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You want plans, we got 'em

The big news out today is that the Army has plans to keep the current troop levels in Iraq until the year 2010. Some anti-war critics have siezed upon this to further bolster the "Iraq as quagmire" argument, saying that those plans prove that we will have in indefinite military presence in Iraq, that any good news is just a lie and a fraud.

Those people just don't have the slightest grasp of how the military works.

The military has a huge budget, and a LOT of people with a LOT of time. Their primary function is the active defense of this nation and protecting our national interests. Their standard method for doing so is summed up in the phrase "killing people and breaking things."

But there just isn't enough call for killing and breaking to keep them out of mischief. So they do other things. Some times they practice killing and breaking, but mainly they sit around and make plans.

There are probably plans for invading or attacking every country on earth somewhere in the Pentagon. The military has learned, through hard experience, that things are always changing in this world, and today's ally can be tomorrow's enemy -- and vice versa. For example, in 1938, hardly anyone could have predicted that within 6 years we would need a plan for a massive, opposed invasion of France?

The most entertaining game has to be "what if?" For example, what if Palestinian terrorists attack and sieze the alleged Israeli nuclear weapons depot at Dimona? Why, we better be ready to attack and destroy that facility. Suppose Belgium succumbs to militant Islamist immigrants and becomes an exporter of terrorism, like Afghanistan under the Taliban? We'd better be ready to take them out.
The Pentagon has, I'm quite sure, killed acres of trees for plans to cover any imaginable event.

So the Army has plans to stay in Iraq for another four years. I'd be gravely disappointed if they didn't.

Comments (64)

Are we still in Europe?-194... (Below threshold)

Are we still in Europe?-1945
Are we still in Japan?--1945
Are we still in Korea?--1953

Sometime I agree with the big fat ugly white man. Americans (especially democrats) are the most stupid people on the planet.

They want a Big Mac and Fries in 30 seconds, and instant potatoes at home.

I wish they would give it a rest and let the military do they're job. They do it quite well regardless of the democrats getting them killed daily (by supporting the terrorists) and laying slime and slander on those that survive.

And Barney's already on ano... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

And Barney's already on another thread demonstrating his complete lack of understanding of the Army's "plans".

Are our soldiers getting ki... (Below threshold)

Are our soldiers getting killed in Europe?-1945
Are our soldiers getting killed in Japan?--1945
Are our soldiers getting killed in Korea?--1953

Are our soldiers getting... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Are our soldiers getting killed in Korea?--1953

Wrong, Barney. Out troops often engage or engaged by NKPR soldiers who constantly test the DMZ. In fact, quite a few have died in the DMZ, long after 1953.

I hope they have plans for ... (Below threshold)

I hope they have plans for permanent US bases in Iraq. Yes, PERMANENT. Anything less, and I think we are throwing away one of the greatest strategic advantages provided by the invasion of Iraq.

Bill Clinton himself just said a few weeks ago that the reason he held off launching an attack on Bin Laden was because we couldn't establish basing rights close enough to make such an action practically feasible. Now I could take an easy jab at him and question his skills in international diplomacy, but I won't. Hell I voted for the guy....

I have in fact, recently decided that I will not vote for ANY candidate who proclaims support for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. And that's a big deal for me, because that means I will be voting for Rick Santorum over Bob Casey, and I am no fan of Santorum. But we need to have priorities, and Casey's stance on Iraq trumps the issues I have with Santorum.

Scrapironyou wrote... (Below threshold)


you wrote:
Are we still in Europe?-1945
Are we still in Japan?--1945
Are we still in Korea?--1953

You left out. Guantanamo since Spanish American War
Biloxi Since the Civil War.

Are we still in Europe?-... (Below threshold)

Are we still in Europe?-1945
Are we still in Japan?--1945
Are we still in Korea?--1953

Are we still there at the then-current troop levels?

I wish I'd kept a copy of a... (Below threshold)

I wish I'd kept a copy of a Star Trek bit I wrote about military planning. It was great (if I do say so myself). Spock explains that planning and training in case an energy being takes over the ship had clued the crew into the fact that it was an inside job. Kirk curses and tells Spock to cancel the "transporter malfunction" exersizes and get rid of the spare dilithium crystals.

The military can't see the future and always plans and trains for a future that never happens exactly the way they thought it might. Plans and training cover a variety of different possibilities, just in case.

It's Star Fleet that never plans for anything until after it happens.

I don't have a problem with... (Below threshold)

I don't have a problem with the Army having plans. I also would be disappointed if they didn't. What troubles me is the competence of the administration to carry out the plans as devised by their experts. As they failed to do when Rumsfeld overruled the generals on going into Iraq.

jaymaster, Iraq will be won... (Below threshold)

jaymaster, Iraq will be won when it becomes an accompanied tour. ;-)

What ever happened to: "We'... (Below threshold)

What ever happened to: "We'll step down when they step up"? The administrations own estimate has the Iraqi security force at 300,000+ strong. Remember back in the good old days when we only had to deal with a few dead-enders and free Iraqis expressing their freedom? We were running the whole country with 140,000 troops.

So, either things have gotten a whole lot worst, or the security force aint worth crap. Which option makes you feel better about the administration's competency?

Barney, we lost 3,000 troop... (Below threshold)

Barney, we lost 3,000 troops to "insurgent" activity in the first year after germany surrendered. That's not including traffic accidents, accidental deaths, or natural causes. That was bombs, gunshots, and stabbings. The SS had trained a group for just such an occurence, and was also giving soviet troops in E. germany the same kind of problems. I believe the codename was werewolf. Look that up. We lost more troops in Germany one year after the surrender than we have in 3 years in Iraq. It's a fact, study the military history and you'll see that this has actually been a very low casualty war for us, compared to almost anything of this duration that has gone before.

Chad you must refrain from ... (Below threshold)

Chad you must refrain from confusing the moonbats with facts.

Stop it I say. Stop it now.

Ahem........Bosnia?... (Below threshold)


Chad, thanks for the commen... (Below threshold)

Chad, thanks for the comments, but Barney will only care if it supports his slanted view point. In his altered reality, facts should not have an influence.

My former Father-in-law was... (Below threshold)

My former Father-in-law was a retired Colonel, Corp of Engineers, U.S. Army. He has WWII; then stayed reserve, and was activated for Korea....not there, but for a year in Germany.

When he returned, he stayed in (then a Capt.), and was sent for his annual 2 weeks in reserve to the War College where he studied almost every possible invasion of the USA!

He was a student there for five years......then made a Colonel. He then retired.

My point is, he was reserve, and they planned for almost every concieveable type of invasion. The fulltimers must do a lot more planning.

I hope they do....it is the only preparedness thingee we have folks!


A war of choice = 650,000 d... (Below threshold)

A war of choice = 650,000 dead Iraqis
How many more in the next 10 years?

Setting aside the highly-du... (Below threshold)

Setting aside the highly-dubious methodology of that number, Hugh, let me answer it like Marlon Brando in his "Wild Ones" days might have:

How many you got?


How many innocent fead Iraq... (Below threshold)

How many innocent fead Iraqis are enough Jay? 100,000; 200,000; 500,000; 750,000;1,000,000? Would your blood lust be satisfied then?

Hugh,As many as it... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:


As many as it takes.

Well Hugh, I see you're st... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Well Hugh, I see you're still posting that completely debunked statistic. Typical lefty-- don't let the truth stand in the way of your worldview.

Nice Sheik. A class act.</p... (Below threshold)

Nice Sheik. A class act.

P. Bunyan,The 'tru... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

P. Bunyan,

The 'truth', to a lefty, is whatever they believe it to be.

Hugh,It wouldn't t... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:


It wouldn't take any at all if they would quit taking up arms against us.

I said "innocent" Iraqis yo... (Below threshold)

I said "innocent" Iraqis you idiot. Still hold to your belief that a good Iraqi is a dead Iraqi?

Here's more on the <a href=... (Below threshold)

Here's more on the 650,000 Iraqis civilian deaths.

Contrary to what some *sshats are saying, as far as I can tell this hasn't been "completely debunked" - but is a "controversial" bit of research.

Maybe the *sshats can post a link to the "debunking"... or cite a source .... or copy and paste a quote... or maybe they're lying - let's see.... the coin is in the air.....

"A war of choice = 650,000 ... (Below threshold)

"A war of choice = 650,000 dead Iraqis"


Because Lancet says so. Mwahahahahahahahahahahaha.

So the next logical questio... (Below threshold)

So the next logical questions is...

If the Democrats hadn't continued to give them enemy hope with their rhetoric, how many fewer Iraqis would have died ?

"Contrary to what some *ssh... (Below threshold)

"Contrary to what some *sshats are saying, as far as I can tell this hasn't been "completely debunked" - but is a "controversial" bit of research."

As far as *I* can tell your head is completely up your ass, and there's nothing controversial in me saying it.

Interesting how the ones ac... (Below threshold)
Patrick Chester:

Interesting how the ones accusing people of bloodlust immediately seize upon the highest death estimate they can find.

Almost as if they need a bigger mountain of corpses to fuel their agitprop. Which makes them seem a bit... lusty for more blood to dance in.

You know how many actual deaths they recorded to get this estimate?


Some statistical magic makes 547 dead people turn into over 650,000.

Lee, the study itself admi... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Lee, the study itself admits it's margin of error is 400,000 to 800,000. It completley debunked itself.

I worded that poorly. I me... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

I worded that poorly. I meant: the group that did the study, itself admits...

Hugh,A little more... (Below threshold)
Big D:


A little more information:

Besides dealing with significant partisan activity in Germany after the war had ended we had two other significant advantages in that fight. 1) We were able to execute partisans on the spot (in full accordance with the Geneva Conventions); 2)we had literally bombed the country to bits, killing a very large percentage of the available male population.

In fact the allies killed about 10% of the German population during WWII, including 5.5 million male soldiers.

Now re. Iraq. Before the war it had about 26 million people. So, if we follow the German model, about 2.6 million would have to be killed for full pacification. Most of those adult males.

Or perhaps you prefer the Japan model, where only 3.6% of the population was killed. That translates into only about a million dead Iraqis.

Therefore, even the outrageous overestimate by the Lancet indicates that this war has been significantly more "moral" than the war against Germany. Wouldn't you agree? And of course, the insurgent forces themselves are responsible for a majority of those casualties. Certainly we share the butcher's bill with them.

It's not about blood lust. If it was we'd have just carpet bombed the place and have been done with it. You forget, it is entirely within the power of the United States to kill every single Iraqi resident. We've shown remarkable, unprecedented restraint during this conflict.

Winning wars against a committed enemy is a bloody awful business. Always was, always will be.

"Lee, the study itself a... (Below threshold)

"Lee, the study itself admits it's margin of error is 400,000 to 800,000. It completley debunked itself.

I worded that poorly. I meant: the group that did the study, itself admits..."

I'm not suggesting you're lying, Paul, but the article doesn't mention that - where did you find that the group admits to a 400,000 - 800,000 error. That sounds - unbelievable

Lee,It was reporte... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:


It was reported on the only news network that tells the rest of the story.

And I am by no means surprised that the telegraph chose not to report that "inconvient truth".

What qualifies you as a mil... (Below threshold)

What qualifies you as a military expert Jay?
Have you served? Studied military affairs at

I always thought the people who didn't understand
the situation were people who said things like:

"We'll be greated as liberators"
"The insurgency is in their last throes"
"Mission accomplished"
"I doubt it will last 6 months"
"The reconstruction will pay for itself"

Why didn't they just come to you wise Jay?

Hugh,Good grief, m... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:


Good grief, moron.

Go back and read your original comment on dead iraqis and show me where you said 'innocent'.

Then, look at the time stamp on your second comment, where you did use the word 'innocent'. Compare that to the time stamp on my comment.

Then, if it isn't too difficult for you, brainiac, try to figure out which of your comments I was responding to.

jp2,I think it all... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:


I think it all boils down to those who want the US and its allies to win are going to stress, and yes even exaggerate, the positive, while those who want the terrorist and their allies to win will stress and exaggerate the negative.

Paul - It was reported on F... (Below threshold)

Paul - It was reported on FAUX NEWS? Now we know it was a lie. No one else debunked it? What a laugh - ok, let's check the Fox News website.

Here's their story (since we all know you can't trust UK news sources -- you remember the UK - the only nations to fully stand by us in the War inj Iraq -- according to Republicans they can't be trusted).

The Fox News article says nothing about the study being debunked or quoting and appreantly mythical error factors. Bunyan is just rubbing his trunk again....

Yes, the survey is "controversial" - but that doesn't mean you Republicans can just flat out LIE about it being "debunked".

*sshats. I don't know why I waste my time believing them, even if only for a minute. And if anyone wants to know why Republicans are always being called liars around here - now you know why. Whatever, bring on the next Republican liar...

Lee, that's an AP story not... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Lee, that's an AP story not a FOX news story. I'm not surprised that the AP failed to report that "inconvenient truth".

I glad you admit the FOX news is the only network that tells the rest of the story, though. If FOX does retract it, I'll admit I was wrong, but as of yet they haven't and I have no reason to believe it's not true. However, I've been a FOX news veiwer for over 2 years now and have yet to find and instance of them mis-reporting anything, unlike the MSM.

I looked at the actual report but am not versed enough in statistical terminology to find that information, however someone who does have that knowledge could look here and tell us what it really says:


If my worldview were based on the 10% of the story that gets reported in the MSM, I'd probably agree with you more. But unlike a lefty I like to know the whole story before I make up my mind.

I scanned the report for an... (Below threshold)

I scanned the report for any mention of possible margin of error or percent error, but I didn't find anything. Of course, I was merely skimming for key words.

I wonder if the report addressed who did the killing. Are those only casualities caused by Coalition troops, or does the 600,000 figure include deaths by the enemy? If it's both, what percent were caused by us?

I did notice that, percentage-based, 2.5% of the Iraqi population has been killed so far according to this report. Make of that what you will.

Let's throw out the Lancet ... (Below threshold)

Let's throw out the Lancet estimate.
Which of the following numbers is the closest to the actual death toll of "innocent" Iraqis? For a war of choice. Enough dead yet to satisfy you happy war makers?

How many more American soldiers killed and maimed in this war of choice? You happy war makers have any estimates of how many more should die or be maimed for your war of choice?


If I remember my history correctly Big D WWII wasn't a war of choice.

Do you guys not relize that... (Below threshold)

Do you guys not relize that old "pucker puss" (lee lee),"mun-go" (linkman), "hughie" (lost for words) and the rest of their Kos Kiddies castoffs know how to win wars? All you have to do by their reckoning is say to your enemy--DROP YOUR PANTS AND BEND OVER!!!!

Have you served? Studied... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

Have you served? Studied military affairs at

I can personally answer "Yes" to your qualifying questions and further state that Jay Tea is 100% correct in his analysis. The military has plans for everything they can think of. Fifteen years ago, we had plans for invading Iran if necessary. In Korea, the nuclear war plans book was as fat as the Manhattan phone book. It had every conceivable scenario and possible response you could imagine. It even discussed things that you would swear the US would never do in a war. Pop quiz: What's the official US policy on the first use of nuclear weapons? If you answered, "The US will never use nuclear weapons first," then you failed the test. The actual policy states that the US reserves the right of first use. Not quite what most people want to believe but it has been the policy for a looooooooooong time.

It is totally and completely plausible that a plan exists for troop levels to stay constant through 2010. It is also plausible that there are 25 other plans about troop levels in 2010 that are as valid. The mere existence of a plan doesn't mean that anyone, anywhere intends implementing that plan.

Maybe the *sshats can p... (Below threshold)

Maybe the *sshats can post a link to the "debunking"... or cite a source .... or copy and paste a quote... or maybe they're lying - let's see.... the coin is in the air.....
Posted by: Lee at October 11, 2006 05:58 PM

Lee and the rest of you that are carrying Lancet's water over this "study," you seem to have forgotten Lancets recent history.

As little as a couple years ago they published their first "study" on Iraqi war deaths. It was throughly debunked by the left leaning Slate Magazine almost before the ink was dry.

What gives you confidence that what they are producing now is accurate? Besides an acute case of BDS.

Here's a quick question: Part of the latest "study" was formulated by asking Iraqi residents if they had lost any family members during or after the start of the war.

Could you possibly imagine a scenario where some, if not many, of those asked are unhappy with the current situation and would pull bogus figures out of the asses?

"Oh yes Mr. Lancet pollster, my family lost 5 mohammads, three abduls and 2 aziz's!"

When he didn't lose a G-DAMN ONE!

Many "innocent" Iraqis have... (Below threshold)

Many "innocent" Iraqis have been killed since 2003---maybe it's 50,000 or as high (unlikely) 400,000 or more. Hugh & others who "think" like him imply these persons were killed by American soldiers & their allies. Almost all the deaths of civilians for the last 2 years have been killed by other Muslims!!!

Why not directly blame the ones who pull the triggers, yield the knives to slit throats ,& tie bombs on themselves and their vehicles to kill mass quantities?? Why does it make Hugh & others feel better to blame America?

"The military has plans for... (Below threshold)

"The military has plans for everything they can think of."

I can think of one bright, glaring modern exception. See if you can guess!

Anyways, I was asking Jay. I don't need to talk to his bulldog.

jp2, apparently you're not ... (Below threshold)

jp2, apparently you're not familiar with another military truism:

"No plan ever survives first contact with the enemy."

Perfect plans are the stuff of fantasy. You do the best you can, adapt to the changing circumstances, and try to do the best you can.

Thanks for the backup, Steve L. I read a hell of a lot, but it's always great to have those who've actually BEEN THERE and DONE THAT to confirm when I'm right.


"I read a hell of a lot"</p... (Below threshold)

"I read a hell of a lot"

Coulter? Hannity? Instapundit?

What other neo-con writers whose philosophy you embrace?

Great qualifications, btw. Kind of what I figured.

No plan that keeps troops a... (Below threshold)

No plan that keeps troops at the current levels will be successful. Either we need to dramatically increase troop levels (triple+) or move towards a balkanization plan where a Kurdish state is established (easy) and the rest of Iraq is divided into two states or a single state with 2-3 partially autonomous regions (hard).

If we were to increase troop levels as in the first option, this would entail large scale increases in recruitment here, a difficult diplomatic effort to get Muslim states to contribute (as well as India and Europe), and would be enormously expensive, dwarfing current levels of spending.

If we balkanize, the Kurdish state would merely need its borders secure and Turkey would have to be dealt with. The rest of Iraq would be difficult and violence would probably increase temporarily and the at least one region would be allied with Iran, and another would have some sort of fundamentalist Sunni government.

The first option is preferable and would produce the best shot at a peaceful and stable Iraq, but it probably won't happen, both because of the cost and this administrations intransigence. The second option would be bad, but probably no worse than "staying the course". If we do keep going as we have been, all we will get is continued levels of sectarian violence, a persistent playground for jihadists to attack us and train, and steady deterioration of the country and its population. After another 5-10 years we will pull out, leaving another Afghanistan behind, albeit with oil instead of poppies.

Diane:One of the p... (Below threshold)


One of the principal traits wingnuts have is that you pretend to know what's in the other sides mind. Nowhere, ever, have I laid responsibility for the carnage in Iraq on American soldiers.

Once again - you miss the point. All those deaths from a war of choice. I don't blame "America." I blame Bush and company for starting a war of choice and then botching it up about 2 weeks later.

Hello Lee,I'm ... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

Hello Lee,

    I'm not suggesting you're lying, Paul, but the article doesn't mention that - where did you find that the group admits to a 400,000 - 800,000 error. That sounds - unbelievable

Believe it.

From the number one Democrat 527 itself, the New York Times ...

A team of American and Iraqi public health researchers has estimated that 600,000 civilians have died in violence across Iraq since the 2003 American invasion, the highest estimate ever for the toll of the war here.

The figure breaks down to about 15,000 violent deaths a month, a number that is quadruple the one for July given by Iraqi government hospitals and the morgue in Baghdad and published last month in a United Nations report in Iraq. That month was the highest for Iraqi civilian deaths since the American invasion.

But it is an estimate and not a precise count, and researchers acknowledged a margin of error that ranged from 426,369 to 793,663 deaths.


Robert Blendon, director of the Harvard Program on Public Opinion and Health and Social Policy, said interviewing urban dwellers chosen at random was "the best of what you can expect in a war zone."

But he said the number of deaths in the families interviewed -- 547 in the post-invasion period versus 82 in a similar period before the invasion -- was too few to extrapolate up to more than 600,000 deaths across the country.

Donald Berry, chairman of biostatistics at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, was even more troubled by the study, which he said had "a tone of accuracy that's just inappropriate."

Sorry to disppoint you Lee, Hugh, jp2, et al. But this is a completely worthless study. This is no better than getting their numbers from throwing darts at a dartboard.

Sucks that those pesky Iraqis are simply refusing to die in enough numbers to suit your purposes, doesn't it? However would y'all be able to continue your moral posturing?

Nowhere, ever, have I l... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:
    Nowhere, ever, have I laid responsibility for the carnage in Iraq on American soldiers.

Unless they happen to be black, eh, Hugh?

    Once again - you miss the point. All those deaths from a war of choice. I don't blame "America." I blame Bush and company for starting a war of choice and then botching it up about 2 weeks later.

Maybe I should ask you what jp2 asked Jay and then shrieked foul when Steve L. popped up and backed Jay to the hilt: "What qualifies you as a military expert [Hugh]? Have you served? Studied military affairs at school?"

Can you, without taking advantage of the benefit of hindsight, point out where and where the Administration made plainly obvious errors in the aftermath of the war? Use cites of contemporary expert criticism (criticisms of decisions levelled within a week or two of the decision being made) so we can avoid opportunistic partisans taking advantage of hindsight to pretend they have foresight.

I'm not saying mistakes were not made. In such a venture, mistakes, hundreds of them, would be made whoever it is in the White House. But what I can't stand is people without even the very basic knowledge base to make judgments telling me that this was "botched" ... especially if they did not have the guts to say it while they could have effected a change.

Martin:What in the... (Below threshold)


What in the hell kind of bizarre comment was that about black soldiers? No matter, I consider the source.

Am I a military expert? Of course not. No more than 99.99% of you wingnuts who are full of your own opinions. What a silly point you make.

I have served, 6 years as a matter of fact. That doesn't qualify me as an expert. But I can read. Yes, I know that shocks loons like you.

You silly loons love to challenge us sane folks with demands to provide the "facts." Do your own work. Use your google. Read and watch and listen to something other than 'Puff" Limbaugh, Sean, "The Shill", Hannity and that paragon of righteousness O'Reilly. I don't even mention that escaped lunatic Coulter - oh, I guess I just did.

I am righteous in one regard. I was against the folly from the start. I wish I could say the same about most of the leading dems. It should be to their ever lasting shame.

Hugh, you are right. I can'... (Below threshold)

Hugh, you are right. I can't read people's minds but I can read their posts. And whether you meant for it to be or not, Hugh (a writer of many posts), you seem to imply when you pity the numbers of civilian deaths (in a French newspaper today, says the estimates are closer to 30,000-50,000, you sound like you blame America.

However, now I GET IT! From your post to me directly, it IS all about Bush for you. That surprised me, I had been giving you way more credit than that in the past. Somehow you seem to separate Bush and the 60,000,000 people who re-elected him, and the 1,200,000 soldiers who seve in the US military as being non-America.

Once again, I wish you would show more intolerance for all of the car bombers, etc. verbally & in writing.

Diane:See, there y... (Below threshold)


See, there you go again. Instead of assuming what I think why don't you just ask me. That's such a trite cop out some of the right use, i.e. "Blame America." It's a piece of bullshit dreamed up as a talking point by clever politicians. It means nothing.

Bush is the commander in chief. You imply I think 60,0000,000 people and the army are responsible. That's just plain silly and I think you know that. The people didn't make military and geo-political decisions. The army didn't make the decision. The commander in chief made the decisions. He is, after all, the self-proclaimed "decider" of what is best for us. Well he decided and he made a really bad decision. I hold him accountable for that. Pretty simple from my perspective.

If his name was Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Bush, MacCain or any other name I would have the same belief before the war and after it started if it was managed the same way it has been.

Thanks for the NYT link, Ma... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Thanks for the NYT link, Martin (boy I would have never thought I'd type something like that-lol). I was completely confident that the figures that had been reported on FOX News were correct, but I lacked the ambition and statistical knowledge to "prove" it last night.

On a different note, I'd like to address the strawman that Hugh tossed into several posts about Iraq being a "war of choice". The reality is that EVERY war is a war of choice. To illustrate my point, I'll use Hugh's example of WWII which he falsely stated was not a war of choice.

In the 30's & early 40's we (the allied forces) had 3 options. First, we could have done nothing and let the Axis Powers take over the world. Second we could have fought them sooner when they were much less powerful and could have eliminated the threat with very few casualties and low monetary costs, or third we could have done what we did, wait until they were so powerful and the threat was so great that it took enormous resources and millions of casualties to ultimately defeat them.

I doubt there was much support for option 1, which is why Hugh can falsely claim today that it was not a war of choice, but that was an option, a choice. There was support for option 2, but the lefties of the day (most notably Neville Chamberlain and Charles Lindbergh) were staunchly against that and believe we could talk and appease our way out of it (just like the lefties of today). On top of that there was even less public support for going to war against the Axis forces at that time then there is public support today for going to war against the terrorists in Iraq (yes I know they weren't all in Iraq at first, but they are there now). So we went with option (choice) 3 at cost of millions of lives and an astronomical amount of money.

Today the enemy is Islamofascism, but the options are the same. First we could do nothing and let the Islamofascists conquer the world. Second we could fight them when they're relatively weak and still non-nuclear (which is what we are doing). Or we could wait until they are extremely powerful and nuclear and then defeat them at the cost of billions of lives and an astronomical economic cost.

Hugh, Lee, Muirego, et. al. apparently think option (choice 2) is unacceptable. So would you all please tell us which of the only other two options you would prefer.

And yes, I know as member of the fabricated reality based community, they're going to come up with another option that couldn't possibly exist in the real world that the rest of us have to live in, so this post isn't really for them. (I loved South Park last night for correctly pointing out that about ¼ of Americans are retarded- very apropos to this discussion). But I know a lot of people who aren't BDS suffering secular socialists do read these blogs so I wrote this for them.

What in the hell kind o... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:
    What in the hell kind of bizarre comment was that about black soldiers?

You're the guy who sees Willie Horton and somehow, the fact that he is a torturer, murderer and rapist completely escapes your notice. All you see is the color of his skin.

Sad, really.

MartinYou really a... (Below threshold)


You really are a sick fu**. IYou need prayers man.

WW2 was absolutely a war of... (Below threshold)

WW2 was absolutely a war of choice. And there were LOTS of people who opposed it. How can we possibly know if the cost was really worth it? Would have it really been worse to just... not?

It amazes me that anti-war people *now* use WW2 as and example of a "just" war. It was horrific.

Probably, when all is said and done, it WAS the right thing to do and WAS worth the tremenous cost in lives. Maybe. We can't know what the result would have been.

And is it really any different now? This war?

Of course those who opposed it from the start will see only disaster because they never saw a threat. War is horrible. War for no reason is a disaster by definition. It can't be anything else.

I believe that there is a real threat, a serious threat, and that the military is the appropriate tool (though not exclusive) to deal with it. The world we live in today makes tolerating a pocket of militant Islamists near impossible. The reality that feeds that movement must be disrupted. Even if we didn't care at all about people "over there" the modern world doesn't allow us to ignore them because in the modern world they are our next door neighbors. And we can't just go on and do *our* own thing, because we're their next door neighbor, too.

Hmmm...the Japanese bomb Pe... (Below threshold)

Hmmm...the Japanese bomb Pearl harbor. George Bush cons us into a phony war. Both wars of choice? Laughable.

For you wingnuts to equate one with the other is sad.

Hugh, try and wrap your bra... (Below threshold)

Hugh, try and wrap your brain around this one:

What was the second major offensive action the United States took after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor?

If you guessed "invade Africa," in November of 1942, you get a gold star.

The first major US offensive was, of course, the invasion of Guadalcanal in September 1942 -- an island almost 3500 miles south-southeast of Japan.

So, Lee, how does the invasion of Africa tie into the attack on Pearl Harbor?

The answer is: directly, no. But as a crucial element of the overall struggle, very significant.

Good point, Hugh. Thanks for reminding me of it.


Hugh bleated:One ... (Below threshold)
Patrick Chester:

Hugh bleated:
One of the principal traits wingnuts have is that you pretend to know what's in the other sides mind.

Oh, the irony.

Good lord jay. What obtuse ... (Below threshold)

Good lord jay. What obtuse point are you trying to make?

Try wrapping you brain around this:

Were it not for Pearl Harbor who knows what would have happened. Are you really trying to argue we would have landed in North Africa absent Pearl Harbor?

Now I understand you believe that the war in Iraq is related to the overall struggle against terrorism. You forget, of course that it was not "sold' that way by Bush. First it was weapons of mass destruction. Of course when that folly was exposed it became what a brutal dictator he was. To equate Iraq to anything in WWII is an absurdity.






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