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It Never Ends
Aside from anything else, I wonder if the gentleman (if that's the word) understands how freakish it would strike every previous generation of Americans (and, indeed, almost every other society in human history) to berate a blameless young lady for not grabbing a rifle and heading for the front. And, if the issue is "extraordinary disrespect" to the troops, it's utterly self-defeating to argue that only active-duty servicemen get proprietorial rights in a war.Posted by Rand Simberg at July 30, 2006 11:16 AM
"Because the bigger it got, the less likely it was to be driven by a coherent set of war aims."
What nonsense. The Gulf War coalition had a very clear and coherent goal: expelling Iraq from Kuwait, which it accomplished with flying colors. The Iraq war "coalition" has nothing of the sort--Bush is off in la la land thinking he's turning Iraq into Disneyland while bedlam ensues, Blair's goals are somewhat less insane but equally unwise, the rest of the world just wants to limit the damage, and Iraqis themselves are merely clinging to survival. As with all other terms, like "war," "law," and "constitutional," the meaning of "victory" is quickly lost in the fog of stupidity and the ever-changing needs of Republican campaign tactics.Posted by Brian Swiderski at July 30, 2006 11:24 PM
While I don't completely agree with Mark's comment that the bigger the coalition, the less coherent set of war aims (I think the mechanism works in reverse, the more coherent the war aims, the larger the coalition), I find it interesting that Brian, in an act of cricizing, nonetheless proves the point. If America has a strategy in Iraq, and Blair has a slightly different strategy, and pro-invasion Iraqis have a slightly different strategy, then the war aims are less coherent?Posted by Leland at July 31, 2006 04:32 AM
Or, to be more precise, nations, not armies, win wars.
It comes down to a simple question of win and lose. Nations don't just win wars, they also lose them. The United States won the Persian Gulf War. The United States has lost the war in Iraq. It has already lost, in the sense that Bush torpedoed American interests in the war on terrorism by invading Iraq in the first place. With every passing day, Bush is only magnifying defeat in Iraq, in an increasingly desperate attempt to find Jesus amidst the fiasco and otherwise save face.
So there is no point in agreeing or disagreeing with Mark Steyn's confusing talk about coalitions. The real point is that he refuses to face which wars are won and which ones are lost. This sheer denial is, ultimately, a deep perversion of American patriotism. It would have been less outrageous if Steyn had urinated on the American flag, instead of writing his unpatriotic columns.
Mike says: The United States won the Persian Gulf War. The United States has lost the war in Iraq.
Mike then says: The real point is that he refuses to face which wars are won and which ones are lost.
Pot? Yeah, this is kettle, how you doin?Posted by Mac at July 31, 2006 10:26 AM
I have to ask you something, Mac. Are you a Christian? Who is higher in your thinking, George Bush or Jesus of Nazareth?
If you are a Christian, you ought to pay attention to the destruction of Iraqi Christianity. Just follow the link; you will see it spelled out for you in Congressional testimony. For all of Saddam Hussein's brutality, he never hit Iraqi Christians hard. But now, Iraqi Christians are streaming out of the country. They are the canary in the coal mine for this operation. The response from the Bush Administration to these unlucky people is mostly to ignore them, because they have been "liberated". They aren't granted safe passage to the United States. What a way to treat the people whose language descends from the one that Jesus himself spoke.
In fact, one of Hussein's famous loyalists, Tariq Aziz, is Christian. Some 25 years ago he survived attemped assassination by the Islamic Dawa Party. The same Islamic Dawa Party has won the prime minister seat in Iraq twice in a row.
Actually, no, I'm not a Christian, but that doesn't matter. At what point does your above post prove that we're losing the war? People stream out of countries at war all the time. That's just the smart thing to do.
Mike says: They aren't granted safe passage to the United States. What a way to treat the people whose language descends from the one that Jesus himself spoke.
Why should we grant safe passage to the US? This is not a black and white issue as you're trying to paint it. Besides, if the civilians leave, then its easier to find the insurgents and kill them. They blow up their own people, but that's a better way to treat those descended from the language Jesus spoke?
So the Dawa party won the elections....you know ELECTIONS that they didn't have before. If you're going to continually harp on what's wrong, you could at least mention what's right....are you in the media business?Posted by Mac at July 31, 2006 02:46 PM
I'm with Mac, all you've got, Mike, is negative rhetoric. Is there even ONE positive thing that's come out of the situation in Iraq? Without telling me the same 40 bad things I hear daily, that as of yet I still don't believe.Posted by Steve at July 31, 2006 02:59 PM
Is there even ONE positive thing that's come out of the situation in Iraq?
Well, Bush has learned some humility the hard away, although I'm not sure that you would count that.
It's a bit strange to discuss good things to come out of the invasion of Iraq. Sure, every black cloud has a silver lining, but it's not always worth discussing. Like when the Titanic sank, for example. Undoubtedly one of the survivors married the woman of his dreams because she felt sorry for him, but still...
Okay, the Kurds can be happy that their region, Kurdistan, can be a de facto separate country with a separate flag and military. Even though some of the Kurds harass Iraqi Christians too, they are generally pro-American. So we can be happy for them.
Why are you guys so defensive about a giant government project, anyway? Do you go to bat for Amtrak too?
Mike, thanks for providing evidence that Bush sees the big picture. I'm happy to know that the President didn't invade Iraq for Christianity, and instead invaded Iraq to free the larger populations from a dictator. As you noted, the Kurds are no longer be slaughtered by helicopters launching chemical munitions. The other two major islamic factions aren't playing together well, but at least they have a forum in form of an elected government to discuss differences. Sure, Saddam did clamp down on internal insurgency, but is destroying the waddy and killing thousands really a good way to stop insurgency?
Bush could have just said, "hey they're Muslims, and I'm Christian... let them live in their own hell", but fortunately he decided that others should be given the chance to taste freedom.Posted by Leland at August 1, 2006 04:49 AM
Besides, if the civilians leave, then its easier to find the insurgents and kill them.
Fantastic plan! Now, all we have to do is figure out what to do with 26 million refugees...Posted by Roy S at August 1, 2006 05:45 AM
Roy says: Fantastic plan! Now, all we have to do is figure out what to do with 26 million refugees...
This may sound callous, but why? Seriously, we train the Iraqis to fight and maintain their own security. We help them to establish a government that is stable. I'm sure we could do something for the refugess, but that's not our goal.
Besides, you guys want us out, no matter the cost. Now you suddenly care? Anything that looks bad is reported and harped on, constantly.Posted by Mac at August 1, 2006 06:30 AM
Leland, you are trying to a great deal more sense in this than actually exists.
Mike, thanks for providing evidence that Bush sees the big picture.
I'm sure he does see the big picture very clearly. But what he tells the public is very different from what he sees. If he just told the straight truth, his approval rating would be in the single digits.
I'm happy to know that the President didn't invade Iraq for Christianity
Both the destruction of Iraqi Christianity and the price of oil are truthful signs that the invasion works against American interests, regardless of what it was "for".
As you noted, the Kurds are no longer be slaughtered by helicopters launching chemical munitions.
That isn't what I said. The Kurds were already protected from that by the containment policy. But now they can have more, they can carve out their own country where they kick out the Arabs and angle for oil fields. Bush promised Iraqi unity, which is exactly what the Kurds don't want.
The other two major islamic factions aren't playing together well, but at least they have a forum in form of an elected government to discuss differences.
The Shiites and Sunnis are engaged in a brutal civil war; for comic relief, they can
Is destroying the waddy and killing thousands really a good way to stop insurgency?
The Iraqi civil war will not end until hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead, maybe millions, and American forces are either gone or fully Guantanamoized. It's already well under way.
Bush could have just said, "hey they're Muslims, and I'm Christian... let them live in their own hell"
It would be a lot more honest! That's basically what he is doing. Maybe not because he wants it that way, but because he burned his bridges. He just can't admit it, because he would lose too much face. The only part that's off is that Iraqi Christians are also facing hell.
Besides, you guys want us out, no matter the cost.
Speaking strictly for myself, American forces should leave because every bad thing risked by departure has happened and is happening anyway. E.g., the argument that we can't leave because otherwise there would be a civil war. Well guess what, there is a civil war.
The other thing that would be good for America would be to vote against politicians who lose wars. If the voters do not tell politicians that Iraq is a failure, the politicians will conclude that it is a success, regardless of the facts on the ground. They will then repeat the fiasco in another country.
Mike says (again): If the voters do not tell politicians that Iraq is a failure, the politicians will conclude that it is a success, regardless of the facts on the ground.
The voters cannot tell the politicians that Iraq is a failure, because Iraq is not a failure. This is the fundamental difference between you and several others posting here. You are outspoken that the whole war is a failure and we don't see it that way. But hey, that's what America's all about. Differences and our ability to overcome them is what makes this country great and it sure took a freakin long time to learn how to do it........perhaps you could cut the Iraqis some slack time to figure it out as well, or would you rather state that they're too barbaric and fundamentalist to succeed?
Mike says: You should remember that in the United States, democracy did not end a civil war, it started one.
And then we fought and then we settled the differences and moved on. Ideas, especially new ones, have a tougher row to hoe than evolution. All things take time and I think anyone deserves time to grasp and hold freedom.Posted by Mac at August 1, 2006 08:23 AM
Leland, you are trying to a (make) great deal more sense in this than actually exists.
Well that's good advice Mike. I'm glad you put that at the top of your reply.Posted by Leland at August 1, 2006 08:40 AM
And then we fought and then we settled the differences and moved on.
This is an echo of Rand's inane comment that "civil wars have outcomes". Yes, we settled our differences a hundred years later. And sometimes the outcome of a civil war is not so cheerful. For example, the Russian civil war in 1917 may have gone slightly against American interests. Or the Afghan civil war induced by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Probably the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is the best historical lesson for understanding the fiasco in Iraq.
The voters cannot tell the politicians that Iraq is a failure, because Iraq is not a failure.
You'll see. The voters have discovered the writing on the wall one by one, and that will only continue. Although I would not be surprised if you and some of the other people here are the last ones left.
Mike says: This is an echo of Rand's inane comment that "civil wars have outcomes". Yes, we settled our differences a hundred years later.
Which is what I was saying. IT TAKES TIME. We did it, so can they. Give them a chance instead of giving up on them, which is what you've been trying to get everyone to do.
Mike says: The voters have discovered the writing on the wall one by one, and that will only continue.
Unfortunately, the writing is mostly control by the left-leaning media. If the average Joe/Jane in America is unwilling to find news other than the big media, the only thing he/she'll see is the bad news. SInce they don't report anything good (poor ratings) Average Joe/Jane believes its all bad and votes to correct. So, the writing may be wrong, but the outcome is correct....sort of like an invasion might be wrong, but deposing a tyrant and installing a people government is a correct outcome.Posted by Mac at August 1, 2006 09:14 AM
if civil war isnt bad, and itll just lead to a more mature iraqi state some time down the road, why are we still there? does it make sense to fight someone else's civil war?
our presence only prolongs the problem. there will be a problem when we pull out, but the problem will be worse the longer we stay.Posted by at August 1, 2006 01:33 PM
during the weekend, the senator's office said Tuesday.
Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus, 28, died Saturday during combat operations in Anbar province, the Department of Defense said. It did not immediately release further information.
In a statement, Baucus, D-Mont., said the family was "devastated by the loss."
"Phillip was an incredible person, a dedicated Marine, a loving son and husband, and a proud Montanan and American," the senator said. "He heroically served the country he loved and he gave it his all."
Phillip Baucus, of Wolf Creek, was part of a Marine Corps battalion based at Twentynine Palms, Calif. He was married last August at the ranch his parents operate between Helena and Great Falls.
Max Baucus voted to authorize war in Iraq in 2002. Earlier this summer, he joined other Democrats in voting to begin a phased redeployment of troops from the war-torn country by year's end.
Posted by anonymous at August 1, 2006 05:08 PM
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