Thursday, June 07, 2007

Out of Iraq and NOW?

I’ve figured it out. It came to me while I watched Al Gore on a TV sound bite the other night.

Thinking about our occupation of Iraq, as I do a lot, I tried to reckon why the left is in such a hurry for us to leave.

They make several disparate arguments for our immediate evacuation. In the order they occur to me I list them below:

1. American casualties

2. Iraqi casualties

3. Our presence foments Islamic hatred.

4. Bush lied; people died.

5. We can’t win, so why try?

6. We have no business being in the middle of a civil war.

7. Al Qaeda attacked us, not Iraq.

Now, allow me to examine the apparent logic behind each rationale, only from the so-called far left’s point of view as seen through MY prism:

1. American Casualties. From what I can see, the leadership of the far left cares very little about “the troops.” Mind you, I’m talking about their leadership and not necessarily their minions. I’m positive that the president feels more sorrow for the fallen than almost anyone from both the left and the right. The personal responsibility he feels for our casualties is crushing, but that comes with the territory. Those of us who volunteered to go in harm’s way understand this implicitly.

The left learned from mistakes made during the Vietnam War how counterproductive it is to blame openly our people for their war service, even though I’m sure the “Move On Dot Org” folks secretly consider our warriors to be little more than storm troopers and baby killers. At best, they look at our service personnel, all of them volunteers by the way, as misguided morons worthy only of contempt.

Rosie O’Donnell, a liberal mouthpiece, recently explained away our troops’ continued willingness and determination to fight on in Iraq by declaring that they are the uneducated desperate poor with few options.

George Soros (Rosie’s de facto boss) and his crew of “lefties” realize that few servicemen and women support the far left’s various visions, and most also don’t appreciate being used as pawns in the left’s arguments to bug out. Soros and his progressives understand this and so could care less what happens to the troops. Progressives know too that most service personnel are not likely to support the left’s schema, so why should they care about them? In fact, the hard core left doesn’t. Read on…

2. Iraqi casualties. If you are even slightly aware of what’s happening in Iraq you’ll know that Americans aren’t killing Iraqis; Iraqis are killing Iraqis. For the most part we are there trying to get them to stop. The far left knows this, and chooses to propagandize anyway that it is OUR presence causing them to kill each other. They claim that if we leave then the killing will stop. That’s another crock.

Or, uninformed folks like O’Donnell actually come out and say that WE are indeed the killers of innocents. Based on the enthusiastic applause she used to get on “The View” for her inane comments, equally uninformed people choose to believe her, mostly because they WANT to believe her, despite the facts.

By the left’s reasoning we are evil to be over there, even as we do our best to train Iraqi soldiers and police to bring order to their country—to stop the bombings and killings. Mind you, this is the same liberal crowd claiming that we SHOULD be in Darfur to stop the Arab-on-African killings going on down there. I ask them, WHY is it more righteous for us to stop the killings in the Sudan and not in Iraq?

As I said, I think I know the answer…

3. Our presence foments Islamic hatred. Here’s another fallacy used by progressives calling for us to immediately egress from Iraq. The fact is that we don’t need to be in Iraq for Islamic radicals to hate us, although I will admit that it makes it easier for them to get access to Americans. Thing is, the really nasty killers will simply come after us no matter where we are—just as they did on 9/11.

It’s ironic that what the Islamists hate the most about us is our liberalism. If anything in the world drives them to want to exterminate us it’s those aspects of our society most embraced by the left—things like free speech, open sexuality, self-indulgence, homosexuality, women’s rights, and secularism.

No, progressives don’t really care how much Muslims hate us, otherwise they would do as the radicals want, which is to end their “evil” ways, and convert to Islam. We all know that isn’t going to happen.

4. Bush lied; people died. Whether WMDs ever existed in Iraq, four years after the invasion THAT is now irrelevant. I won’t even use the argument that virtually EVERYONE was sure they existed (including Edwards and both Clintons); because—I repeat—it doesn’t matter. The point is that we ARE there.

Why would we simply leave the region and let it fall into complete turmoil and chaos just because we didn’t find nerve gas and nukes? I can already hear someone murmur that chaos already exists there—that it can’t get any worse. Well, it certainly CAN get worse, and if we leave precipitously, it WILL.

Aha! We are getting closer to the REAL reason Soros and his followers want the troops out, and IMMEDIATELY. Have patience; I’m almost there…

5. We can’t win, so why try? This kind of defeatist talk does nothing but fortify our enemies. The far far left doesn’t believe that ANYTHING is worth fighting for, appeasement being their watchword.

Honestly, our people running our efforts in Iraq know that we can’t kill every radical or even change many of the hearts-and-minds of the extremists fighting us. What our people DO realize is that we must continue to try to help the new Iraqi government’s efforts to bring their people together as a viable nation. Obviously, no one realized how difficult this was going to be. But that begs the question: Do we ONLY do those things that are easy? By that reasoning, once things get too tough in other places, such as Afghanistan or Korea or even right at home in the USA, do we just say it’s too hard and quit? Of course not!

Like it or not, Iraq is an extraordinarily strategic spot. We CANNOT just quit—we MUST stay until we figure it out. The world as we know it will change in ways extremely awful unless we stay and achieve a workable non-radical Iraq.

The truth is that the ONLY way we CAN’T win is if we quit. But, quitting is what the far left wants us to do, and as I keep saying, I believe I know why….

6. We have no business being in the middle of a civil war. This is another ridiculous argument. If you study history then you know that much of all warring could be classified as “civil.” Bill Clinton, the left’s darling, has admitted that he should have intervened in Rwanda, which was a civil war.

Genocide, which if declared to be happening by the UN must be stopped by “the world,” usually happens by way of civil wars. We intervened in Kosovo, Somalia, and Bosnia because of it. The current Darfur turmoil is in effect a civil war, yet there is a massive hue-and-cry by the left for us to intervene there.

Obviously, the far left is not serious when they use this argument. There MUST be another reason they want us out of Iraq… Stay with me…

7. Al Qaeda attacked us, not Iraq. This is another red herring, much like the “Bush lied…” argument. In truth, Hussein never complied with any of the UN’s demands after he “surrendered” to us in 1991. In truth, the war never ended; he continued to shoot at us and to subjugate and kill his own people. While he did this, most of the rest of the world helped him to regain his military capabilities by illegally paying him billions through the “oil for food” nonsense.

But, just as I stated above under reason 4, at this point, it just doesn’t matter. Al Qaeda in significant numbers IS in Iraq NOW, and they have great plans for it once the naysayers force us to up and leave. The far left knows this and they DON’T care! As I keep saying, I have a pretty good idea why…

And now, the REAL Reason…

By now, you may have deduced that I’m convinced that the extreme left doesn’t actually care about any of the above rationale—it’s all pretext. What occurred to me the other day while listening to “Bitter Al” prattle on about his “inconvenient truth” is that the people running the progressive show under the very liberal Mr. Soros are ONLY truly concerned about ONE subject—global warming. It hit me then that global warming is the only actual reason the far left wants us out of Iraq and NOW.

You ask, what does leaving Iraq have to do with rising temperatures? And how would the eviction of tens of thousands of U.S. troops be looked at as a good thing by those on the left fringe obsessing over global warming?

Well consider this; 40% of the world’s oil passes through the Straits of Hormuz. Obviously, therefore, it’s a critical chokepoint for the world’s petroleum-based economy. I can think of several scenarios that would cause the Gulf region to flare up into something ugly that would close off that chokepoint, especially if we leave Iraq in an unstable state.

Believe it or not, our presence in Iraq at this time is actually keeping things relatively calm in the region. As bad as the violence seems, most of it is centered in Baghdad and in a few other Iraqi-only hot spots. But, if we leave, all bets are off.

At this time there is a tenuous balance between the Saudis, the Iranians, the Syrians, and all the Islamic militant and extremist factions in a very shaky Iraq. Two events will probably send this fragile framework spiraling into bedlam: 1) U.S. troops leave before a viable Iraq is set up, and 2) the Iranians achieve their nuclear weapon ambitions.

If we leave Iraq in its current mess we basically hand it over to Al Qaeda and Iran. I predict that once that happens, within a very short time we will find ourselves having to go back into the region with even more troops with even bigger guns. Only this time, chances are we will probably have to attack Iran. The Iranians will sink a few ships and lay hundreds of mines, which will quickly close Hormuz. At that point, life as we know it ends, and that’s when the extremely far left GETS their wish—unaffordable oil.

The big brains behind these cunningly sly progressives fully understand that the only way we earthlings, especially us car-crazy Americans, will stop driving gas and diesel fueled vehicles is if we are FORCED to. Even though the technology already exists to replace petroleum-powered transport, as long as relatively cheap oil is available it’s never going to be fielded.

So you see, George Soros and his lieutenants want us out of Iraq all right; but NOT for any of the humane or bogus reasons many claim. No, the goal is simple—to get all of us onto mass transit and into cars powered by batteries and fuel cells.

It’s brilliant in a cynical underhanded way.


Kevin said...

Outstanding, as your brothers in The Corps would say.

Very well thought out and nicely articulated. Victor Davis Hansen would be impressed.

One unrelated comment. Lately, your posts have these weird paragraph breaks.
Can everyone see these, or is it just my computer?

PhilippinesPhil said...

Thanks Kev... being compared to VDH is thrilling. I appreciate that.

I figured out the weird breaks you describe. My blogger service must have changed its program slightly so that a post written in MS Word inserts the strange scripts if posted using Mozilla Firefox. I went back using IE and cleaned them all up. Thanks for letting me know about that.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Hoping it will be over soon is a good thing, but don't count on it.

That part of the world is a troubled place, but its an important place that we have to stay engaged in; unless you want to start riding the bus to work, powered by a fuel cell of course.

Ed said...

You know Phil I really want to resist but just can't. Let me add some insight onto why I think troops should be withdrawn from Iraq.

1. American casualties has never been a reason for withdrawal for me. I hate to see them and don't want any more to happen but they are doing what they volunteered and were trained to do and that is protect our country. I am grateful for this.

2. Iraqi casualties don't factor into my reasoning either. They are doing it amoung themselves for their own religious reasoning.

3. Although I agree with your reasoning in this point, I think you could have nailed one of my major reasons for troop withdrawal by just omitting the word Islamic. Our presence forments hatred, not just amoung Islamic groups which like you pointed out, hate us anyway but amoung many many countries of the world not involved in this. Why? I think it is for the perceived handling of the whole situation. We are looking like the global aggressors. "So what? We are doing what is right" you might say but that just etches our elitist image a little deeper in the collective countries of the world's minds.

4. WMD's or misinformation about their presence have never been a reason for withdrawal for me.

5. We could have won but I don't think we can win anymore. I do think we can achieve relative peace in the region but only through dividing it up into religious segments and even then, that fix would only be temporary. To win, we should have gone in there, determined there weren't any WMD's, removed Saddam and left. Had we done that, Al Qaeda wouldn't have come. But instead we lingered around to rebuild and try to make people who hate us like us and we got bogged down. To say we can't win if we quit is to guarantee that we fight a perpetual war. What's wrong with quitting like we did in Vietnam... another perpetual war that had the same mantra of we can't win if we quit? I don't think we have any face with the rest of the world to lose by quitting and in fact, I would suspect that if we quit and said we had made a mistake, we might gain some new allies.

6. Again, the civil war has no weight in my beliefs.

7. I agree that Al Qaeda is there now but I suspect that after we leave, if we ever leave, they will gradually leave. They don't want to be in this civil war either but if it means killing more U.S. troops, they are going to be there and manipulate sides. If we leave Iraq, they will leave and follow us to other places around the globe which brings me to this. I always here the argument that if we leave they will take the war to us. Okay, they have been trying to take the war to us for years and haven't been successful yet since 9/11. But they are trying and someday despite our current efforts they will get lucky again. So why not bring our troops home and secure our borders even better.

On a side note, I haven't watched Gore's documentary mostly for the same reasons I haven't watched Fahrenheit 9/11, I'm sure it is biased. I would much rather watch them from a more unbiased person than Gore and Moore.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Ed, even Edwards and Obama, once in office (heaven forbid) would not simply eject us out of there. They'd find out how irresponsible it is and change their minds. At the moment they are catering to voters, like you.

YOUR presence on earth foments hatred. You don't even have to be over there. Our very existence drives them nuts with anger. I don't think you're ever going to get that.

Winning. We already won. The "war" lasted a few weeks. We beat the Iraqis completely. It's the peace we are fighting for now. To call this a war is a misnomer. We are building a nation, or trying to. If we can achieve a government that works that will be the final achievement. Until we get there, we CAN'T leave.

You say we look like elitest. That can't be helped. We are elite, and in almost every way. Believe it or not, except for the radicals that want the world to go back to the year 600, most peoples love how advanced we are. It gives them hope. It fascinates them, and many would love to have it too.

Al Qaeda wouldn't have come. Sigh! It's a movement. It's a virus. It's a mindset. Al Qaeda is wherever we are. And if you keep thinking like that then it won't be long before they are in Iowa. Believe it or not, there is no Arab country that will allow Al Qaeda to set up and train, MOSTLY because of our behind the scenes pressure. Are you watching what is happening in Lebanon right now? The fledgling Lebanese Army is wiping out a nest of Al Qaeda affiliated with the Palestinians right now. Are you aware of that? Why do you think that is happening? Did you see the C-17s fly in with more ammo and weapons to assist them? Guess what, we sent in operators as well. If we leave Iraq Al Qaeda will NOT dry up and blow away... they will set up and build infrastructure. Take my word for this, I KNOW people who know.

You ask why we can't just quit like we did in VN. Funny thing about that war is that we won it. We were already gone except for a few advisers and air support. A democrat congress stopped ALL support in a pique of anger against Watergated Nixon and within two years we threw away 58,000 dead Americans, not to mention the 500,000+ South Vietnamese that were slaughtered by the north after they took over. I really wish you'd learn some history, especially American.

Also, comparatively speaking, VN had very little strategic value. It could be argued that Iraq might be THE MOST strategic spot on the face of the earth. Do you drive a car? How important is that to you?

Mark my words. We will NOT leave Iraq, no matter who wins the presidency. Its unthinkable to do so, UNLESS you are willing to change over to fuel cells about 25 years before we thought we would. Then again, maybe that's not such a bad idea.

Amadeo said...


I find the options/premises that you deftly constructed together, albeit with very minimal verbosity, very well-thought of, and to me personally, valid and responsive.

However, I do not believe I am ready to accept your conclusion as the core of their opposition of the war efforts. I find the other side, especially the far-off fringe part of it, not as monolithic as portrayed, one that is easy to put in one box or category. Maybe it is not kind but I have come to think that at least two things hold them together. First, their common visceral hatred for this current president, who in their eyes appears not able to do any one single thing right. And second, many of them exhibit huge egos rigorously pursuing their own personal agenda, the kind of ego that believes that they are the sources and dispensers of what is right and good.

Thus, once they get into power, and there is a good likelihood they may, they most probably would start turning on each other, jockeying for the top assertive position. Maybe in a lot worse way than the divisiveness that now stalks the other side with the current heated intramurals on the pending immigration proposals.

For one, Soros is quite an enigma. His Open Society group smacks of socialism, though he supports many pro-democracy groups. He espouses anti-capitalism, yet he got his wealth from practicing its tenets. And he appears not averse to unethical, and maybe illegal, practices such as his manipulations of the currency markets, and the last Asian financial crisis comes to mind.

I once asked the local investigative reporting group, PCIJ, in a blog comment if it has done any due diligence about the One Society organization of Soros because it was listed as a major contributor. Ms. S. Coronel, who btw is now here as a member of the academic establishment, replied that her group did not find any strings attached to the financial assistance granted.

Off-topic, I had an earlier entry about the proprietary HTML tags of Microsoft that needed stripping before the contents are exported. Here.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Okay, the jigs up. I wrote this only half seriously, or maybe 3/4 so, although I do believe that global warming has become THE priority for much of the left, especially those driving its agenda.

Personally, I've ALWAYS been an environmentalist. I've been a tree hugger since the 60s. I'm GLAD for this aspect of the left, as long as they don't get too stupid over it.

A side point I was making also is that so many Americans (even smart ones like Ed) just don't believe or understand the depth of the determination of radical Islamists to kill us. They think if we just leave them alone that they will simply wither away.

We screwed up in Afghanistan. After we used the jihadists to defeat the Soviets we left it to its own devices. Big mistake, because that's where the Taliban and Al Qaeda ended up. You can easily trace 9/11 back to the mistakes we made by using those people and then casting them away. We had a responsible to them and we paid dearly for not meeting those responsibilities. The same thing WILL happen in Iraq if we leave. Mark my words.

Ed said...

Phil - I wouldn't say I'm smart by any means. It has been too long since college and the constant stimulation of my brain cells to be smart.

I just want to clarify a point. I don't believe I have ever said, and I have never meant to imply that if we leave Iraq that the radical Islamists will leave us alone. As I pointed out and the news uncovered just a couple weeks ago, they are already here. I know they will keep coming at us just like they are now. Since taking it to them so we don't have to fight them here Republican mantra is obviously not true, then why don't we just work on securing our borders instead of fighting a war which we disagree on whether it can be won or not.

By the way, you are the first person I've heard who has said that the Iraq war is already won and that we are just fighting peace. You are also the only person I have ever read about that said we won the Vietnam war. I challenge you to offer up some proof of some credible person who agrees with you that we won in Vietnam. A quick google search shows that there are numerous hits for the words 'won' and 'vietnam' but have the words 'how we could of' tacked in front.

Ed said...

Oh and as always, I've enjoyed this tremendously. You are the only person that takes it to me on political issues. One of these days I'm gonna stop by and we are going to settle this once and for all over a beer in some good AC bar.

PhilippinesPhil said...

We achieved a viable government in SVN, which was always the goal. However, they still needed our help, just as today the S Koreans do, just as the Israelis do, just as the Afghans do. The Easter Offensive of '72 was fought almost entirely by ARVN troops (only about 10k Americans still there) with LOTS of US air support. The north broke all their previous agreements and came pouring south across the DMZ. The south held and even mounted a semi-successful counter attack. Nixon authorized no holds bombing (Linbacker!) and we bombed them right into the Paris Peace Talks...SUCCESS!!!

But by '73 the democrats turned off ALL aid, and completely out of petty spite against Nixon. They specified no more bombs, no bullets, no air support, no advisers, nothing. The south had to watch every scrap and could not afford to waste anything. They were forced to fight entirely on the defensive, an impossible position. The north was not under any such strictures and continued to put the pressure on. Even so, the south held out for two years, virtually on their own. I was preparing to join the marines in April of '75 and watched the last of our people leave with tails tucked in marine helos from our embassy roof. The democrats snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. From 73 on the south knew they were doomed, yet they fought on gamely, albeit with both hands tied behind their back. Do you think you could have done that? That is what made me the virulent democrat hating person I am today. So yes, we won the war. Nixon had an agreement brought about by bombing the crap out of them until they had no choice. It was a done deal. The dems threw it all away. So, what is your specific knowledge of our VN War? Do you know any of the battles? How many men do you know that fought and WON there? Ask a modern college professor, or you, and all you get is we lost the war, and that's ALL you get. Dig a little Ed, and learn...

At this point, I almost hope folks like you get your way so I can tell you I told you so. One of my best pals here is a retired Green Beret who fought in VN all the way through our involvements south of Mexico, and did a lot of special missions in many other places, like SW Asia and the Middle East. He is so frustrated with attitudes like yours that he just says "F**k 'em, let 'em find out the hard way." I suspect that might happen, but you're probably mostly safe there in Iowa.

Listen up... we are now fighting an insurgency in Iraq. We aren't fighting Iraq anymore. Iraq is our ally. Do you understand? In 2003 we invaded Iraq and THAT was the Iraq War. Do you follow? The news idiots like to call this The Iraq War, because they love to rub GWB's nose in "mission accomplished," which it was. Sometimes you try my patience Ed. And it isn't just Republicans saying if we leave that Al Qaeda will take over, SMART democrats like Ed Koch and Joe Lieberman also say it. This shouldn't be a political issue, but both sides have made it so.

And as far as settling this once and for all, sounds like you want to brawl or something. Knowing you, I'm sure that's not what you were implying. My time in the suck destroyed my stomach, but I still go out and drink mango juice and water, so that would have to do. Matter of fact, heading out tomorrow night for some class A barhopping. Think your wife would let you do that? grin...

Ed said...

I know I try your patience at times Phil and I honestly try not too. My love of debate just proves too much for me at times.

Mango juice it is, my treat. Perhaps in 2008 I will make it back your way.

Kevin said...


If Ed can't google what he is looking for, I would suggest he stop googling. There are other search engines out there, and more balanced news engines. Google is developing a particularly anti-american bias.

Also, I would suggest you flesh out your last reply in the form of a post or a series of posts. Possibly a book.

I'm afraid Ed is not alone and there is a knowledge void to be filled. I think maybe the time is even right with all the comparisons of Iraq to VietNam every day.

Here is an example of how even the Vets don't always get it. There are lots and lots of motorcycle clubs made up of VietNam vets called "Rolling Thunder" or some version or reference to that. No gangs called "Linebacker I" or "Linebacker II". I realize that Rolling Thunder is simply a better name for a motorcycle club, but I still think it illustrates the misperceptions of the VietNam war in a microcosm.

PhilippinesPhil said...

It's true, LBJ's slowly escalating bombing campaign called Rolling Thunder was a miserable failure. Nixon's Linberbackers I & II did the trick.

Ed has a good heart, but I don't really believe he's googled or dogpiled or yahooed or lycosed or searched for any evidence that we won the VN war before losing the peace. Folks interested in losing again aren't really interested in finding out that we've been here before. For those of us who DO know, and remember, it's deja vous all over again.

Ed isn't alone in not knowing very well nor understanding his country's history. Its further complicated in that so many US educators teach it with such skewed anti-Americanism.