Some time ago, some kind soul thought that my life was just incomplete as long as I lacked semi-regular e-mails from Michael Moore. So they signed me up for his mailing list, and since then my outlook on life has improved as if I'd discovered a new fabric softener or deodorant.
Today, I get another load of crap from the guy who should have stuck to making bogus "documentaries" and stayed the hell out of politics. It was just so delightful, I just had to share it (properly annotated, of course).
Cut and Run, the Only Brave Thing to Do
Sunday, November 26th, 2006
Tomorrow marks the day that we will have been in Iraq longer than we were in all of World War II.
That's right. We were able to defeat all of Nazi Germany, Mussolini, and the entire Japanese empire in LESS time than it's taken the world's only superpower to secure the road from the airport to downtown Baghdad.
And we haven't even done THAT. After 1,347 days, in the same time it took us to took us to sweep across North Africa, storm the beaches of Italy, conquer the South Pacific, and liberate all of Western Europe, we cannot, after over 3 and 1/2 years, even take over a single highway and protect ourselves from a homemade device of two tin cans placed in a pothole. No wonder the cab fare from the airport into Baghdad is now running around $35,000 for the 25-minute ride. And that doesn't even include a friggin' helmet.
Mr. Moore here (along with the rest of those making the World War II comparison) betrays his utter ignorance of history here. The US involvement in World War II did, indeed last 1,347 days, counting from the attack on Pearl Harbor until the surrender of Japan -- but that was the actual war-fighting. The "major combat operations." Because we were fighting three modern, industrialized, militarized nations, we had to crush each of them utterly. Italy fell when its own people turned on their fascist masters. Germany had to be almost literally bombed back to the stone age, then invaded and nearly every inch conquered. And Japan was bracing for a similar fate when they noticed that two of their cities had put up "gone fission" signs, and we were promising to continue doing that to more cities.
A truer comparison would be from the date of the US invasion (March 20, 2003) to the fall of Baghdad and the collapse of the Baathist government (April 9) -- three weeks.
Now, of course, Mr. Moore is conflating the major combat parts with the occupation and rebuilding. Since he brought up World War II, let's take a look at that.
Germany remained under Allied control until 1949, when the Western powers ceded their districts to the Federal Republic of Germany and the Soviets created their puppet regime of the German Democratic Republic. This partitioning remained until 1990, when the German people finally took their fate back into their own hands -- and got away with it, because the Soviets were far too busy worrying about their own rapidly-dissolving totalitarian regime. That brings the total time of "war and occupation" to about 49 years, give or take a few months.
Unless, of course, you count "occupation" as "having US forces still present." In which case, we come up to the present day.
In Japan, the official occupation lasted until 1952 -- ten years and change after Pearl Harbor. And as in Germany, US forces are still present, so it can be argued that we are still stuck in the "quagmire" of World War II.
Is this utter failure the fault of our troops? Hardly. That's because no amount of troops or choppers or democracy shot out of the barrel of a gun is ever going to "win" the war in Iraq. It is a lost war, lost because it never had a right to be won, lost because it was started by men who have never been to war, men who hide behind others sent to fight and die.
But let's go back to Mr. Moore's touchstone, World War II. We actually did inflict "democracy shot out of the barrel of a gun" on Germany and Japan, and it seems to be holding up. And President Roosevelt never served a day in his life in uniform, yet he sent hundreds of thousands of Americans off to fight and die in a war that eventually cost millions of lives.
Let's listen to what the Iraqi people are saying, according to a recent poll conducted by the University of Maryland:
** 71% of all Iraqis now want the U.S. out of Iraq.
** 61% of all Iraqis SUPPORT insurgent attacks on U.S. troops.
Yes, the vast majority of Iraqi citizens believe that our soldiers should be killed and maimed! So what the hell are we still doing there? Talk about not getting the hint.
I kind of lost a lot of my faith in "polls" and "surveys" a long time ago. We tried government policy by polling back in the 1990's, and it didn't work out too well then.
There are many ways to liberate a country. Usually the residents of that country rise up and liberate themselves. That's how we did it. You can also do it through nonviolent, mass civil disobedience. That's how India did it. You can get the world to boycott a regime until they are so ostracized they capitulate. That's how South Africa did it. Or you can just wait them out and, sooner or later, the king's legions simply leave (sometimes just because they're too cold). That's how Canada did it.
Of course, none of the examples fit the Iraq model. All those examples are of the end of the British colonial empire. The United States drove them out by force. India appealed to the British conscience. Canada just outwaited the British. And South Africa's apartheid structure was a legacy of colonialism.
In Iraq, the government had no ties to foreign powers. It was an entirely native-born tyranny.
Also, none of the examples Moore cites were of a nation that threatened its neighbors, employed WMDs against its enemies both foreign and domestic, and routinely flouted the terms of its surrender in a prior war.
The one way that DOESN'T work is to invade a country and tell the people, "We are here to liberate you!" -- when they have done NOTHING to liberate themselves.
Tell that to the Kurds and the southern Shiites. They rose up against Saddam, on our encouragement, after the first Gulf War. But in a stunningly cynical display of realpolitik, our government (mainly Jim Baker, I believe), we hung them out to dry and allowed Saddam to slaughter them wholesale.
And then tell it to the Germans and the Japanese.
Where were all the suicide bombers when Saddam was oppressing them? Where were the insurgents planting bombs along the roadside as the evildoer Saddam's convoy passed them by? I guess ol' Saddam was a cruel despot -- but not cruel enough for thousands to risk their necks. "Oh no, Mike, they couldn't do that! Saddam would have had them killed!" Really? You don't think King George had any of the colonial insurgents killed? You don't think Patrick Henry or Tom Paine were afraid? That didn't stop them. When tens of thousands aren't willing to shed their own blood to remove a dictator, that should be the first clue that they aren't going to be willing participants when you decide you're going to do the liberating for them.
The only way a war of liberation has a chance of succeeding is if the oppressed people being liberated have their own citizens behind them -- and a group of Washingtons, Jeffersons, Franklins, Ghandis and Mandellas leading them. Where are these beacons of liberty in Iraq? This is a joke and it's been a joke since the beginning. Yes, the joke's been on us, but with 655,000 Iraqis now dead as a result of our invasion (source: Johns Hopkins University), I guess the cruel joke is on them. At least they've been liberated, permanently.
I thought Moore had gotten past his odious comparison of the Iraqi terrorists to our Founding Fathers, but I guess he is still stuck on stupid here and thinks that Patrick Henry and Tom Paine would be proud to be compare to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Muqtada al-Sadr.
During the American Revolution, the biggest strike against a purely civilian target was, to the best of my recollection, the Boston Tea Party -- an economic strike against a private business. In Iraq, civilians are often the target of choice by those who Moore so vilely compares to the original Minutemen.
So, where were all these insurgents during Saddam's regime? A great deal of them were part of it. Even more weren't even in Iraq at the time. And some -- the younger ones -- were still children.
And it must be remembered that Saddam DID NOT TOLERATE dissent. Kindly note that in his recent trial, he was charged -- and convicted -- of ordering mass killings in the village of Dujail. The offense? Someone had tried to assassinate him near there.
So I don't want to hear another word about sending more troops (wake up, America, John McCain is bonkers), or "redeploying" them, or waiting four months to begin the "phase-out." There is only one solution and it is this: Leave. Now. Start tonight. Get out of there as fast as we can. As much as people of good heart and conscience don't want to believe this, as much as it kills us to accept defeat, there is nothing we can do to undo the damage we have done. What's happened has happened. If you were to drive drunk down the road and you killed a child, there would be nothing you could do to bring that child back to life. If you invade and destroy a country, plunging it into a civil war, there isn't much you can do 'til the smoke settles and blood is mopped up. Then maybe you can atone for the atrocity you have committed and help the living come back to a better life.
OK, folks, the war's over and we lost. Michael Moore, a college dropout who never served a day in the military, says so. And John McCain, a man who spent years being tortured as a prisoner of war, is "bonkers."
I recall McCain at the 2004 Republican National Convention, when he singled out Michael Moore for a slam from the podium (and a round of boos from the audience). Could Moore still be mad about his little moment in the limelight?
Apparently Mr. Moore thinks that once the United States leaves, everything will be just hunky-dory. Those people currently blowing up and shooting and beheading civilians by the scores will just up and quit, quite possibly being "greeted with flowers as liberators."
The Soviet Union got out of Afghanistan in 36 weeks. They did so and suffered hardly any losses as they left. They realized the mistake they had made and removed their troops. A civil war ensued. The bad guys won. Later, we overthrew the bad guys and everybody lived happily ever after. See! It all works out in the end!
Funny how Moore fast-forwards from "the bad guys won" to "we overthrew the bad guys." What happened in the meantime? Well, a little thing called the Taliban happened -- the Islamist thugs who brutally oppressed their own people and gave a home to an innocuous little group called Al Qaeda. You might have heard of them -- they're the ones who killed 3,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia back in September of 2001. Yeah, that's an example we should be looking to emulate.
The responsibility to end this war now falls upon the Democrats. Congress controls the purse strings and the Constitution says only Congress can declare war. Mr. Reid and Ms. Pelosi now hold the power to put an end to this madness. Failure to do so will bring the wrath of the voters. We aren't kidding around, Democrats, and if you don't believe us, just go ahead and continue this war another month. We will fight you harder than we did the Republicans. The opening page of my website has a photo of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, each made up by a collage of photos of the American soldiers who have died in Bush's War. But it is now about to become the Bush/Democratic Party War unless swift action is taken.
My, someone's feeling his oats. "Do what I say, or I'll put pictures of you up on my web site?"
What makes Michael Moore think that he holds such sway over the Democratic Party?
Hmm... maybe his place of honor next to Jimmy Carter at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Or perhaps it was the number of Democratic leaders who attended the premiere of "Fahrenheit 9/11" -- and praised it. Like it or not, the Democrats decided to embrace him -- and now they have to live with his sweaty arms all over them.
This is what we demand:
1. Bring the troops home now. Not six months from now. NOW. Quit looking for a way to win. We can't win. We've lost. Sometimes you lose. This is one of those times. Be brave and admit it.
2. Apologize to our soldiers and make amends. Tell them we are sorry they were used to fight a war that had NOTHING to do with our national security. We must commit to taking care of them so that they suffer as little as possible. The mentally and physically maimed must get the best care and significant financial compensation. The families of the deceased deserve the biggest apology and they must be taken care of for the rest of their lives.
3. We must atone for the atrocity we have perpetuated on the people of Iraq. There are few evils worse than waging a war based on a lie, invading another country because you want what they have buried under the ground. Now many more will die. Their blood is on our hands, regardless for whom we voted. If you pay taxes, you have contributed to the three billion dollars a week now being spent to drive Iraq into the hellhole it's become. When the civil war is over, we will have to help rebuild Iraq. We can receive no redemption until we have atoned.
I think we've seen this before. Oh, yeah, Viet Nam, especially the first and third points. The second point is the one lesson the anti-war movement learned from that conflict -- as emotionally gratifying it is to spit on the troops and call them baby-killers, it's a bad PR move long-term.
Of course, Moore neglects to mention that those engaging in rebuilding Iraq right now are among the favored targets of his "Minutemen." He doesn't explain just how our rebuilding will happen without our getting butchered -- that's one of the main jobs of our forces in Iraq right now, and if they come home and wait for the slaughtering to subside, we're going to have a very, very long wait.
And in the meantime, how many more will be killed?
In closing, there is one final thing I know. We Americans are better than what has been done in our name. A majority of us were upset and angry after 9/11 and we lost our minds. We didn't think straight and we never looked at a map. Because we are kept stupid through our pathetic education system and our lazy media, we knew nothing of history. We didn't know that WE were the ones funding and arming Saddam for many years, including those when he massacred the Kurds. He was our guy. We didn't know what a Sunni or a Shiite was, never even heard the words. Eighty percent of our young adults (according to National Geographic) were not able to find Iraq on the map. Our leaders played off our stupidity, manipulated us with lies, and scared us to death.
Yeah, some of us did lose our minds. Michael Moore among them, who is the most prominent proponent of the "Bush did it!" theory. Others of us woke up to the real threats.
"Our pathetic education system and lazy media?" Way to go, Mike. You just pissed all over two of the Democrats' biggest groups of cheerleaders -- teachers and the press.
"WE were the ones funding and arming Saddam for many years?" Yeah, we backed him when he took on Iran -- he was the "lesser of two evils," and he seemed to provide a check on Iranian expansion. As far as funding and arming him -- from 1973 to 1990, the United States supplied Saddam with a grand total of 0.5% of his imported arms -- all between 1983 and 1989. The three leading nations were the Soviet Union, France, and China -- and as I recall, Russia, China, and France were three leading members of the Security Council that opposed the US-led invasion.
But at our core we are a good people. We may be slow learners, but that "Mission Accomplished" banner struck us as odd, and soon we began to ask some questions. Then we began to get smart. By this past November 7th, we got mad and tried to right our wrongs. The majority now know the truth. The majority now feel a deep sadness and guilt and a hope that somehow we can make make it all right again.
Unfortunately, we can't. So we will accept the consequences of our actions and do our best to be there should the Iraqi people ever dare to seek our help in the future. We ask for their forgiveness.
Funny, I don't recall that last election being a referendum on anything. In its most visible race, anti-war Ned Lamont managed to do do the unthinkable -- lose as a Democrat in Connecticut -- and war champion Joe Lieberman retained his seat.
And as far as guilt... sorry, that's the purview of the hypersensitive, blame-America-first, whiny gits. I feel a sense of responsibility, but it's not the sort that makes me want to run back home and apologize to the world in the hopes that they'll eventually like us again.
Because I don't recall things the way that Michael Moore and his ilk do. I recall a vast outpouring of sympathies for the United States after 9/11, but I also recall a lot of people cheering and rejoicing, and a lot of people saying that "we should look at what provoked it" and a healthy dose of fear -- of how the United States would respond to that savage attack.
It affirmed one of my core beliefs: that the United States is only truly loved and accepted when we're on our knees -- either reeling from a surprise attack, or begging forgiveness and offering bribes for acceptance.
We demand the Democrats listen to us and get out of Iraq now.
OK, a little bit of grammatical snark: I have no problems with this. But I don't think that there are a lot of Democrats in Iraq now anyway.
Thanks for your advice, Mike. As a student of international affairs and scholar of matters military and political scientist, you're one hell of a propagandist.