Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Insurgents Smell Victory

Americans are wobbly. The Left is winning. The Right is weary. And terrorists intent on running Iraq once Americans leave seize the opportunity.

Severed heads and limbs and gruesome horror at a University full of innocent Iraqis. The Washington Post describes it in all it's gory glory. This fight is against education and modernity and rational thought and the University is a great place to wage war. Kill those with any chance of a future and all that's left are people with no future willing to follow any strong leader.

This is war. The Iraqi people bear the brunt of standing for all free people in the world. You'd think that the least the rest of us could do is stand with them--thousands of miles away, safe in our homes.

11 comments:

bemused said...

Dr. Melissa, how much more could we possibly have done to support democratic forces in Iraq? We’ve contributed about a trillion dollars and over 3,000 American lives to try to “bring them democracy.” The Bush administration took a tremendous gamble that democracy could be forcibly instituted in a ravaged and divided society like Iraq. This was an assumption on their part without evidence or precedent to support it. All it’s done is shown the naïvete and recklessness of those who planned this fiasco.

We’ve wasted too much already on a society that was not ready for democracy. The main beneficiaries of our largesse so far have been Iraqi thugs and the state of Iran. Our tax dollars at work giving Moqtada Sadr an exciting new career in politics. Money well spent creating a new generation of enemies in the Middle East.

Dr. Melissa said...

Bemused,

Do you know how much we've "wasted" in Korea, Japan, the Philipines, Germany, France, Haiti and the former Yugoslavia (and I know I've missed some).

Do you know how much will truly be wasted if we leave Iraq? How can you in good conscience leave the country that is still finding it's footing? You say it's impossible. Well all over Iraq it is possible, but the media only covers the hot spots.

It is in America's interest to stay in Iraq now for a whole host of reasons. Not the least of which it keeps Iran and Syria and Saudi Arabia more constrained, as it were.

It seems that the Left wants failure because they never approved to begin with--it'll prove you're right. Oh, and not to mention, that the images of the bloodbath after we left Iraq would be lovely fodder for any Democrat running for President. But it's not about that. Nah. It's about the soldiers.

Right.

bemused said...

The problem with this Iraq thing is that it’s always been about grandiose rhetoric coupled with unexamined assumptions. The assumptions about why we invaded (WMDs, supposedly) were wrong, the assumptions about how we would be “welcomed” were wrong, and the assumptions about how long it would take, how much it would cost and whether it was even possible were, and still are, complete unknowns. Despite promises about how missions were being accomplished, corners were being turned, how the insurgency was in its last throes, and so forth, the architects of this debacle have never known what they were doing. Now we’re supposed to believe the same people who’ve been wrong about everything that they have a plan to win this thing. Of course those who’ve been the staunchest in insisting that this war was necessary and that everything’s going just fine would be the last to admit that it’s been a disaster in every way. At least a large majority of Americans now know better.

I would still welcome victory with all my heart, as would almost any American. The problem seems to be with a large enough chunk of Iraqis who don’t want Americans there (a majority) and don’t want democracy (a violent minority). It’s unfortunate that they’d make life so miserable for their countrymen, but that’s the way it seems to be. In any case, as Senator Hagel said the other day, the future of Iraq will be decided by Iraqis themselves. It’s not, and never should have been, our fight. We’ve compromised our national interest and inflicted a great shame on our nation by pursuing the reckless fantasies of a few stubborn and foolish men.

As for the interventions where we actually made a positive difference, it’s interesting that they all happened under Democratic presidencies. Just goes to show the difference between FDR, Harry Truman and George W. Bush.

David said...

Bemused...most of today's Democrats would have been horrified by the policies of FDR and Harry Truman. How do you think today's "progressive" media would have reacted to:

1)The large numbers of civilian casualties caused by US/British bombing of industrial targets in Germany? (not to mention the area bombing of German and Japanese cities)

2)FDR's insistence on the rapid execution of the German saboteurs in the US?

3)FDR's (and Truman's) insistence on "unconditional surrender" rather than negotiated peace with Germany and Japan?

4)Truman's decision to intervene militarily in Korea?

bemused said...

David, WWII was not a war of choice, but was a desperate struggle for the soul of the western world and the future of Asia. It required our entire society to be mobilized in one of the great cooperative undertakings in history. Despite the massive cataclysm that it was, it was obviously a fight we could win and win decisively. It was over in less time than we've already been stuck in Iraq.

Korea was a more problematic venture that still haunts us today, but I think you'd have to say that carving out a safe haven for democracy there has been a net positive. The Chinese intervention prevented what would have been a crushing victory over North Korea. Leaving it unresolved as it is was unfortunate, but would it have been better to go to war with China? I don't know about that . . .

The key thing with war is that you shouldn't engage in it for insufficient reasons. WWII was unavoidable. Iraq was avoidable, because Saddam Hussein was never a threat to us. We were conned into invading Iraq, and a vocal minority of supporters are still trying to con us into wasting more resources on something that was never worth doing in the first place.

Dr. Melissa said...

Bemused,

I guess you and I disagree about Iraq in the most fundamental sense: I see Iraq as a front in the war against Islamofascism (and no Saddam was not an Islamofascist--he just funded the enemies of his enemy and was a non-religious murderous tyrant). Everyonne (Democrats, too) agreed that Saddam had to be stopped. As evidence has seeped out of Iraq, we've all become aware that he had the plans, the intentions and the scientists to go nuclear.

But that doesn't really matter to me. Someone had to take these crazies seriously, and George Bush did. A madman was deposed in Iraq. Good. Now America has a nice place to keep it's troops to keep an eye on the neighbors.

You do realize the consequences of leaving now, right? You do realize that you will pay for chaos over there, too.

So you believe Bush was wrong, we're there now. Are you so consumed with antipathy for the man that you'll harm your fellow countrymen and others world citizens to sate the outraged beast?

bemused said...

Melissa, I could respect what you were saying as your personal opinion (even though I disagree with most of it) up until your last paragraph. That's where you strayed into the cheap and mean-spirited rhetoric that demonizes your fellow loyal Americans who haven't bought into your delusions and don't believe your propaganda.

We have a difference of opinion about what's best to do. But nobody--certainly not you--has a monopoly on virtue or decency. How dare you insinuate that I would harm anybody out of my supposed antipathy towards Bush.

David said...

"WWII was not a war of choice"...if we had not (1)pursued a policy of economic sanctions (including oil embargo) against Japan, and (2)provided massive aid (including convoy escort) to the British, then Japan would not have attacked us in 1941, and Germany would not have declared war on us at the same time. Of course, a few years later we would have faced a world completely dominated by those two powers, and what might have been considered "a war of choice" in 1940 would have been a war of no choice at all in, say, 1946.

It's almost always possible for a politician to kick the can down the road and leave a situation for someone else to deal with at some future time.

Dr. Melissa said...

Bemused,

I'm open to another explanation. But from where I sit, this whole circumstance would be let go if Bill Clinton were in office.

Iraq would be treated as a victory with some small pockets of problems, rather than one big problem with small pockets of success (Ha! I'd be happy if the press threw that small bone--they can't bring themselves to, though--it would benefit Bush.)

The Left reviles this man and it informs their every waking moment and clouds their vision about how to handle Iraq now.

I'm not thrilled with President Bush. There are too many issues to list where I think he demonstrates his Blue-Bloodedness. But on defending America, I believe he is doing everything he can to protect us. That's not to say every tactical decision has been anywhere near perfect. It hasn't been.

But for the Left, his coyboyness, his self-assuredness, his mangled speech, his "stealing the election" makes them crazy. They cannot get around it. They want to see Bush fail. Pulling out of Iraq now would be the perfect icing on the cake.

The Left also has problems being grown-ups about what TO DO. During the election cycle they said Bush needed more troops. So, now we send more troops. Nope, Iraq is lost now that the election is won. Now, the activists have influenced enough Congressmen to put up symbolic votes that undermine not just Bush but more importantly, our troops. They act as if their childish actions have no consequences.

The only consequence they want is for Bush to fail and for a Democrat to win the Presidency and it doesn't matter what happens after.

I'm ashamed when I see pictures of Vietnam when our guys left. Our allies were murdered and tortured. Do you remember the people at the Embassy gates, screaming in fear? I do and that's just from tape. I was too young to see it.

It didn't have to be that way. It marred America's reputation. What the world learned about America is that our word was shit. That message would be reinforced in Iraq. It would be a moral and not just a military failure. And it would have dire consequences in our negotiations with these countries.

Don't you think that one reason we haven't been bombed in the last couple years is because the enemy KNOWS we'll retaliate? There was a reason the terrorists cheered when the Democrats won and it wasn't because Democrats are just better human beings. It's because they know terrorists will start winning. And if the will of the people gets destroyed, they will have won.

Don't worry, bemused. We're almost there. The press and the Left is succeeding to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

bemused said...

Dr. Melissa,
All of the complaining about how Bush’s opponents are supposedly consumed with hatred for him is so phony and hypocritical. What’s most disingenuous about it is that the people who make this charge are usually the same ones who supported the unrelenting efforts to destroy the Clinton presidency through endless made-up scandals and trumped-up charges. Let’s face it: Bush is just not very popular because he’s not a very good president. In contrast, even at the height of the Lewinsky scandal, Bill Clinton’s approval rating was around 68%. Bush’s is currently hovering around 35%. You don’t have to be “consumed with hatred” just to hold the completely legitimate opinion that Bush is a mediocre man with poor judgment and a bad attitude.

It’s fine for you all to say that Democrats don’t have a plan when the president, exercising his poor judgment, has already driven us over a cliff. We’ve already made a mighty effort to succeed in Iraq, and the Iraqis—not all of them, but enough of them—have themselves failed to make constructive use of the opportunity. We can’t do it for them. Over 60% of the Iraqi general public want us out. Holding our soldiers hostage while Iraqi society bathes itself in its own blood and wallows in sectarian hatred is not just a dumb idea, but—as one Republican lawmaker recently said—it’s “deeply immoral.”

If a majority of Americans don’t support this war, this is the legacy of the dishonesty and incompetency of the Bush administration, not the fault of anybody else. You can cling to the minority of die-hard Bush supporters if you want, but your numbers are steadily dwindling as more and more people finally wise up.

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