Thursday, October 26, 2006

Its the war, stupid

I am not one who is under the illusion, as some are, that winning a war should always be quick and easy, nor do I indulge myself in the fantasy that war should never be waged or that there is never a good reason to fight a war. Ecclesiastes tells us that for everything there is a season, including a time for war and a time for peace. Knowing that there is a season for all things, it can also be presumed that one must use discernment in determining what "season" it is. Where Iraq is concerned, I think it is a very fair assessment to conclude that the President of the United States was not a good judge of the seasons when he elected to send American troops to Iraq.

It is often the case that people in public life suffer terrible political consequences for decisions that later prove to be very wise. Some have said that this may come to be the case with Iraq, but if that is true I fail to see how it has been wise to replace a dictator who kept general order in the region with a so-called Prime Minister who attempts to dictate the terms of his government's cooperation to the very country that allowed him to rise to power in the first place. There is no benefit in being told what to do by your own children, and this is apparently the case where the present government of Iraq is concerned. It is true that Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator who is undoubtedly guilty of incalculable crimes against his own people. If this is America's standard for intervention, I can think of dozens of leaders around the world who needed to be deposed before we got around to Saddam, including the psychopath in Pyongyang.

"But David," you say "when the war began, our people believed Saddam had weapons of mass destruction." One thing our intelligence gatherers were quite certain of was that if Saddam had these weapons, he had no means to deliver them. Unlike North Korea, Saddam had no great love for Iran or for Al Qaeda and was in no mood to deal with them.

When the war in Iraq began, America was already at war in Afghanistan. The American people were fully behind that expedition, and I believe that had America made the Himalayas our only theater of operation, the American people would continue to be fully behind the mission whatever the cost-we understand the need to stop the Taliban. Our neglect of the Afghan theater is causing the hated Taliban to re-emerge.

Iraq is a present reality, and despite what the Democrats say in public, they privately know that the U.S. cannot arbitrarily remove our forces. We are not in a position in the world to do this, at it makes us look weak and willing to cave at the first cracks of political pressure. It does not matter that in the eyes of the American people the withdrawal would be taking place because the war never should have taken place to begin with, that is not what our enemies around the world see.

The only thing the American people can do to show their disapproval of this war is punish the party in power. As we approach election day, it is clear that this kind of punishment is going to take place, and a lot of good people may go down with the ship. There is a slim chance the GOP may hang on to both Houses of Congress, but if they do it will be with a slim and nearly unworkable majority. Along with the war, corruption in this Congress has made a mockery of the Revolution of 1994 that the grassroots worked so hard to build.

Perhaps it all could have been prevented had certain people in Washington been good judges of the seasons.

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2 Comments:

At Saturday, October 28, 2006 4:08:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

David,
Interesting take on everything. I wanted to reply before now but I got busy/strung out on other stuff.
Not fun stuff either.
The Iraq War was a tremendous blunder - the full import of which won't be known for years. Every aspect of it; the conception, planning, execution and so on was screwed up.
The really scarey part of all of it is the amount of denial that is part and parcel of the arguements made, beleifs held, and excuses given by those in charge.
A sudden and hasty pull out from Iraq would not be good for America. Fact true. However, under present leadership things will continue until that is only option left.

SteveMule

 
At Monday, October 30, 2006 10:06:00 AM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

Steve;
The problem is that there seem to be enough people out there who think a shift in power will mean and end to this war for America.

As much as I would like to see the war ended, that is not the reality of the situation, and people who think about policy in a serious way understand this-I saw James Carville say as much on MSNBC the other day in one of the best interviews I have ever heard him give (in the sense that he spoke frankly and gave his honest opinion as opposed to the political spin he normally feels compelled to give because of his line of work). I was against the war from the beginning and would love to see it ended, but the beggest reason I was opposed to the war before it began was because I knew very well that once it started, it was a long-term commitment from which we would not see an end for many, many years.

 

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