Will: Let’s get out of Iraq, too

posted at 4:15 pm on September 3, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier this week, George Will touched off a firestorm of criticism on the Right when he urged Barack Obama to pull American troops out of Afghanistan.  In tomorrow’s column, already live at Washington Post’s website, Will completes the circle by demanding a withdrawal from Iraq as well:

Since U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq’s cities, two months have passed, and so has the illusion that Iraq is smoothly transitioning to a normality free of sectarian violence. Recently, Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of U.S. troops there, “blanched” when The Post’s Greg Jaffe asked him if the war is “functionally over.” Odierno said:

“There are still civilians being killed in Iraq. We still have people that are attempting to attack the new Iraqi order and the move towards democracy and a more open economy. So we still have some work to do.”

No, we don’t, even if, as Jaffe reports, the presence of 130,000 U.S. troops “serves as a check on Iraqi military and political leaders’ baser and more sectarian instincts.” After almost 6 1/2 years, and 4,327 American dead and 31,483 wounded, with a war spiraling downward in Afghanistan, it would be indefensible for the U.S. military — overextended and in need of materiel repair and mental recuperation — to loiter in Iraq to improve the instincts of corrupt elites. If there is worse use of the U.S. military than “nation-building,” it is adult supervision and behavior modification of other peoples’ politicians.

More than 725 Iraqis have been killed by terrorism since the June 30 pullback of U.S. forces from the cities. All U.S. combat units are to be withdrawn from the country within a year. Up to 50,000 can remain as “advisers” to an Iraqi government that is ostentatious about its belief that the presence of U.S. forces is superfluous and obnoxious.

Will sets a conundrum for his readers in the final paragraph:

If, in spite of contrary evidence, the U.S. surge permanently dampened sectarian violence, all U.S. forces can come home sooner than the end of 2011. If, however, the surge did not so succeed, U.S. forces must come home sooner.

The gist of Will’s column is that we have failed to fix the corruption and sectarian hostility in Iraq after the surge succeeded in at least calming it down.  Will assumes that any further engagement will not result in improvement.  However, the surge itself was opposed on the same argument, which turned out to be false.  Greater engagement actually solved problems and saved lives.  The problems that Will cites mostly came from our disengagement under the terms of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which many of us worried would be premature.

Will’s argument assumes that we have no real national interest any longer in what happens in and to Iraq.  The Shi’ites are hopelessly aligned with Iran, the Kurds do not share Iraqi nationalism with the rest of the population, and the Sunni remain resentful of their minority status and lack of power.  All of these are real problems, but they aren’t necessarily hopeless.  The engagement strategy launched by George Bush and Robert Gates demonstrated that we can make progress, as long as we take the mission seriously and remain focused on long-term goals, rather than throw our hands up in the air when politicians become corrupt and countries develop minds of their own.

Interestingly, on Afghanistan, Will gets rebutted by that arch-conservative … David Frum:

American and NATO prestige has been pledged to Afghanistan. A collapse of Afghanistan into warlordism or a narco-state (the likeliest outcome of U.S. withdrawal) would be very costly. And the fact that the West has not done very well in Afghanistan to date does not doom us to failure forever. …

Our goals in Afghanistan are properly modest. Nobody is looking to elevate Afghanistan into a model anything. Those who serve in Afghanistan all understand the concept of “good enough.” Next door, Tajikistan is the second poorest country in Eurasia. Yet its population is literate, and it does not host international terrorist groups. Tajikistan is not much of a democracy and it has suffered from civil war, but it has groped its way to stability and it has not been accused of the kinds of human-rights abuses committed in Uzbekistan. We can look to that kind of future for Afghanistan, if we get the military strategy right.

Is the new strategy right? I won’t predict. But it is new, and it deserves a trial before we reach pessimistic conclusions. Wars are ugly and expensive. But losing wars is worse, and worse in ways often impossible to predict in advance. That’s a lesson I learned as a young conservative back in the 1970s—in very large part by reading the columns of George F. Will.

In both theaters, we have to ask ourselves if the US has significant stakes in the outcomes, and in both theaters, we do.  Not even Will disputes that.  Next, we have to ask ourselves if we have the resources and the stamina to see the missions through to the outcomes.  We do, although neither are limitless, nor should they be.  But if we do have significant stakes in the outcomes, especially on national security, then we should have enough stamina to try new strategies and diplomatic initiatives before sounding retreat.

There may come a time when we have tried and failed at every possible way to achieve our mission.  In neither theater has that happened as yet.  Unlike some of Will’s other critics, I have no reason to question his motives, which I assume spring from the highest sense of patriotism and love of country.  That doesn’t make Will correct in his analysis, though, which suffers from a sufficient consideration of the negative consequences of premature retreat, as Frum points out in his answer.


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This fool is like all of the pundits fools he can say anything he wants.But please don,t call him and others just like him a conservative.These fools are just part of the inside the beltway wizards of smart.They look down on all of us and laugh out loud at us at there parties.They think they are so smart that we should get down on our knees and thank them for being there.They also can,t stand people that are pro life and people like Rush ,Mark,Beck and Michelle Malkin.

thmcbb on September 3, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Economic Libertarianism and Trade, is not possible without a Strong US Military(or like the UK of old before us), period.

jp on September 3, 2009 at 5:34 PM

Strong military’s do not stay strong being bleed going after windmills.

MB4 on September 3, 2009 at 5:40 PM

In fact, it would be just up Hillary Clinton’s ally to instigate such a diversionary tactic to promote public discontent with any involvement in Afghanistan.

“How long has this been going on?”

I don’t see Condi Rice putting up with this at all.

maverick muse on September 3, 2009 at 5:42 PM

I’m waiting for TX or AZ to secede. Then I get a passport, pack up a few things and my cat, and head West in hope of getting a visa into the new Republics.
Liam on September 3, 2009 at 5:34 PM

Your cat? Are you sure they’ll let you in?

Bishop on September 3, 2009 at 5:43 PM

Circa 2012:

Just about three years ago I set out on Obama’s Afghanistan road,
Seekin’ my fame and glory, lookin’ to turn the mullah’s hemorrhoid into a pot of gold.
Well, things got bad, and things got worse, I guess you will know the tune.
Oh ! lord, stuck in Obama’s Afghanistan again.

Flew in on a big plane, I hope I’ll be in one piece flyin out when I go.
I was just passin’ through, must now be yet another 2 tours or more.
Running out of time and patience, looks like they took more of my friends.
Oh ! lord, Im stuck in Obama’s Afghanistan again.

The Hope and Change man in the White House said yet again I was on my way.
Somewhere I lost his connection, he ran out of words to say.
I came into Kabul, a one year stand, looks like the plans fell through again
Oh ! lord, stuck in Obama’s Afghanistan again.

Mmmm…
If I only had a woman, for evry Obama tour Ive done.
And evry time Ive had to fight while the Boy Emperor Obama sat back home power drunk.
You know, Id like to catch the next plane back to where Im from.
Oh ! lord, Im stuck in Obama’s Afghanistan again.
Oh ! lord, Im stuck in Obama’s Afghanistan again.

- CCR Soldier Boy

MB4 on September 3, 2009 at 5:44 PM

Your cat? Are you sure they’ll let you in?

Bishop on September 3, 2009 at 5:43 PM

I don’t see why not. I want liberty and the cat is cool, like are all cats. Besides, he’ll work well if the border guard is a chick. The only way to do better than that is have a baby in my arm, and I don’t want any more of those!

Liam on September 3, 2009 at 5:48 PM

Ralph Peters: O’S AFGHAN WOES
WHITE HOUSE STIFLES GENERAL

The administration preferred a politically expedient blah-blah “report” that grants the White House a time-out. But there’s no time-out for our soldiers and Marines (our enemies won’t listen to the ref). Guess who pays the price while Obama plays Hamlet?

The result? We’ve got a general who’s been gagged, a president trapped by his campaign promises, a muddled mission, crippling restrictions on our troops, a resurgent enemy, a worthless Afghan government — and an AWOL establishment media that, after hammering the Bush administration, gives Obama a pass on American casualties.

Meanwhile, Iraq — which genuinely matters — goes ignored. Make no mistake: Obama’s made Afghanistan the real “war of choice.”

Yet Afghanistan is worthless. Worthless. Repairing Afghan irrigation ditches has zero effect on al Qaeda’s will to win. Killing terrorists is the only thing that works. And there isn’t a single al Qaeda terrorist left in Afghanistan.

As for all those dire warnings that we mustn’t allow Afghanistan to become a terrorist haven again, that’s why we should maintain a compact, lethal force on the ground that backs our national interests — not a predatory Afghan government that’s turned out to be the Taliban’s best friend.

But American lives are cheap to American ideologues (on both political extremes). So we’ve got a president terrified of taking a stand, a muzzled general, a muddled policy, and our magnificent troops employed as political pawns. In comparison, Vietnam was a model of clarity and purpose.

Cooking the political books doesn’t win wars. It didn’t work for the Bush administration, and it won’t work for Obama. We shouldn’t waste another American life without a clear strategy our president will back with his full authority.

When the White House silences the generals in the field, it condemns our troops to the silence of the grave.

MB4 on September 3, 2009 at 5:52 PM

The government had a conscription scam running during Vietnam though to force people to go kill Vietnamese or force them to go to jail instead.

That’s why Ayers was in that weather underground group.

I bet McCain would have liked to have had a draft so he could have attacked Iran too.

Spathi on September 3, 2009 at 5:53 PM

I don’t see why not. I want liberty and the cat is cool, like are all cats. Besides, he’ll work well if the border guard is a chick. The only way to do better than that is have a baby in my arm, and I don’t want any more of those!

Liam on September 3, 2009 at 5:48 PM

If a man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man, but deteriorate the cat.
- Mark Twain

MB4 on September 3, 2009 at 5:55 PM

I bet McCain would have liked to have had a draft so he could have attacked Iran too.

Spathi on September 3, 2009 at 5:53 PM

What’s wrong with attacking Iran? They committed an act of war by invading our Embassy which, by international law libs love so much, was sovereign US territory. That alone allowed us to bomb them back to Stone Age but Carter was too liberal, Dem, Dem-liberal, and cowardly to act.

Had Carter the balls, Reagan would not have been elected President in 1980.

That must kill libs every time they think about it, assuming they think at all.

Liam on September 3, 2009 at 5:57 PM

MB4 on September 3, 2009 at 5:55 PM

Speak for yourself!

Liam on September 3, 2009 at 5:58 PM

Conservatives and Republicans cannot expect that the lessons of Vietnam don’’t apply to them.
BradSchwartze on September 3, 2009 at 4:56 PM

If you knew the lessons you’d know that statement is completey empty. Democrat congress took steps that ensured the fall of the South in 1975. We had it secure until then thanks to Nixon (jee, another Republican!).

Here is how the history of this war should be known. Bill Clinton diddled an intern while our enemies grew in power. When he was gone a first rate warrior from Texas came to power and when attacked responded with the full military might of the Republic and was winning. Then the Democrats and Obama came along and lost both Iraq and Afghanistan…

Absolutely love it.

Holger on September 3, 2009 at 5:59 PM

Will completes the circle by demanding a withdrawal from Iraq as well:

The circle is now complete, when I left….

Nevermind.

It’s just all so ridiculous. Just goes to prove, that Washington D.C. corrupts everyone and everything. Whether its economic, political, ideological, or just plain smarts. That hell hole ruins everything.

juanito on September 3, 2009 at 5:59 PM

Has George Will made any public comments on the Green Czar yet??

JellyToast on September 3, 2009 at 6:07 PM

Oh no. You guys don’t get it. The only reason Obama has any troops in any war zone is to kill as many “hicks” and white Christians as possible. He’ll push as many of them into the meatgrinder as possible. A few less republicans and hayseeds around saves both his Marxist agenda and the environment. “Dos por uno” as our imiigrant sisters and brothers say.

texaninfidel on September 3, 2009 at 6:13 PM

Folks like MB4 think this is all a fools errand. And we should just tuck tail between legs and leave because those folks are a bunch of barbarians anyway.

Or something like that. I paraphrase and perhaps I am being unfair to MB4. If so, I am sorry.

However, the truth is we left those folks pretty much alone for years. We looked the other way time and time again and all we got for it, was planes flying into buildings, dead Marines in Lebanon, dead Rangers in Africa etc.

Thousands killed in attacks long before we went into Iraq and Afghanistan.

The truth is if they are barbarians, it makes it even more important that we stay in Iraq and Afghanistan for now. Because if we leave, they will be like the barbarians sacking Rome. They will simply see us as weak and decadent and incapable of sticking it out.

That does not mean we turn Afghanistan into a model European country or something. Nor does it mean that Iraq will turn into a peaceful sleepy desert country any time soon…but we know what will happen if we leave, the good guys will be beaten and the bad guys will be emboldened.

And right now the Iranian mullahs are having real problems at home. The young people in Iran, many of whom are Shia themselves are questioning their religion, their government and their place in the world for the first time in years. If we abandon the region now, what will happen to Iran? My guess is the mullahs would like nothing better than to see the last of us in Iraq.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 6:14 PM

texas infidel:

You are not very good at this, are you?

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 6:15 PM

texas infidel:
You are not very good at this, are you?
Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 6:15 PM

what…..explaining the obvious to liberal trolls? Go hold up your pre-fab “health care now sign” and get out of my face.

texaninfidel on September 3, 2009 at 6:23 PM

texasinfidel:

Pretending to be something you are not..that is what you are not very good at.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 6:25 PM

If there’s one thing I know it’s this:

Our Military will not abandon its mission.

This shows the stark contrast of a leader versus a political hack Thanks to a previous poster.

I don’t think that our fine soldiers should be following a Marxist or Communist. Van Jones “IS” Barack Obama with a different face. I have two Nephews in the Marines right now. Both of them have serious doubts about who they answer to.

No matter what happens, our Military will protect us, I put my full faith and trust in their judgment. Not Barack Obama’s.

Key West Reader on September 3, 2009 at 6:35 PM

Here is how the history of this war should be known. Bill Clinton diddled an intern while our enemies grew in power. When he was gone a first rate warrior from Texas came to power and when attacked responded with the full military might of the Republic and was winning. Then the Democrats and Obama came along and lost both Iraq and Afghanistan…

Absolutely love it.

Holger on September 3, 2009 at 5:59 PM

The current words and actions of most War on Terror conservatives will help ensure this will not be the historical interpretation of said war.

BradSchwartze on September 3, 2009 at 6:36 PM

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 6:14 PM

I’m with MB4 on this one.

a capella on September 3, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Why Hindus and Mormons are so screwed up?

No wait! That’s not it. Give me some time and it will come to me.

MB4 on September 3, 2009 at 4:59 PM

Well, besides that question….

And it says quite a bit that Gen. Paul Vallely understands The Question That Dares Not Be Asked than some of the War on Terror’s actual proponents.

BradSchwartze on September 3, 2009 at 6:43 PM

BradSchwartze on September 3, 2009 at 6:36 PM

Dr Seuss never won a war.

Holger on September 3, 2009 at 6:46 PM

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 6:14 PM

The importance of the War on Terror is not the question here. Nor, for that matter, is the war’s conduct.

BradSchwartze on September 3, 2009 at 6:47 PM

Part of the reason I’m starting to agree with Will has nothing to do with his views or the facts on the ground but rather I no longer trust the chain of command here in the US.

While I may have argued details with the Bush admin I never doubted the integrity of the command structure or the end goal. With Obama I just assume that more military appointments will be made for political correctness reasons rather than strategic.

If I’m right its going to get ugly. Prior to his election he had no use for the military. It basically boils down to a simple question: do you think Obama and crew really want to win the war on terror which they say doesn’t exist?

patrick neid on September 3, 2009 at 6:48 PM

If I’m right its going to get ugly. Prior to his election he had no use for the military. It basically boils down to a simple question: do you think Obama and crew really want to win the war on terror which they say doesn’t exist?

patrick neid on September 3, 2009 at 6:48 PM

No, I don’t think Obama has any intention of acheiving Victory in any war. He said that himself. His goal might be to keep our Military occupied overseas so that the proper civilian defense force can be built. I hate to even think this, but given all of the recent revelations about Obama anything is possible.

Our Military will NEVER let us down. No way, no how, not now, not ever and if you think differently then you need to check your head.

And Obama needs to check his head if he thinks he can get away with what he’s doing to this Country.

Key West Reader on September 3, 2009 at 6:53 PM

the source of this, is the lie that true conservatism is Military Isolationism at heart, one gigantic lie. The only period it was ever remotely isolationist was after WW1, certainly never in the first century plus up until WW1.

jp on September 3, 2009 at 4:58 PM

What a crock of sh*t.

So, you’re going to tell me that the Swiss, arguably the most steadily conservative nation in Europe, have not been isolationist?

Sometimes you people need to pull your head out of your ass and think for 30 seconds before you post.

JohnGalt23 on September 3, 2009 at 6:55 PM

proper civilian defense force

We already got it. There are 70 million gun owners and 300 million privately owned firearms. We got the largest armed citizenry in the world.

Holger on September 3, 2009 at 6:59 PM

Who is supposed to surrender to the U.S. after the glorious victory in Afghanistan?

corona on September 3, 2009 at 5:23 PM

Answer: STFU, you troll.

/neocon

JohnGalt23 on September 3, 2009 at 7:03 PM

corona on September 3, 2009 at 5:23 PM

Some wars do not end with the signing of papers on the deck of a battleship moored in Tokyo Bay.

Holger on September 3, 2009 at 7:10 PM

corona:

That is a stupid question.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 7:11 PM

Brad:

Oh, I don’t know, it seems to me the importance of the War on Terror is indeed the question. The idea being that we can just bug out and then throw some cruise missiles at them to prove we mean business time or whatever has not worked in the past at all.

So yes, I think that is the question, the problem is it is a question people like Will just want to ignore.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 7:14 PM

a capella:

You can be with whoever you want, but I just refuse to think that we should send young people off to their deaths until we get all bumbed out about the whole thing and then just say enough.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 7:17 PM

I’m generally moderate when it comes to getting into war, but we need to understand from the get go the magnitude of what we seek to accomplish, what it could possibly cost, and then decide “are we going to do this?”
We can’t allow ourselves to lose wars. Losing wars means more wars will have to be fought. In every aspect of foreign policy it’s important that it’s established what will happen if we don’t find alternative accommodations. Every time we lose a war by losing our stomach for what it takes to win our strength is undermined and it becomes much more likely the other side will say “Prove it.”

galenrox on September 3, 2009 at 7:20 PM

And it is not about whether or not the Iraqis are ever western in their outlook or our best friends of anything else. If that country descends into chaos, the world economy will go with it. That is why Iraq was always important to American interests.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 7:21 PM

The importance of the War on Terror is not the question here. Nor, for that matter, is the war’s conduct.

BradSchwartze on September 3, 2009 at 6:47 PM

The war in Iraq and the Greater Global War on Terror haven’t been linked for some time now. “Fighting them there so we didn’t have to fight them here” made sense when the “them” we were fighting was jihadis from abroad financed by global terrorism networks.

Last I checked, though, the “them” we’re fighting in Iraq is comprised of 1) disaffected Iraqi youths in sectarian militias, and 2) terrorists financed by Iran. Neither of these categories of insurgents would follow us home—the militia members have neither the resources nor the inclination, and Iran likely would prefer to get its first few nukes before they start provoking war with us.

Iraq will either fall apart when we leave, or it won’t, and how long we stick it out will not affect the outcome. How much money, and how many soldiers’ lives, we want to squander in the meantime is the only question at hand.

hicsuget on September 3, 2009 at 7:24 PM

Will this be George Wills William F. Buckley before the Iraq surge moment or will a liberal President oblige and set off a cascade of murder and terrorism?

Speakup on September 3, 2009 at 7:25 PM

And I also refuse to believe that just because Iraq is a Muslim country that the entire culture is useless or hopeless or whatever. We do not even know what they will be in a decade. More than half the people of Iraq do not even attend regular religious services. But if we just say to hell with it and let it go to hell, we will pay for that. For years to come and more people, probably Americans as well as Iraqis will die. I really do believe that.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 7:26 PM

hicsuget:

AlQaida is still in Iraq.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 7:27 PM

If Iraq falls apart, the price of oil would go through the ceiling. The last time we saw a huge spike in oil the world economy ended up in crisis. The idea that we could just let a country like Iraq collapse and it would be no big deal to anyone outside of Iraq is ridiculous.

For one thing, they have oil..people will try to go get it. Count on it. The Iranians will be right in the middle of that, no question there. And once we have abandoned Iraq and Afghanistan, they will be even bolder right now.

Look at a map, right now Iran is surrounded, if we leave, they won’t be.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 7:30 PM

The idea that the US can just ignore the pledge we made to the Afghanis and the Iraqis themselves, that we can abandon a war and somehow that will not effect us is wrong.

How we see ourselves, our military, how the world sees us and how the terrorists see us will all be effected.

Some people seem to think we can just leave and that will be the end of it. No big deal..cut your losses and bug out..not worth staying..and that will be the end of it.

It won’t.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 7:34 PM

And something else, there is no point in complaining about the Shia in Iraq being close to the Shia in Iran, if you plan on leaving Iraq. Afer all, the Iranians are there. We can leave, the Iraqis can not. They have to deal with their crazy neighbors and chances are if we just say to hell with the whole thing, they will do what they think they have to do to survive..at least for awhile. And that means not pissing off the Iranians.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 7:43 PM

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 7:34 PM

The ultimate decision on a bugout is Obama’s, and Obama’s alone. The original proponents of the War on Terror don’t do themselves favors by holding his hand through the process, or by giving him support without any measurable price paid on Obama’s part simply because We Support The Troops and The Mission They Are Ordered To Carry Out.

BradSchwartze on September 3, 2009 at 7:50 PM

Brad:

I agree. My point is that if someone supports Obama’s decision to bug out because they think that the Muslims are a hopeless cause or whatever, it is not right to hide behind him and pretend you don’t want the same thing.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 8:02 PM

Last I checked, though, the “them” we’re fighting in Iraq is comprised of 1) disaffected Iraqi youths in sectarian militias, and 2) terrorists financed by Iran. Neither of these categories of insurgents would follow us home—the militia members have neither the resources nor the inclination,

All it takes is a plane ticket. We provide welfare to illegal aliens.

and Iran likely would prefer to get its first few nukes before they start provoking war with us.

I would have thought the Taliban would have preferred IMF loans, first; but they didn’t.

MB4

I accept volunteers are going to die in combat, if that’s what you mean when I say I hold American lives cheap. I sincerely think your minimalist approach is going to result in more Mayaguez/Mogadishu thinking, where the commanders will not achieve tactical victories because of the political veto on escalated American involvement. That means Al Qaeda will not be attacked when it could be, and more Americans will die– but not on a battlefield.

Chris_Balsz on September 3, 2009 at 8:19 PM

If another 9-11 happens are we really going to go through another flag-waving phase, or are we wise enough to know now exactly how this “country” will act?

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 3, 2009 at 8:26 PM

This word sectarian when it is used to describe violence in Iraq does not educate anybody. The Iraq violence is Sunni against Shi’ite. It is also a result of Saddam’s years long repression of the Shia majority.

I am not concerned with how we can exit, I am concerned with how long we must stay there, forever? If we leave, Iran will be emboldened to attempt to make Shia Iraq an extension of Iran itself.

Afghanistan? Iraq? We’ll never be able to get out.

Invading Iraq was not the first mistake made by the US military leadershiop. Think of Peleliu, the Hurtgen Forest, or Aachen.

Pelayo on September 3, 2009 at 8:38 PM

I do not hold Americans lives cheap..I just think that bugging out in Iraq and Afghanistan will lead to more American deaths in the long run. And a lot of them will be on a battlefield, because we will end up sending them back over there again.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 8:38 PM

After all, if we had finished Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War, would we be fighting a war over in Iraq now? And if we had sent men into Afghanistan after the Soviets fell and kept the Taliban from taking power and helped stabilize the country then, even under the auspices of NATO..would the Taliban and AlQaida ever have taken over the country?

Saying that someone who does not want to fail is holding American lives cheap, is not fair or accurate. Just the opposite.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 8:42 PM

Saying that someone who does not want to fail is holding American lives cheap, is not fair or accurate. Just the opposite.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 8:42 PM

Fail at what? Islamic “Nation Building”? Hubris? Not a whole lot of AlQ in either Iraq or Afghanistan now. A plurality or majority are in Pakistan. There may well be quite a number of countries that have more of them now than either Iran and Afghanistan. Ralph Peters says thare are none in Afghanistan, although I would guess that he means almost none. May be more in England. May even be more in Dearborn, MI. Very little of the effort in either Iraq or Afghanistan is directed at AlQ now anyway. It has not just been “Mission creep” but “Mission Transmutation”. I am pretty sure that AlQ likes it that way.

MB4 on September 3, 2009 at 9:20 PM

Fail at what? Islamic “Nation Building”? Hubris? Not a whole lot of AlQ in either Iraq or Afghanistan now. A plurality or majority are in Pakistan. There may well be quite a number of countries that have more of them now than either Iran and Afghanistan. Ralph Peters says thare are none in Afghanistan, although I would guess that he means almost none.

MB4:

Islamic nation building?? Vs what? Asian nation building? Hun nation building??

Believe it or not, a functioning government in Iraq is in our best interests. That is just a fact of life. And Iraq has been a country before and the people there are not without resources.

The only reason the terrorists are not in Afghanistan, is because the US military ran them out of there..and if we bug out the Pakistanis will just run them right back in there. Why wouldn’t they? And then what? After all, once they know we are not going to stick around why would they be afraid of us?

And as for not a lot of AQ in Iraq…how long would that last if the US just up and left before the country was stable?

I can remember watching an interview on 60 Minutes back when Clinton was president. A man named Yasin, who was the only man to escape trial for the first attack on the WTC, he was sitting on his behind in Iraq being interviewed by some lovely blonde reporter. He disappeared at about the same time the US invaded Iraq, not long after after some international terrorist shot himself in the head three times in Baghdad, remember that? Saddam had screwed with the US for so long it never occurred to him that bankrolling terrorists and trying to kill presidents might be a problem.

The point being that you do not know where theese people are or where they will go. They are parasites and they will go where they can find a dark hole to live in. And if we just bug out of Iraq, there will be nothing to stop them from trying to come back there. And the same is true with Afghanistan.

And as for Iran…they do not need terrorists in the country, they have Hezbellah and the mullahs.

Very little of the effort in either Iraq or Afghanistan is directed at AlQ now anyway. It has not just been “Mission creep” but “Mission Transmutation”. I am pretty sure that AlQ likes it that way.

When we bug out, AQ will do videos telling the world how big and bad they are and what cowards we are and that will do great things for their PR wing, and that is not good news for any American in or out of uniform.

The idea that the US is not going after AlQaida in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan is absurd.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 10:09 PM

And there is no doubting that AlQaida is in Pakistan, a country with nukes. The reason the US is able to send those drones into Pakistan has a lot to do with our presence in Afghanistan.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 10:40 PM

hicsuget:

AlQaida is still in Iraq.

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 7:27 PM

“al Qaeda in Iraq” is still in Iraq. The main al Qaeda body we’ve all come to know and hate has never been in Iraq, and the link between the main organization and the Iraqi chapter has been fully severed for quite some time.

If we leave Iraq, al Qaeda proper may return to Iraq, true. But what’s keeping them out of Mexico now? Surely not the Mexican government.

hicsuget on September 3, 2009 at 11:38 PM

Believe it or not, a functioning government in Iraq is in our best interests

Terrye on September 3, 2009 at 10:09 PM

It would be in my, and the countries, best interests too if I could fly, but I ain’t plannin’ on jumpin’ off any tall buildings any time soon.

MB4 on September 3, 2009 at 11:55 PM

“al Qaeda in Iraq” is still in Iraq. The main al Qaeda body we’ve all come to know and hate has never been in Iraq, and the link between the main organization and the Iraqi chapter has been fully severed for quite some time.

Oh yeah. I hear, if you apply for Al Qaeda, they screen your resume for a mention of AQI, and if you’re tied in then you’re toast. /sarc

If we leave Iraq, al Qaeda proper may return to Iraq, true. But what’s keeping them out of Mexico now? Surely not the Mexican government.

hicsuget on September 3, 2009 at 11:38 PM

Hugh Hewitt gave some air time in 2006 to stories about how Mexico imprisons and deports anybody from the Middle East without perfect paperwork, precisely because they don’t dare allow a terror attack against America through Mexico.

Chris_Balsz on September 4, 2009 at 10:18 AM

BTW since when does “pragmatism” stop being “defeatism”?
Accepting a defeat in a war is defeatism. Period.
Pragmatism may lead you to defeatism. But it doesn’t mean you’re not a defeatist.

Chris_Balsz on September 4, 2009 at 10:34 AM

Economic Libertarianism and Trade, is not possible without a Strong US Military(or like the UK of old before us), period.

jp on September 3, 2009 at 5:34 PM

Strong military’s do not stay strong being bleed going after windmills.

MB4 on September 3, 2009 at 5:40 PM

No, apparently strong military’s can only stay strong if you prevent them from ever fighting.

“Small wars” like Afghanistan are going to be in our future for some time. It’s critical that we learn to fight them correctly. Small wars are not total wars. They are fought for a limited objective, however worthwhile, and it’s always possible to argue that it wasn’t necessary. But as long as we’re fighting against people who want to destroy us, and won’t hesitate to attack us with terrorism tactics, then we have a valid reason to be fighting.

There’s lots of room for constructive criticism, such as arguing we too involved in nation building as opposed to more realistic goals.

But “throw in the towel and walk away” is not valid criticism. It’s prolonged self-suicide to let terrorists think that we won’t fight back, or won’t finish the job.

If Islam is really as bad as many on here claim, then the only way to deal with it is from a position of strength. Walking away is not a position of strength.

It’s fair to say there are three possible responses militarily: 1) total war to crush all terrorists, which would almost inevitably expand to include all Islam, 2) nothing, and 3) something in between. The first is a horrible idea, the second is a worse idea, and we’re living in #3.

Treating terrorism as a law enforcement issue is the same as doing nothing. Absolutely useless.

tom on September 4, 2009 at 11:51 AM

BTW since when does “pragmatism” stop being “defeatism”?
Accepting a defeat in a war is defeatism. Period.
Pragmatism may lead you to defeatism. But it doesn’t mean you’re not a defeatist.

Chris_Balsz on September 4, 2009 at 10:34 AM

“Defeatism”, as used by you, is just a pejorative sound bite, rather like racist, as used by many. That’s about it.

MB4 on September 4, 2009 at 12:55 PM

No, apparently strong military’s can only stay strong if you prevent them from ever fighting.

tom on September 4, 2009 at 11:51 AM

If you are going to start your case with something that clearly no one said you might as well pack it in right from the get go as you don’t exactly make reading the rest of what you have said very enticing. Remember what they say about first impressions.

MB4 on September 4, 2009 at 1:14 PM

“Defeatism”, as used by you, is just a pejorative sound bite, rather like racist, as used by many. That’s about it.

MB4 on September 4, 2009 at 12:55 PM

Not at all. It is a reasoned contempt for contemptible people engaged in a contemptible project: the defeat of the United States in a defensive war. I point out what you want is not a success of any kind, but a failure, from a sense of false economy. I confront and condemn your values, your policy, and in defining your agenda I use the English language as it exists. I have no reconciliation in mind, or comity, nor do I pretend that which joins us outweighs what separates us. I put a premier value on a political victory in favor of warmongering and continued counterattack against a global terrorist movement.

Chris_Balsz on September 4, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Not at all. It is a reasoned contempt for contemptible people engaged in a contemptible project: the defeat of the United States in a defensive war.

There you go again.
- Ronald Reagan

Again, “Defeatism”, as used by you, is just a pejorative sound bite, rather like racist, as used by many. That’s about it. You can say “Not at all” all you want, but that is very clearly what you did and are continuing to do now with the word “contemptible”.

If you are too dense to see that, when it is so obvious, don’t blame me.

Frankly, you sound ridiculous with you continued ad hominem.

That’s what you resort to when you’re losing the debate — name-calling and ad hominem.
- Michelle Malkin

I have no reconciliation in mind, or comity, nor do I pretend that which joins us outweighs what separates us.

Chris_Balsz on September 4, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Now that is a fancy pants mouth full but you still sound ridiculous.

BTW, what wars have you fought in, Rambo?

MB4 on September 4, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Not at all. It is a reasoned contempt for contemptible people engaged in a contemptible project: the defeat of the United States in a defensive war.

Chris_Balsz on September 4, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Frankly you sound very similar to some of those lame democrat congress critters taking about those at town hall meetings. Same MO. If you can not see it then you really need to do some self-examination.

MB4 on September 4, 2009 at 2:49 PM

The democrats dont have aNY INTENTION OF
Fighting to win the war on islamic terrorism..

No they just want to make it look like
they are trying to fight even while they are
waving the white flag so fast and high that
even God in heaven can see it..

No democrats and all leftists and hollywood actors
Are ALL FAKES, they live in a world of make believe..
They PRETEND to be strong, honorable or brave..

No in their hearts they all want to surrender to their new
Islamic Overloards as fast as they can..

They just dont want the american people to see it..

So be prepared for
A. the democrats will immidiatly surrender to the Muslim terrorists
B. the democrats will betray israel into the hands of the Muslims
C. then the democrats will try to blame President bush for their surrendering to every enemy we have on the entire planet..

Sorry i know it sounds harsh but it is the truth..
The democrats have been trying to surrender since Korea..

They really are working for the enemies of the United States of America

If you democrats want to surrender go ahead..
I wont, i will shoot the god damned islamic nazis the first move they make will be their last..

http://www.veteranoutrage.com

you can surrender and live on your knees (like all liberals)
I wont.. I am willing to DIE right now..
anythign is better than surrender..

veteranoutrage on September 4, 2009 at 3:09 PM

I have always been a strong defense sort of conservative, but I’m now coming around to the view that is held by Will and MB4. I applaud MB4 for being as consistent as he has in calling for an end to this war, but I think it was misguided until recently. Let me explain.

Obama has always held the military in great contempt, much like Clinton. He has never respected it, has never had any use for it, and has made it clear he thinks it should be weaker than it is. We can argue about the degree to which he would like to diminish it, but I think we can all agree that he thinks it is too large and/or powerful.

Obama has also made it painfully clear that he has no idea how to conduct a war, let alone 2, and really couldn’t care less about the activity. The fact that he has to use a military to do so grates on him, given his known dislike for the institution.

What results from these views are an inherent lack of ability to view those in the military, real people, and anyone who likes the military, as human. I honestly believe he thinks this way, if only to justify his contempt for the institution itself. This means, to me, he doesn’t care how many die (at least on our side) and therefore to continue any military adventure under his direct control is against the interests of this country, and certainly of the members of our military.

Terrye, I agree with every point you have made, and I think every prediction will come true as you have laid them out. But as long as we have someone in charge who doesn’t care how many of our best and bravest get fed to the meatgrinder, we need to pull back and prepare for the next war, when perhaps a true leader will be back in charge.

Oh, and the screen name is a reference to Monty Python, not a yellow stripe down my back.

runawayyyy on September 4, 2009 at 3:11 PM

Again, “Defeatism”, as used by you, is just a pejorative sound bite, rather like racist, as used by many. That’s about it. You can say “Not at all” all you want, but that is very clearly what you did and are continuing to do now with the word “contemptible”.

If you are too dense to see that, when it is so obvious, don’t blame me.

Frankly, you sound ridiculous with you continued ad hominem.

You are proposing American defeat in a defensive war. That is a terrible idea. You are a fool to propose it. That is not ad hominem argument. Go look up what an ad hominem argument is. The words “rapist”, “murderer”, “thief” and “defeatist” exist not just to insult and annoy, but to alert others to the presence of rape, murder, theft and defeatism.

Frankly you sound very similar to some of those lame democrat congress critters taking about those at town hall meetings. Same MO. If you can not see it then you really need to do some self-examination.

MB4 on September 4, 2009 at 2:49 PM

I have not taken office to represent you.

Chris_Balsz on September 4, 2009 at 3:32 PM

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