September 28, 2005

Response to Wanda

A couple days ago, I was commenting in my favorite Progressive blogger's site when she left me the following question in the thread. I knew my response would be far too long to put in the thread, so I've responded to it here.

LC/IB, I'm curious, exactly what is it that you 'believe' we are fighting for over there? Is it freedom and democracy? If so, then you should read A Fist in the Hornets Nest by Richard Engel. You'd see just how much 'democracy' has really been attained.

Yes Wanda, that's EXACTLY what I believe we are fighting for....Most importantly, our own. I certainly hope that Iraq will come through the other side of this conflict with a political system closer to our own than has previously existed, but thats just a part of the strategy. Iraq and Afghanistan themselves are just part of a larger strategy. Neither country will ever be a carbon clone of US style democracy, nor should they be, but it's a historical fact that democracies have never attacked each other. We are trying to affect change in the entire Middle East, and founding an Arab style democracy is just the start in that continuing policy. By showing that it CAN work, it puts pressure on the surrounding countries to force change within their own borders. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Syria,Egypt,Iran, et al. We can't fight all these countries on a military basis (without resorting to nuclear; which NO one wants), but by providing an example of change in Iraq and Afghanistan; we are attacking, and hopefully effecting change, in those regimes.

You might say "what gives us the right to try to foment these changes", and my response would simply be "Our right to survive as WE see fit". These countries have been fighting a clandestine war against us, using the radical groups as proxies for over 20 years; we either wake up, and fight back in the best way possible, or we might just as well start issuing out the prayer rugs and bow five times a day to our masters in Mecca.

I'm gratified that you didn't resort to the old tired meme of "it's a war for oil". The fact is that oil IS a part of it. We depend on it now, and for the foreseeable future, to drive our industrial society. BUT we didn't begin this to steal Iraqi oil, if that were the case, we wouldn't be paying over $3. a gallon for it now would we? Stabilizing the region will ensure that we can trade for it on the open market. The prices will remain high, I fear, due to the increased demand/usage in China and India, but that will be a war fought on the (hopefully)level playing field of international competition. I still have faith that new energy breakthroughs will originate here, moving that field to new areas.

I've not read the book, so I can't comment on Mr. Engel's thesis.

Iraq is a country populated by the Shiite's, the Kurds, and the Sunni's. The hatred between these tribes is so intense there will never be a bridge strong enough to bring them together. There will always be one tribe that will be at war with the other two. This is a fact of life. Read up on your Iraqi history. Iraq will never be a democratic country for at least one of those tribes. Never.

The tribal differences are a serious problem in bringing Iraq into the democratic fold, but I believe that it can be might take a generation to come to full fruition, but just dismissing the problem as insurmountable seems to me to smack of the "racism against little brown people" that Progressives are so fond at hurling at my side of the aisle.
You might take note that in our own history, there were similar enmities among various factions of the American population, some of them almost as intense as that between the tribes. IF the (Iraqi)constitution is crafted in the right way, and all parties can agree to submit to the rule of law essential to a functioning democracy, who are you to say that they are any less capable of doing so than we were?

If you STILL believe there were WMD's or that Iraq was somehow connected to Al Qaida, or 9/11 then you should try reading and watching something OTHER than FOX cable news. In fact even several of their news journalist have admitted they no longer believe there were WMD's or a connection between Iraq and 9/11 or Al Qaida.

We've been over this ground countless times, Wanda. If you would take a closer look at what made it into the 9/11 report, you will note that even in that politically charged, watered down, mishmash of results in the report state that Saddam WAS a prime financer/enabler of terrorism. And with some of the Able Danger information coming out, I believe that evidence will be strengthened. Salmon Pak WAS a terrorist training camp.

It's true that there is no evidence that Saddam was directly involved in the planning or implemetation of 9/11, and I've never claimed such. There IS, however an abundance of evidence that he and his regime had close contacts with Al Quaida, and a number of high level A-Q operatives resided in Iraq both before 9/11, and after the fall of the Taliban. Did the two groups like each other? Hell NO, but unlike the average Progressive, they can set aside their differences to progress against a common perceived foe. Should they ever reach the point that their foe is vanquished in their eyes, I have no doubt that they would turn on each other like two packs of wolves, but at the time, they both provided each other something they both wanted and needed, A-Q the funds and training areas to foment terrorism, and in return Saddam got "plausible deniability" of being a terorist himself. They were both using the other for their own separate goals, they were both aware of this fact, and managed to make it work. Some have denied the possibility on the grounds that A-Q is bgased in religion, and Saddam was a secular leader, but this really isn't so. A-Q is a political movement that couches it's terms in a religious framework, and has oft been noted, "politics makes for strange bedfellows".

Just last month a large cache of chemical weapons was discovered in Iraq...I suppose that you believe the "Insurgents" developed and manufactured them? We've found artillery shells containing Sarin and VX...granted, they were old, but then again, according to the Saddam regime, supposedly they had been destroyed. An entire wing of aircraft was found buried in the sand... What else is hidden? Saddam had almost 16 months to transfer his illegal weapons to other countries, or hide them. Saddam's own NBC scientists stated that even the programs that had been "shut down" could have been restarted and going full tilt within a matter of months, should Saddam believe it safe to do so.
Personally, I'd rather not play that kind of Russian Roulette with a state sponsor of Terrorism.

If you think we're fighting over there so that we don't have to fight over here, your delusional. Incidents of terror are UP worldwide since we invaded Iraq. No, there hasn't been another attack here in the US, but there was a seven year lull between the first attack on the WTC in 1993 and 9/11.

And how many other incidents against American resources/facilities in that 7 year lull? The fact is that other than IED's and raids in Iraq and Afghanistan, no American assets have been beset since the start of hostilities.

It's true that Britain, Spain and Indonesia have been the victims of loathsome acts, and there have been reports of thwarted attempts in Australia. Which only goes to prove that we are dealing with an implacable enemy that we either defeat, or be defeated by.

BTW...just WHY did A-Q commit those acts in Indonesia!?, a country with a 99% Muslim population, and not involved in the hostilities? What the Left has failed to realize is that we have been at war with these groups for almost twenty years, it was only after 9/11 that it became an "open" war, indeed the first time the general population even became aware of it at all. Read the stated goals of A-Q, of creating a worldwide Caliphate, and you might come to realize that there is no negotiation that will stop them (at least for any longer than it takes for them to regroup and rearm)

Even the so called "moderate" groups such as C.A.I.R. talk among themselves of replacing the Constitution with Shar'ia Law. (They say in a "peaceful manner", once all us backward infidels see the light.) And time and again we've found that many of these "moderate" groups are channeling funds to Hamas, A-Q, and Islamic Jihad.

So for all we know the plans are in the making for another, even more deadlier attack right here at home. Then what will you say?

The question is not IF there will be another terrorist event in America, but rather WHEN. We could pull every soldier out of every other country in the world tomorrow, and that attack will still come. I only hope and pray that our covert intelligence agencies are up to the task of forstalling as many as possible, but sooner or later, it WILL occur, and then we can only hope that enough citizens have made whatever preparations they could to fend for themselves for the time it will take for authorities to be able to help the situation, and that the Local/State/Federal response will work better than the Katrina fiasco did.

What is it going to take for you to admit this has been an unnecessary, unmitigated war against a country that NEVER committed a single act of war or aggression against the United States?

I would say that firing on US patrol planes on an almost daily basis during the cessation of hostilities between GW 1 and 2 were all acts of war. Thats just me of course...I realize that Progressives may hold a more "nuanced" view of that...

And remember that there was never a peace treaty signed at the end of GW1, merely an agreement to suspend hostilities as long as Saddam complied with the terms laid out; he never did fully comply with those terms, OR the 16 UN resolutions in that period.

If Saddam was an evil bastard, then he was an evil man WE helped create.

If we created him, then it's our responsibilty to take him out as well, No? Can't have it both ways.

The soldiers in Iraq aren't fighting for freedom, democracy, or to protect Americans.

I obviously disagree with that statement for all the reasons I've outlined above.

They are fighting to stay alive.

Thats what ALL soldiers have done since the beginning of time, and will probably do untill the last trump calls.

One day at a time.

Redundant to the above, and same answer as above.

They are understaffed, overworked, underpaid, and forgotten.

Good work Wanda, you're three for three! I would contest the "forgotten", at least insofar as my circles go. Yours, I can't speak to.

Lip service doesn't count. If you REALLY care about THEM, then do something to help them come home.

I want them home as much as you do Wanda, I've lost far too many friends already, but I have this problem with bringing them home before the job is done. Soldiers know the job they have to do, and all the "Jakes" notwithstanding, I believe that the greatest number of them want to finish well too.

The war in my term of service was lost in the newsrooms and on the college campi; the soldiers won every battle they fought and died in despite the fact of being mis-micromanaged by polititians and not by the generals who should have been given the job, but the war was lost in the court of public opinion at home, making those sacrifices all the more painful.

I'd hate to see that repeated. That would spell, if not the end, the beginning of the end of this country, and I love her far too much to let that happen without doing whatever small things I can to prevent it. Even if all I can do is argue for what I believe in on my blog and in comments on other blogs.

Posted by Delftsman3 at September 28, 2005 03:54 PM | TrackBack

"... do something to help them come home."

I am: I'm paying taxes, following news (MSM here and abroad, blogs...), and insofar as I can supporting their mission - which if successful will not only bring most of them "home" but keep them here.

Posted by: John Anderson at September 28, 2005 05:45 PM

I am in Iraq right now and I know for certain that we are not forgotten, nor are we understaffed. Underpaid,yep; overworked, sometimes. What many don't remember is that we volunteered to do this job, knowing full well the risks inherent in our chosen profession. Nobody wants to be home more than we (soldiers) do, but not at the expense of leaving the mission not accomplished. If that means coming back next year, then that is what I will gladly do. I absolutely miss my family and friends, but there are things which must be done, first, before we can enjoy the freedoms that all of the antiwar crowd enjoys on a daily basis BECAUSE OF OUR SACRIFICES. Getting Iraq's governing bodies and priciples in place is one of those things.


Posted by: armybryan at September 29, 2005 12:11 PM

My goodness, you spent all of that time trying to convince people who can never understand and whose ultimate reply is typically F-U. You have more hope and patience than do I. Excellent responses, though, for those of us who can think.

Posted by: Woody at September 29, 2005 05:31 PM
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