Ed Abbey Fires Back and I Return Fire . . .
Ah Ed! So much to respond to...I love it!Ed fires
: "Sure Saddam was being a pest and violating UN sanctions but when compared to the very serious and very real threats of Iran and North Korea who are violating many of the same sanctions, I think we could have dealt with Saddam differently for the time being.On the second part, I don't know how good an analogy it is to compare this war with Israel."Phil returns fire
: The difference between Iraq and the others (Iran, N Korea) is that Hussein (sorry, but I refuse to use that tyrant's first name!) had already invaded two other countries and was not showing any inclinations that he had learned NOT to. We very well might end up using the military option with Iran and N. Korea as well. Even a war dog like me believes we must use statesmanship first, before we use the attack card. Hussein was a heck of a lot worse than a "pest," by the way.
I use Israel as an example because they demonstrate two things:
1) The definition of "success." The Israelis might never completely end suicide attacks and other Islamic violence against them, YET they have won. They exist, and they are thriving. For defeatists (like Murtha and Boxer), every time a bomb goes off, they trumpet that event as proof of our impending doom. Most of us are made of sterner stuff than that.
2) Declaring defeat, or mission accomplished, as you say, and leaving.... That is not an option to Israelis since that would mean their end. Unless we return to the isolationism of the 1930s, we don't have that option either. If we call this effort in Iraq too hard and just leave, we might as well bring ALL our troops and citizens in from ALL over the world. That is unthinkable. We must stay engaged and fight this out, forever, if necessary. Quitting is not an option for us, just as it is not for the Israelis.Phil
: "Our job as keepers of Western Civilization is to keep the pressure on these idiots
." Ed fires
: When did we ever sign up for that job? I think the reason many countries hate us is because we are the global cops. I'm all for letting countries unravel because they can't help themselves. I would love for the U.S. to become a neutral country
."Phil returns fire
: Oh, there's no doubt that we ARE the keepers Ed. The entire free world and much of the rest of it looks to us whenever there is a "problem." Over most of the globe, just our very presence maintains order. We are the counterbalance. I can assure you that if we weren't out here in the Pacific that China would have already over run most of the Pacific, and that is not an exageration. No one signed us up, and we didn't sign up, it's just the way it is.
Whenever the U.N. is called on to intervene in any way, whether militarily or humanitarily, it doesn't happen without us. We have the wherewithal and no one else. I'm proud of the fact that we are the keepers. History placed us in this position. Do you think there would be a Western Civilization without us Ed? How would the world look today if we hadn't finally stepped in and defeated the evil that was sweeping the world in 1941? Heck yeah, we are the keepers!
I really don't care if other countries hate us. Why would I? People despise cops because they resent the authority and the power of the police. It's a natural reaction. I have felt rage against policemen because I felt like I was being picked on or unfairly stopped or disrespected, BUT, do I want to get rid of them? Of course not! Someone has to ride herd on the world. At this time in history we are the ones doing that. We are getting some help from the Aussies, the Brits, the Canadians, and sometimes NATO, but without our leadership you can bet they and others wouldn't be the least bit willing to get involved. Just like the cops, people bash us, but they still need us.
I must speak to your comment about letting countries "unravel." For many countries that might be of little consequence, but is it really? We can't be in all places at all times, but allowing anarchy free reign is not in our best interest and on all levels. The human suffering alone that comes from that unravelling is reason enough to step in when we can, or at least to support efforts to stop it. Being the world's first mega super power comes with a lot of responsibility and we can't just shrug that off.Phil
: "This sounds horrible, but as fast as they convert them and they attack us, we have people willing and able to mow them down
." --Ed fires
: Where does it end?Phil returns fire
: You make my point again Ed. It MIGHT never end! The world is imperfect. There will always be evil. There will always be crime, and poverty, and despair. Do we quit because it all seems so endless? I hope not. For every foot that we pull back, our enemies will push forward a foot. Luckily, we have folks willing to push back and to keep pushing. Never say die. Semper Fi.Phil
: "The definition of that mission is being able to ensure that a democratic Iraq, friendly to the idea of tolerance to ALL nations regardless of their religious or secular persuasion, will be able to defend itself from the radicals
." Ed fires
: When their religion teaches intolerance, how are we going to accomplish this mission short of converting them to Christianity? We can maybe accomplish the last part and seem to be making progress towards it but I just can't see the first part happening.
Phil returns fire
: Such handwringing. There is plenty of reason to hope that not ALL Muslims subscribe to mindless and hateful intolerance. Most Iraqis want peace and prosperity. Most of them want the best for their children. We have defeated Islamic insurgency in the past you know. We accomplished it over almost a decade of fighting in Mindanao. It was a slug match and they were tough opponents, but we prevailed. As I said, the only way we lose is if we quit.
Your always welcome here buddy! I love inviting folks over for stimulating conversation. Unfortunately, most who come here think like I do. Maybe because we all tend to be ex-military, we've lived and served all over the world, and our similar experiences have made us similar. Let me know when you're coming and we'll get together. I look forward to it!
The War in Iraq -- Political? Should We Go Now?
Ed Abbey, a good man with somewhat differing political outlooks from mine, responded to my last post called “Demoncraps and Republicraps.” He answered one of my questions and replied to one point I made. Ed always comes through with pointed comments – Good stuff. I’m reacting in this post to his responses, but be advised – my next post will be back on Philippines observations and commentary. It’ll be on the Lazik Surgery I had done more than a year ago just down the road in Makati.PhilippinePhil: "Can you explain how Republicans are politicizing the war?"Ed: Every time Bush mentions the war in Iraq and terrorism in the same sentence. Afghanistan was the war on terrorists. Iraq was about settling a score with Saddam. None of the 9/11 terrorists came from or had ties with Iraq and yet Bush insults my intelligence every time he pretends that they did even when his own administration has shown that they didn't.
PhilippinePhil: Ed you are against the war in Iraq, and I can respect that. War is terrible. On this one I’ll agree with you that the administration should never have spent so much time pointing to WMDs and terrorists as the primary reason for the invasion. Those of us who were in service running up to the invasion were not surprised at all that we finally finished what we had started in ’91. In my retirement speech delivered almost exactly one-year before the Iraq invasion, I lamented that I would not be in uniform for the long-awaited final push to end Hussein’s reign.
In effect, that war should have been ended more than 10 years before, if not for the pusillanimity of President Bush I and General Powell, it would have. The long overdue Iraq invasion, when it finally came, was not about “settling scores,” it was about finishing off an outlaw regime that had violated every U.N. Resolution that he had agreed to as terms for our ending the first invasion. Please know that Iraq had NEVER stopped shooting at us; and he did so for about a dozen years AFTER his first surrender – by doing so, he brought on his own end. He miscalculated this president’s resolve to do the “right thing,” even in the face of worldwide subterfuge and international collusion with this nasty tyrant. Admittedly, 9/11 brought the final blow on Iraq sooner than it might otherwise have happened. I don’t have a problem with that, especially keeping in mind all of what I already pointed out above.
Was the war political to begin with? No. Is using the terror tie NOW to substantiate staying IN Iraq until the Iraqis can stand against them on their own – is that political? Not only is it not political, it is a completely valid position to take. We already know what can happen to a place that we simply abandon to Islamic radicals – we did that in Afghanistan in the late 70s and this president is smart not to repeat that mistake in Iraq.PhilippinePhil: "The Islamicists can always find another brainwashed, brain-dead hopeless fool to blow himself up and take a bunch of innocents with him."Ed: So if they can always find someone, how exactly are we going to win? I think the only way we can win this war is to kill every last one of them and that will only cause more people to convert so even that would cause failure. I think the best we can hope for is that when we do finally withdraw and declare "Mission Accomplished" that we set them back for a few decades so that we have time to recover for the next time.
PhilippinePhil: I ask this question? Have the Israelis WON? Unequivocally the answer is a resounding YES! Is it an ongoing effort? Yep. The Israelis have a vibrant democratic society and a thriving economy, even in the face of all the vicious suicide attacks; that knowledge drives the Islamicists nuts. Should the Israelis quit because Hamas can always find another goober to blow himself up and kill innocents? The answer is obvious. Just as in Iraq, the ONLY way the Israelis lose is to throw their hands up in failure. They do NOT have that option. A smart people won’t even consider it because the option is to give up on our existence.
To say that WE are the ones causing this skewed suicidal behavior is misguided. As proof, the Israelis left Gaza and now the terrorists have filled the void. If Israel were to disappear and if the USA disengaged entirely from ALL countries Islamic, would that end Islamo-fascism? Nope. They are here to stay, but because its hard doesn’t mean we quit.
Our job as keepers of Western Civilization is to keep the pressure on these idiots. We must stay forward, and YES, continue to TRY to kill every one of them who try to kill us. We can’t stand down hoping that we won’t make new converts by doing so – it just doesn’t work that way. These Islamic terrorists are not wired that way. Their conversion will happen no matter what.
This sounds horrible, but as fast as they convert them and they attack us, we have people willing and able to mow them down. Our continued existence depends on these few willing warriors doing exactly that. I’ve had the honor to meet many of these men, and thank goodness we have them.
Finally Ed, you are right that we should withdraw and declare mission accomplished, but only after we have accomplished the mission. The definition of that mission is being able to ensure that a democratic Iraq, friendly to the idea of tolerance to ALL nations regardless of their religious or secular persuasion, will be able to defend itself from the radicals. This is happening. If it weren’t and our military folks in Iraq thought it wasn’t happening, believe me, you’d hear about it. By and large, my brothers and sisters in uniform stationed there, the ones suffering death and wounds, THESE brave people understand the mission and they ARE kicking butt getting it done. The only ones crying defeat are people NOT there. Give these servicemen and women AND the brave contractors in Iraq a chance, have some patience, and we will CONTINUE to win in Iraq, because we ARE winning.
Demoncraps and Republicraps?
Here's a recent email string between a comrade and me. I post it to show how so many Americans’ lack of patience and their baseless cynical view of our leaders, especially with THIS administration, has jaundiced their opinion on the conduct of this war we are now fighting AND winning. My buddy, Jack, had sent me a link to a column written by Congressman Craig wherein he castigated the “cut and run crew” in the Democratic Party.Hey Jack, Good column… thanks for the send...and Craig is right, we DID leave Beirut and Somalia too early, and what’s worse is both times we left AFTER the enemy inflicted notable casualties on us... Both times we cut and ran AFTER we got hurt. The Islamo-nazis know this about us and they believe based on our past that all they have to do is hurt us a good one, get a dip in the opinion polls and the gutless elements in our government will tuck tail and force our brave military to run away yet again.
In Vietnam we didn't leave too early. When it fell, we were ALREADY gone, except for a few advisers and our air and naval support. In effect, we had successfully Vietnamized the war, just as we are now successfully “Iraqisizing” this war. The democrats did something so despicable in 1973 that it has kept me voting Republican ever since... they simply turned off all military and financial support to the South Vietnamese. We had WON the damn war, at the cost of 58,000 precious American lives, and then the liberal DUMocrats gave it back to the murdering communists just so they could "put it" to a beleaguered Nixon, who was trying to survive Watergate....
Howard Dean, John Kerry, Jack Murtha, All the Kennedy’s, Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Boxer.... all perfectly represent the current idiocy of the democratic party.... Unfortunately, politics is cyclic and it looks like these imbeciles are about to take the reins... God help us Jack! We are winning the war, but you'd never know it to listen to these fools. Key elements in the opposition party are determined that we should lose it.... I hope the US voters don't give them the chance, but....... (sigh!)
I bet you if the WWII war were run the way they do it today, Gen. Patton, and majority of our soldiers would be prosecuted and jailed for what they did to win the war!!!!
You know Phil; I am neither REPUBLICRAP NOR DEMONCRAP. I am a conservative. I believe this issue of being bipartisan needs to go. I blame the REPUBLICRAPS JUST AS WELL AS THE DEMONCRAPS. They are politicizing the war on both side of the aisle.
I would call these idiots “DEMONCRAPS” instead!
Hey Jacques, speaking historically.... WWII and every war we've ever been in was fought in fits and starts... In my opinion, this is the first war we've EVER fought that we DIDN'T fight incompetently from the beginning. We've always had to learn as we fought, BEFORE we started to prevail... In this war, however, we’ve been kicking butt from the get-go. More on that in a second...
I really don't know why you would blame the administration for the conduct of the war, unless you want to fault them for the level of troops used at the beginning, or allowing all the looting just after the shooting war was won, or perhaps the decision to disband the Iraqi Army and police and start from scratch. If you are, then that is second-guessing.
This administration has pretty much deferred the conduct and operational aspects completely to the military. Admittedly, Rumsfeld has seemingly tried to fight this thing on the cheap; even so, he's given operational theater commanders most everything they've asked for. We are fighting terrorists, insurgents if you will. We are Americans and can't fight dirty in return, and why would we anyway? If we lose our souls, we lose everything! The Islamicists kill 25 innocents in cold blood and declare it a victory. We kill 50 insurgents, and in doing so kill a handful of civilians in the crossfire, and our liberal press crucifies and blames us as being "just as bad as the terrorists."
Can you explain how Republicans are politicizing the war? I don't see it. They are already in power, so they don't have to. The democrats are sick with the need to return to power, thus they feel that they have to undermine this administration, criticize the military and ALL its actions, and feel that ONLY a LOSS in this War on Terror will help them to get what they want. That is immoral and sickening, but that's how I see the Democratic Party at this time.
Jack, we are winning. The ONLY way we can lose is to leave. We've lost 2500 men and women in Iraq, and just over 3000 including our losses in Afghanistan. These are acceptable losses considering that we are fighting bastards that want to destroy our civilization. Could you tell me what you would change, how you would do it differently if you were in charge of fighting them? Simply saying the administration is a politically motivated just tells me how "you feel." Tell me what you see that you think is being done wrong.
If you want to compare this war to WWII, then by comparison we are doing pretty well. Remember how we lost the Philippines? Tens of thousands of men gone in 4 months. Do you remember the losses in our battles against the Japanese? Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima, Okinawa? Thousands of men died for those "victories." And it was worse in the European theater.... thousand of dead in North Africa, Italy and Western Europe. Our liberal defeatist press AND THIS opposition party, if around back then, would be having a field day. They'd be saying we are no better than the Nazis or fanatical Japanese. They’d be spouting drivel like, “President Roosevelt, where is your plan? We don’t see a plan! And what about withdrawal? Where is your “exit strategy!?” Ridiculous? You bet it is.
Here's our problem as I see it: Americans want to win NOW! By winning, they want the killing and dying to end NOW! Well, we can't control that. Unfortunately, that part of the war is completely out of our hands... The Islamicists can always find another brainwashed, brain-dead hopeless fool to blow himself up and take a bunch of innocents with him. Does that make them our superior? It does ONLY if we quit.
We are smarter, higher principled, better led, better fed, better equipped, and more powerful on EVERY level than the people who want to destroy us. The only thing THEY have that we don't is PATIENCE! For heaven's sake, we invaded Iraq just over 3 years ago and look what we've accomplished! The most important thing is we are making positive changes in that part of the world AND we have an effective military presence right in the heart of the enemy!
It's dumfounding that people can possibly say that we are in a no-win quagmire. That kind of talk is just plain stupid and plays into the hands of our enemies. They already have historical precedence to work with.... Reagan ran away from Beirut after the 1983 bombing of the Marine Barracks, and Clinton tucked his tail and scrammed in 1993 when Aidid's forces hurt us in Somalia. So they KNOW how to beat us, or so they think, hurt us and we'll go! Jack Murtha, are you listening, you blowhard, you sniveling fake! So you fought in Vietnam...So what! All you want is power; I have no respect for you at all at this point.
So Jack, can you explain to me how the "Republicraps" are politicizing this effort to preserve Western Civilization? I don't see it... Details and specifics please? Anyone?