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You didn't pay to see those cards

As the Iraqi government and various "insurgent" factions toss around various ideas for ending the strife, a key element being debated is "amnesty" for the anti-government forces.

Such is always an element in the settlement of any conflict. There has to come a point where the roles everyone played in the struggle is weighed, and the decision on what punishment -- if any -- is merited.

But it's amazing to hear the loudest "hawks" denouncing the mere notion of such a plan are the ones who are the staunchest opponents of the war, those who insist that Bush "lied" us into the war, who call for a withdrawal -- if not immediately, than by a firm deadline.

Here's a little hint, surrender monkeys: if we follow your plans, then we forfeit any right to have any say in the terms settled between the Iraqi government and their enemies. The agreement will be strictly between the concerned parties, and we will not be among them if we're gone.

It reminds me of John Kerry's plan for settling the Iraqi situation: he thought the best thing was to have a sit-down between all the concerned parties, and let them hammer it out. But to Kerry, the "concerned parties" included Iran and Syria, but somehow the Iraqi government itself wasn't to have any say.

Yet again, the Democrats want it both ways. They want to cut and run out of Iraq, yet have a firm say in what happens after we leave. Pity things don't work that way.


Comments (26)

Those who are urging cut an... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

Those who are urging cut and run, who claim Iraq has no positive place in the global war on terrorism or who seem ready to take any position if it could hurt the republican chances at the next election should have their views on how to conclude the war understood in that context. They forfeit their standing on how to win the peace when they stood against winning the war in the first place.

"I fear that in the run-up ... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

"I fear that in the run-up to the 2004 election the administration is considering what is tantamount to a cut-and-run strategy," Kerry told the Council on Foreign Relations. He said it would be "a disaster and a disgraceful betrayal of principle" to allow "a politically expedient withdrawal of American troops."" -- John Kerry, late 2003 prior to the election.

Kerry have said just the op... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Kerry have said just the opposite here lately. Kerry has made a habit of being on both sides of issues. Bush may draw down some troops or may increase them but he has been saying that for some time. Whenever he does, he will be accused of doing it for political reason no matter what.

As for amnesty, some want anyone who tried to kill Americans to be killed or jail but the end of most conflict usually entails amnesty. We didn't kill all of the Germans or even German soldiers. Of course certain conditions have to be met and any violation of those condition can invalidate the amnesty. Also one has to distinguish between different groups such as Saddam loyalist and terrorist groups.

Good try, Jay, but the rece... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Good try, Jay, but the recent amnesty concerns were misplaced. PM Nouri-al-Maliki never intended for amnesty to be extended to the extent that many in our country feared:

"Any amnesty for insurgents will exclude fighters who killed Iraqis or soldiers of the multinational forces because these troops came to Iraq according to international agreements and they are contributing in making the political process successful," he said.

The plan introduced Sunday, which will be debated in parliament, called for amnesty for militants, except those who had killed Iraqis, were involved in terrorism, or committed crimes against humanity. It was thought to have denied amnesty to any insurgent who had killed American forces, although the wording was vague, raising concerns in the United States.

but hey... I'm sure you republicans will think of other reasons to extend our presence in Iraq until it is to your party's political advantage to withdraw. After all, what does $300 million a day and the lives of US soldiers matter when the November elections are approaching and your party's poll numbers are in the basement?

And posts like this make it painfully obvious why the poll numbers are in the basement in the first place. Americans are rejecting the republican agenda of "hate thy neighbor."

Only the fools are saying I... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Only the fools are saying Iraq has no positive place in the GWOT, since our presence in Iraq gives us the best possible strategic access to the two largest state sponsors of terrorism, Syria and Iran.

Only the fools are sayin... (Below threshold)
CaptainsCheetos:

Only the fools are saying Iraq has no positive place in the GWOT, since our presence in Iraq gives us the best possible strategic access to the two largest state sponsors of terrorism, Syria and Iran

Along Saudi Arabia, The UAE, Pakistan, Khazikstan, Egypt, Jordan...

And don't forget Cuba, the bastion of the terror boogeymen.


It's safe to assume you'll be the first on the front lines when we "gain access" to Syria and Iran, Listkeeper?


Pssst.. Where's Osama?

"So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you.i>

Notice that the same ones g... (Below threshold)

Notice that the same ones going ape-shit over amnesty were also the first to complain when we didn't keep the Iraqi military in place after the initial invasion. If they were perfect soldiers who deserved to be forgiven then, why not now?

Hey we got us another ass k... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Hey we got us another ass kisser on here now to go along with lee lee (pucker puss), makie43, OTR and now PFCCheeseCrunch. "Just a trolling along".

Along Saudi Arabia, The ... (Below threshold)

Along Saudi Arabia, The UAE, Pakistan, Khazikstan, Egypt, Jordan...

And don't forget Cuba, the bastion of the terror boogeymen.

There was a substantial difference between Iraq c. 2002 and Saudi [et al] c. 2002 -- if you care to be honest enough to recognize it, that is.

The difference is: stated assistance of the government with the foreign policy of the US.

Even if the assistance was not exactly what we wanted, it was more than the nothing that Iraq provided.

Iraq, on the other hand, was a known and admitted terrorism financier -- officially, as a matter of government policy. The Saudi government does not have any such policy. The Saudi people do. But as folks like you are so fond of reminding us: Saudi is not a democracy and their people are not their government -- which is a theoretical arguement you could make against a democratic nation.

In fact, if you were to pay attention, you'd be aware that the same terrorism which is calling for the destruction of the immoral and vacuous West is also -- and has been for roughly 50 years -- been trying to revolt against the Saudi clan stranglehold on Saudi Arabia's government. Wahabbists don't like Saudis any better than, apparently, you do.

And, if you'd been paying attention, you'd know that "wahabbists" are, essentially, al Qaida.

But I'm not sure you've paid attention to anything beyond your own self-satisfied navel. Because Cuba is not on the outs for being a "terror boogeyman", but a "totalitarian boogeyman". By every administration of every party since JFK.

I know, I know, both are polysyllabic words beginning with 'T' -- it's hard to keep them straight.

No, I won't be on the front... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

No, I won't be on the frontlines for this one, CaptainCheetos... I was medically disqualified from service after the first time around, and all the private contract companies who know me say I'd be stuck stateside as a trainer or an analyst.

The Saudi government has ro... (Below threshold)

The Saudi government has rounded up or gunned down quite a few terrorists over the past few years...face it, after oil and a couple of shrines, they've got nothing but sand, they sure as hell don't want to see the terorrists turn their attention on their pipelines. Of course they did just that not so long ago in a feeble attack that was turned away with extreme prejudice. And yet they have been consistently taking 'official' action that would upset the terorrists and their citizen financiers. There is a very real, very odd, schizo thing that goes on there with the 'official' and 'unofficial' leadership...on one hand we're denounced, on the other we're using their air bases, on one hand they're dancing over terrorist killings, on others they're gunning down the people that bomb our oil workers in their country. There simply isn't a 10 word way to describe SA (as a whole) and terrorism over the past decade or so.

"...he thought the best thi... (Below threshold)
Reality:

"...he thought the best thing was to have a sit-down between all the concerned parties, and let them hammer it out. But to Kerry, the "concerned parties" included Iran and Syria, but somehow the Iraqi government itself wasn't to have any say."

When did Mr. Kerry say this? Do you have a link? Jay, start citing your claims - it makes it easier to discuss them. Seriously.....

There simply isn't a 10 ... (Below threshold)

There simply isn't a 10 word way to describe SA (as a whole) and terrorism over the past decade or so.

Try this:

Attempting to play both sides of the street... and failing.

Following WWII many German ... (Below threshold)
serfer62:

Following WWII many German soldiers were put in labor camps cleaning up the country. Some for years.

I read the anmesty proposal and its pretty good. No anmesty for killers. Period. The goal is to get the Baathists on the govorment side, not the terrorists. Bolton is in on this so I suppose it will be alright...

The Iraqi army was basicall... (Below threshold)
serfer62:

The Iraqi army was basically incompetent. Promotion was based on patronage not competence. The new Iraqi army is pretty damn good and follows ours...

Reality, Kerry's most recen... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Reality, Kerry's most recent plan along those lines was put into the Congressional record on Monday, June 12th. It's a rework of his earlier similar plan, but this time he's kind enough to include The Iraqi Government.

(b) Iraq Summit.--The President should convene a summit as soon as possible that includes the leaders of the Government of Iraq, leaders of the governments of each country bordering Iraq, representatives of the Arab League, the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, representatives of the European Union, and leaders of the governments of each permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, for the purpose of reaching a comprehensive political agreement for Iraq that addresses fundamental issues including federalism, oil revenues, the militias, security guarantees, reconstruction, economic assistance, and border security.

Kerry on his plan for Iraq:... (Below threshold)
Only the fools are sayin... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Only the fools are saying Iraq has no positive place in the GWOT, since our presence in Iraq gives us the best possible strategic access to the two largest state sponsors of terrorism, Syria and Iran.
The Listkeeper

This statement is the height of idiocy. What are we doing, playing RISK? In case you didn't realize, people actually die during invasions, LOTS of people. They're not just little plastic figurines.

There was a substantial difference between Iraq c. 2002 and Saudi [et al] c. 2002 -- if you care to be honest enough to recognize it, that is.
The difference is: stated assistance of the government with the foreign policy of the US.
rwilymz

I do recognize this, but are you honest enough to see the glaring contradiction in Bush's words and US policy?

The contradiction that would has said we want to end tyranny, but we support some tyrannical regimes. Now if the Sauds were overthrown and replaced by Wahhabists. would we be any better off? Probably not in the short term.

But it is exactly regimes like the Sauds that breed the terrorism we are trying to fight, by repressing their people and hoarding the wealth. So yes I admit that there is a difference between Iraq and Saudi Arabia c. 2002, but will you admit that difference is not helping the GWOT? The Saudi people are not going to learn to love march of democracy by continuing to be the subjects of repression.

Jay's statement about Kerry:
he thought the best thing was to have a sit-down between all the concerned parties, and let them hammer it out. But to Kerry, the "concerned parties" included Iran and Syria, but somehow the Iraqi government itself wasn't to have any say.

Listkeeper's statement about Kerry:
The President should convene a summit as soon as possible that includes the leaders of the Government of Iraq, leaders of the governments of each country bordering Iraq,

Any questions?

Yes. It's seriously disturb... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Yes. It's seriously disturbing that Syria and Iran would be at such a summit.

Both are bad actors in the region, and don't need to have ANY input on the future of Iraq except to refrain from trying to influence that future.

The Iraqi army was basic... (Below threshold)
scsiwuzzy:

The Iraqi army was basically incompetent. Promotion was based on patronage not competence.
Were they part of the AFL-CIO?

"This statement is the heig... (Below threshold)

"This statement is the height of idiocy. What are we doing, playing RISK?"

I doubt that RISK is sufficiently detailed to be any kind of a useable model but to answer the substance of your statement... Yes.

RISK is as relevant to geopolitical statesmanship as the Battleship game is to naval warfare, but the facts is, sir, that geographical possitioning *matters*. The geographical location of Iraq makes it valuable in the war against terrorism in a way that Afghanistan could never be.

"In case you didn't realize, people actually die during invasions, LOTS of people. They're not just little plastic figurines."

Wow, you're kidding. They aren't?

It may have escaped your notice but people die for want of invasions as well. You can sin by commission or you can sin by ommission, but you can't not sin, sean. It doesn't work that way.

The initial outrage over ne... (Below threshold)

The initial outrage over news of amnesties for those who fought Coalition forces but not Iraqis was an *easy* choice. It combined an opportunity to be publically and loudly "supportive" of our troops while being critical of the administration that might allow such a travesty.

The problem, of course, is that it simply illustrated their unserious nature.

Amnesty is one of those crappy realities of war. It's not subject to emotions and feelings so getting all offended (gosh, some folks are good at that) on behalf of our soldiers is an insult to their professionalism. Making it personal is playing into a mindset of revenge that completely ignores the goal that everyone had been fighting for.

And I'll say this... any Amnesty *will* involve those who fought Coalition forces. It has to. If it only applies to those that never fought anyone, well that's just silly. Why even bring it up?

Those of you who have decided now that it's all okay because the amnesty would not apply to anyone who might have killed Americans... you need to ask someone what *exacly* they mean by the word "killed."

Most of the comments in thi... (Below threshold)

Most of the comments in this thread follow a pattern of electoral politics. That is, I see some liberals almost tempting conservatives to call for war in other countries, and I see conservatives focusing on what politicians are saying.

Wouldn't it be more fruitful to focus on what's actually happening, rather than the garbage politicians say? We all know politicians are crooks and liars, so why don't we just move beyond them.

The blogger wrote, "[Democrats] want to cut and run out of Iraq, yet have a firm say in what happens after we leave."

I call shenanigans. Have a look at my war timeline. Democrats like Kerry have been actively lying to antiwar groups to channel antiwar energy into dead ends. That is to say, Dems deliberately sabotage the antiwar movement. And if you look at the votes, there is virtually no difference between the parties on Iraq. Both want to occupy and bully Iraqis forever.

Why don't you link to his a... (Below threshold)
Reality:

Why don't you link to his actual plan rather than to other blog posts/opinions including your own. If you link Kerry's actual (full) plan it's much easier to have a discussion.

Your credibility (thus your readership) would greatly increase.

There is a link to his plan... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

There is a link to his plan.


It's posted in the Congressional Record.

This statement is the he... (Below threshold)

This statement is the height of idiocy.

Your puntcuation is incorrect; you needed to follow that statement with a colon to signify the statement which was the height of idiocy, which follows:


What are we doing, playing RISK? In case you didn't realize, people actually die during invasions, LOTS of people. They're not just little plastic figurines.

As was stated, very nicely actually, by another: people die for want of an invasion as well. I can recall very very very clearly the jabbering of the women's rights-ists in the mid-90s demanding that the US invade Afghanistan because of the repressive treatment of women in that nation under the talibanic mullahs. "Women and children are dying!!" was the plaintive wail. Buses in large cities had pictures of dead babies saying "this is what happens when the west doesn't enforce human rights in backward nations..."

Yet, in the lead-up to Iraq/2003, buses in large cities had picture of dead babies captioned as: "this is what happens when the imperialist West regimes changes..."

Can't have it both ways.

Yes people die, but so what? They've always died, and they always will. Eliminating invasions won't stop it, and it'll only make the tinhorn despots do the same killing of the same people in different ways. Nothing changes.

Actually, that's not true. Something very significant has changed in the last two generations. Y'see, "sean/nyc/aa", when the US invades a country making "a lot of people" die, the definition of "a lot" has changed. "A lot" is now significantly smaller than it used to be. Try to find a single case in history where a military force of roughly 400,000 invaded a nation of 25 million, conquered that nation in under two months, inflicted as little enemy combat casualties, as little civilian casualties, and as little of their own casualties as Iraq/2003.

It can't be done.

What else can't be done -- not if you want to be taken seriously as an intellectual debater of the subject, that is -- is declaring historical context to be irrelevant. The fact that modern, US-led wars have SO FEW casualties is significant, and you are dishonest if you don't acknowledge that.

There was a substantial difference between Iraq c. 2002 and Saudi [et al] c. 2002 -- if you care to be honest enough to recognize it, that is.
The difference is: stated assistance of the government with the foreign policy of the US.
rwilymz

are you honest enough to see the glaring contradiction in Bush's words and US policy?

Are you so artless as to be surprised by reality?

The contradiction that would has said we want to end tyranny, but we support some tyrannical regimes.

Here's reality, kid: 75% of the nations in the world are run by tyrants; 90% of the world's population are ruled by tyrants. "Ending tyranny" is a nice political catchphrase, but it's meaningless, and people who pay attention and understand the world as it is, rather than the world as it is described in a superficial PoliSci textbook, knows that.

If we were to "end tyranny" we would be fighting wars non-stop, against the majority of the world. That's neither practical nor winnable. And you may think "well, the repressed people in those nations would support us invading to end their repression ..." No, they won't. Because, as you noted, invasions kill people, and they don't want to be killed by an invasion any more than they want to be killed by their tyrant, and besides, their tyrant has described the US as some big megalithic meany, and who are they gonna believe?

The only way we can survive as a nation is to work with the tyrants who support us, even if it's not complete support, and work against those which don't. There is no "contradiction"; there is self-preservation. Don't be a putz.


Now if the Sauds were overthrown and replaced by Wahhabists. would we be any better off? Probably not in the short term.

Not in any term.


But it is exactly regimes like the Sauds that breed the terrorism we are trying to fight, by repressing their people and hoarding the wealth.

You say that as if it is some new tradition only invented last week and which was never, ever, ever, ever the case anywhere or any time before. You're being a putz again.

If you'd pay attention, these very arguments are those used by the terrorists against Western governments: democratic governments repress the people, give them just enough money to buy the trinkets that keep them mindlessly satisfied with repression, hoard the rest of the vast wealth for themselves, yadda, yadda yadda ... yadda yadda yadda -- and which causes us to struggle against them.

Oh, but you know better? Well, they say the same thing themselves. According to the self-righteous weenies on both sides, the "other form of government" is the real tyranny, the "other form of government" is the one that breeds terrorism, et-freakin-cetera. Pay. Attention.

So yes I admit that there is a difference between Iraq and Saudi Arabia c. 2002, but will you admit that difference is not helping the GWOT?

No. Not for a second. Because it's the same now as it was in any period of history; only the names and locations -- and sometimes not even the locations -- are different. It is irrelevant to the "GWOT".


The Saudi people are not going to learn to love march of democracy by continuing to be the subjects of repression.

And they're not going to end repression by swapping repressers, either. Just the names and locations -- and sometimes not even the locations -- et cetera. Are you paying attention yet?




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