Thursday, January 20, 2005

Joint Resolution to use force in Iraq

A little bit of history but nice to read. What do you know, I guess it wasn't all about WMDs.Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq


http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021002-2.html


Just a little light reading for you

13 Comments:

Blogger this we'll defend said...

Did YOU read it? Yes it was about WMDs, and this shows it! Geez.

It leads off with:

Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism;

Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;

Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998;

Whereas in 1998 Congress concluded that Iraq's continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in "material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations" and urged the President "to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations" (Public Law 105-235);

Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

BLAHBLAHBLHA. Of course this is all about WMDs and the "continuing threat to the national security of the United States...by... continuing to posess [WMDs]." Except, 1) they didn't, and 2) even if they did, there was NO threat to us from Iraqi WMDs even if there were hundreds of tons of the stuff. See http://buggieboy.blogspot.com/2005/01/wmds-so-what.html.

Then it continues with more lies and half-truths: " Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens;

Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001 underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;

Whereas Iraq's demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;"

BLAHBLAHBLAH. Again, "weapons of mass destruction" were the issue, but now the threat of "terrorism" is combined with them. Even though there isn't, and never was, any credible evidence to suppport the statement "Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens." It simply is a lie. Yes, there were some terrorists in Iraq. There were also terrorists in Buffalo NY. Did America "sponsor" them? No. And neither did Iraq. In fact, and incredibly, one of the terrorist groups in Iraq that was used to "prove" Iraq's support for terrorism was actually in the Northern part of Iraq, in the No-fly zone, out of the control of Saddam. Yet, incredibly, this was used as proof of Saddam's terrorist links. It was, as we knew then and know now, total BS.

The resolution ends by citing UN resolutions that supposedly gave the US the approval of the UN to invade. Yet the UN Security Council clearly stated that the Security Council would "remain seized of the matter," which is diplo-speak for "nobody does anything else unless we say its ok." Not that we need the Sec. Council's approval to take action, not even the UN believes that despite extremist right-wing rhetoric and the "permission slip" lies of the administration. NO, it was only that if we take action with UN approval we have a better chance of international cooperation. And this resolution falsely indicates that we did have UN approval, but we did not.

It was a resolution filled with lies, half-truths, deception, and ALL ABOUT WMDs.

So stop with the "it wasn't all about WMDs" crap. Re-read the resolution. It sure as hell was. And they were never a threat to us.

4:19 PM  
Blogger redleg said...

TWD

once a sane person, now a liberal ranter who can't get over it. I ask you if you read it. Everyone, yes everyone thought he had WMDs and he was a bonafide threat. This resolution, voted on by COngress proves it. And that was not the only reason. And AQ was in Iraq. And is still there.

And you have complained about me commenting on your blog with propaganda. I replied in kind and asked you to do the same on my blog. Please return when your sanity has been restored. I am so glad you are not in my Army anymore. Your sheer ignorance of reality and willingness to distort the facts to fit your narrow worldview just would not keep my soldiers safe. Get out of your heavy, NTC mentality and get in sync with the real world. California and law school have been a bad influence on you.

6:23 AM  
Blogger this we'll defend said...

I can't "get over it?" Over what? The invasion of Iraq based on false pretenses and with no plan for success? Well, yeah.

Not only did I read it, I quoted it. And if you want I can highlight the many times it spoke of WMDs, but perhaps you can manage that yourself. No, not "everyone" believed he had WMDs (see my post on Scott Ritter at http://buggieboy.blogspot.com/2004/08/patriotism.html. And yes, AQ was "in" Iraq. And in the US, by the way. But there is no evidence that Saddam cooperated with them, and instead lots of evidence that he considered fundamentalist Islam a threat to his secular regime, and hunted down and killed/imprisoned AQ operatives every chance he got - because they hated him as an apostate. But that is only the facts, and they don't seem to matter in this administration.

yes, they are still there, NOW, and just as predicted, the invasion has helped, not hindered, the efforts of AQ.

Perhaps I am insane, since I read the article you posted and saw that it was all about WMDs, and yet you say it was not. Maybe I should take my meds, for I seem to be missing the parts in the document that DON'T talk of WMDs.

You are glad I am no longer in the Army because I have different political opinions? Care to read my post on the growing threat of fascism in America, since you are a "member of the party in good standing" to use a Nazi phrase (or Soviet, or Chinese)? - its at http://buggieboy.blogspot.com/ at is an article written by a conservative that dared to question authority. BTW, I was a damn good officer, and politics mattered not to my ability to command a capable infantry unit. Politics shouldn't matter at all to my competence. That you would tell a brother officer you were "glad" he was out of the Army based on nothing more than his politics is deeply disturbing. Perhaps you should re-read your oath, in which you pledged your support to the Constitution, not to any one party, or individual. And I, too, deeply revere and respect that document. My differing opinions do not make me an enemy.

I hardly think my comments were propaganda, but if you don't wish to hear differing opinions I will just stop reading and posting here. I thought you were blogging for a dialogue, not a monologue. My mistake. I guess that is why you are so sure of your facts - you never hear any differing opinions.

I did not "distort" any facts, especially since I quoted the document and then gave my analysis, and provided no facts that can't be verified from many different sources.

And you keep harping on my "heavy" mentality because I served at the NTC. I spent the majority of my time in service in the light infantry, and find it, well, amusing that a redleg would criticize me for my "heavy" mentality. Having worn the 10th MTN patch, the 101st Patch, the 7th ID patch (back when it was a LID), I hardly think my NTC time changed me into a "heavy" proponent. If anything, my experience at the wrong end of a light-infantry unit equipped with Javelins convinced me that tanks would soon be displaced from their pre-eminent role even in high-intensity warfare. Plus, whether I come from the light/mobile or heavy/slow schools of thought, it doesn't change one fact: this invasion was ALL about WMDs, and not only are they not there, they weren't a threat even if they were. http://buggieboy.blogspot.com/2005/01/wmds-so-what.html

With that I will return to "latte land" and try not to disturb you with any thoughts that might disagree with your preconcieved notions and prejudices. After all, who needs more than one point of view in a democracy, right? Anybody who thinks differently must be a "liberal ranter" with a "sheer ignorance of reality and willingness to distort the facts to fit [their] narrow worldview."

Pot, this is Kettle. Come in, over. Pot, this is Kettle. You are black, over.

3:57 PM  
Blogger redleg said...

TWD

read last post, ijut in the open, over

Yes it does reference WMDs. I never said it didn't. Scott Ritter is not the US Government. How many Republican, Democratic and world leaders do we have to quote about Iraq having WMDs do we have to cite? Enough. I also asked you to stop ranting on my site which you refuse to do. It references also Iraq's refusal to comply with international inspections and the UN resolutions. And shooting at our enforcement agencies for 12 years since the beginning of the ceace fire.

I reference your heavy mentality when you continually preach that we should have "gone big" into the 'Stan despite having been told, by people who were there, that that wouldn't work. You keep to the Kerry propaganda line in any case. That is where I draw an inference to your heavy background. You may have been light but it evidently didn't take. Nor did your advice. With 17,000 troops in the 'Stan right now. Bloodless elections and the Taliban, HIG and AQ reduced to nothing more than lobbing afew rockets over the border at US outposts. The Pakistani sweep into Waziristan has eliminated a healthy pocket of terrorists and are fixing to move further in. Good allies the Paks but it is dangerous diplomatic ground. The Stan is well on the way to freedom and I am proud to be going there again. Rough ground, but we are doing good, as we are doing good in Iraq. Establishing democracy in the middle east is good goal, putting paid to a 2 bit mass murderer...priceless.

I am glad you are not in my Army any more because you don't believe in what we are doing. The troops would smell it and know they are being led my someone who has not the courage of his convictions. So it is good you are not here, fighting a war you don't believe in. I applaud your service but you made the right choice to get out. This is not a war started on false pretences. This is a world war fought against muslim fundamentalists. And I want to fight them in Iraq and Afghanistan so I do not have to fight them here. PRESIDENT Bush (you did see the inaugeration didn't you? great speech btw, and he and I believe every word) is committed to ridding the world of enemies of freedom no matter what it costs. The cost is high but we are willing to pay it. You aren't and that is OK.

You asked me to stop ranting on your blog. I ask you stop doing so on mine. You repeat the same lines over and over, so endlessly you will probably make a really good defense lawyer. But you are not arguing or debating, you are flailing the opposite party with your rants. I recognize when I do it, but I don't think you do.

5:57 AM  
Blogger redleg said...

You don't distort facts my friend. You just latch onto the one piece that agrees with your "narrow world view" and decry all others as lies. Your analysis of the SBVTs jives with this analysis.

It is not your politics I have a problem with. It is the abject refusal to grasp and articulate reality. We are in Iraq, and AQ is there. Hussein harbored them. Gave them medical assistance, even let them build camps. And fooled the entire world about his stockpile of WMDs. And we knew kn ew he had them by watching he performance on Iran and Kurds. And he was athreat since we believed he had the capability and he thought that this capability would protect him. He was wrong, him having WMDs would have made the justification easier, but there it is. You keep missing, the "among other things" rider in the document. WMDs were important but also important was the violation of numerous UN resolutions, sanctions and the 1991 cease fire. But shooting at US aircraft for 12 years is OK since he doesn't have WMDs. Your thinking is infantile. It may work in the 9th Circuit (shit, almost everything does) but not in real life.

You don't believe in what we are doing. You can't lead your troops if you don't believe that. So yes, I am happy you are out of my Army. You made the correct decision and it has nothing to do with your politics. You may defend the constitution the way you please now, I am sure you are well capable of that task in your own fashion. I will defend in accordance with my oath as you point out. I have never let politics influence my work and I do not intend to start now. I believed in my mission under Clinton but I trust and follow my Commander in Chief now. Under both men I was defending the COnstituition. I just believe the current PRESIDENT knows how to do it better. And means what he says. The world is learning that now. Thanks for playing TWD.

7:49 AM  
Blogger this we'll defend said...

you just believe whatever you want to believe, and facts are unimportant.

"I reference your heavy mentality when you continually preach that we should have "gone big" into the 'Stan despite having been told, by people who were there, that that wouldn't work" - why does a big deployment equal heavy thinking? We had hundreds of thousands of troops in Vietnam, and that was a mainly light fight. Do facts mean anything to you? Or history? And "it wouldn't work" in Stan kind of ignores the large Soviet presence for years, not to mention the fact that the AFGHANS themselves use armor their to good effect in their battles. Oh, but they won't work because of altitude, right? Except THEY ARE THERE AND THEY DO. You do know what your ass and a hole in the ground look like, right? Geez. I can't believe you are a field grade officer.

You say "With 17,000 troops in the 'Stan right now. Bloodless elections and the Taliban, HIG and AQ reduced to nothing more than lobbing afew rockets over the border at US outposts." I say you must have forgotten the reason we went to Afghanistan. It was NOT to "liberate" the Afghans. It was 9/11, and the guys who did that were in AF, so we went there to KILL them. And they escaped. So you and your blind loyalty to Bush results in "mission creep." "The Afghans are free, the Taliban is out of power, yay, we win." No, nitwit. We went there to kill or capture our Islamic Fundamentalist enemies in AQ. That they are "on the run" does not equal "they are dead or captured." And don't tell me how we have 2/3rd of their "leadership." Their cell structure doesn't require much "leadership" and Osama is laughing at us. He got away along with many AQ members, and is continuing his war against us.

Establishing democracy in the middle east is good goal, yes. But that was NOT the reason we were given for invading Iraq. Read the resolution again, my deluded friend.

You say "I am glad you are not in my Army any more because you don't believe in what we are doing. The troops would smell it and know they are being led my someone who has not the courage of his convictions." You must think that all of the officers and soldiers in Vietnam had to believe we should be there to be good at their mission. Of course that is crap. The point is that you are threatened by those who don't agree with you. And you can't separate your party from the government. If you were rating an LT or CPT and knew he voted Kerry or thought the war a huge mistake you would hold it against him. That makes you a fascist, and it goes against the lessons of George Washington. You betray the very principles he established when you let politics intrude on military matters. Shame on you.

You say "This is a world war fought against muslim fundamentalists. And I want to fight them in Iraq and Afghanistan so I do not have to fight them here." Again, how the F did you make it to field grade? A SAMI guy you are not. First, Saddam was NOT a muslim fundamentalist, nor was his regime. Duh. He didn't support fundamentalist Islam. Duh. And the "fight them there or fight them here" argument is facile. The same "fight the VC in Vietnam or here at home" crap was used to sell the Vietnam war. If the war is one against fundamentalist Islam, then why NOT go in large numbers into Afghanistan and kill or capture as many as we could, instead of let them escape and then fight them in a secular country that has no history of fundamentalist terror in it, at the same time helping enrage the Islamic world and encourage more terrorists to join up? Oh, and please list for me the times that Iraqi terrorists committed acts of terror prior to our invasion... waiting.... still waiting. You can't. They NEVER did. Not one Iraqi fundamentalist terrorist on record. Not one. Lots of Egyptian and Saudi and Jordanian and Filipino and Indonesian ones, but not a single act of terror by an Iraqi terrorist. So of course we must go to Iraq to fight fundamentalist terrorists, right?

You and Bush are "committed to ridding the world of enemies of freedom no matter what it costs. The cost is high but we are willing to pay it." How noble of you. BTW, the enemies of freedom include many "allies in the war on terror," for instance: Pakistan, where a democracy was overthrown in a military coup. Gen. Musharif pledged to restore democracy and resign from the army at the end of 2004. He changed his mind. Egypt, which has had President Mubarak and his party in charge since Sadat was assasinated. Elections there are a farce. Saudia Arabia, a total monarchy. Kuwait, also a monarchy with a powerless "parliament" for window-dressing. Islamic fundamentalist enemies of the US include: Iran, a constitutional democratic republic (not as free as it should be, but "freer" than the nations I listed above). It has free and fair elections. That does not make it our friend. Algeria, where democracy resulted in a fundamentalist victory, which the military promptly nullified the election, sparking a brutal civil war. Now it has somewhat returned to stability, but there is much support for AQ there. Palestine, where anti-American fervor is normal, but where free elections just occurred AGAIN. Oh, and in case you forgot, you don't work for Bush, you work for the People. And the People haven't signed on to this crusade for "freedom," but instead want justice for 9/11 and less threat from Islamic terrorism. Your crusade for freedom isn't one that helps the war on terror, so you AND the President have not been given the authority for it. Which is why the lies about WMDs and false links to Iraqi support for terrorism were needed.

And "ranting" is not what I have done here. I have presented fact after fact, while you never seem to do anything but present opinion and couch it as fact. I've seen your type before. You believe what you are told or what you want to believe, and do very little thinking for yourself. I hope you are much more informed about your profession, and a much more effective thinker when it comes to military matters, than you are about foreign relations or constitutional law.

12:53 PM  
Blogger redleg said...

Twd

again, thank you for the minority opinion on the GWOT. History will tell the story and make the appropriate judgements. I think you should stay out of the judgement business. You are singularly bad at it. Your opinions are at odds with the facts but in line with liberal and democratic thinking. I applaud you for your party line.

You keep on focusing on everywhere we aren't instead of what we are fighting right now. Or the next step. Strategy seems to elude you, but it seems to me you would like us to pick a fight with Pakistan because they are supporting us and with Egypt because they have been known to harbor AQ. Well, Iraq harbored AQ too, and yes I already know you don't think so despite what the 9/11 commission report stated. And Palestine has lost a lot of supporters because of their embrace of the death culture of jihadism. And taking away the enemy sanctuaries is harder to do than originally anticipated. What nations at war do, at least nations that like to win, is to reassess startegy in mid course and apply corrections. Not run away, not give up, not go home, but apply corrections and turn it to our advantage. Long term presence and democracy is required. Oh yeah, that's what we're doing. So, Iraq and Afghanistan no longer sancuaries. Pakistan becoming less so with their help. We'll work on their dictatorship later after the AQ leaders are dead. Libya no longer a sanctuary. Yeah we're definately losing this fight. And zero, count em, zero successful attack on the US since 9/11.

I know I will not convince you. I know you hate Bush but you really need to get over it. Hating him with all the passion in your heart does not solve your problems. The enemy still wants to kill us and our way of life. We are at war for the reasons presented. Iraq is one of a series of threats, nations and groups we will have to neutralize before this is all over. Making a free nation where once there was a dictatorship is a noble cause. Maybe it can be a beacon for the Middle East to follow. Maybe it isn't why we went there in the first place but it is why we are there now. Much as the Civil War was not fought over slavery but became all about it after the Emanicpation Proclamation. What I am sure of is that doing nothing as you have so often advocated is no longer an option. Doing is better than doing nothing and letting evil go along its slinking path, and that is what you wish us to do. Instead of blaming the United States for all of the evil in the world, think about what we could be doing to eliminate the evil in the world. But stop blaming us. It only gives the enemy heart that if he waits long enough we will collapse and defeat ourselves. Much as we did in Vietnam.

6:10 PM  
Blogger this we'll defend said...

Again you present only opinion, and no facts, and don't address the FACTS I presented.

Because the facts are against you.

You also keep trying to change the subject.

Yes, the situation now does involve terrorism, and our war in Iraq is part of the GWOT. Great points you made, but I never disagreed with you. Iraq is NOW part of the GWOT. Why you and the neo-cons think that proves it SHOULD have been or HAD to be is because that justifies the invasion. But the truth is, of course, different.

Would I like to pick a fight with Pakistan or Egypt? Of course not. My point is that their citizens have much more to do with terror attacks on the US than Iraq EVER did. As I pointed out, as a FACT that you refuse to address, no Iraqi ever committed an act of terror against a US citizen.

Well, I'll just stop now. You are convinced that everybody who doesn't think invading Iraq is weak or allied with the terrorists, oh, and you believe that questioning stupid moves weakens us (rather than strengthens us by FIRING the idiots who keep making STUPID decisions).

I guess we will just agree to disagree. Your worldview, like that of most neocons, is filled with wishful thinking, and I can't overcome your own self-deception no matter how many facts I throw at you.

12:45 AM  
Blogger redleg said...

TWD

unfortunately your view is specious and your facts are only conclusive when you view them through your filter. The resolution proves this. You see what you want and conclude everyone is stupid. I read what it says and recognize the reality that Iraq was a threat to us, the Middle East and the rest of the world. Your "facts" cleverly disguised as your opinion are as valid as any other viewpoint, but not decisive. Iraq was always part of the GWot, you just don't see it that way. Again a nice rendering of the minority viewpoint.

I don't truly think I am a neocon, but you seem to mean that as an insult. Insults don't do anything for an debate except make it into an arguement. You've already labeled me a neocon and a fascist when you don't even understand the new enviornment of war we are in. An information war. You, like the Anti-war protestors of Vietnam and hell the anti-war protestors today, give the enemy heart. That's your choice. We can win without your support. But this war is about who can get their spin and their message out faster. We are hampered by telling the truth. The media is not. And the enemy has shown no compunction with the truth either. I am sorry you don't like being used by the enemy, but it doesn't change the fact that you are.

I won't and I haven't tried to supress your free speech, though you call me a fascist. When your arguments fail you paint me a brownshirt. I hate to say it but Ann Coulter was certainly right about how liberals argue. OK, well they don't. I just don't think you can understand the validity of an opposite viewpoint. That's OK too, but I am not inclined to believe your line of hazy logic.

Your views on the GWOT are valid, wrong but valid. You would have us hand-wringing back here at home waiting for the next attack trying to figure out what we did to make them hate us so much. The current administration has effectively defended the country and taken the fight to the enemy. You don't believe that, but the majority of Americans do. And I do. We had made enemies into friends and some recalcitrant nations into allies. And alienated a few european nations who have not will nor wherewithal to defend themselves. War works that way. You have fundamentally missed the a)the nature of this war and b) how we are fighting this war. You have refused my strategic and operational knowledge and decided to believe the John Kerry version. I can't help that and hell, he's always right after the fact anyway. It doesn't make my view any less valid or the current administration any less in power. And it guess that still hurts. You still have not offered any real alternative to what we are doing that would have removed Hussein from power, something we were committed to doing in 2002 or when Clinton said we were committed to doing it. Your comments are great from the sidelines, but lack validity in real life. I'm sorry and I guess we can agree to disagree when you stop calling names.

5:22 AM  
Blogger this we'll defend said...

It is interesting that both sides of the Left-Right debate accuse the "other side" of the same things, for instance, not arguing facts, or using "hazy logic."

So I will, again, address this with logic.

First, I like how you claim I am "giving the enemy heart" with no facts to back it up. Simply said, the enemy we face today will fight regardless of what I think or you think. We must (and can) defeat them. But the bottom line is that there are effective ways to defeat our enemies and ineffective ways, and pointing out where we are going wrong in order to correct it helps. Correcting our mistakes does not "give the enemy heart" more than our mistakes do. And the reason it is important to hold Bushco responsible for the lies and incompetence of the Iraq invasion is because the same people who lied and miscalculated are not only still making decisions, but refuse to learn from their mistakes by simply refusing to admit they have made any. And they continue to make misstep after misstep in this war.

In a typical right-wing ploy you frame the debate how you want it rather than how it is. You answer what you want me to say instead of what I actually wrote. For instance, you say I "would have us hand-wringing back here at home waiting for the next attack trying to figure out what we did to make them hate us so much." That is not only untrue, you KNOW it is untrue from what I have written in the past. I don't want to wring hands and try and figure out why they hate us, I want to hunt them down and kill them. I think understanding why they hate us might help us track them down and kill them. I want them dead, dead, dead. I have repeatedly said this, as has most of the "left" that you routinely castigate as weak. Just like your reference to Vietnam protestors shows, you desperately want to argue with Jane Fonda. She isn't here my friend. The left wants to kill Osama, while Bush apparently doesn't give a damn about him. And from this you accuse me of hand-wringing and compare me to pacifists. In short, I don't want to fight the war on terror, I WANT TO WIN THE WAR ON TERROR. Big difference, and no wussy hand-wringing about it. Do you want to fight it or win it?

You say "The current administration has effectively defended the country and taken the fight to the enemy. You don't believe that, but the majority of Americans do. And I do."

Ok, a very slight majority of Americans voted for Bush, but that doesn't make him effective at defending the country, only at campaigning. Since the election a majority of Americans now give negative marks to Bush's handling of the war on terror, and even more are dissatisfied with his handling of Iraq. Does that make him ineffective if he was effective before? Using your logic it does. The question of whether he has effectively defending the country is a factual one, not an electoral one.

The fact is that he took the fight to the wrong enemy, and surveys in the Arab world show that formerly neutral Arabs are now anti-American while those with pro-Western sympathies are now neutral or keeping quiet. Even the brave Iraqis with ink-stained fingers are not pro-American but more likely to support Iran since 1) they share Iran's Sunni religion, 2) many of their leaders are supported by Iran, and 3) Sadr City erupted in violence when we tried to arrest Sadr, and he is still free. They are quiet only because we gave in. Sadr is NOT our ally. Iraq will likely become an ally of Iran in short order - not something that helps our national security however you spin it.

You say "We had made enemies into friends and some recalcitrant nations into allies." This is simply waaaay wrong as a factual statement. Again, surveys show support for the US at an all-time low worldwide AND particulary in the Muslim world. Other than nations like Togo or Benin we have no new "friends." The coalition of the willing, so called, continues to shrink. Remember when Kerry forgot about Poland during the debate? Well, was Kerry right? How many Polish troops in the coalition today? We have in fact, and this is a factual statement that you can't spin away, angered our allies, made enemies of those who were neutral, and given our enemies a recruiting bonanza of which they could only dream. That you think we have made new friends shows how much you have bought into the party line, but in the "reality-based" community of the real world the facts are clear - we have alienated our allies and we have less international cooperation and support than at any time since the end of WWII.

You note that we have only "alienated a few european nations who have not will nor wherewithal to defend themselves. War works that way." Of course the "few" nations you mention are France, Germany, Spain, Italy, etc. All of the major countries save Britain, and even their the invasion was incredibly unpopular. And the comment about no "wherewithal to defend themselves" is yet more right-wing propaganda. France, for instance, has about half of its military deployed in hot-spots around the world at any given time. It is a nuclear power. It has a history of using military force to protect French interests. Not to defend France, for her actions in deploying troops to Rwanda during the genocide was shameful (France aided the "genocidaires" instead of the Tutsi rebels) but that deployment certainly doesn't reflect a reluctance to use force. Only in America and Britian are "French are weak" jokes popular, the rest of the world that deals with a muscular and arrogant France knows better and wonders why we find such jokes funny. Oh, and if you were AF then you surely saw NATO troops in Kabul. they didn't have the will to assist us in invading Iraq because they thought it was stupid. they were right. And in 1991 they did assist us because it was the right thing to do. They are not weak. That is reality my friend.

You say that I "still have not offered any real alternative to what we are doing that would have removed Hussein from power, something we were committed to doing in 2002 or when Clinton said we were committed to doing it." No, I haven't. Because "liberating Iraq," while in the best interests of the Iraqi people, is not necessarily in the best interests of the American people. And forgive me, but I have and will always put America's interests first, unlike neo-con crusaders. As long as our containment policy protected America it was the best way to go. If there came a time when it didn't work then we move on to more costly options. Containment clearly worked (even better than we thought it turns out) but we invaded anyway, and thus we have harmed our national security.

That you state the invasion helps us doesn't make it so. I can point to billions upon billions of $$$, lost American lives, an overstretched and fully committed military now unavailable for deterrence elsewhere, a loss of national prestige and international cooperation, and many other things, to show you that this invasion has cost us dearly. You can point to Iraqis voting to show it was worthwhile, but again I ask you, worthwhile for who? How does voting in Mosul benefit Kansas City or Tampa Bay? And the canard about "fight them there rather than here" is sheer bullshit. Prior to 9/11 we were under attack by terrorists, but we didn't lose 1,500+ soldiers in all the years from 1993's first WTC attack to the invasion. Had we invaded in 2000 9/11 would still have happened. And invading makes it more likely we will be attacked here at home again since we have enraged the Muslim world against us to a degree never before seen. But it is easy to say "fight them there rather than here," which is why the same line was used to justify our fighting in Vietnam. You are propounding the new Domino theory, an already disproven concept.

You say my "comments are great from the sidelines, but lack validity in real life." I simply say the same to you. I have facts on my side, not rhetoric: No WMDs. No terrorist connections. No threat to the US. 1,500+ dead soldiers, with more dying daily. Over a hundred billion dollars spent, with more to come (despite claims of less than $2 billion.) An election proclaimed a success despite little Sunni participation. While Bush proclaimed the election as a brave statement by the Iraqis, it was simply a showing that the Shiites could count. They aren't the ones shooting at us, and they know they are the majority. So duh, they voted. The election that has been trumpeted as a success has actually been a disturbing failure since so few Sunnis voted. Oh, and the Shiite parties that won? Pro-Iranian most of them, and the government that will take charge will likely be an ally of Iran. All of these are facts, not rhetoric. And all of these facts are harmful to the interests of the United States of America. And all came about as a result of the invasion. Had we not invaded it is clear we would be much better off militarily, economically, politically, and we would have had more resources focused on the terrorists who actually attacked us.

Algeria had a free and fair democratic election in the early '90s. The overwhelming winners? Islamic extremists. That election was overturned by a military coup, supported (tacitly) by the west. Pakistan's last democratically elected government was overthrown in a military coup. Pakistan is now a key ally in our war on terror. Should we overthrow Musharif in order to install a democratically elected fundamentalist regime in Pakistan, one that hates us, one that has the bomb? Turkey's Islamic parties have often been thrown out of office by the generals. Should we invade Turkey and allow extremists to take charge there? But go on thinking that democracy always benefits the United States.

You didn't take an oath to democracy. You took an oath to OUR Constitution. Anything that endangers it, even if it furthers democracy somewhere else, is something you have sworn to oppose. Your job now must be to win in Iraq, and losing will harm us, but you don't have to believe the rhetoric. This invasion was stupid. Losing would be more stupid. You can tell yourself and your troops that your service in Iraq will make America safer, because that is the honest truth. But you don't need to think the invasion was wise or helpful. Because it was not.

I'm sorry and I guess we can agree to disagree when you stop calling names. I am not a pacifist and I believe in a strong military response to the attacks of 9/11. I want us to hit back so hard than anybody even dreaming of attacking us will wake up in fear and slap themselves. But sadly the ones that attacked us have not only gotten away with it, their cause has been strengthened by an idiot invasion of Iraq. And that does not "give our enemies heart."

And back to the original post - the Joint Resolution was about WMDs, and they aren't there, and your post-invasion search for justification is bull.

For those who truly want to learn about the real world I suggest the move "The Battle of Algiers." It recreates a key year in the Algerian war for independence in the 1950s. It is very factually accurate. As violence escalates on both sides, children shoot soldiers at point-blank range, women plant bombs in cafes, and French soldiers resort to torture to break the will of the insurgents. Terrorist attacks and brutal techniques to combat them make the streets of Algiers run red with blood, and all along the conservative movement in France declares that victory is just around the corner.

We could have learned a lot from the French when we went into Vietnam. We could have won in Vietnam had we heeded their advice and benefited from their experience. But they are the wussy French and we were the strong and brave Americans. And we lost 58,000 lives and lost in Vietnam. Those who truly want a stable and peaceful Iraq, which is in our national interests, should see this movie and learn from the French experience in fighting an Islamic extremist insurgency.

But, we won't learn from them. We never do. We will believe our own rhetoric, and anyone who cautions a wiser response will, like me, be accused of all sorts of things, from not understanding reality, to aiding the enemy, to being a pacifist.

Sad. But true.

10:30 PM  
Blogger redleg said...

TWD

you are 1) a sad and bitter lefty whose world view is increasingly at odds with reality and 2) a true reminder that there is always another viewpoint. History should teach us that.

It is funny that you bring up the Battle of Algiers for that film alone and it's historical relation should tell you everything you need to know about an Information War. France had Algeria sewn up militarily until it decided to give up. Why- the insurgents had won the information war against them and turned the populace against them. The same lesson held true for both the French and us in Vietnam. Read A Savage War of Peace by Alistair Horne for a little more enlightenment but less false analogies. This is what I speak of when I say you give the enemy heart because he knows he can beat us, not on the battlefield, but in the hearts of everyday Americans. We only lose if you give up, sparky.

And I believe the President during the Algeria elections was? No he wasn't a democrat, couldn't be... who was he again? The guy that messed up Kosovo so bad it's still a ruin years afterward, instead of holding free elections and rebuilding? Maybe the same guy who deliberately would not call Rwanda genocide, perhaps. France is only averse to using military power when it would help anyone other than France or her perceived hegemon. NO problems shooting civilians when they get in the way. And the French in Gulf I?-- the 6th Light Armored was placed on the flank with a BDE of US paratroops to baby-sit them because they could not match up to us technologically. A US FA Brigade advanced in front of them. Some allies, you know. Gets your facts straight, not your opinion of the facts, but your facts. I would have expected better of a lawyer, but you are in California, home of the fabulous 9th Cricuit Court so what do I expect.

Your opposing viewpoint is cogent but lack validity in my eyes. We are taking the fight to the enemy and, unless my eyes deceive me, are causing a sea change in the ME. History will tell, but they are always going to hate us. You still propose nothing new, which is why I accuse you of hand-wringing on the sidelines. Afraid to play the game, afraid to offend. We have a president who is not afraid to say what he means and do what he says. I may not always agree with him but he is doing something. Something that needs doing and not something that the Constituition contravenes in any real sense except in your California echo-chamber. I have pledged aleigance to President Bush anymore than I pledged fealty to President Clinton. I know who I am, what my job entails and who I am doing it for. I know what side I am on. I know

My question is, and remains, which side are you on. You are obviously still very bitter, but you are increasingly at odds with reality these days. You keep saying you want to hit back, but that evidently means you don't want to do it under a Republican President. My remarks stand, and your analysis while appreciated, fails to convince. You continue to overlay your supposed facts with your emotion that "Bushco" has got it wrong. I fail to see that. Please let the monkey stop spinning the propaganda organ for a little while and just listen if you don't want to experience.

7:55 AM  
Blogger redleg said...

And I forgot to mention, how sad is it that you have returned to an argument you left two months ago when you found I would not buy into your rhetoric/ Almost as sad, if not more sad, than me going through my old posts where I found your new words to somehow satisfy you into thinking you have gotten the "last word"

9:07 AM  
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1:23 AM  

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