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Iraq - An Examination

It is an axiom of mine, that anyone who goes around making noise about issues of note, should be willing to test and re-examine their own beliefs and assumptions every now and then. Therefore, I am taking another look at the war in Iraq, testing claims made by both ends of the spectrum. I would suggest as I begin, that in my experience few people on the Left are willing to test their own assumptions, so this is hardly an exercise in balance, but for all that it is worth the look.

The odd thing about all the debate surrounding Iraq, is that neither of the two major camps ever seems to pursue the most valid criticism of the other side, in my opinion because it would require granting a degree of validity to their complaint. It is reasonable, for example, for the Left to challenge comparisons between the War on Terror and our presence in Iraq, to the Allied effort in World War 2. Not that Mr. Ahmadinejad and Mr. Assad do not show similarities in their goals and ideology to Mr. Hitler and Mr. Stalin, but the Middle East is not Europe, the forces of Iran and Syria are not at all comparable to the well-planned legions of the Reich and the USSR, and the United States faces a much different culture in the Middle East than in Europe. After all, in World War 2 the prevailing religion of the region in Europe was sympathetic to Americans, while the prevailing religion in the Middle East is by no means sympathetic, nor even neutral. The Pacific theater was much the same as Europe, in that the United States generally enjoyed a good reputation except for the Japanese troops. The Left could very reasonably point out these ways in which the War in Iraq is not like World War 2.

The Right, of course, can even more easily dispose of the myth that Iraq is like Vietnam. In Vietnam, the United States was not responding to any specific threat, and chose to support a corrupt regime simply because it was not Communist. The U.S. Congress and leadership ignored their field officers and failed to listen to the men in the battles. In Iraq, despite all the claims to the contrary, the United States has addressed a specific threat to U.S. interests, international terrorist groups who would overthrow nations friendly to the West and the United States. For the most part, the Iraqi people respect and trust the American troops; the "insurgency" is more and more proving to be a loose coalition of Baathists who have nothing to lose by fighting the Americans, radical Muslims who have bought into the lie that the United States wants a puppet state, and waves of foreign fighters recruited, trained, supplied and directed by Iran and Syria. There was never a 'War for Oil', excepting that the nations which tried to prevent the removal of Saddam Hussein were profiting by their deals with him - honest deals would hurt their business, and yet the Left never pays attention to greed when it is born and raised in France or Germany. The war was legal in every substantive sense, from Saddam's repeated violations of the cease-fire terms, to the attempted assassination of President G.H.W. Bush, the constant firing-on of Coalition aircraft by Iraqi ground fire, the fraud so commonly present in the U.N. Food-for-Oil program, and Saddam's constant refusal to provide proof that he had properly disposed of the known WMD stockpiles, again as required by the cease-fire agreement. Iraq was necessary, right, and properly fought. In any historical sense, less than five thousand U.S. combat deaths in five years is a success story. Yet I am convinced that the Right will be much quicker to admit that Iraq is not D-Day, than the Left will be to admit that Iraq is not Vietnam, and never was.

- continued -

So why the fervor on Iraq? Essentially, I think, it comes down to the fact that Americans usually prefer a war where things return to status quo ante. That condition is not possible here. Instead, we were left in 2003 with the choice between letting Saddam continue to do as he pleased, with unknown consequences, or going in and taking him out. Americans strongly disapproved of not invading Iraq in 1991, and that sentiment only gained strength through the years. And the 9/11 attacks, as much as the Left tries to deny it, radically changed the matrix. The connection between Saddam and 9/11 was not that Saddam had anything directly to do with 9/11, but that he stood alongside the monsters who did it, allied with them in mind and spirit. It's easy now, with so much attention focused on U.S. casualties and the propaganda of people like Michael Moore, to forget that the reason the Congressional authorization for the war passed so easily was not some lie or trick by the Bush Administration, but the national mood which demanded action to set things right. Going in and taking out Saddam would mean rebuilding the country, to prevent a vacuum which would surely be filled by Syria and Iran, but it also meant a unique opportunity, to give Arabs a chance at running their own country. Kings and Mullahs and Dictators of many types have filled the region for countless years; what passed for elections in the Middle East would be laughed at in derision even by veterans of Chicago and New York politics. The tens of millions who defied death squads in Iraq to vote, proved that Arabs are every bit as thirsty for a Democratic Republic, as anyone in the United States. The Left never stops to ask itself why so many veterans of the Iraq War continue to re-enlist; in large part it's because they believe in the mission, a fact which must not be glossed over or forgotten.

In the end, Iraq was a victory, but it remains to be seen to what degree. If we leave too soon, the Islamists could too easily gain control of Iraq and begin a bloodbath not seen since Pol Pot, another history the Left denies because they cannot accept their role in creating it. On the other hand, Republicans must understand that our commitment cannot be open-ended in Iraq; while we keep bases in perpetuity in Japan and Germany, this depends on the national will as much as the need for them. As desirable as it would be to have a quick-response force in Iraq to stabilize the Middle East from the next madman who thinks Allah wants him to invade a neighboring country, to pretend that we could maintain such a force at similar cost to our bases in Germany and Japan is naïve. The ideal resolution remains to be determined, but the best course for both Left and Right would be to work for a scale-down without a time table, but which makes clear the expectation of Iraq's self-determination in arms. It would need to keep open the prospect of returning U.S. troops if and when the need arose, and indeed should include plans for future U.S. military exercises in the area to warn the neighbors that the United States would always be able to do whatever was necessary. But for here the need to define 'victory' and to stand together as a nation is the most important mission. The Left and Right would find it distasteful to stand alongside one another, I do not doubt, but the Right needs the Left to be part of the national message, and the Left needs the Right in order to hope that the war may hope for an end.


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Comments (39)

In Sistani We Trust.... (Below threshold)
kim:

In Sistani We Trust.
=========

In the end, Iraq was a v... (Below threshold)
Radio Deux:

In the end, Iraq was a victory, but it remains to be seen to what degree.

Move those goalposts further. This will be the new GOP slogan...We won, we're just not sure what...yet

I agree we should work towa... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

I agree we should work towards a drawdown in troops, but only as the Iraqis are able to defend their own territory.

To set an arbitrary date would be to give the terrorists hope that all they must do is hold out until that date and then they can go on a rampage again.

To withdraw prematurely, either by an arbitrary date or through the actions of a Congress with a wide yellow streak down its back, would be to become implicit in genocide. Even the NY Slimes admits that genocide is what would happen if we left early.

The current strategy, of which the "Troop Surge" is only the first phase, is predicated on both clearing an area for the Iraqi forces to take over as the primary (but not only) armed forces in the that area. This permits more of the American forces to clear another area, as well as giving the Iraqi troops actual combat experience, something many of them are sorely lacking.

Once a few Iraqi units have been "blooded" and have shown that they are able to control an area, even the US troops that were there as backup can move on. Eventually, the Iraqi troops will be holding the entire country and we can bring our boys home, victorious! (Of course, the lefties want nothing less than victorious soldiers coming home, because the lefties see an American victory as a loss for their worldview... and besides, those soldiers might think they were actually worthwhile people, which all lefties know is untrue--to a lefty, a soldier is automatically a rapist and murderer. But enough of channeling a lefty.)

That's how you do a drawdown. Not "We're gonna pull them out 1 April 2008 no matter what."

It may take one year, it may take 5, it may take 10. But if we want to avoid genocide, it must be done.

Good post, not to be picky,... (Below threshold)

Good post, not to be picky, but it is:

Office of the Iraq Programme
Oil-for-Food

Not Food-for Oil.
DKK

AS you are aware..today Rep... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

AS you are aware..today Republicans voted against cloture on a Webb/Hagel bill that supported our troops and their families.
This bill was simple...regular troops should be given the same time months away from Iraq as they spend in Iraq. It also required time away from Iraq for the Reserves.

Don't ever let me hear "We support the troops" from anyone who voted against this. Don't ever let me hear "We support the troops" from any here who support this action by Republicans...

This measure was a simple recognition that we are sending our brave men and women back to combat without rest. Without contact with their families...I am sure all here over 50 supporting our troops served during Viet Nam You know combat war limited to one tour unless volunteer.
For those here under 42? Join up! You all(what now 30% of America?)believe in this this...put your ass where your rhetoric is...
Where is your sacrifice?...We are now spending 12 Billion $$ a month. Where is your call to pay more taxes to support this?
I can understand your fear in not joining..but you are not willing to pay higher taxes?
These men here who served there showed more courage by going...and more courage after they came home than any of you
Denver...July 4th
http://picasaweb.google.com/cblikeshikes/OperationFirstCasualtyDenver/photo#s5083489327493585186

Every day...the first place you should visit is
http://icasualties.org/oif/

Forget Dan Rather...Bush could have done like hundreds of thousands of us did and go to Viet Nam...he was trained but never volunteered...
But as least he served...unlike the coward Cheney...unlike so many here...who would probably not make it through boot camp...
We will leave because America demands it...but each day of delay brings more unnecessary dead

For those here und... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
For those here under 42? Join up! You all(what now 30% of America?)believe in this this...put your ass where your rhetoric is...

I am medically ineligible for service due to a genetic disability (hemophilia, if you must know). I learned when I tried to sign up for the Navy (sorry, Matt, not the Marine Corps).

Does that make me a coward in your book, Nogo?

Does that mean I can't comment on wars?

Should we only permit those who have served to vote on when we start and end a war, Nogo? I know at least one Senator from New York wouldn't be eligible under that, and possibly both.

Ya gotta think through all the possible ramifications of a concept before you put fingers to keyboard, Nogo.

NogoYour chicken h... (Below threshold)

Nogo

Your chicken hawk argument is an intentional attempt to

A) Distract from DJ's very well written post and,

B) Diminish the efficacy of the civilian argument, that is to say that CIVILIANS determine military policy in this country and always have.

Some of those civilians have prior military experience; some do not. And to put the foundation of your entire polemic on the former is to bet your hand against the combined and considered judgment of our Founders.

Of course not...I don't exp... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Of course not...I don't expect anyone to join...but this is a very expensive endeavor. It has to be paid for. We should have a "War Tax" ..an additional tax to pay for this..
If our brave men and women can put their life on the line...we can surely pony up a few bucks to support them

Nogo, I will support a war ... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Nogo, I will support a war tax if you anti-war folks will agree to stop saying negative things about our men and women in uniform.

Is that a deal?

Oh, and am I a coward in your book, Nogo?

War Tax?... (Below threshold)

War Tax?

Let's make that a revenue neutral War Tax. Should we offset it with carbon credits or earmarks?

"I would suggest as I begin... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"I would suggest as I begin, that in my experience few people on the Left are willing to test their own assumptions..."

Ummm...we have had no choice but to actually watch the slow motion train wreck. It tested our assumptions with American lives.

I have never said anything ... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

I have never said anything negative about my fellow vets...but as Bush/Cheney do not wear a uniform...nor the Republicans who voted against supporting our troops and their families by their vote today do not wear a uniform I will criticize them...
Point of information in supporting the troops...Did you know a troop who is given a medical discharge due to injuries sustained in combat has to forfeit a % of their college funds because they did not fulfill their 4 year obligation?
True fact...

Nogo, has there ever been a... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Nogo, has there ever been a President or Vice President who wore the uniform while in office?

Spin, Nogo, spin!

I am sure all here ov... (Below threshold)

I am sure all here over 50 supporting our troops served during Viet Nam You know combat war limited to one tour unless volunteer.

Not going to bite on that nogo for reasons stated above.

I do know that my late father sailed on a ship in January 1942 and returned in 1946. There was much discussion of multiple tours then, but a ready acceptance of duty, and I am forever grateful for his sacrifice. Our men and women serving today are making a similar sacrifice and they have my gratitude. They choose to accomplish the goal, complete the mission and I would never insult their legacy by abandonong them now.

From the Paper of Pelosi, I... (Below threshold)

From the Paper of Pelosi, I found this interesting:

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/08/25/MNGTI8DG0R17.DTL

"I learned when I tried to ... (Below threshold)
The other Matt:

"I learned when I tried to sign up for the Navy (sorry, Matt, not the Marine Corps)."

You should be.

"Move those goalposts further. This will be the new GOP slogan...We won, we're just not sure what...yet"

I ask this question yet again. Do you actually serve, or do you criticize from the sidelines like everyone else?

Hey, Nogo, some more Presid... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Hey, Nogo, some more Presidential questions:

It's fairly well known that Lincoln was a captain in the Illinois militia... did he ever see combat?

Did Woodrow Wilson, our President during World War I, ever serve in the military?

Did FDR, our President during World War II, ever serve in the military?

Yes, we've had Presidents with military service, some, like Harry Truman, even oversaw wars. But it is by no means necessary, since some of our finest wartime Presidents have had no military experience at all. (As a war-fighter, I have to give FDR his due, he knew what he was doing. I still disagree with his domestic programs, tho.)

Matt, you've seen pics of m... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Matt, you've seen pics of me... can you see me as a Marine with a crewcut?

A sailor I might have been able to pull off, tho.

To me, it's all very simple... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

To me, it's all very simple. Victory in Iraq can be defined by two standards: Is the region more politically-stable than it was before the invasion and was the threat of terrorists reduced.

By both standards, the war is a failure.

If those heh heh Eye-rackee... (Below threshold)
Junior Bush:

If those heh heh Eye-rackee folks know what's good for them heh heh they'll sign that Oil Revenue Sharing Agreement muy pronto -- we wouldn't anyone to get heh heh . . . hurt.

Paul, we're not done yet.</... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Paul, we're not done yet.

One does not declare victory or defeat until all nine innings have been played.

If you truly want a defeat, you pull your team out before the last out of the ninth inning.

If you want a victory, you stay in there.

Even a Little Leaguer knows that. Why don't you?

Interesting comments everyo... (Below threshold)

Interesting comments everyone though listening to Hugh Hewitt's show tonight which featured a lot of people who had served or were serving in Iraq now, the people over there still don't see the same politicized picture on Iraq that the rest of us do. Some people really need to take a deep breath on all this.

Nogo, why do you post so m... (Below threshold)

Nogo, why do you post so much brazenly false information in your comments? Bush did volunteer for Vietnam. Mapes, the one who pushed the forged memos about Bush's service, actually found out that Bush had volunteered to be deployed to Vietnam with the unit of F102's sent there, but she deliberately withheld that information as part of the Democrat-sponsored libel campaign against Bush by CBS.

Repeating false slanders as you only shows your lack of credibility.

That's a fair question, CCG... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

That's a fair question, CCG. My answer is that when we invaded without adequate forces or a proper plan, we were irretrievably set on a course that would end in failure. When we removed Saddam and his power structure with no means to provide stability in its place, the certain result was chaos and civil war between the rival religious groups that make up the majority of the country. And we simply don't have the power to significantly affect the outcome of such a conflict. So we can either be collateral damage in the fighting between the Shia and the Sunnis, or we can get out. Either way, the fighting will continue until a political equilibrium is reached.

Regarding the issue of the terrorists, I'm sure you've read the reports today that al Qaeda is pretty much back to it's pre-9-11 strength in Afghanistan, and the reason is because the troops who should be over there establishing a proper government and rooting out the terrorists is tied up and worn out from what I believe to be a pointless effort in Iraq. Osama could not possibly ask for a better situation. Not only is his former base of operations returning to it's tribal state, our resolve to deal with the terrorists has been stretched to it's very limits in a war which was sold to the public as being about the terrorists but turned out to have no beneficial effect on that campaign at all.

It's really a shame. We had both national and global unity to go in and transform Afghanistan and Bush decided that meant we should invade Iraq.

Paul -Well, well s... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Paul -

Well, well said.

Interesting commen... (Below threshold)
Interesting comments everyone though listening to Hugh Hewitt's show tonight which featured a lot of people who had served or were serving in Iraq now

I heard Hugh last night also. All the callers related that they were still supporting victory in Iraq, except the last caller who thought we should leave now. Though, I didn't think he was very enthusiastic about it.

The proof in the insanity i... (Below threshold)
dr lava:

The proof in the insanity in this post is the strength of al Queda, now back to pre 9-11 levels. Consequences of Bushs 7th grade level incompetence in battling fundamentalist cults and submissive supporters or should I say "prison bitches" like Mr. Drummond, who although eloquent, is dead dead wrong.

It's really a sham... (Below threshold)
It's really a shame. We had both national and global unity to go in and transform Afghanistan and Bush decided that meant we should invade Iraq.

Actually, a number of the people complaining about Iraq have slipped up and admitted that they would want us out of Afghanistan also. If we had left Saddam in power in Iraq we would not have to worry about Afghanistan because the terrorist now infecting "Waziristan" on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border would have had safe haven in Iraq.

It is funny that the left likes to pretend that they would be for fighting in Afghanistan when all their statements of what they really want to do militate against it.

DJ, I agree with most of yo... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

DJ, I agree with most of your thesis. Except the liberals NEVER wanted this mission to succeed. When we entered Iraq, we prevailed and there was a lull in the action then the looting started. At that point, the left came out in force. "It's a quagmire", "we're killing people for oil", "Cheney wants to fatten Halliburtons wallet", "Bush lied people died", etc. This is almost from the start. Now they are acting like they have been patient and are now only saying we lost this war. The liberals wanted to lose this war. They hate GW so much, anything he touches they don't want. The full damage from the liberals actions will not be immediately known for years to come, but suffice it to say that future actions will be severely hampered because both parties will not want to get involved. It is pathetic to watch the liberals on this site act as if they are deliberative and reasoned about Iraq when they have demonstrated just the opposite for years. I will say mainstream democrats and republicans would do well to listen to one another. Good ideas are being floated.

If the insurgents know if they reduce the violence we will leave. Why won't they? Because they don't hate us as much as democracy. We all know our leaving will result in thousand upon thousands of deaths. I put all those deaths on the hands of the liberals. They asked for it, they got it.

And another point, I am tired of hearing how the liberals support our troops. They never have and never will. They are just quoting a bumper sticker. ww

Mr. Hamilton, since you did... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Mr. Hamilton, since you did me the honor of replying in a cordial tone, I shall return the honor.

You say we did not go in with a "plan." This leads me to ask several questions in order to achieve a historical overview of past successes and failures. (The Socratic method, if you will.)

Did we have a "plan" in the Revolutionary War? If so, what was it?

Did we have a "plan" in the War of 1812? If so, what was it?

Did we have a "plan" in the Civil War (either side)? If so, what was it (or were they)?

Did we have a "plan" in World War I? If so, what was it?

Did we have a "plan" in World War II? If so, what was it?

Did we have a "plan" in Korea? If so, what was it?

In point of fact, the only war in which we had a "plan" other than "win" was Vietnam. In that war, as in none before it, political desires overruled military decisions to a greater extent than ever before. In all the other wars prior, the politicians gave the military a much freer hand.

Even I, who never served, know the military axion "No plan survives contact with the enemy." In short, you cannot depend on the enemy to do precisely what your well-thought-out "plan" says he will do. When he deviates from your prediction of his behavior, your "plan" pretty much goes out the window.

Thus it is in all wars. Plans have to be scrapped or modified according to the enemy's actions. Thus it has been with this war. The enemy has done things that, for whatever reason, we did not consider. Therefore, we have had to adapt our plans to his actions.

Doing this is not a sign of failure. It is the only way to achieve victory.

C-C-G - we definitely had a... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

C-C-G - we definitely had a plan at the beginning of the Civil War. General-in-chief Winfield Scott executed his "anaconda" strategy to strangle the South by isolating Southern ports and driving down the rivers in 1861.

The blockade of Southern ports continued throughout the war, and Ulysses S. Grant was ultimately the one who carried out and won the river war in '62-63.

Trackbacked by The Thunder ... (Below threshold)

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 07/12/2007
A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Willie, a minor correction ... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Willie, a minor correction to your comment -- people like me didn't "want us to lose the war," we never wanted the invasion to happen at all. Big difference between the two...

Thanks, C-C-G. You said:
>>Did we have a "plan" in World War II? If so, what was it?

Well, the best analogy would be D-Day, and clearly we had a very good plan. There was a massive buildup of both personnel and equipment. There was planning for every possible contingency, and obviously we didn't cross the channel expecting the Germans to throw flowers at us when we stormed the beaches.

>>The enemy has done things that, for whatever reason, we did not consider.

If we didn't, then the people in charge of planning the war were criminally incompetent. That's like when the Bush Bunch said that no one ever thought that terrorists would use commercial airliners as weapons. The truth is that we HAD thought of that, and, for both 9-11 and the Iraq war, it's about the lamest excuse I can imagine.

>>Doing this is not a sign of failure. It is the only way to achieve victory.

Okay, so if you were The Decider, what change in strategy and tactics would you implement that would lead to victory in Iraq? And please try to use realistic standards for troop strength we could commit.

Regarding the real "Decider," all I can say is that he and his minions have made all sorts of predictions and all sorts of plans -- and every single one of them has failed. And I'll admit that once he allowed the terrorists over there to arm themselves and the country to fall into chaos, I can't think of any way to put Humpty back together...

Paul, your bunch sure did w... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Paul, your bunch sure did want anything GW planned to fail. It all goes to your genisus of hate which is the 2000 election. The name calling started then. When 9/11 happened, you guys had to bite your tongue for a few months so you didn't look totally pathetic, but all the while chomping at the bit to go after GW again. When the mosque was bombed in Iraq and all hell broke loose, your estimation is the GW should have known that would happen? Just don't live in denial. You and your ilk drip disdain and hate for GW and his administration. So much so that none of your party leaders have actually come up with a plan that can be thought about let alone executed. You cannot wage a war by polls. Of course every poll would say they want out of war. I always wanted this to end. It will. Not on my time, but with those I have entrusted to see it through. ww

">>The enemy has done thing... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

">>The enemy has done things that, for whatever reason, we did not consider.

If we didn't, then the people in charge of planning the war were criminally incompetent. That's like when the Bush Bunch said that no one ever thought that terrorists would use commercial airliners as weapons. The truth is that we HAD thought of that, and, for both 9-11 and the Iraq war, it's about the lamest excuse I can imagine."

Typical naievety. Anyone who has played something as simple as a game of baseball knows that the side that adapts succesfully to the other sides tactics will win. Thinking, breathing humans, even evil ones, can and do pull this off all the time. In every war ever fought the victorious side has made serious blunders and missteps that could have cost them the war if not for successful adaption.

Also, it's funny how people who think W is dumber than a box of hammers now fault him for not being omnicient.

C-C-G - we definit... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
C-C-G - we definitely had a plan at the beginning of the Civil War. General-in-chief Winfield Scott executed his "anaconda" strategy to strangle the South by isolating Southern ports and driving down the rivers in 1861.

The blockade of Southern ports continued throughout the war, and Ulysses S. Grant was ultimately the one who carried out and won the river war in '62-63.

Granted, that was a plan. It was anot an overall comprehensive plan for dealing with every possible facet of the Civil War. That's what Paul is bemoaning the lack of, a comprehensive plan for managing everything. Because if he is not, I can show him lots of plans analogous to your Civil War plan.

Well, the best ana... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
Well, the best analogy would be D-Day, and clearly we had a very good plan. There was a massive buildup of both personnel and equipment. There was planning for every possible contingency, and obviously we didn't cross the channel expecting the Germans to throw flowers at us when we stormed the beaches.

Now that is a plan for a single facet of the war. Not for the entirety of WWII. We have had many plans for facets of the Iraq War, including Operation Phantom Thunder which is currently ongoing. Your D-Day analogy is like the plan for Operation Phantom Thunder. The D-Day plan did not, by the way, take into account the possibility of a massive German counteroffensive later in the war... now known as the Battle of the Bulge. In fact, it was Allied troops advancing faster than anticipated that gave the Germans the long line that they could strike at the middle of.

This also speaks to your second point, about the competence of the war planners. You just lauded the planners of D-Day, yet they made a critical error that could (but fortunately did not) have crippled the Allies by driving a wedge between their forces and then encircling the separated armies. The fact that they made the error points out that war planning is not an exact science, it is a fallible process performed by fallible human beings. For all their victories, even the planners of WWII made some tremendous errors; the Battle of the Bulge is the result of just one.

As for what I'd do if I was CinC... it is useless and absurd to attempt to answer that question without seeing the possible plans put forward by the Pentagon... and, ya know, somehow my invitation to that meeting got lost in the mail. In short, I am not taking your bait on that one. Please do not dangle absurd questions out there expecting me to take a bite; I am not as stupid as you apparently think I am. I have treated you courteously and with respect for your intelligence throughout this debate (note, I said this debate, I've ridden your backside pretty hard in others, I know); the least you can do is return the favor.

In every war ever fought... (Below threshold)
Stevenrobb:

In every war ever fought the victorious side has made serious blunders and missteps that could have cost them the war if not for successful adaption.

And what successful adaption do you credit Bush with? Their strategy has been one-sided -- success through military campaigns only, with a "hope" that the current Iraqi government would hold up their end. And even the military campaign was underfunded with a much smaller number of troops than everyone who gamed this war suggested would work.

No war is won without diplomacy, and this administration has made no efforts to talk to anyone it disagrees with. Moreover, it won't even consider a revision in it's obviously failed strategy. What kind of adaptation is that?

But I suggest you keep propping up your failed leader. It's really all you have left to do as the world crumbles around him and your own sense of reality.

Oh, and go ahead and call me a traitor, coward, "liberal" or whatever useless term you have. It's really "all" you have, since the facts, majorities and intelligence is on my side of the debate.

Stephenrobb, There's... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Stephenrobb,
There's this new counterinsurgency plan going into effect right now. It was approved unanimously by the democrat-led Senate just last January and was only implemented less than a month ago. It's having stunning success already in Anbar and Diyala provences.

I fail to see how multiple successful democratic elections or fostering the most liberal constitution in the Arab world were "military campaigns only."

I have no idea what is on "your side," but it clearly is not intelligence. But keep lying to bolster your rotting world view. "It's really all you have left..."




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