Friday, January 14, 2005

Is This an Iraq War Blog?

There were a couple of things that caught my eye this morning...
Sure enough, the President voiced his regrets last night for language that hurt diplomacy. Let's see... he wanted bin Laden "dead or alive" and then committed us to the war in Iraq... and in the face of Iraqi resistance (which he personally doesn't have to face) said "bring it on." He thinks his choice of words might have suggested to Muslims of the world that the U.S. is not their friend. You think?
Okay, personally I have an issue with someone who has never served more than two weeks a year active duty saying things like "bring it on." No, that isn't true... I have great respect for people who have honorably fulfilled their entire National Guard/Reserve commitments. My visceral response to people who let their mouths write checks that my ass has to cover is, "Get yourself to a recruiting station or shut the f*** up!" That's just me.
The bigger issue is that as a direct result of our bone-headed conduct of international affairs we've created how many more actual and potential terrorists? I could be wrong but Dana Priest writes about it in the Washington Post.
Mr. Bush expressed some optimism that disaster relief efforts might leave Islamic countries feeling the love, but... it's disaster relief... it's not diplomacy. His problem... our problem... is that if you ask yourself the question: If Iraq is a Christian caucasian country do we go to war with them in 2003... well, you see our international diplomacy problem. "Ye shall know them by their fruits."

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Blogger this we'll defend said...

Right on brother.

Here is what I wrote (full post available at in Nov '02 (I was wrong about the existence of WMDs too, but ironically that just made me more correct):

Our military is the best the world has ever seen. Success against the Iraqi military is a certainty, and thus the President’s call for “regime change” is bound to happen if we invade. We need to be certain, however, that such a change would result in a safer world. That is the test for success, not removing Saddam. Ralph Waldo Emerson noted that men don’t ride events, events ride the man. The war could (and probably would) have consequences beyond what most of us can predict now. The eminent military philosopher Carl von Clausewitz cautioned that when preparing for war political leaders should never take the first step until they know their last. If war with Iraq is worth U.S. blood and treasure it is worth establishing and articulating a desired political end and a plan for the political consolidation of our military success. We must not take the first step until we have thought our strategy through to the last step, until we understand all the risks and rewards. This has not been done.
The first Gulf War convinced many Americans that war is cheap and easy, with few American casualties. There is an expectation that we can win easily and mostly from the air. If Saddam and his cronies hold out in the cities we will face urban combat, which is much more dangerous both to our military and to noncombatant civilians caught in the middle. It will not be a cheap victory. There is the threat that Saddam, backed into a corner and with nothing to lose, will lash out with weapons of mass destruction such as the chemical weapons he already has. He has already threatened to strike Israel and Israel has already promised to respond, throwing the entire region into even more disarray with unforeseen consequences. General Clark warned that attacking Iraq could divert military resources and political commitment to the global effort against Al Qaeda and possibly "supercharge" recruiting for the terrorist network. It would also cost a lot more national treasure than the first Gulf War. In the first effort in Congress to estimate the fiscal cost of an Iraqi war, Democrats on the House Budget Committee issued a report putting the likely price tag at $30 billion to $60 billion, less than that for the Persian Gulf War in 1991. That war cost about $60 billion, but our allies picked up four-fifths of the costs. The Democrats' estimates do not include the possible costs of a long-term peacekeeping mission or of providing aid. No doubt those costs would be enormous. Would an invasion of Iraq be in our long-term best interests, making the world safer? In short, we don’t know. The case has not been made. Rushing to war without properly considering the risks and rewards is a recipe for disaster, not success.

8:28 PM  

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