Thursday, November 17, 2005

Well, It's Begun

Turns out the "responsible" democrats have begun to demand American defeat in Iraq. Yes, they're at it again, convincing America that it should surrender in a war that is entirely within its grasp to win.

Don't think leaving on demand right now would be a surrender? Just ask Zarqawi, that insane dictator in Iran and that Indian guy at the University of Colorado. They'd all be emboldened by this.

20 comments:

Orrin Johnson said...

Indeed. Imagine if we'd have left Germany and Japan to their own devices after V-E day or V-J day, withdrawing all troops and saying, "The Nazis are defeated, Hitler is defeated, and Japan's navy is destroyed. It's not our responsibility to put things back together."

Except we don't have to imagine - that's what we did after WWI, and it led to WWII. That's what we did in Vietnam, and over 2 million innocent South Vietnamese who dared fight against the dictatorial communist regime were murdered. That's what we did in Somalia, leading bin Laden to conclude we could be attacked at will and would respond with ineffective cruise missiles and strongly worded letters.

The last two votes in Iraq, the elections in Afghanistan, the opening of the democratic processes in Egypt, Lebanon, and even to a (still unacceptably) small extent in Saudi Arabia all point to the victory in progress. Likewise are the letters we have intercepted from increasingly desparate and confused terror leaders, and strategic blunders like bombing an Arab wedding in Jordan.

When you have an enemy who has sworn to kill you, the only two roads to "peace" are total surrender or total victory. And the only two things surrender to an enemy like this will do for you is delay the war and force us to fight it here, or put American women in burquas.

PubliusRex said...

Speaking of WWII, why in that war did we invade Tunisia? It's not like they ever attacked us until we invaded them?

Cato said...

They weren't independent at that point. They were part of Vichy France, and therefore controlled by the Nazis. Rommel used the mountains of southern Tunisia for his base of operations towards the end of his run.

PubliusRex said...

...Germany didn't attack us. We attacked them pre-emptively. Sure, they declared war and acted with hostility, but then, so did Saddam. They were not a real threat.

Of course there was a point in time, during the war, at which we thought they had or were very close to having WMDs? Our intelligence was wrong.

Given the fact that they lacked WMDs and had not attacked us, why did we send those hundreds of thousands of Americans to their death in a foreign land? A policy of containment would have worked much better.

You know, when Hoover lied, nobody died.

PubliusRex said...

Orrin...don't you think our military forces would be more wisely deployed against the real threat to american democracy, the American Taliban?

Orrin Johnson said...

Sarcastically: "The Nazis never attacked us, either. Japan did. Germany declared war on us, but then, so did Saddam. Germany attacked our allies, but that was years before we bothered to lift a finger to help, so altruism isn't the answer. And Japan only attacked us because we were starving them of oil because greedy FDR wanted it all for himself because he was rich and had friends in the oil business, and because American auto makers felt threatened by German emergence and wanted to profiteer from the war. And while it wasn't right to gas Jews, they really WERE stealing all the jobs from hard working Germans and were taking advantage of all the suffering WE inflicted on Germany after WWI."

All those arguments are being made now by people "opposed to war." Just substitute Iraq for Germany, Israel and/or the Kurds for the Jews, Afghanistan/al Qaeda for Japan, and nothing is different. They're just as morally reprehensible, just as logically bankrupt, and just as plain stupid. Why do we take anyone seriously who says such things?

Orrin Johnson said...

PR, I love it when we're simul-blogging.

PubliusRex said...

If you have the means...

Waldo said...

I find more than a little ironic that the people who are complaining that Iraq is turning into Vietnam, are doing everything they can to cause us to follow the same path. It will be nice when the 60's generation is too old to care about politics anymore.

PubliusRex said...

Funny how it's always the baby boomers.

derek said...

Publius-

I guess I missed where ANYONE has demanded American DEFEAT. Rhetorical flourishes like that, do not support debate. It supports people who support your view.

And this statement "...Germany didn't attack us. We attacked them pre-emptively." Is baloney. They had attacked many of our allies and had invaded and occupied much of europe.

Saddam was sitting in his palace neutered. He was no more a threat than dozens of other countries around the world. He was just the easiest, plus it had the added bonus of letting the oil companies privatize the vast oil reserves in Iraq.

I don't think we should withdraw, but I do think the president and his staff should put together a plan to actually win the peace (which will likely involve considerably more troops and much more death/dismemberment) and share what those metrics for winning are. Because until the conditions for victory are declared, any withdrawl can be viewed as a "surrender."

Orrin Johnson said...

Think how many Europeans died because the appeasers who promised to "win the peace" with Hitler didn't attack while he was weak, but obviously rearming in violation of global condemnation and of its treaties.

I'm proud of us for not making that mistake this time.

PubliusRex said...

I am not positive there could be any other interpretation of withdrawal than surrender/defeat. To the extent that's true, those calling for withdrawal are calling for defeat.

In a Post 9-11 world, with free societies, rogue states and nuclear/chemical proliferation, there is no containment.

So, Hitler attacked our allies...is that the standard? It's okay to go to war with anyone who attacks our allies? If so, we better ramp up the draft, we have alot of work to do. And we shouldn't have waited until 1941 to knock on Hitler's door.

Cato said...

We obviously have to withdraw at some point, I think we all agree. The question is, when do we? The earlier we withdraw, the greater the risk that Iraq will fall apart and be unable to keep itself together. This would be a boon for terrorists and a disaster for stability in the region. The later we withdraw, the more soldiers we lose, the more money we spend, and the more it looks like a long-term occupation to our allies and the rest of the world.

To me this seems like a question on which reasonable people might disagree, without being accused of imperialism or defeatism. It concerns me that the argument at the national level is currently couched in partisanism. I think we're likely to make what turns out to be the wrong decision because we're making it for the wrong reasons.

PubliusRex said...

Cato -

Are you arguing that immediate withdrawal today would not be be an obvious "defeat" for the country?

derek said...

Thank you Cato. It's nice to see someone can have a discussion without the partisan slams.

PubliusRex said...

Partisan slams? When someone with an (r) after their name demands immediate withdrawal, they'll be subject to just as much criticism.

Cato said...

Publius,

As long as we characterize "immediate withdrawal" as including any withdrawal decided on immediately and done in an organized manner. I don't mean leave the country within 24 hours, and I don't think anyone else is saying that either. I think we could set a deadline that's sometime in the near future, and make it happen. I don't know if we should, but I don't think it's a bizarre idea. "The sooner the better" has a lot going for it, in my opinion.

Derek,
Thanks. I think we (as a country) have been doing a lot of demonizing recently, on both sides of every issue. It's hard to work things out in a reasoned way when you're actively trying to paint the other side as fools, traitors, madmen, or evil dictators. Thankfully this happens more at the national level than here in Washington, but we are not entirely immune.

Orrin Johnson said...

The problem is that in this case, there ARE madmen and evil dictators involved. They have killed millions in the past based upon our desire for "exit strategy," and because of this conclude that they can do so again.

The enemy cannot defeat us on the ground, even with guerilla tactics and IEDs. They have only ONE strategic option - to play on American softness born of our prosperity, and hope we bag out when the going gets tough. It worked in Vietnam, Somalia, Beruit, Yemen (yes, we once had Marines in Yemen until a car bombing in the early 90s) and even in Iraq the first time. Every time an elected official hints that their strategy might be working, the terrorists will find new hope in their struggle. Every time such an official suggests "immediate withdrawal," memories of our 1991 betrayal flood back for these people, and their reluctance to help us stirs once again.

I disagree with ANY set time - to do so will be a surrender in the eyes of our enemy, and they will lay low and stockpile until we leave. Then they will begin again. This was their strategy throughout the 80s and 90s, and it was fantastically successful then. Why are there people who STILL are arguing to make the same mistake we made half a dozen times in the last 30 years alone?

The legitimately elected government of Iraq continues to ask us to stay and help, because THEY understand how important it is for us to stay, and to not give the impression that we could chicken out at any time. If we do so, we will have betrayed the Iraqi people and we will be responsible for tens of thousands of wood-chipper deaths at the hands of Ba'athist-fascists, and worse, the death of freedom's infancy in the Middle East. And what's worse then being responsible through inaction for such horrors? Having to confront the same problem again in 10 years when we're shocked - SHOCKED! - that even though we left them alone, they're still trying to kill us, kill their own people, and do the bad things that evil people do.

We spent fully 3% of our GDP on the Marshall plan in Europe after WWII. Would anyone say now it wasn't worth it? (A lot of people said it wasn't at the time.) There, we stayed through the war, through the reconstruction, and then stayed even longer to help protect them from new enemies. The situation is no different now.

This enemy is real. There really are madmen and evil people in the world, and we are the only ones who can do something about them. If not us, there is no one else. If not now, then later - facing a stronger, more capable enemy. Because ignoring these real threats is not only irresponsible, but will only make the problem worse, I cannot use strong enough language to condemn any elected official who takes such a stance.

Orrin Johnson said...

And you don't have to take my word for it - Zarqawi knows the situation. In his own words:

"The aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam-and how they ran and left their agents-is noteworthy. Because of that, we must be ready starting now, before events overtake us, and before we are surprised by the conspiracies of the Americans and the United Nations and their plans to fill the void behind them. We must take the initiative and impose a fait accompli upon our enemies, instead of the enemy imposing one on us, wherein our lot would be to merely resist their schemes."

For more background, here's a more detailed Vietnam comparison from another 'Nam combat vet and current professor of national-security affairs at the Navy War College.