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Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, July 24. 2007
JR Dunn at American Thinker. It begins:
Read the whole thing. If Petraeus can hold back the barbarians, it will change many things. (h/t, reader)
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Great essay. My liberal friends look at me with disbelief when I tell them we won in Vietnam. They actually have so little understanding of the war; they think our soldiers and Marines lost major battles over there.
The fact is, Charles got beaten very severely, slunk back north and waited for the left in America to win the war for them.
Roger that NJSoldier.
Between my Colonel father, USMC, my brother-in-law,Captain USMC,Aviator & FAC and myself USMC &CIA my family was in Vietnam,Laos,Cambodia,Thailand from 1964 until three days before the fall of Saigon in April of 1975.
We kicked the hell out of Charlie and then some...the home front was totally fucked up and still is with regard to fighting wars.
We are now beating the skinnies but once again the Democrats are going to force us to lose...force us to lose...it's pitiful.
July 24, 2007
The Left's Flip on the Evil of Genocide
In one of the more bizarre signs that the Democrat's position on a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq is grounded in little more than political expediency and not the national interest, Jonah Goldberg in the Los Angeles Times highlights the left's 180 degree flip on how genocide must be prevented at all costs:
But what of liberal credibility? In the 1990s, amid all of the debates about Haiti, Somalia, Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the broad outline of the debate had conservatives advocating a narrower definition of the national interest while liberals argued -- and I often agreed with them -- for a more expansive one that included a heavy dose of moralism. Finally, liberals seemed to have shaken off the Vietnam syndrome and embraced an overly optimistic but benign foreign policy of nation-building and do-goodery.
Conservatives are at least still arguing about the national interest -- but they're also the ones touting the moral imperative of preventing genocide and even the need for nation-building. Where is the principle in the hash of liberal foreign policy today? How does liberalism recover? If you can justify causing genocide in order to end a nation-building exercise that -- unlike similar efforts elsewhere -- is fundamentally linked to our national interest, then how can you ever return to arguing that we should get into the nation-building and genocide-stopping business when it's explicitly not in our interest?
Goldberg points out that Barak Obama has called for increased troops in Darfur and has suggested that perhaps NATO should deploy to that bloody region. Nearly every expert is predicting catastrophe if we draw down our forces too quickly in Iraq. There are plenty of Shias and Kurds who would just as soon see Iraq "Sunni free."
As could be expected, there's still no love lost between the Shia and Sunni Arab communities. The attitude in the Sunni Arab community alternates between despair and desperation. The despairing have been leaving, the desperate either fighting or trying to make a deal. Nearly half the 2003 Iraqi Sunni Arab population has left the country. That makes Sunni Arabs only about ten percent of the population. Many Kurds and Shia want them all gone, but as long as the Americans are there, such a mass expulsion won't happen. This gives the Sunni Arabs a chance to cut a political deal with the majority Kurds and Shia Arabs. There's not much love in that department. Amnesties and oil revenue are not being offered in large quantities. The Sunni Arabs are being less demanding. The Sunni Arab "resistance" is crumbling, worn down by casualties and hatred directed at them for all the murders they commit. Not a good time to be Sunni and Arab in Iraq.
Even the liberal Brookings Institution has weighed in with this: ""The only thing standing between Iraq and a descent into a Lebanon- or Bosnia-like maelstrom, is 135,000 American troops."
Why then do Democrats insist on pushing their plans for an immediate withdrawal? First, it's politically popular. Nearly 75% of the country wants Americans out of Iraq. Secondly, and more importantly, the Democrats are terrified of being blamed for any genocide that occurs after we leave. Their maneuvers in Congress are not so much designed to get our troops out as they are to make sure the Republicans get the blame for any disaster.
It matters little. Both sides are ignoring what's happening in Iraq with the surge and it appears that when September rolls around, Bush will almost certainly lose the Senate with some kind of withdrawal measure passing by a wide margin- probably based on the Baker-Hamilton proposals. And it will almost certainly pass with a veto proof majority.
That would leave it up to the House to forestall the Democrat's plans. At this point, no one knows what the margin of victory will be but it would probably take an awful lot for the House to override the President's veto of the Senate measure.
This means another stalemate. Another round of negotiations with the Democrat's hand strengthened by their victory in the Senate. Will Bush give? Judging by his past performance, it's not likely. Where this political impasse will leave the troops, the war, America's vital interests, and the 2008 presidential race is anyone's guess.
> July 24, 2007 The Surge Succeeds By J.R. Dunn
> God looks after children, drunkards, and the United States of America - Otto von Bismarck
Well, Mr. Dunn has made a whole bunch of statements that are opinionated and grossly in error in regards to the goal of the legacy media and liberals in general in both Vietnam and Iraq. I've hashed over those issues often enough that I'm not going to do it again, though I am sorely tempted to do so.
In regards to the surge, I am pleased that it is working, but I don't think it is working quite as well as Mr. Dunn would have you believe, and there is a huge problem looming in the near term. I hope to God that the surge works as planned and will allow Iraq to get on its feet, but I fear that it will not because of the fact that the surge cannot be maintained much past this fall because of a lack of manpower.
From day one of the invasion, there were several critical flaws anyone of which if fixed prior to the invasion, as many both in and outside of the government were calling for, the probability that we would have the problems in Iraq that we would be much more remote. The first problem is that although the invasion could have been justified for a whole host of reasons, it was not justified for the reasons then stated. Second, there were not enough boots on the ground to control/police the country after the Iraqis were defeated. Third, that the post combat plans were either abysmal or non-existent. The rationale flaw is attributable to everyone in the administration, but Donald Rumsfeld has sole ownership of the other two.
Frankly, Iraq is only one problem facing the US in the Muslim world. I saw a very interesting program on either the Discovery HD channel or PBS last week on terrorism. One part of the program dealt with US efforts on the war against terror in areas of the world other than Iraq. One of the most interesting aspects was a small force of U.S. Navy personnel in central Africa. They were digging wells for the people who lived in the area, providing medical care, etc. In short, they were doing the same sort of things that we did after WWII, i.e., deliberate humanitarian acts.
The success of that particular program and others like it was demonstrated in the intelligence/analysis/commentary that bin Laden's troops were very displeased because the natives were strong supporters of the US. One village elder stood tall and said forcefully that he would be willing to fight al Qaeda for the US. The program went on to say that it was believed that Africa will likely be the next battle ground between radical Islam and the west. A caution was sounded that funding was difficult to get and manpower was very thin. I was heartened to learn that we are trying to do the right and smart thing in at least one area of the world.
Conservatives like Mr. Dunn can beat the drum all they want, but the truth is that we are still ill prepared to fight radical Islam on a world wide basis from the standpoint of either winning the war in the areas where actual combat operations are being conducted or winning the peace where we are trying to keep al Qaeda from prostelizing the populace successfully.
If we really want to win the war on terror and not just find a compromise or win the propaganda war, we need to change the entire direction of the country. If we truly face a threat greater than WWII, and I strongly believe that we do, we need not only to remain focused, but also we need to go on a war footing. We need to double or triple the number of Army and Marine combat troops, increase our air lift and sea lift capacity to deliver them, increase the forward deployment of combat loaded ships for rapid deployment, etc. We need to increase humanitarian efforts like those in Africa around the world.
Defeating radical Islam is a damn sight more important that preserving the illusion that we can continue to live just like we did before 9/11. By far the biggest and most difficult part of that to is to stop deluding ourselves that we can fight a real war and keep the peace time economy. Find me a politician that understands that and has the tool kit to convince the citizens of this country of that fact and I'll vote for him/her regardless of party affiliation. Don't hold your breath, however. Unfortunately for us there are not any politicians who the both the cojones and the ability to wean Mr. & Mrs. John Doe and their kids off of the sugar tit.