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03/24/2006: "Iraq: Get The Job Done This Time"

One of my New Year's resolutions was to write for an hour a day. I know I haven't done it every day, but every day I remembered this promise I have done it. It took me a long time to realize that even if you didn't do it yesterday, you have a chance to do it today. I wrote a piece in the Athenaeum this morning about high school students in LA walking out protesting proposed immigration laws. There is a lot of content depth in the Athenaverse, maybe its time to lay the website synergy smackdown.

No but seriously, that those asshats that call themselves Minutemen really piss me off. So do people who want to get out of Iraq now with no thought to the big picture. I welcome constructive proposals, but people, this is the real world, and I refuse to leave all those millions of Iraqi men and women who voted in those elections to be oppressed once more by religious fundamentalists. Would you leave this country to the mercy of the Christian Coalition? Oops- it looks like we already have.

If we pull out of Iraq now, it will signal to not only the world and the so-called "Muslim World" that the US went into Iraq and blew it up once and then ran, leaving the job half-done, not once BUT TWICE! The real mistake was made 15 years ago, the first time we invaded. What would the world look like now if America had pulled out of post-WWII Germany and Japan? What would Iraq be like if it had democacy for 15 years already? Would the outcome of World War II, or the Civil War, or any war be different if say FOX News and al-Jazeera showed the Battle of Iwo Jima live around the world on TV? Would the modern American media say about 7000 men dying in a day? That is why we won't go after Bin Laden- we could get that rat, but a lot of soldiers would have to die to get him, and still there would be people who would say it "wasn't worth it."

Suggesting we pull out of Iraq sounds like isolationism to me. Isn't refusing to "share the wealth" what the world supposedly hates about America in the first place?


on Friday, March 24th, Rt. Rev. Josiah Alphonsus Perkins said:

Not so sure I can completely sign off with you there, my friend. First off, I don't really think that refusing to share the wealth is what the world hates about the US -- plenty of other places either have wealth (Europe, Canada, etc.) or will have more than the States in a generation or two (China, India, etc.) Rather, it seems, at least to me, that the problem the world has with the US is the gap between its professed ideals and its actions (e.g. What is the only member of the "axis of evil" which actually had no WMD program, and which is the only one the States invaded?). Nothing plays worse than moral crusaders acting like hypocrites. Not that I'm saying the US should withdraw from Iraq, but are American troops actually helping? Without them Iraq would devolve into a civil wa-- errr, right, we're not supposed to say the c-word. Aside from playing Guns n' Roses though, I'm not quite sure how US strategy is preventing that from happening. Strategy -- would be nice to know that the Pentagon has got something else up its sleeve besides the "enter village, kill insurgents, leave village, be awfully surprised when, a week later, the same village is cramming with insurgents so we wash, rinse, and repeat" plan. And we wonder why Iraqi civilians are turning against the states? Sure, Saddam was more oppressive, but he was also more predictable. Iraqis knew, then, how to not get killed. With today's random violence, they don't have even that paltry assurance. Nor do they freakin' have a full day's of electricity. Still! Okay... sorry, sorry, getting off the soapbox now. Kindly move on. Nothing to see here.

on Friday, March 24th, santo26 said:

I guess I see it as the US has been pretty much at war with Iraq since 1991. The US bombed Iraq regularly during the Clinton administration. In fact, how different would things have been if Clinton had been able to focus his full attention on Saddam fooling with the weapons inspectors in 1998 instead of being impeached? Or was Clinton chasing phantom WMDs back then as well? They were there at some point; if Saddam had half a brain in his head, he would have sold them, given them away, or hidden them, and make the US look a fool when they finally came looking for them.

So basically, if whatever the US does in Iraq seems to be a mistake, what should we do? Is there a solution where we can do good by the people of Iraq, that is acceptable to the "Muslim world," that doesn't involve leaving millions of innocent civilians caught up in this real-life "G.I. Joe VS. COBRA" conflict?

on Sunday, March 26th, Rt. Rev. Josiah Alphonsus Perkins said:

Good question, good sir! Probably not. I'm not sure whether its testimony to the state of the US or the world in general that the United States, with all of its advertising and marketing professionals, still loses out on the propaganda war to people who think decapitation is the hip, new thing.

on Monday, March 27th, santo26 said:

Well, Rt. Rev, I think one of the biggest mistakes of this whole escapade was the complete and utter "misunderestimation" of Saddam Hussein by the Bush, Jr. administration. When faced with getting his ass whooped conventionally by the same people who had been bombing him daily for 12 years, he told his elitest troops (his Crimson Guard in COBRA-speak) to go underground and foment dischord on the streets of Iraq after the fact.
Is it possible that none of the war games that the Pentagon devised when they were coming up with their "Iraq Invasion II" battleplan accounted for this possibility?

As for the propaganda war, I don't think there is any way to win if the people you need to round up are hiding in mosques. Sure, they may have been planning something nefarious, but the fact remains that a major no-no was committed by the US. Chalk up another one to "misunderestimation" of the opposition.

on Tuesday, March 28th, santo26 said:

Also, to clarify, the whole "refusing to spread the wealth" thing refers to pulling out of Iraq as an "anti-Marshall Plan," ie blowing up this country not once, not twice, but many times, and then not helping them back up. This is something which I will pursue further in another post.

on Friday, March 31st, Rt. Rev. Josiah Alphonsus Perkins said:

Aha! A good clarification, indeed, worthy sir! Your ideas intrigue me, and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

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