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November 17, 2006

Ralph Peters and Captain (P) Dave Baer.

In my email I got the following two bits, on the same day.

Arabian Nightmares, by Ralph Peters.

With Iraqi society decomposing - or, at best, reverting to a medieval state with cell phones - the debate in Washington over whether to try to save the day by deploying more troops or withdrawing some is of secondary relevance.

What really matters is what our forces are ordered - and permitted - to do. With political correctness permeating our government and even the upper echelons of the military, we never tried the one technique that has a solid track record of defeating insurgents if applied consistently: the rigorous imposition of public order.

That means killing the bad guys. Not winning their hearts and minds, placating them or bringing them into the government. Killing them.

If you're not willing to lay down a rule that any Iraqi or foreign terrorist masquerading as a security official or military member will be shot, you can't win. And that's just one example of the type of sternness this sort of fight requires.

In a timely, but perhaps more important way, I got this, from an officer now in Iraq, training the Iraqi Army - an officer who's boss, LTC Paul Finken, was killed two weeks ago - but there's no lessening of the fight in Dave.

Mr. Donovan,

By all means send my note on to his family. Before I got this job on the MiTT, I was a mechanized infantry company commander in southeast Baghdad and I lost two soldiers so I know what it's like to write letters of condolence and what kind of loss his family must be feeling. You always hear certain people in Congress talk about leaving Iraq because of the horrible casualties we are taking and whatnot. However, they never seem to be the ones with family over here doing the grunt work. And as for casualties, each loss is a blow, but overall we have been extremely lucky to have as few deaths as we have had since 2003. No one in D.C. ever seems to ask guys like me what we think because they know that we would tell them that we have to stay until the job is done. If you want to win in Iraq, you have to take the gloves off like we did in OIF I and OIF II. We were aggressive and violently kinetic. It worked and the bad guys were deathly afraid of us and the people of Iraq respected us. Now we use kid gloves and the bad guys walk all over us and the people of Iraq don't think they should support us because we may pack up and leave and then they would be the object of reprisals. It's the hard right (lots of offensive action and firepower and not afraid to use it in a city) or the easy wrong (the kinder, gentler approach to dealing with terrorists to try and avoid casualties). I know which one works and which one doesn't. I know which one will solve this "problem". It will break a few eggs, but in the end we will have an omelet that will be passably good and tasty.

I told him he was channeling Ralph Peters' Arabian Nightmares piece (which wasn't released when Dave sent the note above).

Channeling Ralph Peters? I don't think anyone has ever paid me that nice of a compliment before. Now if you throw in Matt Ridgway and Jumpin' Jim Gavin I would really feel like a great guy. Anyway, sure you can publish anything that I put in my emails. I never send anything that I wouldn't want my boss to see. I think that the basic message that I would like to get out (and one that my soldiers heartily agree with) is that we can and will win this war if we take the gloves off and stomp the guts out of anyone that so much as says "boo" to us. The American soldier is trained and disciplined to the point that we should have no reservations as to their ability to discriminate between innocent people and legitimate targets. Massive firepower brought down on any transgressor is the answer. Sometimes you need to use a sledgehammer to crack a walnut if you want people to pay attention and learn the correct lessons in life. If an IED blows up outside someones house and the homeowners tell you that they don't know anything about, bulldoze the house and salt the ground. After you do that two or three times, Iraqis will shoot the terrorists themselves to protect their homes. I realize that this may not be totally in keeping with some people's concept of "the American way of war", but if we are in it to win it, we need to take all the steps required to totally destroy the terrorists ability to make war on us and turn the population against them. Right now, because of our kid glove approach, there is no threat to the average Iraqi that helps the terrorists or turns a blind eye. We have to make it painful to the point that the Iraqi people say, "These Americans are serious about winning and they won't stop until they have won." No Iraqi is worth the life of one American soldier. I want Iraq to have a solid stable country with an elected government. I want this more than most Iraqis do, but we can't get to that point unless we kill enough of the e bad guys that the survivors surrender, leave the country, or give up and start selling Zam-Zam on the side of the road. War is an ugly business, but it is even uglier if you don't play to win.

David J. Baer
CPT(P), IN
3/2/6 IA MiTT Team Chief

Here's one soldier whose morale is not being ground down by the enemy he faces. If it's being eroded, it's by the people who putatively support him.

Comments on Ralph Peters and Captain (P) Dave Baer.
Cricket briefed on November 17, 2006 09:11 AM

The audacity of DARING to speak the truth. I am proud of him and his ability to articulate it so well.

I was going to be snarky, but somehow his post took the mickey out of me to do it, because he is right. Dead on.

Eric Shirley briefed on November 17, 2006 10:42 AM

His comments fit what I have always felt about the Middle East. They seem to understand the person who has the biggest gun. Go get em fellas and God Bless America

Eric

Mike Slag briefed on November 17, 2006 11:35 AM

I just today heard about this site, or at least finally navigated here thanks to another commenter AFSister and I'm really glad I did. Great stuff on here.

That is an awesome post, I love the way he puts everything. I have to say I agree with (I think it's two different people) both letters here, these are great posts, and they're completely right. You need to crack heads, this is not something that is going to be won by being nice. I've said this time and time again on my page, there is only one language that these people (terrorists, insurgents, same thing) understand and that's the language of true force. Keep it up.

God Bless America, and God Bless our Soldiers, in which order sometimes I'm not sure. Because you can't have one without the other.

RPD briefed on November 17, 2006 12:22 PM

Unfortunately, using the tactics and ROE necessary to win this fight over the insurregents will get you labeled a "war criminal" by the Euros. Unlucky soldiers and politicans could find themselves under extradition by a court claiming universal jurisdiction.

Mil82 briefed on November 17, 2006 03:15 PM

I have to tell you I just came back from a second tour of Iraq and we do have the greatest military in the world. Having said that the war in Iraq was a terrible mistake and most of the guys I know don't think it is worth the life of one more American to stay there and the sooner we get out the better.

WillyShake briefed on November 17, 2006 03:52 PM

Thank you for providing this forum for our front-line soldiers to get the truth out.

There's some amazing correlation between Capt. Baer's points and VDH's column arguing that it's not the number of troops, it's what you do with them (or let them do!).

And, if I may be so bold as to put my own words up next to the exceedingly more qualified individuals above, I dare say that it also reiterates a point that I made about our culture's inability to come to terms with the brutal realities of war--and our inescapable need for warriors.

...oh, and...GO IRISH, beat ARMY!!! LOL.

John of Argghhh! briefed on November 17, 2006 04:18 PM

Mil82 - I throw the bullshite flag on that comment.

I'm not suggesting you are lying.

But I am suggesting that while you may feel that way, and some people around you may feel that way - there are none, -*none*- of the people, officer or enlisted, that I talk to who express that sentiment. And we're talking E3 to O8 in that group, not just a bubble of career officers and NCOs.

If you're in a line unit just returned, you've got a bigger sample size than I do - but I don't think your opinion matches the majority opinion out in the force.

Just sayin'.

John of Argghhh! briefed on November 17, 2006 04:20 PM

Mike S - the top quote is Ralph Peters. The two lower quotes are both CPT Baer.

Welcome to Castle Argghhh!

John of Argghhh! briefed on November 17, 2006 04:33 PM

Oh, and Willyshake - dude, I'm a graduate of a Land Grant College and pounded Army into the dirt when we played 'em in football.

I could give a crap except in December...

Mike Daley briefed on November 17, 2006 09:00 PM

John,
I'm just curious, if the "bulldoze the house" option is so good, how come it's never worked for the Israeli's?
Are the Palestinian crazies a different kind of crazy than the Iraqi version? I think the Sunni's feel about a Shi'a Iraq the same as the Pali's feel about Israel. And, of course, Shi'a Iran knows if the US is forced to leave , Iraq will be two countries, Shi'a and Kurd, and we all know how Turkey feels about a Kurdish nation.
I've really come to my tipping point, put a dozen or so Tomahawk tactical nukes into Iran, and carpet bomb Damascus! Pretty much be Peace in the ME then.
I'm almost serious about this!

SDN briefed on November 18, 2006 04:57 AM

Why not, it worked in Japan and Germany. The problem with the Israeli practice is that it was inconsistent.

War and rulership (aka politics, today) is and always has been about establishing dominance, so that people will go along with what you want to have happen (whether it’s in their best interests or not; results are all you’re after) because the alternative, as they see it, is to become dead. "This is defeat, avoid it." Mike Daley, you're probably right about the scale of attacks needed; what you fail to see is that when the alternative to a million dead now is a hundred times that in a full on nuclear war with the one billion strong Islamic world, the result would be cheap at twice the price. The Japanese and the Germans were fortunate that their defeat came at the hands of a country that really just wants to be left alone.

I submit that having to walk past a dozen blocks of bombed / burned buildings to get the charity doled out by the ones who did the bombing was a far more powerful motivator for reforming the political system along American lines than the spectacle of us agonizing over waterboarding is for the Islamists.

And despite what Lefties will claim, being left alone is really all that most Americans want. However, if you claim you want to have a war with the Great Satan for 25+ years, we might just give you what you ask for (and really haven’t yet).

As for the victory conditions, how about this one: We leave behind a government that tells Iran, or Saudi Arabia, or Osama that no, it won’t help in that war on the Great Satan because it likes its’ *ss right where it is, not up between its’ shoulder blades. And that it would rather go to war against THEM instead if they don’t leave it alone.

Trias briefed on November 18, 2006 07:57 AM

I don't agree with this man. Hidden right down the bottom is the core attitude he has.

"No Iraqi is worth the life of one American soldier"

I guess some of or maybe even most of you agree. I don't and I know the jump to 'No Australian is worth the life of one American soldier' is but an easy step away.

Secondly the effort was done as it is not as it might be. Saying how things should have been done would only reflect a failure of your chain of command if you are right which is just as much a failure of the military. If you want to command the military then you do what is needed to achieve that.

John of Argghhh! briefed on November 18, 2006 08:21 AM

Trias - I see why you say what you say. And therein lies the crux of the problem with being a soldier of a democracy.

If we're fighting this as a war, even the much-touted Geneva Conventions allow for the fact that non-combatants in a combat zone are going to get killed. You may not target them specifically, but if the enemy intersperses himself among them, it is not illegal (nor, I submit, immoral) to kill them incident to killing the enemy. The Conventions place the burden on combatants to not use non-combatants as a shield, and allow combatants to defend themselves when the enemy does just that.

That, in a sense, is what Captain Baer is talking about. He's not willing to keep exposing our soldiers to unreturned fire in order to protect non-combatants.

It's part of the dilemma with dealing with the mid-east combatants. The western press and elites harp harp harp on the non-combatant issue, oft times excoriating our forces for legal self-defense (proportional response is a legitimate criticism that can be made at times) and expends seemingly no ink on the fact that the bad guys use non-combatants to their advantage. In other words, it's evil for us to shoot at bad guys hiding behind non-combatants if we hit or hurt the non-combatants, and heaven help us if we were to ever use them as a shield ourselves (a pointless exercise, since we know the enemy *loves* non-combatant casualties, given the rate at which they produce them), yet, no one really seems to give a flying flip that THE BAD GUYS ARE THE ONES VIOLATING THE CONVENTION. This has the effect of almost literally tying one hand behind our back.

You also do Captain Baer a disservice. He quite obviously is willing to risk death for Iraqis - he does so every day. He just wants a more even playing field, and believes that if we're hardass now, things will improve over time.

And I suspect we'd bleed ourselves severely for Australians. We have in the past. Hopefully we'll not need to in the future. But yeah, if we're fighting our way house-to-house trying to secure Darwin, we might rather not expend a whole lot of soldiers trying to not hurt every Australian caught in the field of fire of an enemy hiding among them.

And the same thing would be true if it was Leavenworth, Kansas.

The big difference between us and them, Trias - is we wouldn't target them *directly*, as our opponents in Iraq do.

R.C.Hamrick briefed on November 18, 2006 10:14 AM

Gentlemen,

I totally agree with the idea of directed, but overwhelming, violence to win this war. And I totally agree that it can be won.

However, the sad truth is that those who lead the U.S. and its allies are afraid to "take the gloves off" in this manner. They are afraid of "world reaction"; of losing the moral high ground. They are afraid of the cultural and psychological frailty of the "world community", and also of the post-war psychology of U.S. politics. They fear that, even in the event of victory, recriminations for high-handed tactics could result in prison sentences and condemnation.

Europe, having experienced war after war in previous centuries, has evolved a view of war which is profoundly aware of its evils, but profoundly dismissive of the possibility of its justice or of the future benefit, or possibility, of victory. They believe it's never just, never winnable, and never produces any good which is superior to the alternative. They don't believe this as the outcome of a practical analysis (else the defeat of fascism would serve as counter-example), but as a matter of faith and philosophy. (It is perhaps the only near-universal creed in Europe -- especially the political and diplomatic class -- following the collapse of Christianity there.)

Why does this matter?

Well, were the good guys to do as suggested above when an IED exploded in front of someone's house (raze the house, sow the ground with salt), the soldiers involved, and their commanders, and theirs, all the way up until someone claimed plausible deniability, would be tried for war crimes. Certainly in Europe. Possibly even by a left-leaning government in the U.S., were it in power at the time.

Now, I myself am not certain this matters much: In fifty years it is nearly as likely that courts meeting in Europe will be run by bearded mullahs handing down sharia sentences as by clean-shaven socialists handing out "crimes against humanity" sentences in the old European tradition.

But it is enough to give our leaders pause; to make them hedge; to make them "tweak and nudge" the rules of engagement in a safer direction. Because everyone likes to believe that they can have their cake, and eat it too.

So, unless (and it's possible) some horrific terrorist attack or other culture-shaking event reverses the demographic and cultural trends of Europe, or else compels even the left in the U.S. to finally disregard notions of "international consensus" as a moral standard, the things we need to do in Iraq are simply not going to get done.

And for that, as a U.S. citizen and civilian, I apologize. 'Cause I keep trying to vote for all the right folks, and to write them letters encouraging strength of will. But it never seems to make a difference in the halls of power.

he briefed on November 18, 2006 10:20 AM

"Massive firepower ... is the answer."
- You still haven't got it! (Seems, you never will) Firepower is the problem, not the solution! In the modern asymmetric wars (not army vs. army, but army vs. insurgents) the defeat of the armies was never caused by the lack of firepower (cf. the French army in Vietnam and Algeria, the US-Army in Vietnam, the British army in Northern Ireland). The more firepower the more support for the insurgents! - Or do you want to terminate the Iraqui population in order to 'liberate' it?

"Sometimes you need to use a sledgehammer to crack a walnut if you want people to pay attention and learn the correct lessons in life. If an IED blows up outside someones house and the homeowners tell you that they don't know anything about, bulldoze the house and salt the ground."
- These people didn't ask you to come to their country! Wouldn't you use IEDs if Iranian tanks roared in the streets of Houston to bring you "freedom"?

R.C.Hamrick briefed on November 18, 2006 10:41 AM

I rest my case (see the above posting from "he").

Consul-At-Arms briefed on November 18, 2006 06:02 PM

I've linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms.blogspot.com/2006/11/re-another-direction.html

fdcol63 briefed on November 18, 2006 06:23 PM

What people like "he" don't understand is this:

They moan about the violence we are using in Iraq now, but it is NOTHING compared to the violence we could be using. In fact, what we are seeing is the use of very restrained "tough love" being exercised in Iraq, wherein we are indeed using a "carrot" instead of a big, nasty "stick" to try to change the dynamics in the region to promote freedom and democracy in the region, and bring a medieval culture into the 21st century so that we can co-exist.

To do this, we have made the conscious decision to invade and "occupy" Iraq to help it (and the region) through this transition - investing American and coalition lives and treasure to do so.

If we were as brutal, violent, and murderous as people like "he" believe, we would have already nuked most of Islam into a glass wasteland - in our anger and outrage after 9/11.

The ONLY hope of "co-existing" with Islam is to make sure that the so-called "moderate" and "secular" Muslims win the current inter-Islam conflict that they are waging with the radical jihadis.

People like "he" would argue that we are creating more terrorists and exacerbating the problem by fighting an "unnecessary" war in Iraq. They conveniently forget the fact that an estimated 20,000 jihadis flocked to Afghanistan to train to fight America and the West during the 1990's, at the height of the faux Pax Clintonia, and that Osama bin Laden used the pretext of American forces stationed in Saudia Arabia (to "contain" Saddam) as a pretext for his fatwa calling for jihad against the US.

Muslims have been fed a steady diet of anti-American, anti-western, and anti-semitic hatred for generations. It will take many years of reverse programming to change their mindsets, if it's possible at all. However, we must try .... or the consequences are indeed frightening.

If people like "he" are successful in forcing the US to withdraw from Iraq and in reducing the ability of the US and our allies to change the malignant culture that is today's Islam, they will make it much MORE likely that more extreme violence will be used by the US to protect ourselves. They will make it more likely that we will have to resort to nukes, when we learn that the radicals have come to dominate Islam, and that there is no chance of appeasing or negotiating with them.

Cricket briefed on November 18, 2006 06:40 PM

I think the reason why the Europeans dislike war is NOT because of their direct or indirect involvement in same. It is because there is a generation of Europeans who were born shortly before the war and have no memories to associate with it. They have had a relatively peaceful existence in a nuclear playing field, building their economies and isolating themselves from the big picture (that would be de Gaulle's doing).

Now that we are pulling out, and leaving them to take care of their own security, they have neither the inclination nor the knowledge on how to proceed. They are finding out that politically correct solutions aren't working, that socialism has failed and they are slowly waking up to the fact that they might have to put it on the line to preserve what they have.


Iraq is an interesting choice for a battleground, as it is pulling insurgents from other countries.
To see this through in a manner reminiscent of Ataturk or Carthage would be a good thing.

The lesson of Japan still has not been lost. They surrendered unconditionally, and are now
starting to look around and see that for all their pacifism, there are still threats to their security and are not afraid to step up to the plate.

ry briefed on November 18, 2006 06:57 PM

I dunno John. Iraq seems to be a mish mash and a study of contrasts. There's instances where The Hammer has gotten the job done; and those where it was bass ackwards and made things worse(the 4th ID experience highlighted by Ricks). There's instances where 'culture centric warfare' or 'Mudhuts, chai, and villages with no name' has gotten the job done; and those where it totally sucked and made things worse(like the Brit piece you sent me a few months ago).

What miffs me is that people are reaching for a panacea. There isn't one, in my no-sh1t opinion. Where I do agree with Peters and our Good Captain is that the option to fight in the absence of the Marquis de Queensbury rules has to be on the table(and I don't mean in utter disregard for the GC, but without the touchy feely s$!t) when appropriate. There is no panacea. There isn't some penicilin that cures Iraq. It's more like the pharmacuetical cocktail for AIDS. You need the whole toolkit to get the job done right.

Trias, you're pretty good with the maths, no? Think of what the graph of suffering looks like. What's it like if we leave? What's it like if we never went? What's it like if we leave it in chaos for an extended period of time? Integrate over some interval for each.
Think a bit. The human body nearly kills itself to survive the flu by running a fever. It's a counter-intuitive. By killing more, by being ruthless, in the long run you save more lives. Like the body killing brain cells when you run a fever saves more brain cells than not.
I've got a buddy over there, sounds a lot like Mil82 in his opinion and says he could give a rats @$$ about Iraqis 'cause none of them are worth a single Marine, but he still shows up. He could've gotten out last year. He re-upped instead. He ain't naturally contrary like me. He risks his life because he, abscent a college education(he was in gifted classes when we were both in grade school), gets that counter intuitive.
No, it doesn't always work in this counter intuitive manner. But it does often enough that you should at least give the people advocating such a plan the benefit of the doubt. There's historical backing for it as well as logic behind it. Not animus. Not rancor. Not stupidity. Not immorality But a rational mind that's done some inductive logic about this problem and come up with an ethical sol'n.

ry briefed on November 18, 2006 07:08 PM

And the 'American Way of War' thing? People ought to look at how we fought in cities way back when. TNT made short work of houses the enemy used as hiding places/strong points. Blowing down walls and destroying centuries old villages of Europe was how we fought the 'last good war'.

The American Way of War is to win. To remember that people are more important than property(since that can be either rebuilt or otherwise compensated for). That it is unethical to fight with one hand tied behind the back because that leads to more death, destruction, and destitution than results from bringing The Hammer. There's no panacea, but we've got all the tools---if we'd allow our men to use the tool box.


I would say screw world opinion. Their sense of morality is farked in my opinion anyway. I could give a flamming fart if some Parisian found me odious. He'll find a new reason to find me so tomorrow anyway. Screw it. Go for real morality. Not the bs that's tossed up. Win. Create a better world. Get it over with so that the integral of death and suffering over 50 year interval is minimized instead of maximized(so we can say that the Europeans thought we fought honorably). Win and come home knowing we did it right despite what the naysayers scream. They're wrong.

SpongeBob briefed on November 19, 2006 04:01 AM

Maybe the Europeans dislike war so much because modern Europeans are mostly the descendants of those who avoided the wars in Europe for the past 500 years.

I mean, something like 25% of the military-age men in France were killed in 1914-18. Probably among the 75% who were not killed was a higher-than-normal percentage of men who avoided combat, or who avoided service entirely. Those are the ancestors of the persent French.

he briefed on November 19, 2006 11:12 AM

"What people like "he" don't understand is this:
They moan about the violence we are using in Iraq now, but it is NOTHING compared to the violence we could be using." (fdcol63)

- You mean, a bad strategy has to be replaced by a worse strategy?

"... we are indeed using a "carrot" instead of a big, nasty "stick" to try to change the dynamics in the region to promote freedom and democracy in the region, and bring a medieval culture into the 21st century so that we can co-exist.
To do this, we have made the conscious decision to invade and "occupy" Iraq to help it (and the region) through this transition ..." (fdcol63)

- Quite a bunch of euphemisms and cultural arrogance! What has come out? Even Tony Blair, your staunchest ally, had to admit yesterday that the results of the war in Iraque are a "disaster". Tens of thousands killed, the region destabilized, a new frontline for the terrorists, more danger for Israel, room to move for Iran and N.Korea - is that what you call "... to change the dynamics in the region ..."? - And your government had been warned by the 'weasels' who had predicted the outcome of this adventure. But instead of considering the serious arguments of friends they turned to childish reactions (Are you still eating "Freedom Fries"??).

"The ONLY hope of 'co-existing' with Islam is to make sure that the so-called 'moderate' and 'secular' Muslims win the current inter-Islam conflict ..." (fdcol63)

- With the American invasion in Iraque under the pretext of fighting terrorism you have removed Saddam, not a moderate, but certainly secular leader. Brilliant move on the chessboard!

Of course Saddam was a tyrant and is a murderer, but he had been this for more than 20 years. And the US didn't mind him being a tyrant when he was attacking Iran and when Rumsfeld shook hands with him.

ry briefed on November 19, 2006 11:58 AM

I've a real problem with the analysis someone is offering up here. The critics have been screaming 'quagmire' since before a sandstorm caused an operational pause. You can't, at every turn, predict disaster, only to be shown wrong for several years, and then claim you were right at every turn when something breaks your way.

THe 'weasels' predicted this? No. The weasels claimed 10K US casualties and a need for body bag factories to be built. The 'weasels' claimed the "Arab Street" would rise and turn the entire region into a camp of terrorists attacking the US/Europe. THe data shows a less than 10% increase in actual terrorist attacks across the globe and ergo that's a busted prediction. The 'weasels' claimed Abu Ghraib and Haditha would cause a major uprising in Iraq focused at the Coalition Forces(um, if you've been paying attention the attacks have inreasingly shifted away from Coalition forces to Iraqi civilians and back again, that doesn't support that prediction at all.). The 'weasels' have said everything was crap from day one, been wrong on the specifics just about every time, and now that Blair is waffling they're claiming to be genuises? Un-farkin-believable.

Let's not forget that the Iranians, Iraqis, and Syrians were all plotting to stab each other(and every other nation in the region) in the back. Taking out any one of them shifts the equation in the favor of the non-taken down. Taking down Iran would've helped Saddam you know. That's obvious to anyone who has done even the most cursory of research on the region. BUt somehow that fact now means that any change has to avoided since it actually helps someone we don't like? Un-farkin-believable. So maybe we should've just sat some wars out because the end results helped people we absolutely detested(WW1 and WW2 helped the Sovs immensely, defeating Germany helped our arch-enemy, the Communists, out immensely. Shouldn't have gone then.). This is pretty shallow thinking on the subject. In the short term, and let's not forget that this has been billed as a generational fight, taking out someone's enemy for them always helps them but in the long run the change we started continues to reverberate(how many east Germans defected/fled leading to the building of the Berlin Wall? China has to enlist the aid of yahoo/Google to wall off 'wrong ideas' ont he internet for what reasons?).

Taking Saddam down is a good move on the strategic chessboard. The man was in league with terrorists(Abu Nidal 'commited suicide' in Iraq by shooting himself multiple times in the head, Palestinian terrorists recieved money from Saddam.) THe country was seeking to subvert 'smart sanctions' on many fronts(French and Russian equipment they shouldn't have been able to buy was found there, and the documents taken down last week because it divulged nuclear secrets found in Iraq).

This 'And the US didn't mind him being a tyrant when he was attacking Iran and when Rumsfeld shook hands with him.' shows the juvenile level of thinking here. So, mobsters shouldn't get reduced sentences for turning states evidence then? You know, helping a bad guy out to achieve a long term goal just makes a mockery of ideals, right? Balls. We shook hands with both of them and thereby messed them both over(overt aid to IRaq(Rumsfeld shaking Saddams hand if you will) and IRan-Contra(selling stinger SAM to Iran and using that money to fund the Contras---Ollie North shaking hands with the IRC). We used two countries to thwart the aims of four(Iran, Iraq, the USSR, and the Sandanistas of Nicaragua). How stupid was that? Adults accept that in some situations that a minor stain on one's honor is the cost of attaining something on the large stage and often there are no total victories.

he briefed on November 19, 2006 02:58 PM

ry: "THe 'weasels' predicted this? No. ..."
- Yes they did. This is what a report says about Fischer's (German foreign minister) speech at a conference in Feb. 2003 (in presence of D. Rumsfeld):

"Regarding the conflict in Iraq, Mr. Fischer kept emphasizing the German position, stating that diplomacy had "by no means [been] exhausted". The weapons inspectors needed to be given more time. The threat level produced by Iraq did not yet justify a war. "Why now?", Mr. Fischer wanted to know, affirming again: "I am not convinced!""
(see: http://www.securityconference.de/konferenzen/2003/index.php?menu_2004=&menu_2002=&menu_konferenzen=&sprache=en&jahr=2003&

and in 2004 Fischer said:

"... This jihadist terrorism is not strong enough to achieve its political aims. i.e. the destabilisation of the Middle East, by a direct route. It is therefore attempting to embroil the West and above all the United States, in a clash of civilisations - the West versus Islam - and to provoke it into overreacting or making the wrong decisions, thereby bringing about the destabilisation of the entire Middle East. To this end, terrorism and asymmetric warfare are pursued with two aims: firstly, to wear down the forces deployed in the region, not to mention the general public in the West, and secondly to drag the region down into chaos. ..."

see: http://www.securityconference.de/konferenzen/rede.php?menu_2004=&menu_2002=&menu_konferenzen=&sprache=en&id=123&

ry: "You know, helping a bad guy out to achieve a long term goal just makes a mockery of ideals, right? Balls. We shook hands with both of them and thereby messed them both over(overt aid to IRaq(Rumsfeld shaking Saddams hand if you will) and IRan-Contra(selling stinger SAM to Iran and using that money to fund the Contras---Ollie North shaking hands with the IRC). We used two countries to thwart the aims of four(Iran, Iraq, the USSR, and the Sandanistas of Nicaragua). How stupid was that?"

- Thank for the lesson in American values and moral standards!
Now I understand what it means "... to ... bring a medieval culture into the 21st century ..." (fdcol63)

You forgot the stingers you sold to Bin Laden (when he fought the Soviets in Afganistan), your support for Somoza, Pinochet, and other torturers and mass murderers who helped to keep the Commies (mostly poor peasants, or Catholic priests asking for justice) down in Central and South America.

Now I understand why a true patriot (Bob Owens)in a letter to his president these days said that intensifying war was "... what God set us upon this Earth to do. I firmly believe that you, a man of great Christian faith and conviction, were elected not to serve just the United States, but God’s will in spreading to the dark corners of the world both hope and freedom." - see above!


ry briefed on November 19, 2006 06:58 PM

Sigh.
ANd how does this blurb you've quoted refute my argument? I'm not seeing it. It just looks like you're running through the motions. How does 'but the German Prime Minister said that not all diplomatic options had been exhausted' translate into a refutation of critics being wrong on the particulars more than 90% of the time? It quite frankly doesn't. So *zing* right back at you(adopts affected 'superior pose').
How does the new prime minister of Germany offering up her opinion(Jesche Fischer) refute that the US endeavor has moved the pile? Bait and switch rhetorical tactics does not grant one the right to adopt sanctimonious tones.
The 'weasels' did not predict a 5 year insurgency. THey predicted Rodney King riots. Where are those riots? They predicted Stalingrad? ANyone seen aything remotely like that(anyone?)? Is Iran in chaos, and that's why we're worried about them? How about Jordan, Egypt, Saudi, etc? There's no chaos in the region right now, no moderate regime has been hauled down and replaced by something like the Iranian Revolution. There's chaos in Iraq, period. The 'weasels' were wrong, are wrong, and will likely be wrong in the future. Somehow they think saying 'we don't want to be involved' or 'we aren't convinced we should get involved' means they predicted what's going on Iraq. Vague statements about things does not constitute a prediction---unless you think fortune tellers and horoscopes in the local paper really predict much of anything. And that's all the 'weasels' have. They're wrong on just about every particular(physical wmd being the only issue they were right on, but they were wrong, boy were they wrong, about the intentions and level of advancement) and now they claim to predicted this? That's crap. If a student walked into my lab with a fundementally wrong retro-synthetic analysis but somehow still managed to produce the desired molecule I'd still give him a failing grade. That's all the 'weasels' have. They were right that it would be 'hard' but were wrong on nearly every reason for why and every actual incident. So we should think they know what's going on for what reasons now?(*zing* back at you, internet moral gunslinger)


The last bit is just silly. I'm a bit familiar with 'liberation theology'(being CAtholic myself and all), but that the Sandanistas were 'Catholic priests just out for justice' is utterly spin and showing not the mind of a serious student of history or serious analyst but instead an internet partisan drinking the cool-aid of socialism(wasn't Che cool? Communism really has never been tried.). Seeing as how I grew up amoungst the Vietnamese and Cambodians who fled SE Asia from these same 'justice seekers' I highly doubt they were simply peasants and priests, but really were gun toting jagoffs seeking to make people do what they, the righteous, wanted the people to do(regardless of what the people wanted or what was truly just---see Lysenko-ism or the actions of the Khemer Rouge, or the record of the Sandanista death squads). Particularly when the historical record shows murder squads under the command of the Sandanistas(that surely wasn't taught in any CCD class or seminary school I ever heard of).

So, I'm still waiting for a substantive refutation of my previous arguments.

he briefed on November 19, 2006 09:18 PM

Ry, just to the key-aspects of your vehement reaction:
"the 'weasels' ... were right that it would be 'hard' but were wrong on nearly every reason for why and every actual incident." - Isn't it silly to expect that? They are no fortune-tellers. At least they had warned the Bush-Administration about possible chaos in Iraque (which we certainly have now) and a destabilization of the region (See the rising tensions between pro-American governments and anti-American populations in the region, especially in Egypt and Pakistan). Therefore Bush's pushing to a war on Iraque was a wrong move in the "war on terror": Iraque was no imminent threat to the US nor was it behind 9/11. - All these arguments were not only ignored, but ridiculed.

A few weeks before the "Coalition of the Willing" (What is left of them?) invaded Iraque there was an opinion-poll in the US: People were asked, where most of the 9/11 terrorists had come from. More than 60% said: Iraque - The truth is, there was not a single Iraqui among them! - This was the result of deliberate misinformation and pro-war propaganda by the administration, Fox-News & Co. at a time when the "Freedom Fries" were invented.

"... that the Sandanistas were 'Catholic priests just out for justice' is utterly spin ..." (Ry)

- I didn't say that. You've twistet the argument. You won't deny that in the 70s the US supported military juntas in Central and South America which - under the pretext of fighting Communism - arrested, tortured and murdered tens of thousands of people (Now, finally we have the trials in Chile, Argentina ...). It cannot be this when Americans say, they take pride in "... spreading to the dark corners of the world both hope and freedom."

ry briefed on November 20, 2006 11:42 AM

"I didn't say that. You've twistet the argument" Really? Than what is one to take this to mean:
"You forgot the stingers you sold to Bin Laden (when he fought the Soviets in Afganistan), your support for Somoza, Pinochet, and other torturers and mass murderers who helped to keep the Commies (mostly poor peasants, or Catholic priests asking for justice) down in Central and South America."
Allende had a KGB advisor and tons of KGB cash---that being from a former KGB archivist's own mouth(pen actually). I think it's pretty clear what you meant(that opposing Communism in S. America was a 'scare') and I nailed you for it. I didn't twist anything. I just used a bit of rhetorical aikido. Che, acting from Cuba(which had lots of Soviet connections and was a funnel point for money and advisors from the SU), went to S. America fomenting rebellion and war. Soviet backed war. They used proxies. We used proxies. They couldn't afford to be caught directly involved or risk galvanizing NATO and world oppinion against them, and the US couldn't afford to send forces directly to fight them(lack of men to do so and lack of political will sans something major). Sure, often times the little guy was lied to, which is why half the Contras were former Sandanista(while the Sandanistas promised freedom and essentially a meritocracy what they delivered was Marxist-Lenninism, as would have Allende and all the others) grunts, but the movements were directed from Moscow(okay, more like KGB head quarters, but the policy of wars of national liberation was one decided on by the politburo in the Kremlin). I didn't twist anything. I just nailed you for trying to pull a fast one.(Here have a rootbeer and have a seat at the Castle Bar).

""the 'weasels' ... were right that it would be 'hard' but were wrong on nearly every reason for why and every actual incident." - Isn't it silly to expect that"
no, it's very rational to expect that they be at least in the ballpark with their predictions. That's why they pay their intelligence and foriegn affairs depts the big bucks. Basically you're saying that because they were slightly right(while being wrong on all the particulars) we should listen to them. Wrong. They have as much of a clue as we do about what's going on based on how predictions worked out.

"See the rising tensions between pro-American governments and anti-American populations in the region, especially in Egypt and Pakistan"
They aren't new. The Muslim Brotherhood, the main group in Egyptian opposition to the US, has been around since the 60s. They were opposed to the US/USSR mission to Sinai back in the 80s. Opposition to the US in Egypt is old----even if we give them $2B a year in aid(Israel gets $3B). Syria? You need to do some homework. Syria is Baathist. Baathism has as one of its tennets a requirement for constant revolution against what amounts to capitalism. They've been Baathist for 40 years. Resentment of the US in Syria is older than I am(30+). You're wrong on the particulars. You're seeing an issue and going, 'Aha, this proves me right,' while I can trace that issue back to its genesis and show you that it doesn't work the way you claim since the pattern, when looked at in entirety, doesn't lead to where it does when you only glance at it(in a quad libet demonstratum manner---it is the internet after all. I can't put my notes from 10 years of reading and my library online easily or fully.). And have we stepped in and stopped trials of Pinochet? We supported Noriega too, and took him out ourselves. Real life isn't fair all the time, but the reason men like Pinochet are able to be tried is because men like Allende were opposed(and deposed). If not men who performed the same actions would be national heros and saying otherwise would be an appostasy that would find you in serious trouble(try being anti-Che in Cuba or pro-Trotsky in Stalin's USSR). Again, not all victories can be total. That doesn't mean that the battles shouldn't be fought or that those who wage them are evil, cynical men who don't really believe in spreading democracy, real democracy, in the world.

Fine. Iraq wasn't involved in 9/11(9/11 commission said as much, and nobody around here really believed that, whatever poll you throw up, we didn't believe that.). But Hussein was hip dip in aid to terrorist forces(see above). GWOT isn't about just getting al Queda any more than the FBIs war on the mob or the KKK was only about the Gambino family or a particular chapter of the KKK in Alabama. It's about making Islamic transnational terrorism a footnote in the historical record.
Worse, you aren't looking at the nature of trans national terrorism(which isn't the same as say the IRA or ETA or even the Palestinian suicide brigades since they're tied solely to a region and operate only in that region for limited goals). Islamic trans-national terrorism isn't about something so small as a nation-state. It's about bringing about something more like an empire ranging from al-Andalusa to Indonesia and the southern tip of India up into Central Asia and Central Europe. It's a collection of groups and not a single foe. There's no central control. no one charismatic figure who fuels it. Making the GWOT simply a punitive expedition to go after bin Laden doesn't feed the bulldog by either a) eliminating the conditions that gave rise to the groups and fuels their recruitment, or b) eliminate the panopoly of groups who conduct terrorist operations. It would leave us with a 'Yay! We got bin Laden! Wait, why's London burning?' type situation. Which is why miss the strategic importance of Iraq as a transformative part of GWOT. Nor. Korea, China, Iran, and a host of other nations deny access to the internet because it's a pipeline to ideas that destabliize their state. China doesn't want a re-united Korea that operates under a liberal bemocracy because of the bleedover, the ability of pro-democracy groups to point just over the border to what exists. Same thing with Iraq(if we can get the place stabilized) and Afghanistan. We set up liberal minded democracies, with all that they provide, many will want why they have. There'll be friction because of the women's rights issues, but history shows that economic populism is an easy sell. You don't see that because you aren't looking strategically. You're only going so far as to find things that support your point of view and then blazing away with condemnation. If you actually sat down and spent 72 hours looking at it all in context it becomes obvious. Just glancing at it doesn't do that.

he briefed on November 20, 2006 03:36 PM

"Syria? You need to do some homework. Syria is Baathist. ..." (and so on) This is just one example that you are overshooting a bit: I didn't say a word about Syria.

And even if you fought a "proxy-war" against communism in Central and S.America - most of the "communists" that became the victims of the death squads were poor peasants/Indians/workers who were in the way of big landowners, mining companies, ...

To come back to the origin of my stepping into this discussion: Looking at the things said in this blog, I think it is sad that, just to get out of the mess in Iraque, people of your great nation suggest/accept measures ( the "... put a dozen or so Tomahawk tactical nukes into Iran, and carpet bomb Damascus!..."-type) for which you took others to court 60 years ago (War-Criminal-Trial in Nuremberg 1946). You should stick to your own standards! By the way - preparing and waging a war not for self-defence was one of the main charges in that trial!

And it is sad that, on the eve of OIF, warnings of friends were met with so much ignorance and arrogance as it was done by the Bush-Administration and the political Right in the US. This is what one of your most experienced politicians, Robert Byrd, who has been in the Senate for decades, said: "There are huge cracks emerging in our time-honored alliances, and U.S. intentions are suddenly subject to damaging worldwide speculation. Anti-Americanism based on mistrust, misinformation, suspicion, and alarming rhetoric from U.S. leaders is fracturing the once solid alliance against global terrorism which existed after September 11." http://byrd.senate.gov/speeches/byrd_speeches_2003february/byrd_speeches_2003march_list/byrd_speeches_2003march_list_1.html

"What is happening to this country? When did we become a nation which ignores and berates our friends? When did we decide to risk undermining international order by adopting a radical and doctrinaire approach to using our awesome military might?"
http://byrd.senate.gov/speeches/byrd_speeches_2003march/byrd_speeches_2003march_list/byrd_speeches_2003march_list_4.html

ry briefed on November 20, 2006 10:32 PM

"And even if you fought a "proxy-war" against communism in Central and S.America - most of the "communists" that became the victims of the death squads were poor peasants/Indians/workers who were in the way of big landowners, mining companies, ..."
Again, you stop well short. those poor peasants/indigenous people/workers were in the way of the valorous Communist revolutionaries too. There's more than equal blood on those jokers hands down there as well. But you seem to only want to see that it exists on one side. That colours your entire analysis.
For example, the Sandanistas promised land reform. A rather populist move. But when the revolution was over the land reform they delivered wasn't the land reform they promised.
Let's look at FARC(Columbia) and Shining Path in Peru. Socialist and commited to 'the cause'. Who the hell is terrorizing people down there now? It isn't the Federated Fruit company.
Look at the whole picture, the mosaic, and not just the tiny square that re-affirms your world view.

Basically, like I said several responses ago, your whole point is to say that going to Iraq was wrong. You could've saved a ton of 'trons by simply saying that and calling it a day.

The 'weasels', I don't know why we're still using this term but oh well, were wrong on how OIF and the aftermath would go down. THeir predictions were not realized. THe only thing that's come to be is complicated and hard, but in none of the ways the French, the Germans, the British nay-sayers, or even what Juan Cole claimed it would. You provide a link where some naysayer, pre-2004, came forward and said that there would be sectarian violence, a Moqtada al-Sadr, and Iranian influence un-anticipated(surprising given how hard the Iraqi Shia fought against their Shia brethren from Iran) and I'll agree that someone had it right(but most of them obviously did not).

The allusions to the Nazis is weak, trite, and so over the top as to ruin your attempt at a moral case that preventitive war is immoral. In every instance the places where the US invaded after the Civil War has been returned to control by the indigenous; without them paying us some form of tax, fealty, what have you. That is unlike Nazi Germany in the extreme who waged war to annihilate the indigenous, and 'lesser', people to make way for their Grand 1000 Empire. The US wars of the 20th and 21st centuries have been about instilling or protecting ideas---not eliminating people and creating an empire. I don't know about you, but when i was learning to write in both college and secondary school we were told to keep analogies in parrallel. Don't take short cuts by going for the worst thing in the world(the Nazis) when that isn't even remotely parrallel. It hurts your case more than it helps.

Largely, you're not seeing the forest for the trees. Even Just War theorists hold that pre-emptive war has a place in a just and moral world(you can check out what Just War theorists say themselves here.).
And if you're going to bring up Nuremburg you should get the details right. Nazi and Wehrmacht leaders were up for crimes against humanity----not firing artillery into a town. And, in case you didn't notice, fdcol63, though a respected member around here, doesn't speak for all of us regulars nor is he a policy maker(heck if you check some older threads you'll see he and I had some cross words not more than ten days ago--there's no monolith here). He's a retired soldier who is pissed off seeing his Brothers die for no palpable gain. If you can't understand why that would make someone angry and adopt his attitude(instead of going the 'this war sucks' we never should've gon, and now I hate W route, which is a valid response most times) you might want to check your bias meter since you seem to be saying that that's okay for Iraqis to do but not for someone else to feel that kind of anger(a real lapse in empathy and humanity, I'd say.).
You got me on 'war of aggression'. Though I would say we might want to check and see how that was defined by the Nuremberg trial. 'Cause, you know legalese never translates into the vernacular well. Okay, glad I decided to look.
"Count Two: Waging Aggressive War, or "Crimes Against Peace" This evidence was presented by the British prosecutors and was defined in the indictment as "the planning, preparation, initiation, and waging of wars of aggression, which were also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances."" From here. (There's more to be had at wikipedia, and I do suggest you follow many of the internal links therein. Still more here at Answers, though I highlight the Legal Dictionary entry which is very illuminative on how it was defined at Nuremberg(which yet again doesn't support your cursory interpreatation of the term: 'Following World War II, for example, the Allies prosecuted a number of leading Nazi officials at the Nuremberg trials for crimes against peace. During the war, the Nazis had invaded and occupied a series of sovereign states, including France, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Austria. Because those invasions were made in an effort to accumulate wealth, power, and territory for the Third Reich, Nazi officials could not claim to be acting in self-defense. Thus, those officials who participated in the planning, initiation, or execution of those invasions were guilty of crimes against peace.'). You may not like what the US did, you may not agree with the legal reasoning(there's lots of decisions and interpretations I don't agree with but have to admitt are still valid) but the cease-fire agreement does provide a legal and moral case for the US being within rights to resume a state of war(as well as several UN resolutions, including one that carried the term 'grave consequences' or some such.). As one of the principals to that agreement it was unsatisfied with how the agreement was being breached. The US had the right, both legally and morally, to resume war with the state of Iraq.

You might want to be careful citing Sen. Byrd. A Klansman and political oppurtunist is not the best source for grabing the moral high ground. But more to the point: we see how committed our allies are, just look at Afghanistan which is a fight supposedly everyone agreed with. Canada is punching above its weight, as is usual for them, in honoring their NATO agreement. Britain is there. BUt many of our other allies are surprisingly absent and parsiminous in their contributions(we'll train cops, with a meager contingent to do that with, but that's all). At which point you have to ask is it that they have moral objections or just no longer have the stomach for morally justified war at all---the latter has major ramifications when analyzing their positions of resuming war with Iraq.

We are being consistent with our standards. Wars of aggression get met with a hammer that reshapes the nation. Trans-national terrorism, and their state supporters, are learning that just as Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, and the wagers of so called 'wars of liberation' which were little more than an oligarchy telling everyone else what to do at the point of a gun(okay, so I'm abusing Mao's Book here, so shoot me John---that's a figure of speech!).

You're right. You did say Pakistan instead of Syria, my appologies for the goof. A similar case exists there on a different set of particulars. How popular was Mushariff in '01? How solid was his rule? How popular were fundementalist Islamists there(and in Turkey for that matter) in '01? You aren't seeing the full trend. You're not looking far enough back to see how and when this uptic started---it predates the 1990s.

Sigh, at this rate I'm never going to get that piece written for you John. It's partially done. I'm being careful with it because it is something I really care about instead of only sorta care about. So I'll be asking 'editorial advice' on it when it's done. Maybe we can shop it out to some of the people you wanted to send that one email to for criticism and advice?

he briefed on November 21, 2006 01:37 PM

"... those poor peasants/indigenous people/workers were in the way of the valorous Communist revolutionaries too. There's more than equal blood on those jokers hands down there as well."
- Ok. And the people caught in the crossfire always are the ones who suffer most. But the revolutionaries didn't fall out of the sky (Except, perhaps, some of their commanders who were trained in Havana or Moscow), they recruited from those who had nothing left to lose and whose protest against injustice was ignored or all too quickly labelled "communist" by those who were worrying about their privileges. And the methods of fighting the revolutionaries all too often fuelled their numbers and their motivation.

"Basically, like I said several responses ago, your whole point is to say that going to Iraq was wrong. You could've saved a ton of 'trons by simply saying that and calling it a day." - (Haven't you used a few 'trons more up to now?)
- Not only going to Iraq was a mistake.
It is the untruthfulness of the Bush-administration when they were pushing for this war (It seems to have been on the neocons' agenda since long before 9/11).
It is the absence of a plan anticpating the situation after a successful invasion what led to today's chaos.
It is the way part of the GWOT is being fought: Abu Ghraib - don't blame it on the lower ranks only! -, Guantanamo, secret CIA prisons in different countries. In all these places much of the sympathy we felt for the US, especially after 9/11 has been tortured away.
And it is the Americans' unshakable belief in firepower. It seems to be your creed. It has given the world the impression that the US-Army is "trigger-happy". Most of the suggestions made here to get out of the mess in Iraq go to that direction ("... lots of offensive action and firepower and not afraid to use it in a city ..."). As I said above: 'Firepower is the problem, not the solution! In the modern asymmetric wars (not army vs. army, but army vs. insurgents) the defeat of the armies was never caused by the lack of firepower (cf. the French army in Vietnam and Algeria, the US-Army in Vietnam). The more firepower the more support for the insurgents!' And like the revolutionaries I meantioned above, insurgents and terrorists mostly do not fall out of the sky either. What do you think someone who lost the rest of his family, whose house was bombed or bulldozed is going to do? Where can suicide-bombers be recruited? How can Bush claim to have made America/the world safer with this war??

"You provide a link where some naysayer, pre-2004, came forward and said that there would be sectarian violence, a Moqtada al-Sadr, and Iranian influence un-anticipated(surprising given how hard the Iraqi Shia fought against their Shia brethren from Iran) and I'll agree that someone had it right(but most of them obviously did not)."
- I don' t know, if you mean the former German Foreign Minister's statement: "... This jihadist terrorism is not strong enough to achieve its political aims. i.e. the destabilisation of the Middle East, by a direct route. It is therefore attempting to embroil the West and above all the United States, in a clash of civilisations - the West versus Islam - and to provoke it into overreacting or making the wrong decisions, thereby bringing about the destabilisation of the entire Middle East. To this end, terrorism and asymmetric warfare are pursued with two aims: firstly, to wear down the forces deployed in the region, not to mention the general public in the West, and secondly to drag the region down into chaos. ..." - I do not know a more concise description of what is really happening right now!

"He's a retired soldier who is pissed off seeing his Brothers die for no palpable gain. If you can't understand why that would make someone angry and adopt his attitude (instead of going the 'this war sucks' we never should've gon, and now I hate W route, which is a valid response most times) ..."
- How should I know about 'fdcol63' or his fate, which I feel really sorry for??
"... you might want to check your bias meter since you seem to be saying that that's okay for Iraqis to do but not for someone else to feel that kind of anger(a real lapse in empathy and humanity, I'd say.)."
- I'm not sure if I understand you correctly (For some expressions I still have to use a dictionary. Don't kno what 'W route' means). But I think that's rubbish. Being against this war doesn' mean to be against soldiers who have to fight it and not to understand their feelings. When I quoted 'fdcol63' how could I have known the background of his statement??

"During the war, the Nazis had invaded and occupied a (series of) sovereign state(s) ..."
- So has the'Coalition of the Willing'!
"Because those invasions were made in an effort to accumulate wealth, power ... Nazi officials could not claim to be acting in self-defense. Thus, those officials who participated in the planning, initiation, or execution of those invasions were guilty of crimes against peace."
- No accumulation of wealth for KELLOGG BROWN AND ROOT, the Bechtel Group and other contractors in post-war Iraq?? No American interest in Oil-fields or strategic positions?? You won't tell me that!


ry briefed on November 21, 2006 10:03 PM

"Ok. And the people caught in the crossfire always are the ones who suffer most. But the revolutionaries didn't fall out of the sky (Except, perhaps, some of their commanders who were trained in Havana or Moscow), they recruited from those who had nothing left to lose and whose protest against injustice was ignored or all too quickly labelled "communist" by those who were worrying about their privileges. And the methods of fighting the revolutionaries all too often fuelled their numbers and their motivation. "
Oh, but the commanders, and the propogandists, only are trained by the GLobal Soviet so it's still a righteous, populist fight for justice? The other side, formed in equal or near equal proportions to the 'revolutionaries'/SOviet backed junta of illiterate peasants fighting for justice and commanders trained by the US as proxies, is still just evil? That's einseitigkeit in the extreme. Both sides were composed of indigenous peasantry trained, armed, and funded by larger powers. If the condition of being paid, armed, and trained by an external power to fight for what one thought was justice makes one side illegitimate you've got one hell of a task ahead of you proving why it doesn't in the other.
Both took advantage of populism. Both promised 'social justice'. Both used strongmen who did evil in the name of 'The Cause'. And yet you can only condemn one side? I can accept that the US did wrong, took a serious stain on its sacred honor, in fighting to win the Cold War but apparently the socialists/communists did no wrong at all? No excesses were done ever then?
Tell that to the Contras, many of whom were former Sandanistas themselves, since when the revolution was over all they'd done was trade one abusive regime for another taking its cues from Moscow(again, from the KGB archivist himself).
You admit the leadership was trained by the forces of Global Communism, and the historical record shows what those movements do when they have power(Vietnam, Cuba, Cambodia, Nicaragua) and you still say that they're the forces of freedom, justice, and 'the light'? You've got a serious argument to build here HE. this should be intersting to see.

"(Haven't you used a few 'trons more up to now?)"
I follow the Polish folk saying of 'Brevity is for the weak.' It's a vice they're trying to break me. And poor spelling as well. So shoot me. I write on the fly and it tends to make me even wordier than normal. We have a spare generator here simply to keep me supplied in electrons. You're cutting into my monthly alotment.
"I don' t know, if you mean the former German Foreign Minister's statement: "... This jihadist terrorism is not strong enough to achieve its political aims. i.e. the destabilisation of the Middle East, by a direct route. It is therefore attempting to embroil the West and above all the United States, in a clash of civilisations - the West versus Islam - and to provoke it into overreacting or making the wrong decisions, thereby bringing about the destabilisation of the entire Middle East. To this end, terrorism and asymmetric warfare are pursued with two aims: firstly, to wear down the forces deployed in the region, not to mention the general public in the West, and secondly to drag the region down into chaos. ..." - I do not know a more concise description of what is really happening right now!
"
It may be concise but it is not accurate. I don't know how to say it clearer than that. Of the 20+ Middle Eastern nations how many are close to collapse and true failed state status? Afghanistan. Iraq. Lebbanon. Maybe Pakistan(depends on whether the military stays loyal). Does that sound like looming chaos to you? Indonesia is the most populous Islamic nation on the planet. HAve they risen en masse to attack the West? Well, the data out of Geneva doesn't support that since the number of terror attacks hasn't risen more than 10% since the Iraq war(and is actually DOWN when compared to the number of terrorist actions of the 70s for an active period. google for Patterns of Int'l Terrorism for data to do your comparison with. It's a CIA product.). THere's no clash of civilizations underway despite much of the rhetoric people throw around.
The only thing he got right was the casualties erroding support. But that's a strategy many, including Hitler, have tried and failed at in the past. Of the four claims made in that quote of yours only one was correct. YOu mean to tell me that that means he knew what was going to happen, he had experience and knowledge the rest of us didn't? I can do as well guessing, better actually, on a multiple choice test.
The casualty idea is something that's been around since the inception of chemical weapons and long range bomber aircraft. An Italian general thought it up. Many have tried it. Only two or three times has it really worked out of dozens of conflicts(Iraq(for the sake of argument), Beirut, and VIetnam).
It was concise, but accurate on one point that everyone says every time they oppose a war(too many casualties). That is still very unconvincing that they knew it would fail as opposed to simply did not want to go.

Lastly, on this point anyways(brevity is for the weak after all), the 'blood price' issue. So approx 3000 dead in one throw, many multiples of that number when looked at since the inception of trans national terrorism in the late 1960s, is not enough? Fine, you tell me what's the level of death over which a war like the one the US is persuing then. Because that's all that is. You're saying that you can stomach giving 9 men and nine women to the minotaur. You're saying you can live with giving a maiden to a dragon to get water instead of having St. George slay it. You're saying that either it isn't a nuisance enough to move to end it or you're willing to accept the losses.
We're not. You may differ, but you cannot call us immoral for not agreeing to your 'pricing'. More Americans died from terrorist acts from 1968 to 1980 than any other nation(PAtterns of Int'l Terrorism: 1980). From 1980 on it is the Middle Eastern people who have suffered the most from terrorism. 9/11 pushed the US into the lead, though Iraq has pushed the Arab and Moslems into the lead yet again. We know about terrorism and have suffered from it greatly(OK City. The FIST attack on the WTC. Beirut. Kidnapping and murder by Islamic and European terrorists like Red Army Faction). We've said enough is enough and we aren't taking anymore. You disagree over the price before war is bought. Fine. They bought the war. We're just giving them what they bought.

"I'm not sure if I understand you correctly (For some expressions I still have to use a dictionary. Don't kno what 'W route' means). But I think that's rubbish. Being against this war doesn' mean to be against soldiers who have to fight it and not to understand their feelings. When I quoted 'fdcol63' how could I have known the background of his statement??" I missed a quotation mark in there and that's probaly what's throwing you off. Basically I was saying that there are two typical responses in this type of soldiers dying with no tangible gain situation: a) get angry at the enemy b) get angry at the leadership of one's own country for getting one into the war. fdcol63 is of the former. It's an entirely normal, rational, and moral response. War is not a normal situation. Most of the normal rules fail to apply. fdcol63 may a be bit more strident than the rest of us, but his goal is really to keep the number of dead down to the minimum. It sounds contradictory, but it's really just a counter intuitive. See the fever example I used above. That's why an army can be justified in leveling an entire city to win a war(make note of the 'can be' would you please. It's situational and complicated when you get down to cases. Read over at the Just War theory site I supplied earlier for more, and you can't say that such place is 'right wing partisan' because it is overwhelmingly anti-Bush and anti-Iraq war in its commentary. But even they admit, philosophers and lawyers, that horrendous actions in war can be legal and moral.).
What's your first language? I might be able to help a little bit by eliminating idioms that don't have similar idioms in your language. I'm not really multi-lingual but have enough experience with English as second language speakers to have a feel for which to not use. I'm originally from very multi-ethnic/multi-cultural Southern California after all. Also, please stop using the exclamation points. It's like your screaming 'ela!' during a fencing match at every exchange. That's showing up your opponent, a grand standing ploy, that doesn't really work well when you're trying to convince someone(I know, i'm one to talk considering how abrassive I am, but think about what it means if abrassive as anything me is saying something about it.)
It also helps to find out about someone when you're new to a site before you accuse him of being the worst thing in the world. There may be a reason for why he's being so over the top and is therefor understandable. In this case fdcol63 definitely fits. He's a former US Army Soldier. He takes it personally when one of them dies. He's looked at history and sees the utter reduction of Imperial Japan to rubble as a means to ending the dying of his Brothers In Arms then as a model for ending the killing of his Brothers In Arms now.
(Short history lesson. The Allied campaign against Japan destroyed their entire merchant marine. Several million starved at wars end because much of the rice that fed Japan could no longer be shipped there. Bombing missions destroyed infrastructure(roads, train tracks, and fields) that lead to further famine. Nobody complains about those actions as they were legal and moral. We wrecked the nation so utterly it had no choice but to surrender, offering a chance to surrender the entire time while we were systematically dismantling it, and a major die off in the process. THis is the Japanese Lesson. It was legal and it was moral. It still is. We just tend to disagree as to whether the conditions for such a level of war has been achieved yet.)

That's all the man is really saying, and was the intent of the threads start as well. Sometimes a heavy hand works and it needs to be in the box of available tools. The culture centric warfare model doesn't always work. The IRA still exists and is active. The British section of Iraq, where a policy you champion, was used extensively and the place is just as bad as the American held sections where it wasn't employed.
ETA is still behaving badly and the Spaniards have largely adopted your policy en total. One could say that the policy doesn't work a bit. But that would be false. It has its applications. But it is not a panacea.
The firepower heavy approach has ended American dealings with terrorist groups. The KKK no longer exists as a real player(thanks Masked Menace, I'm cribbing you here) anymore. niether is the Italian Mafia. The Symbionese Liberation Army and The WeatherPeople are little more than historical footnotes because the American plan of going after them with everything and the kitchen sink worked. It's worked on the macro-scale as well. Grenada. Drug cartels operating out of the Carribean. Kosovo(though I'm not in agreement with that assesment it is the world opinion that Kosovo worked---and it was American firepower that ended that. ASk those on the recieving end of American airstrikes why they could no longer move to commit genocidal acts.). It's also failed: Beirut.
You're as much of base for saying that cultural sensitivity and dialogue is the only path as you accuse those pushing for using 'The Hammer' are and for the same reasons you accuse them of: you're seeing it as a panaceae, a wonder drug that cures all ills, when it is not.

""During the war, the Nazis had invaded and occupied a (series of) sovereign state(s) ..."
- So has the'Coalition of the Willing'!
"Because those invasions were made in an effort to accumulate wealth, power ... Nazi officials could not claim to be acting in self-defense. Thus, those officials who participated in the planning, initiation, or execution of those invasions were guilty of crimes against peace."
- No accumulation of wealth for KELLOGG BROWN AND ROOT, the Bechtel Group and other contractors in post-war Iraq?? No American interest in Oil-fields or strategic positions?? You won't tell me that!"
See, there you go again. That first bit is real superficial. Was the US attacked by a group aligned and supported by the Afghanistan gov't? Yes it was. That's self defense. Iraq can legally be connected to the 1991 Gulf War---wmd concerns stemming from the agreements signed then, not to mention all of the human rights issues listed in House Joint Resolution 114, all of the subsequent UN resolutions, the Iraqi SAM installations targeting and firing on US/UK aircraft, and that Hussien's Iraq was tied to terrorism(Abu Nidal and his group was responsible by attacks against Americans and Iraq gave him sanctuary). Again, justified as self defense by removing those who enable those who attack us.

The second. Look, Halliburton and the rest aren't the US gov't. As a matter of fact they're currently in trouble for over charging the US gov't---thereby making the US poorer.
Oil. Less than 15% of US oil comes from the Middle East. Most of that goes to Japan and China and Europe; not the US(check OPECs numbers). If it is about oil it sure isn't for us as we get most of ours from Canada and ARgentina. We aren't getting wealthy off the endeavour(matter of fact most people are pissed over here at how little Iraq is paying for its own reconstruction and how much we're having to pay(see CNN for stories on outrage over the Supplemental Spending Bills to fund the IRaq War.).). We aren't keeping the land. If so why emplace an Iraqi gov't instead of a military governor, which we didn't, and declare martial law from the beginning(which we didn't)? I will tell you that, unfortunately, because when you sift just a little deeper you see that your arguments are false. America is getting bankrupted financially by fighting the IRaq War(according to Lou Dobbs(CNN commentator) and the GAO(Government Accouting Office)). Power? Didn't you pay attention to the last election cycle here in the US? Most of those who did the planning are gone(Wolfowitz, Pearle, Rumsfeld) and Bush was handed a resounding defeat. They've not gained power but lost it. THe US has not gained power(nations like Iran and DPRK and PRC are feeling safe to do many things right now).
The only one you have a remote case for is strategic position. Read your von Clauswitz: war is politics by another means. Politics is policy. YOu enact policy using strategy. You can't change people's policy without having the levers to do so. That requires strategy and strategic locations. That's the same in all wars.
And wouldn't you rather the US use strategic locations for employment of 'soft power' instead(dialoguing, inspiring those to liberal ideals instead of enacting them at gun point, etc)? It's a far ranging strategy, a deep one(and I'm not alluding to philosophical deepness here).

Oh, and this thread is likely to disappear tomorrow. It should still be open, but won't be on the front page.

he briefed on November 22, 2006 07:46 AM

"And yet you can only condemn one side? I can accept that the US did wrong, took a serious stain on its sacred honor, in fighting to win the Cold War but apparently the socialists/communists did no wrong at all? No excesses were done ever then?"
- You're putting this into my mouth. I'm quite sure, the revolutionaries were cruel, too, and Communists, next to the Nazis, are the worst mass-murderers in history (Stalin's Gulags, mass-deportations, ...). And to make it clear: There is nothing in American history (not even the sad fate of the Native Americans) that can in any way be compared to those crimes (no irony!). After you had explained the skill of American political strategy (so to say the 'Rumsfeld-Saddam-Iran-Contra-Connection') I only hinted at the Stingers given to Bin Laden or the support given to S.American juntas as further examples of this (you may say 'necessary', I say 'doubtful') strategic skill. And considering the widepread "gringo-image" of the US-Americans, I wonder if there were no chances to win people's hearts (as you did in Germany in the 50s and 60s - ok, the situations cannot really be compared) instead of mostly supporting the profiteers of social injustice in those countries, which prepared a breeding ground for revolutionary ideas.

"You're saying you can live with giving a maiden to a dragon to get water instead of having St. George slay it. You're saying that either it isn't a nuisance enough to move to end it or you're willing to accept the losses. We're not. You may differ, but you cannot call us immoral for not agreeing to your 'pricing'."
- I can't live with the victims of terrorism. We, too, have got our experience with terrorists over here in Germany. What I'm saying is: Your way to fight it is wrong. It may produce more terrorists than it does away with.

"More Americans died from terrorist acts from 1968 to 1980 than any other nation ... We know about terrorism and have suffered from it greatly(OK City. The FIST attack on the WTC. Beirut. Kidnapping and murder by Islamic and European terrorists like Red Army Faction). We've said enough is enough and we aren't taking anymore."
- Libya was behind some of them, but most of these terrorist acts can hardly be attributed to Iraq/Saddam (who came to power in 1979): Terrorist acts from 1968 to 1980? - OK City ? - European terrorists like Red Army Faction?
So, why Iraq? - Even if Abu Nidal had lived there for 3 years and was finally killed there - most likely by the Iraqui secret service because Saddam became afraid of him. - And considering the funding of terrorism you could as well have attacked Saudi Arabia. As I said: Iraq had been on the neocons' agenda for several years and 9/11 gave them a good pretext.

"The culture centric warfare model doesn't always work. The IRA still exists and is active. The British section of Iraq, where a policy you champion, was used extensively and the place is just as bad as the American held sections where it wasn't employed."
- Considering the news, I got the impression it is better there, but this may also be partly due to the fact that sectarian lines do not meet in south Iraq.

"Look, Halliburton and the rest aren't the US gov't. As a matter of fact they're currently in trouble for over charging the US gov't---thereby making the US poorer ... America is getting bankrupted financially by fighting the IRaq War ... Power? Didn't you pay attention to the last election cycle here in the US? Most of those who did the planning are gone(Wolfowitz, Pearle, Rumsfeld) and Bush was handed a resounding defeat. They've not gained power but lost it. THe US has not gained power ..."
- The lack of success doesn't give justification to the intentions.

"... (nations like Iran and DPRK and PRC are feeling safe to do many things right now)."
- Exactly. Remember? I said, the invasion of Iraq was a bad move on the chessboard of GWOT.

"We aren't keeping the land."
- Different from the situation in Europe, gaining territory (except for the expansion of the US itself to the West and some bases in the Pacific) has never been an aim/a necessity for the US. Look at the size and the geo-strategic position of your country.

As this seems to be something like the end of this discussion, let me say this:
Although some of you in this blog may have a different impression - I'm not anti-American! (Excuse the exclamation) I'm critical of some of your policy (as are many Americans). That's not "anti". Of course, people adhering to a blindfolding patriotism (Right or wrong - my country! Who is not for us, is against us!) may see this differently.

You are friends. And it hurts more if it's friends I see doing things I consider to be wrong. If I don't accuse the bad guys, that doesn't mean that I accept or even approve their actions. It's only that I wouldn't have expected anything but being bad from them. - America's actions are/should be based on moral standards (and sometimes your president even uses God's name to jutify them). And therefore they are worth being considered critically.
You, Ry, seem to have a 'weltanschauung' (There are words in my language that obviously cannot be translated) that I would call a bit "Darwinian": world politics as a permanent struggle. Only the strongest will survive. And we have to accept temporary evil in order to survive in the long run. - Maybe, you're right. I hope not, but you will call that idealistic (comes from the lesson we were taught after 1945).

he briefed on November 22, 2006 07:55 AM


"And yet you can only condemn one side? I can accept that the US did wrong, took a serious stain on its sacred honor, in fighting to win the Cold War but apparently the socialists/communists did no wrong at all? No excesses were done ever then?"
- You're putting this into my mouth. I'm quite sure, the revolutionaries were cruel, too, and Communists, next to the Nazis, are the worst mass-murderers in history (Stalin's Gulags, mass-deportations, ...). And to make it clear: There is nothing in American history (not even the sad fate of the Native Americans) that can in any way be compared to those crimes (no irony!). After you had explained the skill of American political strategy (so to say the 'Rumsfeld-Saddam-Iran-Contra-Connection') I only hinted at the Stingers given to Bin Laden or the support given to S.American juntas as further examples of this (you may say 'necessary', I say 'doubtful') strategic skill. And considering the widepread "gringo-image" of the US-Americans, I wonder if there were no chances to win people's hearts (as you did in Germany in the 50s and 60s - ok, the situations cannot really be compared) instead of mostly supporting the profiteers of social injustice in those countries, which prepared a breeding ground for revolutionary ideas.

"You're saying you can live with giving a maiden to a dragon to get water instead of having St. George slay it. You're saying that either it isn't a nuisance enough to move to end it or you're willing to accept the losses. We're not. You may differ, but you cannot call us immoral for not agreeing to your 'pricing'."
- I can't live with the victims of terrorism. We, too, have got our experience with terrorists over here in Germany. What I'm saying is: Your way to fight it is wrong. It may produce more terrorists than it does away with.

"More Americans died from terrorist acts from 1968 to 1980 than any other nation ... We know about terrorism and have suffered from it greatly(OK City. The FIST attack on the WTC. Beirut. Kidnapping and murder by Islamic and European terrorists like Red Army Faction). We've said enough is enough and we aren't taking anymore."
- Libya was behind some of them, but most of these terrorist acts can hardly be attributed to Iraq/Saddam (who came to power in 1979): Terrorist acts from 1968 to 1980? - OK City ? - European terrorists like Red Army Faction?
So, why Iraq? - Even if Abu Nidal had lived there for 3 years and was finally killed there - most likely by the Iraqui secret service because Saddam became afraid of him. - And considering the funding of terrorism you could as well have attacked Saudi Arabia. As I said: Iraq had been on the neocons' agenda for several years and 9/11 gave them a good pretext.

"The culture centric warfare model doesn't always work. The IRA still exists and is active. The British section of Iraq, where a policy you champion, was used extensively and the place is just as bad as the American held sections where it wasn't employed."
- Considering the news, I got the impression it is better there, but this may also be partly due to the fact that sectarian lines do not meet in south Iraq.

"Look, Halliburton and the rest aren't the US gov't. As a matter of fact they're currently in trouble for over charging the US gov't---thereby making the US poorer ... America is getting bankrupted financially by fighting the IRaq War ... Power? Didn't you pay attention to the last election cycle here in the US? Most of those who did the planning are gone(Wolfowitz, Pearle, Rumsfeld) and Bush was handed a resounding defeat. They've not gained power but lost it. THe US has not gained power ..."
- The lack of success doesn't give justification to the intentions.

"... (nations like Iran and DPRK and PRC are feeling safe to do many things right now)."
- Exactly. Remember? I said, the invasion of Iraq was a bad move on the chessboard of GWOT.

"We aren't keeping the land."
- Different from the situation in Europe, gaining territory (except for the expansion of the US itself to the West and some bases in the Pacific) has never been an aim/a necessity for the US. Look at the size and the geo-strategic position of your country.

As this seems to be something like the end of this discussion, let me say this:
Although some of you in this blog may have a different impression - I'm not anti-American! (Excuse the exclamation) I'm critical of some of your policy (as are many Americans). That's not "anti". Of course, people adhering to a blindfolding patriotism (Right or wrong - my country! Who is not for us, is against us!) may see this differently.

You are friends. And it hurts more if it's friends I see doing things I consider to be wrong. If I don't accuse the bad guys, that doesn't mean that I accept or even approve their actions. It's only that I wouldn't have expected anything but being bad from them. - America's actions are/should be based on moral standards (and sometimes your president even uses God's name to jutify them). And therefore they are worth being considered critically.
You, Ry, seem to have a 'weltanschauung' (There are words in my language that obviously cannot be translated) that I would call a bit "Darwinian": world politics as a permanent struggle. Only the strongest will survive. And we have to accept temporary evil in order to survive in the long run. - Maybe, you're right. I hope not, but you will call that idealistic (comes from the lesson we were taught after 1945).

he briefed on November 22, 2006 08:32 AM


"And yet you can only condemn one side? I can accept that the US did wrong, took a serious stain on its sacred honor, in fighting to win the Cold War but apparently the socialists/communists did no wrong at all? No excesses were done ever then?"
- You're putting this into my mouth. I'm quite sure, the revolutionaries were cruel, too, and Communists, next to the Nazis, are the worst mass-murderers in history (Stalin's Gulags, mass-deportations, ...). And to make it clear: There is nothing in American history (not even the sad fate of the Native Americans) that can in any way be compared to those crimes (no irony!). After you had explained the skill of American political strategy (so to say the 'Rumsfeld-Saddam-Iran-Contra-Connection') I only hinted at the Stingers given to Bin Laden or the support given to S.American juntas as further examples of this (you may say 'necessary', I say 'doubtful') strategic skill. And considering the widepread "gringo-image" of the US-Americans, I wonder if there were no chances to win people's hearts (as you did in Germany in the 50s and 60s - ok, the situations cannot really be compared) instead of mostly supporting the profiteers of social injustice in those countries, which prepared a breeding ground for revolutionary ideas.

"You're saying you can live with giving a maiden to a dragon to get water instead of having St. George slay it. You're saying that either it isn't a nuisance enough to move to end it or you're willing to accept the losses. We're not. You may differ, but you cannot call us immoral for not agreeing to your 'pricing'."
- I can't live with the victims of terrorism. We, too, have got our experience with terrorists over here in Germany. What I'm saying is: Your way to fight it is wrong. It may produce more terrorists than it does away with.

"More Americans died from terrorist acts from 1968 to 1980 than any other nation ... We know about terrorism and have suffered from it greatly(OK City. The FIST attack on the WTC. Beirut. Kidnapping and murder by Islamic and European terrorists like Red Army Faction). We've said enough is enough and we aren't taking anymore."
- Libya was behind some of them, but most of these terrorist acts can hardly be attributed to Iraq/Saddam (who came to power in 1979): Terrorist acts from 1968 to 1980? - OK City ? - European terrorists like Red Army Faction?
So, why Iraq? - Even if Abu Nidal had lived there for 3 years and was finally killed there - most likely by the Iraqui secret service because Saddam became afraid of him. - And considering the funding of terrorism you could as well have attacked Saudi Arabia. As I said: Iraq had been on the neocons' agenda for several years and 9/11 gave them a good pretext.

"The culture centric warfare model doesn't always work. The IRA still exists and is active. The British section of Iraq, where a policy you champion, was used extensively and the place is just as bad as the American held sections where it wasn't employed."
- Considering the news, I got the impression it is better there, but this may also be partly due to the fact that sectarian lines do not meet in south Iraq.

"Look, Halliburton and the rest aren't the US gov't. As a matter of fact they're currently in trouble for over charging the US gov't---thereby making the US poorer ... America is getting bankrupted financially by fighting the IRaq War ... Power? Didn't you pay attention to the last election cycle here in the US? Most of those who did the planning are gone(Wolfowitz, Pearle, Rumsfeld) and Bush was handed a resounding defeat. They've not gained power but lost it. THe US has not gained power ..."
- The lack of success doesn't give justification to the intentions.

"... (nations like Iran and DPRK and PRC are feeling safe to do many things right now)."
- Exactly. Remember? I said, the invasion of Iraq was a bad move on the chessboard of GWOT.

"We aren't keeping the land."
- Different from the situation in Europe, gaining territory (except for the expansion of the US itself to the West and some bases in the Pacific) has never been an aim/a necessity for the US. Look at the size and the geo-strategic position of your country.

As this seems to be something like the end of this discussion, let me say this:
Although some of you in this blog may have a different impression - I'm not anti-American! (Excuse the exclamation) I'm critical of some of your policy (as are many Americans). That's not "anti". Of course, people adhering to a blindfolding patriotism (Right or wrong - my country! Who is not for us, is against us!) may see this differently.

You are friends. And it hurts more if it's friends I see doing things I consider to be wrong. If I don't accuse the bad guys, that doesn't mean that I accept or even approve their actions. It's only that I wouldn't have expected anything but being bad from them. - America's actions are/should be based on moral standards (and sometimes your president even uses God's name to jutify them). And therefore they are worth being considered critically.
You, Ry, seem to have a 'weltanschauung' (There are words in my language that obviously cannot be translated) that I would call a bit "Darwinian": world politics as a permanent struggle. Only the strongest will survive. And we have to accept temporary evil in order to survive in the long run. - Maybe, you're right. I hope not, but you will call that idealistic (comes from the lesson we were taught after 1945).

he briefed on November 22, 2006 08:49 AM


"And yet you can only condemn one side? I can accept that the US did wrong, took a serious stain on its sacred honor, in fighting to win the Cold War but apparently the socialists/communists did no wrong at all? No excesses were done ever then?"
- You're putting this into my mouth. I'm quite sure, the revolutionaries were cruel, too, and Communists, next to the Nazis, are the worst mass-murderers in history (Stalin's Gulags, mass-deportations, ...). And to make it clear: There is nothing in American history (not even the sad fate of the Native Americans) that can in any way be compared to those crimes (no irony!). After you had explained the skill of American political strategy (so to say the 'Rumsfeld-Saddam-Iran-Contra-Connection') I only hinted at the Stingers given to Bin Laden or the support given to S.American juntas as further examples of this (you may say 'necessary', I say 'doubtful') strategic skill. And considering the widepread "gringo-image" of the US-Americans, I wonder if there were no chances to win people's hearts (as you did in Germany in the 50s and 60s - ok, the situations cannot really be compared) instead of mostly supporting the profiteers of social injustice in those countries, which prepared a breeding ground for revolutionary ideas.

"You're saying you can live with giving a maiden to a dragon to get water instead of having St. George slay it. You're saying that either it isn't a nuisance enough to move to end it or you're willing to accept the losses. We're not. You may differ, but you cannot call us immoral for not agreeing to your 'pricing'."
- I can't live with the victims of terrorism. We, too, have got our experience with terrorists over here in Germany. What I'm saying is: Your way to fight it is wrong. It may produce more terrorists than it does away with.

"More Americans died from terrorist acts from 1968 to 1980 than any other nation ... We know about terrorism and have suffered from it greatly(OK City. The FIST attack on the WTC. Beirut. Kidnapping and murder by Islamic and European terrorists like Red Army Faction). We've said enough is enough and we aren't taking anymore."
- Libya was behind some of them, but most of these terrorist acts can hardly be attributed to Iraq/Saddam (who came to power in 1979): Terrorist acts from 1968 to 1980? - OK City ? - European terrorists like Red Army Faction?
So, why Iraq? - Even if Abu Nidal had lived there for 3 years and was finally killed there - most likely by the Iraqui secret service because Saddam became afraid of him. - And considering the funding of terrorism you could as well have attacked Saudi Arabia. As I said: Iraq had been on the neocons' agenda for several years and 9/11 gave them a good pretext.

"The culture centric warfare model doesn't always work. The IRA still exists and is active. The British section of Iraq, where a policy you champion, was used extensively and the place is just as bad as the American held sections where it wasn't employed."
- Considering the news, I got the impression it is better there, but this may also be partly due to the fact that sectarian lines do not meet in south Iraq.

"Look, Halliburton and the rest aren't the US gov't. As a matter of fact they're currently in trouble for over charging the US gov't---thereby making the US poorer ... America is getting bankrupted financially by fighting the IRaq War ... Power? Didn't you pay attention to the last election cycle here in the US? Most of those who did the planning are gone(Wolfowitz, Pearle, Rumsfeld) and Bush was handed a resounding defeat. They've not gained power but lost it. THe US has not gained power ..."
- The lack of success doesn't give justification to the intentions.

"... (nations like Iran and DPRK and PRC are feeling safe to do many things right now)."
- Exactly. Remember? I said, the invasion of Iraq was a bad move on the chessboard of GWOT.

"We aren't keeping the land."
- Different from the situation in Europe, gaining territory (except for the expansion of the US itself to the West and some bases in the Pacific) has never been an aim/a necessity for the US. Look at the size and the geo-strategic position of your country.

As this seems to be something like the end of this discussion, let me say this:
Although some of you in this blog may have a different impression - I'm not anti-American! (Excuse the exclamation) I'm critical of some of your policy (as are many Americans). That's not "anti". Of course, people adhering to a blindfolding patriotism (Right or wrong - my country! Who is not for us, is against us!) may see this differently.

You are friends. And it hurts more if it's friends I see doing things I consider to be wrong. If I don't accuse the bad guys, that doesn't mean that I accept or even approve their actions. It's only that I wouldn't have expected anything but being bad from them. - America's actions are/should be based on moral standards (and sometimes your president even uses God's name to justify them). And therefore they are worth being considered critically.
You, Ry, seem to have a 'weltanschauung' (There are words in my language that obviously cannot be translated) that I would call a bit "Darwinian": world politics as a permanent struggle. Only the strongest will survive. And we have to accept temporary evil in order to survive in the long run. - Maybe, you're right. I hope not, but you will call that idealistic (comes from the lesson we were taught after 1945).

he briefed on November 22, 2006 11:22 PM

Please excuse the multiple posting. For each posting I tried yesterday there was a mistake reported back by the system.