November 30, 2006

"We're going to stay in Iraq to get the job done so long as the government wants us there."

Said President Bush today, responding to what he called "a lot of speculation that these reports in Washington mean there's going to be some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq."

Yeah, don't go believing those reports about a graceful exit. Cue the lampoonery.

79 comments:

Alpha Liberal said...

The inevitable pullout from Iraq is going to make the Saigon exit look like a cakewalk, I'm afraid.

Of course, this mess was predicted by those who opposed the invasion and occupation to begin with. And precious few war booster own up to their mistakes. Instead, they attack the people who were right to begin with!

paul a'barge said...

Here's my idea of a graceful exit from Iraq ... first, we invade Syria, and flip the Baathists out there. Then, we bomb the living bejeezuz out of the border with Iran, on the Iranian side and stop the infiltration of Wahabist terrorists into Iraq. Then we perp-walk Muktada Al Sadr to the gallows. Then, we moderately federalize the government in Iraq, and establish permanent US military bases in the Kurdish region.

Then we leave.

The only thing about which people who opposed the Iraq war were right was the degree of difficulty.

No one in their right mind wants to exit Iraq if exiting means going back to 9/10/2001 as if nothing every happened.

Victory or death.

mikeyes said...

Oh, no, you are totally wrong!

The administration seems to have come up with a plan that allows us to withdraw with dignity and even the moral high ground:

Just before an important meeting with the principles in the Middle Eastern conflict, we artfully leak a memo to the president from the National Security Advisor that states that the Prime Minister of Iraq is an incompetent fool. This way the PM becomes upset with us, confers with his Shia militia allies, the Iranians and the Syrians and decides to throw us out. At that point we can bluster and posture but then decide that since the PM was "elected by the people of Iraq" he has the right to do so and we leave.

Do you think that will work?

Sloanasaurus said...

I disagree. We have a plan for trainging X amount of Iraqi troops. Once we hit that goal, we should start pulling out our front line combat troops out - but only when we meet the plan. Eventually, the Iraqi units need to step up but only when they have the training.

Eventaully we should leave 20-30,000 troops in Iraq on a more or less permanent basis to offer logistical support to the IRaqi troops and to deter any sort of military coup. We want the Iraq army to want to be associated with the West... let them benefit in the goodies of Western power, just as the Turkish army does.

In Vietnam, we left after signing a treaty with the North that they would not invade if we would leave. After we left (after our troops left in 1973-74), the North promptly broke the treaty by invading the South and the Congress, lead by Ted Kennedy, refused to offer even material support to the South Vietnamese Gov. Thus, the evacuation of our embassy in 1975.

Mack said...

When he actually said it, I'm pretty sure Bush did one of his ironic pauses before the word "graceful," to make clearer he meant "tip-toeing."

Maybe he's intent on leaving the decision to the next president. I'm pretty sure that's his plan with taxes: make sure it's a Democrat who has to come in and clean things up.

salvage said...

That's a brilliant plan paul.

No really, this is not sarcasm in anyway, if you could hear my voice you would not hear any drawn out syllabics nor would you hear a patronizing tone of voice as if I were talking to say a small child who was raised by a particularly stupid pack of hamsters.

And this razor sharp observation: “The only thing about which people who opposed the Iraq war were right was the degree of difficulty.” is not wrong and puerile in everyway possible in a pathetically delusional and self-serving manner.

Hey Ann, the whole Sullivan thing?

BWAHAHAHAHAHAH! Man, you are sadder than a sad song being sung by a sad cowboy on a sad horse working the Tearful Q Ranch outside of Sadtown.

Uncle Jimbo said...

Dear Ann,

The interesting bit in W's statement was his jab that there is no realism in a graceful exit. He hit the relist Baker Commission right before they advocate just that. Nice shot.

Cordially,

Uncle J

Joe said...

It was right to take out Saddam in 2003. Almost everyone agreed, including the congressional Democrats. That does not mean it is right to stay there forever, or to get caught in the middle of sectarian violence, Iraqis killing Iraqis. We should pull out of the populated areas and maintain a secure presence in the desert, to boost the security of the elected government and prevent anarchy or a takeover by radicals.

PatCA said...

It is indeed interesting politics, Uncle J. I had expected helicopters on the building tops by now, yet...could it be this is meant to spur Malaki to real action? Hope springs eternal.

And I'm with you, paul. Forget the media front, forget PC. Win the freaking thing.

chickenlittle said...

alpha liberal said:

"The inevitable pullout from Iraq is going to make the Saigon exit look like a cakewalk, I'm afraid."

Care to add anything about the tossing of flowers?

Anonymous said...

A graceful exit be dammed. We should withdraw like this.

http://weaselhunting.blogspot.com/2006/11/how-to-fix-iraq.html

I'm quite serious. I think it would work better than anything else I've read.

Al Maviva said...

Hey, what are you people worried about? Nancy Pelosi explained yesterday that there are no Al Qaida in Iraq. So there's no reason for us to be there.

the Rising Jurist said...

Of course, this mess was predicted by those who opposed the invasion and occupation to begin with.

I knew people would start in with this eventually. I supported the invasion knowing full well that we'd end up in a difficult position at withdrawal time.

The difference between the supporters and the opponents is not some amazing foresight on the part of the latter camp. It's that the former group saw the importance of action, despite inevitable challenges.

VICTOR said...

Why hasn't anyone made any effort to bring in the brown folks??

At this point it seems like a lost cause, but getting more regional or Indian troops would have been nice.

Alpha Liberal said...

It was right to take out Saddam in 2003. Almost everyone agreed, including the congressional Democrats.

Yo, numbnuts. A majority of Congressional Democrats voted against the invasion.

A "majority" means "most."

the Rising Jurist said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joe said...

Get your insults correct, asshole. It's numbnut, meaning a numb head or nut. Not "numbnuts." You apparently suffer from both conditions. Except I doubt you have nuts to begin with, being an alpha liberal.
I forgot that a majority of our patriotic, loyal congressional Democrats had their heads up their asses, the official party posture for fighting terrorists. The resolution did, however, pass, didn't it. The Clinton administration, the Dems in Congress and the UN all did believe that Saddam was a threat, didn't they. So my point was not all that far off, was it, alpha dickhead.

Al Maviva said...

Alpha Liberal, I fought in the first Gulf War, and in the long aftermath after the ceasfire worked providing humanitarian relief to many of the refugees of Saddam's regime. It was somewhat shocking to me at the time to meet people who had their tongues ripped out with pliers a couple hours before encountering my little checkpoint - that mutilation for daring to criticize the regime; to try to help the medics treat little kids who had had their hands shot off for their brothers' crime of getting captured or killed on the battlefield; and to speak with
women who had survived Saddam's rape rooms. My most memorable day, if you could call it that, was when Saddam's 'commandos' crept into the Talil air base perimeter and blew up the fuel tanks, splattering several tens of thousands of nearby encamped refugees with burning fuel. I still remember the blue-green fuel burns very graphically and the smell, which was indescribably sickening (never mind the subsequent gangrene victims). I think about those things often, every time I hear about how tough the going is in Iraq, and how even our relatively minimal commmitment is just too much for our battered nation to support. I can still see the faces of some of the victims when I close my eyes, and it still shocks me. No, I'm not a traumatized vet with PTSD or anything, but some images just stick in the mind's eye even when a lot of other details are forgotten.

The whole reason we're up to our eyeballs in the middle east is the "realists" couldn't finish the job in '91, leading Saddam and bin Laden to conclude we are weak, and would crumble if attacked, or jerked around on inspections and sanctions. While I know that removing Saddam was the right thing to do, this upcoming retreat will be more costly than the last retreat and may in the end make the entire enterprise a mistake. I supported the war because I thought we would actually take it upon ourselves, as a nation, to get at some of the actual causes of terrorism in the middle east, which include broken societies and botched European colonialism; had I known we'd half-ass it, I'd have never have supported it. Far from doing too much, we've done far too little as a nation to spread liberal government and basic human rights. But in spite of our failures in Iraq, it is sheer dreaming to think that we can just withdraw without serious, long term consequences. I'd visit Manhattan and LA now, if I were you - especially if NATO and the happy anti-warriors of the left force us to pull out of Afghanistan, which will in short order turn Pakistan and its nukes over to the Islamcists. As bad as all that is, at least I can console myself in the knowledge that it's unlikely that the next tyrant of Iraq will be as systematically and arbitarily cruel as Saddam was. There will still be a lot more young men with tongues plucked out, plenty of raped women and mutilated kids, I'm sure, but Saddam set a pretty high bar for cruelty that few are able to top. What do we care though - closing the donut hole in the medicare prescription drug benefit and repudiating Bush matters much more than any of that humanitarian bullshit, right? (Except Free Tibet! It's always important to care about humanitarian causes where doing something doesn't really cost anything...)

So feel free to keep crowing about what a mistake it was to remove that bastard from power, and keep crying the alligator tears over how tough the withdrawal will be, you sanctimonious prick. Yeah, you're standing on the high ground here relative to those of us who advocated removing Saddam, alright. But then if you stand in the middle of any given landfill, sooner or later the shabby pile gets big enough to resemble a hilltop.

Alpha Liberal said...

Ya know, one thing I'd like a conservative to explain is why they think bombing cities, people, etc is so often the best solution and a way to make friends among the bombed.

Americans were completely freaked out by 9/11. Well, don't you think people of other nations are freaked out when we bomb them?

When we bombed Baghdad, it was the "Shock and Awe" campaign. Look up "awe" in your thesaurus (MS-Word will do). Hunh. It's a synonym for "terror." So the "Shock and Awe" campaign was a terror campaign. Indisputably.

Perhaps this explains why they haven't lain those flowers at our feet yet? Maybe one lesson from the Iraq Invasion and Occupation is that bombing the shit out of people is no way to make friends.

Just a thought. Maybe I'm wrong and people like being bombed by us. ("Thank you for bombing us, USA!") Or not.

salvage said...

Shorter Al Maviva: As long as Saddam isn't the source of Iraq's misery it's okay.

Y'know the whole noble crusade song and dance wouldn't ring so hollow if America weren't allies with regimes just as bad as Saddam.

Bush’s invasion took a very bad place and made it an ever worse place that will one day go back to being a very bad place but not before millions are killed.

Yup, that’s something to be proud of,

And you know why they didn’t go the Baghdad in ‘91? For the exact reasons we’re seeing on TV now. It’s a shame that bit of reality wasn’t passed on from father to son.

Alpha Liberal said...

Yo, numbnuts, that original resolution saw 29 Dems in the Senate voting for the measure, and only 21 voting against.

"29" is "bigger" than "21.


Reminder: There are TWO houses of Congress! Go back and re-do your math! (wow)

Iraq had nothing to with the attacks of 9/11. Bush, himself said that in the past two months. Bush let Osama bin Laden escape in the mountains of Tora Bora and now says he doesn't much care about Osama.

al Maviva, I don't need any lectures on how much Saddam sucks. I opposed US support for Saddam (and other brutal dictators) when Reagan and Bush and Rumsfeld were propping him /them up in the 1980s.

Thing is, we can't fix every wrong in the world. Now, it's worse than before we invaded, bodies are piled up on streets with signs of gruesome torture every morning. All the allegations against Saddam were 10-15 years old, he had been pinned down and contained. So stop making excuses. People are dying for this miserably failed intervention.

And, why aren't you calling for intervention into Darfur? Or all the other countries were tyrants reign?

monkeyboy said...

If all you read about the US civil war was "Gone with the Wind" you would have thought that an enemy army went in, destroyed a peaceful (or at least "stable") government, ruined the countryside and was hated by all the people.

If the democrats want to wash their hands of our allies in Iraq, fine, take down the Kennedy "Bear any Burden" quote and replace it with Kipling's "White Man's Burden"

chickenlittle said...

Alpha Lib said:

"I'd like a conservative to explain is why they think bombing cities, people, etc is so often the best solution and a way to make friends among the bombed."

Why don't you just ask Bill Clinton, or Wes Clark? They did a better version what you described in Bosnia

chickenlittle said...

monkeyboy said:
"take down the Kennedy 'Bear any Burden" quote'..."

While they're at it, dems can change his "ask not" quote to

"Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you"

Maybe as part of a big shrine in New Orleans

Joe said...

Alpha, your revisionist history is painful. Reagan, Bush, Rumsfeld, etc wre not propping Saddam up in the 80s. There was some very minor uneasy support due to Iran, but it was France, Germany and Russia that provided the VAST majority of funding and political support to Iraq. It was also those three heavily involved in the oil for food scandals that were destroying the sanction regime (which was hurting the average Iraqi, not Saddam.)

"All the allegations against Saddam were 10-15 years old, he had been pinned down and contained."

That's utter bullshit and you either know it or are just plain ignorant. Saddam was committing brutal acts against his people until his final days of power. In addition, Saddam intended to fully restart his nuclear weapons program as soon as sanctions were lifted (the only real challenge was obtaining fissible material--his scientists had worked out the engineering.)

Since you are opposed to "brutal dictators", could you do us the honor of listing them, just for future reference?

I'm also curious whether you support al-Maliki. If not, why not?

I'm also curious about your defense by pacifism standard. Okay, not really, I just think you're an angry anti-Bush half-wit who grabs onto any convenient argument of the moment to make your inane points. (Your rant in response to this will no doubt support my thesis.)

(And I'm a different Joe than the one above though I share many of his sentiments.)

chickenlittle said...

alpha liberal:

I'm kinda happy with my
"Free Darfur" bumpersticker

Alpha Liberal said...

Al Maviva, I reread your long post on your experience in Gulf War I. While I quickly tire of lectures from conservatives on suppression under Saddam (after conservatives/Republicans aided and abbetted suppression in Iraq and many other countries), you had quite an experience and I wish you the best in dealing with it, as you seem to have done. Nothing personal.

Knemon said...

"BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!",

he explained.

Knemon said...

"getting more regional or Indian troops would have been nice."

Muslims and Hindus - what's the worst that could happen?

Knemon said...

"All the allegations against Saddam were 10-15 years old,"

Allegations.

*Allegations.*

Saddam's new besteller: "If I Did It: The Anfal Campaign"

George said...

"All across the Pacific we are burning and drowning Japs, and we are having as much fun drowning Japs as we are burning them."

That quote from Admiral Halsey opens the new book "Thunder at Sea" by Newsweek editor Evan Thomas. It's a history of the Pacific War, with emphasis on the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

At a port Halsey also had posted a billboard that read "Kill More Japs."

That's the sort of thing leaders say when their nation is at war.

We're not at war. We just want to change the channel on the TV set, but the remote's jammed.

As Victor Davis Hanson wrote a few days ago, we need a national campaign to end our dependence on foreign oil, because it only hands money to people who want to do us harm

And the idea of chatting with Iran and Syria about what to do with Iraq is like asking the butchers where they plan to pour the blood while the cow looks on.

chickenlittle said...

George said Victor Davis Hanson wrote: "we need a national campaign to end our dependence on foreign oil'

Good for him! That would help a few of my investments too.

Now why didn't a dem think of that

Alpha Liberal said...

Joe: You are woefully misguided if you think the US did not provide significant material support to Saddam Hussein in the 1980s. No doubt there's historical revisionism afoot, but reality is a stubborn thing.

Other dictators supported the US? The Shah of Iran was installed by the US, throwing out a democratically elected leader.

Augusto Pinochet was installed by the US, throwing out a democratically elected leader and engaging in torture and widespread killings of opponents.

Anastazio Samoza brutally ruled over Nicaragua for years.

The US supports the military dicator of Pakistan to this day, after he threw out a democratically elected leader in a coup.

In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak is basically a strong man. I'm not sure how brutal and repressive he is, but have read reports of suppression.

In El Salvador, US agencies actually trained the "White Hand" death squads that killed thousands on behalf of the oligarchy. In Guatemala the US-supported violence against their people was ghastly.

Where else? East Timor, Indonesia, Marcos in the Philippines, the South African Apartheid state.

That's just off the top of my head. But no amount of facts or evidence or piles of bodies will convince you. Perhaps you think it's patriotic to keep a blind eye. I think we must face hard truths even if it means criticizing our government to make it better.

Sloanasaurus said...

Who can be surprised? The same Democratic Party wanted us to give up the civil war with the South in 1864. Fortunately, we had Lincoln who was able to persevere.

Why today's Democratic Party would want to up and surrender to the Islamic terrorists is ridiculous. It certainly is not a way to stay in power.

Bush should stick it out until the Democratic Congress finally cuts the funding and runs as they have threatened to do. Then when the first suicide bomber from the new Al Qaeda in Iraq destroys a bus full of suburban pre-school kids in middle America - the Democrats will be rightly blamed and the new super majority Republican Congress can prosecute this war with new vigor.

It's sad that we have a major party in America today that cares more about the rights of terrorists than winning this war.

Alpha Liberal said...

p.s. Augusto Pinochet was dicator over Chile.

Alpha Liberal said...

Yeah, touche, "allegations" was a poor choice of words. They were "actions."

My point was, the invasion and occupation supporters cited things that happened 10 or 15 years earlier as a reason to invade. That's just dumb.

chickenlittle said...

alpha liberal said:

'p.s. Augusto Pinochet was dicator over Chile'

really? I thought he was something else over dinner

Alpha Liberal said...

"The difference between the supporters and the opponents is not some amazing foresight on the part of the latter camp. It's that the former group saw the importance of action, despite inevitable challenges."

Oh, really? So, just because everything predicted by invasion opponents came to pass, that was no foresight.

That's some of the most resolute denial I've ever seen! Sheesh!

(And those opponents included liberals, conservatives, generals, colonels, peaceniks, former spooks, former ambassadors, the whole gamut. You guys wildly exagerrate support for the invasion).

the Rising Jurist said...

So, just because everything predicted by invasion opponents came to pass, that was no foresight.

My point is that your original comment ("this mess was predicted...") implies that the war's supporters did not also see this result. No one believed the situation in Iraq would be quickly or easily resolved. But those who supported action accepted the inevitable trials because they so strongly believed in the need to act.

To grand stand now and say "I told you this would happen" is just pointless horn-blowing. Everyone knew.

Congratulations. You're awake.

MadisonMan said...

No one believed the situation in Iraq would be quickly or easily resolved.

Riiight. No one said we'd be greeted as liberators, or that Iraqi oil would quickly pay for the reconstruction. People who suggested more troops were needed weren't fired and/or dismissed. Cost estimates exceeding $100bn weren't tossed away.

Knemon said...

"I think we must face hard truths even if it means criticizing our government to make it better."

Actually facing "hard truths" would be realizing that sometimes you've got to pick one group of thugs over another.

*Some* of the examples you list are unjustifiable. But posing as a pure, deracinated, Champion of Universal Peace and Love is far from "facing hard truths."

DookOfURL said...

Here's what I think is Bush's Get Out Of Jail Free card: "We're going to stay in Iraq to get the job done SO LONG AS THE GOVERNMENT WANTS US THERE."

Remember all the blather about how we are restricted as to what we can and cannot do in Iraq because Iraq is a sovereign nation? Remember reading a couple days ago about how Iran predicated it's help regarding security to Iraq (arms, money, suicide bombers, etc.)on expelling the occupiers?

I say the Iranian wackadoo has the power to get us out of Iraq.

Sad, but true (IMO).

PatCA said...

"I think we must face hard truths even if it means criticizing our government to make it better."

Once you report on all the hard truths about every other country or system of governance, I will take your comment as serious. What, IOW, are we as a nation in the world to do, and how are we to conduct foreign policy, since we are so sinful?

Derve said...

I think Iraq is like a good house project.

Do you think things out and accomplish what you can achieve--
or are you the type that jumps right in, actively destroying, confident in your ability to complete the job ... only to settle for leaving things half done? Maybe call in professionals

You come to appreciate living with the first type. Watch the second justify though.

dbp said...

"Oh, really? So, just because everything predicted by invasion opponents came to pass, that was no foresight.

That's some of the most resolute denial I've ever seen! Sheesh!"

The major predictions I remember hearing about from the left were:

1. Bagdad would be our Stalingrad
2. All the oil wells will be set on fire.
3. There will be millions of refugees.

and

4. The WMD (that the left now believes that nobody ever believed in) would be used to horrible effect on our soldiers.

dbp

chickenlittle said...

Derve said:

"I think Iraq is like a good house project."

Good analogy, but you left out the part about dems playing the role of a nagging spouse, wanting things done yesterday and with absolute perfection, without lifting a finger to help.

Derve said...

A good home handyman tells the nagging spouse what can be done... and more importantly, what can't with the tools and budget at hand.

A job worth doing is a job worth doing well. You don't let yourself get put in a position where you leave the work half done, even if it means reigning in your nagging spouse's ambitions.

(And blaming your spouse for unaccomplished work plans doesn't go over well.)

chickenlittle said...

I believe most of the spouse voted for the plan along with the majority. Now that the spouse actually controls the purse strings, we'll see them in action.

Derve said...

dpb: Quite simply, most of those reluctant to invade were concerned about the population fighting back. (However you define that)

A "ground campaign" involving door to door fighting, immersing yourself among a foreign population is hard fought. Without allies in the general native population, it's a near impossibility, history shows us.

Also, protracted warfare that accompanies crowded urban fighting is never popular over time. We knew that too. This war has gone on longer now than America's active fighting in WWII. Something to consider.

Al Maviva said...

AL, thanks for the sentiment, but you miss the point completely, again. My personal feelings about my experiences in Iraq and how I deal with them, as well as your cheap grace, are close to being completely irrelevant. The experiences that matter are the ones of the people who were victimized by the monster, Hussein. Got it? It's not about me, it's about what I saw and that's the only reason I care to mention it. If you think I favor dictators over liberal government, I don't, unless the dictator is a bulwark against an even more illiberal government.

On your other point, if you think that supporting strongmen creates terrorists, doesn't this imply that we have some responsibility for the messes we've helped create? Doesn't that in fact militate in favor of the U.S. bending every effort to ridding the world of Saddam?

I think you folks who are the soul and conscience of the nation think that 30,000+ murders per year at the hands of Saddam's regime, going on indefinitely forever - a situation you accuse Cheney and Rumsfeld of creating - is an irrelevance. Assuming your accusation is true, don't we then have a duty to try to undo the error?

Derve said...

I believe most of the spouse voted for the plan along with the majority.

No, the spouse may have produced a blank check, but no spouse ever saw and approved the specific details of this Iraq home improvement "plan".

If anything, the check-bearing spouse was led to believe the roof would fall in -- immediately! -- if significant action wasn't undertaken. Now we're all feeling the draft from the sucking hole, hoping the patchwork tarps can cover.

Enough. I feel sick w/o listening to the why-we-failed whining.

Alpha Liberal said...

Once you report on all the hard truths about every other country or system of governance, I will take your comment as serious.

I'm not a citizen of those nations. I'm a citizen of this nation. I expect the best of this nation, not those others. Perhaps your standards are lower. Pity.
---

Telling that no-one can address my post about how bombing people is a poor way to make them your friends.

chickenlittle said...

derve said:

A "ground campaign" involving door to door fighting, immersing yourself among a foreign population is hard fought."

I won't disagree. About the only thing harder is an offensive attack on mountainous terrain. I think military history of mountainous warfare is mostly a story of successful defense.

I still think it was a good idea to draw the enemy onto the plains of Iraq and slaughter them there in disproportionate numbers. The more they make the more we'll kill. We've got the guns but they've got the numbers

Cedarford said...

Sloanasaurus - Bush should stick it out until the Democratic Congress finally cuts the funding and runs as they have threatened to do. Then when the first suicide bomber from the new Al Qaeda in Iraq destroys a bus full of suburban pre-school kids in middle America - the Democrats will be rightly blamed and the new super majority Republican Congress can prosecute this war with new vigor.

It's sad that we have a major party in America today that cares more about the rights of terrorists than winning this war.


It will take more than a schoolbus of kids.

Past experience shows deaths on a scale far greater than a bus or 9/11 are needed to truly harden the nation's heart against enemy rights and all those internal enemies that support enemy rights. I think that next time will come, but when it does, we would be foolish not to deal with the powerful enemy within as we prepare to take on the Islamic enemy in a real war with few rules. That would mean eradicating the power of the ACLU, enemy-friendly media, and impeaching Ginsberg off SCOTUS on general principles.

Hopefully, if Republicans get back in they will be joined by patriotic Democrats (4/5ths of Democrats actually do care more for Americans than terrorist's rights). And that the Republicans will be a far better breed than the open borders, globalist corporate crony Bushies - no more tax cuts for the wealthy, asking no sacrifice but for the 5% of Americans who are the military and their families. Less like the Bush II, more like Reagan or even Nixon. (Yes, Nixon was twisted, but he was competent and aside from Reagan, FDR, and possibly LBJ, he was the most accomplished & consequential President of the last 100 years)

****************
al maviva - I was in the Gulf War, too. I was happy that we won that war, didn't end up paying a cent for it, killed 70,000 bad guys at a cost of only 300 casualties -- and we were over and done with that one except the victory parades in two weeks.

Knowing now what I didn't know then about Iraq and "finishing the job" - as the neocons said, I'm even happier we didn't.

I care little about Iraqi Shia and Sunni Arab civilians that say in polls by 80%+ margins that they hate Americans and wish us dead. That makes them enemy civilians collectively, and as such, they aren't worth us dying for even if another enemy that also hates America and infidels is really "mean to them". .

************************

A "ground campaign" involving door to door fighting, immersing yourself among a foreign population is hard fought. Without allies in the general native population, it's a near impossibility, history shows us.

Not really, we fight against 40 years of Leftist and secular progressive Jewish activist's struggles to reshape our laws and international laws so as to handcuff and bog down any invader decent enough to actually follow such laws. Especially laws on the sanctity of enemy civilians lives.

In the past, cities resisting after organized military resistance was defeated rarely called for house-to-house fighting or living with a hostile population picking your guys off one by one. You ringed the holdout population center artillery and with troops to pick off or capture survivors. Then you reduced the city with artillery and starvation. No "door-to-door" fighting. Other hardcases got
the message and other cities did not resist. That is classic "pacification". Not a near impossibility - pretty much a matter of will and lethal physics.

In WWII, the Nazis command blundered into door-to-door by insisting on frontal assaults out of impatience at Stalingrad and Moscow. They seriously wasted and attritted some of their best Divisions that way.

I personally want the "enemy rights" people out of power so laws can be changed to allow cleansing and a higher acceptable level of enemy civilian destruction in cases of holdout enemy bastions. I would rather see 500 dead civilian enemy in previously surrendered places or placed that refuse surrender counting on killing our guys on their home, booby-trapped turf than take 10 American dead to save their precious enemy civilian lives.

That would require some revisions to Geneva and domestic and international law...

Alpha Liberal said...

A few bifurcating topics, but chores only allow addressing one or two...

al Maviva, we've not made the Iraqi peoples' lives better. The idea that we're supposed to control other countries flies in the face of self-determination and democracy. And, it's not worked. Before the war, Saddam was defanged, contained and weakening and at a personal low point for toturing and killing "his own people." Now, torture is widely practiced, rape rooms were re-opened (ahem), killings abound.

We need to know our limits!

dbp recalling invasion opponents arguments:
1. Bagdad would be our Stalingrad
First I've heard that formulation and not sure if you mean the destruction of the city or the loss of troops. But, make no mistake, Baghdad is in real bad shape. We've not restored it to pre-invasion conditions.

2. All the oil wells will be set on fire.
I guess some said that, mainly the DC Keepers of Conventional Wisdom. Oil was widely discussed and Bush said recently we need to stay there to protect the oil.

3. There will be millions of refugees.
Not a real popular argument, either, though there are many thousands now fleeing the country. We'll see how many ultimately leave.

Here are the top calls of those who opposed the invasion and occupation, off the top of my head:
1. It's naive to think we'll be welcomed as liberators.
Not much to say, except see my "Shock and Awe" post, above, which has elicited so much silence.

2. It's going to be expensive.
Last costs I've seen to date are $300 billion, but that seems low. Rebuilding the military is estimated at around $50b. More to go.

3. It will cause more terrorism.
This was my favorite of putting it: "It's like putting out fire with gasoline." (You, see, that doesn't work and makes a bigger fire. We want a smaller fire.)

4. It takes more troops.
Wasn't that General Shinseki who was forced out over that? Many other retired military said same. I really feel bad for the situation the troops who are there and rotated multiple times are being put through by their so-called supporters.

5. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11! (should be #1)
Bush finally agreed to this statement in the last two-3 months. Afghanistan did and our country was (pretty much) united to go in there. Saudia Arabian citizens were involved in the actual hijackings and crashing, planning and financing of the 9/11 attacks, but the only Bush-Cheney response has been to hold their hand or kiss their ass.

That's the type of thing I had in mind. I raised these points many times, along with millions of others saying similar things all over the world.

Alpha Liberal said...

Full transcript:

BUSH: The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.

QUESTION: What did Iraq have to do with it?

BUSH: What did Iraq have to do with what?

QUESTION: The attack on the World Trade Center.

BUSH: Nothing. Except it’s part of — and nobody has suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a — Iraq — the lesson of September 11th is take threats before they fully materialize, Ken. Nobody’s ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq.

Video here.

LoafingOaf said...

Glad Bush said this. It's what I was counting on when I gave him my vote. (Although he may be dismissing the idea of breaking Iraq up too quickly?)

PatCA said...

"Telling that no-one can address my post about how bombing people is a poor way to make them your friends."

We bombed Germany and Japan, and they are now our friends. Simplistic maybe and by no means causal--but this is your arithmetic, not mine.

Your refusal to answer my question about the failings of other countries is characteristic of the moralistic left. If you comment on world governance and want to be taken seriously, you had better be prepared to comment on the world. O/w your opinions are mere postures.

Joe said...

Alpha Liberal,

Wow, you're a genuine idiot. You make this weird claim that Saddam made some vague offense 10-15 years ago and c'est la vie. Then, when asked about what brutal dictator you dissaprove of, you go back 10-15 plus years.

And then you make the claim that 20 years ago Saddam was propped up by the US. This isn't really surprising since you've demonstrated a willingness to simply make up history as it suits you.

Now, let's answer the following: Saddam's military was equipped from weapons from what country? Who built a nuclear reactor in Iraq? Which countries were the biggest trading partners of Iraq?

Ah, never mind. Saddam was such a swell guy, I now see you are so right. Quick, let's run over there and liberate him so he can return Iraq to the Eden it was before those American Bastards broke up the party.

(Out of curiosity, should the US give him human shredding machines or should we make Saddam purchase them with oil money?)

Joe said...

One more thing Alpha, all the allegations against Pinochet are 10-20 years old. What does it matter? Why are you so obsessed with the past?

PS. The president of Pakistan is Pervez Musharraf. Just thought I'd let you know. But his offenses were over 7-8 years ago, that's close enough to 10 so no harm done, right?

Alpha Liberal said...

Joe:

Are you intentionally misreading what I said and when I said it? I think so.

Here's a clue: I never said no-one should discuss things that happened in the past, as you imply. I said invading sovereign nations for atrocities committed by their rulers 15 years earlier is a bullshit reason.

And, to some other winger's condenscencion, I let him know I opposed Reagan-Bush's support for Saddam Hussein when it occurred in the 1980s.

i.e. The Republicans are awfully damn late to complain about Saddam's behavior. And opportunistic to boot, doing so when it helps to launch a war under false pretenses.

Also, Bush's adviser, Henry Kissinger, propped up the murderous tyrant Pinochet, and others.

yeah, I know the name of the coup leader in Pakistan. I'm no Bush.

Have a nice day.

Tim said...

"Telling that no-one can address my post about how bombing people is a poor way to make them your friends.

Actually, your post "about how bombing people is a poor way to make them your friends" is completely off point, as we didn't bomb people (not intentionally anyway, and certainly not as part of "Shock and Awe"), and you misunderstands both the doctrine and implementation of "Shock and Awe."

In short, "Shock and Awe" was planned as simultaneous air and ground assaults to decapitate the Iraqi forces as fast as possible, to bypass them and cities, and focus US attacks on Saddam's command structure and destroy it quickly, and that this would minimize civilian deaths and damage to infrastructure. There is slight reputable evidence of systematic US targeting of "people" (presumably you meant civilians) in "Shock and Awe" or other bombing operations in Iraq remotely similar to previous US bombing campaigns in the Second World War, Korea, Vietnam or even the Balkans.

Some, or even many Iraqis may hate us for a variety of reasons, but indiscriminate carpet bombings of civilians is not one of them.

Tim said...

PS: Do Liberals "Support the Troops" even as they accuse them of war crimes?

The Jerk said...

I expect we'll be in Iraq until a Democrat becomes President, so blame for the inevitable humanitarian disaster can be more plausibly shifted away from the people who advocated the initial invasion.

Syl said...

We're not leaving Iraq until the mission is complete.

Period.

And most of the violence in Iraq is still caused by the insurgents and al Qaeda--not sectarian violence. That's bad enough, but there is no civil war and there won't be.

The Iraqi government is functioning. It employs a million people and they're getting their paychecks regularly. The Iraqi people are guaranteed a minimum of food which the govt supplies.

Even Sadr has conceded the identities of the groups who claim to fight for him (and we're in the shia areas cleaning them out).

The Iraqi people are going to work, going to school, shopping, even amidst the violence.

If they can face it, why are we so lily-livered and frightened that we want to run away?

Iraq is a violent place right now and the violence was caused by guess who? al Qaeda. Our declared enemy. It's been al Qaeda provoking the sectarian violence. It's al Qaeda who blasted the worshippers in Karbala in 3004. It was al Qaeda who bombed the Mosque of the Golden Dome.

But the liberals want us out!

They don't want us to fight al Qaeda I guess. Just get bin laden then we can all go back to 9/10/01.

Pentagon says we've killed 7000 al Qaeda in Iraq in the last two years. But Pelosi says there's no al Qaeda in Iraq.

What kind of idiots did we vote into congress this time. Sheesh.

Tim said...

Yes, al Qaeda is in Iraq, notwithstanding the incoming Speaker's ignorant statement to the contrary.

Why do Liberals want us to retreat from al Qaeda and Iraq in defeat? Don't Liberals want us to defeat al Qaeda? Do they think giving Iraq to al Qaeda is anyway to win the war? Do Liberals even want to win the war?

Paco Wové said...

"Do [l]iberals even want to win the war?"

Well, I can't speak for any of them, but I think it's more a matter of inconceivability. Similar to, "Flap your arms and fly! Just do it! Wassa matter, don't you want to fly!?"

Paco Wové said...

"You are woefully misguided if you think the US did not provide significant material support to Saddam Hussein in the 1980s."

Define 'significant'. A listing of arms suppliers to Iraq during the 30-year period from 1973 to 2002 shows the U.S. as providing (by dollar value) about 0.5% of the total.

"No doubt there's historical revisionism afoot..."

No doubt.

Alpha Liberal said...

It's not my job to educate you, but I'll give you a few tips:

Look up "BNL Atlanta Saddam" You'll find informaiton on how an Italian Bank was used via their Atlanta branch to funnel money to Saddam to buy weapons. Is there a difference betwen giving money to buy arms or selling the arms?

This page from GWU has a lot of information on various ways they helped out Saddam.

Document 13: Department of State Cable from Alexander M. Haig, Jr. to the United States Interests Section in Iraq. "De-designation of Iraq as Supporter of International Terrorism," February 27, 1982.

Document 17: Department of State, Office of the Secretary Delegation Cable from George P. Shultz to the Department of State. "Secretary's May 10 Meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz," May 11, 1983.

Also...
Secretary of State Shultz tells Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz that the U.S. wants the Iran-Iraq war to end. He says that the U.S. is neutral toward the war but observes that Aziz knows that "we had been helpful to Iraq in various ways."

And another showing how Reagan-Bush rewarded Saddam's aggression after he invaded Iran....
Document 22: Department of State, Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs Information Memorandum from Jonathan T. Howe to Lawrence S. Eagleburger. "Iran-Iraq War: Analysis of Possible U.S. Shift from Position of Strict Neutrality," October 7, 1983.

Discusses the feasibility of a U.S. "tilt" toward Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war and related practical concerns. The analysis notes that the U.S. "policy of strict neutrality has already been modified, except for arms sales, since Iran's forces crossed into Iraq in the summer of 1982. (We assume that other actions not discussed here, such as providing tactical intelligence, would continue as necessary.)"


And, a US firm supplying chemical weapons to Saddam:
Document 24: Department of State, Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs Information Memorandum from Jonathan T. Howe to George P. Shultz. "Iraq Use of Chemical Weapons," November 1, 1983.

Officials from the State Department's Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs tell Secretary Shultz that the department has additional information confirming Iraq's "almost daily" use of chemical weapons. They note, "We also know that Iraq has acquired a CW production capability, presumably from Western firms, including possibly a U.S. foreign subsidiary." The issue is to be added to the agenda for an upcoming National Security Council meeting, at which measures to assist Iraq are to be considered. The officials note that a response is important in order to maintain the credibility of U.S. policy on chemical warfare.


And more...
Document 33: Department of State, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs Action Memorandum from Richard W. Murphy to Lawrence S. Eagleburger. "EXIM [Export-Import] Bank Financing for Iraq" [Includes Letter From Lawrence S. Eagleburger to William Draper, Dated December 24, 1983], December 22, 1983.

Pursuant to the Reagan administration's policy of increasing support for Iraq, the State Department advises Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Lawrence Eagleburger to urge the U.S. Export-Import Bank to provide Iraq with financial credits. Eagleburger signs a letter to Eximbank saying that since Saddam Hussein had complied with U.S. requests, and announced the end of all aid to the principal terrorist group of concern to the U.S., and expelled its leader (Abu Nidal), "The terrorism issue, therefore, should no longer be an impediment to EXIM financing for U.S. sales to Iraq." The financing is to signal U.S. belief in Iraq's future economic viability, secure a foothold in the potentially large Iraqi market, and "go far to show our support for Iraq in a practical, neutral context."

Source: Declassified through Congressional investigation


And they may not have succeeded in every effort to reward Saddam Hussein for his aggression, but it doesn't mean they didn't try!

Document 39: Department of State, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs Action Memorandum from David T. Schneider to George P. Shultz. "Easing Restrictions on Exports to Iraq," January 30, 1984.

The State Department presents the case for relaxing controls on exports to Iraq of militarily useful items. The department is concerned specifically with an application to export dual-use heavy trucks, the sale of which to either Iran or Iraq has been banned under the Export Administration Act. Secretary of State Shultz approves the proposed sale.

Source: Declassified under the Freedom of Information Act


How about some blatant hypocrisy and lying?
Document 44: Department of State Memorandum. "Notifying Congress of [Excised] Truck Sale," March 5, 1984.

The State Department informs a House Committee on Foreign Affairs staff member that the department has not objected to the sale of 2,000 heavy trucks to Iraq, noting that they were built in part in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan. The official policy of the U.S. is that it does not export military related items to Iraq or Iran. When asked if the trucks were intended for military purposes, the official responds, "we presumed that this was Iraq's intention, and had not asked."

Source: Declassified under the Freedom of Information Act


And the Reagan-Bush Administration fight efforts to condemn Saddam's use of chemical weapons!!
Document 47: Department of State Cable from George P. Shultz to the Mission to the European Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations. "U.N. Human Rights Commission: Item 12: Iranian Resolution on Use of Chemical Weapons by Iraq," March 14, 1984.

The State Department instructs the U.S. delegate to the United Nations to get the support of other Western missions for a motion of "no decision" regarding Iran's draft resolution condemning Iraq's use of chemical weapons. Failing that, the U.S. is to abstain on the resolution.

The U.S. is to emphasize points made in a recent State Department press conference, including the assertion that "The USG evenhandedly condemns the prohibited use of chemical weapons whenever it occurs."

Source: Declassified under the Freedom of Information Act


How about a nod and a wink?
Document 55: United States Interests Section. Iraq Cable from William L. Eagleton, Jr. to the Department of State. "Bell Discusses Possible Helicopter Sale to Iraq," April 12, 1984.

The U.S. interests section in Baghdad asks to be kept apprised of developments in ongoing talks between Iraq and Bell Helicopter Textron about its sale of helicopters to Iraq's Ministry of Defense that "can not be in any way configured for military use."

Source: Declassified under the Freedom of Information Act


Oh, and they were helping Saddam get nuclear capabilities!!
Document 57: Department of State, Special Adviser to the Secretary on Nonproliferation Policy and Nuclear Energy Affairs Memorandum from Dick Gronet to Richard T. Kennedy. "U.S. Dual-Use Exports to Iraq: Specific Actions" [Includes Document Entitled "Dual Use Exports to Iraq" Dated April 27, 1984], May 9, 1984.

An internal State Department paper indicates that the government is reviewing policy for "the sale of certain categories of dual-use items to Iraqi nuclear entities," and the review's "preliminary results favor expanding such trade to include Iraqi nuclear entities."

Source: Declassified through Congressional investigation


Had enough? Lots more there I could throw out, but this should test even the staunchest conservative denial.

Alpha Liberal said...

Revisiting this is a sobvering remninder of why the Iranian people may have hard feelings toward the USA. Here's Saddam gassing the Iranians and the Reagan administration is supporting him and running interference for him.

These stunts don't make us stronger or safer.

Remind us again how morally superior Republicans are.

PatCA said...

So, all your memos and accusations amount to what...something substantially different from any other country in the world, something that bars us from using force or making war? Again, how are we sinners to conduct our foreign policy in the Middle East?

Alpha Liberal said...

Not being lying hypocrites would be a good start. Not invading soveriegn nations on fabricated accusations would also be a good start. Using more power than just military would also be wise. Being better informed about the actual region and people would help (not one Iraq expert on Baker commission).

Did you know that people picked to staff the occupation were picked based on Repubclian and Bush loyalties, not expertise? The people who screwed this up were dismally unqualified.

Alpha Liberal said...

Not being lying hypocrites would be a good start. Not invading soveriegn nations on fabricated accusations would also be a good start. Using more power than just military would also be wise. Being better informed about the actual region and people would help (not one Iraq expert on Baker commission).

Did you know that people picked to staff the occupation were picked based on Repubclian and Bush loyalties, not expertise? The people who screwed this up were dismally unqualified.

chickenlittle said...

Alpha: Why this almost litigious focus on who did what when? Why not focus your energies on what to do next? Wasting today and tomorrow only adds to the burden, or are you truly hooked on hindsight?

chickenlittle said...

Alpha: Your thinking is so tied up in "nots" it's pathetic! Read how many times you used the word in your last post!
No wonder your effing party can't lead. You guys are so focused on negating what to do. Your party's tenure will last about 2 years, max

PatCA said...

Objection, your honor, the witness' answer was not responsive.

But I withdraw my question and rest on the present record.

The Exalted said...

whoa whoa whoa, alpha liberal, this is a fact free zone. be careful where you swing those things.

as proof, i offer this:

Sloanasaurus:

Who can be surprised? The same Democratic Party wanted us to give up the civil war with the South in 1864. Fortunately, we had Lincoln who was able to persevere.

Why today's Democratic Party would want to up and surrender to the Islamic terrorists is ridiculous. It certainly is not a way to stay in power.

Paco Wové said...

α-lib, I was interested in determining how you defined "significant material support" in your assertion that the US provided same to Iraq during the '80s. That assertion, along with the US "propping [Hussein] up", were ones I disagree with, so I wanted to see how you arrived at it, especially when the US contributions were so insignificant compared with other countries.

I notice that much of the list you provide strikes me as pretty much standard diplomatic maneuvering. I think most people in the 80's figured that, as bad as Hussein was, Iran was worse, and supporting him – in discreet, standoffish ways – was better than letting Iran win. Sometimes, diplomacy means chosing the least bad outcome. No, scratch that. Most of the time, diplomacy means chosing the least bad outcome.

What would you have done differently? Refused to have any dealings at all with either country?

Syl said...

alpha is a bit confused. Iraq was NOT a sovereign nation. Iraq was under a ceasefire agreement of which it was in violation.