Third Party & Independents Archives

Cutting Bait

Most who have read my writings knows that I supported the invasion of Iraq in order to remove Saddam Hussein from power and have written about my reasons behind that belief, a belief I still stand behind. However, besides being upset with how the Bush administration ‘sold’ the war I was even more disgusted by the management of the post-war Iraq.

It now comes as no shock to me that a new report will be released soon detailing how Iraq has not met a single goal set out for it. Perhaps now even the most ardent supporters of this administration will see it is time to Cut Bait.

The administration stupidly sold the war on the basis of Saddam having WMDs. Now, that wasn't a far stretch to believe at the time, most intelligence communities believed that Saddam was hiding some amount of WMDs, the debate was how much and if it were still in a state to be used. The Clinton adminstration also pointed out this belief in the late 1990s, even going so far as to pointing a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda. Before the 2003 invasion, both sides were giving speech about the FACT that Saddam had WMDs, so it seemed like an easy sell.

The problem, though, was that by putting all of your eggs in that one basket, if it didn't pan out that he did have WMDs, your credibility was not only lost but your opponents then have a perfect opening to retroactively criticize the decision. As I pointed out previously, there were a myrid of reasons to remove Saddam from power. It is not an easy deicision and I always respected those who chose against the action, though I disagreed strongly with them. But the case could be made either way, at least when you do a proper job of spelling it out. Unfortunately, this administration was too intellectually lazy (being kind) to make that effort.

So, when the war ended, instead of taking the UN up on their offer of coming in and overseeing the rebuilding of Iraq, leaving us free to move a good portion of our troops back to the US and allow Iraq to be rebuilt in a global atmosphere, our fearless leader decided to eschew this offer so that he could make sure that the UN didn't go and 'hide' the WMD stashes that were to be found. This IMO speaks to Bush believing that there were WMDs in Iraq; if he thought for an instant they weren't there the smart decision would have been to have the UN take over and then bemoan their ineptitude when they weren't found. The fact that he rebuffed the offer and kept us there as we are now is an indication that he really did think he was going to find those WMDs.

Now, some four years later, we are seeing no progress at all being made in Iraq. I see some saying that deaths are down (are they running out of people to kill?) and violence decreasing, but is anything positive going on? Are we any closer to handing the administration of Iraq back their country to manage as they see fit? Not according to this new report. The adminstration response? More of the same.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow on Monday tried to lower expectations on the report, contending that all of the additional troops had just gotten in place and it would be unrealistic to expect major progress by now.

"You are not going to expect all the benchmarks to be met at the beginning of something," Snow said. "I'm not sure everyone's going to get an 'A' on the first report."

No one is expecting ALL of them to be met so quickly, but come on man. Maybe ONE could have? I'm sorry, but it's been four years. How is it possible that we should expect that the Iraqis were even CLOSE, after this long, to meeting any of these goals? All we've heard for the past four years is that 'the number of police are increasing, things are starting to get better, etc'. If ANY of that were true in the past four years, wouldn't Iraq be a much better place by now? It's obvious that nothing is improving and what is worse is that the majority of Iraqi's STILL don't want us there.

I'm sorry, but the notion that Iraq can't stand on it's own by now is laughable. What are we afraid of? That more violence will engulf the country? You're going to have a hard time convincing me of that. That the country may end up split into three separate countries? Why is that such a bad thing? Shouldn't it be up to them to determine how they are going to live and if they are going to stay a country or not? Why are we dictating that to them?

Sure, they have oil. But I've been tired too long of the US having to spend money and lives, for the past few decades, on the insanity of the middle east, just because of oil. It's time to tell them all to figure it out on their own. So many dictators and depression in an area so rich in oil because the money flowing into the heads of state allow them to be complete despots that otherwise would have been hanged from a tree by the populace decades earlier for the way they have treated the citizens of the countries they control. All with our support because we can't seem to remove our mouths from teats of the oil pigs.

But I digress. It's about time we tell the middle east that if they want us out, fine. We'll leave. Our help is not appreciated or wanted and our self-interests aren't being served since the situation is not getting any better. We'll take our soldiers, AND our money in the form of any aid at all, and leave until they can get their act together. THIS is the reason we need energy independance, not because of global warming or whatever religion Al Gore is trying to sell, not because it will end up creating new jobs and expand our economy in the US, but because we can finally stop supporting despots and dictators through our tax dollars just because we are afraid they might not sell us some of their precious oil. I tell you, they will. No matter what we do to them they are going to come begging for us to buy it from them. And wouldn't you like to be able to tell them to shove their oil....

Well, I digress.

The point is it is time. It is time to start looking to fix our own country. It is time to do something about the millions of people who live here, not paying any taxes, and using our services that we are then forced to pay more for. It is time to figure out how we are going to deal with a society that thinks that people are entitled to things that only others can provide. It is time to work on figuring out how we are going to advance through the next fifty years on this planet, as energy hogs and polluters or as intelligence stewards of our natural resources, getting the most out of them for the least and ensuring that not only our children but our great grandchildren will be able to enjoy a better lifestyle than even we have now. It is time to figure out how to educate our population in a way that does not leave them more ignorant than the previous generation before it. It is time to figure out how to motivate people to do their best instead of allowing them to entropy into mindless American Idol junkies.

It's time to cut bait in Iraq and focus on the needs of America first.

Posted by Rhinehold at July 10, 2007 1:40 AM
Comments
Comment #225595

Btw, it appears that this report may be the toppling point in support for Iraq.

Also being drafted are several Republican-backed proposals that would force a new course in Iraq, including one by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Ben Nelson, D-Neb., that would require U.S. troops to abandon combat missions. Collins and Nelson say their binding amendment would order the U.S. mission to focus on training the Iraqi security forces, targeting al-Qaida members and protecting Iraq’s borders.

“My goal is to redefine the mission and set the stage for a significant but gradual drawdown of our troops next year,” said Collins.

Notice that interesting word, BINDING. This is a word the Democratic leadership should learn, it doesn’t HAVE to have a non- in front of it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 10, 2007 2:38 AM
Comment #225607

Rhinehold,
Why I agree that both sides of Society has played this War in Iraq wrong, I do believe that both sides of the Political Coin of Life needs to ask themselves what will it take to Win the Peace in Iraq without oppressing the Self-Knowledge of Man to realize that their Knowledge, Laws, and Teachings are to prevent a Man from taking away their Unalienable Right to Breathe, Drink, and Eat. For in the Power struggle of any Nation or Society that Cardinal Knowledge of Man is the only one that matters.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at July 10, 2007 6:22 AM
Comment #225611

12 billion a month.
There’s got to be a more cost effective way to kill people. But hey, we can’t leave or else they may kill each other.

Posted by: Schwamp at July 10, 2007 7:43 AM
Comment #225614

I have been coming to this site for the better part of two years now, and this may well be the best opening thread I have read, red, blue, or green. While I have quite a few different opinions from you, Rhinehold, you hit the nail on the head so hard I think you drove it clear through the other side of the board! Despite what any of us may think the role of government may be in our lives, it is CRYSTAL clear that our continued involvement in the Middle East in general and Iraq in particular is doing America absolutely zero good. Energy independence is the only way we will ever be able to extricate ourselves, since otherwise the siren song of all that oil money under their sand will continue to lure the greedy, and our sad sad politicians will follow along like so many bulls with rings through their noses. Ethanol, electric, solar, biofuel, hydrogen, the alternate possibilities are myriad, and that’s just for our cars. America became great after WWII because back then we produced all of our own energy resources, and still had more left over to export. Until we can become independent again, we shall forever be tied to the chaotic hellhole called the Middle East.

L

Posted by: leatherankh at July 10, 2007 7:54 AM
Comment #225615

That “binding” amendment seems a bit vague to be useful, especially when you consider that it will be interpreted by Dubya. He would probably claim, for example, that all of the combatants in Iraq are “Al Qaida members”.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 10, 2007 8:18 AM
Comment #225617

Rhinehold, my main reason for not believing Clinton or Bush’s intelligence on WMD without direct tangible evidence was proved correct, months after we invaded. Saddam Hussein remained in power for decades as a ruthless and merciless dictator against many odds and assasination plots by doing what? Covering his ass.

Now a dictator who is adept at covering their ass, who knows if a country like America finds WMD in their country is likely to take them out, and then learns that America is going to send in WMD inspectors, that dictator is going to get rid of those WMD, if he has them. He is not going to change his spots. He is going to cover his ass to preserve his position of power. It was illogical without evidence, to assume Saddam Hussein would keep WMD with inspectors combing his facilities and country.

But, there is a deeper issue here. That is America’s adopted ‘white hat doctrine’, as I call it, which came about after WWII, in which it was generally agreed that America would not act as the USSR or Nazi Germany did, and invade countries which had not posed an imminent threat of attack. Iraq, even if it had WMD, posed absolutely NO imminent threat against the U.S. We threw our White Hat in the mud on the day Congress and the White House decided to invade a sovereign nation without empirically valid evidence of the means to attack the U.S., which of course, would have meant Iraq having inter-continental ballistic missiles. And we never even suspected Iraq of having those, let alone having evidence of them.

Those of us who opposed this invasion from the beginning have been vindicated. But, that is neither here nor there. The great issue today is, whether America will send its White Hat to the cleaners and have it reblocked for all the world’s people to respect and want to follow again, or will America leave her White Hat rotting in the mud of history?

That is the core issue for us to resolve today. Getting out of Iraq’s civil war is a foregone conclusion. That’s a matter of timing, this year, next year or the one after. It is a foregone conclusion because like Viet Nam, we cannot afford to continue for decades trying to make a bad decision right. The cost is just too damned high politically, economically, and in opportunity cost. Especially in opportunity cost. There are just too many other things America cannot attend to, or afford, while remaining the policeman for Iraq’s civil war.

And the world will rightly blame America for the horrible consequences of removing ourselves from Iraq’s civil war which we unleashed. But, there is that White Hat lying in the mud, waiting to be picked up and sent to the cleaners. The sooner we don it again, the sooner our muddied image can begin to be repaired.

We should blame ourselves for ignorance as voters for voting in a rich, ignorant man from Texas who failed at every professional venture he attempted, as a result of expensive slick campaign advertising and public relations. Not sure that will occur; it would be the most prudent course for the American people to take.

All that glitters is not valuable. Especially when wealthy special interests are footing the bill to elect a dupe and puppet for their own ends, which is precisely what the neo-cons did in flattering GW Bush into thinking he could actually be a good president for an incredibly complicated and sophisticated America. They campaigned for GW Bush by packaging intelligent, and sophisticated Clinton as “slick Willie”, literally advertising that education and sophisticated thinking was to be avoided in a candidate, and offering simple talking black and white, good and evil, us and them, GW Bush as the “right stuff”.

What an incredibly effective campaign in public brainwashing that was. America spends trillions on education, putting a man on the moon, and on the brightest minds for spectacular medical scientific vaccines to cure scourges of mankind, and then turns around buys into a slick and sophisticated false advertising campaign that touts and elects a simple minded, simple thinking, good hearted puppet of corporate enterprise to run our nation in the most complex world humanity has ever seen. It was an act PT Barnum would have admired.

Are American voters any wiser or smarter? Time will tell. One piece of data would suggest we are. The rapid growth in Independent voters who now outnumber Democratic or Republican voters. But, American voters would do extremely well to bring Animal Farm, 1984, and Brave New World books back into High School civics classes as mandatory reading and discussion, if America is to avoid the lapse of public scrutiny that elected GW Bush and his Neo-Con supporters to the controls of our nation and lives.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 10, 2007 8:31 AM
Comment #225644

Great post Rhinehold. I guess you’re not a Republican after all… :-)

The time Bush has been in office has been a crazy nightmarish chain of events, each more impossibly sick and depraved than the last. I’m not going to recount the number of times I have said “not in this country” and then watched it happen. I will though say that I have never seen anyone in my life habitually lie and then carelessly cover it up, almost like it’s not worth the effort, with the most see-through excuses imaginable, as Bush. He acts like a spoiled brat, not a leader.

Worse is that this country went along with him. Every excuse was excused, every screw up counter-argued, every gaffe loved. When it came time to present the evidence against Iraq, every newspaper in the country simply rolled over. If we’re this apathetic I’m not sure we deserve any better.

Posted by: Max at July 10, 2007 12:50 PM
Comment #225653

While I supported removing Saddam from power, I’m not the least bit happy about what’s been happening sense. The Iraqi Government hasn’t stepped up to take control of and responsibility for their country. And while our youngins continue to die for them it seems that they’re stealing the money we gave them to supply their military and police.
Did any of ya see the 60 minutes story on this a couple weeks ago?
I agree that the Iraqis have had plenty of time to get their act together and start doing for themselves.
But why should the Iraqi Government start assuming responsibility for their own country? After all Bush is more than happy to keep our kids over there to do that.
This war is costing us something like 3 billion a week. 3 billion we can’t afford. It has cost us somewhere over 4,000 of our children’s lives. And still the Iraqi Government wants to sit on their collective butts and it won’t try to do anything for themselves. If the Iraqi Government doesn’t want to start taking control of their own country we need to pull out and let it stew in it own ineptness.
Rhinehold is right. The Mideast will sell us oil regardless of what we do. They might jack the price up sky high, but they will sell it to us.
The question is why should we be buying it from them when we have plenty of it here in this country? And what’s wrong with reducing our dependence on oil by using alternative fuels? We have the technology. All we need to do is get it affordable to the masses.
There’s a guy in town that has a diesel VW Rabbit. He has converted it to run on used cooking oil. He starts it on diesel and when it’s warmed up enough he flips the switch and starts using the oil.
He has no problem getting the used oil as the restaurants are more than happy to give it to him just to get rid of it.
The only problem with it is when you get behind him. Ya start getting hungry because his exhaust smells like burgers and fries.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 10, 2007 1:29 PM
Comment #225680

Good article, Rhinehold.
I completely supported the war (still do) but I agree it has been run horribly. The terrorist problem still needs to be taken care of before we leave completely, but our focus should now be on training the Iraqis to deal with them.

David,

That is America’s adopted ‘white hat doctrine’, as I call it, which came about after WWII, in which it was generally agreed that America would not act as the USSR or Nazi Germany did, and invade countries which had not posed an imminent threat of attack. We threw our White Hat in the mud on the day Congress and the White House decided to invade a sovereign nation without empirically valid evidence of the means to attack the U.S.

Korea?

We’re still stuck in that quagmire with no progress to show after almost 60 years! Or maybe you were talking about Viet Nam or Gulf War One? Kosovo, perhaps? Let’s face it, in terms of policy, that white hat was destroyed and forgotten only a few years after we put it on.

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 10, 2007 3:37 PM
Comment #225687

TheTraveler,

Don’t forget Vietnam, Beruit, Iraq Part 1, Kosovo, Grenada, Mogidishu, etc…

But remember, according to those who use this argument, this only counts putting feet on the ground. Blowing the crap out of them from the air is OK! Germany didn’t do tha… oh wait a sec…

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 10, 2007 4:38 PM
Comment #225698

The Traveler, guess you slept through the Cold War. That’s OK, you can look it up in any history texts written since 1962. Help you catch up on American and World History. The Red Scare began with McCarthyism and continued through the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was a war that constituted in the minds of American government and the American people and real and imminent threat to the U.S. homeland.

Cuban Missile Crisis ring any bells? Well, I will leave you to catch up on how Korea and Viet Nam fit into the Cold War threat.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 10, 2007 5:58 PM
Comment #225699

Rhinehold, huge difference between the Cold War doctrine and humanitarian peacekeeping engagements, regardless of whether the outcomes were humanitarian or not. White Hat Doctrine was compatible with the humanitarian motives of most of those incursions you cite, Communist countries excluded.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 10, 2007 6:01 PM
Comment #225703

Ok, how is Kosovo different than Iraq? Both areas were under the rule of a crushing despot, attempting mass murder, who we decided should be taken from power by our hands, neither action having the overt approval by the UN… Other than not putting feet on the ground in one and screwing up in the other, how are they all that different?

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 10, 2007 6:32 PM
Comment #225713

Rhinehold, not my use of the word ‘most’. You may have found the exception in Kosovo. May. I would have to research the lead up to the incursion, and I have bigger fish to fry, like reading Blackwater, the Rise of the World’s most powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 10, 2007 8:06 PM
Comment #225715

David,

Well, I will leave you to catch up on how Korea and Viet Nam fit into the Cold War threat.

You mean we were fighting the communists over there so we didn’t have to fight them here? That sounds strangely familiar to something I heard recently…

Neither one of them “posed an imminent threat of attack.” Your words, not mine.
After we allowed Korea to end in a stalemate we pretended we won but left the troops there to fight another day (which, ironically, is what we did in Gulf War 1 and are about to do again for Gulf War 2).
We went into Viet Nam for political reasons, not defensive ones (The fighting them there BS). We left Viet Nam for political reasons, not defensive ones. Viet Nam was a bigger mess than Iraq is even capable of being.

The cold war wars are not on any moral high ground over Iraq. At least we’re trying to do the humanitarian thing in Iraq, that’s why I support it.

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 10, 2007 8:16 PM
Comment #225720

Traveler said: “Neither one of them ‘posed an imminent threat of attack.”

That statement reflects the benefit of hindsight, Traveler. History is a conversation with those who lived through times later generations only read about and take for granted. Wonderful thing about America, it has all these free press archives. I suggest you read up on how our government and people perceived those countries at the time of our incursions. I personally was trained to duck under my school desk in response to air raid alarms designed give us relief from the scare America felt emanating from Communist countries.

Hindsight is a luxury those living current history making don’t have. Check it out, if history has any appeal to your sense of worldly knowledge.

But, don’t try to state the obvious from hindsight and pretend you have an argument that would have stood up at the time history was being made. That only reflects ignorance of what history is and the inability to grasp the effects time has on perceptual processes, present and past tense.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 10, 2007 9:10 PM
Comment #225726

David,

Traveler said: “Neither one of them ‘posed an imminent threat of attack.”
That statement reflects the benefit of hindsight, Traveler… But, don’t try to state the obvious from hindsight and pretend you have an argument that would have stood up at the time history was being made.

My views have to come from hindsight, since i wasn’t alive during Korea and Viet Nam.

You seem to think it was ok to put the “white hat” policy aside to fight the perceived threat of communism because we thought it was a risk at the time, but not to fight the perceived threat of Sadam, even though we thought he was a risk at the time. The “we shouldn’t have gone in because there were no WMD’s” argument is based on hindsight too, as are many of the anti-Iraq war arguments. In the end, all these wars turned out to be more about politics than about defense. That is why I don’t believe there was a policy change when Iraq was invaded, it’s just a double standard on your part.

I don’t care if you agree with these wars or not, it’s just that the implication of a policy change regarding invading other countries is false.
I don’t believe this doctrine ever existed. If it did, it went away with the invasion of Korea. People say the Iraq war is imperialistic, and perhaps that’s true to some extant, however I believe the cold war wars were much more about imperialism. We just didn’t do a very good job with them.

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 10, 2007 10:31 PM
Comment #225728

Rhinehold,
Now that you have come to the obvious conclusion, one reached by a majority of Americans long before this, now that you realize Bush was lying to you last year when he said we are “winning” at least 14 times, “unquestionably winning,” and Cheney said it is going “remarkably well,” and Lieberman just said:

“Harry Reid said a while ago that the war in Iraq is lost. It’s wrong. It’s not lost. In fact, I would say we’re beginning to win it. We’ve turned the tide with the new strategy.”

And now that you acknowledge, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Bush & Cheney & Lieberman are either utterly deluded or simply lying through their teeth, well, now what?

Because the other shoe has yet to drop. What has happened in Iraq is much worse than most Americans realize. We all know about the $10 billion per month being squandered in Iraq, the fact that the war is being paid by borrowing, and that the national debt is approaching $9 trillion. We all know about the corruption and gross incompetence. But it worse than that:
http://comment.independent.co.uk/commentators/article2268067.ece

From the same article:
“The Pentagon will not release information about deaths induced or amounts of weaponry used in Iraq. On 9 January of this year, the embedded Fox News reporter Brit Hume went along for an air attack, and we learned that at least 25 targets were bombed that day with almost no reports of the damage appearing in the press.”

And…

“During last July, there were numerous televised clashes in Anbar, yet the system recorded exactly zero violent deaths from the province. The last Minister of Health to honestly assess the surveillance network, Dr Ala”din Alwan, admitted that it was not reporting from most of the country by August 2004. He was sacked months later after, among other things, reports appeared based on the limited government data suggesting that most violent deaths were associated with coalition forces.”

The Bush administration is not only wrong, Rhinehold. It is lying to you. The war needs to stop, now.


Posted by: phx8 at July 10, 2007 10:46 PM
Comment #225735

phx8,

LOL, Yes, I just came to this conclusion. I didn’t express it when I wrote Right Actions, Wrong Reasons in January of 2005, or Enough is Enough in November of 2005 or Non-Binding Congress earlier this year. I’ve just realized that things aren’t going well in Iraq and our fearless leader has botched the job!

The government is LYING to me? NO! How could that be, no other administration has EVER lied to the populace… It’s a SHOCK.

I’m sure glad Clinton never lied to me, that would just break my heart…

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 10, 2007 11:37 PM
Comment #225736

Let’s all give Rhinehold a big hearty welcome to the “anti-war movement” from us “defeat and retreaters.”

Excellent article, Rhinehold. It sounds like something I wrote about 2600 American lives ago.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 10, 2007 11:38 PM
Comment #225739

Um, AP, I’ve been saying this for over two years. I don’t know where you’ve been but apparently it hasn’t been listening to what I was actually writing.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 10, 2007 11:42 PM
Comment #225749
What are we afraid of? That more violence will engulf the country? You’re going to have a hard time convincing me of that. That the country may end up split into three separate countries? Why is that such a bad thing?

Let’s get a couple things straight.

Launching a ground-war and occupation in Iraq was dumb. George Bush’s rhetoric about “spreading democracy” to people who neither understand, want, or even understand what it means is stupidity of the first order. The WMD stuff was a fiasco. The Keystone Cops could have had done a better job of policing Iraq after first winning the conventional war than did Donald Rumsfeld.

Democracy as we know it in the West is a rare flower that was only able to grow organically from the soil in which it was planted through a very complicated, long, and difficult process that was rooted in all of our intellectual, religious, and cultural traditions.

Although we HAVE planted this flower before with military force, in the American South after the Civil War, and in Japan and Germany after WWII, it was accomplished only with means which we do not have either the will or the desire to use now: namely, by totally and heedlessly slaughtering everybody and anybody who resisted, including civilian populations, and offering a very simple choice between reform and death.

I do not advocate this approach in Iraq, which is why I did not support Bush, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton’s war, but I do notice that Mr. Sadr is still alive and one brick still stands atop of another in Fallujah (as it did not in Hiroshima or Berlin under similar circumstances).

Having said all of that, we do not have a choice about seeing this through according to the extremely weird hamstrung rules we have chosen for ourselves. It’s folly to say that the violence can’t get worse. It can get a thousand times worse, and if it and when it does in the Middle East, we will have to go back a couple years after a retreat with much greater loss of life and expense than seeing this through now would require. Nobody is saying is pretty, because it’s not, but the idea that we have a choice in the matter is a mirage.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 11, 2007 12:59 AM
Comment #225751

Rhinehold, like AP, I was completely unaware that you’d become a “Cut and Runner” sometime during the past two years of war and occupation. Welcome to the fold, if belatedly.

Good post, phx8.

I think perhaps I’ll dedicate this link to the Neocon’s favorite poster boy Joe Lieberman:
Green Zone Is Hit By Barrage of Shells
American Killed; Attacks Becoming Frequent, Accurate”

Posted by: Adrienne at July 11, 2007 1:10 AM
Comment #225758

Rhinehold,

Great post.

The far left would like to paint those of us who support our president when he is in office and support this war as Bush lovers. I support our president. I don’t always agree with him. He as ALL presidents makes mistakes so I do not quit standing behind the leader of our country when he acts human.I also think the President has made many mistakes in communicating. He has not communicated Iraq well enough.

I live in a small town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. I won the local pizza place. There is local (Wannabe) gang activity in the valley. Occasionally in the past the gangs have come up here to enjoy and spray paint the rocks on our river. Our local authorities and the community have dealt rather well in solving the solution.

But it could have escalated into a problem. Over the years it might. But I want to ask you a question. What if in 10 years we have a hand full of gangstas’ hanging around our Main Street. Tagging, bullying, selling illegal items, carrying, guns, shooting people. It goes on now twenty minutes down the road. Now what if a guy came in to open a GUN STORE. What if all of a sudden the gangstas’ are now hanging out with the new business owner.

What should we do. We as the community have the legal right to say no.


This is what the president should have communicated. After 9/11 we faced a different kind of threat. People willing to kill themselves to create havoc for one reason or another.

Iran, North Korea, and Iraq were either planning to be, or were working on, or already fully open, GUN STORES. What the level was we didn’t necessarily know. maybe we had bad intel. It doesn’t and didn’t matter.

The entire COMMUNITY believed Saddam had weapons. Maybe he didn’t have them, maybe he did and they’re in Syria. It really doesn’t matter.
Fact is he spent many years trying to get them. He had some, we just didn’t find any big stockpiles. The point is that HE WANTED to be a GUN STORE. If we had done nothing, maybe he would be open for business by now. Maybe not.

So that is how Iraq and Al Queda were connected. Al Zarqawi was in Iraq befor we went in. He was hanging around the front of what would eventually become the GUN STORE.

Now to those on the far left. I’m not even trying to convince you. You will never see it. Many of you are blinded by hate and a misunderstanding of war. Throw all your normal arguments. But instead I talk to everyone else. I want my two nieces to be safe as possible. We had better get on the same page and get the world on the same page and make getting weapons as difficult as possible. The leader of Iran IS getting Nukes and he has openly said he wants to use them.

The president should have communicated this better. I fault him for that. But Still stand repectfully behind him just as my family stood behind Jimmy Carter when he was “at the time considered by many”, the worst president ever. I was taught that that was a part of good character.
Again to the far left, I don’t need a dissertation on all the reasons you hate this President. I know you do and that is your right. I happen not too. I happen to stand behind the leader of our country.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 11, 2007 1:48 AM
Comment #225760

BTW thats OWN the local pizza place not WON

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 11, 2007 1:53 AM
Comment #225761

Loyal Opp, you made a great argument right up to the end, where you lost it. If we leave, and as you say, the Middle East gets a thousand times worse, tell me while it is in the process of getting worse and choking off China’s, Russias, the EU’s, and India’s and Malaysia’s oil supplies, what do you think the rest of the world is going to do? Sit on their thumbs and suck it up blaming America?

No way, man. You will have all the major industrial nations of the world clamoring at the UN for as large a peacekeeping force as is necessary to stabilize the global economic crisis pending LONG BEFORE the Middle East falls into chaos.

We stay, Iraq remains America’s problem. We leave, Iraq becomes the whole industrialized world’s problem. Think about it and get back to me.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 11, 2007 1:53 AM
Comment #225775
Don’t let the partisans on either side confuse you about the issue, it is OK to believe that the war was necessary but the handling is bungled OR that the war wasn’t necessary but now that we are there we should stay until we can provide appropriate security.

Lieberman and the Referendum-Rhinehold-August 17, 2006

I guess I was confused also.

Posted by: Cube at July 11, 2007 4:01 AM
Comment #225782

Cube,

That line was an explanation of possible views to have that don’t fall into line with the ‘we should never have invaded Iraq’ view or the ‘we should have invaded AND should still be there view’.

It does not explain MY view at the time as that is not what I was detailing in that article. Though the first view is pretty much how I’ve felt since the middle of 2004 when we should have been out of Iraq by then.

If you are still confused, let me know and I’ll see if I can be more clear.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 11, 2007 8:41 AM
Comment #225791

“The problem, though, was that by putting all of your eggs in that one basket, if it didn’t pan out that he did have WMDs, your credibility…..”

I remember several reasons for deposing Saddam being articulated to the nation via Presidential address. I also remember John Kerry, and a host of other Democrats in positions of intelligence that were in agreement.

Hanging your post on a faulty assertion is a quick way to lose your own credibility.

Posted by: John in Texas at July 11, 2007 9:17 AM
Comment #225834

Look it UP! and stay away from the political sites and site that collect facts and make conclusions. You can come to your own conclusions. The facts are out there. Find them!

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 11, 2007 1:40 PM
Comment #225843

John in Texas.

You can check out my post The Case for Invading Iraq for more detail on what ‘faulty assertions’ I’ve been using. However, to be blunt, if the president had done a GOOD job of selling the war on all of the reasons the action was necessary then we wouldn’t have this issue. While he did mention these other things from time to time, it was the WMD issue that was used by this administration, again and again, as the reason we needed to act now. In reality, there were many reasons to act when we did (or sooner IMO) but by not hammering the proper point home since he had a ‘high approval rating and bi-partisan support’ he didn’t do the extra work he SHOULD have done, the work that would have saved us from some of the nonsense we are now enduring.

Posted by: rhinehold at July 11, 2007 2:04 PM
Comment #225847

Rhinehold:

Congratulations!

Posted by: Paul Siegel at July 11, 2007 2:12 PM
Comment #225925

Rhinehold, in the absence of verifiable evidence of WMD, there was no case to be made to the American public to justify invasion that the public would have supported. Since, it is the height of hubris and stupidity for our president to take the nation to war in another land without the support of the majority of the people, Bush’s decision to invade was flawed from the hatching stage. Since, he did NOT have verifiable evidence of WMD, our own man sent to search for them attested there was none, invading on the hope that there would be WMD was the height of stupidity and a sucker’s bet.

And the American public has now taken the position they would have taken if WMD were not the rationale, they oppose it in a majority. Hence, the incredible stupidity of invading in the first place.

Of course, my argument to this point leaves aside the parallels with Viet Nam, and General’s warning that the mission could not be accomplished without a half million troops, and the year 2001 CIA Fact Book which clearly stated that Iraq was made up of antagonistic factions held in check only by a strong dictatorship under military rule.

There simply was no valid justification for invading Iraq, only made up justifications that were proven false. The costs of invading Iraq with limited forces never, ever justified invasion, and there were knowledgeable folks in the Defense Dept. and CIA who attempted to advise the White House of this.

When one is attacked, war is not an option. When electing to war with another nation, there are many options including not doing so. And it is the responsibility of those electing to war to 1)INSURE victory, 2) Sustain victory, and 3)leave results which benefit the invader which are far greater than both not invading and which exceed the costs of invading and achieving one’s goals.

One cannot guarantee the results when one is forced into war by invasion. But, one must guarantee the results BEFORE electing to invade another nation. The Bush administration utterly and completely failed to insure the results they sought would be achieved BEFORE invading.

They failed because they refused to listen to the critical analysis of the plan to invade and make allowances for that analysis. A complete abdication of duty, honor, and responsibility to the American people and our military soldiers is what the Bush administration, Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Rice, and others are and forever will be, guilty of.

And Gen Petraeus will be guilty and complicit if he comes back to report that we are making progress on our objectives against a background of the Iraqi government failing to assume its responsibilities to take control of, and defend, their own sovereignty. Such a report will be a complete and total falsehood and fabrication and grossly illogical to boot. We cannot make progress on our objectives without the Iraqi government assuming responsibility for insuring the integrity of their own nation.

There is no military solution to Iraq. The only solution is for the Iraqi government to contain its own nation building problems and conflicts within its borders, and there is no sign that it is even capable, let alone willing to take the steps necessary to accomplish those ends. Their’s is a divided government and a divided nation. Our goal is a peaceful Iraq with sovereign integrity.

The reality does not equate with our goals. And if they ever equate, it will be 10’s of years down the road if not more. At about 12 Billion dollars per month, remaining in Iraq will cost America its economic future here at home.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 11, 2007 7:31 PM
Comment #225945

David
I believe that one of Bush’s biggest blunders in Iraq, besides not sending enough troops in the first place, is his ‘Nation Building’. He either failed to understand or ignored the fact that three different groups of folks are needed to ‘Nation Build’.
1 A group that knows how to plan and build infrastructure
2 A group that knows how to bring differing factions together to work for the greater good of their country.
3 A group that knows how to and can deal forcefully with those that want to cause trouble.
The military is only trained in one of these categories.
While I do agree that the intelligence used to invade Iraq was flawed, as I recall a whole heap of folks in Congress and other governments had the same intelligence and believed that Saddam had WMDs. But I also think that Bush also spun this faulty intelligence to his advantage and in doing so deceived a whole heap of us.
Saddam might have been a threat to the US. But I don’t really think he was the threat we were lead to believe he was.
But most of this right now is irrelevant. We’re in Iraq and our youngins are dieing defending a government that either can’t or won’t take responsibility for it’s country. Now what do we do about it?

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 11, 2007 10:44 PM
Comment #225957

David, although it’s a factor (one of many) I don’t agree that the failure to find WMDs is the primary reason for erosion in the American public’s support for the war. By the time Saddam was captured and through much of 2004, it was already clear that WMDs weren’t going to be found in Iraq. But according to polls, a solid majority still supported the war effort. And there’s also the fact that Bush, whose most prominent act was the invasion of Iraq, was reelected in November of 2004.

If it had not been for insurgent and sectarian violence in Iraq—or if that insurgent and sectarian violence had been successfully put down—I have no doubt that the war would be popular today. And I see little reason to believe that insurgent and sectarian violence would look any different than it does right now even if WMDs had been found in 2003.

Encountering difficulties in winning a war, or even losing a war, are not in themselves arguments against fighting the war in the first place. I wouldn’t say that if the South had prevailed in the American Civil War—by force of arms or because the North gave up the fight—that history would necessarily have judged that Lincoln should never have fought it.

Of course, if Lincoln had invaded the South on the sole premise of freeing the slaves (which he didn’t, by the way) and it turned out that there were in fact no slaves in the South, he’d have had a public relation problem to say the least!

Like many Americans, I supported military action against Iraq for reasons that go beyond the existence of actual weapons of mass destruction. Those are things that can be debated endlessly, so I won’t go into them right now (most of us know the script anyway). I’ll just say that he rationale for a war is a very different thing from its conduct, and the conduct of THIS war has been almost absurd in its defiance of almost every historical precedent for the successful execution of military goals.

That is a black mark on Bush and his party, but it’s also a black mark against the Democrats, the media, the anti-war movement, and the “international community,” not to mention Iraq and its political leadership. All of whom played very significant roles in bringing us to the point where we’re at now.

At this point, the important thing is what happens next, and that’s the truly troubling thing. Our leaders all seem either obsessed with building their “legacies” or trying to to get elected instead of learning and applying the lessons from history (and I don’t mean the history of only the last five years).

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 11, 2007 11:34 PM
Comment #225972

LO:
“And there’s also the fact that Bush, whose most prominent act was the invasion of Iraq, was reelected in November of 2004.”

Questionably reelected, because of Ohio.

Yeah, I know. Those who talk about that are automatically either crazy, or nothing but sore losers.

“That is a black mark on Bush and his party, but it’s also a black mark against the Democrats, the media, the anti-war movement, and the “international community,” not to mention Iraq and its political leadership. All of whom played very significant roles in bringing us to the point where we’re at now.”

What a complete crock.
Everyone must carry the blame, because no matter how many of us have tried to reason with you people for YEARS, we couldn’t stop your insane leaders, lock-step politicians, and mindless, gung-ho corporate propaganda machine, as the blood of our soldiers ran straight into the filthy gutters of Iraq.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 12, 2007 1:08 AM
Comment #225974

Oh Pray tell LO its the fault of the media the anti war movement and the international community! Why is that ? If we dont accept responsibility for our actions we are not very good conservatives are we? If we blame everyone else just for being there, despite their protestations, can we say we are accepting reality? If we cant accept that we have lead the way and made the mistake how can we learn from our mistakes?

Posted by: j2t2 at July 12, 2007 1:37 AM
Comment #225987

Congradulations to Rhinehold, indeed! Most anti-war bloggers here are about 3,800 American lives too late.

They are blogging things I pointed out months and months ago. Oh that’s right, my Bush-hating rhetoric was too strong so my points were missed or blatantly ignored.

What a bitch I am for costing all those American lives! If I had just made my points a little more equivocally, more respectful of Bush, then many fewer soldiers would be dead. The Iraqi government might even have shown progress by now, those wretched insurgents would have ceased with the roadside bombings, the Iraqi militias would no longer be targeting American (oops, “coalition” troops), and all the other wrongs of this war would be righted. It is all my fault! I’m so sorry to the families of fallen military personnel.

The only sentiment I have seen in these posts regarding the war that has any meaning whatsoever is…THAT AMERICANS TROOPS NEED TO BE WITHDRAWN FROM THIS MORBID FIASCO IMMEDIATELY.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at July 12, 2007 8:12 AM
Comment #226022

Kim-Sue
I doubt very much that any criticism of Bush or the war has made it last this long.
What has made it last this long is Bush’s blundering and the Iraqi governments refusal to step up and take control of it’s country. Bush hasn’t made it clear that to them that we won’t stay protecting their lazy butts forever. And they are more than willing to let our kids die to protect them. After all why should Iraqi youngins die to protect their country when the American government is willing to let it’s youngins die to protect it?
But all the critics of the war are missing the only thing that really matters right now. That we ARE in Iraq. And our sons and daughters are being killed protecting a country that the government of it either can’t or won’t step up and assume responsibility of it’s security. Now what do we do about it?
I don’t know if immediate withdrawal is an option or not. But Bush needs to give the Iraqi Government very clear notice in no uncertain words that we WILL be leaving very shortly if it doesn’t get it’s act together, and get it together immediately.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 12, 2007 11:50 AM
Comment #226026

LO

At this point, the important thing is what happens next, and that’s the truly troubling thing. Our leaders all seem either obsessed with building their “legacies” or trying to to get elected instead of learning and applying the lessons from history (and I don’t mean the history of only the last five years).

How right, the important thing is what we do next. Do we continue to let our youngins die for a government that so far hasn’t shown any signs of being willing to take control of it’s country? Do we tell them in no uncertain terms that if they don’t get it together immediatly we’re gone?
Or do we just up and pull out now and let the Iraqi Government stew in it’s own ineptness?
The first option sure as hell not an option at all. The other two are are viable and can be debated. But not for long. Somethig needs to be done real soon.
It’s a very sorry state of affairs when our elected officials are willing to turn the war into a political football for their political and personal gain. And both sides of the isle are guilty of this.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 12, 2007 12:05 PM
Comment #226029

Kim-Sue,

You seem to be confused, I have not changed my stance on the war in Iraq for several years… I was and still am for the original invasion of Iraq to remove Saddam from power for the myriad of reasons it made sense. I am NOT and never have been for the inept post-war occupation that has been going on for several years too long.

I know you want to try an crow that ‘you were right and they were wrong’ but you’re barking up the wrong tree here. See the posts I pointed out in comment 225735 for details.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 12, 2007 12:11 PM
Comment #226128

Guys and Gals, I don’t post very often but I need some help on something going on with our Military as we speak. My Son is in the 10th Mountain Division, getting ready to go to Iraq. He called me this afternoon and said he went to chow at noon. When he came back to the barracks every Soldier on the Post was calling President Bush a “Fuckwad” becuse of something he said about the Soldiers. I’ve told him not to be talking bad about his boss but I’m curious what was said.
I don’t think too many people are aware of the firestorm he’s created. Command Sgt. Majors, Captains, Majors and the like are singing the same tune. This is unheard of in the Military. Does anyone know anything about this?

Posted by: Ken at July 12, 2007 10:00 PM
Comment #226132

I am sure if it is true it will hit the News!

That’ll be a good one!

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 12, 2007 10:23 PM
Comment #226133

Scottie, I guess it’s true. I went to one of the Military chat rooms on yahoo and some Marines were unbelievably furious with the president, over some comments he made, basically calling the soldiers “Pussies” for whining about going to Iraq for 2,3,or 4 tours of duty.
I don’t think he has any idea what he’s done. If you think I’m BS’ing you check it out yourself. I guess it’s true.

Posted by: Ken at July 12, 2007 10:32 PM
Comment #226139

I don’t doubt you. If it’s true Even I’ll bail. It will make big news.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 12, 2007 11:15 PM
Comment #226143

If Bush has done something like that he’s crossed way over the line. And has lost what little respect I have left for him.
Also if he’s pissed the GIs off that much he can kiss what little hope he might have had of coming out of this war looking good goodbye. Ask just about any officer and they’ll tell ya that the GIs are gonna bitch and moan. But they’ll do anything ya ask of them. Until ya piss them off.
Also if Bush has done something like that he’s done lost the support of any veteran that’s been supporting him up til now.
Liked scottie1321 said if he did it ya can bet your last dollar it be all over the news. The Democrats will be all over it like ugly on an ape. And he just could have lost the 08 election for the Republicans. Specially if they don’t come down hard on him.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 12, 2007 11:50 PM
Comment #226148

Ron, I’m a Veteran myself, and your thoughts are exactly as mine are, but just to be sure, could you and other fellow veterans check this out. Keep in mind I was in a chat room so I could have been talking to anyone, but I think it warrants a closer look.
If you confirm this rumor leave a post will ya’? Thanks Brother

Posted by: Ken at July 13, 2007 1:12 AM
Comment #226150

Ken….here is one place where you might find something out. This is a great pro-troop site and they will answer your email.
http://www.iava.org/
I am a dyed-in-the-wool, against the wall Dem….it would be terrible for our military to find out if that’s what the CIC really feels about their sacrifices, but dammit….we’ve been trying to tell everyone for a long time what this guy is all about.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 13, 2007 1:44 AM
Comment #226151

And here’s another site to keep an eye on….if anything is happening, they will have it on here..
http://www.votevets.org/

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 13, 2007 1:56 AM
Comment #226155

Rhinehold,

Yes, of course you’re right! What is important is that the participants of this blog finally get that “I was right” all along about this fiasco created by Bush.

Yes, me being right is much much more important than the nearly 4,000 American soldier’s who have given thier lives for the sake of Saddam Hussein’s execution.

But perhaps I should review your myriad of reasons why Saddam should have been taken out of power by the US. My guess is that you did not weigh very many of the consequences—the highly predictable ones considered by most of the international community who participated in the UN Debates regarding GWB’s reckless ideas. I would be willing to bet that you did not consider anything having to do with Muslim culture, history of the region, political history of Iraq, the ethinic make up of the country, the nature of Muslim warfare, the past failure of a “superpower” to dominate a Muslim (not even an Arab nation as Iraq predominantly is) for far less “noble reason” than ensuring the death of one megalomaniac Saddam Hussein—all legitimate factors to consider before sending Americans into a protracted situation from which the only outcome is withdrawl (in the absence of blistering genocide by the use of American military might). All factors considered by others in the national and international community who did not agree with GWB’s ludocrice notion to invade a sovereign nation.

Rhinehold, I would love to see you address the family members of those who have lost loved ones in Iraq and explain to them your reasons why Saddam’s execution was worth them giving their lives.

Ron,

“Ya think”?


I guess I am a “messengers” that the Watchblog “police” permits to be personally attacked. Alas, I am partly to blame for this repartee. I keep forgetting that the “playing field” of this site is hardly level from the prospective of intellect and astuteness.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at July 13, 2007 3:15 AM
Comment #226174

Kim-Sue,

As I have already done several times, that information is available in the archives here.

For a condensed list:

    One of the largest lists of human rights violations detailed by groups such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Physicians for Human Rights, etc.
    The direct support and use of terrorism that resulted in documented cases of over 3000 killed and wounded that were non-Iraq and the hundreds of thousands that were killed who were under his rule. This does not go into the undocumented but suspected…
    Giving save haven to known international terrorists such as Abu Abbas, Khala Khadr al Salahat, Abu Nidal, Abdul Yasin, etc.
    The breaking of dozens of UN Chapter Seven resolutions. I’m not aware of another country with that many violations of those types of Resolutions during the 90s or since.
    The fact that after 12 years of these resolutions and on again/of again inspections we still couldn’t know for sure if Saddam had destroyed his WMD weapons caches. Even Hans Blix stated before the invasion that he would not be surprised if WMD were found.
    The sanctions in place because of these actions were killing hundreds of thousand if not more citizens of Iraq, a very large percentage of them children.

And remember, Kim-Sue, that the number of American dead at the time we removed and even caught Saddam hiding in his hidey hole was very small. IF we had done the right thing right then and taken the UN up on their offer to oversea the rebuilding process I don’t think we would be having this conversation at all.

But the most troublesome point is trying to determine in hindsight if we should have done something that needed to be done by listing out the cost after the fact. Determining if something should be done and determining if something that was done was done right are two different things that you seem to be confusing together.

Bush failed but that doesn’t mean the action shouldn’t have been taken. If we use that thought process we might as well wall up the country, let no one in or out, put cameras in every home, car, public and private building, etc and label everyone with UPC code so that we can monitor their actions day and night. Then we might all be safe and sound against anyone trying to do us harm or the possibility of failure.

*I* personally wouldn’t want to live like that.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 13, 2007 10:27 AM
Comment #226197

Rhinehold,

I hope my statements here make it very plain to you what my priority regarding this Iraq War is.

I reviewed your list, in fact, I copy pasted it into Word so I can have it as a reference when I put together my research. MY HYPOTHESIS: This type of list you composed could me prepared for other Muslim nations in the Middle East. This is what my research will hopefully reveal. I won’t know until I begin to collect data and draw interpretations and conclusions from the facts.

Now regarding the subject of the list—removal of Saddam Hussein—I don’t think his removal from power was worth the loss of even ONE US American Soldier. By removing him from power has only served to unleash the influence of Iran in the region especially in Shiite dominated Iraq (which was part of Iran before the British made it should be a separate country). Iran, unlike Iraq, is a legitimate nuclear threat. They were light years ahead of Iraq in the development of their nuclear program—this is part of the reason I used to joke that Bush mixed up Iraq and Iran in terms of wagin war. The names of the respective countries differe by only one letter and since they are geographically, historically, and relgiously linke, an idiot like GWB could easly confuse the two—even with Colin Powell there to help him. Ok, I have digressed with this bit, but now back on point….

There should have never been an opportunity for hindsight in this matter because forethought, prudence, astuteness, leadership, public service to the American people—all qualities we can only pray our national political leaders possess and utilize—should have taken over but instead greed, hunger for power, politics, and the like propt up this Iraq War that you seem to be able to justify on the grounds that removal of Saddam Hussein was an objective worth the loss of however many American live (but not your life). Ok, I still would like to see you make this argument before the scant few family members who lost loved ones in order to dig Saddam out of his hole and subsequently oversee his execution.

Who wants to live in fear (even if most Americans considered Saddam Hussein someone to be feared)? No one, of course, wants to live in this manner. But if we are going to ask volunteer American soldiers to put their lives at risk then the threat should be legitimate. If you really believe that Saddam was threat to the US, well, I guess you are entitled. It is a totally irrational notion to me for many reasons, but I won’t try to persuade you.

Anyway, let me do some compare and contrast, and we can continue this discussion in the future if you like. It is an interesting line of political debate, I just wish it did not have to come with the heavy immoral cost of nearly 4,000 American deaths and the physical mutaliation of even thousands more.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at July 13, 2007 1:21 PM
Comment #226202

Ken
Thank you for your service to our great country.
I’m waiting for my son in Iraq to call this weekend and see what he’s heard about this.
So far I haven’t heard anything on the news about it. I kinda think there aint anything to it. If there was we’d be hearing all about it from the media and the Democrats. Neither one would pass on a chance like that.
I just hope that Bush isn’t stupid enough to show that kind of disrespect for the boys and girls he’s sent to Iraq to fight and die for this country. That sure as hell aint what they need right now.


Kim-Sue
Disagreeing with you aint attacking you. A whole heap of folks here disagree with me and tell me so. Sometimes they aint to polite about it, but so far I don’t feel that any has attacked me personally.
Watchblog has an editor that I believe dose a very good job of making sure that folks that want to attack others personally are made aware of their transgression of the rule Critic the messenger, not the message. And he takes the appropriate action that’s necessary for those that don’t want to abide by the rules.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 13, 2007 1:41 PM
Comment #226214
should have taken over but instead greed, hunger for power, politics, and the like propt up this Iraq War that you seem to be able to justify on the grounds that removal of Saddam Hussein was an objective worth the loss of however many American live (but not your life). Ok, I still would like to see you make this argument before the scant few family members who lost loved ones in order to dig Saddam out of his hole and subsequently oversee his execution.

See, you wonder why people get defensive when you post something?

Gee, I’m sorry I couldn’t get over to Iraq, but as a disabled veteran, it’s not the sort of thing that my country would allow me to do, no matter how much I wanted to. No matter how much I wanted Bush I to fulfill his promise to the Iraqi people that we would help them revolt against Saddam and then did a Kennedy ala Bay of Pigs and turned his back on them, no matter how much I wanted Clinton to resolve the issue left for him during his 8 years instead of letting it fester and ooze.

The simple fact is that the real reason we should have done something about Saddam is that WE are directly responsible for that situation being there in the first place. That we don’t speak more to that these days seems to be a bit of cowardice and refusal to accept responsibility, but had the US not interfered in Iraq so many times in the past as well as letting the country down time and again, we wouldn’t have had the problem in 2003 to begin with.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 13, 2007 2:59 PM
Comment #226218

BTW, I think we’re very responsible for Iran as well, and many other things in the middle east, because of our inane need to think we can stop separate groups of people who hate each other over mostly religious and cultral issues from wanting to kill each other over them. Most presidents have tried (and failed) to ‘solve the middle east crisis’ when in reality it may just be that we can’t and we have to let them to their own devices to solve it ‘one way or another’.

And if we didn’t rely so much on their stupid oil it would be even easier as a country to do, IMO. Which is why I don’t understand why we haven’t done more as a country to develop alternative methods of fueling our economy that could be more efficient and less polluting as well. Not necessarily government run because by leaving it in the hands of the government we by definition involve politics and power plays and a wedge tool for politicians to set us against each other, but just in a ‘in make sense and we should be doing this’ way.

But, as I’ve been told, I live in a dream world… ;)

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 13, 2007 3:23 PM
Comment #226256

Rhinehold,

I’m not omniscient. Other than by your disclosure about being a disabled veteran, how am I supposed to know that bit of information about you? If believing that I am some kind of callous moron as to suggest that a veteran—disabled or not—should volunteer for Iraq duty simply because they support the war helps you in maintaining your convictions about this issue that we are debating, then by all means, do so. I no longer cower at that type of blogging foolishness.

I don’t wonder why people get defensive about my or anyone else’s postings, that is your inference. It is not my problem that I am able to look through the “defensiveness,” the insults (veiled or not) and consider the issues on which I feel are worth commenting while others are not as able. If you take issue with the way I express myself, as I have stated before, please let me know where I should go to confirm that I no longer have freedom of speech (perhaps it is in the fine print of the patriot act—now that would not surprise me).

Having said that, I have a very good friend that served as a combat soldier in Iraq for over a year (all of it spent in Baghdad outside the Green Zone). Everyday I thank God that he came home alive and without physical injury. I take very seriously his opinions about the war, his role, the US’s role, etc. because when it comes right down to it—it is HE who put his life on the line and not me. I didn’t debate him on his views and his opinions. I tried as best I could to understand his viewpoint and incorporate them into my stance on the war in Iraq. It is precisely this type of heroism, courage and integrity that he displays as well as other serving in Iraq that forms the basis for my adamant call for their immediate withdrawal from a losing cause.

As for whether or not we should have removed Saddam from power because we were responsible for him being there in the first place—that tidbit failed to make your short list that I recently read. I don’t agree with that perspective, but my brother does, and I trust his objectivity and wisdom. From a strictly humanitarian point of view, there are numerous valid points to be considered regarding our obligation to undo a past wrong (I am particularly referring to Iraq and Saddam Hussein). However, our foreign policy in the Middle East is hardly based on humanitarianism (is that a word?). The US has let down the Middle East from a foreign policy standpoint because our values, rhetoric, and actions are NOT uniformly applied in the region. It is my opinion that our overwhelming support or acquiescence to Israel in their long standing conflicts with the Arabs is at the heart of most, if not all, of our diplomatic failings in the region.

To put the burden on our armed services to initiate righting these decades of diplomatic gaffs is unconscionable. Our military should not be put in the position of playing “superheroes” to seek resolutions to cumulative errors in diplomacy. As you are a veteran, I would be keenly interested in your opinion of the military’s role in this regard. If they are to be thrust in this role, then they should be told that at the time they are making a decision to begin military service so they can at least have to option to not serve before they are deployed on reckless missions a la the Iraq war.

I don’t have a single answer—and probably not even any reasonable ideas—for resolving the major issues in the Middle East. I think the approach of King Abdullah II of Jordan is one of the most courageous and noble (no pun intended) that I have seen in quite some time. If he makes any kind of progress, I will fear for his life. Sadat was assassinated by an Egyptian (Arab) and Rabin was assassinated by an Israeli (Jew) when attempting to do “the right thing.” Ironically, human nature abhors humanity and peace.

Ron

I wasn’t referring to you attacking me. To be quite frank, I was being sarcastic. I am use to personal attacks here and elsewhere. Because I understand why people behave in this fashion, it doesn’t actually bother me in this type of situation. Oddly enough, most people who know me (in person) constantly tell me that my directness and urbane wit and rhetoric and among my best character traits. I suppose in writing only, it comes across in other ways. I am willing and able to deal with that reality.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at July 13, 2007 9:50 PM
Comment #226312
I’m not omniscient. Other than by your disclosure about being a disabled veteran, how am I supposed to know that bit of information about you?

I think that was my point. Why are you making inflamatory baseless accusations about someone’s motives or reasons when you don’t know what they are?

And then you accuse me of participating in ‘blogging foolishness’.

*shrug*

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 14, 2007 12:52 PM
Comment #226343

Rhinhold said:

Why are you making inflamatory baseless accusations about someone’s motives or reasons when you don’t know what they are?

If that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black, then I don’t know what is. Why don’t you cut and paste these supposed accusations.

**shrug** right back. hmmm could it be that what you call accusations are actually just your inferences because you don’t like what was posted.
Too bad, that freedom of speech thing can be so messy.

I think you know I did not make any accusations about your motives regarding anything.

However, let’s take a look at the assumptions you have posted about me.

1. “Kim-Sue, You seem to be confused, I have not changed my stance on the war in Iraq for several years”—posted 7-12-07 12:11 PM

2. “I know you want to try an crow that ‘you were right and they were wrong’ but you’re barking up the wrong tree here.”—posted 7-12-07 12:11 PM

3. “Gee, I’m sorry I couldn’t get over to Iraq, but as a disabled veteran, it’s not the sort of thing that my country would allow me to do, “—posted 7-13-07 10:37 PM

In everyone of those statements you are making these blatant accusations and inflammatory assumptions that you claim to dislike so much.

Other than the “congradulations”, which, by the way, I borrowed from TWO previous bloggers—AP and PS, show me one accusatory statement that I posted that is specifically directed at you.

If the only thing you’ve got is when I stated that it was not your life on the line in Iraq, that is hardly an accusation, by your own statements, it is a fact. My life is not on the line either. You want some accusations? Here you go: you can read all you want into the statements that I make because their polarizing nature makes you angry and you can’t find any legitimate way to get around them except by making the debate personal, you can be as overly sensitive as you want to be, you can characterize me the way you wish hoping that it will invalidate my arguements, you can use hyperbole all you want—it is effective in many cases (how you think Bush got elected in 2004) but it doesn’t work on me.

I stand by my opinions as I have from day one unless there are other issues that I have not considered. When that is the case, I admit that I failed to take cogent facts or opinions into consideration. I also ask for clarification or advice from participants in this forum. I give credit where credit is due, even to those with which I disagree. In the case of GWB and the Iraq war, however, that is damn near impossible for me to do.

Don’t blame me because I don’t shift and because I don’t give any creedance or “free-pass” to moron GWB based on his delusional, propaganda laiden, lying rhetoric—he and his terrorist fascist administration. I have never been a Bush supporter and never will be. I have absolutely no respect for that idiot. When I express this view, if you want to transfer my utter digust and contempt for GWB onto yourself that is your business.

Now, if you want to stop this tit-for-tat and get back to the discussions we have intermingled, I am interested in exploring some of the points about why removing Saddam was the US’ responsibility. This point of view is one that I have grappled with—with my brother as I shared—I would like to consider and perhaps understand this particular opinion that opposes my own.


Posted by: Kim-Sue at July 14, 2007 6:25 PM
Comment #226358

It would help WatchBlog’s reputation for being a civil debate site if everyone focuses on the topic, and not the attributes or motives of writers of articles or comments, as our Rules for Participation require. Thanks.

Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at July 14, 2007 9:08 PM
Comment #226359

Rhinehold, I believe it was the British, Laurence of Arabia, and all that good show that installed a dictator over an area of the map to be called Iraq, with its many tribes, sects, and bands. Saddam Hussein was a successor, and the U.S. found him useful and instrumental at the time of the American hostage crisis in our efforts to retaliate against Iran. That is more accurate that any implication that we installed him or enhanced his position in Iraq, which he had already defined for himself, before we sent resources to aid him in his war against Iran.

We enriched him while using him in our foreign policy. Nothing more, as far as my lay understanding of the history of the region goes.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 14, 2007 9:13 PM
Comment #226456

Watchblog,

I do respect your opinions and your valued mediation, however I think Kim-Sue has a valid point. I don’t agree with everything Kim-Sue has stated but I think it’s abundantly clear that this individual is passionate about their beliefs.
I think this is one element in todays rhetoric that is missing and most of us, for the lack of a better term can “Spot a Phoney.” Kim-Sue is obviously sincere. Again I do respect your authority Watchblog, but please don’t take the passion out of the debate.

Posted by: Ken at July 15, 2007 4:44 PM
Comment #226554

This “white hat doctrine” is rubbish. If that’s what our military policy should be, well then, let’s not intervene at all in Darfur because it doesn’t threaten us. Oh wait, we’re not!

Posted by: Alastor's Heaven at July 16, 2007 2:51 PM
Comment #226649

Ken, WatchBlog’s rules for participation are time tested to work in maintaining a civil debate site, and apply equally to all participants. Comments regarding how WatchBlog is run, should be addressed to managing_editor@watchblog.com

Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at July 17, 2007 5:23 AM
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