January 11, 2007

"A calculated gamble that no matter how much hue and cry his new strategy may provoke, in the end the American people will give him more time..."

I doubt that President Bush has any capacity to inspire Americans about the war in Iraq. I vaguely wish that he could. He's made his decision, and I think people need to support what he's doing and not undercut him by revealing to our enemies that we can be worn down and demoralized. Yet it doesn't bother me that much that Americans are not fired up by presidential speeches. We don't like war, and we especially don't like to live with a long war that doesn't reward us with distinct successes from time to time. We express our dissatisfaction, but I think most of us realize it's the President's responsibility to get us through this. Electing Democrats to Congress can be read as an expression of dissatisfaction, but does it also mean that we expect or even want Congress to interfere with the President's plan?

Here's Sheryl Gay Stolberg's analysis:
By stepping up the American military presence in Iraq, President Bush is not only inviting an epic clash with the Democrats who run Capitol Hill. He is ignoring the results of the November elections, rejecting the central thrust of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group and flouting the advice of some of his own generals, as well as Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq.

In so doing, Mr. Bush is taking a calculated gamble that no matter how much hue and cry his new strategy may provoke, in the end the American people will give him more time to turn around the war in Iraq and Congress will not have the political nerve to thwart him by cutting off money for the war....

Wartime clashes between presidents and the Congress are a familiar thread in American history. But perhaps no president since Richard M. Nixon has so boldly expanded an unpopular war. Explaining his decision to invade Cambodia in April 1970, Nixon said: “A majority of the American people, a majority of you listening to me, are for the withdrawal of our forces from Vietnam. The action I have taken tonight is indispensable for the continuing success of that withdrawal program.”
I remember watching that Nixon speech on a little black-and-white TV -- one of the few TVs in East Quad -- when I was a freshman in college at the University of Michigan. We hooted with derision and hatred. How could that evil man think we would believe his insane reassurance about a despicable plan, and how could he dare to portray a new invasion as a response to our demand that he end the war?

More Stolberg:
[N]o American president has been able to prosecute a war indefinitely without the support of the American public. With polls showing fewer than 20 percent of Americans supporting increasing troop levels in Iraq, Mr. Bush and those Republicans who support him know that the new policy will be a tough sell.

“The American people have no reason in the world to think it’s going to work just like the president paints it,” said one of those backers, Senator Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico, “but I think the American people, in their usual good sense, are going to wait around for a while and say, ‘Mr. President, you’ve taken us down a lot of roads in Iraq, let’s go down this one and see if it works.’ ”
I think she's quoting Domenici because he sounds so dumb. Sure, trial and error, people are fine with that system. But what he's saying inelegantly is probably true. People, unhappy though they are, will steel themselves and hope the President has come up with a decently workable plan this time. If you're not one of those people and you're flipping out because you can't understand why Americans -- despite the poll numbers -- seem to accept the President's decisions nonetheless, you probably will only hoot with derision if I say I understand how you feel.

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

"He's made his decision, and I think people need to support what he's doing and not undercut him by revealing to our enemies that we can be worn down and demoralized."

Is there a way to support the president, yet not enable him?

The Exalted said...

He's made his decision, and I think people need to support what he's doing and not undercut him by revealing to our enemies that we can be worn down and demoralized.

you really are daft. if his decision is bad for the coutnry, why on earth would we not want to undercut him? wouldn't it have been better for the united states if we had withdrawn from vietnam in 1967? this isn't about what our enemies "think" -- who the hell cares. this is about doing whats in the best interests of our country. i'm the north vietnamese were all fired up after we left -- SO F*CKING WHAT

Joe said...

Democrats' claims that the election was an overwhelming mandate against the war overstates the case. Lamont got walloped in CT. Public sentiment has shifted on the war to a degree, I think because of the perceptions that our troops were not moving forward but rather were mere targets, and that we were caught in a Sunni-Shiite sectarian conflict that is 1300 years old; to a great extent those perceptions were accurate. However I agree also that we cannot be seen as having failed in Iraq; we must leave or pull back with a democratic government fully in control, or the long term consequences for us will be disastrous. The new plan sounds good in that it appears to have a definite objective and a built-in schedule.

ASX said...

Ann,
This is a serious question. At this point, it looks like victory in Iraq will not come in the form of a free Iraq that is a willing partner in the war on terror. It looks like victory will have to be in the form of a long-term military occupation of Iraq against the will of most Iraqis. Furthermore, it looks like victory will come at the cost of tens of thousands more innocent Iraqi lives. Maybe hundreds of thousands.

I believe we could "pacify" Iraq through brutal application of force resulting in genocide-like slaughter.

Do you agree with any of these assumptions? And if so, do you think it is worth the price (tens or hundreds of thousands of innocent dead) to achieve a military occupation against the will of the Iraqi people?

(I include the reference to "an ally in the war on terror," because this is a recurring part of Bush's definition of victory. I think it is fairly clear that Iraq will never willingly be an ally, of its own free will.)

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

He's made his decision, and I think people need to support what he's doing and not undercut him by revealing to our enemies that we can be worn down and demoralized.

Surely we can all agree that this is pure wingnut boilerplate, right?

Do you really believe that you, as a poor, deluded 30-percenter, are really "steeling yourself" for the escalation in the war?

So brave, Ann. So brave.

NSC said...

Is there a way to support the president, yet not enable him?

Sure it's called statesmanship and it would involve rational debate offering up solid choices. It does not include, however, comparing Bush to Hitler, publishing national secrets in order to damage Bush, threatening to withdraw funding for our troops while they are in combat, threatening the draft to scare people, calling for impeachment, and all the other things the left does regularly.

Bruce Hayden said...

The question isn't about enablement. The President has the legal and effective power to do just what he is going to do, prosecute this war until he leaves office.

The problem for the Democrats is that they don't have an alternative, except for anything except for what the President is doing. But what happens if the President is/was right, and they cut off funding, like they did for Vietnam? This time though the consequences of cutting and running wouldn't be hidden from the American People. And if even a fraction of what might happen with cutting and running did happen, the Democrats would guarantee themselves minority status for the next 20 years.

Yes, the firebrands on the left don't care about this, but the newly enfranchiesed Congressional Democrats care about this - a lot. And so, despite a lot of knashing of teeth, they aren't going to cut off funding. (On the other hand, they are likely to do whatever they can to thwart the President short of this, esp. through hearings about everything they can think about).

SGT Ted said...

"Is there a way to support the president, yet not enable him?"

In a war? Not really. He's the Commander in Chief. I distrust the psychobabble term 'enable' being applied in this situation, or any wartime situation. There has been a reflexive opposition to anything proposed by him that makes alot of the opposition untrustworthy and suspect.

Bush finally seems to be getting that you cannot truly fight a successful war by fighting a halfassed, or, more "nuanced" war. This is one of the lessons from Vietnam that has been lost; you have to break the enemys will to fight. That hasn't been done yet.

Lincoln responded to the lack of Union Army victories by firing McClellan, who wasn't willing to risk the casualties necessary to win, and replacing him with Grant, who was willing to be aggressive in pursuit of a victory. It is instructive that the alcoholic Grant was more effective a General in the field than the presumably sober McClellan. Hopefully, Bush has selected a suitably aggressive set of Generals to get the victories. The other test is whether or not the American people and politicians have the will to withstand the necessary bloodshed and brutality that it takes to secure victory in the war. I have my doubts about that.

Gerry said...

Ann,

It sounds vaguely to me like you are saying either "I know how you feel, because before I grew up I felt the same," or "I know how you feel, because I felt the same way about Vietnam, but this war is fundamentally different than that one."

Mindsteps,

Only if you believe you can have tea and no tea at the same time.

Zeb Quinn said...

It isn't very complicated. Wars are won by one simple formula.

#1. Massively kill and otherwise pound all enemies, real or suspected, into utter submission. Keep it up until they beg you to stop. Scorch the earth if necessary. Even if not necessary, scorch the earth anyway just on general principles and to drive home the point.

#2. After #1 above is accomplished, then and only then rebuild and engage in nation-building.

LBJ looked for shortcuts. Nixon seemed to be looking for shortcuts, but I think he knew better. Bush and Rumsfeld, and their minions looked for shortcuts. But there are no shortcuts. There's only one way. It's why war is reviled. It's why war is the absolute last resort. But as we have seen twice now in the last 40 years, doing less than what it takes to win is worse than doing nothing at all.

quimby10 said...

Mindsteps' comment perfectly defines my uneasiness with this post.

Let's say I believe (which I do) that the president has made a series of bad decisions about the execution of the Iraq War. Is there a way for me to express my support for our country and respect for the office of the presidency without indicating support for what I perceive as Bush's poor decisionmaking process?

Al Maviva said...

I agree basically with Zeb.

The stuff about uniting behind the c-in-c isn't politics, Doyle. It's basicallly military and political theory. At Zeb's stuff about pounding the enemy is true, but not because you win by killing, but you win by breaking the enemy's will to fight. In assymetric warfare, for the weaker power it's about ensuring your limited troops stay willing to die for a long time while atritting the will of the stronger power. For the stronger power, it's about trying to preserve the will of the people to suffer countless little gnat stings. Vietnam wasn't lost on the battlefield, it was lost when a lot of people lost their resolve and started thinking like you.

Part of the problem comes with a fundamental misunderstanding of the tactical nature of war, as well. It's one damn catastrophe after another, right up until victory. Pearl Harbor, Kaserine, Sicily, the Italian Campaign, D-Day, Caen, Arnheim, the Huertgenwald, the Bulge - one friggin' catastrophe after another, if you want to judge the battles based on a textbook view of how nicely an operation should run. In the end, we strung together enough catastrophes (and the enemy had enough of their own) that we won.

What's worst for the country at this point is cutting and running. If you are ready for an insanely narcissistic, nuke weapons-powered Iran to run pretty much the entire middle east and to attempt to assert hegemony over the Mediterranean and North Africa, then it's a wonderful idea. If Commander Ahwannajihad and that rotating cast of a thousand angry mullahs is a group you'd rather not have to confront in 10 years time, then now is the time we need to bear down. Taking out the Iranian-run Sadrist militias and their close allies would be a decent start.

Of course it still doesn't address the Saudis, who have proclaimed that they want to go nuclear now that we're letting Iran go that way... I guess Doyle, you'd better get used to dealing with this mess, because it ain't going away, no matter what the U.S. strategy is, or who runs the White House. It ain't about us, we're just convenient players on the stage, and you ought to stop thinking like it is.

SteveR said...

To the extent I am unsure about what's the best "way forward" and how to judge this particular strategy, the worthless and personal criticisms from obviously intelligent folks like Doyle and "The Exalted" gives me a sense that supporting the president is a good thing.

I can't be on the same side as that level of mind numbing immature thought.

Pogo said...

The Democrats are hellbent on losing, so how can they do anything but be obstructionist?

They've now sided with the extreme right, the isolationists ( a view prevalent in every US foriegn war, even WW2). I understand the notion that liberating Iraq was not the correct decision. I happen to disagree with those who say so, but that's not the point.

We are in fact in a war in Iraq. We can either win it or lose it.
Democrats think we have already lost and are damn sure they're going to make that loss concrete.

And I find that despicable.

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me again why I have to support the President?

Isn't the point of a democracy that I get to disagree with the President, protest, and even take legal actions to frustrate him if I disagree with him?

I am still a citizen and not yet a serf, is that right Professor?

Sloanasaurus said...

It isn't very complicated. Wars are won by one simple formula.

#1. Massively kill and otherwise pound all enemies, real or suspected, into utter submission. Keep it up until they beg you to stop. Scorch the earth if necessary.



This just isn't true, especially for a war where you are not fighting enemies that are fully backed thier population.

Jefferson Davis knew that he could not win the Civil War though conquest of the North. He had to make the war terrible enough for the the North to give up and let the South go. Davis hoped that the North would become too weary to continue the war.

This is the same strategy for the terrorists and our enemies in Iraq. They pay a lot of attention to our media and our political squabbling. They are trying to wait us out. Just as the Copperheads in the North were the indirect allies of the Confederacy so are many Democrats today the indirect allies of the terrorists.

MadisonMan said...

I also am very uneasy about any decision the President makes, given his past history of decisionmaking (and execution of those decisions). But he does have the authority to make these decisions. He's trying to save his Presidency, which is only to be expected.

I missed some of the speech last night: any word on how this is gonna be paid for?

dklittl said...

What's saddest is that you and others have become such a shill for Bush & Company, that you can't even see how "despicable" it is that Bush ACTUALLY lost the war. Leaving aside the vague premise that this was a war that was actually winnable, if it was and additional troops have been needed for so long, then what the hell has he been doing as Rome burns. You can scapegoat the Democrats for realizing his failures just as you did when we pointed out the hostility over Abu Graib, or we said that there were no WMD, or when we said that it was Sunni vs. Shiite and not Iraq vs. Al Queda, but his stubborn incompetence is the reason that we have lost. This misguided rage only shows how much you have in common with a man who can't seem to quite grasp the reality of a situation.

Anonymous said...

I am heartened and inspired.

I've always thought that we are on the right track as far as grand strategy. With the threat of a nuclear weapon we could no longer continue on a course of containment. Such a strategy was doomed to fail thanks to our "allies" such as France and the U.N. who consistently suck up to and aid our enemies.

Further, I have always had faith that President Bush was a serious man who would take wise counsel. I consider this proved by his steadfastness in the face of never ending criticism. He is not a finger in the wind politician but rather a leader. His kind have become such a rarity that it is hard for many to recognize them. In these modern days leaders are usually only given their due after their retirement or death once history has ample time to prove them correct.

I have had many criticisms of Bush, primarily his unshakable desire to get along with a political opposition that has no desire to get along with him. I believe this desire for bipartisanship harmed his ability to address the American public and our war effort. That being said, attacking the obstructionist Democrats who were giving aid and comfort to the enemy may well have been a worse alternative.

Bush has taken needed course correction and we already are seeing concrete actions proving that his speech indeed signaled a new direction and was not mere political rhetoric. I fully expect more screaming from some Democrats and much of our national media as they attempt to undermine these new tactics.

Larry Kudlow lists some visible actions being taken against Iran including the raid of an Iranian consulate in Iraq.

Finally allowing our dogs of war to take measured action against Iran and loosening the rules of engagement were truly necessary steps and I am heartened. Should our current course prove inadequate I'm certain further adjustments will be made until we have a strategy that will lead to the victory America and Iraq requires.

The only way we can lose this war is by losing heart. Let us hope Bush, and ultimately the American people, manage to restrain those who would have us surrender so that we are forced to fight a more costly war in the future.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I apologize. I proof read my comment but didn't realize the length till I was posting it on my blog. Please feel free to not post my comment. This should be a discussion not a filibuster.

Joe said...

dk, historical revision is like a religion to you, isn't it.

Madison Guy said...

Would you buy a used war from this man? Maybe you don’t have to buy a used war, after all. Maybe we’ll get a shiny new one with Iran instead. Maybe Iraq was just a detour, or a test drive. No wonder Bush looked scared. Time to brush up on impeachment.

Zeb Quinn said...

What's saddest is that you and others have become such a shill for Bush & Company, that you can't even see how "despicable" it is that Bush ACTUALLY lost the war.

A big part of the reason that Bush fumbled the war is because of the relentless sniping from the MSM and other leftists, and, foolishly, Bush believed that he could lessen that sniping and mollify his critics by being less aggressive in the war. And that's how things ended up the way they are.

The point being, the left needs to take some degree of ownership for things having gone they way they have gone. Total ownership? Of course not. But, yes, partial ownership.

dreamingmonkey said...

"Vietnam wasn't lost on the battlefield, it was lost when a lot of people lost their resolve and started thinking like you."

I'd question whether we lost in Vietnam at all. Yeah, we cut and ran, but the nightmare scenario that sent us over there in the first place never really materialized, did it? By the way people are defining a "successful" Iraq these days, I'd say Vietnam is pretty successful too.

Anonymous said...

If the war was winnable prior to the mistakes that have been made, it should still be winnable and not a lost cause. Bush admitted that mistakes were made, but only specifically in respects to the efforts to secure Baghdad. I think an honest look at the war would see mistakes as far back as the planning stages.

It's all too easy, though, to keep highlighting the mistakes in order to score political points. I think those points have been scored already.

I see the logic in gunning first for a secure Baghdad - to give the current government a chance to operate from a secure base. At the same time, regardless of the President's assurances that the new Iraqi plan doesn't repeat the mistake of "too many restrictions on the troops we [do] have", I don't feel good about putting US troops under the command of an Iraqi army that has yet to prove itself.

I've shocked myself this week. I once declared myself a pacifist and I was so so angry at the invasion of Iraq that I felt sick as I watched the initial reports that it had begun. But now I find myself agreeing that we had better try to make this right. I'm not sure we can - there's a religious and ethnic war going on there, and you can't easily force a fix on those kinds of problems - but we had better try.

I don't support this President, but I hope he's got it right this time.

AlaskaJack said...

No American can disagree with the fact that our country faces a very serious from an organized group of radicals who claim to be the only authentic representatives of Islam.

Bush's answer to this threat is to turn Iraq into a democratic nation. On paper, this appears to be a promising strategy. Unfortunately, Iraq has neither the history, the traditions nor the institutions that will allow for this outcome. Bush's strategy turns out to be fundamentally flawed in this respect. This means, as a practical matter, that he cannot possibly accomplish his goal.

What is needed now is new and creative thinking on how best to meet the radical threat we face.

SteveR said...

dreamingmonkey: You're kidding right?

Paul Brinkley said...

I once declared myself a pacifist and I was so so angry at the invasion of Iraq that I felt sick as I watched the initial reports that it had begun.

Pacifists inform some of America's best military philosophy: you must despise war so much, that when you MUST fight one, you destroy the enemy's will to violence so completely that they will never, ever want to fight you again.

vbspurs said...

Mindsteps wrote:

Is there a way to support the president, yet not enable him?

Yes. Indifference.

Cheers,
Victoria

Henry said...

dreamingmonkey - Yeah, we cut and ran, but the nightmare scenario that sent us over there in the first place never really materialized, did it?

Do you mean that nightmare scenario of communist North Vietnam conquering a non-communist neighbor, purging and "reeducating" undesirables, triggering an outflow of refugees, and destablizing the entire region with the eventual murder of millions by communist proxies? Is the the scenario you say never materialized?

Too Many Jims said...

I think people need to support what he's doing and not undercut him by revealing to our enemies that we can be worn down and demoralized.

How do demonstrate our displeasure then if we have been worn down and demoralized by the the poor judgments and incompetence of this administration (as opposed to the actions of the enemy).

dick said...

Dreaming Monkey,

You might just want to talk to the Vietnamese Boat people and the people who had to go through those re-education camps and the 2 million Cambodians killed and the Laotians who had to live through the communist attempted dictatorship. I would say that the above are all the results of the democratic party's policies of the time and now it looks very much as if they are trying to do it again. What else is new for them. They can't decide if they want to be isolationists or world government enablers and we will now have to pay the price for the next 2 years.

Too Many Jims said...

MadisonMan said...
I missed some of the speech last night: any word on how this is gonna be paid for?


He mentioned your kids by name. See what happens when you don't pay attention to these things.

Sloanasaurus said...

I also am very uneasy about any decision the President makes, given his past history of decisionmaking (and execution of those decisions).

You must be referring to the decisions Bush has made that have led to NO attacks on America since 9-11.

Other than that I would agree with you on spending, Harriet Miers, and immigration.

HaloJonesFan said...

I have to say...all along we've heard people talk about American "fair-weather hawkishness" and how we'd turn and run as soon as we took a few casualties.

And you know what? It seems that these people are being proven correct.

paul a'barge said...

Sheryl Gay Stolberg thinks that Bush, Domenici and the American people are dumb. Yawn.

Quick. Someone name me one war in which Sheryl Gay Stolberg has been the winning battle commander.

Tick.

Tock.

Anonymous said...

Barry said:
I think an honest look at the war would see mistakes as far back as the planning stages..

A report from the GAO agrees with you.
"IEDs made from looted explosives have caused about half of all U.S. combat fatalities and casualties in Iraq and have killed hundreds of Iraqis. The IED problem came about in large measure because there were not enough U.S. troops in Iraq after the 2003 invasion to secure Saddam Hussein's ammunition caches."

hdhouse said...

Right now we have the situation much like this country is a child strapped into the backseat with a drunk driver at the wheel.

Bush has the drunk driver mentality of 1. rules don't apply to him 2. and he denies being drunk in the first place.

Past that, all the tired rhetoric, the ongoing use of the meaningless phrase "cut and run" which in this case is so blindingly and supidly applied as to make one weep. You chuckleheads should be grabbed by the collar and shaken hard.

Then there is the scorched earth crowd. These are the real goonies to be afraid of. They just don't give a shit and want to kill everyone regardless. I'm reminded of the old west where it was "hang 'em, it'll teach 'em a lesson".

Then there are denialists. They are the most pathetic off all. No clue. No ideas. Politics of fear and above all, cowering in some make believe world where everyone is to blame for their lot in life but themselves or their glorious leader.

Face it folks. Bush has screwed up royally now and he sits in the presidential driver's seat until either election or impeachment rids us of his pea sized brain. It is our moral responsibilty to act on what the rest of the world already knows: this man is a danger and a menace to everyone and in particular to the precious cargo in the back seat.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, chum!

That's what I love about the internet... wait around long enough and someone else often does the research to back up your off-collar remarks.

Robert Boyd said...

Bush has beeb utterly wrong (and outright medacious) on this war since before it began. As you said, "He's made a decision." All his decisions up to this point have been tragically wrong. Why should we keep giving him more chances to waste American soldier's lives? He is determined, perversely, to do just the opposite of what many wise, well-educated persons from both parties are advising. I hope the Democrats don't fold but fight this tragic escalation and the absurd, petulant fool behind it. It's what they were elected to do.

Anonymous said...

I am always amused at the "not enough troops" line coming out. The whole US Army at the start of the Iraq fight was ten active duty divisions. Ten. Nine battallions per division. Plus, of course, the much smaller Marine Corps.
Can somebody please explain where these extra troops would have come from?
We lost thousands of our young men in WW2 because they were poorly trained draftees. It takes TIME to grow a soldier. I was lucky, I enlisted a whole year before LBJ sent the first big surge of Marines to Da Nang, at that I was the rookie in my squad. By my second tour it was boot camp, Infantry training and the Nam, young men that would have lived had they had time to grow into the Corps, died.
We don't have the troops, by the time we can train the troops to where they aren't cannon fodder we won't need them.
That's the problem.
I'd like to know, too, when are you lefties going to take responibility for the millions of southest Asians murdered, just as we tried to warn you would happen.
You stopped the war. Millions died. Aren't you proud of yourselves?

Anonymous said...

"Jefferson Davis knew..."

Given that he did not win, perhaps we should not be looking at him for the wisdom we need in war.

MadisonMan said...

You must be referring to the decisions Bush has made that have led to NO attacks on America since 9-11.

So you're saying American Robert Stevens wasn't killed by terrorists after 9/11? Thomas Morris is still alive?

I agree that the invasion of Iraq correlates with no terrorist attacks on the US. This is not causation, however, and the statistical significance of the correlation is small.

Anonymous said...

Victoria: You put into that one word all of my convoluted thoughts on the matter. Thank you.

Sloanasaurus said...

Unfortunately, Iraq has neither the history, the traditions nor the institutions that will allow for this outcome. Bush's strategy turns out to be fundamentally flawed in this respect

Execept you don't really know anything about Iraq or its people - you are just spewing out racist ideology. It's all been said before: "Blacks are too dumb to read, why bother teaching them."

The people in Iraq want democracy - they voted for it in the face of death.

hdhouse said...

"ohhh Sloan....sloan darling...give daddy a great big kiss...."

Want democracy, not wanting democracy...its not the issue and you know it or should know it.

The issue is civil war - mainly religious, a lot over oil revenues, a lot of death squads and some of them sanctioned and very little about the war on terror.

Why is this soooo tough for you to figure out? Why is your world so chock full of straw dogs?

vbspurs said...

Victoria: You put into that one word all of my convoluted thoughts on the matter. Thank you.

Internet Ronin, that is a first for me, with my almost Arabic flourish. :)

Anyway, it's true, although it doesn't mean it's right, of course.

Cheers,
Victoria

Anonymous said...

SGT Ted said. "There has been a reflexive opposition to anything proposed by him that makes alot of the opposition untrustworthy and suspect."

That is not how I see it. In the aftermath of 9/11 we basically gave this President, his administration, and his party a blank check and unconditional support. In the process of coming to our senses, we need to look hard at the decisions this President is making and give him our best thinking on the issue. Personally, things tend to work out better for me when I am told what I need to hear, not what I want to hear.

kettle said...

We don't like war.
How, exactly, do you mean that?
The entire history of our nation is at odds with that statement:
The American Revolution 1775-1783
The Indian Wars 1775-1890
Shay's Rebellion 1786-1787
The Whiskey Rebellion 1794
Quasi-War With France 1798-1800
Fries's Rebellion "The Hot Water War" 1799
The Barbary Wars 1800-1815
The War of 1812 1812-1815
Mexican-American War 1846-1848
U.S. Slave Rebellions 1800-1865
"Bleeding Kansas" 1855-1860
Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry 1859
United States Civil War 1861-1865
U.S. Intervention in Hawaiian Revolution 1893
The Spanish-American War 1898
U.S. Intervention in Samoan Civil War 1898-1899
U.S.-Philippine War 1899-1902
Boxer Rebellion 1900
The Moro Wars 1901-1913
U.S. Intervention in Panamanian Revolution 1903
The Banana Wars 1909-1933
U.S. Occupation of Vera Cruz 1914
Pershing's Raid Into Mexico 1916-1917
World War I 1917-1918 (American involvement only)
Allied Intervention in Russian Civil War 1919-1921
World War II 1941-1945 (American involvement only)
The Cold War 1945-1991
The Korean War 1950-1953
The Second Indochina War "Vietnam War" 1956-1975
U.S. Intervention in Lebanon 1958
Dominican Intervention 1965
The Mayaguez Rescue Operation 1975 (May 15)
Iranian HostageCrisis and Rescue Attempt-- "Desert One" or "Operation Eagle Claw" 1980 (April 25)
U.S. Libya Conflict 1981, 1986
U.S. Intervention in Lebanon 1982-1984
U.S. Invasion of Grenada 1983
The Tanker War "Operation Earnest Will" 1987-1988
U.S. Invasion of Panama 1989
Second Persian Gulf War "Operation Desert Storm" 1991
"No-Fly Zone" War 1991-2003
U.S. Intervention in Somalia 1992-1994
NATO Intervention in Bosnia (Operation Deliberate Force) Summary 1994-1995
U.S. Occupation of Haiti 1994
U.S. Embassy bombings and strikes on Afghanistan and Sudan (The bin Laden War) August, 1998
"Desert Fox" Campaign (part of U.S./Iraq Conflict) December, 1998
Kosovo War 1999
Attack on the USS Cole October 12, 2000
Attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon September 11, 2001
Afghanistan War (Operation Enduring Freedom) October 7, 2001-Present
Third Persian Gulf War "Operation Iraqi Freedom" March 19, 2003-Present
Intervention in Haiti March, 2004

I suppose you mean, 'as individuals', but historically we seem to have done very little to show this sentiment through the exercise of democracy.

monkeyboy said...

Sloan;

Its all "White Man's Burden" on the left today. Wogs can't handle democracy, they aren't worth the lives of our soldiers, and the country of Iraq should be redrawn by whites thousands of miles away instead of the people themselves.

Apparently, scratch a leftie and there is a Victorian Foreign Office Clerk.

Sloanasaurus said...

and very little about the war on terror.

Yet, we have killed thousands of terrorists in Iraq and are still fighting them in Al Anbar Province... oh yeah, we haven't been attacked on America Soil for 5 years, including the 4 years that we have been in Iraq.

Sloanasaurus said...

I am glad you mentioned the U.S. Occupation of Vera Cruz 1914. it was one of those invasions of another country to topple its leader that we had never supposedly done before the Iraq war (or so the historians on this board tell us).

The Exalted said...

Henry said...
dreamingmonkey - Yeah, we cut and ran, but the nightmare scenario that sent us over there in the first place never really materialized, did it?

Do you mean that nightmare scenario of communist North Vietnam conquering a non-communist neighbor, purging and "reeducating" undesirables, triggering an outflow of refugees, and destablizing the entire region with the eventual murder of millions by communist proxies? Is the the scenario you say never materialized?


you and all the other maroons here know this was never the 'nightmare' scenario. the nightmare scenario was that the north vietnamese takeover would trigger the toppling of dominoes leading to monolithicly communist southeast asia, which would somehow be catastrophic for our prestige, interests and national security. obviously, this did not happen. equally obvious, in hindsight, is that a communist vietnam, laos and cambodia could never have had any serious impact on our national interest or security.

and, it could be added, the khmer rouge's reign of terror was, at least in part, catalyzed by our unauthorized bombing and ended by the vietnamese themselves in their 1979 invasion.

The Exalted said...

Sloanasaurus said...
I also am very uneasy about any decision the President makes, given his past history of decisionmaking (and execution of those decisions).

You must be referring to the decisions Bush has made that have led to NO attacks on America since 9-11.


those decisions have also led to NO extinction level events from meteor strikes. bravo!

The Jerk said...

Its all "White Man's Burden" on the left today

I don't think that poem means what you think it means.

Anonymous said...

The Exalted wrote: "if his decision is bad for the coutnry, why on earth would we not want to undercut him?"

Now, you have to understand a bare minimum of psychology to get this point. See, when you UNDERCUT people, they get defensive and stick to their original position, clinging even more strongly than before because they are being attacked. When you DISAGREE with people, they have more of a chance to not get defensive and have more of a chance to change their mind.

If you want to be a righteous, wild eyed reformer who gets lots of press but nothing done, undercut people. If you want to pursue change, never undercut people and you will get something done.

Trey

hdhouse said...

since 9-11 i've had no elephants in my backyard. none.

thank you mr. bush for your decisions to keep them out of my backyard.

Anonymous said...

Madisonman wrote: "He's trying to save his Presidency, which is only to be expected."

Huh? I have no memory of a President who was LESS concerned about how the press and public view him than our current President. What do you base your statement on? And what is there to save? He won twice. I know of recent presidents who send their staff in to steal and destroy official documents, but that was not this President.

One of Bush's problems, in my opinion, is that he and his staff "misunderestimate" his ability to use the bully pulpit. They have not tried to "sell" the war.

Trey

Anonymous said...

DKlttl wrote: "What's saddest is that you and others have become such a shill for Bush & Company, that you can't even see how "despicable" it is that Bush ACTUALLY lost the war."

Sorry there, you are confused with Vietnam. It happens to some Americans. We did indeed lose that war. We WON this war. Check the evidence. Saddam: tried, convicted, and dead. Saddam's rapist sons: Blowed up. Saddam's army: vanquished. Democratic elections: check. Democratic government: check.

What part of won do you not understand? We are now working to establish the peace and support the new government. Read some history about Germany after we won that war. We still had to track down Nazi holdovers. We STILL have troops there, since 1945. Get some perspective, or a clue.

Trey

Sloanasaurus said...

those decisions have also led to NO extinction level events from meteor strikes. bravo!

A worthless argument as always.

There is an obious logical connection to the policies Bush has enacted to prevent attacks and the fact that no attacks have occurred. If you think some of those policies have not prevented attacks - then prove it.

dick said...

The Exalted,

Yes, I am sure the Khmer Rouge would never have unleashed their guerrila attacks on the people of Cambodia if we had not attacked Laos. And the attempt was made to domino the region and we are just lucky it did not complete. If the democrats had funded the South Vietnamese as they were promised the result could have been very different. They were winning until Kennedy and his buddies pulled the funding but the democrats conveniently try to rewrite the history on that one. Now Kennedy again is trying to do the same thing to an ally by not fulfilling promises. Of course the man never did have a whole lot of couth and integrity as Mary Jo could tell us had she lived. And I am sure that Kerry will be glad to tell us all about the horrible things our troops have done and will borrow some more medals to toss over the fence. I am sure he still has the phone numbers of the people who lied to the senate in 1971 and they will be glad to hobble in using their walkers to tell us of all the terrible things they saw while they were serving as cooks - that is if they ever served and many of them did not.

Too Many Jims said...

"we haven't been attacked on America Soil for 5 years"

And how long was it between the two world trade center attacks?

The Exalted said...

There is an obious logical connection to the policies Bush has enacted to prevent attacks and the fact that no attacks have occurred. If you think some of those policies have not prevented attacks - then prove it.

this is true. the routing of al-queda and their taliban proxies (or is it the reverse) in afghanistan obviously helped -- as any president in charge would have done.

but you're using this fact as a blanket defense of ALL of his foreign policy decisions, which is ridiculous. and dishonest, which is common for you.

we invaded iraq, my house has not been destroyed by a meteor. i stand by my comment: thanks for the war! hope my house was worth $300 billion!

The Exalted said...

dick said...
The Exalted,

Yes, I am sure the Khmer Rouge would never have unleashed their guerrila attacks on the people of Cambodia if we had not attacked Laos. And the attempt was made to domino the region and we are just lucky it did not complete. If the democrats had funded the South Vietnamese as they were promised the result could have been very different. They were winning until Kennedy and his buddies pulled the funding but the democrats conveniently try to rewrite the history on that one.


is this a joke? we bombed cambodia also, bozo. think that helped destabilize anything? unintended consequence, but still a consequence.

and the south vietnamese weren't "winning" when they had 500,000 american troops there, you think they could win without them? love the nutters on the "moderate"'s blog.

michael a litscher said...

Too Many Jims: And how long was it between the two world trade center attacks?

World Trade Center Bombing, February 26, 1993

Bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, April 19, 1995

Attack on U.S. Embassy in Moscow, September 13, 1995

Empire State Building Sniper Attack, February 23, 1997

U.S. Embassy Bombings in East Africa, August 7, 1998

Attack on U.S.S. Cole, October 12, 2000

Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Homeland, September 11, 2001

Anthrax Attacks, October-November 2001

Beltway sniper attacks, October 2002

dick said...

The Exalted,

You need to check your history. The South Vietnamese were winning with the US there. The MSM like Walter Cronkite spread the gospel that we weren't even though we were, as Gen Giap stated himself. Remember that he said that the protests and the news media saying that we lost the Tet Offensive even though the North Vietnamese were almost ready to quit gave them the courage to fight on. Then when our wonderful democratic legislators pulled the funding, the South could not get the supplies to fight on even though they were winning at the time caused the loss and the South vietnamese and the Boat people were the result. Thank you so much, John and Teddy, for your help.

The Exalted said...

dude, they weren't winning with 500,000 american troops there. but you think in your fantasy land that they were winning without them.

right.

Kirk Parker said...

Kettle,

Nice list, but I think you missed a few here and there. Alas, I must have lent out my copy of The Savage Wars of Peace so I can't fill in the gaps...