aggression elsewhere, that leads to an obvious question: aren’t there other ways we can demonstrate our resolve? I’m sure the creeps in Darfur, for example, would be more impressed by our presence right there than by any show of resolve over in Iraq. Is Iraq the only possible showcase? What about Afghanistan, where our resolve faltered first?

I and many others have said since before this war started that we should either do it right or not do it. That’s not anti-war; it’s anti-stupidity. Doing it right would have been an acceptable (though still less than ideal) option, but it was an option not on the table after Shinseki got fired for telling people what doing it right would take. Are we willing to take up his recommendation now? If not, why throw good blood after bad? Why not try to learn from our mistakes, and apply the lessons somewhere that the level of force we’re willing to commit (which is still considerable) might actually do some good?
 
Written By: Platypus
URL: http://pl.atyp.us
McQ:

I’m not sure what you are advocating. What if, as seems to be the case, we are failing to achieve the objectives you describe? Are the American people supposed to continue throwing good money after bad, and endure more and more casualties, in a hopeless cause? Now you may question whether the cause in Iraq is indeed hopeless, but it appears to be inching closer to that point all the time. And your own argument acknowledges that even if we "succeed" then it is still up to the Iraqis who may immediately "fail" once we depart. Have we then really succeeded at all?

I don’t agree that America proves itself by squandering its resources and stubbornly persisting on a failed course. Just who does that impress? In fact, I think the opposite may well be true: our enemies are gleeful that we are so bogged down in an unwinnable venture. They are emboldened to defy us. I think current events bear that out.

Moreover, I think it asks too much of the American people to ignore the genesis of the war and the prospects for success. Those factors directly impact the will of the American people and it is naieve to think that people can separate them. Nor should they. I certainly agree that we must think and act in the best interests of the nation, and not to exact partisan revenge, but it seems to me you are setting up the American people to be the fall guys and insisting that those leaders who wrongheadedly initiated and disasterously prosecuted the war be excused entirely. Accountability may come later, but it should certainly come. More importantly, though, the will of the American people is directly related to the belief in the cause. If Americans beleive that there is nothing more than can be accomplished in Iraq then naturally they will want to get out. That is not a failure of will; it is common sense.

Far better for the national interest is to (re)define the Iraqi mission into an achievable (or, better yet, already achieved) goal, declare victory, and regroup so that we can deal with the real threats from countries like Iran.



 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
but it was an option not on the table after Shinseki got fired for telling people what doing it right would take
Platypus-

You do realize that Shinseki was NOT fired for his remarks, correct?

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I’m not sure what you are advocating. What if, as seems to be the case, we are failing to achieve the objectives you describe?

[...]

I don’t agree that America proves itself by squandering its resources and stubbornly persisting on a failed course.
Read what I said carefully, David. I’m very specific about what I’m advocating:
But it is critical that despite all the calls for early withdrawal (like right now), we maintain our plan to ensure all elements of the Iraqi security apparatus are good to go and up to the standard we’ve established and can indeed take over and competently run whatever area they’re assigned.

Whether the Iraqis then fail afterward or succeed beyond our wildest dreams isn’t as important, concerning this perception I’m talking about, than everyone agreeing that we did our part and did it to its natural completion.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Not technically fired, no, but he had his authority undermined so severely that he might as well have been. What exact form Rumsfeld’s and Wolfowitz’s retribution took doesn’t matter; the message was received by the other brass. Is quibbling about a technicality the best you can do by way of an answer?
 
Written By: Platypus
URL: http://pl.atyp.us
McQ:

Fair enough. I take back my criticisms (and that post took a while to write, too!). Let me ask you, though: How far are we from ensuring that "all elements of the Iraqi security apparatus are good to go and up to the standard we’ve established and can indeed take over and competently run whatever area they’re assigned"?
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
Never underestimate the willingness of other nations to sniff out and exploit our weakness, or perceived weakness.

A straight line runs from abandoning South Vietnam to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. With a side trip to the US embassy in Tehran.

A straight line runs from Beirut in 1983 to the USS Cole, to 9/11.

Steyn is correct. Nations perceive our lack of unity as lack of resolve. They see the Bush Administration as a problem to wait out. They rejoice in our failure to mobilize other western nations to act in concert.*

There is a dim but silver lining in the clouds.

Our enemies always overreach.

* Historical irony. France was willing to fight over Czechoslovokia. Chamberlain told the French and Czechs that if they opposed Hitler’s annexation of the Sudentenland, they would fight without Britain.





 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
How far are we from ensuring that "all elements of the Iraqi security apparatus are good to go and up to the standard we’ve established and can indeed take over and competently run whatever area they’re assigned"?
Late ’07 to early ’08 from everything I’ve read. Should be pretty much down to an advisory role (and fire brigade role) by mid ’09 per Casey.

If we see success in calming down Baghdad, I’d suspect we’ll see troops beginning to be withdrawn mid ’07. The biggest holdup right now is the logistics piece and that’s coming along fairly well, again, according to reports out of Iraq.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
If Americans beleive that there is nothing more than can be accomplished in Iraq then naturally they will want to get out. That is not a failure of will; it is common sense.
So as long as you can convince the Americans that nothing more can be accomplished, then they’ll quit. Even if the reality is different.

Nice.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
But it is critical that despite all the calls for early withdrawal (like right now), we maintain our plan to ensure all elements of the Iraqi security apparatus are good to go and up to the standard we’ve established and can indeed take over and competently run whatever area they’re assigned.

But, this assumes that it is even possible to establish a viable Iraqi security apparatus.

Set aside the problem of training, recruitment, etc—though by themselves those are foreboding obstacles. What about the rampant infiltration of the Iraqi security forces by those loyal to sectarian militias?

The problem is civil war, and that is a political problem that military force can’t solve.

Steyn doesn’t even discuss the issue of civil war—which shows just how delusional he is.
 
Written By: Geek, Esq.
URL: http://
I’m sure the creeps in Darfur, for example, would be more impressed by our presence right there than by any show of resolve over in Iraq.
Except, of course, they would count upon simply waiting us out.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
It’s not about like or dislike throughout the world. That’s relatively unimportant in terms of geopolitics.
This leads to a useful channel marker. As soon as an anti-war argument veers into how much Bush’s behaviour causes others in the world to dislike us, I realize I’m reading the thoughts of someone who believes the world is a school playground writ large.

The US has historically been more restrained in use of force than any major power in history. We still are. We outspend the next ten nations combined on our military, and have both the military and economic means to be as big a bully as we want. But we don’t do that. We don’t want an empire because it’s against our character. It takes a lot to get the US angry enough to do anything. Hey, if taking over an embassy and kidnapping the personnel is not an act of war, I don’t know what is. (We’re still paying the price for our "restraint" over that one.)

I recall the ex-Soviet Union foreign minister telling Iran back in the eighties to back off on some things or they could be back in the Stone Age in an hour or so. Now Iran is much more threatening to us, but we are most restrained (some of us feel far too restrained) in taking those threats seriously and doing anything about them. If we’re such a hated bully, where are our threats of nuclear retalition against Iran’s actions of supporting our enemies in Iraq?

If we are defending our own interests and not gratuitously offending others (the way, say, France offends us with their smug/disingenuous stand up act), then I don’t give a flip what other countries think. Many of them, such as Russia and China, have interests directly opposed to ours, so they will not like what we do because they view it as bad for them if we succeed. Tough $#!+. And the Europeans have not historically demonstrated any particular finesse in foreign policy that their advice or opinion should be particularly valuable. After France screws up every operation they’ve done in Africa in the last fifty years, and then do their patented dishonest poseur act as we’ve seen over Lebanon, we’re supposed to care what they think about us?
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
up to the standard we’ve established

Hmmm... to what extent are these standards (a) public; (b) obviously reasonable; and (c) measurable? It seems to me that if we leave at any time before Iraq is self-evidently peaceful and well-functioning, the suspicion will be that we’ve either carefully chosen "standards" that let us get out of there whenever we want to or that we’ve fudged the metrics.

Anyway, regarding our reputation, I think you should distinguish between our response to attacks on our own soil and our behavior when housing troops in not-entirely-friendly foreign countries. Leaving Iraq before "the job is done" may well encourage our enemies to use the same sorts of guerilla tactics to keep us from occupying other countries, but I don’t see how anyone could take away the message from it that we’re not going to defend ourselves after a major attack in the US.
 
Written By: kenB
URL: http://
If Americans beleive that there is nothing more than can be accomplished in Iraq then naturally they will want to get out. That is not a failure of will; it is common sense.
So as long as you can convince the Americans that nothing more can be accomplished, then they’ll quit. Even if the reality is different.

Nice.
Yes, it is nice. And that is how things work in a democracy. Though I’m not sure what you mean when you write, "So as long as you can convince the Americans." Who is the "you" doing the convincing? As far as I know, the American people make up their own minds.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
How far are we from ensuring that "all elements of the Iraqi security apparatus are good to go and up to the standard we’ve established and can indeed take over and competently run whatever area they’re assigned"?
McQ answers:
Late ’07 to early ’08 from everything I’ve read. Should be pretty much down to an advisory role (and fire brigade role) by mid ’09 per Casey.

If we see success in calming down Baghdad, I’d suspect we’ll see troops beginning to be withdrawn mid ’07. The biggest holdup right now is the logistics piece and that’s coming along fairly well, again, according to reports out of Iraq.
McQ for President! (At least I hope that the current president reads your blog.) And I would sure like to see the Administration begin laying the groundwork for this approach.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
to begin something and be unable to stick with it to the finish is far more damaging to your reputation than if you’d never begun it in the first place. Nitwit Democrats think anything that can be passed off as a failure in Iraq will somehow diminish only Bush and the neocons. In reality — a concept with which Democrats seem only dimly acquainted — it would diminish the nation, and all but certainly end the American moment
I would suggest that lesson was taught in ’nam, and was reinforced by what we learned about that afterwards. Particularly, that the North was mere weeks away from closing up shop... by the lights of their generals.

One such misstep is certainly tragic, but forgivable. But eventually, we’re going to have to pay a substantial penalty for early withdrawal.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Hmmm... to what extent are these standards (a) public; (b) obviously reasonable; and (c) measurable? It seems to me that if we leave at any time before Iraq is self-evidently peaceful and well-functioning, the suspicion will be that we’ve either carefully chosen "standards" that let us get out of there whenever we want to or that we’ve fudged the metrics.
I’m sure if you dig you could find them, but I’ve seen them talked about enough that I’m convinced the standards and metrics for measurement exist and are the determining factor in giving a unit a ’go’. I’ve put a link up there in David S’s answer which will take you to a report which talks about that part of the overall Iraqi situation. It also gives a status of where the units we’re training fall. Obviously unless you have a standard and a metric, you can’t give a status. Just as obviously, given the politics here in the US, I’m sure the administration would like to see it done sooner than later, but looking at the report, there seems to be no effort to fudge that is evident.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Is quibbling about a technicality the best you can do by way of an answer?
No, I didn’t bother to answer, just to point that out is all.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
McQ for President! (At least I hope that the current president reads your blog.) And I would sure like to see the Administration begin laying the groundwork for this approach.
That’s not my timeframe, David ... that’s the timeframe Gen. Casey gave Congress the last time he reported to them. I’m simply saying let’s honor that and finish the job.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Steyn doesn’t even discuss the issue of civil war—which shows just how delusional he is.
Maybe he doesn’t see it as relevant to his point.

How is it?

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Exactly, theres not much we can do to stop a civil war except for provide for security. And that is what we are doing, and training Iraqi’s to do for us when we leave.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
McQ,

Mark makes the (unwarranted) assumption that the Russians were intimidated after 9/11. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Russians extracted support from us for their actions in Chechnya, as a quid-pro-quo, they offered us the option to use bases in Tajikistan for operations in Afghanistan....To suggest that the Russians were scared into offering support to us is kinda stretching it.......

 
Written By: Ivan
URL: http://
Mark makes the (unwarranted) assumption that the Russians were intimidated after 9/11. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Russians extracted support from us for their actions in Chechnya, as a quid-pro-quo, they offered us the option to use bases in Tajikistan for operations in Afghanistan....To suggest that the Russians were scared into offering support to us is kinda stretching it.......
What Steyn is pointing out is we asserted ourselves pretty strenuously after 9/11 and it wasn’t an America anyone was used to seeing. Interestingly it impressed some pretty disparate countries enough that they decided to cooperate.

As for Russia, we’d signaled long before 9/11 we’d stay low profile on Chechnya so I doubt it had anything whatsoever to do with it.

Call it what you want, but I think it was such an assertive and aggressive stance - and a stance they’d so rarely seen - that few wanted to be on the uncooperative side of it. The easy way was to cooperate. Whether that would be the case today is an entirely debatable point ... and that’s Steyn’s message. That’s why I put, "nobody thinks America is prepared to use its power" in bold.


His claim is that the danger of not completing our job in Iraq is we’ll be the 9/10 America again whree the line in bold was believed.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Maybe he doesn’t see it as relevant to his point.

How is it?

Civil war in Iraq means that the US failed in a most devastating and profound manner.

But, I guess wasting a few hundred billion dollars and thousands of dead Americans and tens of thousands of dead Iraqis doesn’t mean much to Steyn, as long as it allows for a little chest-thumping.
 
Written By: Geek, Esq.
URL: http://
But it is critical that despite all the calls for early withdrawal (like right now), we maintain our plan to ensure all elements of the Iraqi security apparatus are good to go and up to the standard we’ve established and can indeed take over and competently run whatever area they’re assigned.
This is September 10 thinking, September 10, 2003.

The problem with idiots like Steyn and those stupid enough to think he has anything useful to say is that they simply have not come to grips with the fact that the Iraqi government is basically an arm of, and cover for, radical Shi’ism. Steyn either won’t admit this or doesn’t understand this.

What you are really saying is that we need to take the side of the radical Shia in the Iraqi civil war. To Sunni Arab Iraqis, the government is the Shia and the Shia are the government. They are one in the same.

There is no serious effort underway to root out the Shia radicals out of the government. Malaki certainly isn’t doing it, and neither is the US. Sadr is as bad as Nasrallah, and in many respects worse. So why aren’t we trying to kill him, just like the Israelis are trying to kill Nasrallah? If we were really serious about making the Iraqi government an effective force for good in the region, we would be hunting Sadr down. And that would just be for starters. Instead, we get this meaningless talk about ensuring that the Iraqi security apparatus is "good to go." Not only is this a meaningless statement, it doesn’t even identify the problem.

And of course, it doesn’t begin to deal with the Kurds, who want no part of the central government regardless of its form or its makeup.

The real question is this: How is American security increased by our taking sides with Shia in the Iraqi civil war? That is the real question. Because if you simply strengthen the hand of the government without rooting out the radicals and the militias, which we are not doing, you are simply taking a side in the civil war.

The problem, of course, is that taking on this Shia radicals would take such a Herculean effort that we probably couldn’t do it even with a force three times what we have there now. Hezbollah on Steroids. And if you think Iran has little difficulty rearming Hezbollah, imagine how easy it would be for Iran to rearm their brothers in arms right next door, or just simply come over and help them fight.

Of course none of this occurs to Steyn. But then again, he is an idiot.

So tell us McQ, what’s your plan for rooting the Shia radicals out of the government? For disarming the militias? Until you come up with one, anything else you have to say on the subject is meaningless.


 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Civil war in Iraq means that the US failed in a most devastating and profound manner.
And that is?

Secondly, you have to buy into the argument that what is happening is actually civil war, and I’m not sure that’s yet clear.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
A straight line runs from abandoning South Vietnam to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. With a side trip to the US embassy in Tehran.
Yeah, and a straight line runs from taking foreign policy advise from a film critic and having such a warped sense of recent history.

McQ, tell me, should I take Steyn seriously because of all of his correct predictions of the past 5 years or are we just going with his take on Godfather II?

And of course, the same question could be put to you. We have to stay the course. It’s imperative. Because the people who were tragically ill informed getting us into this mess (and now want to leave that decision to the historians to evaluate) continually tell us we have to.

America is ready to get off this merry go round.
 
Written By: Davebo
URL: http://
This leads to a useful channel marker. As soon as an anti-war argument veers into how much Bush’s behaviour causes others in the world to dislike us, I realize I’m reading the thoughts of someone who believes the world is a school playground writ large.
I have the same reaction when I see somebody argue that international dislike for the US is irrelevant. This contempt for international public opinion is the way you prosecute a war for ’hearts and minds’?

It is precisely the perception of the superiority of the United States among the peripheral nations that will eventually lead to us making gains or taking losses on the geopolitical stage. To pretend that approval/disapproval does not matter is to ignore some of the important lessons of the Cold War.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
McQ,

NOt to belabor the point, but our shift in our Chechnya position started only after 9/11:

http://www.cdi.org/russia/173.html##6

The countries that were affected by Islamic terrorism prior to 9/11 saw that the US can be a useful ally in fighting Islamic terrorism in their own backyard. That explains why Russia, China and India immediately supported the US. That also explains the tacit support from Iran for our operation in Afghanistan (the Taliban were persecuting the ethnic Hazaras in A’tan, who are pre-dominantly Shia). Of course, we had to play hardball with Pakistan to get them on board.

I don’t agree with Mark’s premise that countries supported us because they fear us (except, Pakistan), but I do agree with his conclusion that any cut-n-run from Iraq would embolden Islamic fundmentalists further...
 
Written By: Ivan
URL: http://
Late ’07 to early ’08 from everything I’ve read. Should be pretty much down to an advisory role (and fire brigade role) by mid ’09 per Casey.

If we see success in calming down Baghdad, I’d suspect we’ll see troops beginning to be withdrawn mid ’07. The biggest holdup right now is the logistics piece and that’s coming along fairly well, again, according to reports out of Iraq.
That’s not my timeframe, David ... that’s the timeframe Gen. Casey gave Congress the last time he reported to them. I’m simply saying let’s honor that and finish the job.
McQ:

Someone might want to tell the president about all this. I just saw some excerpts of his press conference today and he doesn’t seem to be on the same page as General Casey. He certainly isn’t laying the groundwork for the U.S. getting out.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
This contempt for international public opinion is the way you prosecute a war for ’hearts and minds’?
Perhaps I need to be clearer. I care what our allies think. I even care what neutral countries think, if they’re really neutral and not merely "non-aligned". And I thought I made it clear than in general the behavior of the US should be considered quite good by any objective measure - certainly compared to the way many other powers behave.

My remarks were aimed at the countries that most anti-war types consider to constitute "international opinion" - Old Europe, Russia, China. You know, those guys who have been so gracious and helpful to us over the years when we really needed their help. Plus those who are de facto enemies and have already made it clear that there is no possible way to mollify them - Iran, Syria and the like.

And I said clearly that I don’t support gratitously insulting them, as France does to us consistently. But I don’t think we should shape our foreign policy so that we will win their "hearts and minds", because that’s a silly goal. Under what conceivable circumstances would we ever win the hearts and minds of France’s leaders?

If Jimmy Carter had put the hammer down in 1979 when Iran allowed our embassy to be taken over by radicals (an act of war by any reasonable measure), there would have been wails from Paris to Vladivostok. But did our restraint and concern for international opinion buy us anything? Did it get any respect from any of those countries? Did it solve the problem that was presented? Nope. It just laid up trouble for the future.

It would sure be nice if we lived in a world where folks who come from a "why can’t we all get along" position were right. But we don’t.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Billy, and it didn’t start there.

Pretty much every member of the Carter cabinet wined and dined the incoming Iranian mullahcracy. Carter did everything he could to make them feel comfortable and appologize for real and imagined roles with the Shah’s actions.

And the embassy takeover was their answer. So....
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Platypus - "If the only reason left for staying in Iraq (after all the others have been shown to be somewhere between misguided and dishonest) is to demonstrate our resolve and supposedly forestall some hypothetical aggression elsewhere, that leads to an obvious question: aren’t there other ways we can demonstrate our resolve?"
If we do go with hold-out neocon Steyn’s "stay the course strategy", one that McQ thinks shows the Will and Resolve we can’t let the world think we don’t have, then 3 major changes must happen that SHOW our Will and Resolve:

1. Staying the course for another 3-7 years will have to recognize we have 2/3rds of our Army and Marines rotating into combat zones, we are doing it with a too-small military, burning people out, and we need at least 4 additional divisions, plus substantial Reservist components added of police, civil affairs, translation corps, and trauma caregivers.

To fund this we end tax cuts for the wealthy and try funding as much of this war as we can by cutting all pork and un-vital programs...as FDR ruthlessly did in WWII.

2. To Show our Will and Resolve, we must bring back the Draft. A draft that may select medical caregivers, other "warneeds" critical specialities, and civil affairs people from within the government in civilian jobs (as law authorized). Plus a general Draft that affects the whole population. The stupid, the female, the richest few who believe their families are far above degrading work like military service.....So when we commit military, it’s not just Southerners, rurals, people with scant job prospects after China outsourcing eliminated to good ones — when we commit, show that Will and Resolve...it will be with a few Senator’s sons and millionaire ACLU Lawyer’s children also sharing the risks.

3. Strategically, we have yet to demonstrate our Will and Resolve by understanding we are in a war with an ideology we fear to name or address by non-military actions...preferring in our weakness to say we are only using "careful military surgical force" on the "the real enemy - the tactic of terrorism". Given that stupidity, no surprise we are blowing trillions and getting nothing much to brag about...a thousand dead evildoers, a Green Zone, the City aof Kabul. Strategically, we fail to admit that Will and Resolve is not shown by Bre’re Wolf saying he was stuck to the tar baby by choice....nor were the Venezuelan, Russian, N Korean, Syrian, French, Chinese, and Iranian rabbits too stupid to notice that Bre’re Wolf was stuck and going nowhere else so they could play and feed and have their version of fun unmolested. Nor strategically have we begun to address the Nexus of Muslims, Hard Left, ACLU lawyers, and Ruling Elites that oppose us. Nor after 5 years have we a clue about assymetric warfare or how to modify treaties that never accounted for a transnational violent ideology that violates all Geneva Conventions, international treaties - but insists their infidel enemy is bound to obey - that which is written in stone and unchangable..

It will take a better team than the Bushies who rode into town mainly focused on how to make the rich richer as globalization transformed America in a way that their powerful donors escaped the downside. It will take an Administration as bright and flexible as Nixons, Reagans, or Clintons....or the supremely graceful way Bush I handled the Gulf War and collapse of Communism.

 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
Pretty much every member of the Carter cabinet wined and dined the incoming Iranian mullahcracy
Where do you folks come up with this stuff? Are you really that historically ignorant?

 
Written By: Davebo
URL: http://
Am I alone in thinking that the way to show our resolve is not to just "stay the course" in Iraq, which is ridiculous on the face of it, but to instead "go the extra mile." The US knows that the war on Iraq is being exasperated by operatives funded, manned, and armed largely by Iran and Syria. How about we give Iran and Syria 14 days to stop all such activity. Put the next AEF(Aerospace Expeditionary Force) on alert, have fighters and bombers out of Bagram complete strong manuevers and exercises near the border. Bring in the required ground power, have armor and artillery assets in place, increase recon along the Iranian coastline, and the Iranian and Syrian borders. Say "all options are on the table". Another carrier group in place wouldn’t hurt either, have them 12.1 miles off the coast of Iran.

In the 14 intervening days, use the additional manpower in the interim tie down the borders, lock down the capitol, and tell the government of Iraq that their reluctance to deal with the militias is harming US interests and will stop now - capture or kill Al-Sadr and destroy all known hideouts for his militia. Reimpose full martial law on cities that back them.

Make it known that threats issued against America by national leaders will be taken as an act of aggression, and respond with force. Instead of following the international concensus, lead the pack - those who know what is at stake will follow (and if they don’t we don’t need them or want them). I would also think that providing a large amount of funds to the student revolutionaries that seek a moderate democracy of Persian Muslims operating under rule of law would be in order.

Maybe it’s just me, but something of that order would be in order if we wish to reassert our "national will and resolve". Anything less would show cowardice and complacency on the part of America. As far as the exact details, I was never as much an NCO in the Air Force, so I am not claiming to have the strategic analysis down pat - just showing the principle I believe should be followed.

As far as "C. Ford"’s comment go, a national draft is a terrible idea. Conscript armies can never approach the professionalism and dedication of a volunteer force, besides the fact that the draft preempts the fundamental rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness guaranteed in the Constitution. And as far as his funding rants go, I didn’t think that Socialists approved of this war in any way, but I guess I was wrong. Though he’s right about addressing the source of the problem - Islamic Fascist desire for world domination and the states that support it.

But that’s just my 2 cents.

P.S.: Please excuse poor grammar, wrote this in a hurry.
 
Written By: Anthony B
URL: http://arbullard.spaces.live.com
HAHAHAHA.....very funny. For some- many- oh lets call a spade a spade and just say practically everyone on the left - it’s always been about Bush, and nothing but.

And it will continue to be.
American geopolitical strength flows through the office of the American President. Mark Steyn says that America lacks will, if so it is only because President Bush fails to use the power granted to him by the will of the American people who twice voted him into office.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
...an obvious question: aren’t there other ways we can demonstrate our resolve? I’m sure the creeps in Darfur, for example, would be more impressed by our presence right there than by any show of resolve over in Iraq.
Turn the question around:

What would be the advantage of pulling out Iraq, thereby allowing it to become another Darfur in the center of the ME, and then re-deploying to Darfur to prove our resolve?
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
McQ, thanks for the pointer to that document — it’s very interesting, and encouraging, though I’m not nearly informed enough to tell how appropriate the goals are.

I guess my worry is that if our primary concern is the perception of us among our enemies and potential enemies, simply meeting our own goals may not be enough — you and I might see them as reasonable, but the rest of the world isn’t inclined to give us the benefit of the doubt. So we need to make sure that the end points we’ve set are enough to convince even our enemies that we’ve done all we reasonably could do and are genuinely leaving on our own terms.

And if we want the world to consider signing on to any future nation-building/democratization efforts of ours, even meeting our own goals may not be enough — as much as it’s true that at some point the Iraqis themselves need to take full ownership, it’s likely that their failure will be seen as our failure for a good many years to come.
 
Written By: kenB
URL: http://
If Jimmy Carter had put the hammer down in 1979 when Iran allowed our embassy to be taken over by radicals (an act of war by any reasonable measure), there would have been wails from Paris to Vladivostok. But did our restraint and concern for international opinion buy us anything? Did it get any respect from any of those countries? Did it solve the problem that was presented? Nope. It just laid up trouble for the future.
Put the hammer down? Jingoism at its finest. Empty, meaningless, jingoism.

So what, pray tell, should Carter have done? Nuked Iran? Invaded? Yes, that would have been a splendid idea.

Look, the reason that the Iranians took over our emabassy (as opposed to the dozens of other choices they had) was because about 25 years earlier a Republican president allowed some zealots in his administration (sound familiar?) to overthrow the elected, moderate leader of Iran and install some third rate dictator. Regime change. Throwing the hammer down. And look where it got us.



 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Turn the question around:

What would be the advantage of pulling out Iraq, thereby allowing it to become another Darfur in the center of the ME, and then re-deploying to Darfur to prove our resolve?
Well, for one, we would not be spilling American blood and spending American money in order to increase Iran’s strength in the region. Again, I have to ask: Why are the "stay the course/we can’t pullout" types so intent on assisting Iran in achieving dominance in the Middle East? The current Iraqi government is a wholly owned subsidiary of Iran.

Imagine for one moment that we attacked Iran. Let’s say we merely dropped a few bombs. The Shia in Iraq would turn on us so fast it would make your head spin.

The fact that we are bogged down in Iraq makes it impossible for us to confront Iran in any meaningful way. That’s what so insane and upside down about Steyn positiion. It is precisely because we unwisely invaded Iraq and continue to stay there that we are unable to deal with the threat posed by Iran in any meaningful way. Iran knows we pose no real threat, and Iran knows that any threat of force on our part is meaningless as long as we have 140,000 potential targets/hostages sitting next door.

That’s why we need to get out of Iraq. If Iran is truly the biggest problem in the Middle East, we will not be able to credibly threaten it until we do.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
While I would like to see an Iraq completely at peace, I think we need to open our eyes and think about Iraq becoming something like Colombia, Sri Lanka, India, or any number of countries with long-running insurgencies and civil wars.

Also note that all three of those countries are still democracies despite continuous violence...
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Davebo, here, have a read.
In 1979, soon after the mullahs seized power, Mr. Carter sent Ayatollah Khomeini a warm congratulatory letter. Mr. Carter’s man at the U.N., a certain Andrew Young, praised Khomeini as "a 20th-century saint." Mr. Carter also tapped his closest legal advisor, the late Lloyd Cutler, as U.S. ambassador to the mullarchy.

A more dramatic show of U.S. support for the mullahs came when Mr. Brzezinski flew to Algiers to meet Khomeini’s prime minister, Mehdi Bazargan. This was love at first sight—to the point where Mr. Carter approved the resumption of military supplies to Iran, even as the mullahs were executing Iranians by the thousands, including many whose only "crime" was friendship with the U.S. The Carter administration’s behavior convinced the mullahs that the U.S. was a paper tiger and that it was time for the Islamic Revolution to highlight hatred of America. Mr. Carter reaped what he had sown when the mullahs sent "student" fanatics to seize the U.S. embassy compound, a clear act of war, and hold its diplomats hostage for 444 days. "The Carter administration’s weakness was a direct encouragement to [anti-American] hard-liners," wrote Ibrahim Asgharzadeh, one of the hostage-takers, years later.
Wined and dined deluxe.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
I’m trying to make a nod towards heartfelt arguments. So..
I respect the moral urge that America owes Iraq a better country for having invaded their nation. I appreciate, as a character trait, the urge to finish the job. I am strongly opposed to pre-emptive invasions, but that doesn’t mean I’m actually going to enjoy our failure in Iraq. If GWB had found the magic beanstalk and made Iraq a democratic, demilitarized, mostly non-violent, functional place where people’s lives were obviously improved after the invasion, I’d grudginly concede, at least, that good results had come from a bad idea.

But in the bottom line, this is still emotional thinking. Plenty of small but valiant armies have pursued their noble cause right up to the very last moment of being splattered into pancake batter. Serving one’s sense of honor is not always the right thing for one’s country.

To get more specific, if I thought that there was a job to be finished and we were currently finishing it, I might be able to buy this. But I don’t believe it. I don’t see any evidence of it. Like the kill counts in Vietnam, the "training counts" of Iraqi soliders trained are numbers divorced from the larger political and strategic perspective. They have less value then they seem.

As Mkultura has said, our strategic position is hopelessly compromised. We don’t have enough troops or enough control over neighboring states to stop the Sunni-counterinsurgency, and there are no plans in sight to change that. At least we’re actually trying that - but there is *NO* victory plan. And that’s the easiest part. The government we’re creating is hopelessly compromised by militant Shiite thugs, whose death squads make it literally impossible for the Sunni insurgency to disarm and/or wind down, and yet we’re completely dependent on them for our legitimacy to stay in the country. We have no plans or prospects for seriously rooting these squads out - doing so would require reimposing, at minimum, a US Paul-Bremer directorate, and firing tens of thousands of shiites, and probably imprisoning them, because their pals we hadn’t fired yet and Iran would keep supplying them money and weapons. It would require massive action - massive action we can’t do. The Shiite response would be to open another front against us. Our casualties would rapidly climb, and domestic support would really collapse.

President Bush is in the finger-trap. All concievable options for "winning" involve costs - in men, money, international support, domestic support, that he will not pay. Continuing on as is in not solving the problem. You don’t talk like you’re expecting a classic victory anymore, but you still want to hit some benchmark that can be used to say "We still went all the way". Frankly, I don’t think any of those escalations I mentioned would work either - I think they would backfire and fail, or else impose costs greater than the "victory" is worth. But the debate is academic, because we’re not going to them.

"All the way" is an emotional concept, not a logical one. Training more Iraqi soliders how to bust in doors will not solve our problems. The US military can’t train the Iraqi government to reach a political solution. In fact, I’ve said, the domestic political concerns of the civilian leadership leading the US military are the #1 obstacle in the way of a political solution to the carnage in Iraq.

Without that political solution, we are not acommplishing anything of value.
We are simply demanding that Iraq endure another two years of painful - horrifically destructive - stalemate.

Better to leverage our withdrawal to create a political solution than the continue to have everyone bleed to train soliders who have no one to answer to and no one to serve.

PS: As I’ve said before, conducting our strategy to serve the goal of "not letting our enemies think we are weak" is a bad strategy. It casts aside careful imperative in favor of an imperative to always escalate, all the time.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Look, the reason that the Iranians took over our emabassy (as opposed to the dozens of other choices they had) was because about 25 years earlier a Republican president allowed some zealots in his administration (sound familiar?) to overthrow the elected, moderate leader of Iran and install some third rate dictator. Regime change. Throwing the hammer down. And look where it got us.
Thanks, mk, for once again proving that as far as you are concerned, it’s always the fault of the US. And for your quite selective knowledge of history that allows you to do that.

Interestingly enough, though, most of those who took place in the embassy storming were students in their twenties, according to press reports at the time. So claiming they were primarily motivated by something 25 years earlier is simplistic at best. They were one of the first waves of Muslim fanatics, and despite the bleatings of liberals, those guys don’t need reasons to oppose the US, since we’re the biggest obstacle to their goals no matter what we do or have done.

And could we please get past the liberal myth that the Shah was an evil guy who overthrew a virtuous, moderate, democratic leader? That "moderate" leader you’re so enamored of nationalized the oil companies, for example. And there was no "regime change", because the Shah had been the monarch since 1941.

That’s not to say the Shah was the epitomy of enlightened leadership, but the urban myth that he was the pure bad guy and the man he replaced was the good guy is a fiction only useful for liberals wanting to bash US policy into the indefinite past. (Oh, and the initial instigation of the replacement of the prime minister was by Britain, who had to talk the US into doing it. Why don’t you go beat up on them? Well, that wouldn’t fit the liberal narrative, would it?)
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
I guess my worry is that if our primary concern is the perception of us among our enemies and potential enemies, simply meeting our own goals may not be enough — you and I might see them as reasonable, but the rest of the world isn’t inclined to give us the benefit of the doubt.
As I’ve pointed out, our enemies are a rational and calculating lot who, in reality, are only tempted to try anything when they think their enemy is weak.

What the rest of the world, excluding those enemies and potential enemies, give us credit for doesn’t matter one whit. It’s what those enemies and potential enemies give us credit for which counts. And if they don’t see a weak US, that will certainly figure into their calculations before they act.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
So tell us McQ, what’s your plan for rooting the Shia radicals out of the government? For disarming the militias?
Read the blog long MK? Very recently, in fact, yesterday I said:
The reason anyone is even talking civil war is because of the militias and death squads. The plan, at least what passes for a plan, appears to be to go after the death squads while avoiding confrontation with the reason for the death squads. Moqtada al-Sadr and other militia leaders.

But there is a Catch-22 now. We insisted on standing up and giving sovereignty to the government of Iraq. It’s theirs now, and it is their call as to how al-Sadr should be handled. All indications are that they’re no more willing to confront him than we were. So the sectarian violence continues and the coalition forces and Iraqi government attack the symptoms of the problem while leaving the cause alone.

That seems a sure receipe for failure, but one of our own making and, now one that is out of our hands. It is truly and completely up to Iraq now. They have to decide whether they want this to succeed (and do what is necessary to make that happen) or not.
For you that means it is the Iraqi’s call now. Our job, as I point out in this post is:
But it is critical that despite all the calls for early withdrawal (like right now), we maintain our plan to ensure all elements of the Iraqi security apparatus are good to go and up to the standard we’ve established and can indeed take over and competently run whatever area they’re assigned.

Whether the Iraqis then fail afterward or succeed beyond our wildest dreams isn’t as important, concerning this perception I’m talking about, than everyone agreeing that we did our part and did it to its natural completion.
But of course you’d know that if you had read the post in the first place.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
McQ,
How exactly are we going to ensure that "all elements of the Iraqi security apparatus" are good to go? Sure, we can train them to fight and hold their position. But can we train them WHO to fight? Can we prevent the officer corps of the Iraqi Army from becoming infiltrated with Sadrites and Badr Corps? The problem isn’t logistics. The problem is loyalty. Most of the Iraqi army is Shi’ite. Very few Sunni Arabs are serving. Another hefty portion are Kurdish peshmerga, who would go back to an independent Kurdistan on a moment’s notice. Simply training an army and watching it devolve into a sectarian death squad machine under our watch is not evidence of US success.
 
Written By: Elrod
URL: http://
AnthonyB -
As far as "C. Ford"’s comment go, a national draft is a terrible idea. Conscript armies can never approach the professionalism and dedication of a volunteer force, besides the fact that the draft preempts the fundamental rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness guaranteed in the Constitution. And as far as his funding rants go, I didn’t think that Socialists approved of this war in any way, but I guess I was wrong.
Comments back:

1. Those people that advocate an American Imperium are the same people that have hissy fits when it is suggested that people share in the sacrifice or pay for it in taxes. Fiscal responsibility and sacrifice like we did in war and in the Cold War where a far larger part of our GNP and taxes went to military spending under both Democrat and Republicans was NOT socialism, it was fiscal responsibility. Tracking the trillion+ is post 9/11 expenses as "totally unexpected" supplemental budget items could be gotten away with for a few years, but not any longer as we have all admitting this will be a long war and expenses must be treated as a regular budget item and factored into deficit...as FDR did with the bulk of WWII funding, we did in the Cold War, we did in Vietnam.

2. The idea that the military is far too sophisticated to ever use draftees is an utter red herring. The volunteer military was always set up as a core group, including certain professions that took years to develop adequate skills in, that was able to be expanded by a Draft if a major protracted war developed. What we have now is elite troops trained to close with a sophisticated high tech enemy, being burned out by too many tours and doing too many low skilled, but needed support and combat functions a draftee could easily do. The protestors against any Draft include the most virulent chicken hawks - who want more wars, think wars are really cool, but don’t want those wars to come with any sacrifice or risk to them or their families. The value of a Draft is also in forcing the Ruling Elites to also become stakeholders in policy and outcomes.

3. The familiar bleat of the Draft being Unconstitutional and an incredible inconvenience on a chickenhawks pursuit of law school or MBA - or a Lefties opening a hemp bath products store or chillin with some fine music has been addressed by the Supreme Court and Congress. The Supremes holding that Congress DOES have the power given it in the Constitution to raise an Army, Congress using that power on several occasions to go with a Draft and enact war taxes to pay for it.

People that scream that radical Islam is the great enemy, that 9/11 is a defining moment in our history and make all the old Munich analogies and exhort others to fight and die to meet the threat - while they demand the "right" to avoid any personal or financial sacrifice cannot be taken seriously.

Nor can they take our leaders seriously if our leaders think this war is so small in importance that they are afraid to ask any sacrifice from the public.
 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
Thanks, mk, for once again proving that as far as you are concerned, it’s always the fault of the US. And for your quite selective knowledge of history that allows you to do that.
My country didn’t make a mistake. The administration in charge of the government at the time did. That you cannot see the distinction reduces your credibility even further. And quit associating asnine right-wing policies with my country. Just stop it.

I always find it fascinating that so-called libertarians are so eager to conflate the particular administration governing the United States government with the country itself. From Billy, I expect this. But it is a common tactic on the right. To many on the right, criticism of a right wing administration is criticism of the country itself. It’s a cheap rhetorical device. Again, from Billy I expect it. But others sin too.
Interestingly enough, though, most of those who took place in the embassy storming were students in their twenties, according to press reports at the time. So claiming they were primarily motivated by something 25 years earlier is simplistic at best. They were one of the first waves of Muslim fanatics, and despite the bleatings of liberals, those guys don’t need reasons to oppose the US, since we’re the biggest obstacle to their goals no matter what we do or have done.
No, claiming they couldn’t have been is the simplistic perspective. Are you in a bubble? Shiite pilgrims were marching the other day and getting killed in the streets of Baghdad based on something that happened hundreds of years ago.

You are truly clueless about the Middle East and what motivates people there.

And then it gets worse:
And could we please get past the liberal myth that the Shah was an evil guy who overthrew a virtuous, moderate, democratic leader? That "moderate" leader you’re so enamored of nationalized the oil companies, for example. And there was no "regime change", because the Shah had been the monarch since 1941.
The Shah was an evil guy. Read about SAVAK. Mossadegh was democratically elected, despite your implication to the contrary. Stop with the nonsense, please.

But you are missing the point, as always; in the Middle East, perception is as important as reality, if not more so. The Eisenhower administration meddling in the Middle East created more problems in the long term than it solved in the short term. And that will be Bush’s legacy too.

You just don’t get it Billy.



 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
So tell us McQ, what’s your plan for rooting the Shia radicals out of the government? For disarming the militias?
Read the blog long MK? Very recently, in fact, yesterday I said:
The reason anyone is even talking civil war is because of the militias and death squads. The plan, at least what passes for a plan, appears to be to go after the death squads while avoiding confrontation with the reason for the death squads. Moqtada al-Sadr and other militia leaders.

But there is a Catch-22 now. We insisted on standing up and giving sovereignty to the government of Iraq. It’s theirs now, and it is their call as to how al-Sadr should be handled. All indications are that they’re no more willing to confront him than we were. So the sectarian violence continues and the coalition forces and Iraqi government attack the symptoms of the problem while leaving the cause alone.

That seems a sure receipe for failure, but one of our own making and, now one that is out of our hands. It is truly and completely up to Iraq now. They have to decide whether they want this to succeed (and do what is necessary to make that happen) or not.
Wow, I didn’t really know how screwed we were until I read this post. Now I know.

According to your very own words, the plan for rooting the radicals, the militias, and the Iranian agents out of the government is to "go after" the "death squads" while avoiding the "reason" for the death squads, which, according to you, is Sadr and other militia leaders, and apparently nothing else.

If you think the militias exist because of their leaders, and would therefore cease to exist without them, you are truly deluded.

But worse is your non-answer to my legitimate question. Your response? We should "go after" the Shia radicals/Iranian agents currently infecting and domintating the Iraqi government. To "go after" something is not a plan. It is jingoism.

But thanks for trying.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
McQ:

I think people are missing the point, as did I initially. You are proposing an achievable goal upon which to base an American withdrawal in the near future. I think that is a good thing. I just wish I heard the president saying something — anything — remotely similar.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
Capt. Joe,

In case you didn’t hear, AMIR TAHERI has suffered with some serious credibility issues of late. Mainly by publishing utter lies regarding Iran.

Now what he writes in your Opinion Journal link may well be factual. But given his history of deceit on the subject, as well as the rather fabulous claims such as "Andrew Young, praised Khomeini as "a 20th-century saint."" I think I’ll need an alternative source.

He’s an Iranian Chalabi.
 
Written By: Davebo
URL: http://
And quit associating asnine right-wing policies with my country. Just stop it.
Be happy to stop it, as soon as you get over your BDS and realize that we’re all in this together. Right-wing, left-wing, it doesn’t matter. In the terrorists’ own words: "We’re not fighting so that you give us something; we’re fighting to eliminate you." "We would have preferred to hit a US frigate [instead of a French one], but no problem because they are all infidels."

Sure, a good case can be made that Eisenhower made a mistake. Would it have mattered in the long run? Would the Islamists have replaced whatever government happened to be in place at the time? You don’t know, mk, because no one knows. My point was to stop trying to make a cliche out of the events in 1953, because they were not simple, and it’s quite possible that had things gone the other way it would have been worse. But, nope, you’re quite willing to oversimplify to tar your ideological opponents, and then have the nerve to claim that the other guys don’t know what they’re talking about when they bring up inconvenient details.
No, claiming they couldn’t have been is the simplistic perspective. Are you in a bubble? Shiite pilgrims were marching the other day and getting killed in the streets of Baghdad based on something that happened hundreds of years ago.
Exactly my point! They don’t need an event from 25 years back to get worked up. They’ve got a list of perceived grievances that stretches from Mohammed’s lifetime to the present. You implied that the events of 1979 were motivated by the events of 1953, and I was generous enough to claim that was oversimplified. I’ll go further. It’s balderdash. You yourself have noted that their grievances go back hundreds of years. Their so-called grievances are as silly as the demands here in the US for slavery reparations to people where never alive as slaves. They are mere excuses to spread their ideology/religion, as they are charged by Allah to do as far as they are concerned. They don’t need incidents from us - they’ll manufacture them if need be or go back as far in history as they need to go.

But no, it never their fault as far as your are concerned, those poor noble savages. No, it’s always the West that is the villian.

No matter what, you’re always looking for a scapegoat, and it’s usually an ideological enemy of yours right here at home. "Asnine [sic] right-wing policies"? Ever heard of the Bay of Pigs? Every administration makes mistakes, because presidents are human. The US makes more mistakes than most, because, like or not, we dominate the world militarily, economically, and culturally, and that inevitably brings us into more opportunities to have conflict and thereby make mistakes. Your country and mine, mk. And, whether your BDS-soaked brain is capable of realizing it, in your country, those right-wingers you’re so fond of beating up on have been running the executive branch by popular election 18 of the last 26 years, so your country is composed of more than left-liberals and "why can’t we call get along" anti-war types.

Good thing, too, or instead of being involved in a piddling conflict that loses a few men a month, we’d very possibly be gearing up for a conflict that would make WWII look like a tea party. Have you ever thought about what it would be like if we fought a unified Islamic enemy that controlled most of the world’s oil supply (and thereby had a stranglehold on the West’s economy) and also possessed plenty of nuclear weapons? No, of course not. It’s just too unpleasant to think such things could happen. So you pretend that they couldn’t happen, as you are doing right now as you read these words. And sneer at those who protect you while being oblivious to the depths of your own denial.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
NOt to belabor the point, but our shift in our Chechnya position started only after 9/11:
And 9/11 was about 7 months into a new presidency. But there was a "gentleman’s agreement" not to make too much noise about it prior to that.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I just wish I heard the president saying something — anything — remotely similar.
You mean like this:
Look, eventually Iraq will succeed because the Iraqis will see to it that they succeed. And our job is to help them succeed. That’s our job. Our job is to help their forces be better equipped, to help their police be able to deal with these extremists, and to help their government succeed.
He’s going to give the big picture view, David, but if you don’t think Gen. Casey was giving the administration plan when he went before Congress, well ... I’m sure you know how that works and you understand that it is indeed the administration plan he was voicing.

But I understand your point, that on the whole this administration has done a poor job of getting that message out and I don’t disagree.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
According to your very own words, the plan for rooting the radicals, the militias, and the Iranian agents out of the government is to "go after" the "death squads" while avoiding the "reason" for the death squads, which, according to you, is Sadr and other militia leaders, and apparently nothing else.

If you think the militias exist because of their leaders, and would therefore cease to exist without them, you are truly deluded.
Who said a thing about them existing with or without their leaders, MK?

The point is you go after both ... but as usual, being the binary guy you are, that blew right by you, didn’t it?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
How exactly are we going to ensure that "all elements of the Iraqi security apparatus" are good to go?
By training them to a standard and then ensuring they can operate to that standard, Elrod.

That’s how it works.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Davebo, yeah, yeah. I hear you, he was wrong once so he is wrong always.

Standard Leftoid logic. Never applies to you does it. Ah yes, the cold afghan winter, the millions death, the arab street, yada yada.

I love this part.
Now what he writes in your Opinion Journal link may well be factual.
But since, you don’t like what it says, then after the standard smear. Soooo predictable.

Actually I did find other references but we both know your game and I guess rhetoric is far more your game than facts. Hope you enjoy your 100th viewing of "Loose Change". Yawn.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
McQ writes:
He’s going to give the big picture view, David, but if you don’t think Gen. Casey was giving the administration plan when he went before Congress, well ... I’m sure you know how that works and you understand that it is indeed the administration plan he was voicing.

But I understand your point, that on the whole this administration has done a poor job of getting that message out and I don’t disagree.
This is from yesterday’s press conference and it sure doesn’t sound like the President is on-board with the limited goals of securing Baghdad and training Iraqi security forces in a two-year timeframe. It sounds a lot more open-ended than that to me.
The United States of America must understand it’s in our interests that we help this democracy succeed. As a matter of fact, it’s in our interests that we help reformers across the Middle East achieve their objectives. This is the fundamental challenge of the 21st century. A failed Iraq would make America less secure. A failed Iraq in the heart of the Middle East will provide safe haven for terrorists and extremists. It will embolden those who are trying to thwart the ambitions of reformers. In this case, it would give the terrorists and extremists an additional tool besides safe haven, and that is revenues from oil sales.
The strategy is to help the Iraqi people achieve their objectives and their dreams, which is a democratic society. That’s the strategy. The tactics — now, either you say, yes, its important we stay there and get it done, or we leave. We’re not leaving, so long as I’m the President. That would be a huge mistake. It would send an unbelievably terrible signal to reformers across the region. It would say we’ve abandoned our desire to change the conditions that create terror. It would give the terrorists a safe haven from which to launch attacks. It would embolden Iran. It would embolden extremists.

No, we’re not leaving. The strategic objective is to help this government succeed. That’s the strategic — and not only to help the government — the reformers in Iraq succeed, but to help the reformers across the region succeed to fight off the elements of extremism. The tactics are which change. Now, if you say, are you going to change your strategic objective, it means you’re leaving before the mission is complete. And we’re not going to leave before the mission is complete. I agree with General Abizaid: We leave before the mission is done, the terrorists will follow us here.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
????
??????
??
????
???
????
??????
??????
??????
?????
????
????
?????
????
????
????
????
????
??
????
????
??????
??????
??????
?????
????
????
??????
??????
??????
?????
????
????
????
??????
??????
????
????
??????
??????
?????
????
??
??????
????
????
??????
????
????
?????
????
????
????
??????
??????
????
??????
???
?????
?????
?????
?????
?????
?????
?????
?????
?????
??????
?????
?????
?????
??????
??????
??????
??????
??????
?????
??
????
??
???
?????
???
??
????
????
????
????
????
???
????
????
????
????
??????
????
????
??????
mp3????
??????
????
??????
mp3????
??????
????
??????
????
 
Written By: OOOYY
URL: http://

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider