The Shotgun Blog
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Why the U.S. must not abandon the Iraqi people
I fear that political opinion in my country on its military presence in Iraq has reached the "tipping point" towards withdrawal. While William F. Buckley was never really happy with the liberation of Iraq to begin with, his recent espousal of fatalism on the effort may be just what it takes to lead the American people, and the Bush Administration, to decide enough is enough and leave Iraq to "its own devices." This would be terribly, terribly, wrong, for America, its allies, and for the Iraqi people.
Most are assuming the attack on the Golden Mosque (the holy Shiite house of worship that was destroyed) was merely the latest in seemingly endless sectarian violence in Iraq. It is not so; in fact, there is good reason to believe the attack was specifically timed to disrupt Iraq's transition to a secular, non-Iranian-tinged government. Just before the bombing, the political blocs representing the Kurds, Sunnis, and secular Shiites had not only stitched together a coalition larger than the more religious Shiite United Iraq Alliance (UIA), but there was talk that the factions within UIA that did not have links to the Iranian mullahs may pull out and join the multi-faith bloc (Iraq the Model). The fate of such a plan was not clear, but what was clear was that the greatest fear among many Iraqis and Americans - namely that Iran's tentacles would reach more deeply into the Iraqi government, was in the process of being checked. Democracy in Iraq was working, however slowly and/or maddeningly.
Given this, the timing of the Golden Mosque bombing reveals the real incentive: bring the political talks to a screeching halt, and drive the UIA and its supporters to circle the wagons. So far, it seems to be working, sadly, but even now there are increasing signs that Iraqi security are getting things in order. More importantly, however, is the question of who would want the waning of Iranian influence to stop - the Tehran mullahs themselves.
Am I saying the Iranians bombed their own mosque. I doubt that's what happened; evidence would be bound to leak out, causing a major embarrassment for the Khomeinists in Iraq (and in Iran). However, lest we forget, Iran's quarter-century-plus ally Syria could more easily get away with something like this. Of course, the most likely suspect is still al Qaeda in Iraq, but its goal - a Sunni-Shiite civil war - and that of the Iranian regime is the same, albeit for different reasons.
In other words, the Golden Mosque bombing was not a symbol of America's failure in Iraq; it was in fact a deliberate reaction to America's continuing political success there. Tehran, Damascus, and al Qaeda all have a vested interested in kicking the U.S. out of Iraq before the Iraqi people can stabilize their government. The fact that they may prefer different dictators is irrelevant, and in fact is causing many analysts to miss the fact that Tehran and Damascus have been playing this both-ends-against-the-middle game in Lebanon for years, and in Iraq since the liberation began in 2003. Already, we are finding that most of the Shiite reprisal attacks have been largely orchestrated by Muqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric who has been Tehran's rented thug for years.
We are not facing a "civil war;" we are actually facing infiltration by two anti-American regimes determined to use their proxies to literally shoot and bomb America out of Iraq. The consequences for letting this happen would be devastating. The Iraqi people would soon fall under the thumb of whomever Ayatollah Khameini and Bashar Assad decide should rule the country. The rest of the Arab world would see that their tyrannical regimes can outlast the United States. The Taliban in Afghanistan - remember them - would take hope that they, too, could shoot out the American - and Canadian - military contingent there.
Last but most, Communist China - benefactor to both Tehran and Damascus - would score a major victory in its efforts to make the world safe for dictators. We could find our entire effort against the Communist-backed terrorist forces going into reverse.
So can we "stay the course." Sadly, I don't think so. We have two historical precedents for this sort of thing: Vietnam and El Salvador. In the former, we tried to hold the line in the South, while doing nothing against the regime of North (the bombing and mining campaigns did nothing to threaten the regime - in fact, they were never intended for that purpose), and the result was millions of persecuted Vietnamese under Communist rule and a Cambodian bloodbath.
In Central America, however, we tried a different approach. When the Nicaraguan regime of Daniel Ortega tried to knock over a nascent democratic government in El Salvador, the Reagan Administration responded by supporting the home-grown anti-Communist Nicaraguan resistance. Not only was Ortega too distracted to interfere in El Salvador (which has now been democratic for over two decades), but the Nicaraguan resistance become strong enough to force him to put his regime up for election - which he lost in 1990.
The Iranian and Syrian regimes currently aiding the anti-American terrorists in Iraq would be much less able to do so if vibrant resistance groups were active in their countries. There is already a large desire for change in both lands, but the combination of the reigns of terror and lack of American suppport for Syrian and Iranian democracy (at least until recently) has reduced its visibility. Still, one could arguably claim that the democracy forces in both nations look more stronger today than that in Nicaragua in 1979.
Rather than abandon the Iraqi people, America must move now to help the Iranian and Syrian peoples liberate themselves from their regimes. At the least, it will relieve pressure on the Iraqi people. Our only alternative is to make the pessimistic claims of defeat a reality, which we simply cannot afford.
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It’s more important what the Iraqis think of these murders from terrorist activity than what Bill Buckley thinks. The MSM doesn’t give us much info on that.
I think the Iraqis are busy buying new cell phones. Also their perception is that these are simply murders in some rough terrorist occupied districts. Most districts are peaceful.
Let’s take a business approach to this.
What we need to see are some graphs to compare.
Let’s chart the per capita terrorist/murder rates in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Africa, Bosnia, all the hell holes.
Let’s graph them over the last 5 years.
Let’s compare, how’s it going in the hell holes?
Then maybe compare it to car accidents per capita in California.
Let’s give it some perspective.
The MSM doesn’t want to do that. Because then we’d start to put it all in perspective. Then Hillary wouldn’t win against John McCain, the Vietnam POW, who knows first hand what a hell hole is like and wants to make sure that never happens to the American people again.
Meanwhile, neither Bush nor McCain would abandon the Iraqi people after Americans have paid the ultimate price to bring freedom from the Ba’athist despots. But Americans will continue to train Iraqi forces to help Iraqis become self-sufficient and police themselves from these murdering terrorists. Actually, even Hillary would do that too.
In short, we have to learn to think differently about these atrocities. We need some comparisons. Maybe these insurgents are no different than the Ku Klux Klan.
“The KKK was a white supremacist organization that was founded in 1866. With its characteristic white robes and masks, the secret fraternal organization has used acts of terrorism—including murder, lynching, arson, rape, and bombing—to oppose the granting of civil rights to African Americans and others.”
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-03-01 11:33:57 AM
I disagree that they are the same as the KKK in the sense that as Islamists they seek to impose their deadly ideology on the world, country by country. They are a serious threat to both non-Islamist Muslims and the rest of the world. The KKK did not truly have an ideology, which does not excuse their acts.
The left-wing media have much to do with shaping opinion for a lot of the population. They have consistently sought out every little negative bit of news from Iraq - even adding their own spin to events - while refusing to report the positive. They continue to undermine the objectives in Iraq just as they did in Vietnam. It used to be that aiding and abeting the enemy was criminal and those engaged in it were prosecuted.
Posted by: Alain | 2006-03-01 11:59:37 AM
I disagree that the KKK didn't have an ideology, they held (past tense, who knows what they still believe) a firm belief in the supremecy of the Western European as the superior form of Homo Sapian. They firmly believed that all other derivatives of humanity were either inferior or defective (which I guess amounts to the same thing). They didn't have a religious agenda persay (although I'm sure someone will falsely tell me that they were Christians--I hate to break it to you folks, Christians DO NOT burn crosses not even in Prince George) and they didn't have a "national" identity--which is really what makes them different from Muslim terrorists.
Posted by: Daniel | 2006-03-01 12:10:41 PM
I think it's an 'internal to the ME' struggle, where the tribal dictatorships such as Syria, Iran, SA, are attempting to prevent the development of a democratic state within their midst. After all - that would have a domino effect; their own people in these countries want more freedoms, more power...
I disagree that any of this has anything to do wiht China. But then, I have a completely and totally different view of China and its agenda than you do - Making the 'world safe for dictators' wouldn't enable China to participate in the world economy. In fact, dictatorships demolish economies. xie xie.
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-01 12:18:48 PM
I am no fan of the Klan, but I need to make a brief aside because of the revisionist history relative to them.
The atrocities associated with the Klan were committed by a reconstitution of that organization that took place in the 1930s. And, in fact, they did participate in acts of brutality and terrorism in the South.
However, the original Ku Klux Klan was founded directly after the War Between the States. During this period the South was occupied by a foreign military power, and all Southerners' constitutional rights were in abeyance. No freedom of speech, of religion, or freedom of any sort.
Against this backdrop, the Ku Klux Klan was started by former Confederate military officers (who could read and write in Latin and Greek) to carry out protests and acts of civil disobedience against the "Yankees" who were depriving the South of constitutional rights.
During this period, the only person killed was one Yankee spy who managed to penetrate the ranks of the Ku Klux Klan; he would have effected the capture and execution of many of its members had he been allowed to talk. Outside of that, they basically rode around the country performing a lot of hijinks in the face of Yankee occupation. Their identities had to be concealed to avoid detection.
They would ride up to the home of some black family with a bladder underneath their robes and ask for a drink of water. They would pour buckets of water into the bladder, pretending to drink. After performing this seeemingly supernatural feat, they would tell the family they had not had a drink since the battle of Shiloh, encouraging the idea that they were ghostly presences.
This was all inexcusable, of course, but nothing like the atrocities committed by the 1930s version of the Klan.
To this day, long after animosities have disappeared between the North and South, we still retain a uniquely Southern culture with a Southern temperament. I like to caution my Canadian friends not to refer to Southerners as Yanks while they are in the South, even though we understand this is a term of affection. When Sen. Zell Miller gave his rousing speech at the Republican National Convenion, he was expressing a uniquely Southern and post-Confederate political spirit and delivery. So in some sense, the old traditions still exist, and of course as you know, these days we're all Republicans down here.
Posted by: Greg outside Dallas | 2006-03-01 12:46:06 PM
P.S. I don't have a dog in this fight, but the Klan would tell you that they don't burn a cross, they illuminate it.
Posted by: Greg outside Dallas | 2006-03-01 1:10:30 PM
" In other words, the Golden Mosque bombing was not a symbol of America's failure in Iraq; it was in fact a deliberate reaction to America's continuing political success "
....you can't be serious.
Posted by: Miles Tompkins | 2006-03-01 1:42:17 PM
Well that is kind of after the fact isn't it?
American had no business going in there in the first place.
The charges were fabricated, the world suspected it, the arms inspectors were confirming it, but somebody needed to go show some muscle and "open a can of whup ass" as I believe it was called by the administration.
Yes, truly a high point for spreading democracy and freedom around the globe.
As part of the war on terrorism I think events around the world show that the status quo stayed about the same. The Iraqui people who were oppressed are now free to vote, and that is a good thing but I wonder if they are ready for a democracy. Maybe yes, they could be like Japan, and move into a democratic and secular government and understand why that is necessary. But then again, maybe not.
Meanwhile the war was started because of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, not to spread democracy however high minded an ambition that is, and democracy IS a very good thing.
Some of the masterminds and financiers of the horror of 911 have been caught and executed, but many remain free.
Had the States continued to deal with that manhunt with all the resources available, they would have continued to have world support.
Instead they spread themselves thin in one man's quest for opening a can of whatever that was.
So America went in and spread the war from Afghanistan (which most of the world reluctantly understood and supported)
to Iraq (which most of the allies did NOT support),
and engaged themselves in a fight that nobody asked them into, a fight that had little to do with Afghanistan, a fight that the rest of the world urged them away from
so now they are there and like the proverbial spilt milk, there is no turning back, and it's a great time for democracy with the predictable problems of the area,
so now they need to pull out?????
I agree that they need to stay and finish what they started.
Partly for the sake of their hapless local allies, who like the south Vietnamese before them will probably be in for a worse bloodbath in the reprisals than they were even under the bloody regime of Saddam Hussein.
(BTW, that has real potential for making serious enemies such as America made with the last generation of Kurds who remember the promises made and broken to them in the LAST desert war before this one-- the kurds have not forgotten or forgiven)
Partly because once you make promises to people you should keep them.
And because maybe it will be a lesson to stay out of conflicts that your allies don't want to support you in.
Posted by: a canadian who is worried about freedom | 2006-03-01 9:44:47 PM
The US should pass responsiblity back to the people of Iraq ASAP with transistional help from the world UN and as many Muslim countries as possible.
Posted by: Colin | 2006-03-01 10:05:22 PM
I would normally agree with you Colin except I don't think this trouble spot has a snowballs chance of surviving without a lot of structure imposed on it.
i doubt the local Muslim countries have the ability or the resolve and it would soon be chaos and bitter anti American sentiment as well as a hot bed for Islamic terrorism.
Now that it's been invaded and the mess it was in is being cleaned up from outside (which is going to cost a whole lot more lives, dollars and possibly need dollars and lives sacrificed from countries who advised against it and who got insulted at the time!)
As I said, now that we are all dragged into this mess, we need to keep it from devolving into a worse mess than it was before America took it into it's head to invade.
They didn't listen to their allies in the west then and they have dragged us all in with them.
I totally and completely disagreed with the invasion, and with the fabrications and lies that led to it.
I didn't hear then that it was all about helping the poor downtrodden Iraqi find democracy and freedom RATHER it was all about opening cans of whup ass. Which showed a disgustingly ignorant and pugnacious attitude.
However I can see that if Iraq is abandoned it will turn right into a cesspool of Islamic action against the west.
it WILL be worse than before, and much more dangerous to the West than it was before the invasion, or is right now.
I read the Jyllands manifesto and the Belgian comments and I tend to agree.
We are in it up to our necks, and it's freedom vs totalitarianism.
We win or we die trying because there is no middle ground.
Because I remember an OPRAH show in the month before that ill fated invasion, in which she had several Islamic experts who STRONGLY advised the USA to AVOID invasion, to continue to allow the UN inspections. They said that the fear of exposure was actually doing more to straighten out Saddam's regime than invasion ever would.
They predicted this exact situation and the following choices that we are ALL facing now.
They said that America wouldn't hold it's resolve after about 18 months to 2 years, and by then Americans would be sick and tired of the cost and loss of American life, and they would want to pull out.
I also remember the face of a woman screaming at the speakers that her boy (son I suppose) would fight and die for the right of the speakers, to say that the war was wrong, but as for her, she thought that they should shut up (actually more forceful than I can put in print!)
Now in hindsight, we ALL know that she was dead wrong.
We are losing our rights and freedoms in several ways.
By the outright threat of terrorism.
and by our response TO the terrorism. We voluntarily give in, and don't publish cartoons in Canada, without a shot fired.
Sharia law is here, and it's working fine.
And then there are the problems with unreasonable search and seizure, unlawful detainment, surveillance and more and all we say is, oh well, lose a freedom here or there, it's just so we can fight the war on terror, no biggy.
NO BIGGY except that as we voluntarily hand our freedom over to the Muslim hordes and to the governments who are eager to spy on and detain whomever they please for however long they choose without fear of legal reprisal because after all we are fighting this battle for these same freedoms.
Something is wrong with this picture.
We handed over those freedoms ever so lightly, just stepping over the bodies of those who fought and died for our freedoms.
We are now at war, the American invasion of Iraq has had the expected response, as allies and as the West has to face the Muslim threat sooner or later we are in a war up to our necks.
Posted by: a canadian who is worried about freedom | 2006-03-01 10:59:27 PM
Force is what's required. D'ya hear, U.N.?
LOTS of killing.
Canadians will die.
Americans will die.
Hit the terrorists and their supporters with TERRIFIC force.
It'll be over in a few weeks.
No more suicide bombings, Hezbollah, Fatwas, Beslans, Balis, WTCs, riots in France, yadayadayada... FORCE scares the "spit" out if those who would otherwise raise their voices in protest (hello, MSM, you facile, gutless lot of yellow turds for not printing those cartoons).
What's that you say? Who and what will fill the void(s)? I dunno; "Marshall Plan", 21ST century style? No? OK, then what exactly? I guess that's correct, gotta have cojones, which, of course, the U.N. doesn't. And, as everybody knows, back in the 1940s "right-and-wrong" as a concept was popularly accepted; our parents and grandparents ACTED when it became obvious that such action was SORELY needed to expunge the rot of Fascism.
Oh, say, HERE'S an idea! Let's let the idiocy continue! Nukes, Shmukes! Big deal. A-mad-in-a-jihad is probably just like yer good ol' drinkin' buddy. And whadya mean, Syria got a bunch of Saddam's WMDs? Syria?!?! Naw, it's not like the Assad bunch to dabble in such things. Just plain folks.
Oh well, I guess it'll all work out in the end, after something major happens that will make 9/11 look like a Sunday school picnic. The fat will be in the fire, so to speak, and the free world will FINALLY (hopefully) be galvanized into action against Islamofascism.
MANY Canadians will die.
MANY Americans will die.
P.S. On a side note...
Has anybody out there ever listened to the typical leftist's rationale over Hiroshima vis-a-vis Nagasaki? You know, "I understand Hiroshima, but WHY Nagasaki?" Their answer; "The Americans were EXPERIMENTING!", which explains why the U.S. nuked Moscow on August 10TH, 1945. You see, the Left KNOWS how to run a war (or not). None of these "decisions being made in a vacuum" crap for the Left, by God! The U.S. (and the Japanese) had 72 WHOLE HOURS to assess what the 1ST ever A-bomb did to Hiroshima; they had those green-box-telephones-with-cranks thingees, did they not? 2-longs, 2-shorts for the Oval office.
Posted by: Joe B. | 2006-03-01 11:33:29 PM
this feels a lot like being out in the bush walking with a dog.
Dog goes up to a bear, and begins to annoy it.
Dog runs back for owner, and brings trouble right behind him in the form of a large angry bear.
Well we went for a walk in the bush, SOMEBODY started to fight a bear called Iraq instead of staying inside the confines of Afghanistan where most of the world agreed to help.
and now the allies of the somebody are having to step in and fight for life, whether we want it or not.
Posted by: a canadian who is worried about freedom | 2006-03-01 11:44:35 PM
>and now the allies of the somebody are having to step in and fight for life, whether we want it or not.<
And what allies would that be brainiac? The ones who were taking millions in payoffs in the oil for food scandal? Canada, with after years of Liberal rule our army and resolve lies gutted?
The few countries that are serious about the war on terror and have a realistic view of the world are already there.
You people are incredible, even as more Saddam tapes come out and the inescapable fact he had the weapons (he used them on his own people, and anyone with any common sense knew he had), become more evident still you stick to your tired, sickening rhetoric. No wmd's, we were lied to, were losing our civil liberties, blah, blah, blah.
Everyday members of Al Quada and the terror network are killed there, although of course to you armchair quarterbacks that is impossible as there is no connection.
Lets turn them over to the UN, who ignored the threat he posed then, and instead brokered the biggest scandal in the modern world.
So now you have all the answers. If only Bush had listened to you, hell you know it all. And now we are going to have to bail them out? That is laughable and so are you. I ask again, who is we? The only armies not there are the European ones involved in the scandal and they are busy patrolling their streets so their cities don't burn down. But of course once again, there can be no connection between that and terrorism.
Running out with a bear behind them? Funny I don't see any American soldiers running anywhere. In fact their commander and chief was over there today saying they will never cut and run. The only ones doing that are the ones with the yellow strip running down their back, much like you.
You didn't have the guts to start the fight, but now your going to finish it, that is choice. What a guy. Did it ever occur to you that if the entire world showed solidarity and resolve the terrorists and all these other despots would have no choice but to stand down?
Instead because of nitwits like you obsessing over wmd,s, Bush lied, etc, you are used to exploit the view the west is divided and weak. That prolongs the conflict, and costs lives, plenty of them. Put that in your peace-pipe and smoke it. But then it doesn't matter because you don't even have a dog in this fight. Pathetic.
Once again your entire argument is based on the left's, particularly the MSM, and your perception of the situation, with little or no fact to back up your argument. I can handle the odd Liberal, even have a few as friends, but you anti-war morons, absolute zero tolerance for you and your dangerous views. You are getting people killed and that is to be despised.
Posted by: deepblue | 2006-03-02 12:53:25 AM
"American had no business going in there in the first place.
The charges were fabricated, the world suspected it, the arms inspectors were confirming it, but somebody needed to go show some muscle and "open a can of whup ass" as I believe it was called by the administration"
I remember that the first point of "worried"'s post was addressed a while back: is it really "none of America's business" if the lefts claims were true and Saddam was only murdering (and planning on murdering) Middle Easterners? From an isolationist standpoint it certainly has a logic to it, but somehow I don't think that's the point the anti-war crowd was trying to make. Saddam did brutally kill and oppress his own people. Nina Khruschev, great-granddaughter of Nikita, wondered why there was such regard for the murdering tyrant Stalin in modern Russia 2 days ago in the Washington Post (copied in the Redmonton Urinal), surmising that the years have been kind to Stalin's spin-doctors. Saddam's spin-doctors didn't even wait for him to leave power before already rehabilitating him.
As for the second point, the claims of "the charges were fabricated" (assumably talking about WMD potential), just this week it was revealed that audiotape analysis indicated Saddam had the infrastructure in place in 2000 to enrich uranium despite the earlier claims of Hans Blix or the Duelfer Report. It also seemed that his biochemical warfare capabilities existed at least as late as 1995. Again I remind you that the reason weapons inspectors were in Iraq was because the U.N. already had the numbers of Iraq's chemical weapons potential. They knew how much raw material Saddam possessed, and their job was to confirm that the materials were being used for non-military purposes. This is a job they were unable to do: huge amounts of chemicals required for Sarin nerve gas, for example, were never suitably accounted for. The onus was always on Iraq to show where the product was, not for the U.N. to show where it wasn't.
Forgetting for a moment that 30 _jet aircraft_ were hidden in the freaking sand, and that 18 wheelers were photographed by satellite travelling into Syria before the war began, and forgetting the _fact_ that Saddam used chemical weapons on his own populace in the 1980s...
The belief that Hussein possessed WMDs of the biological and chemical form, and was actively pursuing WMDs of the nuclear variety, was known to more than just the CIA. British, French, German, Russian, Isreaeli, Egyptian, and Jordanian intelligence all was working with evidence that Iraq possessed biochemical wepaonry. Even if the CIA turns out to be wrong, they were in particularly good company. When the anti-war zealots have half this much credibility on their side (MoveOn.org and Jack Layton don't count) we might listen to one of their arguments.
Posted by: Feynman and Coulter's Love Child | 2006-03-02 3:24:02 AM
“Oprah had several Islamic experts on her show that said don’t invade”
Oh well then. MoveOn.org
“they said the fear of exposure was doing more to straighten out Saddam’s regime than invasion ever wood”
Well, the experts were clearly wrong about that. Saddam looks pretty harmless now. Or maybe Saddam should go on Oprah now as an inside expert and explain how he could have been even more harmless without the invasion.
It's funny how the left keeps saying that the freeing of Iraq was done unilaterally by America. As if Blair and Howard don’t count. The Anglosphere as usual was leading the charge on doing the world’s dirty work. Plus Japan and Denmark and Italy were on board and really everybody but France and Germany were in there and we know why the latter 2 weren’t. On again, off again Chrétien backed out last minute because there was an election in Quebec, but we never talk about that. He used the pitiful excuse that he wanted the anachronistic; corrupt UN’s SC to OK it first.
The most embarrassing thing my country has ever done is to hand it’s proxy to the UN Security Council, whose members at the time included:
Syria, SYRIA my God, Cameroon and Angola.
In other words Chrétien was allowing despots in these failed states decide for Canada. Our thousands of soldiers have died over decades, fighting for liberty so that Chrétien can let the scumbags of Syria decide for us now. Unbelievable.
Funny how the left says Saddam was reacting to the pressure, i.e. that all we had to do was keep the pressure on. How long were we supposed to keep Iraq surrounded with about 300,000 troops, just watching in the blazing sun? Forever? All those like Koffi who were in favour of containment were not the ones paying for containment, Bush and Blair etc were paying for it.
Funny how no mention is ever made by the left about how nailing Saddam had an influence on Pakistan stopping the Nuke sales to Libya. How Lebanon was freed up from Syria. Ahh Syria, the same Syria that Chretien gave our proxy to. How sick can it get?
Funny how the left don't say “its all about oil” anymore. That's not because the coalition freed the Iraqis from a despot and didn’t steal their oil as predicted by the left. But it's because it turns out that yes it was “all about oil”, oil for Koffi, the “oil for food” program run by the UN through the French banks for the benefit of those that were against the war, against the war because they were getting rich trading with Saddam.
Actually none of this stuff is funny at all. War is a terrible chaotic mess and we won’t know for years if the War in Iraq will actually have worked. And the alternative is? Containment? Status quo in the Middle East?
The ME has been using tribal forms of governments, which won’t work on large burgeoning populations. The failure of these tribal systems are propped up by oil revenues going to the ruling despots. The despots use the money to buy weapons for delivery by terrorists. This stage of The War in Iraq is now really a war against despots in Iran and Syria and others in the ME that, coming back to the "fear" point made by experts on Oprah; these despots fear that because of the spread of democratization that their fascist hold on their subjects won’t hold.
We can probably agree on one thing; the only thing a despot will respond to is fear. Where we go from here depends on the answer to the question: are you for fascism or against it?
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-03-02 5:30:14 AM
The NEW Iraqi army should surround that slum known as Sadr City POSTHASTE, then send a battalion of its best-trained troops into the area to find and KILL al-Sadr and as many of his henchmen as they possibly can. Today would be good. It would be a GRAND new start!
Oh, "deepblue" and "nomdenet"... despite your unmitigatedly correct reading of the situation in Iraq, that's a brick wall you're bangin' your heads into, trying to talk sense to "Bush-Mcchimp-Haliburton-war/for/oil" people.
Gotta go now. I'm off to work early, so that I can stop in at the Memorial Wall at the provincial legislature and pay my respects to those fallen Iron Men whose names are written on the plaques. Wish we had their backbone.
Posted by: Joe B. | 2006-03-02 6:13:59 AM
>Oh, "deepblue" and "nomdenet"... despite your unmitigatedly correct reading of the situation in Iraq, that's a brick wall you're bangin' your heads into, trying to talk sense to "Bush-Mcchimp-Haliburton-war/for/oil" people.<
Unfortunately you are absolutely correct. History is filled with the appeasement/pacifist crowd, example; Neville Chamberlain who's absolute ignorance of the facts, and of reality left millions dead.
Thank goodness for George Bush, Tony Blair, John Howard, all the leaders of all the allies over there, men who have learned from history and have the courage to take on this evil. With the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the ease in which they can be transported and moved around the world the time was never better to aggressively take on these despots.
Will it work, who knows. But to stand by and do nothing while these people seek the most dangerous weapons man has ever known, and in the mean time kill their own people and blow up everything in sight is to show and almost unbelievable irresponsibility.
These people who hate Bush, the Iraq war and anything he stands for then must also shoulder some, if not all of this irresponsibility.
Of course I would not expect the likes of these people to stand for anything that meets with common sense.
Posted by: deepblue | 2006-03-02 8:51:55 AM
Deepblue you must be Burkean …
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)
I think we’re making progress in Canada by shinning a light on all this stuff. I’ll be interested to see how Harper wins over Quebec, which gets even less factual information on the subject of Islamofascism than the ROC. If we are going to start playing a responsible geopolitical role outside our caves we’ll need to fund it, it will be very expensive. We don’t need Stealth Bombers, which cost $2.2 billion each, but I’ve seen numbers indicating troops are about a million bucks each, fully loaded.
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-03-02 9:23:14 AM
Well, you found me out, I'm a gasp, closet LIBERAL who happens to vote Conservative and disagrees with the Liberal agenda, --Liberals being far too free spending with very little fiscal accountability.
Who also thinks that doing a little thinking BEFORE we act will save lives and dollars which can then be used in the most effective way possible.
I just think that nuking everything in sight that moves in the Middle East might not be the first best response
but I do understand the kneejerk, I'm in that union dominated field -- health care which is another reason I vote Conservative, because there too, I see the only hope.
Posted by: a canadian who is worried about freedom | 2006-03-02 9:38:12 AM
Actually I'm just a regular guy, as you can see from my posts I am not an academic and do not measure up to the likes of you and ET in debating skills. But I firmly believe in the quote you mentioned.
On the subject of this country (or what's left of it) and the attitudes of the anti-war, do nothing crowd, as you can tell I am quite passionate about it.
I agree with your assessment on another thread that the real battle is right here at home. For all the talk of war and what to do about world peace Canada is clearly not equipped to deal with even the smallest situation. We are stretched thin even being in Afghanistan. And now the pacifists talk about even pulling out of there.
For this country to get anywhere in the future, clearly the culture war has to be dealt with here at home. As ET has pointed out (also on another thread) the money that Canada blindly throws away could fund a good many things. I have heard comparisons that the money we have thrown away over the entire phony bilingual thing is equal to our staggering national debt.
There is something wrong when at the rate I am being taxed I see very little progress in this country, much less to be proud of.
Throw in the other lavish social programs where money is simply wasted and at the rate we are being taxed Canada would have money to put toward a good many useful things.
It has taken a generation for Trudopia to destroy and tear this country apart, one can't expect it to be rebuilt overnight. Particularly when a good portion of the people teaching our youth has been raised to believe in that mantra and are able to ply their trade in a carefully designed social structure.
I only hope that the advent of the new media, in which people like yourself, I and others can get our message out and hopefully have the same effect it has down south.
Posted by: deepblue | 2006-03-02 10:08:12 AM
Americain friends, allies... Mr Deepblue: Maybe we were not there in 2003. I do appology on behalf of our PM at this time he was old......but please do not forget all the times that WE WERE THERE, by your side, shoulder to shoulder to fight for freedom... Tell me, in 1939 why you wait 2 long years to get involved in WW2? Pearl H was reached by the Japanese in 1941 and suddenly you were at war! Sometimes, it takes more time to take the good decision. In Canada, we were the first country to be with you again in 2001 / 2002. We still fight at your side in 2006 in Kandahar. I don't think that you can say that the few country that are serious about war on terror are already there.
Posted by: Franck | 2006-03-02 10:09:03 AM
>I just think that nuking everything in sight that moves in the Middle East might not be the first best response<
Nuking? Once again perception verses reality with no truth. Who has done any nuking? That is another part of the Anti Bush, he is a terrorist crowd I just love. This man has at his disposal an arsenal that certainly could wipe the middle east off the map with out losing nary a soldier. If he is so awful why didn't he do it?
But because he is a visionary and saw that democracy could give these people the freedom they deserve he made that choice and acted on it. Unfortunately it is a messy business, but necessary.
It is a sacrifice that should be supported and appreciated by everyone, not belittled and undermined. Obviously you, like many others support leaving these despots to there own devices, so they can develop nuclear and/or biological weapons and use them on us, or as they already have, on their own people.
That attitude defies logic, much less common sense.
Posted by: deepblue | 2006-03-02 10:44:53 AM
DeepBlue I think the attitude that we can't look back and learn from our mistakes IS the attitude that defies logic.
your reasoning would suggest that to critique the reasons behind any war that America wishes to rush headlong into, is tantamount to fiddling while Rome burns, or in other terms, allowing Americans to die for the Western world's freedoms while we sit around and discuss it.
Did I at any point say I didn't support the Canadian troops in Afghanistan? NO, because I did then and I do now! We do support Americans there. Including being killed by American "friendly fire"!
It is precisely that kind of for me or against me, with no middle ground, no room for criticism, no room for gray zones of partial agreement, with reservations
that causes me to feel distinctly nervous about giving my full and unreserved support for America in this.
I do give a qualified support. Once more into the breach dear friends, we have NO CHOICE but to support you.
Things will get a heck of a lot worse if we don't help the States out to our limited best of our ability.
That does not mean that we can't discuss it, and figure out why things went wrong, and what to do about it in future.
People with a brain generally do put some thought to their actions, and do so with the past in view.
Learn from the past, you won't be condemned to relive it.
Why is questioning this war, and it's reasons a bad thing?
Why does questioning come to the same thing as stabbing them in the back?
Why is questioning and thinking making me into a liberal or a socialist?
Why does questioning the whole chain of events mean that I'm a pacifist?
(I'm not a pacifist btw, but I do understand the thinking, I'm descended from a long line of Quakers, and while I support an armed response, it is with reservations, and not the first thing that springs into my head!)
As for my support for the armed forces of Canada, not that long ago I sent over 100 letters to government over the submarine fiasco to encourage them to consider upping the dollars for the Canadian Armed Forces, demanding that no Canadian will have to give their lives for faulty equipment ever again.
Americans tend to gloss over Canadian support as too little (forgetting we are 1/10th the size)
and too late --forgetting how we were the first to offer practical support to american planes caught in the air in 911, and giving our homes and hospitality to those stranded scared americans or risking our Canadian lives to get your diplomats out of IRAN when things went sideways. Lot's more but hey it doesn't make the news in the States so who cares.
And speaking of being 1/10 the size of America in population and tax base (let's not forget that armies need payment in tax dollars)
AND when the States was contemplating invading Iraq; Canada warned them that we were already stretched to our limits with Afghanistan, not to expect help even if we wanted to, because we don't actually have much in the way of armed forces to spare?
Now America NEEDS help staying the course, and we are their allies, so of course it's in our best interests to help.
But doing some thinking hmmmm Now THERES an act of terror and sedition for you!
Posted by: a canadian who is worried about freedom | 2006-03-02 3:35:30 PM
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