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Why Liberals Should Love the War in Iraq

Bryan at Hot Air has an excellent video essay/article about the war in Iraq and what's really going on to win it. He writes that liberals should love this war. Here's why:

The truth is, liberals should love the war in Iraq, since it's being fought to a great extent along notions of soft power over hard power. It's much less about firepower than it is about the power of basic services to bring about peace. It's about bringing "good government" and civil liberties and human rights to war torn Baghdad, a city that has seen none of those things in decades, if ever. At least half the war's most vital action takes place in meetings like this one in Al Salam to discuss works projects, school re-buildings and urban renewal. It's all part of the complex mission in Iraq, a mission that morphed from the defeat of an entrenched dictatorship to one focused on building a civil society that will survive after the Americans leave. CPT Bare and the rest of the US military are trying to build a nation that Saddam Hussein broke, both by keeping the Iraqi people under his boot heel for 35 years and by leading it into needless wars to establish himself as a latter-day Nebuchadnezzar. In Saddam's rule by fear, the basic idea of taking care of one's own community broke down in favor of the daily need to survive by avoiding attracting the Baathist government's attention. The Americans have to remove the fear that built up over decades, restore hope and help the Iraqis rebuild their lives and nation. Hard power may clear and hold Baghdad's rough streets, but it will be CPT Bare's relentless application of soft power that will win the war.

This is how the conflict in Iraq will be won, or lost. There won't be an Iwo Jima flag raising to signal that the fight has turned in our favor for good. The American people will have to understand and accept that little things like a neighborhood council finding a contract garbage collector, and the re-opening of an elementary school, represent the end state of a community's recovery and therefore signal battlefield victory. Our leaders in Washington need to teach us that that's what victory in Iraq looks like. Our press needs to show us that that's what our troops are doing in between the brief and often bloody firefights, but instead it's busy picking up where the insurgencies leave off in delegitimizing the US mission and the Iraqi government. Peaceful, secure communities have no interest in the militias and despise the al Qaeda terrorists and insurgents. Beyond the fighting of Haifa Street, the war in Iraq will be won or lost by injecting good government in place of Saddam's republic of fear. Which is why liberals, if they understood the ground realities of the war in Iraq, should embrace it instead of incessantly demanding retreat and defeat.

Read all it. It's worth the time.


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Comments (58)

These are some ground reali... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

These are some ground realities from the surge..this short video/doc shows our troops as brave and compassionate.

War is a horrible thing. I... (Below threshold)

War is a horrible thing. It should not be loved by anyone.

"The American people will h... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

"The American people will have to understand . . ."

Those that already "love" the "war" -- that would be the War-cheerleading Republicans -- TOTALLY FAILED in initially selling the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Overwhelming support for an occupation of a country needs to be garnered BEFORE the invasion of it.

Adrian, if they failed on "... (Below threshold)

Adrian, if they failed on "selling" the invasion, how did we get there in the first place? And should we list all of the "war-cheerleading" democrats that "sold" the invasion and voted for it also?

This is a good article but ... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

This is a good article but I have a couple problems with its assumptions.

First, I don't believe the Maliki government has EVER had legitimacy. We invaded, swept through the country, and occupied Baghdad. But we never stablized Baghdad -- there were what the White House called "celebrations," which were really riots and looting, starting on day one and it's never stopped since. As the chaos has continued, to all appearances very few Iraqis have chosen to follow the Maliki government and most have sided with either the Sunni or Shia insurgents. So while there might be a government in the Green Zone, obviously it lacks the ability to enforce order anywhere in Iraq.

Second, I said in a note last week that I would consider strategic victory in Iraq to be a situation where there is greater stability in the region and the terrorists' ability to do their dirty work is diminished. On a more tactical level, I would consider it to be a victory when ordinary citizens accept the authority of a government and allow it to do the sort of day-to-day activities mentioned in the story rather than devote all their efforts to fighting insurgents. I'm really beginning to wonder whether or not a single central government will ever have that sort of legitimacy in the minds of the people.

Like Tito in Yugoslavia, Saddam had the ability to hold Iraq together because he was a dictator, but when you have groups which are not just different, but actually hostile to one another within a border, that is a real obstacle to the establishment of a democratic form of government. American Republicans and Democrats might not like each other, but they aren't shooting at each other, and that's why our republic can operate -- we put our loyalty to the nation above the loyalty to our party or our politics. I do not believe that's the case in Iraq and that's why I believe that, failing some miraculous breakthrough, Iraq as we know it will end up in three separate nations just as Yugoslavia went back to its original ethnic-based nations, and I believe that will be the point where the fighting will cease and government can return to doing the ordinary tasks of serving the citizens.

It's about bringin... (Below threshold)
It's about bringing "good government" and civil liberties and human rights to war torn Baghdad, a city that has seen none of those things in decades.
Most Democrats have never really cared about any of that stuff. Its emotional candy to hand out to the masses in order to get elected.

Supporting those things now in Iraq goes a against the emotional poison they've generated between the Republicans and the public (with the media's help).

Good post / link Kim,... (Below threshold)

Good post / link Kim,

I would only add that America made a commitment to that country, so to desert them is the height of betrayal and wrecklessness. The fact that anyone runs for the tall grass, in response to the non-stop propoganda campaign being run by the body count media,is an indicator of their lack of backbone,and their spinelessness should not be the motivation for America ditching her,decided in an orderly manner, commitment to the citizens of a nation we invaded.

Vietnam set that precedent, and now it is time to reset the precedent of America being a country whose word you can trust. Let the jack mythas and the harry reids be the voice of the past,the past they wish for a return to,at the expense of millions more innocents. America should rise above the likes of treasonous scum cowards like that.

"we put our loyalty to the ... (Below threshold)

"we put our loyalty to the nation above the loyalty to our party or our politics."

Oh BS. When ? When have the Rats done this? The democrats aren't loyal to anyone but themselves. How dare you lie about loyalty to our Country. It's expected behavior from you criminal frauds.

The democratic party needed to be burried along with that word that described them to the "T". Why just burry the word?

There's another current whi... (Below threshold)

There's another current whizbang piece wailing and whining about the use of the term chickenhawk. Yet you folks glady tolerate terms like "treasonous scum cowards" You wonder why most of the country is leaving you folks behind? Good grief.

Okay JFO,They are ... (Below threshold)

Okay JFO,

They are "people I disagree with". Now can you tell me why America should backslide on her promises ? Does it matter which partys' President made the promise ? It was an American President, you can't just reverse course for the sake of a political victory w/o it resulting in all kinds of terrible things down the road.

Don't you know that bin laden and al qeda / the taliban etc.,have made strategic dicisions basd on OUR past actions of retreat in the face of political discomfort ? They know that more killing makes many of us want to quit. Do you relly want to make it that easy for them ? They seem to like killing, and it seems simple to me what encourages them to do more of it, and that is NOT fighting back.

Nice piece Kim. It's too mu... (Below threshold)

Nice piece Kim. It's too much work for some to wrap their heads around what victory will look like however. Easier to just sit on your fat ass screaming "Bush lied" or calling for redeployment to cover your own political ass.

According to the Dems, this... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

According to the Dems, this was a war for oil. All right then, where's all the oil? Why don't we have lower prices from taking it all over?

Paul Hamilton already re-wr... (Below threshold)

Paul Hamilton already re-writing the battle winning Baghdad. I remember people celebrating in the streets. Using their shoes to beat pictures of Saddam that were ALL over the city. I remember the statue coming down and the people of Iraq dragging through the streets. Since Saddam was not captured right away, some people were weary of the celebration because of the brutalness of his regime. AFTER that celebration, the people started looting. Of course in this country, when people loot the streets the liberals declare they are only demonstrating their frustration for years of being deprived, but in Iraq, is demonstrates their hate for America. They looted their museums which by the way almost all of the items have been recovered. There was lawlessness. So, your comment is without merit and based on a myth. Typical lefty behavior. ww

I had breakfast with a frie... (Below threshold)

I had breakfast with a friend of mine the other day who was at one time well-connected with power brokers in Washington. He still has good friends inside the beltway who are just thrilled that the Democrats are back in power. A friend of his is pretty much a maverick. When she's asked to describe her political views, she says that she's a "Kennedy Democrat". Most of the young guns don't know what that means, and most of the people who do understand hang their heads.

Many have pointed out that the American people supported the Iraq war, including Democrats, but many Americans with short attention spans have lost patience, and Democrats are scoring big against Republicans by exploiting this weakness. It's a shame, really. There's a great deal of good things that Kennedy Democrats - and others - could support and should support.

From Kennedy's Inaugural:

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe -- the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans -- born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage--and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

. . .

To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required--not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

Back when I was a Democrat, that's a big part of what being a Democrat was all about. I can't recognize the Party now.

Let it be known that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, a generation that has tasted defeat in Southeast Asia - and learned to accept it. A generation that has looked on and done nothing while millions of colored people have been murdered, but managed to pull together enough courage to bomb a dictator into submission that threatened the safety and security of Europe (eventually, after only a couple of hundred thousand dead). A generation of narcissists who will say or do anything, including undermining an army in the field, cheer-leading brutal terrorists, supporting oppressive zealots of the worst kind, promoting sexual apartheid, and resigning an entire population to a civil war that will undoubtedly lead to genocide - all to promote the acquisition of political power at home. A generation of idiots who cannot see or understand the nature of the enemy that pursues them. A generation that will do the right thing only if it is easy.

We are, indeed, the heirs of that first revolution. And we are dedicated to enjoying the fruits of liberty here, at home, and we don't care what happens to anyone else.

To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we say, "It sucks to be you. Call the UN."

Willie, here's a website wi... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Willie, here's a website with stuff about pulling down that statue which might refresh your memory:


As for the riots, they started almost immediately. Here's a story from the Sidney Morning Herald dated April 10, 2003:


And here's the money quote:

The looting was on such a scale that it caused traffic jams in the eastern suburbs as huge crowds ripped all that they could from government buildings - air-conditioning units, ceiling fans, hat-stands and anything else they could carry.

They brought trucks and packed their cars so high that much of the loot fell off as they drove away. With great high spirits, they hijacked police cars and motorcycles, full-length curtains and sports trophies.

The used wheeled office chairs to push their loot away into the suburbs while some guarded their booty on street corners, waiting for family vehicles to return to collect it.

One of them said: "This is our peace dividend."

Nuts, I ended my italics ea... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Nuts, I ended my italics early, but the last four paragraphs above are all from that story.

Wildwillie, you're right an... (Below threshold)

Wildwillie, you're right and Paul is wrong, as usual.

The bottom line remains tha... (Below threshold)

The bottom line remains that for the Left, hating Bush is more important than the fact that they've abandoned all of their principles in the pursuit of that hatred.

Hot Air is saying that Libe... (Below threshold)

Hot Air is saying that Liberals should love this war because of the nature of the non-military efforts being made. I maintain they should also love it because the manner in which the military is conducting itself is also what the Libs want.

No taking of weapons caches in Mosques, that would be hateful.
Lawyers out in force making sure that no fire-fight ensues without proper legal and documentary underpinning.

No, cutting off supply lines from Iran as that would embolden the Iranians.

Jailing marines who didn't get proper permission from HQ to take out snipers.

and on and on. We are fighting this war like a bunch of weenie PC leftists. Even Kennedy or FDR were wise enough to know that you reduce civilian casualties in the long run if you rout the enemy (even with some collateral damage) in the short run.

Bush has yielded his strategy to the left while still staying the course on the fight. His principles are good but his methodology needs some serious work.

Of course, the left would have bad methodology and no principles whatsoever so they are no use to this nation at all.

And what Paul Hamilton has ... (Below threshold)

And what Paul Hamilton has conveniently forgotten is the terrible price that was paid for Saddam's regime. Estimates range from 1.2 to 1.4 million people during the 11 years between wars. Try to wrap your brain around that figure for a minute. A King James Bible has about 790,000 words. Pick up a bible and look at the words on a single page, and try to imagine that each word is a human being. Now flip through page after page after page.

(By the way, when we did nothing in Rwanda, about 500,000 died.)

The argument has been made that we had Saddam "contained". That meant that we can sit back and let him kill about 100,000 or so every year. It also means that people like bin Laden can point to the official UN numbers on the misery in Iraq and say in his declaration of war:

More than 600,000 Iraqi children have died due to lack of food and medicine and as a result of the unjustifiable aggression (sanction) imposed on Iraq and its nation. The children of Iraq are our children. You, the USA, together with the Saudi regime are responsible for the shedding of the blood of these innocent children.

Without regime change, there did not appear to be a way to undermine or counter this argument.

Now, of course, the argument is made that if we leave Iraq, it will splinter. I don't believe that it will splinter into three pieces. I think it will split in two, with the Kurds and Shiites exterminating the Sunni. Will we see hundreds of thousands if not a million dead? Certainly.

Apparently, most liberals don't seem to care.

Jo, I've cited my sources. ... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Jo, I've cited my sources. If I'm wrong, I'm sure you have some proof of that, so let's see your sources.

kevino, maybe *if* were wer... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

kevino, maybe *if* were were going to invade, we should have gone in with sufficient troops and equipment and with a plan.

And what exactly does your figure of 1.2 million deaths mean? People die every day, so deaths alone don't mean much. Are you talking preventable deaths, such as from uncontrolled diseases, from violence, or what? And are you citing some propaganda from bin Laden as your source? I hope you can do better than that...

Paul, again you are disinge... (Below threshold)

Paul, again you are disingenuous. In your orginal comment you said "Looting and riots started almost immediately" and your rebuttal to me was changed to "started ALMOST immediately." Your main contention being that there were no celebrations, which is plain incorrect, false, misleading, untrue any one of these words. Secondly, you contention that the Iraqy people cannot be government unless through a dictator is offensive and racist on its' face. If the government fails, which is far from happening, that will still be their choice. Something they have not had not had in their lifetime. Also, you say you do not believe..., what I would say is you don't WANT to believe. Now, how about supporting our troops and their mission? And tell your friends also. ww

Paul,RE: "Maybe 'i... (Below threshold)


RE: "Maybe 'if' we were going to invade"
We had a debate. The majority voted for war. Democrats for Peace had there opportunity to put forward alternatives. They failed. The discussion is over. You can't change the past.

RE: "What does 1.2 million mean"
Well, for starters, look at the mass graves found in Iraq, graves filled with women and children who were murdered to maintain the regime. Finding new mass graves have been much easier in Iraq than in the former Yugoslavia, where less than 200,000 people died. Saddam can probably top that number just in executions of Kurds and Shiites. [Gee, and some people wonder why they don't get along with the Sunni.]

But if you read what I wrote and kept up with current events, you would know that the 1.2-1.4 million figure are mostly the estimates of the dead caused by the sanctions that the UN approved and that we helped enforce. This is what you get when gangsters run a country.

RE: Bin Laden propaganda
Read what I said. The number he quotes is from the UN. Got it?

Now, in order to defeat an enemy, you have to defeat his plans. If the containment makes us look like oppressive monsters to the Arab Street and provides him with recruits, then that is a problem. Problem solved.

At the time when the Iraq war was being debated, the alternative to war on this point was to: (1) lift sanctions and (2) try to convince Saddam to do better. Lifting the sanctions is a loser because Saddam gets what he wants. Trying to convince Saddam to do better is a loser because he's a dictator, and he can do what he wants. Inflicting pain on a subset of his people keeps his friends loyal to him, inflicts pain on his enemies, and rallies the Arab Street against the US. He's not going to play nice, even if you say, "Pretty please."

RE: Usual whining about a plan
Our military worked well. If Democrats had better ideas about winning the war, they should have said so. So far, there big claim to fame is bitching, moaning, and giving up. I've said in this forum and others for a long time that I have yet to see a plan put forward by any Democrat to actually win the war in Iraq. No one has yet to point me at any proposal other than run away.

I have yet to figure out wh... (Below threshold)

I have yet to figure out why the particulars of recent history seem to be so hard to recall for some on the left.

"I have yet to figure ou... (Below threshold)

"I have yet to figure out why the particulars of recent history seem to be so hard to recall for some on the left."

Hmm, I forget...

Just curious why there has ... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Just curious why there has not been a response on this link http://www.guardian.co.uk/video/page/0,,2125978,00.html

Despite claims made here...the "left" has not been in charge except in the House since January...I do not recognize the tossed about terms left or right. We probably have our own personal definitions based upon our own political ideology of those terms. WE should never be so presumptuous as to think our definition of left/right/center should apply to anyone but us.

The serious problems facing us both abroad and domestically cannot be foisted on one ideology or another. Both ideologies have been proven correct in some circumstances...and both have been proven wrong in some circumstances...

Thank you wildwillie. Paul... (Below threshold)

Thank you wildwillie. Paul loses again. Love it.

Actually, there are no hard... (Below threshold)

Actually, there are no hard numbers for the dead caused by the Iran/Iraq War and/or the sanctions and/or Saddam's executions. Most of it is guess work and the numbers constructed by means other than just counting the dead on the battle field. Both regimes were going to lie about their losses during the war so they didn't look bad and the only way we'll ever know just how many died because of the sanctions or just because of Saddam's madness is by digging up the graves. All of them. Because they certainly weren't going to be honest about that either.

With that said though, there are some good estimates. So debate all you want and demand all the statistical sources you want, once you get past a couple million, all told, what's the difference?

Oddly enough, no one seems to want to be honest about deaths in this war either except the US military. And that's driven home regularly by the press every time a round number is reached with phrases like "death toll" and "grim milestone".

Thank you Jo. He seems like... (Below threshold)

Thank you Jo. He seems like a good guy, but sometimes I worry about him. w

Willie: I posted a source ... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Willie: I posted a source which stated that looting was taking place simultaneous with the celebrations. If you want to argue minutes or hours, that's up to you, but for me, that qualifies as "almost immediately." As for the government falling, overthrows aren't the way the democratic system is supposed to operate, so I'd say if it falls, that would be evidence of the failure of the system, not it's success. And I will support the troops by continuing to call for their return home. And thanks for the compliment.

kevino: So you cite the UN as a valid source when it suits your purposes but condemn them the rest of the time. And we are not containing terrorism -- the report last week said that al Qaeda is just about back to its pre-9-11 strength. I wonder how much more successul we'd been if we'd skipped the invasion of Iraq and actually gone after terrorists instead of Saddam. Finally, I don't think we should have invaded in the first place -- there is no good plan for a bad war. If there were some Dems who lacked the political courage to stand up against the war back in 2002, then they can defend their vote, but I was against it from the start.

Man, Paul creams you righti... (Below threshold)

Man, Paul creams you righties with facts and then you just call him wrong and masturbate each other for saying it with nothing to back it up. Just liek how every rightwing post here gets voted up no matter how hateful, childish or foolish and every leftwing post gets voted down no matter how thoughtful or well reasoned (notice I didn't say "right or wrong", that's not the point if you agree with it or not, only that you don't even consider it an option that a post with a left view might even be worthy of reading at all).

Its so fun seeing such stupid behavior from the right, it's why you lost the last election and will lose the next. Which would be fun to watch if you weren't losing our military and losing our standing in the world at the same time.

Paul, when we broke with En... (Below threshold)

Paul, when we broke with England we were governed by the Articles of Confederation. After a short time, our founding fathers saw the problems with this system and "overthrew" it and authored the Constitution. I guess democracy shouldn't work that way either.

In this country, when there is good news there is rioting and looting. Like when a pro team wins a championship. I guess that also proves that we have failed as a country.

The murder rate in most of our cities are at an all time high, so again, we failed as a country.

Of course if you factor in DUI fatalities, drug fatalities, aids fatalities, by your standard, we are not a very successful country. By my standards, we are a great country and I am glad we are helping Iraq become a great country also. ww

Poor old wee wee from bluie... (Below threshold)

Poor old wee wee from bluie has to come over here to "try" to get someone to comment on his post. Only thing if you say boo he bans you. tee hee

Next time they want us to g... (Below threshold)

Next time they want us to go into Darfur(which has no U.S. interest) for humanitarian reasons, I will just ask where they were when at the very least, humanitarian reasons were enough to take down Saddam.

Mark:Its so fu... (Below threshold)


Its so fun seeing such stupid behavior from the right,

I agree, but the laughter goes both ways.

You Wizbangers are SO out o... (Below threshold)
dr lava:

You Wizbangers are SO out of touch with America. Do you guys all live in the same trailer park?

Dr SoapWhat's wrong ... (Below threshold)

Dr Soap
What's wrong with a trailer park? Are you some kind of elitist or what?

Best Regards
Dirty Hands

Dr Soap,BTW, John Ed... (Below threshold)

Dr Soap,
BTW, John Edwards is visitin' our trailer park today. Somethin bout a poverty tour.
I sure would like to meet Mr Edwards, but we surely don't know why he is looking for poverty here. Why, we make our payments and pay our bills here and such.
If he's lookin for poverty he needs to head downtown because city govament don't allow trailers in town. Course, we like to callem mobile homes. Ours is a double wide and we're damn proud of it cause we can afford it and send our kids to college.
Seeya neighbor,
Amon T. A. Bustya

OysterOddly ... (Below threshold)


Oddly enough, no one seems to want to be honest about deaths in this war either except the US military. And that's driven home regularly by the press every time a round number is reached with phrases like "death toll" and "grim milestone".

An excellent point that needs to be made more often.

Hamilton "creams" us with f... (Below threshold)

Hamilton "creams" us with facts? Uh, like this one from Hamilton above: "the report last week said that al Qaeda is just about back to its pre-9-11 strength". Which is false.

The correct statement was "Al Qaeda is the strongest it has been since the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks" (emphasis added). No where in the report is it claimed that Al Queda was close to its pre-9/11 strength. It states only that Al Queda has regained strength in its haven in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Creams us with facts? Invented "facts, exaggerated "facts" and misrepresented "facts" maybe.

I agree, but the laughte... (Below threshold)

I agree, but the laughter goes both ways.

You idiot, did you even read those polls you linked to? They say the country is unhappy with congress but happy that at least they're in charge instead of repub's! And also that they trust dem's more than Bush to get the country on the right path. My laughter continues.

Mark:You idiot... (Below threshold)


You idiot, did you even read those polls you linked to? They say the country is unhappy with congress

Ah...well yes I did, "idiot" to use your terminology.

THAT was my point. As you laugh at "stupid behavior from the right" those on the right are in comic fits over such dem luminaries as sen. Reid who wants to mimic a rep 2003 charade by holding a "sleepover" on the Senate floor as if he's a 10 year old.

The American people are so disgusted with congress, both sides, they can't get poll numbers above either Bush or the Mendoza line.
Is it OK too take the quote marks off now?


And BTW, sarcasim isn't your strong suit.

dr lave:You Wi... (Below threshold)

dr lave:

You Wizbangers are SO out of touch with America. Do you guys all live in the same trailer park?

Glad you noticed... the park is just down the street from your corrugated tin roofed and 2x2 shack.

And I have to say it's better to have been out of touch than never been IN TOUCH.

Jonathan Kay, National Post... (Below threshold)

Jonathan Kay, National Post, Tuesday, today.

Paul:RE: "So you c... (Below threshold)


RE: "So you cite the UN as a valid source when it suits your purposes but condemn them the rest of the time."
Read what I wrote: the figures are important because they are the best estimates and because it is what terrorist leaders like bin Laden use to prove that the US is oppressing Islamic people.

RE: "And we are not containing terrorism -- the report last week said that al Qaeda is just about back to its pre-9-11 strength."
Non sequitur and a blanket statement with no supporting evidence.

RE: "I wonder how much more successul we'd been if we'd skipped the invasion of Iraq and actually gone after terrorists instead of Saddam. Finally, I don't think we should have invaded in the first place -- there is no good plan for a bad war. If there were some Dems who lacked the political courage to stand up against the war back in 2002, then they can defend their vote, but I was against it from the start."

What a complete waste of time: reliving the decisions of the past.

You want to relive a past decision? Well, I wonder how much more successful we'd have been if Left Wing people had supported the United States and its allies after the invasion. The correct course of action is: "Politics stops at the water's edge." Once troops are committed, the only way out is to win. If the United States had presented a united front against these thugs, our probability of success would have been much greater. This enemy cannot defeat us on the battlefield; the only way they can win is to convince us to quit. Those who publicly advocate ending the war in defeat are providing the enemy with the only realistic way that they can win. And they are proving terrorist leaders' (e.g. bin Laden) theory that you don't need to defeat Western armies on the battlefield, you can change Western policies if you kill enough of their people. Their theory is that the West is weak because they are casualty averse and don't have the will to sustain a long fight. Your side is proving them correct.

But it doesn't matter, anymore. Your side has basically won. Your side has basically talked the US into defeat. When the Majority Leader of the Senate can say that the Iraq war is already lost, it's basically over. All you have to do now is figure out how to live in the world that you have helped make.

You people like to think of yourselves as the "Reality-Based Community".

OK, Paul, here's another simple little life lesson for you: You cannot undo the decisions of the past. You may disagree with the decision to go to war, but that is not at all important to the decisions that must be made now. No matter what decisions were made in the past and no matter how strongly you may disagree with those decisions, it's over. It's done. Give it up. The critical question that we are left with is: "Where do we go from here?"

And in that regard, you and you ilk fair very badly. You either cannot accept that the actions that your side is proposing will end in genocide and the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Or you know deep down that that is exactly what will happen, and you just don't care.

After the retreat from Iraq, our enemies will greatly increase in strength and resolve. I don't think that most people on the Left understand what these people are like and what their side represents.

In the future, our foreign policy will be heavily dependent on alliances with others. But after our retreat from Iraq, a generation will pass before any leaders in troubled regions will form alliances with the US. The Left believes that once the evil Bush leaves office, everything will get better. It won't. Many foreign leaders will see a failure by the United States - not a failure by Bush. They won't trust us because we don't have the willpower for a sustained fight.

As the US enters a second post-Vietnam era, a generation will pass before the US will declare war on another country. Some will regard that as a great step to world peace. Most will come to realize the terrible price that comes with peace through appeasement and defense of the status quo.


In any case, there are other examples in what I wrote that you didn't even try to counter. I find it interesting that there are those who just don't care about some of the worst acts of human cruelty in our generation - literally, millions of people dead. If the cure for this may mean war and, potentially, the killing of thousands of innocents, they are willing to accept it. Somehow, it seems that the deaths of millions is acceptable as long as their sensibilities are not offended.

The exception is the former Yugoslavia. When ethnic cleansing was first announced, I advocated a bombing campaign designed to bring the Serbs into line. My liberal friends, who we very anti-war, were horrified. Funny thing: when President Clinton actually did it, they suddenly changed their tune. A limited, small war is OK, even if that means illegally bombing from high altitude and even if most of the genocide had already taken place.

This is interesting for several reasons:
1. I find it interesting that the West is perfectly willing to allow millions of colored people to die. However, if the safety and security of Europe is at stake, Europe suddenly decides to take action, even if that action is mostly to beg the US to do the heavy lifting for them.
2. I find it interesting that there are those, like my friends, that pretend to be anti-war but won't lift a finger against a Democratic president who advocates war.
3. I find it interesting listening to those who advocate a position that only UN-approved actions are legal but turn blind when a Democrat takes action without UN approval.
4. I find it interesting to hear from those who like to pretend that calling in the UN will solve the problem, but don't want to hear about the terrible problems trying to bring peace and security to the former Yugoslavia.

And, by the way, for the record: one of the worst condemnations of this generation is Darfur. The world has the power to put a stop to the killing but not the will. The US can't do it alone: our military is stretched too thin, and our current President has no political capital to advocate more military action. Without the US, the response from the West to this crisis has been pathetic.

re: trailer parkWh... (Below threshold)

re: trailer park

Who is it who represents the poor?

Oh, yeah. Democrats.

Who are just a bunch of mean rich people who don't care if poor people starve or have no health insurance?

Oh, yeah. Republicans.

Until it comes time to call someone names... then true attitudes about poor people come right to the top.

Thanks, dr. lava, for once again pointing out exactly what liberals think of the poor.

(And why the "poor" so often "vote against their interests" ie. don't vote for Democrats.)

Hey dont the liberals buy i... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Hey dont the liberals buy into this POPULATION BOMB,POPULATION EXPLOSION poppycock bull kaka of PAUL ERHLICH they are always balbbering about over population and support ABORTION and EUTHIASIA

That was a very comprehensi... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

That was a very comprehensive reply, Kev, but I'll just address one aspect of it. If a war is a bad idea, but we start it anyway, that does NOT make it right. And I will not support a war on the sole basis of it's own existence. As I've said before, the standard I use for justification of a war is if the best likely outcome is worth the cost in lives and fortune. We long ago passed the tipping point for that standard in Iraq so we should come home as quickly as possible within the bounds of safety for our troops.

BTW, I didn't support Bosnia either.

Paul, If someone does somet... (Below threshold)

Paul, If someone does something bad, really and truly bad, but there is a good result, should that result be destroyed because doing it in the first place was wrong?

Even *if* going to war in Iraq was wrong, objectively wrong, it is not *corrected* by leaving now. Nothing will correct it.

If the *correction* causes more horror and destroys anything good and the potential of anything good happening, the correction is *evil*.

We don't get a do-over. We don't get to salve the conscience of those who want their conscience salved.

It truly does appear that some people care more about their own good feelings about themselves than about the real lives of those people who would be hurt by us pulling out because people think the war isn't *right*. Pulling out isn't *right* either. It's wrong.

So the war is wrong (for sake of argument,)pulling out is every bit as wrong... and doing it doesn't somehow make a "right".

A wrong plus a wrong equals an even more wrong.

And you don't get to be righteous about it.

No, this isn't about consci... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

No, this isn't about conscience, this is about the fact that the best possible outcome no longer justifies the cost in blood and treasure. We could fight this war for another decade with no meaningful benefits and huge costs. There comes a point where you simply have to honestly appraise what is happening and act rationally on that appraisal.

How can the best possible o... (Below threshold)

How can the best possible outcome not justify the cost in blood and treasure?

We aren't going to get a refund.

We honestly appraised what ... (Below threshold)

We honestly appraised what was happening and recently changed tactics.

All those anti-Bush people who were insisting that we needed more troops on the ground and that Bush was stupid to go with so few... where are they now?

Synova, Hamilton's mind is ... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Synova, Hamilton's mind is made up, don't confuse the poor man with the facts.

After all, he apparently doesn't think a stable functioning democratically elected government in the heart of the Middle East is worth fewer soldiers' lives than it took to take the single island of Iwo Jima!

Do any of you anti-war type... (Below threshold)

Do any of you anti-war type wanna guess who said the following:

As the Iraqi people strive to achieve these goals, they should be able to count on the active support of Iraq's neighbours and the international community. In this respect, the Compact is an important framework for fulfilling our shared responsibilities towards Iraq and its people.

The remarks came a short 8 weeks ago by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Is it safe to assume those so willing to abandon Iraq consider themselves not to be part of the "international community?"

I am watching c-span. I am ... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

I am watching c-span. I am watching Republicans in their filibuster...after all Republicans have always been against an up or down vote...
I am watching as Republicans pretend that the military surge just started...
I know most Americans are not watching...but I also believe...that in 2008...
Let Republican candidates on any level run with their support of of our President's belief that he has been right and the sacrifice of our troops is worthy of the the Iraqi Government.
I read words from those who have never served..who have not encouraged their son or daughters or spouses to serve(anyone under 40 can join)...
My status as a service connected Vet really means little...but ya know...it gave me a little experience of the horror of war based on lies...
So please continue..continue to pretend that the courageous efforts of our troops is worth the lack of action by the Iraqi Government...
Continue to cower in the belief that "we have to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here"...because of course,,,YOU are not fighting anywhere..and are afraid to fight an Iraqi invasion on the street where you live...or even Al-Q
We gained our Independence against the greatest military force of the 18th century. We won against an occupying force...because it was our backyard..because we were willing to go farther then British soldiers were able to go....
We won because the British soldiers were unable to dicern the difference between friend and foe.
Yes I have a bias based on my military service during Viet Nam...
.........................So continue your simplistic rhetoric...and in November of 2008 maybe your views will be shared...
Maybe America will vote to support the illusion....there should be a Republican Landslide....

Paul,Thank you. Y... (Below threshold)


Thank you. You're just proving my point for me: both of your recent replies focus entirely on the cost of the war for the US. You, and many like you, just don't care about anyone else. The Instapundit has this quote this morning:

While pressing President Bush all year to begin bringing troops home from Iraq, lawmakers leading the legislative campaign have not developed any plans to confront the widespread killing that could follow a pullout. . . .

"I wouldn't be surprised if it's horrendous," said House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat who has helped lead the drive against the war. "The only hope for the Iraqis is their own damned government, and there's slim hope for that."

The Kennedy Democrats are, indeed, gone. Hundreds of thousands will die. Millions will be enslaved. Fanatics and thugs will grow ever-stronger causing untold human misery. Finally, it will all boil over into another World War or the West will just cave in to Islamic zealots. But the Left has no answer.

I wonder what Democrats these days actually believe in. Do they believe in human rights? Do they believe in justice? Do they believe in representative government? Do they believe in equal rights for women?

Apparently they don't. Or if they do, they reserve those ideals for themselves. Anyone "in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery" are SOL: the Left needs to defend the status quo.

It's very sad. A country is not a rock or lines on a map. A country is what it stands for when standing for something is hard. They may win, because they believe in something and are willing to fight for it, even though the cause that they are fighting for is one of the worst the men have ever fought for. But in reality, they may win simply because there aren't enough people who are willing to resist them.

I had to go find this, but ... (Below threshold)

I had to go find this, but this quote from Ayn Rand is on-point. Thanks, Rory, for putting it in a comment thread.

Observe the nature of today's alleged peace movements. Professing love and concern for the survival of mankind, they keep screaming the the nuclear-weapons race should be stopped, that armed force should be abolished as a means of settling disputes among nations, and that war should be outlawed in the name of humanity. Yet these same peace movements do not oppose dictatorships; the political views of their members range through all shades of the statist specturm, from welfare statism to socialism to fascism to communism. This means that they are opposed to the use of coercion by one nation against another, but not by the government of a nation against its own citizens; it means that they are opposed to the use of force against armed adversaries, but not against the disarmed.

Consider the plunder, the destruction, the starvation, the brutality, the slave-labor camps, the torture chambers, the wholesale slaughter perpetrated by dictatorships. Yet this is what today's alleged peace-lovers are willing to advocate or tolerate-in the name of love for humanity.






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