January 14, 2007

"They're convinced that the United States will pack it in and go home if they just kill enough of us."

Says Dick Cheney, speaking of our terrorist enemies, on tonight's "60 Minutes." "They can't beat us in a standup fight, but they think they can break our will."

He's right. And so are our terrorist enemies.

39 comments:

Seven Machos said...

Not sure why you italicized that last part. It is wrong and dangerous to speak of "our terrorist enemies" as if they are the inferior object and we are the superior subject of this fight. By italicizing, perhaps you are trying to make this same point, but you are classifying the enemy in a lower strata just the same.

They are the enemy in a war. That's it. We should find them and kill them and destroy their property -- as many and as much as possible until they bend to our will. That's what war is: diplomacy by other means. (And anyone who tells you that diplomacy is anything other than the act of getting others to bend to your will doesn't know the first thing about diplomacy.)

Anonymous said...

"They're convinced that the United States will pack it in and go home if they just kill enough of us."

"They can't beat us in a standup fight, but they think they can break our will."

He's right. And so are our terrorist enemies.


He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.

By this standard we can never leave any battle no matter how badly it is going. Have you ever heard of sunk costs and opportunity costs? Or discretion being the better part of valor? Or choosing your fights?

Why do you think our terrorist enemies are going to Iraq now, and are not now plotting against us in attacks on US Soil or US Airlines or US Cruise Ships or US Embassies or US Bases in other countries, or US Allies?

Oh. Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what's coming to you. I'll bite your legs off!

KCC: Master, do we seek victory in contention?
Kahn: Seek rather not to contend.
KCC: Then, will we not then be defeated?
Kahn: We know that where there is no contention, there is neither defeat nor victory. The supple willow does not contend against the storm, yet it survives.

One hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the most skillful. Seizing the enemy without fighting is the most skillful.

There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.

In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.

Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.

17. Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory:
(1) He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
(2) He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
(3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
(4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.
(5) He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.

18. Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him.

Appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend; march swiftly to places where you are not expected.

The spot where we intend to fight must not be made known; for then the enemy will have to prepare against a possible attack at several different points; and his forces being thus distributed in many directions, the numbers we shall have to face at any given point will be proportionately few...

Stick to law Ann.

Anonymous said...

Here's how I understand it. I lost an acquaintence in 2000 because he walked into a Starbucks in Tel Aviv for a coffee. We are not facing a state entity, but an NGO (picture Amnesty International with Guns and suicide bombers) that are looking to franchise domestically (Think Jihad Cola trying new markets). I post here (http://valley-of-the-shadow.blogspot.com/2006/11/point-of-divergence.html) on what would happen if we do leave. And here(http://valley-of-the-shadow.blogspot.com/2007/01/three-pillars-and-long-game.html) describing what their game plan is. The terrorists are willing to wait 800 years to take back southern Spain, and we want to leave a newly birthed democracy to the wolves in Iran. FDR and Truman left nothing behind in their war to defeat Nazism and to fight the Cold war, why do Democrats insist on tying the soldiers hands from doing what needs to be done?

yetanotherjohn said...

This can turn into the princess bride scene. We know that they know that we know that if they just kill enough of us, we go home.

Of course, there is always the Ghegis Khan approach to pacifying people which would cut this Gordian knot. But we all know that we won't let that happen, unless we get hit again often enough that we decide 'never again' and really mean it.

Daryl Herbert said...

Is Cheney implying that they're wrong?

Surely he recognizes that this country won't support the war with unlimited casualties.

It would be nice if the media could come to grips with those simple facts. What will the terrorist response be to our surge? Obviously they will want to increase the terror to make the surge look like a failure. If the number of terror attacks stays the same or goes up, but we are arresting/killing many, many, many more terrorists during the time of the surge, a lot of people will nonetheless describe the surge as a failure (especially those who claim that for every terrorist we kill, another 2 spring from the ground, fully formed).

And if that happens, and Bush tries to extend the surge, we will be treated to more "escalation" and "hopeless" and "incompetence" rhetoric, despite that it would be working.

Steven said...

It would take four decades for our casualty rate in the Iraq "War" to kill as many Americans as we lost in Korea. It would take six decades for it to kill as many Americans as the Vietnam War. Hell, it'll be fifty years at the current casualty rates before Iraq kills as many Americans as die on our roads every year.

We have no perspective, and no fortitude.

Tim said...

"He's right. And so are our terrorist enemies."

Of course he (and the terrorists) is right on this point.

Which is why those of "us" opposing the war are so wrong, and so harmful: they are objectively supporting the enemy's effort to defeat us.

I am sure they do not care.

dix said...

Oh. Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what's coming to you. I'll bite your legs off!

You know, you're right. If only Bush and Cheney had watched Monty Python we wouldn't be in this mess. RC, any other relevant quotes? Come on, I'm sure you have the whole movie memorized. Any tips from Dungeons and Dragons? Help us out here.

Hey said...

No need for a Ghengis Khan solution. Simply bring back the use of crucifixion as a mile-marker (or every 100 foot marker) in the territories of interest. When dealing with barbarians, one must work on there level.

Firstly, however, we need to deal with the allies of the Salafists in the West. The Left, the French, etc are engaged in an ongoing effort to aid the Salafists and every other group or nation that wants to harm America. We took no action against treason during Vietnam, and that has simply brought us more treason. It is time to deal with this for once and for all.

Spandau Ballet for the lot of them!

ASX said...

Dick Cheney said: "They can't beat us in a standup fight, but they think they can break our will."

Then Ann said:
He's right. And so are our terrorist enemies.

And you know what? George Washington said the same thing about the British.

You can't occupy another nation, surrounded by tens of millions of people who don't want you there, and "win" without genocide.

We will be defeated in Iraq the way the British were defeated in the Colonies. George Washington knew he couldn't take on British armies head to head on the battlefield. So he waged a guerilla war of attrition, and knew he could make the British occupation unsustainable given enough time.

The truth is that the entire middle east, and much of the rest of the world -- including Russia and China -- aren't going to let America's occupation succeed.

They simply won't allow it.

The only way to "win" is to kill millions of people.

Conservatives need to get honest about this war. If you support victory through genocide, please say so.

But if you don't, recogize that we are doomed to failure.

Anonymous said...

"There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare."

Isn't it great that we live in a country that has it so good that people can think this way?

WWII 1939-1945
300,000 Americans dead/missing
250,000 French dead/missing
400,000 British dead/missing

This is just one war and the dead of a few countries. China had over a million dead/missing and the atrocities against them by the Japanese are unthinkable.

History is chock full of just wars. When people decide they are going to kill you or enslave you and you fight back it is a just war. And I think nations that don't allow themselves to be put to the sword or enslaved do manage to pull a benefit from it.

I think something you aren't getting here is that Sharia law is a real thing. As a male unbeliever under Sharia law you are a Dhimmi. As a woman of any faith. . .well, you don't want to be a woman in the Islamic world. Not a good idea, avoid it if you can. Avoid having daughters as well, unless you want them executed for the crime of being raped.

Do you even know the bolded words above? I would suggest you look them up. Our enemies know them and want to impose both of them on us ASAP. Check out this story from Britain to see how bad things have already gotten there.

monkeyboy said...

Great, RC has read Sun Tzu, but unfortunately, has failed to understand him.

What is a prolonged war? would an ancient Chinese philospher consider three years prolonged?

The whole "know your enemy" part is obviously beyond you. Do you really doubt that the enemy will declare victory if we leave? Have you read the "paper tiger" speech?

The Drill SGT said...

Conservatives need to get honest about this war. If you support victory through genocide, please say so.

But if you don't, recogize that we are doomed to failure.


The genocide is what would happen to Sunni's if we pull out before the political situation is stabilized and the police ready.

dreamingmonkey said...

Gerald -

You can't just kill everyone who wants some semblance of sharia law. It is the norm among the vast, peaceful majority of the Arab world. So your argument just isn't helpful in terms of defining this as a just war. Let's not forget that Iraq was about as far from a Sharia state as anyplace in the Middle East before we deposed Saddam Hussein. Compare to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Jordan or the Gulf States. And think about all the Islamist rhetoric that comes out of our very tenuous ally Egypt (I'm not talking about the govt, I'm talking about the populace).

The WWII model is worse than useless. There is no Berlin of Islamism. I am all in favor of killing terrorists. But those who don't acknowledge that the situation is more complicated than simply "shooting nazis" are taking two steps backwards for every step forward. Creating a power vacuum in Iraq is a good example of "two steps back" in the war on terror. But no matter, now that we are there we have to think forward.

hdhouse said...

Can you imagine how stupid I feel? I thought we were in Iraq to neutralize the WMD threat..you know just zip in there, get those WMDs (remember that mushroom cloud!), zip out...he I saw some guy on TV say that the military stuff was over with..I'm sure I did.

Ohhhh and Mr. Cheney, now there is a man's man! I'll tell ya. I heard taht after he leaves office he is going to volunteer to stay on in the Armed Services...doing some desk job (bad heart I heard??? SURELY NOT A FAINT AT HEART THAT GUY!! Wow, what a brave fella) right there in safe Baghdad (it will be safe by then I'm sure...just like a walk down Unter den Linden) at some checkpoint...he'll just do one of those cushy jobs like checking papers...finding an occasional Iranian and scowling at him like mad....that will scare the shit out of them I'll tell ya...that scowl.

If only he wouldn't mumble and talk out of the side of his mouth.

Anonymous said...

"You can't just kill everyone who wants some semblance of sharia law. It is the norm among the vast, peaceful majority of the Arab world."

Sorry dreamingmonkey, I couldn't get past your first paragraph. I don't consider widespread murder of rape victims to represent a peaceful culture. Don't forget beating women on the street who don't wear the appropriate costumes. Oh, and toppling walls on gay people.

Has cultural relativism so rotted your brain you can't see these are bad things? Did you read the story at the link I provided?

Have you read any of Theodore Dalrymple's writings about the state of Britain? Look at what is happening in the UK and decide if that is what you want to be happening in the US.

Ok, I did peak at your other argument. I wasn't saying use WWII as a model for this conflict, clearly. I was obviously responding to the statement that no country has ever benefited from prolonged warfare. I think it is inarguable that France benefited from our fighting in WWII.

Liam Colvin said...

A good friend of mine, ex-special forces and an amateur historian, summed it up pretty well.

He pointed out that we lack the understanding and barbarity to with which to defeat an enemy so callous as those we face in the Middle East. He felt that we did not display the necessary barbarity when we invaded Iraq, the ruthlessness which would have communicated that we were serious.

Those we fight in the Middle East confound us as we lack the context to evaluate steely eyed mothers sending their children off to be human bombs which blow up other children.

We puzzle at a place the places so high a value on honor that life is secondary to it.

We wonder at a culture that feels lying is normal and expected, an essential part of government and life.

We, as we always do, look inward for the blame for this. It’s a natural part of our culture, as we view our relative prosperity thru the lens of good, Christian guilt.

We lack, overall, the concept of honor and country anymore. We shake our heads at those crackers who volunteer to go to war for our country, at our bumpkin president who lacks polish of our previous, much more erudite president. We secretly wonder, could I go to war? How could I kill in the name of “honor”? Is it not better to bring all our children home and let those left behind just “sort it out”?

We will, I feel confident, leave Iraq in shame – again – and form the circular firing squad when we try to determine who failed. The United States ha s lost the will to lead. It will be lead by the ring thru its nose that is our comfortable way of life and disconnection from the harsh reality that is the rest of the world.

I find Andrew Sullivan perhaps the best example of a product of our culture. Sure of nothing, but convinced of his opinion at that moment. He was for the war before we lost it. Now he is for… something. Too cultured to say it, he just wants the woggies to fight it out and we can retreat in “honor”. The concept of the team is lost on him. He (and we) forget that for *everyone* to win, *everyone* has to be willing to risk loss. Winning is not always congruent with honor, but sometimes it is. This time it is.

This goes beyond the concept of taxes, the draft and incredibly cynical congressmen from Brooklyn. It goes to *our* honor. Do we have any left?

Bruce Hayden said...

ASX

Your description of what is happening in Iraq is, to say the least, a bit simplistic. While most Iraqis want us ultimately gone (and we want to be gone ultimately just as badly), the vast majority don't want us out just yet.

Over most of the time since our intervention, there were two primary groups attacking our troops: foreign terrorists (i.e. al Qaeda) and former Baathists. Notably, both are Sunni (mostly) Arab in a country that was only 20% Sunni Arab when we intervened, and that has probably dropped to 15% since then, and may be down to 10% by the end of the year.

But that 15% is not even accurate any more - for example, approximately 2/3 of the Anbar tribes have signed on with the government in the last six months. Instead of supporting insurgents, they are now helping us to fight them. And this isn't limited to Anbar.

The new addition to those trying to kill Americans are the Mahdi militia of Moqtada al-Sadr. But countering this in the Shia is first their religious leaders, led by Ayatollah al-Sistani. Secondly, and very interestingly, last month Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, head of Iraq's largest political party, went to the White House to plead his case with President Bush. The Hakims lead the other major Shiite militia, the Badr Brigade, and have traditionally had strong ties with Iran. Also note though that most of the Mahdi Army's attacks are still against Sunni targets, and not U.S. or Iraqi government personel.

So, the idea that most Iraqis want us to ultimately leave has little bearing on how wide spread the support is for the insurgency and for attacking U.S. troops. Rather, most Iraqis want a stable quasi-democratic secure Iraq, and then when that is accomplished, us to leave. And that is what we want too.

Freder Frederson said...

Simply bring back the use of crucifixion as a mile-marker (or every 100 foot marker) in the territories of interest. When dealing with barbarians, one must work on there level.

At which point we are better than the terrorists exactly how?

Cheney talks like a schoolyard bully. What is this nonsense that they "can't beat us in a standup fight"? Is that any way for the vice president of United States to talk (or indeed anyone who has graduated from high school)?

For all this tough talk and dire warnings this administration has absolutely refused to act like this war against terror is important. Name one time it has ever asked for the American people to sacrifice to further the aims of this war. What exactly is the strategy to win this war other than flailing blindly at targets of convenience?

R C Dean said...

He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.

Tactically, this is often a fallacy. In battle, more men are killed retreating than standing their ground.

And of, course, running away one too many times means you have lost the war and have nothing left to fight for.

You can't occupy another nation, surrounded by tens of millions of people who don't want you there, and "win" without genocide.

Fallacy again. We are not "occupying" Iraq in any meaningful sense of the term. Most of Iraq is under local control, there have been multiple elections, there is a Constitution.

What there also is, is a series of insurgencies with foreign sponsors that have to be beaten down. That is why we are still there, not because we are colonizing Iraq.

Joe said...

I just love it when people who can't see any parallels to WWII compare this war to the American Revolution.
Any rhetorical device to support their retreat and defeat for America agenda.

dreamingmonkey said...

It has nothing to do with cultural relativism and everything to do with global realism. Or has the anti-liberal right wing blogging meme so rotted your brain that you look out on hundreds of millions of Muslims and you just see the ACLU and Daily Kos?

Sharia is secondary. These people are after power. Whining about the Koran is like criticizing the color scheme on somebody else's flag.

Anonymous said...

"Or has the anti-liberal right wing blogging meme so rotted your brain that you look out on hundreds of millions of Muslims and you just see the ACLU and Daily Kos?"

Well, they do have the same talking points.

Woohoo, you set 'em up, I'll knock 'em down!

You said you were "all in favor of killing terrorists." It seems that if your focus is indeed killing terrorists then our current method is pretty good because we sure are killing a lot of them.

Yes, I'm a right winger without nuance. Please enlighten me on the better way to kill terrorists.

PatCA said...

"The truth is that the entire middle east, and much of the rest of the world -- including Russia and China -- aren't going to let America's occupation succeed."

I think it's a little more complicated than that. If the former 'stability' was so beneficial to US interests, why did Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia support Israel in the last war? And China needs oil as much as the US.

Divide and Conquer the ME

sonicfrog said...

I'm just waiting for Tel Aviv, Paris, London, or Los Angeles to get nuked, and then hear all the critics, who act as virtual handcuffs, stand up and scream - You didn't do enough! It's all your fault!!!"

Unfortunately, it's going to take a massive attack like this to get the rest of the worlds attention and wake them up to the threat. Hell, half the world doesn't mind the situation one bit. The UN doesn't have the capacity or will to deal with issue of terrorism. Half the countries within the organization covertly sponsor it, or benefit in one way or anther, especially if it hurts the US or West. But watch out! Terrorism is like a wolf - wild and untameable. One day the creature that was fostered in secrecy will turn around and bite the national hand that feeds. Just ask the Saudis.

sonicfrog said...

I'm just waiting for Tel Aviv, Paris, London, or Los Angeles to get nuked, and then hear all the critics, who act as virtual handcuffs, stand up and scream - You didn't do enough! It's all your fault!!!"

Unfortunately, it's going to take a massive attack like this to get the rest of the worlds attention and wake them up to the threat. Hell, half the world doesn't mind the situation one bit. The UN doesn't have the capacity or will to deal with issue of terrorism. Half the countries within the organization covertly sponsor it, or benefit in one way or anther, especially if it hurts the US or West. But watch out! Terrorism is like a wolf - wild and untameable. One day the creature that was fostered in secrecy will turn around and bite the national hand that feeds. Just ask the Saudis.

Anonymous said...

He is right. Which is exactly why we must refocus on the Afghan war and make it our top priority.

The fatal error of some on the right (presumably including Mr. Cheney) is that he considers this justifies remaining in Iraq-- and it is true that there are terrorists in Iraq, but they have come there specifically to fight us. But even our own government acknowleged recently that al-Qaeda in Iraq is less important as an accelerant of the violence than one of the homegrown insurgencies that is now fighting a civil war in Iraq (Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi militia-- which didn't even exist at all until after we invaded, by the way).

Most people realize by now that the idea of a clear and decisive military 'win' in Iraq just won't happen, as it rarely if ever does in guerilla wars. We will only be able to exit via a negotiated diplomatic solution.

But I guess if Mr. Cheney had his way, we'd still be fighting in Vietnam too, instead of doing billions of dollars in business with them.

Anonymous said...

sonicfrog:

Explain then, how exactly our army remaining in the middle of a civil war in Iraq is making Los Angeles safer.

If anything, I think it is making L.A. less safe by playing right into bin Laden's propaganda about Americans wanting to dominate Muslim lands.

Further, it is also making L.A. less safe because it has prevented the Bush administration in the five years since 9/11 from acting on the recommendation that we screen 100% of the containers entering American ports, instead of the 2% that we still screen (the same percentage that were being inspected on September 11).

Further, we see that this past year the Bush administration, operating under a fixed budget and following the old mistake of always preparing to fight last year's war, moved Homeland Security funding away from places like New York and Washington D.C. towards places like the south and Los Angeles-- because they were determined to be more susceptible to a devastating natural disaster.

Now I'm not opposed to preparing for the next Katrina or earthquake in California (in fact that makes eminently good sense seeing how unprepared we were last time) but I think it is a mistake to withdraw funding from anti-terrorism efforts to pay for it.

So it comes down to this difference in philosophy:

Conservative: Begin with a fixed amount of resources and decide how best to divide it up in order to address the identified needs

vs.

Liberal: Determine what the needs are as best you can, then determine the resource level required to address the needs, then provide the resources.

And frankly, I suspect that if you asked people whether they would rather have their taxes raised by enough to inspect 100% of the containers and provide enough Homeland Security funding to protect every city as well as it can reasonbly be protected from either terrorism or natural disasters, or keep things as they are now, I suspect that most people would go for the tax raise, as long as it was done transparently enough that it was clear that it was going for this purpose (I know I would, even though I live in a small town (not a terror target) in a part of the country where there are no major natural disasters.)

Mark R. said...

Explain then, how exactly our army remaining in the middle of a civil war in Iraq is making Los Angeles safer.
I'll assume it's a serious question, and deserving of an answer. LA and all of us are safer, because:

(a) we are killing the Al-Queda trained terrorists in Iraq, which takes them out of the running in terms of attacking LA
(b) denying Al-Queda the territory, breathing space, funding, etc. that would enable it to set up broader operations that could ultimately impact LA
(c) removing or constraining the terrorist sympathizers and pay masters who fund and support the continuing of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and prevent meaningful progress there, improving chances for progress there that could ultimately reduce the incubation of new terrorists
(d) not having to station our troops in Saudi Arabia to help defend the oil fields from Iran, removing another issue which in the past was used to incubate new terrorists.

Reasonable people can disagree on the degree of impact this has in the short term and the longer term, but it is a lot better than what we were doing before 9/11 - sitting on our asses, lobbying a few missiles into empty tents in Afghanistan or abandoned buildings in Sudan.

The Exalted said...

of course cheney will say this. and of course lieberman is saying exactly similar things. they broke iraq, they own it.

me? i'm on the other side of the store looking for a way to leave.

PatCA said...

"Explain then, how exactly our army remaining in the middle of a civil war in Iraq is making Los Angeles safer."

It's impossible to say, since we are describing the absence of something here, the absence of a terror attack. But since AQ comes back to its chosen targets, like their return to the WTC, I think it's noteworthy that they have not been able to destroy LAX as they once intended.

The so-called civil war in Iraq is a war against the region's dominant Sunnis, who pretend to be our friends so we buy their oil, all the while spreading Wahabbism. As long as we are "destablizing" the Middle East (revealing the violence that heretofore was only off camera), we are showing our allies the real meaning of that alliance: the US is all that stands between them and the Shia tsunami. This is good for LA and good for the US.

Daryl Herbert said...

By this standard we can never leave any battle no matter how badly it is going.

Once again, reality check (deliberately?) fails at reading comprehension.

Where, in that passage, did our Vice President articulate any sort of "standard"?

He didn't. He certainly did not say what you are attributing to him.

Freder Frederson said...

We lack, overall, the concept of honor and country anymore.

You might want to look up the definition of irony and reread your post.

You talk about honor, yet you are concerned we are not barbaric and callous enough. So apparently the way to bring democracy and rule of law to Iraq is to slaughter them first and show them who is boss.

What on earth are you advocating, subjugation or liberation? You can't claim you want both.

Anonymous said...

mark r:

Yes, it is a serious question. And I'm not sure I buy your answers.

(a) we are killing the Al-Queda trained terrorists in Iraq, which takes them out of the running in terms of attacking LA

Yes, we are killing some al-Qaeda trained terrorists in Iraq, but then they are sending them there specifically to die, so if they wanted to send them elsewhere, that would be their call, not ours. For that matter, as the Madrid, Istanbul, Bali and London bombings show, their fighting us in Iraq is not at all exclusive to having a team of terrorists working on an operation elsewhere.

(b) denying Al-Queda the territory, breathing space, funding, etc. that would enable it to set up broader operations that could ultimately impact LA

The leadership of al-Qaeda is right now in Afghanistan, or nearby in Pashtun areas of Pakistan. Yet we have less than 1/6 as many troops there as we have in Iraq. And frankly, it is hard to conceive of any plot that could be hatched in a cave in Pakistan or Afghanistan, which would reach fruition in L.A., which requires Iraq as a key step in the process.

(c) removing or constraining the terrorist sympathizers and pay masters who fund and support the continuing of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and prevent meaningful progress there, improving chances for progress there that could ultimately reduce the incubation of new terrorists

There are terrorist sympathizers and paymasters all over the middle east (and about 80% of their funds originate in one country, our perfidious 'allies' in Saudi Arabia.) If you really meant what you are saying about cutting off funds for terrorists, you'd push for an immediate war against Saudi Arabia. As far as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it's hard to see how our fighting in Iraq has made that any less intractable than it was four years ago-- I mean now, instead of the Palestinians just speaking out of both sides of their mouth-- saying one thing in English and something else in Arabic, you instead have an elected Parliament dominated by a party that says they want to annihilate Israel in both languages-- I guess if you want to consider that 'progress' then go ahead.

(d) not having to station our troops in Saudi Arabia to help defend the oil fields from Iran, removing another issue which in the past was used to incubate new terrorists.

No, now we have them actually fighting in Iraq-- and ironically after having removed Saddam Hussein, who was the biggest block to Iran that existed in the region. And frankly one reason al-Qaeda is back is because their argument that the U.S. was out to dominate the Muslim world was bolstered by our doing exactly what they said we were likely to do-- invading a muslim country.

So, to be honest, I don't buy what you are saying.

Patca:

As long as we are "destablizing" the Middle East (revealing the violence that heretofore was only off camera), we are showing our allies the real meaning of that alliance: the US is all that stands between them and the Shia tsunami. This is good for LA and good for the US.

I guess that explains why 95% of the fighting we've done has been against Sunnis. In fact, we've strengthened the hand of Iran and its Shi'ite allies in Iraq immeasurably by getting rid of Saddam (who actively repressed the Shi'ites), and then helping them gain control of the government. And we are still doing a lot of the fighting against their domestic enemies for them.

And in the bargain, we have gotten our military so deeply mired in Iraq, that other than bombing we can't be much of a threat to Iran-- which is one reason they are pushing ahead with nukes, they know they've caught us away from the net and this is their best chance to score before we get back.

Yeah, the Sunnis should be worried about a Shi'ite tsunami-- because we've done a lot to help it come, and when it does it might even be nuclear.

PatCA said...

Yes, we are fighting mostly Baathist/Sunnis of Iraq, but we are fighting Shia too! This puts monarchies like Jordan and Saudi Arabia, not to mention non-Persian Shia, on notice that their place at our side is not a given--and suddenly SCIRI comes to the US, the Saudis and Jordan take Israel's side. You must admit that keeping our lukewarm "friends" off balance turns them into ardent suitors.

Iran is weakening: their oil industry is falling apart, and Chavez is the only world leader who will invest with them, as Russia and China hold back at the request of the US. And, yes, the lives of our soldiers is a terrible price to pay, but 9/11 proved the error of thinking we could avoid Islamism by containing it or appeasing it. This is not "mired" except when you compare it to the lightning war in Afghanistan. We are now putting a superb military against them instead of civilian office workers. Of course it's not all good, but it's not all a one-sided debacle, either.

PatCA said...

Oh, and now Syria appears to be coming around as well.

From Haaretz: "The Syrian representative in the talks, Ibrahim (Abe) Suleiman, an American citizen, had visited Jerusalem and delivered a message to senior officials at the Foreign Ministry regarding the Syrian wish for an agreement with Israel. The Syrians also asked for help in improving their relations with the United States, and particularly in lifting the American embargo on Syria."

Whether Iraq was intended to be a fulcrum for a region-wide change, I don't know, but at least we have the brains to take advantage of the situation.

Anonymous said...

Eli Blake wrote: "Yes, we are killing some al-Qaeda trained terrorists in Iraq, but then they are sending them there specifically to die, so if they wanted to send them elsewhere, that would be their call, not ours."

You say that as if it were a bad thing! All we have to do is have troops in certain areas of the middle east and people who hate America will come from miles and miles away to die in Iraq. What an amazing deal!

It reminds me of an old Bill Cosby sketch in which he rapped on having football referees lay out the rules for war and one side had terrible rules! "You, the British, will wear red and walk in a straight line while you, the Americans, will wear camo and will hide behind rock and trees shooting the redcoats."

Currently, many of the enemies of America, freedom, and Christianity go to Iraq and Afghanistan to die. Praise God. I so appreciate our soldiers who give them their wish, and lament the loss of American and innocent Iraqi lives, but some things are worth dieing and killing for.

Saving the West and preventing another dark age is worth it in my book.

Trey

dreamingmonkey said...

Or has the anti-liberal right wing blogging meme so rotted your brain that you look out on hundreds of millions of Muslims and you just see the ACLU and Daily Kos?"

Well, they do have the same talking points.


I rest my case.

You said you were "all in favor of killing terrorists." It seems that if your focus is indeed killing terrorists then our current method is pretty good because we sure are killing a lot of them.

Exactly how many terrorists have we killed?

Anonymous said...

Dreamingmonkey asked: "Exactly how many terrorists have we killed?"

Not nearly enough!

Trey