Democrats & Liberals Archives

Seek a Different Victory

Retired General William E. Odom, a well respected expert on counterinsurgency has thrown the gauntlet down for both Republicans and Democrats: Stop making things worse by allowing things to continue. He asks the valid question: what is the good of prolonging our involvement in Iraq to mitigate the effects of a civil war, if it’s the war itself that’s responsible for it in the first place?

We never intended for things to get out of control, but nonetheless, they did, because of mistakes we made. This provided the opening for hostile forces both inside and outside the country to seize control of the situation. The Bush administration failed to bring in the troops after the fact of the invasion to keep this from happening, much less have them there in the first place.

People talk about victory as if it's just a matter of applied, sustained effort. Well, if your car is starting to roll downhill because somebody left the parking brake off, applied, sustained effort is only helpful when it is equal to the momentum of what it's trying to stop. By yourself you might not do much better than risk getting run over. And if somebody's turned the car on and put in reverse, then your applied effort and even that of a few friends will not do the job. Other means of dealing with the car will become necessary.

The Iraqi government exists because we ensure that it does. But the long term stability of Iraq cannot be built on that premise, because we have to go home, and American interests have become a resented commodity in that part of the world. For Iraq and the region to become stable, it must be something those countries want and their populations will work to preserve.

Would we be cowards for walking away? Put a better way, is it fear of the enemy that has prompted America's desire to leave Iraq? Put that way, cowardice has nothing to do with our desire to leave. We desire to leave because the sum of our success in Iraq is in the negative. We have not succeeded in preventing unrest. We have not succeeded in dampening the violence. We have not succeeded in being able to create a sustainable government. We have not succeeded in preventing civil war. The total of soldiers, combat and otherwise, is insufficient to gain control of the city and the nation even with the surge. We would need far more soldiers to bring peace to Iraq (a peace only sustainable in our presence), and that would require a much greater economic layout, and a draft that would be sure to lack popular support.

None of this reflects American's fear of the terrorists or of the insurgents. We aren't being scared away. America is simply disgusted at the results, disappointed with all that's come of our efforts, and worried that further attempts to win the war by persistence of presence would both make the situation worse. if there is anything to be feared, It's logistical shortfalls that will limit our ability to defend our other interests. America sees a deficit in the difference between the cost of this war and its benefits, and that is why America wants out.

Further military adventures along the lines of preventing future threats will meet similar fates. America and nations abroad recognize the legitimacy of self defense and retaliation for acts of war committed against us, but they do not countenance well the Bush Doctrine's model of preventative war. Iraq has proved preventative war to be very costly on our part, and nations which seek the world's worst weapons will factor this into their strategies. What the Iraqis can do, others can as well. Far from discouraging our enemies, we've shown them how to defeat a technologically sophisticated military superpower, and shown that we can be defeated. The expense it will take to bully dictators and the like will increase.

The only thing preventative wars are prevented so far, besides peace, is America from applying its full strength to current, real-world threats. In March of 2003, al-Qaeda had the capability to inflict a chemical gas attack on this country. Iraq did not. We have let al-Qaeda grow and flourish. Rather that take a civilian based approach which is most appropriate for our nation's mainly civilian nature, the Neoconservative solution to our security problems is an unsustainable, even counterproductive campaign of hegemonic domination, where we attempt to solve our problem by trying to enforce our control on a region already resentful of our influence in the world. It doesn't solve our problem, it merely grows it at great expense, to become an even worse threat.

In many ways, there's is an impossible goal: to force the Middle East to embrace a form of government which of its own necessity must be willingly agreed to, and then, having embraced that, align with American interests that had just inflicted devastation on the countries involved. This is not to say that a war in Iraq could not have achieved that, but rather that military force could not merely kill the enemy, but had to provide the security and stability for other events to happen. That would take a considerably greater force than we invaded with, than we fought the bulk of this war with, or that we will bring into the fight under Bush's surge. That number started out high, and has only gotten higher as Bush's failures complicated things.

What we must do now by political and diplomatic means, is see to the stable structuring of the Middle East to handle the aftermath of this war, and our withdrawal, which if achieved will be a different, but crucial victory for our people. We do not benefit from the ongoing violence, and every day that Iraq remains in civil war is a day too long. We are past the point where our military has the capability as configured to handle the problem.

Like Gen. Odom says, there is little point to protesting the involvement of Iran, given the predictable results of our war (who did we think would would mainly Shia Iraq ally itself with?) Let's get them and Syria involved and devoting their resources to stabilizing Iraq. Since Iran is in economic bad straits as it is, this might serve dual purposes: the economic pressures might make the current government more unpopular, especially in light of its provocative behavior, and will encourage Iran to reform, so as to regain the economic resources necessary to expand its influence. Channel Iran's ambitions, domesticate them.

The Middle East needs to take care of its own problems, the countries of that region protecting themselves, Israel included. We should not abandon our friends. We just shouldn't have running to us be their first option. Israel should have to negotiate in good faith, with us as an honest broker, not the unquestioning supporters. Israel has a right to exist, but it would be a pity to see it devolve into a garrison state, unable to enjoy its freedoms.

Peace is not the necessary consequence of a successful war, and defense against war starts best from the absences or deflection of its potential. Appeasement doesn't work; that only raises the stakes for peace, while ultimately depriving people of political and personal freedoms. The garrison state strategy doesn't work either, forcing a permanent war footing that both saps resources, and imprisons people in regimented militaristic society.

People blame our lack of militarism for the fact that we were struck on 9/11, but the fact is, we were not struck by an invading army, airborne bombers, or even ICBMs. we were essentially struck by a cunning repurposing of our own resources, that is, the fuel and the aircraft carrying them. We were not struck by officers of any army, but by civilians who belonged to an organization not unlike a modern globalized corporation.

Our best and most effective means of facing our enemies abroad has been the gathering of civilian information and its interpretation by civilian intelligence. It has been the help of foreign powers, and the use of foreign police forces to capture and secure these agents of the enemy.

In deciding what we do next with the war, we should ask ourselves, what truly will determine our success in facing these, the enemies that struck at us over five years ago? An ineffectual military buildup and escalation in Iraq, or a withdrawal that will allow us to employ our resources where they can change things for the better in both civilian and military terms?

This is not a question of whether we will stand bravely with commitment and determination in the face of the enemy. This is a question of whether we will do what is to our advantage in the world at large, instead of beating our head against a wall that grows thicker much faster than our skulls.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at February 11, 2007 3:28 PM
Comments
Comment #207624

Stephen, terrific article.
I’ve been reading Odom’s opinions for a long time and have been in full agreement with the man’s reasoning.
I find it very sad though. After all the clear failures and utterly wasted, astronomical expense of the Iraq War you’ve touched on above, that articles like this one are still being written. I honestly feel that at this point, it is pretty much useless to keep trying to convince that slim minority who still support and make all kinds of excuses for this administration. If these folks don’t understand that our troops need to leave Iraq by now, I strongly doubt they ever will.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 11, 2007 5:03 PM
Comment #207626

Adrienne,

Iraq has consumed us, it is exhausting, and there is no end in sight.

Worse, the current course with Iran seems certain to end in disaster. According to Newsweek, a third carrier fleet will be deployed to the Gulf, joining the Stennis & Eisenhower. The Bush administration has put out a strange and obviously bogus story about Iranians arming… the Mahdi Army?… with more powerful IEDs. It makes no sense. Most of the attacks agains the US are launched by Sunni insurgents. The Iranians support the Kurds (the Iranians were working with Barzani in Irbil) and the dominant parties of the Iraqi government, SCIRI & Dawa, who are allied with Iranias. The Mahdi Army it nationalistic, and al-Sadr detests the Iranians.

Meanwhile, the Iranians are not blind. If they conclude an attack is imminent, they may strike first; or, a mistake or miscalculation by one side or another could result in an expansion of the war. Putin just read the US the riot act. The Russians, Chinese, and others may decide to arm Iran with more sophisticated weapons.

We need to withdraw now. The Bush administration needs to be stopped cold. But Congress will not be able to stop Bush soon enough. Unfortunately for all of us, there are still enough Republicans in Congress to prevent withdrawal and impeachment.

The next consequence of the worst foreign policy blunder in the history of our country is coming down full bore. Staying this collision course will end “Pax Americana” fast.

Who would have ever imagined we would fall so far, so fast? Who would have imagined our role of sole Superpower would end so quickly?

Posted by: phx8 at February 11, 2007 5:49 PM
Comment #207629


Stephen D.: Thanks for picking up on General Odam’s article. I read it this morning. I think that where we stand now is the Administration will never admit defeat. They are willing to drag this out until the next administration no matter how many of our troops have to pay the price. The Democrats seem to be willing to do likewise rather than be blamed for the failure.

The people of America pay a very heavy fee to those who run our economy and our government. Perhaps that fee would be worth every penney if those whom we have entrusted to run things had a deep sense of duty. More and more it seems that they have a strong desire for the privileges their position gives them rather than duty.

phx8: I think that history is showing us that each new empire lasts for a shorter period of time than the previous one. This nation has been the greatest yet at producing wealth and the greatest at squandering that wealth.

Posted by: jlw at February 11, 2007 6:48 PM
Comment #207644

Stephen, all that you say is true. However, despite the will of the American people as expressed last Nov, the Dems are doing nothing to stop this. Instead, they pledge their undying loyalty to AIPAC in New York in facing down Iran, (Hilary & Edwards)and threaten non binding resolutions against funding the escalation, ehhh, sorry, “Surge”. A county that has not attacked anyone in 2000 years, a country that has no nukes, is a signatory to the NNPT,and against whom is not a shred of evidence that they are seeking nuclear weapons. Despite the will of the people, it appears there is no one in power who will call a halt to this illegal war. Is the US now a post democratic society? Is it true that there has been a silent coup d’etat?

jlw, you are right about the lives of empires. It is true of indeed most everything today, where life cycles become shorter, apart from human life cycles in the developed world. The pace of change has never been faster. And in the affairs of man, hubris and malevolence scheme to humble the mightiest empires. There is a God after all, Hallelujah!

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at February 11, 2007 9:26 PM
Comment #207650

Paul in Euroland-
Don’t quit making such challenging remarks. Just be aware that the rank and file is making the same kind of comments. I write what I write to light fires under people, and to make certain distinctions easier to make.

I know my articles aren’t likely to make that big of a difference, but who knows. I could be the nail that makes the difference for somebody. I hope people get the message that we can’t simply sit here and let Bush determine policy.

Bush has succeeded in making the Republican party radioactive for the next generation. Let’s just hope his actions don’t end up making the rest of us that way.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 11, 2007 9:44 PM
Comment #207652

Another thing we should look to congress to do is commence an immediate intense effort to get us off imported oil. Bush does give some lip service to this which hopefully means he will not actively resist it. A large tariff is a good start and within the province of congress as is a conserted ,well funded, national conservation program. Liberty and stability in many regions of the world are in inverse relationship with the price of oil.

Posted by: BillS at February 11, 2007 10:05 PM
Comment #207662

Bush made a mistake with his whole nation-building project in Iraq—but it would still have been a mistake, in my view, despite the insurgency and Sunni-Shia internecine warfare subsequent to the toppling of Hussein (which I supported and still support).

I think this is an important point to make because we will eventually experience armed conflicts in the future, and we need to have much clearer and better-defined objectives and goals in place for our military going in. Here are two proposals of my own.

1), We are not going to extend our security unmbrella over nations with the resources and manpower to defend themselves. We’re tired of being demonized for doing the dirty work that others don’t want to do because they want to spend their entire budgets on their holidays and social programs. You don’t like American domination of the world? Very well. We’re tired of it ourselves. If China, North Korea, Russia or whoever wants your real estate, take it up with them. They are on notice too that if they feel like crossing your borders they will not be met by American armed forces. We will still consider mutually protective alliances with our friends, but it must be on more equal footing—you must not only supply manpower and resources within your abilities in the event of a conflict, but maintain and refine your military’s capabilities in peacetime.

2). We’re not going to enter a war with your nation EVER unless you directly threaten or commit hostile acts toward us. Do that, and we’re not interested in what the United Nations or anyone else says on your behalf. Head to your bunkers. But remember that the US doesn’t do nation building. If you end up in a war with the United States as a result of your hostile behavior, you can sweep up the pieces yourself. Threaten or attack us again, and we’ll just break your stuff into smaller pieces next time.

In general, I think the American public is in the mood for a far more isolationist foreign policy, such as what I suggest. It would undoubtedly make the world a far more dangerous place, and make many regret what they’d wished for.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 12, 2007 12:05 AM
Comment #207664

Yeah, this is a real intellectual debate. Why does General Odom ignore the fact that the war in Iraq is actually a smashing success? Don’t believe me? Go read about it. The National Security Strategy -promulgated by the Bush Administration in September 2002 -included attacking possible future competitors first, assuming regional hegemony by force of arms, controlling energy resources around the globe, maintaining a permanent-war strategy, etc. Yeah this was planned. It’s going great as near as I can tell. Civil war, balkanization, chaos. It’s been wrecked, and we got the resources. The oil exchange saddam was planning never got off the ground, see because we can’t have Iraq selling THEIR oil for something other than dollars. All the returning soliders are talking about the massive bases we are building, tilt-up concrete buildings, very permanent. Casualties? Acutally quite low, quite low indeed. There are over 300 million americans so 3,000 dead doesn’t amount to chicken feed. It’s actually closer to 10,000 dead since they dont count those who die out of Iraq in route to Germany, or commit suicide or die in the U.S. later on. But who’s counting? Not you guys. No, no we are not going anywhere, in fact, I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that we use Iraq as a staging ground to go into Iran..and then you guys can all sit here next year and have this same debate about a fresh, new wrecked country. And I’ll stop in and write all the same stuff. Yup,sounds like fun.

Posted by: Lala at February 12, 2007 12:24 AM
Comment #207671

Lala, the sarcasm is laid on a little thick there, don’t you think?

Incidentally, where’d you pick up that howler about the 3,000 American dead being closer to 10,000? Do you actually believe that baloney or is that more sarcasm?

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 12, 2007 12:55 AM
Comment #207685

LO-
I don’t think the mistake was trying to nation build. The mistake was trying to do so having barred the military and civilians from planning for it. The roots of this war’s failure are in the restriction of all options to those what fit one very flawed ideological belief system.

As for your points?
We can’t protect America and its interests solely by holing up in North America. We need to balance the need to protect our interests, with the requirement that other countries have a first line of defense besides us. We need regional powers to step up to the plate and be able to take the lead in their regions, to keep the weaker and failed states in line.

We don’t need to rule the world, or retract from it. Neither will serve our defense. We need to involve ourselves in a manner where our intervention is less invasive, less common, and less objectionable.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 12, 2007 8:41 AM
Comment #207695

I dont believe in isolationism myself. I think that anything the most powerful country in the world can do to help others, is a duty. Its in vogue to mention Darfur nowadays. Is it okay to help Darfur and not Iraq? Anyways, the world is smaller now and we can no longer take actions that do not affect our neighbors.

Posted by: JoeRWC at February 12, 2007 10:40 AM
Comment #207702

Isolationaism is not practical, even if we wanted to be isolationist. No one in the world benefits more from international trade than the US, so the economics alone make it impossible.

Having said that, we should be more “isolationist” in a sense. In military terms, we should go to war only as a last resort. It is nothing less than shameful that our country invaded another based on pretexts. Eschewing violence and military solutions to solve our problems is not isolationist, it is a simple matter of decency and right conduct.

In economic terms, we should be more “isolationist” too. We should become as close to energy independent as possible, for a number of reasons. More importantly, the US spends as much as the rest of the world combined on “defense.” Think about that. We export as many arms as the next 14 largest arms exporters combined.

In addition, we outsource jobs while many wish to restrict immigration. Why not keep the jobs in the US, and open the doors to immigrants? What a concept.

We oppose nationalist regimes which seek to redistribute wealth to the poor, while supporting authoritarian regimes which ensure access to US multinationals. This has to stop.

If turning down the control of US policy by our military/industrial complex and multinational corporations is isolationist, count me in!

Posted by: phx8 at February 12, 2007 11:15 AM
Comment #207709

JoeRWC-
I can understand the sentiment. One feels bound to confront the evils of the world. And we should. But are we the only people in the world who can and should be doing that? No. And we really can’t afford to be.

There are plenty of countries out there that operate light on military matters because they can count on us to show up with our navy and our armed forces if somebody gets aggressive. There’s a cost to the American public for their security, cost that it made sense to pay in the old day of the Cold War, when the alternative was a resurgent Japan, Germany, or a triumphant Soviet Union, but which in today’s world doesn’t make any sense, especially when all our old enemies have been friendly powers for the better part of the last generation.

We need to allow the substantial powers in the world to do more of the work with us of keeping their neighborhoods peaceful. A lot of the wars we’ve fought in distant countries with little relation to ours have been to demonstrate to other powers that we were capable of keeping things nice and quiet around their neighborhood, too, so that people wouldn’t be compelled to pre-emptively increase their power to match potential aggressors.

But Americans, if you ask them, really don’t want to be burdened with the necessity of babysitting the rest of the world. Quite naturally, and quite rationally, they want our military to fight for American interests, not get roped into one regional conflict after another with little relation to and sometimes conflict with our own interests.

Do we want to keep aggressive powers in the world that could threaten us down? Yes. Do we want to spend our lives fighting petty tyrants in the place of people who neither asked us to do this, nor want to express much gratitude for it? No. This is the balance of interests we need to strike.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 12, 2007 12:00 PM
Comment #207710

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Big deal, is your love affair with Obama due to your agreement of his being right once? Writers on this blog remind me of the “loyal” fans who leave the football game early in the 4th quarter because their team is not leading by 21 points. These are the same fans who boo their team when a fumble or interception occurs. They want their team to never make a mistake and boo when they do. When they get home and watch the last few minutes of the game they see the final result…WE WON! What do you suppose will be sucked into the huge vacuum created by our leaving the field? I believe it would be a confederation of terrorist states taking orders from Tehran and supported by other countries dedicated to our destruction.

Posted by: Jim Martin at February 12, 2007 12:05 PM
Comment #207714

Jim-

I thought fans left early because their team WAS up by 21 points.

And true fans often boo their own team. I don’t go to Yankees games to cheer and do the wave. I go to give guys making big-time money some big-time shit when they don’t earn it. And for the 8 dollar beers, of course. It is about mass entertainment…not one person’s subjective idea of “loyalty.”

And you’d do yourself a real service if you didn’t premise your opinion on fear of some “confederation of terrorist states taking orders from Tehran and supported by other countries dedicated to our destruction.”

There are plenty of ways to avoid that scenario that don’t require an occupational force in the Iraqi streets. Or have we forgotten, in our aimless attack mode, that there are still very real problems to solve that are only hindered by our playing wet-nurse to a religious civil war in the streets of Iraq?

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 12, 2007 12:34 PM
Comment #207717

The mistake was not nation building. The mistake was neo-con nation building. Bremer held back elections until state industries could be “privatized”. This gave a chance and reason for the insugency to build. Had we said that we came to get Saddam out. He’s out. Now we are leaving. If you put another Saddam in we will come back. If you do not we will help rebuild. See ya.
Of course that was never the reason we went in.

Posted by: BillS at February 12, 2007 12:52 PM
Comment #207726

LO….looks like Lala touched a real sore spot with you. And what’s wrong? You not willing to accept sarcasm unless it’s yours? I found Lala’s posting quite interesting, and certaily valid as an opinion.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 12, 2007 1:55 PM
Comment #207740

“I go to give guys making big-time money some big-time shit when they don’t earn it. And for the 8 dollar beers, of course.”
Posted by: Kevin23 at February 12, 2007 12:34 PM

Kevin, thanks for the very enlightening post as we now have a window into your thinking process. I am thankful you’re not covering my back. Keep your head buried, we’ll do the heavy lifting for you till you get better.

Posted by: Jim at February 12, 2007 4:56 PM
Comment #207744

Ah, I must have struck a nerve. The personal attacks come before any attempt whatsoever is made to address the point at hand. What is a reasonable person to conclude other than you obviously have a great sense of humor? =|

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 12, 2007 5:39 PM
Comment #207749


Kevin23: Some people just prefer to be afraid. They will praise those who reinforce their fear and act on the presumptions that are the basis of their fear. They will condemn anyone who tries to tell them that their fear is based on false presumptions. I sometimes do this myself, but I can be persuaded by good debate that my presumptions are not always accurate.

Posted by: jlw at February 12, 2007 6:26 PM
Comment #207763


Stephen D.: I believe it is you who wishes to be a SiFi writer, so I would like to introduce an argument pertinent to today which will occure in the year 3042 between Roderick Harold, Lord Blaine, DSC, GCMG, Earl of Acrux, Capt. ISN (Ret.), and His Excellency Horace Hussein Bury, Imperial Trader and Magnate; Chairman of the Board, Imperial Autonetics, Ltd. and former Deputy Chairman of the Arabic Liberation Organization (ALO), concerning the revolt on the planet New Chicago which will occure in the year 3016.

“My Lord. Your Second Empire was only beginning. It had proclaimed itself Christian, and if you do not recall the history of the Crusades, I assure you that we Arabs remember! You had already incorporated Dyan into the Empire, and promoted Jews into high positions in your military and navy. Why in the name of Allah the Merciful should any of us have trusted you?”
“So my lord, at last you know. Yes I helped instigate the New Chicago revolt, and to you it must have been from the blackest of motives. That would have been an Outie world, with an economy based on building spacecraft and a thirst for customers. Unregistered ships, in case Levant (Arab World) should need them. In case the negotiations with the Empire failed, or in case the Empire collapsed under its own vaulting ambitions. Empire of Man, indeed! We might well have been forced once again to proclaim jihad with no armies and no navies and nothing but the courage of our young men for weapons.”
“And now?” Blain asked.
Bury shrugged. “The Empire has been successful. You do not like us. Socially we are second class, But legally we have the rights you promised. Our planets are self-governing, under people of our own religion. The threat is now from the Mote, not from Sparta. There is no more need for the Arab Liberation Organization, and for the past dozen years I have presided over its liquidation.”

The excerpt is from “The Gripping Hand” written by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (1993) the sequal to “The Mote In God’s Eye” (1974)

Posted by: jlw at February 12, 2007 7:35 PM
Comment #207773

jlw-

Organized religions and monarchs have been using that very tendency you point out to keep ordinary people divided and side-tracked from the real power struggle for all of recorded history.

But you can easily tell a person who wants to learn something from those who want to preach. The preacher will never leave the comfort of their imaginary world, whereas the learner will strive to do just that.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 12, 2007 8:25 PM
Comment #207785

Jim Martin-
You would tell me that the terrorists would be sucked in by the vacuum left in our wake. But’s lets review a few things here.

First, we already created the vacuum. We didn’t invade with sufficient soldiers. We didn’t retain the army Iraq already had. We didn’t keep the police who were already trained. We didn’t keep the bureaucrats already in place because we had this nutty idea of a broad-based de-Baathification. We did all this without enough resources on our side arranged, and properly planned for to take up the slack. The Vacuum of power is already there, and although our leaving can make it worse, our staying will not create a better result.

Second, Iran might have it in its interests to have a failed state beside it while we’re ensnared in it, but if we leave, and they’re having to deal with the prospect of refugees and blowback from the civil war, they’re going to find it a liability to continue the bullshit they’ve been doing.

Third, like the article says, Iran is supporting the same people we are! Additionally, Shia does not mean sympathetic to Iran. There are substantial language barriers and cultural differences there. This war has been a gift to Iran, and the idiots in the White House failed to consider those predictable problems ahead of time.

Fourth, most Sunni don’t like al-Qaeda, especially not after all the chaos they’ve sown. Only in the minds of those drunk on the wine of epic clashes of civilization does the Arab public support al-Qaeda itself monolithically. In actuality, they’ve got sort of the reputation that televangelists like Jerry Fallwell and Pat Robertson do, only worse because of the violent methods they use.

Ultimately, your problem is that you see think you can win a contest of wills with a nation in civil war, who pay nothing to stay where they are while we pay tens of billions to do the same.

Read what Sun Tzu has to say about the brilliance of protracted wars, and the expense of extended campaigns. It’s an aspect of war that has not changed from prehistoric times.

What we need is not a victory in the contest of wills, but in the contest of wits. In other words, we need to stop doing stupid shit just because we want to prove our resolve, and start doing things that actually harm rather than help our real enemies. We have only helped our enemies by invading Iraq, failing to do that properly, and persisting in a fundamentally flawed strategy out of the unwillingness to admit defeats or setbacks.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 12, 2007 9:37 PM
Comment #207789

Yes…yes…I can feel your anger and your ignorance. Isolationism Vs. Globalization? Nation building Vs. Neocon-nationbuilding? Are you guys serious? If any of you had moved beyond ECON 101,and CNN, you would realize that the only reason the U.S. is in Iraq is because our economy has no choice and the only reason the dollar has any real value at this point is because it’s pegged to oil. Understand? I doubt it, so here is a history lesson.

Okay in the 1920’s the newly created Federal Reserve stimulated growth by inflating the money supply. The mechanism through which this inflation is realized is the expansion of CREDIT. So the the stockbrokers offered credit to people that had no business being in the market, so the market crashed after the FED ordered the brokers to stop lending..so people tried to sell their stock to pay back their broker, but no one could buy their stock since no brokers were lending idiots money..a catch 22 if you will, so the system crashed. Supply and demand my friends. Then the Government reduced the money supply even further so it matched the gold reserves. There was too much money in the system and they had no choice. See up to that point the dollar was just a receipt for gold. Now they have convinced us that the receipt is the real money. So after the Great Depression we fast forward to 1933 FDR removed the dollar from the gold standard for domestic currency, but not currency owned to foreign governments. So foreign Goverments could still redeem their dollars for GOLD. Yes GOLD! This was the case from 1933-1971. In 1971, the Vietnam War had cost so much and we were trading with so many nations to supply our troops that Nixon had to take us off the gold standard because their was too many dollars out there and not enough gold to redeem them in Fort Knox. So Nixon takes us off the Gold standard and tells the nations that the dollars are no longer redeemable for gold. This began a chain of events that leads us where we are today. See because the US dollar has reigned superior for so many years most international business was conducted in dollars and most foreign Governments have to maintain huge stockpiles of them. This is called Reserve currency. HERE IS THE KICKER. LISTEN CAREFULLY. Because foreign governments need dollars to conduct international trade all we have to do is print the money. Just print. The more dollars countries want, the more goods and services we can extract from them in exchange. Free shit. Go to the mall. Look at all that shit. None of it is made here. Yes we just run the presses. Okay so this sounds like a great deal for us right? Well it was a great deal for us. The rest of the world is losing their appetite for this injustice and are beginning to correct it. The EURO was the beggining of the dollars death. Countries are shedding the dollar dependancy. The US still has power though. Oil. Most oil in the world is pegged to the U.S. dollar.
O.P.E.C. is still selling their oil for only U.S. dollars. This agreement is decades old. Iraq was going to sell their oil for Euros, and now Saddam is dead and Iraq is selling their oil for dollars again..hmmmmm. Now Iran is setting up an Iranian Oil Bourse,,yes those pesky persians want to sell their oil somewhere besides London and New York exchanges, and now we are…THREATENING TO GO INTO IRAN. Hmmm….. this is a threat to U.S. domination of the planet. Once one of these challenges to the hegemony of the U.S. dolalrs succeeds we are finished folks. Countries will divest themselves of dollars and we will crash. DONE. Massive hyperinflation as trillions of dollars pour back into the country. Does anybody see a pattern, does anybody understand the real dynamic at play? Anybody? Anybody at all?

Posted by: lala! at February 12, 2007 10:02 PM
Comment #207798


lala: Ok, you have told us the problem. Now tell us the answer. You surely don’t expect us angry and ignorant people to get it on our own do you? Or, did you already give us the answer, we can save America by invading Iran?

Posted by: jlw at February 12, 2007 10:59 PM
Comment #207810

No, we cannot save America by invading Iran. I am just exposing the reality of this situation. If we are going to debate this, then lets go all the way and debate this using the real paradigm. I will not engage in false debates about this issue. It’s pointless. The only way to save America is to expose what the real power brokers are doing and why they are doing it and inform other people. An informed population will be less likey to continue to mindlessly support this agenda. I do not believe we can stop the crash at this point, but we can lessen the fall.

Posted by: lala at February 13, 2007 1:24 AM
Comment #207811

lala!-
Sorry, I don’t buy it. They wouldn’t have run sky-high debt if it was the economic side of hegemony that concerned them. The Neocons simply don’t want any rivals to U.S. Power in the Region, Iran or Iraq. They want a world of client states. That’s what they think will be necessary to get what they want: American security. The scariest thing about the neoconservatives is that in their minds, they’re the good guys.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 13, 2007 1:31 AM
Comment #207812

lala-
Additionally: I think most Americans are not on board for an invasion of Iran, not after more than three years of what other minor war we’ve been involved in, and all the attendant B.S.

The Real problem at this point is that Democrats are thinking too far ahead at this point, and drawing the wrong lessons from the post-Vietnam period regarding how to deal with folks accusing you of being an unpatriotic wimp.

They have to realize there’s very little you can do to avoid a negative verdict from folks like those who still support this war. They’re going to be pissed regardless of what you do. The question is, how relevant do you allow these folks to be? It’s quite obvious at this point: nobody wins a war by will and favorable press alone.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 13, 2007 1:36 AM
Comment #207816

Lala,

I think you have some valid points, but you seem a little obssessed with the “power bokers”. I do think economics is controlled by the wealthy, but I don’t think it is a cabal in some dark grove. Who is it that runs this cabal? I do think the region wanted rid of Sadam and helped lure the U.S. into removing Sadam, and Sadam’s defiance to OPEC was contributory to that idea.

When is this “crash” coming? Are you refering to a worldwide depression, or just the demise of America. This part sounds a little tin-foil hattish. Sort of reminds me of the Jesus is coming movement.

Posted by: gergle at February 13, 2007 3:02 AM
Comment #207817

Stephen,

Well once in a while you do change minds. You’ve helped me see the Global Warming debate in different light. I still think some of the News releases are shaky and the prognosis debatable, but I’m less a skeptic.

I think an issue among the surge proponents and the “we must win” folks, (i.e.that Al Qaeda will find a home here) is simply false. I agree that we are now further destabilizing Iraq and the region.

Iran has a very sensible interest in the outcome in Iraq, as do Syria, Jordan and Saudia Arabia. Clearly Israel is concerned, as well. Ultimately, these nations and the Iraqi’s will determine the outcome. To date, I do not find Iran provocative.

Posted by: gergle at February 13, 2007 3:12 AM
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