Liberals and Iraq

While I worked on an appellate brief last night, Mr. Bookworm watched Frontline’s Bush’s War. I was not surprised to learn that it characterized the Bush administration as not only profoundly stupid, but also deviously Machiavellian, with Bush in charge, except that he’s so stupid that he is actually manipulated by the evil Cheney.  At least, that’s what Mr. Bookworm told me.  The bottom line, as my very upset husband said, was that the “worst presidency in history” used all its fatal flaws to get us into Iraq.

I didn’t feel like debating the merits. First, I hadn’t watched the show. Second, it was impossible for me to amass all the necessary facts. I would have also gotten stuck in the morass of conceding that the Bush administration definitely made mistakes.  This concession would have led into an extended discussion about the fact that, in all wars, the good, winning side makes devastatingly bad mistakes because in war you use the information you have, not the information you will have when the dust clears.

Instead, I put the matter differently: “Accepting everything as true, what would you do now? For good or bad, we’re in Iraq now.” Interestingly, Mr. Bookworm refused to engage, falling back on harping on the evils of the Bush administration and its bad decision making. “Yes,” I said. “But that’s the past. We’re in Iraq now. Bush and his whole team are leaving office in January 2009. What would you do?” The only answer I got back was “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Mr. Bookworm’s preference for wallowing in the past and his unwillingness to deal with present realities is hardly surprising. In his world — the New York Times, the New Yorker, NPR, PBS — only the past gets discussed. To the extent that there is an Iraq plan, it can be summarized in one phrase: “Get out.” Of course, smart liberals, and my husband is very smart, know that “Get out” is neither an operational plan, nor a good one.

Equally unsurprising is the fact that Barack Obama, a man who is rather strikingly uninformed about foreign affairs given the fact that he has voluntarily plunged into the center of political life during time of war, has exactly the same attitude. He too never looks beyond the liberal media world and, while perfectly ready to spell out the Bush administration’s past failures, is incapable of dealing with the current reality, which is that we’re in war in Iraq. The best he can do is misrepresent John McCain’s statement that American interests are best protected by a continuing American presence in Iraq, just as we have a continuing American presence in former hot spots such as Germany, Japan and Korea.

John Fund highlights only the most recent example of Obama’s almost frightening lack of vision and knowledge when it comes to foreign policy:

This week, Mr. Obama stumbled again after he declared he wants to withdraw from Iraq but “leave enough troops in Iraq to guard our embassy and diplomats, and a counter-terrorism force to strike al Qaeda if it forms a base that the Iraqis cannot destroy.”

John McCain quickly leaped on the notion of keeping a “strike force” in Iraq and noted it was in direct contradiction to previous Obama statements that he would fully withdraw almost all troops. Mr. McCain had a series of questions: “I think it might be appropriate to describe exactly what that means. Does that mean 100,000 troops? Where are they based? What is their mission?”

Given that the Progressives seem irrevocably tied to the past, whether it’s endlessly rehashing the Vietnam War or Bush’s mistakes in this War, this is not going to be the only time that Obama stumbles and tumbles into a debate with McCain that he can’t win. McCain may be the Old Dude, so old that he actually served in Vietnam, but when it comes to this War McCain resolutely faces the future. He’s actually thought about what’s going on now, and what America needs to do to best protect her troops and her national interests. As Fund says:

Look for an ongoing debate between the two men over just what presence in Iraq Mr. Obama envisions should he win the White House. Present evidence would indicate that both men see a substantial U.S. role in the country, but that Mr. McCain’s stated goal is to achieve victory and Mr. Obama has a far more muddled outcome in mind.

The Presidential campaign is going to prove that, when it comes to the Iraq War, you can run to the past, but you can’t hide there.  Unless Obama comes up with a real plan, recognizing the actual on-the-ground realities in Iraq, I suspect significant numbers of Americans are going to worry that, not only are the Democrats obsessed with the Vietnam War, they’re planning on repeating all of its worst mistakes.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments

  1. Danny Lemieux says

    OK, now about your husband. See this article and follow its links to see a major unintended (or intended?) consequence of the Satanic BushCheneyMcChimpyHaliburton global war on terror.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/muslims-leaving-islam-in-droves/

    If the “World of Islam” and the rest of the world was so outraged by the Iraq war and Bush’s foreign policy, one would think this movement would be in the other direction, don’t ya think?

    Of course, the the import of this article is awful news for the secular Liberal/Left (knowing what we do of your beliefs, can we count you as an exception to my gross generalization here, HelenL?), but for the rest of us, this is all good news in that it truly marks the profound, global import of Al-Qaeda’s impending defeat. Bush’s war on Islamic Jihad just may end up being the match that lit the fire under a Muslim Reformation.

    Remember that, the next time some Liberal/Left idiot brays about how “we” have lost the war against islamic fundamentalism and, besides, you can never defeat “insurgencies”.

  2. Deana says

    Hear, hear, Bookworm! And “change” certainly does not mean “progress,” inspite of the millions of “progressives” who are supporting the so called “candidate of change.”

    I don’t know if Danny is on board this afternoon but I believe he posted something the other day about the origin of the word “progressives” in the political context. It was very interesting. I wouldn’t mind knowing more about that. I just cringe whenever I heard people refer to themselves as progressives. It is so presumptive!

    Deana

  3. suek says

    I sympathize with you on the husband-discussion front. My husband served a year in Saudi Arabia in 1967-68. He had spent a year at the DLI learning arabic. He likes the Arab people, and is unwilling to accept that islam is a threat to our safety and way of life. He considers me to be extremist concerning islam, and completely brainwashed by “those blogs”. He denies the existence of taqiyya. I remind him that his tour was 40 years ago – that’s nearly two generations as an islamic culture goes. No give on his part…so we just don’t discuss it. I don’t understand how he mentally reconciles 9/11 and his view of islam – except that he considers that there is a small group of islamic extremists…the rest is just conspiracy theory in his view. So we just don’t discuss it.

  4. Zhombre says

    I don’t see liberals really changing anything; they simply wish to revert to an expanded role for government, with greater regulation and higher taxes, and to a foreign policy that relies on “dialog” and “diplomacy” reminiscent IMHO of the supine attitude of Chamberlain toward Hitler and Mussolini in the Thirties. I consider the current brand of “liberalism” to be not progressive but utterly regressive and anemic. Change as invoked by Senator Obama seems to be a form of bottled piety. Fizzes nice, tastes sweet, but it is not going to sustain either Obama or the nation.

  5. Deana says

    And, Bookworm, you touch on another thing that just mystifies me about the “progressives” – how they believe that Bush is simultaneously stupid, ignorant, an alcoholic, and unable to string a simple sentence together, but also a man bent on doing evil, who can successfully create lies that trick Congress (including Senator Clinton, aka the “smartest woman in America”), the CIA, the courts, the governments and intelligence agencies of other countries, and millions of ordinary people into believing one thing when it is actually something else entirely.

    Well, which is it? Is he the dumbest man in America or he is some sort of genius who can fool millions?

  6. Danny Lemieux says

    Hi Deana:

    The best source to which I can refer you regarding the ideological framework of the “progressive” movement is Jonah Goldberg’s (Excellent!) recently released book titled “Liberal Fascism” (a title proudly penned by a H.G. Wells, a leading progressive in his era). He really goes into documented detail tracing the philosophical strands that nurtured the American progressive movement that really began soon after the Civil War and which was closely tied to the rise of Mussolini’s fascism. A major ideological center of the U.S. progressive movement (and eugenics theory) was the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    Re. Liberal/Left/Progressives labeling Bush “stupid”, there’s nothing new there: they did the same with Eisenhower, Ford, and Reagan. Imagine! They couldn’t do the same with Nixon, so they labeled him “evil”, “dark” and “tricky”. Johnson, being a Democrat, was tagged as simply “tragic”. I forget how they tagged George H.W.Bush Sr., but it was pretty lame. It pretty much reflects their playground mentality, don’t you think?

  7. jlibson says

    Continuing my Orwell fixation. Here is a quote from Orwell in an essay on Kipling.

    “Kipling was a Conservative, a thing that does not exist nowadays. …
    He identified himself with the ruling power and not with the
    opposition. In a gifted writer this seems to us strange and even
    disgusting, but it did have the advantage of giving Kipling a certain
    grip on reality. The ruling power is always faced with the question, ‘In
    such and such circumstances, what would you DO?’, whereas the opposition
    is not obliged to take responsibility or make any real decisions. Where
    it is a permanent and pensioned opposition, as in England, the quality of
    its thought deteriorates accordingly. Moreover, anyone who starts out
    with a pessimistic, reactionary view of life tends to be justified by
    events, for Utopia never arrives and ‘the gods of the copybook headings’,
    as Kipling himself put it, always return.”

    True then…true now.

  8. Ymarsakar says

    Bookworm

    It adds up, Helen, if one defines change correctly: they want to go back to a Jimmy Carter-esque world, I think. Change just means different; it doesn’t mean forward.

    The heat death of the universe would also be a “change’ from today’s thermodynamic systems. Doesn’t meant ultimate entropy, decay and destruction, is a “good thing”, however.

  9. Ymarsakar says

    Well, which is it? Is he the dumbest man in America or he is some sort of genius who can fool millions?

    Given fake liberal double think, Deana, both at once.

  10. Ymarsakar says

    Given that the Progressives seem irrevocably tied to the past

    That’s very interesting, Book, since I just wrote a post about nostalgia. Neo-Neocon’s previous writings on that topic also helped as inspiration.

  11. Darkmoth says

    I enjoyed your post (saw it via technorati), and it I may I’d like to address this:

    The answer to that is shockingly simple. We set a deadline for leaving Iraq, and leave when that deadline has arrived.

    Much is made of how such a decision would embolden terrorists. What is equally apparent is that this might embolden the Iraqi government. We are currently in the position of telling Mr Maliki “As soon as you can prove you’re independent, we will leave”. What is missing from this approach is ANY CONCIEVABLE MOTIVE for Mr. Maliki to want us gone. This recent clash with Al-Sadr has shown us how dependent he is on our forces, and more importantly it has show HIM how dependent he is.

    There are, by and large, two ways to motivate people – postive and negative reinforcement. You can say “Once you meet these guidelines we will reward you”, or “If you do not reach these milestones we will punish you”. What you can not do is say “Once you meet these milestones, we will leave you defenseless”. That is not a matter of war strategy, it is a matter of human nature. If Iraq has no incentive to meet our current definition of victory, they never will.

    To be fair to the Iraqis, we have set them a tall order. For a democratic process to take hold there must be some semblance of unity. In areas such as Iraq, Darfur, Bosnia, etc. such unity is typically achieved by completely purging (“purge” as in Stalin) opposing factions, a tactic America or it’s puative ally will never apply. It is no accident that the previous, stable regime was a brutal dictatorship.

    In concusion, my belief is that:

    1) We will “cut and run” before the Iraqis meet our definition of “self-sufficient”, in either months (Dems win) or years (Reps win).
    2) We will redefine our definition of victory such that it has already occurred, then leave.
    3) We will, indeed, be at war in Iraq for 100 years.

    Sorry for the lengthy post!

    -Jim

  12. Darkmoth says

    Pardon the double post, but the blog ate the beginning of my comments. They should read as follows:

    I’d like to address this -
    “Instead, I put the matter differently: “Accepting everything as true, what would you do now? For good or bad, we’re in Iraq now.””

    -Jim

  13. Deana says

    Danny – Thanks for the information. I really enjoy reading Goldberg and will have to check out that book.

    Darkmoth – I may not be following your point here. You say that we should set a deadline for leaving Iraq, and leave when that deadline has arrived. Regardless of what is going on on the ground? Regardless of the implications for national and world security?

    I also worry that the Iraqi government is not where it should be and that the Iraqi government and people as a whole might be a little too comfortable with letting Americans sacrifice their lives for Iraqi security. But it seems to be an almost impossible balancing act to simultaneously give positive and negative encouragement to the Iraqi government and not convey the idea that the terrorists just have to hold on for a specified amount of time and then the U.S. will leave, allowing the terrorists a free hand throughout Iraq.

    Deana

  14. Danny Lemieux says

    Actually, it is interesting to read the various commentaries about the implications of the recent dust-up between al-Sadr and Maliki. If you read most of the military and conservative blogs, it was a huge victory for Maliki – there were very few defections to the al-Sadr militia, the government forces slaughtered the militia as well as captured and held their ground, the U.S. and British only provided back-up to the Iraqi military’s first major operation, Maliki (a Shi’ite) was able to demonstrate that he would stand-up to Shi’a militia…and he had Mullah Al-Sistani’s backing, and it was the Iranian-backed al-Sadr who had to plead for a cease fire (although Iraqi army operations continue).

    For the Lefty MSM, of course, it was another Walter Cronkite opportunity to wail “all is lost, time to turn tail and run”. They, of course, never anticipated a day would come when the Iraqi military would start taking over operations.

  15. Darkmoth says

    “But it seems to be an almost impossible balancing act to simultaneously give positive and negative encouragement to the Iraqi government and not convey the idea that the terrorists just have to hold on for a specified amount of time”

    I agree with you here. My first thought was that pressure should be applied in secret, while maintaining a public posture of constancy. Unfortunately, that also relies on the Iraqi’s internal security, which gives me pause.

    And yes, you followed my point perfectly. I think waiting on the Iraqi’s to get their act together is not the definition of victory I’d choose – mostly because we have so little control over it, and it is not in their best interests to comply.

    I want us to *win*, but the first step in winning is knowing what your goal is. I dunno, just my thoughts.

    Thanks for the response, Deana =)

  16. Don Quixote says

    Hi Darkmoth, I do not mean this disrespectfully, because your comments were respectful and thoughtful, but I must admit my first thought upon reading your post was, “Gee, that worked out really well in Vietnam, didn’t it?” We cannot just declare victory and come home, if the result of our departure is chaos in Iraq. Everyone in the world will know better, and no amount of screaming “victory!” from the rooftop will make it any less a devastating defeat, on so many levels it hardly bears thinking about, but most importantly in the decline it would bring in American security.

    We could surrender in Vietnam because the North Vietnamese really did not wish us ill; they just wanted us out of South Vietnam. Our withdrawal was horrible for our South Vietnamese allies, for our loss of respect in the world, and for our mental health as a nation, but had no practical effect here at home (except to save American lives and money). The Islamic extremists, on the other hand, very much wish us ill and surrender in Iraq will serve their interests both in a propaganda and in a practical sense. Not, on the whole, a good idea, I’m afraid.

  17. Ymarsakar says

    Pelosi set a 100 hour deadline for her party. Didn’t do that well for the Democrats and won’t do any better with Iraqi Shias and Sunnis in government.

    There is no way to motivate government unless you create a balance of powers.

  18. Al says

    Nice analysis all. BW, if you haven’t seen it, James Lewis’ piece in the AT on March 23 has an interesting strategic take on the whole Islamic terrorist evolution, and the Bush Admins.’ response to same. Of course, none of the MSM/Libs etc. would believe that Bush was that smart. The real reason for that is that the MSM is not smart enough to see the strategic thinking. Might be interesting to hear what Mr. BW thinks of it.
    “Change” is a word as “life” is a word. He who uses it must define it explicitly, not circularly.
    Otherwise, I stick with the status quo.
    Al

  19. Danny Lemieux says

    Hi, DQ. I agree. Vietnam provides a perfect example.

    However, a point of historical fact that seems to have been lost over time in the MSM spin. The US never surrendered in Vietnam. The last U.S. soldier left Vietnam in 1973, fulfilling Nixon’s campaign pledge to withdraw U.S. soldiers in an honorable way through his process of “Vietnamization” (although some advisors to the South Vietnamese government remained). What they left was a shaky but still capable South Vietnamese government and military.

    According to the peace treaty signed with the North Vietnamese, the NVA was to withdraw from Vietnam and the United States pledged, under the treaty, to provide air support, weapons, munitions and funds to the Vietnamese and Cambodians if they were attacked.

    When the NVA (and Khmer Rouge, although they weren’t bound by any agreement) massed their forces and DID attack in 1975, the Democrat Congress, over the objections of President Ford, voted to cut off all military support to the Vietnamese and Cambodians. Cut off from their only source of support, the Vietnamese collapsed, leading to the fall of Saigon and the mass evacuation of embassy personnel from the rooftops of the America Embassy (which many today seem to believe was American soldiers fleeing an American defeat). This is the betrayal of the Vietnamese and Cambodians (by us…thanks to the Democrat party) of which Kissinger spoke at the time. However, in the end, it was the South Vietnamese, not the Americans, that surrendered.

    The result was the killing fields in Cambodia, killings and reeducation camps in North Vietnam and the horrible exodus of the boat people, many of whom perished from drowning or pirates. The Liberal/Left has conveniently expunged those consequences from memory. Somehow, over time, many people have bought into the Liberal/Left reinvention of history that this was “Nixon’s War”, which “we” lost. No, the South Vietnamese lost the war, 1-1/2 years after we left and utlimately betrayed them. To this day, I believe that this was in part done to deny Nixon, whom the Liberal/Left absolutely hated (and hates to this day) a major victory and repudiation of a legacy of ending a war that had be started and mismanaged by two Democrat presidents (Kennedy and Johnson).

    You are absolutely right, DQ, to apply the Vietnam example to Iraq. My fear is that the Democrats would do the same to Iraq that they did to the Vietnamese…and for the same reasons.

  20. Darkmoth says

    Hi Don Quixote =)

    I think the analogy to Vietnam is appropriate and instructive. Withdrawal would be devastating, there is no nice way to put it. I would strongly prefer that we NOT withdraw without winning.

    What’s also interesting though, is the analogy none of us can make – what it would be like to *still* be fighting in Vietnam, decades later. I was too young to fight there, but I have relatives who did, and I have seen it’s effects. I am enough of a student of history to recognize the turmoil it wreaked on our country. What would things be like today if the conflict had been extended over a generation? Would we be the same America?

    That is the great unknown. It’s difficult to weigh two courses of action when you understand one well and the other not at all.

    However, my original comments weren’t intended to show a preference for leaving over *winning*. I would rather win. I simply feel like the lives of our soldiers and the future of our society rests on the self-determination of the Iraqi people. In order to meet our victory condition, the Iraqis have to show more self-reliance than I frankly would expect from some of OUR citizens. Our victory is in their hands.

    These are the same people who were content to be ruled by Saddam for years! One man is not more powerful than millions, and cannot stay in power without societal elements that favor his rule. I realize how callous that sounds, but it is, unfortunately, central to my unease.

    I don’t want to just bail on the Iraqis. I DO want a *measurable* victory condition that is achievable through American force, or American determination. Unfortunately, any such definable condition is equally apparent to our enemies, who can “wait us out”.

    I see the dilemma. I am frustrated that some of our politicians don’t see it as a dilemma at all, rather an implicit and unquestionable commitment to what may or may not become a generational war.

    Thanks for the response, by the way. I am trying to work through my own feelings on the matter, and discussion is clarifying.

  21. Danny Lemieux says

    Hi Darkmoth:

    Regarding your question of whether we “still” would be fighting in Vietnam. North Vietnamese General Giap, in his memoirs, notes that North Vietnam was ready to sue for peace after its devastating losses from its failed (militarily, anyway) last-ditch 1968 Tet Offensive.

    General Giap wrote that what rescued the North Vietnamese war effort was the Democrat/Left spinning the defeat of the North Vietnamese and destruction of their South Vietnamese Viet Cong proxies as a defeat for the United States (think “Basra”), led by CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite. In other words, had it not been for the Democrat/Liberal/Left, the war would likely have been over by 1969 and millions of lives would have been saved.

    Re. “These are the same people who were content to be ruled by Saddam for years! One man is not more powerful than millions, and cannot stay in power without societal elements that favor his rule. I realize how callous that sounds, but it is, unfortunately, central to my unease.”

    Don’t be so judgmental. Americans have no idea of what it is like to live under total dictatorship. We, like any society (not just Iraq) , also have a minority that would wage brutal oppression on society if they were given a chance to wield the instruments of power, so we must always remain vigilant against people with such inclinations EVER getting into power. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance against enemies from without…and those from within.

    I suspect that your own inclinations to resist would be sorely tested if such goons threated to rape, mutilate and kill your wife, your daughter and entire family in front of you as an example to others. This is what was happening in Iraq and what continues to happen in several countries around the world to this day.

  22. Lissa says

    Hi Darkmoth,

    Checking in to thank you for your comments. I always appreciate a dissenting point of view when it makes sense and is genuinely offered.

  23. says

    I’ll second everyone else’s sentiments, Darkmoth. This blog is a very good place for civil, intelligent discussion. And it’s nice to know that there is someplace where people are talking about what the future is for America’s involvement in Iraq, without regard to the past.

    Insofar as the decision to go into Iraq is concerned, that “past” is now good for the history books. To obsess on it as a way of divining future foreign policy is pointless. We need to deal with the here and know.

    As Danny makes clear, part of dealing with the here and now is to correctly understand the historical analogies that are so freely thrown around as guidance. I thank all of you for this discussion.

  24. Darkmoth says

    Hi Danny!

    “North Vietnamese General Giap, in his memoirs, notes that North Vietnam was ready to sue for peace after its devastating losses from its failed (militarily, anyway) last-ditch 1968 Tet Offensive.”

    Thank you for that. I never realized (as I suspect many don’t).

    “Don’t be so judgmental. Americans have no idea of what it is like to live under total dictatorship.”

    I’m not completely proud of my feelings in that matter, and only mentioned it as it pertains to my doubts. I think were we in a situation of unilateral aid, I would be much more open-minded about Iraq’s past history. In *this* situation, our country is relying on specific behavior from our allies in war. I am admittedly more hard-minded about a teammate’s performance, than I would otherwise be towards a beneficiary. Still, as you point out, the effects of Basra may yet prove my worries unfounded.

    Bookworm, I completely agree about the past being the past. Pointless recrimination is good for soundbites, and not much else. Unfortunately, the 4th Estate have to rake in their millions somehow, so have some sympathy. ;)

    Anyway, I shall not overly extend these comments to the original post, thought-provoking as it was. I’m glad I posted – the quality of the conversation is here is outstanding. Thank you all.

    -Jim

  25. Ymarsakar says

    In *this* situation, our country is relying on specific behavior from our allies in war.

    Both the British and the Germans expected a specific behavior from the French. Whether you get that specific behavior or not is a direct function of whether you are winning. War isn’t about doing everything yourself, even if the Germans didn’t need the French to help ship out the Jews.

    Unfortunately, the 4th Estate have to rake in their millions somehow, so have some sympathy.

    They used to rake in the “millions” via pro-war propaganda in WWII back when Roosevelt ordered it.

  26. Ymarsakar says

    Cut off from their only source of support, the Vietnamese collapsed, leading to the fall of Saigon and the mass evacuation of embassy personnel from
    It was more like the S Vietnamese was fighting with one leg and arm while the North Vietnamese were receiving support from Russia and maybe even China.

    This little fact is why people love saying the S Vietnamese couldn’t even pick up a rifle to defend their lands, thus deserving to be annihilated. A little look into the Social Darwinism of Leftist ideology.

  27. Ymarsakar says

    what it would be like to *still* be fighting in Vietnam, decades later. I was too young to fight there, but I have relatives who did, and I have seen it’s effects.

    We’re still in Germany, Kosovo, Korea, and Japan. If you don’t want to be fighting in foreign territories, America might as well just abdicate superpower status. The cease fire in Korea is still at effect, yet you have some kind of nation being built in the south while the north is dark at night from sat pictures. It’s just easy for people to accept the privilege and success that came from the Korean generation’s sacrifices, but not so easy when it is time to do something in their current generation for their nation and another nation. Chosin Reservoir was not a March to Baghdad. Power comes with responsibilities, responsibilities like holding back the frontier from the barbarians in North Korea and the various other segments of the world. People don’t mind American troops in Korea because 1. the fighting there has ended as far as most people know and 2. Somebody else paid the price so it’s okay for us to reap the benefits of South Korea and the DMZ that was bought by American blood. Turn to Iraq and now all of a sudden, it’s time to get frugal or something. Cause it is happening now, and people don’t like things happening to them now.

    Nations that prefer not to have those responsibilies can easily give up the power and become like Europe and Africa. Dependent upon the charity and military strength of others. If the slot of beneficiary is prefered by people, then by all means let them go ahead when they give up their power and the protection that comes from having status and ability.

    What would things be like today if the conflict had been extended over a generation? Would we be the same America?

    The psychological ramifications discussed by Neo-Neocon and Shrinkwrapped, one family therapist and one psychoanalyst respectively, was that Vietnam was such an agonizing defeat that the military and the civilians prefered never to think about Vietnamization or counter-insurgencies. This led to Iraq of 2003 and the focus on any other than COIN and the successful policy of Vietnamization in Vietnam. The national trauma was too intense, you see. People don’t like being reminded of a failure, especially a humiliating failure. And even if you told them “some things”, they don’t care. And they won’t care to listen to historical solutions attempted and made successful in Vietnam because they see Vietnam was a failure, a failure they don’t want to repeat. Which leads to all kinds of interesting repeats of history in Iraq by the military.

    Neo’s post here is a moderately short intro into the subject

    No, we wouldn’t be the same America. We’d have less psychological trauma to get over.

    It’s difficult to weigh two courses of action when you understand one well and the other not at all.

    Extrapolation is what your eyes do concerning things in the dark, your peripheral vision, and various other things like “depth of field”. There is no reason why you can’t use deductive logic to extrapolate other time lines. Doesn’t mean it will be correct, just like it doesn’t mean your brain extrapolated the correct images from your eyes, but it’ll be close and useful.

    I simply feel like the lives of our soldiers and the future of our society rests on the self-determination of the Iraqi people.

    The future chances for peace between Japan and America rested upon the japanese people. But it also rested upon the American people. But none of that mattered because what it really rested upon was two people, Emperor Hirohito and Macarthur because they represented and lead their respective sides in terms of policy and negotiations and justice.

    The method for controlling massive amounts of people is the same as controlling and organizing 5 people. Just scaled up. There’s always going to be a leader, and if you don’t that leader, then there is no “self-determination” amongst any mass mob.

    These are the same people who were content to be ruled by Saddam for years!

    I don’t think you want to be telling the Kurds and Shia after the Gulf War that they were “content”.

    One man is not more powerful than millions

    A bank robber is not more powerful than the 100 people he is holding hostage in the bank with a bomb trigger and an Ak 47? You need to comprehend human psychology here which allows the few to control the many. Technically, sure, the 100 could swarm the gunman and maybe lost… 1-5 people or 20 or 50, but not all 100. Technically, that’s true. But humans work on human nature, not technicalities.

    I DO want a *measurable* victory condition that is achievable through American force, or American determination.

    All you have to do is look at West Germany, Japan, and Korea with its DMZ still patrolled by Americans and S Koreans, to know what “measurable” victory conditions look like. All that is left is whether you will believe the costs are worth it to get another S Korea. It is worth it to most Americans now cause it was free for them. Iraq isn’t. Even if they’re all at the mall, it still isn’t free to them because the media won’t let them think it is free and clear. They still worry because they’d been hit with psychological warfare programs from the MSM all year long.

  28. Ymarsakar says

    what it would be like to *still* be fighting in Vietnam, decades later. I was too young to fight there, but I have relatives who did, and I have seen it’s effects.

    We’re still in Germany, Kosovo, Korea, and Japan. If you don’t want to be fighting in foreign territories, America might as well just abdicate superpower status. The cease fire in Korea is still at effect, yet you have some kind of nation being built in the south while the north is dark at night from sat pictures. It’s just easy for people to accept the privilege and success that came from the Korean generation’s sacrifices, but not so easy when it is time to do something in their current generation for their nation and another nation. Chosin Reservoir was not a March to Baghdad. Power comes with responsibilities, responsibilities like holding back the frontier from the barbarians in North Korea and the various other segments of the world. People don’t mind American troops in Korea because 1. the fighting there has ended as far as most people know and 2. Somebody else paid the price so it’s okay for us to reap the benefits of South Korea and the DMZ that was bought by American blood. Turn to Iraq and now all of a sudden, it’s time to get frugal or something. Cause it is happening now, and people don’t like things happening to them now.

    Nations that prefer not to have those responsibilies can easily give up the power and become like Europe and Africa. Dependent upon the charity and military strength of others. If the slot of beneficiary is prefered by people, then by all means let them go ahead when they give up their power and the protection that comes from having status and ability.

    What would things be like today if the conflict had been extended over a generation? Would we be the same America?

    The psychological ramifications discussed by Neo-Neocon and Shrinkwrapped, one family therapist and one psychoanalyst respectively, was that Vietnam was such an agonizing defeat that the military and the civilians prefered never to think about Vietnamization or counter-insurgencies. This led to Iraq of 2003 and the focus on any other than COIN and the successful policy of Vietnamization in Vietnam. The national trauma was too intense, you see. People don’t like being reminded of a failure, especially a humiliating failure. And even if you told them “some things”, they don’t care. And they won’t care to listen to historical solutions attempted and made successful in Vietnam because they see Vietnam was a failure, a failure they don’t want to repeat. Which leads to all kinds of interesting repeats of history in Iraq by the military.

    Neo’s post here is a moderately short intro into the subject

    No, we wouldn’t be the same America. We’d have less psychological trauma to get over.

    It’s difficult to weigh two courses of action when you understand one well and the other not at all.

    Extrapolation is what your eyes do concerning things in the dark, your peripheral vision, and various other things like “depth of field”. There is no reason why you can’t use deductive logic to extrapolate other time lines. Doesn’t mean it will be correct, just like it doesn’t mean your brain extrapolated the correct images from your eyes, but it’ll be close and useful.

    I simply feel like the lives of our soldiers and the future of our society rests on the self-determination of the Iraqi people.

    The future chances for peace between Japan and America rested upon the japanese people. But it also rested upon the American people. But none of that mattered because what it really rested upon was two people, Emperor Hirohito and Macarthur because they represented and lead their respective sides in terms of policy and negotiations and justice.

    The method for controlling massive amounts of people is the same as controlling and organizing 5 people. Just scaled up. There’s always going to be a leader, and if you don’t that leader, then there is no “self-determination” amongst any mass mob.

    These are the same people who were content to be ruled by Saddam for years!

    I don’t think you want to be telling the Kurds and Shia after the Gulf War that they were “content”.

    One man is not more powerful than millions

    A bank robber is not more powerful than the 100 people he is holding hostage in the bank with a bomb trigger and an Ak 47? You need to comprehend human psychology here which allows the few to control the many. Technically, sure, the 100 could swarm the gunman and maybe lost… 1-5 people or 20 or 50, but not all 100. Technically, that’s true. But humans work on human nature, not technicalities.

    I DO want a *measurable* victory condition that is achievable through American force, or American determination.

    All you have to do is look at West Germany, Japan, and Korea with its DMZ still patrolled by Americans and S Koreans, to know what “measurable” victory conditions look like. All that is left is whether you will believe the costs are worth it to get another S Korea. It is worth it to most Americans now cause it was free for them. Iraq isn’t. Even if they’re all at the mall, it still isn’t free to them because the media won’t let them think it is free and clear. They still worry because they’d been hit with psychological warfare programs from the MSM all year long.

    x

  29. Ymarsakar says

    what it would be like to *still* be fighting in Vietnam, decades later. I was too young to fight there, but I have relatives who did, and I have seen it’s effects.

    We’re still in Germany, Kosovo, Korea, and Japan. If you don’t want to be fighting in foreign territories, America might as well just abdicate superpower status. The cease fire in Korea is still at effect, yet you have some kind of nation being built in the south while the north is dark at night from sat pictures. It’s just easy for people to accept the privilege and success that came from the Korean generation’s sacrifices, but not so easy when it is time to do something in their current generation for their nation and another nation. Chosin Reservoir was not a March to Baghdad. Power comes with responsibilities, responsibilities like holding back the frontier from the barbarians in North Korea and the various other segments of the world. People don’t mind American troops in Korea because 1. the fighting there has ended as far as most people know and 2. Somebody else paid the price so it’s okay for us to reap the benefits of South Korea and the DMZ that was bought by American blood. Turn to Iraq and now all of a sudden, it’s time to get frugal or something. Cause it is happening now, and people don’t like things happening to them now.

    Nations that prefer not to have those responsibilies can easily give up the power and become like Europe and Africa. Dependent upon the charity and military strength of others. If the slot of beneficiary is prefered by people, then by all means let them go ahead when they give up their power and the protection that comes from having status and ability.

    What would things be like today if the conflict had been extended over a generation? Would we be the same America?

    The psychological ramifications discussed by Neo-Neocon and Shrinkwrapped, one family therapist and one psychoanalyst respectively, was that Vietnam was such an agonizing defeat that the military and the civilians prefered never to think about Vietnamization or counter-insurgencies. This led to Iraq of 2003 and the focus on any other than COIN and the successful policy of Vietnamization in Vietnam. The national trauma was too intense, you see. People don’t like being reminded of a failure, especially a humiliating failure. And even if you told them “some things”, they don’t care. And they won’t care to listen to historical solutions attempted and made successful in Vietnam because they see Vietnam was a failure, a failure they don’t want to repeat. Which leads to all kinds of interesting repeats of history in Iraq by the military.

    No, we wouldn’t be the same America. We’d have less psychological trauma to get over.

    It’s difficult to weigh two courses of action when you understand one well and the other not at all.

    Extrapolation is what your eyes do concerning things in the dark, your peripheral vision, and various other things like “depth of field”. There is no reason why you can’t use deductive logic to extrapolate other time lines. Doesn’t mean it will be correct, just like it doesn’t mean your brain extrapolated the correct images from your eyes, but it’ll be close and useful.

    I simply feel like the lives of our soldiers and the future of our society rests on the self-determination of the Iraqi people.

    The future chances for peace between Japan and America rested upon the japanese people. But it also rested upon the American people. But none of that mattered because what it really rested upon was two people, Emperor Hirohito and Macarthur because they represented and lead their respective sides in terms of policy and negotiations and justice.

    The method for controlling massive amounts of people is the same as controlling and organizing 5 people. Just scaled up. There’s always going to be a leader, and if you don’t that leader, then there is no “self-determination” amongst any mass mob.

    These are the same people who were content to be ruled by Saddam for years!

    I don’t think you want to be telling the Kurds and Shia after the Gulf War that they were “content”.

    One man is not more powerful than millions

    A bank robber is not more powerful than the 100 people he is holding hostage in the bank with a bomb trigger and an Ak 47? You need to comprehend human psychology here which allows the few to control the many. Technically, sure, the 100 could swarm the gunman and maybe lost… 1-5 people or 20 or 50, but not all 100. Technically, that’s true. But humans work on human nature, not technicalities.

    I DO want a *measurable* victory condition that is achievable through American force, or American determination.

    All you have to do is look at West Germany, Japan, and Korea with its DMZ still patrolled by Americans and S Koreans, to know what “measurable” victory conditions look like. All that is left is whether you will believe the costs are worth it to get another S Korea. It is worth it to most Americans now cause it was free for them. Iraq isn’t. Even if they’re all at the mall, it still isn’t free to them because the media won’t let them think it is free and clear. They still worry because they’d been hit with psychological warfare programs from the MSM all year long.

  30. Danny Lemieux says

    You are right, YM. Some of the South Vietnamese units fought very well, others didn’t. However, they were doing a fairly good job of holding off the NVA until we failed to come through with the aid (including air support) that we owed to them. Had the South Vietnamese fought hard and lost despite our aid, at least we would have met our treaty obligations and could have held our heads high. Ditto for the Cambodians. Instead, we got shame and dishonor for abandoning them to their fates.

  31. tomc says

    Darkmoth : but if you want to *win* in Iraq, how can you possibly vote anything other than McCain ?

    Clearly if that is what you seek in a man, someone who can bring us victory, then it would seem there is *no* contest whatsoever. Obama does not have any experience giving or even merely following orders, does not have plan, has never even seen a plan or implemented one, and has at the very least, strong racist inclinations (which is the problem that plagues iraq, religious racism). The people we need to fight in Iraq to win, are, sorry to say, the Obama’s, and especially the Wrights. If we lose Iraq’s there will be many, many more Wrights in America soon. The enemy has vowed to take the war to our shores, if we allow them a base, they will do so.

    Hillary is a bit better, but again, compared with McCain there is simply no contest. It must be clear to you that she is a populist. She has zero moral courage and will immediately follow the inclination of the hour of the party. If that inclination is to surrender for even one hour, all is lost. Other than that she is a socialist, and you have to agree that medicare is, to say the least, not the solution. She is looking for the office of the presidency so she can brag about it to her girlfriends, not to lead the nation.

    Not that I don’t find your comments interesting and insightful, and certainly your openness is appreciated, but I’m wondering what we are arguing about … either victory in Iraq is really important to you, and you should vote for McCain, or some other issue is the overriding issue for you, and you shouldn’t be talking about the Iraq war, since you don’t really care.

  32. Ymarsakar says

    Instead, we got shame and dishonor for abandoning them to their fates.

    Shame and dishonor are good things, Danny. It motivates us into restoring honor through “honor killings” and it takes the white man and the rich down a notch.

    There is a strand of society that is very self-destructive. They want to bring it all down, just because they can’t stand the sight of anything built by the power of Creation.

    ALso, many of the folks that wanted out of Vietnam did so based upon the argument that the VIetnamese were fighting a civil war and it was none of our business. How that explained Soviet funds, trainers, and tanks being sent down to the North Vietnamese to be used to kill and exterminate political dissidents down south even after the US left… nobody really knows enough to care about on the Left.

  33. Ymarsakar says

    The same exact argument, that the United States were using bombs and what not to blow up innocent little Vietnamese villagers can be applied to the Soviet Empire. Except the Soviets were good and the US were evil, and we can’t be helping the evil by criticizing the good, now can we Danny.

  34. Danny Lemieux says

    Ah, YM, I suspect that you will agree with me that the Liberal/Democrat/Left has a stain of blood on its hands from the Vietnam era that they cannot wash off. I don’t think that we can let them simply relegate that experience to the memory hole, can we?

    The challenge is to make sure we don’t let them repeat the same disaster in the Middle East that they foisted on us in S.E. Asia. Unfortunately, people forget and get lulled by their siren song…you know, the one sung by Obama girl.

  35. Mike Devx says

    Sometimes I think that I don’t know the meaning of the word “war” anymore. What we’re doing in Iraq is not a war, it is a patient resistance. We are resisting fundamentalist Islam, with all its terror and complete, total oppression. In particular we are resisting Iran.

    If we unleashed all the dogs of war against every center of Islam, the resulting death and destruction would be shocking to see. “War” may not be possible anymore; we are not seeing war in Iraq, I guarantee you.

    It seems to me that we wait for Iran to collapse under its own contradictions. We absorb bitter body blows, we lose our soldiers’ blood and we lose our treasury. Waiting, waiting, for the inevitable fatal weakness of the Iranian enemy to be exposed.

    Strangely, towards the other enemy, Wahhabi fundamentalist Islam, centered in Saudi Arabia, we appear to be totally silent and gracious. The Wahhabi enemy is the one in all the Western mosques, the one that CAIRs, the one buying our universities, the one with the English spokesmen. And we are silent, acquiescent, even submissive to it. Why? Oil?

    Has any democracy ever succeeded in this kind of patient struggle? I’m not sure we can succeed. It all comes down to our own willpower as the chaotic mix of individuals that we are. Will we persevere?

    This election, whether it is McCain-Obama or, less likely, McCain-Clinton will certainly tell the tale! Our national choice will tell the tale, anyway.

  36. says

    Sometimes I think that I don’t know the meaning of the word “war” anymore. What we’re doing in Iraq is not a war, it is a patient resistance. We are resisting fundamentalist Islam, with all its terror and complete, total oppression. In particular we are resisting Iran.

    Mike, that is absolutely right!

  37. Ymarsakar says

    Danny,

    I can’t really get the image out of my mind that people like this Link need to be put into re-education camps and shot, exactly the things that such peeps did to the South Vietnamese. And for the newer generation, it all depends on what they are doing to the Iraqis, even if they weren’t old enough to have made any such decisions on the death of South Vietnam.

    When you slice a person’s arms off so he loses his grip on his lifeline, did the ground really “kill” him, Danny, or did you kill him? And if you ever happened to be in the same situation, why would it be “just” for the guy on the ledge to help you up instead of slicing your arms off like you did to that unfortunate victim?

    It’s the meta-golden rule for ensuring the cycle of justice instead of the cycle of hate and slavery. Treat your inferiors and those below you in the hierarchy of power as you would expect and demand those superior to you to treat you. That means you ain’t got no choice. You either act the way you expect your superiors to treat you, towards your inferiors, or you expect your superiors to treat you like you treated your inferiors. Any other way to parse it would be “injustice”, as in opposite of justice.

    The justice system as we know of only works for those inside America. And oftentimes poorly at that, given the example of Teddy Splashing Kennedy and KKK Robert Byrd and Clinton’s pardoned Enron crooks.

    For justice across international boundaries, however, it doesn’t even exist. The only justice is the justice people get through exercising power.

    As such, there is no reason for people like Jackie to treat the South Vietnamese as humans deserving of the same consideration as a neighbor or child in the US. No reason, that is, unless you make a reason for them.

    HTTP:neoneocon.com/2008/04/04/obama-as-macavity-lies-vs-misleading-generalizations/#comment-63011

  38. Ymarsakar says

    Danny,

    I can’t really get the image out of my mind that people like this LINK AT BOTTOM need to be put into re-education camps and shot, exactly the things that such peeps did to the South Vietnamese. And for the newer generation, it all depends on what they are doing to the Iraqis, even if they weren’t old enough to have made any such decisions on the death of South Vietnam.

    When you slice a person’s arms off so he loses his grip on his lifeline, did the ground really “kill” him, Danny, or did you kill him? And if you ever happened to be in the same situation, why would it be “just” for the guy on the ledge to help you up instead of slicing your arms off like you did to that unfortunate victim?

    It’s the meta-golden rule for ensuring the cycle of justice instead of the cycle of hate and slavery. Treat your inferiors and those below you in the hierarchy of power as you would expect and demand those superior to you to treat you. That means you ain’t got no choice. You either act the way you expect your superiors to treat you, towards your inferiors, or you expect your superiors to treat you like you treated your inferiors. Any other way to parse it would be “injustice”, as in opposite of justice.

    The justice system as we know of only works for those inside America. And oftentimes poorly at that, given the example of Teddy Splashing Kennedy and KKK Robert Byrd and Clinton’s pardoned Enron crooks.

    For justice across international boundaries, however, it doesn’t even exist. The only justice is the justice people get through exercising power.

    As such, there is no reason for people like Jackie to treat the South Vietnamese as humans deserving of the same consideration as a neighbor or child in the US. No reason, that is, unless you make a reason for them.

    HTTP:neoneocon.com/2008/04/04/obama-as-macavity-lies-vs-misleading-generalizations/#comment-63011

Leave a Reply