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"The Islamofascist threat wasn't centered in Iraq until we invaded it."elizabethNow you are finally getting somewhere.
"'And name-calling is not name-calling if the "name" fits.'Yes, it is, J. And it's an empty, divisive way to discuss our nation's interests."elizabethJudging facts and arriving at truth requires division. All judgement involves this process.
Edward -- You come off as quite scared about Kerry's flub despite your protestations that it does not matter.Anywa, let's put on our thinking caps, people: why did the Foley kerfuffle have legs? It had legs because of the Elmer Gantry element. There is a generally held and deep-seated suspicion that all the conservatives and holy rollers are secretly perverse. In exactly the same way, there is a generally held and deep-seated suspicion that all the left-liberals hate the military and think it is filled with idiots who can't get real jobs. Hence, Kerry's moronic political gaffe has legs. Edward: you can protest all the live-long day that this is trivial. But take a look at the Drudge Report. This one hurts the Democrats.
"P.S. In answering, please do not compare to Iraq to Vietnam."too many jimsRight. It really doesn't work.
Well, Kass is quite wrong about one thing:"And others ... fight and die alongside those who didn't get out of 8th grade."They most certainly don't, because none of the services take middle-school dropouts.Seven Machos,"Bush and Kerry were both for the war. Why is Kerry brilliant and Bush dumb...?"Because Kerry was mislead, was duped. Everybody knows that's a sign of intelligence. Duh!
Elizabeth,"We invaded without a plan to win the peace."Hey, thanks--I just had a light bulb go on, about this annoying, silly meme about "not having a plan". You really don't have a clue about what warfare is like, do you? You think, or least write as if you think, that it's all about having the proper plan. Kind of like teaching a class: you start with your exit competencies and curriculum, plan out some lessons, and things go more or less according to the plan, barring the occasional fire drill or snow day or (in your environs) hurricane evacuation.But warfare is not like that, because the other guy is trying as hard as he can to defeat you. --trying plans of his own, along with trying to find out your plans and counter them. The old truism "no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy" isn't just a truism, it's the truth.
John Kerry still has a secret plan to secure the peace. He still hasn't unveiled it. However, it appears to involve thousands of dumbasses who can't make it on life.
Iraq went from the frying pan to the fire.The claim that Iraq was better off under Hussein is the moral and historical equivalent of Holocaust revisionism, so far as I'm concerned. I'll not dignify it with a response.
If it were up to me, Rumsfeld would've been fired two years ago, by the wayThis has been Bush's real failure as President, an inability or unwillingness to fire those who are clearly not working out. A little change of outlook might have done wonders.Iraq is broke. We broke it.Er... we did? We bear some responsibility, but not all. There is plenty of responsibility to go around.However, we are the ones who are there now. We are the ones who have to figure out what to do and I don't think leaving is the best plan, but that has been the only plan the democratic party has given us. I think the long term effects could be devestating. I don't know enough about Iraq to know the best way to fix this deal, but I would like to see someone who WANTS to fix it in charge. I would like to see some serious democrats come forward with help/ideas/anything. I would also like to see a change in some of the Cabinet officials.
Well, the Rumsfeld is bad, should be fired is another meme that has caught hold with little to back it up.There are two things against him. First, he is doing the job that Bush gave him, and doing it well. And secondly, he has the ability to make liberal reporters look like the idiots they often are. And for this, the meme is that he should be fired.But it also follows from the other falacious meme, that Iraq has failed, and that he is the architect. The reality is that he was given an almost impossible job, of vastly changing the military in its force structures and deployments during a shooting war. The revising our military for the 21st Century is a massive undertaking that is almost hidden from the American public by the concentration on the War on Terror. When he entered office, he found a military that had been gutted by Clinton in his Peace Dividend (for example, half the Army divisions had been retired). Yet, it had been gutted in all the wrong ways - what we had left were in many cases precisely the wrong types of troops - a lot of heavy armor, etc. aimed at a no longer existant Soviet Union, separated from Russia now by new NATO members. And that was the military we had when we went into Afganistan and Iraq. And he didn't set the timing for either one. In Iraq, sanctions were rapidly falling apart, with Saddam having bribed three of the five permeant members on the Security Council. Within months, it is likely that sanctions would have been lifted, the No-Fly-Zones history, with the Kurds following shortly, WMD production restarted, and the reputation of the U.S. throughout the world in tatters, while Saddam would be the hero of the Moslem world for staring us down and winning. Those who blame Rumsfeld for the war ignore all those inconvenient facts.So, we went in, and Rumsfeld listened to his generals. They were right about how to beat the Iraqi army, just not how to make the peace and turn the country into a democracy. Why should they be right? They had risen through the ranks commanding tank brigades, not intelligence, training, and police units. They knew how to destroy things, just not rebuild them.In any case, back to the problem of reforming the military. It went from a high priority to urgent because of the war. It is fascinating to watch units as they rotate around the world in order to finally end up after a couple of years where he wants them to ultimately be based. Musical chairs on a regimental or brigade level. So, circumstances pushed us into Iraq, and some how it was all Rumsfeld's fault that the Clinton Administration had not purchased more than a handful of armored Humvees. Or upgraded the body armor of the troops. These deficiencies were not even noticed until unarmored Humvees (designed to operate behind the lines where armor was unnecessary) were found to provide no protection from IEDs, and ditto for the body armor. So, if Rumsfeld had known about these problems, what should he have done? Waited another year to invade, allowing sanctions and our U.N. mandate to fail? The No-Fly Zones to lose their U.N. approval? But, while the armed forces are being completely overhauled, reorganized, and repositioned, he managed to get the new body armor and a lot of armored Humvees, Strykers, etc. to the troops. Now tell me which of the other Secretaries of Defense (not War) in our history could have accomplished as much in such a short time?
Iraq is broke. We broke it.No we didn't. We have done nothing but (a) depose a bloody dictator, making it possible for him to be put on trial; (b) work to rebuild the infrastructure; (c) help assemble a group of Iraqi natives to form a democratic government and nurse them along the unfamiliar path of compromise and representative government; and (d) hunt down and kill terrorists and insurgents who desperately want Iraq not to work as a peaceful democracy.The people who broke and are breaking Iraq are (1) Saddam Hussein, (2) Al Qaida in Iraq and similar outside terrorist Islamic groups, (3) native Shiite extremists like Sadr, and (4) native Sunni holdovers from Saddam's regime.To say we broke Iraq is mendacious and evil. We are the good guys. We really, truly, are. And the proof that it can work is the Kurds. Their area of Iraq is peaceful, safe, and becoming more prosperous every day. They love us and we made their lives immeasurably better. But the Left never mentions the Kurds because that doesn't fit their script. The Kurds are cognitive dissonance for the Left.If there's a mistake we made, it was not splitting the country into separate countries for each of the major religious sects.But this idea that we are the bad guys who broke a functioning Iraq is just evil. The argument completely ignores the fact that the evil acts being committed in Iraq are not by us, but by the bad guys. Using the logic of the Left, it would be impossible to ever liberate a people who were being oppressed by a determined group of fanatics because the fanatics would use violence, and according to the Left that would be our fault. Apparently dictatorships must be left in place because the scrabble between competing interests after the dictator is deposed would entail violence, and that must be avoided at all costs. By this logic, the Left would have had to oppose the American Revolution, since it deposed a dictator and resulted in decades of war and upset and turmoil.The fact is that the Left has been against military action since the day after 9/11 because a Republican was president, and they are against anything a Republican does. If a Democrat had been president they would have supported the war, as they did the Bosnia attacks, which had no U.N. authorization either. And we're still in Bosnia, years and years and years after Clinton assured us it would be a strictly one-year committment.So no, we did not break Iraq, and it is evil to say we did.
Re: Boehner and insulting generals.BFD. Insulting generals is like insulting Congressmen. They are paid to take it. Indeed, the top generals live better than many Congressmen, with the equivalent of presonal jets, personal servants, etc. More importantly, there just aren't that many of them, in comparison to all the rest of the active duty and retired military. Maybe 1/1,000 or so. So, Kerry called tens of millions of vets and active military stupid, and Boehner blamed the Iraqi planning partially on tens of generals. Frankly, I don't think that insulting the tens of generals is going to swing the election either way. Any election.
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