Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Gambling for Peace in Reno – This War is Just

Posted by zaphriel on March 20, 2006

The president continues to speak intelligently to the current situation…

Bush: US will not abandon Iraq


BUSH-DC.jpgCLEVELAND (Reuters) – President George W. Bush said on Monday he understands that unrelenting violence in Iraq has shaken Americans’ confidence but pledged the United States will not abandon the country as the fourth post-invasion year begins.

In a series of speeches, Bush is trying to convince an increasingly skeptical public that he has a winning strategy for Iraq amid widespread concerns that sectarian violence is turning into civil war.

Speaking to the City Club of Cleveland, Bush sprinkled his characteristic optimism with a more somber description than usual of the situation, saying bluntly that Iraq remains an uphill battle three years after the U.S.-led invasion.
“The situation on the ground remains tense. In the face of continued reports about killings and reprisals, I understand how some Americans have had their confidence shaken,” Bush said. “They wonder what I see that they don’t.”

But he insisted progress was being made that the news media are not covering and he cited as an example the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar.

U.S. and Iraqi forces have wrested the town from the grip of al Qaeda and insurgents, he said, and it is now “a free city that gives reason for hope for a free Iraq.”

U.S. and Iraqi forces had said the town was used as a conduit for smuggling in equipment and foreign fighters from Syria on the way to cities across central Iraq.

What struck me most about yesterday and getting up-close and personal with the Anti-War crowd is this. They are still living in the past (three years ago in fact). They have an attitude that if we walk away it will all go away. It was, even with the most eloquent of them, a bitch fest. If you asked any of them about solutions, you got one of three things.
1. Let the U.N. Handle it and bring our boys home to work here
2. Total avoidance of the question followed up by talking point numbers (like 100,000 civilians killed) – or –
3. Bush made this into such a mess that we can’t pull out, we have to stay, but I don’t like it.

Ok that last one only came from one guy, the most reasonable in the crowd, (I wish I had gotten his name). He didn’t agree with us but he understood most of our stances. But even he cried out loud about the mass of civilians killed (unsubstantiated), and how our boys were dying by the thousands (in fact the lowest rate of attrition of any war we have ever fought).

They were very much still stuck in 2003, arguing about whether or not we should be there, and not living in the present and presenting real answers to situation at hand. There is a grave danger in living in the past and fighting (or in this case re-fighting) battles that have already occurred. Progress is not achieved by living in the past. If they want peace so bad, I think they should be presenting real alternate solutions to the current situation, and stop the bitching. But that could just be me.

I think we are on the right track; we are on the track to victory.

Iraq will see stabilization within the next few years. No-one ever said it was going to be easy or quick, or that we would never make a mistake.

6 Responses to “Gambling for Peace in Reno – This War is Just”

  1. Gayle said

    Matthew,

    I tend to agree with the third item on your list. I don’t pretend to have any real alternatives as to how we can change the current situation. I DO feel that we should be working more closely with the UN. After all, whether we always agree with them or not, we ARE a member nation. I feel that obligates us to work with them. If we do not want to work in a spirit of cooperation with them, then we should not be members.

    As for having the lowest attrition rate of any war we have ever fought, that is SO FAR. I hope it stays this way, but it may not.

    My biggest problem with Iraq is that I feel we went there feeling democracy was the cure-all and determined to see that they became a democratic nation. I don’t think we understood the Iraqi people and their culture well enough. I don’t feel we truly thought about whether we should do this in such a precipitous fashion, about whether these people were ready to take on an entirely new system of government so quickly.

    To use one of my favorite analogies, if this were Starfleet, we would be in the midst of a court-martial for shredding the Prime Directive.
    Now, I realize Jim Kirk would have done it without hesitation, but George Bush is no Jim Kirk! Neither is he Jean-Luc Picard, who would have(most likely) introduced small, subtle changes within the scope of the Prime Directive and then left the society to expand on those changes themselves.

    I feel we simply barged in and started changing the Iraqi society without considering whether they were ready for those changes.

  2. Matthew said

    Interesting perspective. To which I will say two things.

    The conservatives never said it would be quick, and it tends to be the democrats that are pushing a hurried timeline.

    Second, your comments (self admitted), do not address the situation at hand. The U.N. is all fine and good, but generally highly ineffective. I personally believe we should pull out of them, they are a drain on our resources with little payback.

  3. Gayle said

    I do not push a hurried timeline for Iraq, although I do realize that many liberals do just that. Actually, I feel just the opposite. Now that we are there, we really should take our time and see that the Iraqis are capable of handling their new government themselves before we make any withdrawals.

    All this, however, does not change my feelings about whether we should be there in the first place. I think many people (whom you state are “living in the past”) still feel betrayed by our government. So much information which we received on the reasons for the war, and on many things which have happened since, proved to be either questionable or outright incorrect. A feeling of betrayal takes a long time to get over. I don’t think people are so much living in the past, as still feeling betrayed.

    As for the U.N., I feel that pulling out would be a big mistake. I’m actually surprised that you feel that way. President Bush has talked of how it would be a mistake to think that we can retreat within our own borders and cut ourselves off. To withdraw from the U.N. would be a huge step toward that. I think we are becoming arrogant to think that we have all the answers and that the U.N. is always wrong.

    How can we point to the U.N. as ineffective and a drain on our resources with little payback and not see the war in Iraq that way? The U.N.’s recent record has not been good. Neither has ours. While you are counseling patience and not pushing a hurried timeline for Iraq, perhaps you should counsel the same for the U.N. We need world unity to have a stabilizing influence in the Middle East and everywhere else. Not to support an organization like the U.N. would, I feel, have dire consequences in the long run.

    It could be all my exposure to Star Trek at an early age, I suppose, but I really feel that, one day, we will have a world government. An organization which attempts to bring countries together should be supported and helped.

  4. Matthew said

    I agree with most of that Gayle, I just don’t believe the U.N. is that body, or even, at this time has the potential to be that body. this world has a long way to go before that is the case.

  5. Anonymous Libertarian said

    The conservatives never said it would be quick,

    Outright false. We remember the people saying that we would be “greeted with flowers” in Iraq.

    http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/03/death-of-shame-in-our-pundit-class.html

    I’m not interested in revisionist history. Many conservatives were totally triumphalist about Iraq, including Bush: remember “Mission Accomplished”?

  6. Matthew said

    Anon, when you back up a claim like that, it might be wise to sight a conservative actually saying it… Just a thought.

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