October 8, 2007

The new guerilla war in Iraq.

And how to fight it.

161 comments:

hdhouse said...
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AllenS said...

hd, you need to throw some cold water on your face. The ARVN's were on our side.

Ann Althouse said...

hd, why do you "love" to throw cold water on ideas about winning the war?

AllenS said...

Sorry, hd, I should have never said: The ARVN's were on our side., since I don't know whose side you are on.

antiphone said...

You just stay in Baghdad and complete that graduate school program Mr. Fadhil while the U.S. crushes those villages for ya.

In the worst case scenario what's left of a village if the attack is not intercepted would be only al Qaeda fighters and the remains of what used to be a village. Now isn't that the perfect target for the countless aggressive fire units of the U.S. military?
Now please let's put emotions aside for a while because this is war we're talking about and if sacrifices cannot be avoided we should make sure the enemy pays the heaviest price possible. If reaction is quick enough--and timing here is of crucial importance--the hunt would be great and the results would be spectacular.


Sounds like a real hoot.

hdhouse said...
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hdhouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hdhouse said...

this was the first comment -

I love to throw the first cold water....there were some very good episodes on guerilla warfare on the military channel...viet nam and the afghans. These wars go through stages almost like a formalized dance..there is one stage called "hearts and minds"..

the point was that westmoreland adopted, at the critical juncture, a goal of simply destroying as many of the NVA (I had originally incorrectly written ARVN) and guerillas as possible..confront and kill and although General Gap's forces were feared in the villages, two things became clear: 1. the US/SVN was trying to win in conventional conflict scenarios (pitched battles) and 2. the government/military was powerless to defend the people.

Isn't this the same thing? Why doesn't the WSJ take a look at military history and learn? The current Iraq problems are not only that we can't protect these people and that we are offering no political solution, it is compounded by the majority of the citizenry wanting us out of there in the worst way..

This is progress.

MadisonMan said...

Things I don't know the answer to:

How well are the attacks publicized by the Iraqi media (are there any Iraqi media?) as attacks on Iraqis?

What's the al-Jazeera slant on these arab-vs-arab attacks? Is it somehow Israel's (or the US's) fault?

Gedaliya said...

hdhouse...

It is General Giap, not "Gap."

The current Iraq problems are not only that we can't protect these people and that we are offering no political solution, it is compounded by the majority of the citizenry wanting us out of there...

Every statement here is wrong. We can and are protecting the citizenry in a growing proportion of both Baghdad and the outlying provinces; we've helped create a political framework within which Iraq's competing ethnic and tribal groups can resolve their differences peacefully; and a vast majority of the population wants us to stay despite wishing we didn't have to.

antiphone said...

a vast majority of the population wants us to stay despite wishing we didn't have to.

A majority also aproves of attacks on U.S. troops. Strange isn’t it?

AllenS said...

hd--

"Why doesn't the WSJ take a look at military history and learn?"

Why should they? You seem to watch the military channel, and are not able to get anything correct. Obviously, it must be the military channel's fault.

Sloanasaurus said...

it is compounded by the majority of the citizenry wanting us out of there in the worst way..

That's interesting considering the article was written by two Iraqis in Baghdad. They actually want us to go in and kill Al Qaeda with less regard for civilians.

If Al Qaeda is sweeping into towns and killing civilians for no reason, it doesn't make sense that the majority of the citizenry would want the U.S. out in "the worst way." That only makes sense to a leftist, who sees submitting to totalitarianism as a better alternative than fighting.

antiphone said...

That only makes sense to a leftist…

It doesn’t have to make sense any more than polls in the US make sense but there it is , that’s what polling tells us about Iraqi opinion.

The Drill SGT said...

It's a nasty tactic, but demonstrates the ultimate futility of AQI's fight, and clearly will lead to their defeat.

Look at Anbar for a second. big wide open Sunni province, the prototypical example that HD seems to seek.

Shieks get fed up with AQI killing the leaders, drafting the young men and raping daughters.

What do you have now, fortified villages with those Sunni young men protecting their families and radios ready to call the US Cavalry if AQI comes visiting.

The bottom line is that the militia don't need to hold out all night, just long enough to get a predator overhead or an AC130, or the nearest Air-Cav rifle platoon. Caught outside a walled village (and all of these villiages are defendable), your AQI group is in a world of hurt.

Sloanasaurus said...

Help me on my military history hd....

wasn't the NVA a million+ man army fully uniformed and supplied by the Soviets with heavy weapondry, including tanks, AA, and fighter aircraft. Isn't it true that they shot down nearly 400 of America's premier fighter fighter jets during Vietnam. Isn't it also true that at one point, there were 100,000+ communist Chinese working in Vietnam building railway and roads.

Vietnam and Iraq certainly are a lot alike....hmmm.... maybe only in your eagerness to lose.

Also, we did win in Vietnam. It was the Democratic Congress' unwillingness to support S. Vietnam with material when the North invaded in 1975 after signing a peace treaty.

Democrats (post Johnson) make great allies don't they......

Bruce Hayden said...

The author's solution reminds me a bit of that scene about halfway through The Green Berets where the gunship asks where to unload, and John Wayne tells them on the village - they (the VC) had it now, not the Green Berets. The gunship does, and that was it for the VC.

antiphone said...

So Sloanasourus, is Iraq revenge for Vietnam?

Hoosier Daddy said...

the government/military was powerless to defend the people.

During the Malayan Emergency, the Brits were pretty successful in denying the communist insurgency resources and bases of support by essentially relocating outlying villages (forced relocation BTW). That way they didn't have to destroy the village in order to save it, they just moved it.

Then again by today's standards such a tactic would be unthinkable, ,more akin to a warcrime.

The proof in the pudding for success will be once AQ has gone the way of the do-do bird, will the Sunnis and Shiite play nice.

Bruce Hayden said...

Regardless of the merits of the proposed solution, the author does point out the reality that al Qaeda, and thus the Sunni Arab, portion of the violence, is falling apart right now in Iraq. They are rapidly being pushed out of the cities, and have been pushed out of most of the Sunni friendly tribal areas.

Almost all of which has happened after the buildup for the Surge started.

What these guys know, as well as most Iraqis, but many here don't, is just that, that al Qaeda is on the run right now. Their safe houses and villages are being rolled up at an increasing rate. I saw a map a week or so ago showing the locations of major successes against al Qaeda over the last several months, and it is filling up with those successes. Many of their leaders have been killed or captured, and even when dead, provide a lot of intelligence from the hard drives, flash drives, etc. found with them.

So, this new ploy is a mark of desperation. They can't get the population behind them, if the population is rising up against them, as it is now doing.

Note also the buy-in by the Iraqis in the fight against al Qaeda evidenced by this article. If you didn't know any better, when reading it, you would think that it was written by an American Neocon talking about American troops. But more and more, it is the Iraqis who are leading the fight here.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Gedaliya wrote:

Every statement here is wrong. We can and are protecting the citizenry in a growing proportion of both Baghdad and the outlying provinces; we've helped create a political framework within which Iraq's competing ethnic and tribal groups can resolve their differences peacefully; and a vast majority of the population wants us to stay despite wishing we didn't have to.

In fact, there's quite a bit wrong with this collection of misinformation. Let me focus on the final point that references Iraqi opinion.

A recent BBC/ABC News poll shows that 47% of Iraqis believe that US-led coalition forces should leave immediately. This directly contradicts the claim that "a vast majority of the population wants us to stay."

In addition, 85% of Iraqis say they have little or no confidence in US-led coalition forces.

Oh, and as far as the surge is concerned, the BBC summarizes the poll results this way:

According to this latest poll, in key areas - security and the conditions for political dialogue, reconstruction and economic development - between 67 and 70% of Iraqis, or more than two-thirds, say the surge has made things worse.

jane said...

From the article: “…the most frustrating fact for soldiers and military commanders has been that they were asked to identify terrorists who move like ghosts, separate them from civilians and kill or capture them and that's a truly difficult mission. That's partly because a soldier would have to be careful when and where each bullet he fires would hit.”

Even Iraqis can see the near-impossible constraints under which our military must fight and provide security for themselves, while increasing security for the population at large, and that we’re making good progress despite. At this point, we elect to wage security this way because we’re also fighting media perception and trying to win the locals’ confidence, no matter how willing some Iraqis are for us to go in everywhere with guns ablazing. The care we're taking in areas with terrorists mixed in among civilians is a slower and frustrating process, but maybe it’s also surer, with less rebound entrenchment of the bad guys once they’re extracted and routed from an area. Civilian support of the enemy-terrorists is dissipating over time not only on account of the indiscriminate slaughter they’re visiting on Iraqis but also because of our discriminating tactics and humanitarian considerations.

The question will always be, in my mind, whether it would have been more humane in the end to kill less discriminantly in the earlier phases of the war and insurgency.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Sloan wrote:

Also, we did win in Vietnam.

Does anyone else believe this?

steve simels said...

Yup, we're winning. No doubt about it.

"Joshua Partlow reports that Iraqi leaders have given up on even the possibility of political reconciliation:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/07/AR2007100701448.html?hpid=topnews

Or as Norman Podhoretz, now Guiliani's top foreign policy adviser put it recently, "The war in Iraq is a triumph. It couldn't have gone better."

jane said...

I not be a discriminating speller/ typist: try "discriminately."

Hoosier Daddy said...

According to this latest poll, in key areas - security and the conditions for political dialogue, reconstruction and economic development - between 67 and 70% of Iraqis, or more than two-thirds, say the surge has made things worse.

So how does this explain increasing cooperation between the Sunni tribes and our forces in the fight against AQ?
I don’t doubt for a minute that the Iraqis want us to leave. Then again, I wonder if the BBC would consider posing the question along these lines:
“Do you want to see US forces leave before AQ in Iraq is defeated?”

Or do you think that might skew the intended result?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Also, we did win in Vietnam.

Does anyone else believe this?


Well I'll argue we did up to the point we decided to sell out the SV government when the North broke the treaty and invaded by denying military aid.

I think the term is called snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, something many of the anti-war types seem quite nostalgic for.

Bruce Hayden said...

cyrus pinkerton

Call me naive, or call me cynical, but I don't believe the poll. If they had stopped with the Iraqis wanting us to leave, then maybe.

But there is a big disconnect between that poll and any number of stubborn facts ranging from the sharply decreased rate of both U.S. and Iraqi casualties through so many Iraqi Sunni Arabs switching sides during the exact same time that the poll claims that support for us has fallen apart.

Of course, if the poll were taken in the "Green Zone", which is still apparently getting shelled, and is the limit of where ABC, etc. usually goes, then maybe it is accurate for that part of Baghdad.

Bruce Hayden said...

One more point on the poll - the Fadhil brothers call it like they see it. A year ago, they were recounting examples of Sunni relatives being forced to flee where they lived in Baghdad during the ethnic cleansing going on then. The depression in their posts back then was almost palatable. Now, they seem to be reenergized. So, as a result of my experience reading them for the last couple of years, I tend to believe them over the cited poll.

antiphone said...

Regardless of the merits of the proposed solution, the author does point out the reality that al Qaeda, and thus the Sunni Arab, portion of the violence, is falling apart right now in Iraq.

Its misleading to equate al Qaeda with “the Sunni Arab, portion of the violence” in Iraq. This impression is the result of the Bush addministration inflating the importance of al Queda there for domestic political consumption. The situation is hard enough for Americans to grasp without the ridiculous attempts to tie Iraq to 911.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Joshua Partlow reports that Iraqi leaders have given up on even the possibility of political reconciliation.

So, when the political side is working ad the military is not, dwell on the military problems, but when the military side is getting better, and the political has come to a standstill, ignore the military successes, and dwell on the political problems. Sounds almost like the advice given on how to litigate cases.

One charge against the Administration in its conduct of operations in Iraq is that they dwelled for so long on the political side, ignoring the military, and assuming that the political was all that was needed. It became apparent that it wasn't. I think that many would rather be in the situation we are in now with increasing security, giving the Iraqis the breathing space to come to political arrangements based on the new realities in Iraq.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Hoosier Daddy wrote:

Then again, I wonder if the BBC would consider posing the question along these lines:
“Do you want to see US forces leave before AQ in Iraq is defeated?”

Or do you think that might skew the intended result?


Once again:

A recent BBC/ABC News poll shows that 47% of Iraqis believe that US-led coalition forces should leave immediately.

Immediately is the operative word. I assume that a significant fraction of Iraqis would like us to leave sometime after immediately.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Hoosier Daddy,

I see. Your judgment about Vietnam is that we didn't lose until ... well, until we did lose.

I'm going to read your answer as a vote of nonsupport for Sloan's version of history.

Sloanasaurus said...

This impression is the result of the Bush addministration inflating the importance of al Queda there for domestic political consumption.

I am laughing my ass off.

Tell that to the victims of all the suicide bombings in Iraq...mostly the work of Al Qaeda.

is Iraq revenge for Vietnam?

No Iraq is Iraq. Our support for the arabs fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan was revenge for Vietnam.

Vietnam was a necessary war. Communism had to be fought somewhere. Unfortunately, the Communists got to choose the battlefield. They chose Vietnam.

We will never know if Iraq was necessary. At this point, it looks highly unlikely that Islamic extremism will unite the muslim world. This is mostly due to our crushing of Al Qaeda in Iraq. The dream of Al Qaeda will die as a world movement if they are totally defeated in Iraq.

If we were fighting only in Afghanistan, things would be different. Al Qaeda would be fighting us there instead of in Iraq. We would be losing that war and the future would be a lot more dim.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Bruce Hayden wrote:

...I don't believe the poll. If they had stopped with the Iraqis wanting us to leave, then maybe.

Believe as you wish. However, please don't try to pass yourself off as a critical thinker if you are going to dismiss evidence simply because it doesn't support what you want to believe.

titus22 said...

Good morning fellow republicans. No one be mean to Genitalia. He and I are an item now.

Today is a day of reflection and introspection for me. The weather is kind of cold here which is rare because thw weather has been so beautiful lately. I finished reading Orhan Pamuk's Snow last night which was absolutely amazing. I plan on reading Henry Miller's Sexus today-not sure how much I will get done because it is a big, big book. Walking the dogs, their on my case today, following me everywhere demanding quite a bit of attention.

My dindin kind of sucked last night. The place was well reviewed but I actually hated the food. It also made me have the shits all night.

Enough about me, how are my fellow republicans?

Let's all take a deep breath, get our chakras aligned and say Namaste....now don't we feel better. All this bitter back and forth fighting is unhealthy. Now why doesn't everyone tell us a little bit about themselves so we can all appreciate each other.

I'll start. I am fabulous.

steve simels said...

Vietnam was a necessary war. Communism had to be fought somewhere.


My best friend in high school died in Vietnam for no other reason than he flunked out of college and lost his student deferment.

Go fuck yourself, or enlist or both.

Trooper York said...

Col. Mathieu: There are 80,000 Arabs in the Kasbah. Are they all against us? We know they're not. In reality, it's only a small minority that dominates with terror and violence. This minority is our adversary and we must isolate and destroy it.

(Battaglia di Algeri, La 1966)

cyrus pinkerton said...

Sloan wrote:

Vietnam was a necessary war.

And the hits just keep on coming!

Bruce Hayden said...

Its misleading to equate al Qaeda with “the Sunni Arab, portion of the violence” in Iraq. This impression is the result of the Bush addministration inflating the importance of al Queda there for domestic political consumption.

Yes and no. The Iraqis and the American military call the foreign side of the Sunni portion of the insurgency "al Qaeda". And there is a fair amount of information indicating connection between such and al Qaeda central.

But the real story here is that up to less than a year ago, the Iraqi Sunni Arabs were working with the foreign born terrorists loosely under the banner of "al Qaeda" and affiliated groups. But many, likely most, of the Iraqi Sunni Arabs who were actively fighting us along side the foreign terrorists under the al Qaeda banner have now switched sides, and are now often leading the fight against their former allies.

There are a lot of reasons for this switch of allegiance, but one big one is that al Qaeda in Iraq pushes the same sort of puritanical version of Wahhabi Islam they espouse in Afghanistan, in which fingers are cut off for smoking and women are stoned for showing any skin. They also were stealing women for wives, and killing their male relatives when they objected.

Let me suggest that ignoring the presence of al Qaeda in Iraq and its role in the Sunni side of the insurgency is as closed minded as those who suggest that the reason that we intervened in Iraq was due to the presence of al Qaeda there. While present then, they were only a token presence, likely tolerated by Saddam Hussein as part of his opposition to us.

Bruce Hayden said...

Believe as you wish. However, please don't try to pass yourself off as a critical thinker if you are going to dismiss evidence simply because it doesn't support what you want to believe.

I could say the same to you, in your discounting the testimony of real Iraqis over the results of some polls, the providence of which we have no idea. You also ignore the realities of decreasing death tolls and Sunnis switching sides. All would seem to indicate that the poll, and not the article is flawed.

antiphone said...

If we were fighting only in Afghanistan, things would be different. Al Qaeda would be fighting us there instead of in Iraq. We would be losing that war and the future would be a lot more dim.

This makes no sense, it fits right in.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I see. Your judgment about Vietnam is that we didn't lose until ... well, until we did lose.

Cyrus, did we lose militarily? If you want to debate it than fine, but at least be honest about it. Sloan's point was that the war had been won up until the anti-war movement at home decided to pull the plug and deny military aid to the South Vietnamese.

Why is it now with news of continued success on the ground in Iraq is the left in this country more vocal than ever in trying to discredit the successes? Again, maybe some are nostalgic for chalkling up another loss.

Doyle said...

Ann, the brilliant ideas about "winning" the war are good for exactly as much as the brilliant idea about "starting" the war, which is to get a lot of people killed.

Even Mickey Kaus has noted what a cheerleader ITM has become.

Sloanasaurus said...

This makes no sense, it fits right in.

My point is that fighting Al Qaeda in Afghanistan would be a much more difficult war. For example, from a logistical point of view, how would we be able to supply a large force there. For Al Qaeda, fighting us in Afghanistan is like the Spartans fighting the Persians in Thermopylae. The Spartans chose the one spot where the Persians numercial advantage would be eliminated. Al Qaeda would do the same to us in Afghanistan. Also, if we never invaded Iraq, the largest financial supporter of Al Qaeda fighting us in Afghanistan would have been Saddam Hussein (at $80 bbl oil).

We are largely winning the war on terror because we invaded Iraq, not in spite of.

Freder Frederson said...

You also ignore the realities of decreasing death tolls and Sunnis switching sides.

It is not quite correct to say that the Sunnis have "switched sides". It is more correct to say that they have formed a new side. They decided they were more sick of AQI than the U.S., and decided to cooperate with the U.S. to get rid of AQI. They certainly aren't siding with the central government.

Who knows what will happen once they have taken our weapons and training and gotten rid of AQI. Then they will probably turn around and use all those weapons and training on us.

We are playing a foolish and shortsighted game. Just like the Mahujadeen in Afghanistan in the '80s, it will come back to bite us in the ass. Likewise we are also ignoring the Kurds support and sheltering of the PKK (which we designate a terrorist organization) and groups that launch attacks into Iran because we think the Kurds are wonderful.

steve simels said...

Sloanasaurus:

Tell me again why it was necessary for my best friend to die in Vietnam for bad grades.

Please, I'm waiting.

You sociopathic prick.

Freder Frederson said...

Also, if we never invaded Iraq, the largest financial supporter of Al Qaeda fighting us in Afghanistan would have been Saddam Hussein (at $80 bbl oil).

You are so full of shit Sloan. Why can't you get it through your dense skull, Saddam did not support AQ before we invaded, there is no reason to believe he would have if we had not invaded. OBL hated Saddam almost as much as he hated the U.S. AQ got, and continues to get, most of its funding from our so-called allies in the Gulf, Wahabiists in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait (probably with the tacit approval and knowledge of the governments--or at least very high officials--of those states).

Sloanasaurus said...

Just like the Mahujadeen in Afghanistan in the '80s, it will come back to bite us in the ass.

Except that the Mujahdeen were largely made of arabs who were not from Afghanistan. They were foreign fighters, some of whom became professionals like Bin Ladin.

In contrast, the Sunnis in Iraq live there.

Trooper York said...

Officer Gunther Toody: My dog moans every time Mets are losing the game...
Officer Francis Muldoon: What is he doing when they win?
Officer Gunther Toody: I don't know - I have him only 2 years...

(Car 54 Where Are You 1994)

Freder Frederson said...

But the real story here is that up to less than a year ago, the Iraqi Sunni Arabs were working with the foreign born terrorists loosely under the banner of "al Qaeda" and affiliated groups.

Not really. They were both fighting the Americans. The degree of cooperation between the two groups were almost nonexistent.

antiphone said...

The Iraqis and the American military call the foreign side of the Sunni portion of the insurgency "al Qaeda". And there is a fair amount of information indicating connection between such and al Qaeda central. - Bruce Hayden

As of August 25th in the NTY:

Nearly 85 percent of the detainees in custody are Sunni Arabs, the minority faction in Iraq that ruled the country under the government of Saddam Hussein; the other detainees are Shiites, the officers say.

Military officers said that of the Sunni detainees, about 1,800 claim allegiance to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a homegrown extremist group that American intelligence agencies have concluded is foreign-led. About 6,000 more identify themselves as takfiris, or Muslims who believe some other Muslims are not true believers. Such believers view Shiite Muslims as heretics.
Those statistics would seem to indicate that the main inspiration of the hard-core Sunni insurgency is no longer a desire to restore the old order — a movement that drew from former Baath Party members and security officials who had served under Mr. Hussein — and has become religious and ideological.

But the officers say an equally large number of Iraqi detainees say money is a significant reason they planted roadside bombs or shot at Iraqi and American-led forces.

“Interestingly, we’ve found that the vast majority are not inspired by jihad or hate for the coalition or Iraqi government — the vast majority are inspired by money,” said Capt. John Fleming of the Navy, a spokesman for the multinational forces’ detainee operations. The men are paid by insurgent leaders. “The primary motivator is economic — they’re angry men because they don’t have jobs,” he said. “The detainee population is overwhelmingly illiterate and unemployed. Extremists have been very successful at spreading their ideology to economically strapped Iraqis with little to no formal education.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/25/world/middleeast/25detain.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Freder Frederson said...

In contrast, the Sunnis in Iraq live there.

And your point is?

Gedaliya said...

The defeatists are getting shrill.

Since the Iraq war is now turning our way, and it looks like we will actually win the war, those who called for defeat and surrender are going to get nastier and nastier.

How horrible it must be for those who were SO sure we had lost this war to have their hopes dashed into pieces.

Sloanasaurus said...

Why can't you get it through your dense skull, Saddam did not support AQ before we invaded, there is no reason to believe he would have if we had not invaded.

Hmmm, so if we were fighting against "Islam" in Afghanistan, you don't think Saddam wouldn't want a piece of that? You think Saddam would let the Iranians become the PR winner and the biggest supporters of such a fight?

Gedaliya said...

Tell me again why it was necessary for my best friend to die in Vietnam for bad grades.

What was your best friend's name, and when did he die?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Tell me again why it was necessary for my best friend to die in Vietnam for bad grades.

Well if we're going to do anecdotals, my uncle also lost his deferrment for pretty much the same reason although he opted for joining the Marines instead of being drafted. He served two tours 1967-1969. He is proud of his service and insists that the war was lost in Washington rather than in the jungles.

Your personal disagreement with a particular war has little bearing on its necessity in terms of the nation's strategic foreign policy. You can make the same argument that Korea was a waste assuming we as a leader of the free world were ok with it being conquered by a brutal communist regime. That war cost us 30K or so dead yet today S. Korea is a model democracy. Unfortunately, policy makers in DC didn't give the South Vietnamese
the same opportunity.

steve simels said...

Gedaliya:

Richard Brenner. Died 1969.

http://thewall-usa.com/info.asp?recid=5520

Hoosier Daddy:

Your personal disagreement with a particular war has little bearing on its necessity in terms of the nation's strategic foreign policy.

My personal disagreement is that a dear friend of mine died for no other pressing reason than bad grades.

Don't tell me this was a necessary or moral war. In fact, go fuck youself.

Sloanasaurus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sloanasaurus said...

How horrible it must be for those who were SO sure we had lost this war to have their hopes dashed into pieces.

Good point Gedaliya. However, there is logic to their madness. Victory in Iraq also means victory for a point of view - that being freedom, capitalism, and western culture. Victory in Iraq will lead to more Sarkozys being elected in the west and around the world and less Zapateros being elected.

Our victory over the Soviet Union led to victories for market economics around the world. It also led to left wing parties moving right like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.

In contrast, defeat in Iraq will lead to more leftists being elected, more socialism, more totalitarinism - things hard core liberals want.

Trooper York said...

Maj. Asa Barker: Are you sure we're not in a looney bin? sometimes I think we're in a god damn looney bin!
(Go Tell the Spartans 1978)

Hoosier Daddy said...

Don't tell me this was a necessary or moral war

I won't but my uncle would and like you, he has his own opinions.

In fact, go fuck youself.

You first.

Gedaliya said...

Richard Brenner. Died 1969.

May he rest in peace.

Simels...

Your friend died in the service of his country, and his death was not in vain. It is too bad your heart is filled with bitterness instead of pride.

Perhaps you would do him greater honor by not belittling his sacrifice, and perhaps your own grief would be at least somewhat assuaged if you considered the honor he brought to himself, his family and his nation when he fell under fire against our enemies.

I truly believe it is vulgar, petty and pitiful for you to say that he died "for no reason other than grades." That statement dishonors your friend and the nation that he died for.

steve simels said...

Hoosier Daddy said...

I won't but my uncle would and like you, he has his own opinions.


How lucky he is to be alive to hold them.

My friend doesn't have that luxury, thanks to the heartless prick assholes who prosecuted that disgusting war.

Which you think was a fine idea?

Really, go fuck yourself.

Freder Frederson said...

Good point Gedaliya. However, there is logic to their madness. Victory in Iraq also means victory for a point of view - that being freedom, capitalism, and western culture.

Don't get all high and mighty yet. We have hardly won. And you have defined "victory" down. Even the President no longer talks about freedom, capitalism and western culture in Iraq (if he ever did).

I don't think the Iraqis themselves would be too happy if they new we were there to establish "western culture" in their country. What hubris! Iraq is the birthplace of civilization (and we have done a piss-poor job of protecting that heritage btw).

Roger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sloanasaurus said...

I don't think the Iraqis themselves would be too happy if they new we were there to establish "western culture" in their country. What hubris!

You put words into my mouth!!! I am not talking about western culture in Iraq, I am talking about conserving western culture in the West. We want Iraq to be peaceful and an ally... two things they were not before the war.

The more leftism and totalitarianism advances outside our borders, the more it will advance within.

Roger said...

I found this piece from the AP interesting (in one of the linked articles): "Dozens of fighters linked to al-Qaida in Iraq streamed into Shiite villages north of Baghdad today, torching homes and killing at least 15 people before Iraqi police and defiant residents drove them away, police and army officials said."

What seems significant is that the national police and residents drove the AQ assassins away. And Omar's comments were fairly astute. While sheer terror is an effective strategy for guerillas, the terrain does not lend itself well to such tacatics. Too much open space which can be covered with in fairly short order by counterattacking forces.

This appears to me to be a bit more evidence that AQ is losing in Iraq.

Cedarford said...

[cyrus pinkerton said...

Sloan wrote:

Also, we did win in Vietnam.

Does anyone else believe this?]

Unfortunately for Cyrus, the S. Vietnamese refugees, the Vietnamese communist military and civilian leadership, and the Soviets all believe the victory over S Vietnam was a consequence of the political victory they achieved in the liberal Jewish-EuroLeft mainstream media in the West, and in US Congress.

And the direct cause after 2 major NVA defeats by the S Vietnamese after America had withdrawn it's ground forces was the 3rd offensive happened after the Democrats had "taken power from Nixon and welcomed defeat."

The Vietnamese all agree that S Vietnam's morale and will to fight collapsed with the McGovernite Democrat's betrayal of terms of the Peace Treaty Thieu signed. With no air power or weapons replenishment from America, the S Vietnamese fought bravely until they ran out of supplies, then folded before the NVA tank regiments.
Memoirs of S. Vietnam generals, as well as NVA generals like Tran and Giap and the Hanoi Politburo confirm it.

The ex-Soviets who wrote memoirs in the 90s are even sadder, more wistful because America's weakness with the liberal Democrats in charge had launched an unprecidented wave of Soviet expansion that many Soviets thought was the beginning of their final victory. Then it all turned to ashes by the late 80s.

Paraphrasing Gorbachev in his memoirs: "We foolhardedly saw the weakness and willingness of new American leadership to retreat (the McGovernites & Carter) as sufficient to embark on an aggressive strategy of expansion. We went into Afghanistan, started communist insurgencies all over Latin America. Our Cuban proxies ran riot over Africa, winning victory after victory over S Africa and other pro-western governments. Vietnam aided the fall of Cambodia at China's urging..Our SS-18 missiles were brought into E Europe to ensure that NATO airbases could be neutralized from lack of reaction time, though we had no plans to attack - it was to gain strategic dominance...With Nixon's fall, we believed we could change the nuclear balance and the weak leadership of America that replaced Nixon couldn't respond.

While this was happening, though, we ignored the rot of our economy that Afghanistan, lack of reform in our communist economic model, and drain of adventurism caused. We over-relied on our natural allies in the media and intelligensia in the West to use the Freeze Movement to block NATO from regaining strategic parity in Europe. That the UK and W Germany would show such resolve in backing Reagan.."

And yet the liberal Democrats still look back at this great disaster of the fall of SE Asia and Watergate as their greatest political victory in the 20th Century after FDR. Their "Golden Days."
And many hope for a similar defeat and humbling of America now, to recapture the feelings they had in the great Carter years of their ascendency...

Gedaliya said...

Iraq is the birthplace of civilization (and we have done a piss-poor job of protecting that heritage btw).

We are doing a far better job of protecting it than did Saddam Hussein, and that is what counts.

I am confident we are going to win in Iraq. And what does "win" mean? It means we will have an ally in the heart of the Middle East, and ally that will help us defeat Al Qaeda.

That goal alone is worth the sacrifice of our brave men under arms.

Don't you agree?

Sloanasaurus said...

I agree with gedaliya.

All Al Qaeda has left is Iraq. They have been unable to mount any more attacks against the U.S. and their successes in other countries have been small. Iraq is the only place left they can succeed.

Victory in Iraq will thoroughly discredit Al Qaeda as a movement.

With no victories, it will die out.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Bruce Hayden wrote:

I could say the same to you, in your discounting the testimony of real Iraqis over the results of some polls, the providence of which we have no idea. You also ignore the realities of decreasing death tolls and Sunnis switching sides. All would seem to indicate that the poll, and not the article is flawed.

No Bruce, you can't truthfully say the same of me. Nowhere have I "discounted" the testimony of "real Iraqis" (as opposed to "unreal" Iraqis, apparently). The value I put on anecdotal evidence, however, is not so great that I would simply dismiss polling data as you have done. If you had evidence of fraud, bias or incompetence on the part of the polling organization, that would be a completely different matter, but you don't have anything of the sort. Rather, you dismiss the result because you don't like the result.

It's not unusual to find that polling data gives a different picture than anecdotal evidence. Nor is it unusual to find contradictions in polling data. Generally I don't cite polling data because I find it fairly uninteresting and unenlightening. In this case, I cited the recent BBC/ABC News poll only to correct Gedaliya's claims about Iraqi opinion.

Again, I'm sorry you don't like the poll results. Obviously it's up to you to decide whether to believe poll results that conflict with your political views. But please don't pretend that you are applying critical thinking when you quickly dismiss evidence you don't like.

Gedaliya said...

I predict that George Bush will go down in history as a great man because he took the offensive against Al Qaeda despite fierce and frenzied opposition from most of our European allies and most of the Democratic Party.

Bush established the battlefield in the very heart and soul of Arab Islam, and drew our mortal enemies into our trap like flies on flypaper. We are now on the verge of a complete and utter victory against Al Qaeda, and this will have historical ramifications that are hard to exaggerate. And who will we have to thank for it? The forty-third president of the United States, George W. Bush.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Hoosier,

It's very simple; we didn't win in Vietnam. Now, if it makes some people feel better to claim that we were winning before we lost, well that's just fine with me.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Sloan wrote:

Victory in Iraq will lead to more Sarkozys being elected in the west and around the world and less Zapateros being elected.

Sloan is really in fine form today.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Gedaliya wrote:

We are now on the verge of a complete and utter victory against Al Qaeda, and this will have historical ramifications that are hard to exaggerate. And who will we have to thank for it? The forty-third president of the United States, George W. Bush.

Gedaliya, you should be ashamed of yourself for stealing Sloan's best material. Leave the delusional babbling to him, if you don't mind.

Gedaliya said...

Gedaliya, you should be ashamed of yourself for stealing Sloan's best material. Leave the delusional babbling to him, if you don't mind.

So you believe we will be defeated by Al Qaeda in Iraq?

cyrus pinkerton said...

Cedarford wrote:

...the Soviets all believe the victory over S Vietnam was a consequence of the political victory they achieved in the liberal Jewish-EuroLeft mainstream media in the West...

No Althouse thread is complete without a Cedarford comment that mentions Jews. Isn't it wonderful to know that some things never change?

Roger said...

AQ (or at least the wahabbists in AQ) push a theology that I suspect is not going to gain them any widespread following in any secularized islamic society. I dont think they will be "defeated" in any military sense, but their damage can be limited. Terrorism, IMO, is something that can't be defeated.

Gedaliya said...

I dont think they [AQ] will be "defeated" in any military sense, but their damage can be limited. Terrorism, IMO, is something that can't be defeated.

I disagree wholeheartedly. The Al Qaeda leadership is decimated. They've lost their safe-haven in Afghanistan. Their best cadres and most loyal fighters lie dead on the field of battle in Iraq. They are hated and loathed by the vast majority of Arabs in the most important and wealthiest of all the Arab nations.

They are on the run, and as long as we don't lose our nerve, we'll annihilate what is left of them before the decade is out.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Gedaliya,

I think it might be slightly premature to put up the "Mission Accomplished" banner again.

I don't see any good evidence to support your claim that "we are now on the verge of a complete and utter victory against Al Qaeda." In my opinion, we should expect a very long and difficult battle. I'll be happily surprised if I'm wrong.

More importantly, I wouldn't risk misleading Americans about the nature of the task ahead by making grossly over-optimistic predictions about it. It's better to provide an honest assessment than to shade the truth; after having been proven wrong again and again, Team Bush should have learned this lesson by now.

antiphone said...

Gedalia has to be a parody, and a funny one too.

Gedaliya said...

I don't see any good evidence to support your claim that "we are now on the verge of a complete and utter victory against Al Qaeda."

Well, perhaps you're not paying attention.

I too think we still have one or two years left to eliminate the remnants of Al Qaeda in Iraq, but I am convinced the momentum is now unstoppable. We've finally figured out, I believe, what to do in Sunni Iraq, and just as importantly, what not to do in Shia Iraq. The news yesterday about Moqtada al Sadr is further proof that events are moving decidedly in our favor, and it is hard to imagine a reversal of fortune happening anytime soon.

I would hope that even opponents of the war are heartened by the good news coming out of Iraq these days, and are just as hopeful as the war's supporters that in the end, we will succeed in our efforts to replace Saddam Hussein with a reliable partner in the war against terror.

titus22 said...

Please be nice to Genitalia. He and I are dating.

Their is too much hostility in here. Let's learn a little bit about each other.

Let's explore each other and really get to know each other.

Now, each one of us tell the group something about ourselves.

Were listening and loving....

Sloanasaurus said...

Terrorism, IMO, is something that can't be defeated.

True, but we are not trying to defeat the use of terrorism, we are trying to defeat the political and cultural movement represented by Al Qaeda.

In the future, it may be looked upon as an easy victory relative to casualties and cost when compared to defeating Communism. However, it will have only seemed easy because we attacked agressively early rather than waiting for Al Qaeda to topple governments and take over states. As Gedaliya said, Bush/Blair should and will get the credit for this.

Iran is still out there, but they are more of the classic state threat rather than an ideological one.

titus22 said...

What are our passions in life? What makes us happy? What gets out of the bed each morning and ready to take on life?

How do we relax and let go?

What food makes our tummies feel good?

What color brightens our world?

When do we laugh?

Hoosier Daddy said...

How lucky he is to be alive to hold them.

My friend doesn't have that luxury, thanks to the heartless prick assholes who prosecuted that disgusting war.


I see. My uncle's opinions as a vet in that war mean nothing but your's are full of righteous indignation because your buddy was killed.

Really, go fuck yourself.

At least come up with a more original insult for those that hold a different opinion. Or keep your promise of staying away from this train-wreck of a blog.

titus22 said...

What sound do we like?

Hoosier what is special about LOS?

Simels say something nice about Pogo.

Let's embrace each other.

I love you all.

Jason said...

What is best in life?

To crush the enemy. To see them driven before you. To hear the lamentations of their women.

Yaaaaah.

--Conan the Barbarian

titus22 said...

Thank you for sharing Jason.

Who's next?

We are already bonding and feeling good about ourselves and each other.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It's very simple; we didn't win in Vietnam. Now, if it makes some people feel better to claim that we were winning before we lost, well that's just fine with me.

Ok

titus22 said...

Happiness to me is sperm dripping on a well sculpted chest and flowing down to the ripples of the abs.

hdhouse said...

Gedaliya said...
I predict that George Bush will go down in history as a great man because he took the offensive against Al Qaeda despite fierce and frenzied opposition from most of our European allies and most of the Democratic Party."


A whopper daddy....I see a whopper.....ohhh daddy let's stop..there's a whopper ..honest it is....its great big and full of it too! oh daddy please stop.

steve simels said...

Hoosier Daddy said...

I see. My uncle's opinions as a vet in that war mean nothing but your's are full of righteous indignation because your buddy was killed.


Your uncle's opinions don't change the fact that my friend was sent off to his death because of nothing more pressing than bad grades. When your uncle has a remotely plausible explanation of why that was morally justified, drop me a line.

In the meantime, bite me.

garage mahal said...

Now, each one of us tell the group something about ourselves.

Hi, my name is Garage, and well I'm a defeatist liberal that still hasn't convinced myself that Al Aqaeda was ever in Iraq, and borrowing money from China to invade it when they weren't there was a really bad idea.

Also, I still have a hard time seeing how the Duke Rape Case changed everything, and as much as I try, I can't keep Sandy Berger on my mind 24/7.

And Chappaquiddick.

Trooper York said...

Discotheque DJ: Aren't you one of those guys who's always running in here yelling 'disco sucks?' What's the matter, cat got your bong, man? Is that how you learned to communicate? Running in here and yelling stuff? Is that what your precious "rock and roll" teaches you?
Ken Miller: No, it teaches me that DISCO SUCKS!
(Freaks and Geeks 1999)

titus22 said...

Excellent Garage. Now we are getting somewhere.

Old wounds are mending and the divisions are dissapating. I feel really good about the work we are all doing here.

Someone else? Share with the group.

Happiness, sounds, smiles, laughs, desires, goals. Let's keep going. Were all listening and learning from each other.

Ann Althouse said...

".. my friend was sent off to his death because of nothing more pressing than bad grades."

It's not as if the war was justified on the basis of your friend's bad grades. Even if we assume everyone who died in Vietnam died in vain, it's not the case that we were fighting for the reasons that the draftees lacked deferments. You can be enraged because of the draft system that we had then, but we don't have the draft now. I would agree that it wasn't right to have a draft with the deferments that we had, since it clearly privileged the young men who began with the most privilege.

Hoosier Daddy said...

When your uncle has a remotely plausible explanation of why that was morally justified, drop me a line

Well he thought helping a group of people who were trying to fend off a brutal communist takeover was something worthwhile. Perhaps you don't but then again, a lot of folks back then didn't see much evil in communism. Was Korea a disgustingw war? Should we have avoided that one as well and condemn the South Koreans to the same kind of worker's paradise that they enjoy in the North?

In your mind is there a morally justified war?

steve simels said...

It's not as if the war was justified on the basis of your friend's bad grades.

That's without question the stupidest thing you've posted here since you suggested that Jose Padilla being led to the dentist in leg shackles and blackout goggles was justified by "fear that he will communicate in code by blinking."

Seriously -- are you high or what?

steve simels said...

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well he thought helping a group of people who were trying to fend off a brutal communist takeover was something worthwhile.


Was he fine with my friend being killed for his lousy grades?

Awfully white of him, I'd say.

antiphone said...

In your mind is there a morally justified war?

Here’s a question for you, is there a war that hasn’t been provided with moral justification? Every disgusting lowlife “leader” that ever ordered troops into battle had a story. Charlie Manson had one too.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Well he thought helping a group of people who were trying to fend off a brutal communist takeover was something worthwhile.

That's a terribly simplistic view of the Vietnam war.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Was he fine with my friend being killed for his lousy grades?

Awfully white of him, I'd say.


Ok you evidently are dense. Later.

Ann Althouse said...

Simels, you are being irrational. Your friend was drafted because he lost his deferment, but he fought for what our country fought for, which is the reason particular individuals were chosen to serve. You're being willfully dense -- or you are actually stupid -- beause you think you can claim moral authority because someone you know died in a war. Don't you think other people here also knew someone who died in a war but are choosing not to leverage their argument that way?

Trooper York said...

Nick Andopolis: I mean, what's the difference between disco and Zeppelin?
(Freaks and Geeks 1999)

Ann Althouse said...

I mean...

... which is not the reason particular individuals were chosen to serve...

steve simels said...

nn Althouse said...

you think you can claim moral authority because someone you know died in a war. Don't you think other people here also knew someone who died in a war but are choosing not to leverage their argument that way?


No, I think I can claim moral authority because THAT war -- not A war, Ann, THAT war -- was wrong on every level. My friend's death doesn't give me moral authority, but it focuses my rage at the depraved fucks who supported THAT war or still try to justify it.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Steve Simels first mentioned his friend's death in response to Sloan's idiotic assertion that "Vietnam was a necessary war."

I think Simel's response to Sloan was entirely appropriate and I wonder why none of the commenters who are picking on him have the courage to share an opinion on the "necessity" of the Vietnam war. I guess it's easier to attack someone who lost a friend in Vietnam than to question American policy, past and present.

Jason said...

Every level? All of them? There was not one rational counterargument?

Are you on crack?

Do you know how the Viet Cong financed its activities? Do you know how they collected taxes?

Think maybe it was them or the NVA that killed your friend? Maybe?

They sure killed a lot of other people.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Jason wrote:

They sure killed a lot of other people.

So did we.

John Stodder said...

Simels,

There was a draft in WWII. The US and Allied commanders made tactical errors that led to tens of thousands of those draftees getting killed. The larger purpose of WWII was noble and correct, but that doesn't make what happened to those draftees any more horrible, tragic and infuriating in retrospect.

Likewise with Vietnam. In retrospect, it was a really stupid war, wasteful war, waged deceitfully, which meant nothing to our ultimate victory in the Cold War. Nixon justified the continuance of the war because of "honor" and "credibility," but ultimately, we accepted the blows to our credibility and abandoned Vietnam, and we still managed to overturn Soviet communism 15 years later.

The point is, I think your friend was drafted for what, at the time, was regarded by the majority of the country as a noble and important cause. In retrospect, that was wrong with regard to Vietnam. And, as Ann says, they used unfair criteria for deciding who would be drafted and who would be deferred, but that was the policy at the time. It wouldn't be the policy now if a draft were ever to return.

The US has unique responsibilities. We aren't Norway. We can't hide behind our wealth and comfort and ignore aggression on the part of manifestly evil forces. We have to pick our battles, obviously, but we can't just say "peace, man" and figure our moral responsibilities are thus discharged.

The US fills a vacuum that was supposed to be filled by two failed institutions--the UN and before that the League of Nations--to guarantee self-determination of nations and peoples, respect for minority rights and the free flow of ideas and trade leading to material progress in the world. Nobody will fight for those essential elements to peace and prosperity if the US doesn't lead the battle. We get spitballed all the time for playing this role, it asks much too much of our young soldiers, and sometimes we play our part with foolish incompetence. But the tragic reality is, if the US declined to play that role, evil would triumph in the world.

We don't have a choice of iced tea or cappuccino in the real world. We have a choice of different kinds of hell, one of which is clearly morally superior to the other. It's easy enough to say peace is better than war. But there are things that are worse than war.

steve simels said...

Jason said...

Think maybe it was them or the NVA that killed your friend? Maybe?


Last time I checked, it wasn't the VC or NVA that drafted him.

You know, for the bad grades that it was necessary he die over.

cyrus pinkerton said...

But the tragic reality is, if the US declined to play that role, evil would triumph in the world.

I don't believe this. I suspect most people in the world don't believe it either.

antiphone said...

…the tragic reality is, if the US declined to play that role, evil would triumph in the world.

Did you discover this carved into a stone tablet or something? Is the the US a God destined to rule over all the other little evil countries?

steve simels said...

John Stodder said...

the tragic reality is, if the US declined to play that role, evil would triumph in the world.



John, I don't disagree with that, or in fact most of what it's in your very well considered post. And I will admit to perhaps taking unnecessarily personal offense when people, like several here, insist that the war in Vietnam was a good idea. Although having a friend die for an epic mistake has a tendency to make you bitter that way.

That said, and with all due respect, I don't see how anything you said above in any way mitigates what happened to my friend. He didn't just get screwed, he got killed, and ultimately for no more pressing reason that he was a big dumb jock who couldn't get into grad school to save his ass.

And given that fact, all your high minded talk about our responsibilities to humanity and the world are ultimately, as my co-religionists say, so much chin music.

IMHO.

Roger said...

John: regretably, evil does seem to be doing OK in the world with or without US help.

Cedarford said...

steve simels said...
nn Althouse said...

"you think you can claim moral authority because someone you know died in a war. Don't you think other people here also knew someone who died in a war but are choosing not to leverage their argument that way?"

No, I think I can claim moral authority because THAT war -- not A war, Ann, THAT war -- was wrong on every level. My friend's death doesn't give me moral authority, but it focuses my rage at the depraved fucks who supported THAT war or still try to justify it.


Somehow, a little birdie or something tells me that Simels doesn't have a shred of rage for the "depraved fucks" of North Vietnam or the Khymer Rouge in Cambodia that launched agressive war, or the "depraved communist fucks" of China and the Soviet Union that backed the local commies decades-long bloodbath.

The same "depraved fucks" who actually killed Simels purported beloved friend who lives on today as a prop for Simel's moral authority?

Rage displacement is one of the great Lefty dysfunctions. In war, they see US soldiers as not shot or blasted by enemy IEDs, but "murdered" by fellow Americans. When a Lefty finds someone they know has been pistol whipped and raped by a black thug, obviously, it cannot be the fault of a blameless minority, it must be the gun's fault.
When someone dies of AIDs, the fault is not laid to the guy for reckless promiscuity for having unprotected anal sex with 118 partners in 8 years by Lefties, but deemed all government's fault for not diverting enough money out of other disease research for an "AIDs cure".
And so on.
We all know where you are coming from, Simels.

John Stodder said...

That said, and with all due respect, I don't see how anything you said above in any way mitigates what happened to my friend. He didn't just get screwed, he got killed, and ultimately for no more pressing reason that he was a big dumb jock who couldn't get into grad school to save his ass.

It really wasn't meant to. Even if he died cutting Hitler's throat, it's not fair that he was picked instead of, say, someone going to law school, assuming that distinction was the only reason. But that injustice doesn't negate the larger purpose in which it is wrapped -- to raise an army to project American power.

Your argument with the unfair draft policies of the 60s is really a distinct argument from whether Vietnam was a worthwhile use of our military, and those two arguments are distinct from assessing whether our military should be in Iraq.

I suspect we would agree on #1 and #2 and disagree on #3. But they are three independent issues.

Kirk said...

Cyrus,

I told you Cedarford is a mole whose mission is to discredit the right.

For everyone else (and Cedarford himself, for that matter): try taking out the words "Jewish-Euro" out and see if you think the overall argument (which isn't that bad) is affected in the slightest.

steve simels said...

Cedarford:

The Viet Cong didn't send my friend to Vietnam to die. American foreign policy did that.

And most of its architects have long since admitted that they were tragically wrong to do so.

I'm reminded of Mohammed Ali's line when he refused to go.

"No Vietnamese ever called me nigger."

cyrus pinkerton said...

Roger,

Thinking of the struggles in the world in terms of "good" and "evil" is extremely simplistic and not only useless, but often dangerous.

Remember that those who you and other commenters regard as "evil" are very likely to sincerely believe that America is "evil."

So rather than congratulate ourselves on being a force for "good" in the world, let's try to act as a nation in ways that will earn the respect and high regard of other countries.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I wonder why none of the commenters who are picking on him have the courage to share an opinion on the "necessity" of the Vietnam war. I guess it's easier to attack someone who lost a friend in Vietnam than to question American policy, past and present.

Well I tried but figured it was pointless after being told to go fuck myself.

And yes Cyrus we killed a lot of people too just like the NVA, just like Pol Pot or the Nazis. Your moral equivalency is breath taking.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Kirk,

Sorry, but there's a peculiarly offensive stench associated with anything Cedarford posts. On that basis alone, I'm going to pass on your suggestion that I reread his drivel.

Let me make it clear, though, that I don't associate Cedarford's bigotry with the right--I associate it with ignorance and fear.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Thinking of the struggles in the world in terms of "good" and "evil" is extremely simplistic and not only useless, but often dangerous.

Really? So tell me, where the Axis powers simply a shade of gray? Misundestood chaps with legitimate grievances? Where did the Rape of Nanking or Dachau fall in there? Oh I am certain Hitler viewed us as evil, considering he called us the mongrel race.

So how do you view places like North Korea which is nothing more than a prison? What about Iran which would hang people like titus in a heartbeat? What about the Sudan? I find it absolutely incredible that we would have to somehow gain respect or regard from nations like these. I'm sure some monk who had his head caved in in Myanmmar certainly appreciates your progressive attitude.

Sloanasaurus said...

in response to Sloan's idiotic assertion that "Vietnam was a necessary war."

Why do you think this is an idiot comment.

Do you think we should have let Vietnam go? Maybe we could have fought the Soviets and/or Chinese in a proxy war Thailand…or Pakistan or India or Turkey or West Germany maybe central America? When would it have been best to stand up to Communist expansion?

We chose Vietnam. Maybe it wasn't the best place and maybe the war was waged poorly, but it was "necessary" to stand up at some point.

John Stodder said...

Remember that those who you and other commenters regard as "evil" are very likely to sincerely believe that America is "evil."

So rather than congratulate ourselves on being a force for "good" in the world, let's try to act as a nation in ways that will earn the respect and high regard of other countries.


Do we believe our way of life is better for the vast majority of people or don't we? Are we unable to distinguish a society based on the rights of the individual from Sharia law that regards women as second class citizens and non-Muslims as infidels barely to be tolerated and okay to kill? Likewise, in the Cold War, were we really wrong to think a society that claimed everything for the government and nothing for the individual except what the government deemed he should have is on the level with our system?

The Islamic fundamentalists think it is evil that we allow Christina Aguilera to dance in lingerie on TV, or that we don't stone Rufus Wainwright to death. They think their view of our evil trumps ours and is a cassus belli. It's not live or let live, from their point of view. Our cultural and economic freedom is exactly what they are making war against. You really think we should just stop fighting them and say, "You know, your opinion is just as valid as ours, so we won't bother defending ours?"

The Islamic jihad is an aggressive, expansionist movement that is primarily aimed at overturning whatever is non-Islamic in the world. We have no choice but to fight them. Even at the expense of exposing our occasional incompetence to the world, we have no choice.

I think the idea that we have a damaged reputation in the world is overblown. Our success in the war so far has been largely due to unprecedented international cooperation. A lot of the "Bush is a cowboy" stuff is heart-felt, but it doesn't stop our governments from working effectively together.

Sloanasaurus said...

So rather than congratulate ourselves on being a force for "good" in the world, let's try to act as a nation in ways that will earn the respect and high regard of other countries.

Good God man. This is moral relativism gobblygook at its finest. Your paragraph defines leftism to the core.

Things are black and white:

Freedom = good.
Communism = bad.

antiphone said...

Hoosier Daddy, what about Saudi Arabia, China, are they evil? If they are why are you doing business with them? Are there shades of evil, if so how is evil any different than the shades of gray you dismiss sarcastically?

John Stodder said...

Hoosier Daddy, what about Saudi Arabia, China, are they evil?

Is Saudi Arabia or China making war on the U.S. or its allies?

There is evil in those countries. There is evil in this country. The question is the nature of the threat to others, and to freedom overall. Right now, I don't think we have any reason to consider ourselves at war with Saudi Arabia or China, and I hope that never changes. But that shouldn't stop our government and our NGOs from advocating human rights and environmental protection in those countries. Nor should we turn a blind eye to the evils of this country.

steve simels said...

Sloanasaurus said...

We chose Vietnam. Maybe it wasn't the best place and maybe the war was waged poorly, but it was "necessary" to stand up at some point.


Right. Thus it was "necessary" for my friend to be sent to die there because of bad grades.

Remind me of that next time I visit his name on the Wall.

Jason said...

Remember that those who you and other commenters regard as "evil" are very likely to sincerely believe that America is "evil."

Yes, and I pretty much regard people who can't tell the difference between the U.S. and real evil as morally blinkered f_cktards.

So what else is new?

Jason said...

Last time I checked, it wasn't the VC or NVA that drafted him.

No. They just killed him. (Rolling eyes.)

You remind me of Nicolas Cage's character in Moonstruck, raging at the world because he lost his hand.

Someone points out to him that it's not so and so's fault that he lost his hand, and all he can do is wipe his nose and cry "I ain't no monument to justice!"

Except with Cage it was a laugh line.

garage mahal said...

Our cultural and economic freedom is exactly what they are making war against.

So invade them and force freedom on them!

Ralph said...

The Shah tried modernizing Iran to some extent, and the backlash has been a disaster for us and Iran.

I think the Muslim world's biggest problem is too many young men with no power and too much time on their hands.

cyrus pinkerton said...

And yes Cyrus we killed a lot of people too just like the NVA, just like Pol Pot or the Nazis. Your moral equivalency is breath taking.

Hoosier, what do you see as the great difference between civilian Cambodians killed by the US in Operation Menu and those executed by the Khmer Rouge regime? It's not a matter of "moral equivalency" as you suggest, but rather an acknowledgement that it's rather difficult for objective observers to see "good" in the killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians no matter what rationalization you care to apply.

The truth is that the US killed many civilians during the Vietnam war. That fact stands on its own, without the silly comparisons you try to draw with the actions of Pol Pot and Hitler. Why can't you acknowledge this fact on its own, independent of other examples of mass killing?

cyrus pinkerton said...

Jason wrote:

Yes, and I pretty much regard people who can't tell the difference between the U.S. and real evil as morally blinkered f_cktards.

Jason, I suspect many of the people we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan share your attitude, but with the key difference that they see the US as "real evil."

Joan said...

Regarding Simels and his 38 years of rage -- I've seen this kind of behavior before. When an extremely powerful event happens, some people can never move beyond it. They are incapable of understanding anything about it other than what they understood at the time; it's the only way it makes sense to them. However they processed it as children or young adults will forever remain the only way they can view the event.

Thus, to Simels, his friend died because he wasn't accepted to grad school. Not because he was representing our country, not because he was fighting communist expansion, not for any great cause at all, simply because his grades didn't make the cut. There is abundant well-researched and well-documented history to rebut Simels' view, but there's no point in citing it because he's perpetually stuck in a corner, figuratively closing his eyes and blocking his ears while chanting "Lalala, I can't hear you."

Independent of his inability to accept new information and change his understanding of the event, Simels' ability to achieve this level of rage, 38 years after the fact, indicates one of two situations -- either he needs deep therapy or his emotional response is manufactured for this thread. Of course other possible explanations exist as well -- just having a bad day? -- but these two seem the most likely.

antiphone said...

Is the United States of America currently at war with any other country?

It seems like an easy question but is it?

Cedarford said...

Simels - I'm reminded of Mohammed Ali's line when he refused to go.

"No Vietnamese ever called me nigger."


That is only because Ali ducked going to Vietnam. Had he gone, he quickly would have found Vietnamese called black GIs "niggers", "monkeys" and worse.
Not too different than the rest of Asia, where whites are regarded as slightly inferior and less civilized - though many whites are deemed equals on an individual level. But blacks are thought to be violent, impulsive, one step above animal.
Though they make a curious exception for black celebrities like Jordan, Shaq, Oprah, and Michael Jackson...who get rock star worship while ordinary blacks strolling in the Ginza get a phalanx of wary storekeepers watching them..

Ali, had he gone, might have discovered racism flourishes in Asia. Not just about non-Asians, but other Asians. Each ethnicity has their own inter-Asian pecking order, with them on top of course and other peoples arrayed by belief. Listening to a Japanese with a sense of humor lay out the Japanese order for other Asians and non-Asians was hysterically funny. Especially since the week before I had been in business meetings with Koreans the month before and over lunch, the Koreans explained their racial theories of why Chinese are OK, American whites are almost as intelligent and hard-working as Koreans, why Malays rate above dogs, and why Japanese are lower than dogs.

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

Anyways, back to the actual war in Iraq while Simels immortalizes his moral supremacy from his prop friend....

The US should be focused even more on getting the message out to Arabs, Paks and other Muslims that like in the 2nd Algerian Civil War, the Takfiris in the Al Qaeda "Central Front" went way too far, and showed their true, beastial nature towards fellow Muslims.

Al Qaeda's defeat and rejection by fellow Sunnis for their horrific acts once they got power, should be allowed to be examined by journalists from Muslim nations and communicated all through the Ummah. This is hardly the 1st time the Islamic world has confronted the problem of bloodthirsty Takfiris - which the Salfists have proven themselves to be in Algeria, with the Taliban, in Yemen's civil Wars, now, in Iraq.

Iraq, where they told te world they were heading into the "fulcrum of history" the Central front, their "critical center moment" of fighting for their harsh, unforgiving, sadistic variant of Islam - AQ has had the horrifying realization that their depravity has been so eggregious that good traditional Sunni Muslims with ample cause to despise the West and America for booting them out of influence, shaming them - grew to hate AQ more than the Americans. That is a supreme humiliation.

Broadcasting it, getting the message out that other Arabs have found AQ as bad as the throat-slitting Takfiris of Algeria - Satanic in their abuse of power - so bad that Sunnis turn to Americans as saviors despite the royal screwing Bush&Bremer gave the Sunni Arabs - should be our main strategic communications objective and as big a thing as uncovering the AQ Khan network was for us strategically.

And the message should come from the Ummah's brother Sunnis in Iraq. Send the Tal Afar Arabs to meet with leaders and journalists to tell them what it is like when AQ has power over Arab communities, what happens. Or bring in contingents of Muslim and Euro-weenie journalists and America-hating human rights lawyers like Kenneth Roth to meet with them.
What their fate will be if they allow AQ to come in as a weapon against The Other, only to find that AQ is worse than any "Crusader-Zionist" force ever was..

That is more important than whather or not Malaki's Shiite thugs ever embrace the "modern democracy" idiots like Bush and Sharansky thought was an easy thing.

We are fighting Al Qaeda and radical Islam - to get regional stability and prevent massive disruptions to the global economy. We pretty well agreed at this point we are not committed to pissing away lives and treasure simply for Israel, or Bush's idiotic nation-building fantasies, or for "helping the noble Iraqi Arabs despite them killing us, to better themselves."

cyrus pinkerton said...

Hoosier wrote:

I'm sure some monk who had his head caved in in Myanmmar certainly appreciates your progressive attitude.

I'm surprised to see such a silly response from you Hoosier. Usually you are far more thoughtful in your comments.

What I wrote is this:

Thinking of the struggles in the world in terms of "good" and "evil" is extremely simplistic and not only useless, but often dangerous.

A calm reading of this statement does not lead to the conclusion that "good" and "evil" don't exist. It quite clearly states that basing foreign policy on the simple notion of "good" and "evil" actors is childish, narrow and risky.

So, Hoosier, your squealing about acts of evil in history is really irrelevant. It appears that you may be closer to Sloan in outlook than I imagined. It's a shame if true.

antiphone said...

I think we’re technically at war with North Korea (where there’s no fighting) but we’re not at war with Afghanistan or Iraq where there is fighting. We’re not at war with Iran or Pakistan or Syria.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Joan,

Wow, psychoanalysis based on blog comments! Very impressive. However, it seems to me that someone as sharp as you should realize that your opinion comes across as remarkably insensitive, and more to the point, not particularly helpful.

Wouldn't it be a lot smarter to keep opinions of this sort to yourself?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hoosier, what do you see as the great difference between civilian Cambodians killed by the US in Operation Menu and those executed by the Khmer Rouge regime?

Well I see the difference being the former a military operation designed to deny the VC and NVA sanctuary bases from which to operate from. The latter was essentially a mass genocide carried by a psychopathic murderer.

It's not a matter of "moral equivalency" as you suggest, but rather an acknowledgement that it's rather difficult for objective observers to see "good" in the killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians no matter what rationalization you care to apply.

Does that just apply to Vietnam or was Churchill and Roosevelt simply war criminals cut from the same cloth as Hitler and Tojo? Hundreds of thousands of Germans will killed in strategic bombing?

The truth is that the US killed many civilians during the Vietnam war.

Of course and so did the NVA and VC. The question is whether the killing of civilians was a matter of policy versus for either side.

That fact stands on its own, without the silly comparisons you try to draw with the actions of Pol Pot and Hitler.

It may be a silly comparison because you will not acknowledge the difference between civilian collateral damage and the deliberate targeting of the civilian population.

steve simels said...

There is abundant well-researched and well-documented history to rebut Simels' view

Objection!!!!

Assumes horseshit NOT IN EVIDENCE!!!!

Regarding Simels and his 38 years of rage -- I've seen this kind of behavior before.

Oh, blow it out your ass, lady. You're not a psychiatrist nor do you play one on TV.

steve simels said...

Anyways, back to the actual war in Iraq while Simels immortalizes his moral supremacy from his prop friend....


My prop friend? Wow.

You're an even bigger sociopathic prick than I thought.

Gedaliya said...

Oh, blow it out your ass, lady. You're not a psychiatrist nor do you play one on TV.

Simels...

You're a sad case. You've (apparently) spent years in some kind of self-righteous funk about your friend's death in the service of his nation. Instead of honoring his sacrifice and his memory, you soil them both by cheaply using his death as a means to gain argument points with your political opponents.

It is unseemly and vulgar and you should be ashamed.

Hoosier Daddy said...

A calm reading of this statement does not lead to the conclusion that "good" and "evil" don't exist.

An equally calm reading of my response I thought made it clear that they indeed do exist.

It quite clearly states that basing foreign policy on the simple notion of "good" and "evil" actors is childish, narrow and risky.

Actually it was Reagan's entire strategy in dealing with the Soviets and it worked quite well. He saw them for exactly what they were. I think if you're going to deal with Iran, Sudan or Myanmmar it needs to be done with that very notion. Dealing with Achmadenijad in the same manner as say, the President of Norway is an insult to the Norwegian don't you think?

So, Hoosier, your squealing about acts of evil in history is really irrelevant.

Actually it isn't at all. As a matter of fact, history pretty much backs up my case quite well.

It appears that you may be closer to Sloan in outlook than I imagined. It's a shame if true.

Sorry if you're disappointed.


So, Hoosier, your squealing about acts of evil in history is really irrelevant. It appears that you may be closer to Sloan in outlook than I imagined. It's a shame if true.

Ralph said...

You're an even bigger sociopathic prick than I thought
Titus wants us to love one another. Telling people to fuck off was not what he had in mind.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cyrus pinkerton said...

Dealing with Achmadenijad in the same manner as say, the President of Norway is an insult to the Norwegian don't you think?

Hoosier, if after reading what I wrote, this is your conclusion, then... I guess the most helpful thing I can suggest is that you reread what I wrote and think about it a lot more. There's no point in discussing something which you aren't coming even close to understanding.

And as far as your "collateral damage" argument is concerned, that's just cheap cover for killing civilians. When we carry out operations that involve "collateral damage," the collateral damage rarely comes as a surprise. Although we might prefer not to inflict collateral damage, it's an accepted consequence of the operational policy.

Finally, your comprehension of the nature of Reagan's foreign policy success is poor at best. It's really a shame that you fail to understand the forces that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
However, I would describe your view of history and foreign policy as bizarrely religious in nature, and I'd be the last person to argue that such any viewpoint based on a religious foundation relies on evidence and logic.

Later.

Trooper York said...

Rita: Have you ever had déjà-vu?
Phil: Didn't you just ask me that?
(Groundhog Day 1993)

hdhouse said...

simels...

perhaps a sharper argument would be to target those who use that war as a justification for this war.

Sloanasaurus said...

Cyrus, I don't think anyone here objects to your argument that there are nuances in foreign policy. Sometimes the path that goes from point A to point B is not a straight line.

However, what Hoosier and others are defending is a that we should maintain core principles while acting in the world. For example, Reagan didn't accept the idea that Communism was good for some, he had a core principle that communism was univerally bad and that it should be confronted everywhere.

For centuries, slavery was defended with the same type of nuance you mention. People argued that slavery was good for some - it gave them education and food and shelter. However, at some point, the great nations gave up this nuance and opposed it as a core principle. SO much so that during the Civil War, Britain refrained from formally aiding the south mostly because of slavery, even though Britain suffered a great calamity from their mills running dry for lack of cotton. In the end this decision saved America and in turn Britain in two world wars.

hdhouse said...

Sloanasarus.

You are amazingly stupid. You say things that are part right and then toss in a stupid part ..what? just for fun?

the "nuance of slavery"...England didn't suffer a cotton shortage at any point that they didn't make up for elsewhere so that is wrong. England also didn't enter the war mainly because the US vowed to declare war on any country that aided the south. England suffered massive crop failures and half of its imports were food products from the United States. the South actually offered to end slavery if England would recognize the confederacy which England declined.

Just try and get something right for a change.

hdhouse said...

Ann Althouse said...
hd, why do you "love" to throw cold water on ideas about winning the war?"

Because, like you, I was alive and draftable during the entire Viet Nam era and heard the same nonsense spouted by this government then that you did and am now hearing it again.

Mostly this is Mr. Bush's political war with ever changing goals and an enemy made up of only a small percentage of those we went in to fight. Remember our "surge" was intended to give the Iraq government breathing space in order to get their act together yet they went on vacation and just yesterday it was widely reported that key government officials considered reconcilliation between the religious parties as hopeless...but that Mr. Bush continues to seek a military solution to the basic political problem...a problem that he never got or understood or even recognized..leads us to here.

Yes cold water on this as it is no plan but an observation that predicably if you know anything about guerilla warfare, an unprotected population may live in fear of the enemy but also in hatred and distrust of the government for not giving protection.

Sloanasaurus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sloanasaurus said...

hd, the south was ready to do anything in 1865, since it had disintigrated as an entity. They even drafted slaves into the army (but they never fought).

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

simels, I can't help but feel your friend story is a sham.

It would be very easy to pull a name off The Wall; what evidence do we have that you actually knew this individual, much less that his death is in anyway associated with your scenerio?

You keep braying that your friend lost his life because of poor grades- a line that is in no possible way anywhere near factual.

He may have (if I actually believe your story) no longer been eligible to attend college for academic reasons, but, if he was as anti-American as you seem to be, why not go to Cananda? Thousands of others did. My guess is me was a patriot, and did his duty for his country.

These facts, considered with your usual posts that are full of manure for the most part, is all I need to believe you are again full of it on this point as well.

This young man's family, whether he was your friend or not, has my thanks for his service and sympathy for his ultimate sacrafice.

You, on the other hand, can take the physically impossible advice that you have offered to several others in this thread, and will doubtless offer to me as well.

steve simels said...

simels, I can't help but feel your friend story is a sham.

It would be very easy to pull a name off The Wall; what evidence do we have that you actually knew this individual, much less that his death is in anyway associated with your scenerio?


You know, I had a feeling somebody here would be shmuck enough to say that eventually. Thank you for proving me right, and for confirming my shall we say low opinion of the knuckledragging inbred crackers that post here.

Listen, asshole -- my friend's name was Richard Brenner. He was class of 1965 65, Teaneck High School, in Teaneck New Jersey.

I realize you probably won't see this, but I'm going to be lurking at Althouse until you show up again.

And then I'm gonna repeat what I just said.

And if you even dare to suggest that Richie didn't exist, I will take the first plane down to Kentucky and shove our high school yearbook up your syphilitic redneck ass.

jeff said...

No you won't. Oh, you will sit at your keyboard safely at home and rage and scream and throw out the insults but generally internet bad-asses as you feel you are, restrict their bad-ass behavior to the net. You started out as a asshole with your story and just went downhill. You willfully ignore all that tried to engage you, misinterpreting what they said or misunderstanding their points. Either on purpose or you really are stupid. Now this last person paid respect for your alleged friend, but questioned your story, you feign outrage as you deliberately pretend the poster questioned your friend's existence, rather than your story. If he was a friend, it doesn't appear he was a close friend as your continue to use his death as a prop to somehow make it all about you. No one here is terrified of you. Only annoyed. You should seek out some anger management therapy. I look forward to your usual nuanced "fuck you" in response.