Stop It -- The End the War Thread

Coming home provides 100% guaranteed protection from dying in Iraq.

Care about the troops? Let them live.

The consequences of failure are horrible. The problem is we've already failed.

What the hell does emboldened look like if not this? 3000+ dead and more every day.

The new commanding general in Iraq, David Petraeus, wrote the Army's counter-insurgency manual.

In it he gives a formula for calculating the # of troops needed for wars like Iraq.

The number needed, JUST FOR BAGHDAD, is larger than the whole surge.

There is no Iraqi government, only puppets propped up by the Shia. The police and army answer to their imams and tribes not to the government.

There are two choices:

1) Leave now.

2) Militarize the whole country. As in Ford will start making tanks. Activate the draft. Spend close to $1 trillion on "rebuilding Iraq." And large tax increases to avoid paying for the rest of the war with Chinese money.

And all that has to be carried out by an Administration that hasn't done anything right in 6 years.

A favorite writer of mine, Steve Gilliard, is fond of saying "Hope is not a plan."

That's all the war supporters have. And hope, flag-waving and Toby Keith songs will only guarantee that another 19 year old will die in the sand screaming for his mother.

It ends now. Write it everywhere. Talk to everyone. Be obnoxious. Be "shrill."

End the war. Bring them home.

Comments

you have to be shrill...

because that's all you have to argue with.

End the war soon

I would love to be able to bring everyone home tomorrow. We can't it is quite simple.

While we have removed a despot we really can't leave the country as it is. Out of the frying pan and into the fire for the Iraqi people really won't help. We have had the best of intentions, however we have not been successful at helping the Iraqi people build a stable government, military and civilian police force to protect themselves. There have been any number of failures and missteps not all of which have been ours, and some of which were orchestrated by others to maintain tension in the region.

However cutting and running, as almost all other members of the coalition who assisted in the overthrow of Hussein's despotic government have done is not the answer.

We must bring stability to Iraq. We owe that to the Iraqi people. If we must militarialize our country, if Ford needs to make tanks, if you need more of my tax money then so be it. If you want me to go to Iraq then let me know, I'll go. We can't put Hussein back and say sorry go back to living in fear, so we must move foreward to assist them in maintaining a stable government.

Since the UN has no real authority and is spineless, since many of our allies now treat us as a pariah, we must go it alone (well in truth we still have some help).

Spray painting the capitol and marching with Hanoi Jane do nothing to help the Iraqi people, the administration and the militray are indeed working on a solution to stabilize the country. We can't come home before then. It is not a matter of the US winning or losing, it is a matter of retunring Iraq to her people in a governable state - unlike it was before and unlike it is now. We must remain until Iraq is in capable hands of a self selected government. To do otherwise is unjust.

I'd like to end the war soon too, but it is really up to Iraq, her people, and those in the region who crave instability. I'm ready for the troops to come home, Iraq is not.

thanks

Says the man who made the one-sentence reply famous.I'm not afraid to enumerate my beliefs. Are you?

Hello?

Hello? I haven't seen you do anything but offer sneering remarks about how the President's critics must be wearing rose colored glasses.Explain to us how you expect the President's plan to work when even after this latest "surge", we'll have FEWER troops then we had in November 2005.Chuck is dead on that the Army's own counter-insurgency manual recommends 20 troops for ever citizens -- that is indeed hundreds of thousands in Iraq. I've seen figures based on those calculations to be between 260K and 500K.At least mdoneil is making the case for continued occupation. And if the President were to commit America to the course that Chuck and mdoneil suggest, I'd be willing to at least listen and maybe reconsider. But since the President is completely unwilling to match the resources with the job in Iraq, I don't think his plan deserves support. Even if I though you could fix a watch with a hammer.I commend mdoneil for trying to make the case. But you have no right whatsover to complain about people being shrill and having nothing to offer. What have you offered lately? And yes, I'm being shrill myself, but that's due to listening to people who think that if beating your head against a wall for years hasn't cured your cancer, you must beat your head harder!But we might be able to stabilize Iraq without further occupation if we tried something different.

Re:thanks

I have done so, many many times.

Re:End the war soon

I would love to be able to bring everyone home tomorrow. We can't it is quite simple.

Actually, not to be too flip, it is. We came. And we can leave.

While we have removed a despot we really can't leave the country as it is. Out of the frying pan and into the fire for the Iraqi people ...

Many of the field officers of the Army and Marine Corp concede that our aggressive military presence is actually making the violence worse. If you want to make their lives better, then we should leave and stop making them worse.

However cutting and running, as almost all other members of the coalition who assisted in the overthrow of Hussein's despotic government have done is not the answer.

There are lots of other options, including withdrawing the lion's share of our combat forces and provide only training and advice. Not what I want to be done, but there are other options. But until "Get Out Now" becomes part of the discussion none of these options will see the light of day.

If we must militarialize our country, if Ford needs to make tanks, if you need more of my tax money then so be it. If you want me to go to Iraq then let me know, I'll go. We can't put Hussein back and say sorry go back to living in fear, so we must move foreward to assist them in maintaining a stable government.

Just from a democratic (small d) point of view, more Americans support drug legalization than the "all in" approach to Iraq.

More coldly, how does the fate of this one country demand oceans of our blood? It's not a threat to us and it never was. It won't be after we leave. The military is supposed to protect us. There's nothing to protect us from there. The military is a broadsword. It's not a scalpel (I think I stole that.) You can't use it to make stuff just happen all over the world.

We have other non-military options to stabilize Iraq. Diplomacy. Money. These things used to serve us well before everyone forgot there were other ways to conduct foreign policy besides "Whatchu jus' sayda me?"

Since the UN has no real authority and is spineless, since many of our allies now treat us as a pariah ...

And who's fault is that? The fault of the guy you now want to trust to let slip the dogs of war to clean up a mess he made for himself.

Spray painting the capitol and marching with Hanoi Jane do nothing to help the Iraqi people, the administration and the militray are indeed working on a solution to stabilize the country.

American lives will be saved. That's what it will do.

We must remain until Iraq is in capable hands of a self selected government. To do otherwise is unjust.

Why?

I'd like to end the war soon too, but it is really up to Iraq, her people, and those in the region who crave instability. I'm ready for the troops to come home, Iraq is not.

The American people through their leaders decide. Not Iraqis.

It's stupid to post when angry

It's stupid to post when angry. And I'm referring to myself. I apologize for my mode of expression. While I still believe that you have not offered anything constructive to the last two threads on the war (as opposed to mdoneil), my last post contributed nothing to the conversation either.Instead of venting on your inability to deviate from Administration policy, I should have simply reinterated that Iraq can be stabilized without occupation if only we tried something different. And it is within Congress' power to end the current approach and try. If they have the guts to obey the will of the vast majority of Americans they will.President Bush has had four years of blank checks to try things his way. Violence has gotten much worse, Iraqis who had actually welcomed us in 2003 now want us out within a year. It is long past time to obey their wishes and ours and try something different. And give it the same four years to prove itself that we gave to the approach of occupation.

Re:you have to be shrill...

What? You still here? How come you haven't gone off to boot camp yet?

What have you got to argue with, Greg? A pack of lies about NBCWs that don't exist? Blowing the cover of a CIA covert operative because her husband WOULDN'T lie?

This bullshit piece of military misadverturism has "shrill" all over it; as in the blue-in-the-face shrieking of a willful little brat screaming, "I WANNA I WANNA I WANNA AN' NOBODIES GONNA STOP ME!" Not to mention all the shrill hysteria about how it is necessary to fight them there so we won't have to fight them here. I don't think the illegal occupation of Iraq has stopped your former puppet Osama from scheming to kick you in the metaphoric balls again.

Re: Stop It -- The End the War Thread

The problem is we've already failed.You relish defeat. God help us if liberals ever again gain control of U.S. foreign policy. God help us all.

Re: Stop It -- The End the War Thread

It does not mean one relishes defeat to admit the bankruptcy of a course of action. For that matter, I would say that it is the Imperealistic, neo-fascist, Republican/Conservative wing that relishes defeat. It seems as if this group is bound and determined to push the U.S. into one disastrous, pre-failed war of agression after another. The Bay of Pigs, Viet Nahm, the first invasion of Iraq, this invasion of Iraq. . . . All failures promulgated on the false hope that everybody in the world wants to be socio-culturally American and would rise up and overthrow the oppressive regimes under which they lived. Most of which had been installed by American meddling.

Your government, and this adminstration to which you are a sycophant in particular, was told up front that invading Iraq would be doomed to failure from the start, but it would only listen to what it wanted to hear, punished those who wouldn't mouth the party line, and presented deliberately perverted and fraudulent intelligence to foment this crime against humanity.

Actions that are based upon such a lack of honesty and integrity cannot possibly be anything but failures from the start. A lesson of history the U.S. is doomed to repeat endlessly.

Re:Hello?

The word 'shrill' was used by Chuck, Daniel. Apparently he thinks its a legit form of arguing.

All the plans listed on that blogpost amount to one thing: retreat. Which is what you want, not because you think we need to face other problems and threats but because you're a pacifist who doesn't like armed conflict at all. So every time you post some general's thoughts or try and poke holes in what's going on now its not because you think there's a better way of dealing with the Middle East, its because you don't want to deal with the Middle East at all.

So why exactly should I waste time making arguments for what I believe when neither you or Chuck make arguments for what you believe?

Tired ad-homenium arguments reveal poverty

"you're a pacifist who doesn't like armed conflict at all."I'm a just war theorist, not a pacifist. I'm on record as supporting our military presence in Afghanistan. Few things would make me happier these days than shifting the surge from Iraq, where they are both unwanted and lack a clear mission to Afghanistan, where more troops have been specifically requested and where they could be used in a war with actual fronts. Not to mention be able to disrupt al-Qaeda HQ in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.You know this. We've been on this board for years and every time you assert that I'm a pure pacifist, I post something like the above.As I told an anon poster awhile, every time an Iraq War supporter pops up and offers a personal attack instead of explaining how the President's plan will work, you confirm the belief that the plan is indefensible. Which it is.Aside from that, you continue to confuse involvement with military occupation. As shown by America's interactions around the world, there are many ways to be involved (economic, diplomatic, training, cultural exchanges, etc) without occupying a country to "help" them.The plans I've posted all envision some continued engagement with Iraq, with most of them properly calling for reparations until we've repaired the damage our invasion and subsequent inability to control violence caused.That is NOT "not wanting to deal with the middle east at all."

Re:Tired ad-homenium arguments reveal poverty

You like to bring up Afghanistan when you're challenged Daniel and that's the only time you talk about it. You mention Pakistan but don't mention how exactly we're supposed to fight Al Qaeda there and how it wouldn't involve pushing ourselves onto another soverign country. All you ever do is bash a four year war in Iraq without acknowledging the over 20 years wasted playing Iraq off against Iran and the 10 years wasted doing flyovers and letting the UN undermine any political attempts at direct reform.

I don't know whether Bush's plan will work. I don't pretend to know. I don't really consider it my job to know. I do know we need a strong footprint in the center of the Middle East and not in a backwater like Afghanistan. I do know Pakistan has nukes. I also know Iran is trying to get them and several countries will follow suit if they do. I also know we're in a global war that "cultural exchanges" aren't going to solve, unless you really want Americans to experience sharia law, and that economic and diplomatic efforts have been used for most of the 20th century and in the end failed. To compare that history with the short time we've been in Iraq and say that we need to go back to the old way of doing things is precisely the definition of not wanting to deal with it.

ok, this is more like it

You like to bring up Afghanistan when you're challenged Daniel and that's the only time you talk about it.

It's not really germaine any other time. I tried mentioning Afghanistan some other time and was rudely informed that I was at the grocery store, holding up the line and was I drunk?

Seriously, if someone says Dan's a pacifist and he gives an example of why he's not, and an accurate one at that, doesn't that just mean you're wrong, Greg?

You mention Pakistan but don't mention how exactly we're supposed to fight Al Qaeda there and how it wouldn't involve pushing ourselves onto another soverign country.

I'd like to call attention to this. Dan said " ... disrupt al-Qaeda HQ in both Afghanistan and Pakistan." Not "fight." There are lots of things America can do to protect itself besides invade. Diplomacy, military and financial aid, intelligence, etc.

The desire to reach for the sword first doesn't make anyone safer.

All you ever do is bash a four year war in Iraq without acknowledging the over 20 years wasted playing Iraq off against Iran and the 10 years wasted doing flyovers and letting the UN undermine any political attempts at direct reform.

Without agreeing to any of that (or understanding it) I think the more important thing is to solve the situation that is wasting our money, leaving other things unattended and killing our soldiers. Perhaps the mistakes of the relatively distant past could wait.

I don't know whether Bush's plan will work. I don't pretend to know. I don't really consider it my job to know.

If you don't know something, ask someone who does. Here are the people who think it won't work: the Joint Chiefs of Staff, two Army Chiefs of Staff, the former commanders of Central Command and the US forces in Iraq, the Senate Armed Services committee, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and 70% of America.

I do know we need a strong footprint in the center of the Middle East and not in a backwater like Afghanistan.

Why do we need a strong footprint in Iraq?

I also know we're in a global war that "cultural exchanges" aren't going to solve, unless you really want Americans to experience sharia law

Learning things is t3h ghey. OMFG!!!!111!!1!!!!!one!!!!eleven!!

and that economic and diplomatic efforts have been used for most of the 20th century and in the end failed.

Nancy boy diplomacy and economic measures did manage to prevent us from nuking ourselves into a parking lot for 40 years. That was cool. I thought.

To compare that history with the short time we've been in Iraq and say that we need to go back to the old way of doing things is precisely the definition of not wanting to deal with it.

Are you saying that because diplomacy didn't work (disputed) we should give war the same amount of time to not work?

Besides the old way of dealing with things lead to 0 dead American soldiers. That's what I care about. Iraq never did anything to us during the old days either.

Since there were no dead soldiers and no Iraqi terrorist attacks using the old ways, what was wrong with all that?

Re:End the war soon

I would love to be able to bring everyone home tomorrow. We can't it is quite simple.

Actually, not to be too flip, it is. We came. And we can leave.

Even if it were decided to leave we could not simply load everyone up and go. We owe it to Iraq to leave a stable government with a well-trained military and civilian police force. We cannot simply cut and run.

While we have removed a despot we really can't leave the country as it is. Out of the frying pan and into the fire for the Iraqi people ...

Many of the field officers of the Army and Marine Corp concede that our aggressive military presence is actually making the violence worse. If you want to make their lives better, then we should leave and stop making them worse.

Many? Where did you come up with that? A few whingers on CNN and you decide that many of the field officers of the Army and Marine Corps concede something?The argument that if we want to make things better we must stop making them worse is simply brilliant. Unfortunately just leaving will certainly not make Iraq better.

However cutting and running, as almost all other members of the coalition who assisted in the overthrow of Hussein's despotic government have done is not the answer.

There are lots of other options, including withdrawing the lion's share of our combat forces and provide only training and advice. Not what I want to be done, but there are other options. But until "Get Out Now" becomes part of the discussion none of these options will see the light of day.

You can't think that withdrawing all combat troops and leaving advisors is a feasible action plan. Who will protect these remaining troops? Who will protect the Iraqi military and police being trained?

If we must militarialize our country, if Ford needs to make tanks, if you need more of my tax money then so be it. If you want me to go to Iraq then let me know, I'll go. We can't put Hussein back and say sorry go back to living in fear, so we must move forward to assist them in maintaining a stable government.

Just from a democratic (small d) point of view, more Americans support drug legalization than the "all in" approach to Iraq

Again, how do you know that and frankly how is that relevant?

More coldly, how does the fate of this one country demand oceans of our blood? It's not a threat to us and it never was. It won't be after we leave. The military is supposed to protect us. There's nothing to protect us from there. The military is a broadsword. It's not a scalpel (I think I stole that.) You can't use it to make stuff just happen all over the world..

Oceans of our blood is a bit extreme don't you think? Not to demean any sacrifice our troops have made but World War II saw more than 400,000 US troops die. To put it in perspective the total deaths thus far in the Iraq war are just over 3000. Last year 821 US troops died in Iraq, more people were murdered in Los Angeles. The deaths of our troops are indeed tragic, but recall that it is a war.

We have other non-military options to stabilize Iraq. Diplomacy. Money. These things used to serve us well before everyone forgot there were other ways to conduct foreign policy besides "Whatchu jus' sayda me?"

And these are being employed in concert with training and equipping the Iraqi government to govern and police itself.

Since the UN has no real authority and is spineless, since many of our allies now treat us as a pariah ...

And who's fault is that? The fault of the guy you now want to trust to let slip the dogs of war to clean up a mess he made for himself.

Who's fault is it that the UN is useless. You can start with Kofi Anan and his scandals, but it goes back well before his tenure. The UN is a farce. Why do our allies now treat us as a pariah, because they have no national moral fiber.

Spray painting the capitol and marching with Hanoi Jane do nothing to help the Iraqi people, the administration and the military are indeed working on a solution to stabilize the country.

American lives will be saved. That's what it will do.

If you can tell me how Jane Fonda or Tim Robbins or some protester painting the steps of the Capitol will save lives I'll be delighted to listen. They are simply attention whores.

We must remain until Iraq is in capable hands of a self-selected government. To do otherwise is unjust.

Why?

If I have to explain that to you I doubt you will understand it.

I'd like to end the war soon too, but it is really up to Iraq, her people, and those in the region who crave instability. I'm ready for the troops to come home, Iraq is not.

The American people through their leaders decide. Not Iraqis.

They have, you just don't like the decision.

Re:End the war soon

Even if it were decided to leave we could not simply load everyone up and go. We owe it to Iraq to leave a stable government with a well-trained military and civilian police force. We cannot simply cut and run.

I don't think we can give them those things. If they have none to speak of now, after 4 years and billions and billions of dollars, why should we believe they ever will?

Many? Where did you come up with that? [CHUCK: stats on field officers and their opinion of the insurgency.] few whingers on CNN and you decide that many of the field officers of the Army and Marine Corps concede something?

The Iraq study group report, an interview with General Casey in the 01/02/07 New York Times and multiple stories in the Washington Post about the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The argument that if we want to make things better we must stop making them worse is simply brilliant.

So we can make them worse and better at the same time?

Unfortunately just leaving will certainly not make Iraq better.

Nothing will, except time and our exit.

You can't think that withdrawing all combat troops and leaving advisors is a feasible action plan. Who will protect these remaining troops? Who will protect the Iraqi military and police being trained?

You should ask http://www.usip.org/isg/iraq_study_group_report/re port/1206/iraq_study_group_report.pdf these nice men. They went to a lot of trouble to rough that one out.

Again, how do you know that [ed. % of Americans opposed to the war] and frankly how is that relevant?

Polling data from Rasmussen, AP, Newsweek and Fox. Cites available upon request.

How is what Americans want their government to do relevant? Um ... I, uh, ... I can't imagine.

Not to demean any sacrifice our troops have made but World War II saw more than 400,000 US troops die. To put it in perspective the total deaths thus far in the Iraq war are just over 3000. Last year 821 US troops died in Iraq, more people were murdered in Los Angeles. The deaths of our troops are indeed tragic, but recall that it is a war.

There's no reason for even 3 soldiers to have died in Iraq. Plus, you can issue an order and bring the deaths to a halt. You can't do that in L.A.

And these [ed. money and diplomatic measures] are being employed in concert with training and equipping the Iraqi government to govern and police itself.

Yes and no. We have consistently blown off Syria and Iran diplomatically. We train the Iraqi police and Army but there is a lot to suggest that they are Iraqi soldiers and cops by day and JAM (Shia militia) by night. With our guns and training.

Who's fault is it that the UN is useless. You can start with Kofi Anan and his scandals, but it goes back well before his tenure. The UN is a farce. Why do our allies now treat us as a pariah, because they have no national moral fiber.

The U.N. is as good as America lets it be. Bush has treated them like a joke, withheld dues. And our allies have plenty of moral fiber. That's why they are our allies.

If you can tell me how Jane Fonda or Tim Robbins or some protester painting the steps of the Capitol will save lives I'll be delighted to listen. They are simply attention whores.

One protester? Nothing. Hundreds of thousands of them pressure our political leaders to end the way. They don't do it all on their own. They are a part.

If I have to explain that to you I doubt you will understand it.

Maybe I won't. Only one way to find out. Does this mean you won't explain it to me?

Logic and Strong Footprints

"You like to bring up Afghanistan when you're challenged Daniel and that's the only time you talk about it."Logically, if I can cite a single counterexample, I prove something false. You say that I am a pure pacifist. I can support at least one military action, therefore I cannot be a pure pacifist. In addition to Afghanistan, I am also on record as supporting the first Gulf War. It was entirely appropriate in my view to liberate a country who had been invaded by another power, even if I take a dim view of their government. The first Gulf War would have been the proper time to march into Baghdad because their was an immediate cause for invasion (i.e. The government was guilty of invading a country that had not attacked it).If I cannot come up with other examples of military intervention I can support over the past 30 years, that's only because under Just War criteria war *is supposed* to be rare and only used as a last resort.I'm actually glad you came out and used the phrase "We need a strong footprint in the Middle East" because that is the ONLY reason that a military occupation of Iraq makes sense. Iraq is centrally located and therefore any effort to militarily dominate the Middle East must logically be based there. The Project for a New American Century saw this reality in September 2000:

Though the immediate mission of those forces is to enforce the no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq, they represent the long-term commitment of the United States and its major allies to a region of vital importance.Indeed, the United States has for decades sought toplay a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides theimmediate justification, the need for a substantialAmerican force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.

But as many have pointed out, most Americans wouldn't have gone to war simply for a "strong footprint", so it appears that other reasons were provided. Now we are reaping the fruits of that weak reasoning.How strong a footprint can we have in a country where 70% of the population supports attacks on our forces and a similar percentage wants us to leave in a year?And have you forgotten that every effort to dominate the entire Middle East since the time of the Prophet has come to nothing? - Egyptians, Iraqis, Ottomans, British, Soviets, etc.For that matter every empire or nation-state that has attempted to control the known world of their time has either disappeared or exists only as a shadow of its former self. Is that the future you want for America?On another subject, stop giving us the line about Sharia law in the United States. Terrorists can kill the body, but they can't have obedience. And that's assuming they could build the navies and gather the armies needed to invade America. And then there would still be people with rifles behind every tree. You drastically underestimate the strength of our country if you think that is anything other a wild nightmare.Finally, you seem to say that you neither know nor care whether the President's plan for Iraq will work:"I don't know whether Bush's plan will work. I don't pretend to know. I don't really consider it my job to know."That is a good enough attitude for a subject, but doesn't cut it for a free citizen. If you don't know, find out. Start reading. If you're convinced about the prospects for success, start convincing people. With just 30 percent of Americans supporting the President's plan, he needs all the help he can get.And if your research leads you to believe that the President's plan actually incorporates many of the approaches that have failed in guerilla wars past, then you have a duty as a free citizen to get America to change course.It's in those places without democracy where people sit back and say, "I have no role in my government's policies. The duty of a subject is to unconditionally support my leader." Our founders had other ideas or they wouldn't have given us a system of separation of powers.

Re:End the war soon

Yes it does mean I won't explain it. I'm too old and too tired to type all that. Heck my long response above was a pain with all the tags.

It was however an interesting discussion. Thanks Chuck.

Re:Logic and Strong Footprints

You can read all the books you want to Daniel but in the end your still just a librarian and no more qualified to judge the reliability of a military decision then I am. We lost Vietnam not because we were losing militarily but because people like you painted the worst picture imaginable. Do I care about the outcome? Yes, because I care about the larger goal. What military plans will best get us to that goal I'm not qualified to say but, within reason, I will support the leaders who are pursuing the same.

History doesn't dictate the present it guides us. And since the present now involves nuclear weapons and countries that constantly talk about wiping both Israel and us off the map, the idea that "its never been done" is irrelevent. It needs to be done.

And I will not stop giving the line about sharia law in the United States. Islamic facism is a disease coming out of the Middle East and they will spread through force if possible or more subtle and corrosive means when necessary. There have been 150 honor killings in Great Britain, Muslim fathers and brothers killing daughters who try to marry outside of the religion or live a non-Muslim life. Do you remember the fallout over the Danish cartoons? Riots in France? The murder of Theo van Gogh?

Again, you bring up Afghanistan when challenged but your only real interest has been to get us out of Iraq without any acknowledgment of the larger problems. Don't talk to me about reading books when you can't even seem to read a newspaper.

Give me a plausible scenario

"And I will not stop giving the line about sharia law in the United States. Islamic facism is a disease coming out of the Middle East and they will spread through force if possible or more subtle and corrosive means when necessary."How Greg? Under what scenario do you fear this?Individuals in this country could certainly attempt to carry out Sharia practices, but if they conflicted with current law (cutting off hands, etc) they would be punished under American law.Terrorists certainly still have the potential to cause death on a large scale, but for Islamic law to be imposed on the United States, we would need to have an Islamic government -- whether home grown or one imposed by invasion.How do we get there? According to the religious web site Adherents.com, Muslims did not make even a single percentage point in 2002. Let's say they are one percent today. Then we'd have 3 million Muslims. Seems to me that they'd need at least 50 million to have a chance of being democratically elected. And that's assuming all of them are hardliners, which would make this group radically different from any other American raised religious group.So we're not getting to Sharia by the ballot box, at least not in my lifetime or our children's. Probably not their children's either.That leaves Sharia law imposed from outside. According to a number sources I've read, the GDP of the entire Arab world is about equal to France. None of the countries have navies to speak of. In terms of military power, it seems more likely that we would be overrun by a South American alliance before the Islamic states could build a credible invasion force.But, lets say that Radical Islamists somehow buy an army somewhere. What then? We are currently the sumpreme military force on the planet and yet we are unable to impose our will on one small country half-way around the world. How then could a small group of mostly dead poor countries ever succeed in forcing their legal system on us. Assuming that they could agree on which one of several Sharia systems that are out there?So how could Sharia law be imposed on the United States? And if you can't think of a plausible scenario, then you might want to stop fearing that particular outcome.And I'd prefer you not refer to Germany in the 1930s. Germany was a major Eurporean power that proved its continet-wide capabilities in WWI. They still had a significant amount of their industry intact after WWI and by the late 30s had comparable wealth to their once and future adversaries. Additionally, Germany had easy access to most of the people she wanted to invade.When it came countries where Germany needed to cross water, no major countries were invaded. Not even Britain which was just across the English channel.By contrast most of the countries with significant numbers of Islamists are weak militarily, broke and far from the Westerners they despise.

Re:Give me a plausible scenario

I don't fear this, it is simply something that is happening. I gave you several examples of how muslims were integrating into other countries. here's another in Canada, a less dire situation by far but something to be made aware of. There's a billion and a half muslims world wide. You said yourself Pakistan has nukes and is in danger of falling to islamic extremism. Meanwhile Iran is working on making them and is working with North Korea to make long-range ones that could hit us.

Are we in immediate danger? No. But yes I will use the 1930s as an example because its the perfect example of what happens when you put off what is inevitable.

Just a Librarian and Why we Lost

After thinking about this comment a little more I was struck by this statement:"You can read all the books you want to Daniel but in the end your still just a librarian and no more qualified to judge the reliability of a military decision then I am."Logically if I'm just a librarian and no amount of reading can qualify me to judge military decisions, then President Bush is simply a businessman turned politician and no amount of reading can qualify him either.And if he isn't qualified to make military decisions, then there is no reason Congress should be bound by those decisions.Currently, he is Commander in Chief of the Armies, Navies and Air Force of the United States, but that provides nothing but more information and the ability to consult more military advisers. But your thesis implies that no amount of information or advice can change someone from "just a whatever" to someone qualified to judge military decisions.The other statement that struck me was this one:"We lost Vietnam not because we were losing militarily but because people like you painted the worst picture imaginable."Military historians who have studied Vietnam in depth have come to different conclusions, including:

the primary share--of responsibility for its demise. In its life-and death struggle with the DRV, the RVN was crippled from the start by three main weaknesses that no amount of American intervention could offset: professional military inferiority, rampant corruption,and lack of political legitimacy.

Source: IRAQ AND VIETNAM: DIFFERENCES, SIMILARITIES, AND INSIGHTS by Jeffrey Record and W. Andrew Terrill and published by Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College.In my own personal view, Vietnam was another optional war that degraded national security instead of enhancing it. Like Iraq, we put the military into Vietnam out of fear of what might happen in the future rather than as the result of an attack against the United States or one of its allies.When we left Vietnam, there was no string of newly Communist countries as a result. The domino theory was discredited until resurrected by the President and his advisors.

Re:Give me a plausible scenario

I see. You are unable to imagine a means by which Sharia law could be established in the United States.Troublesome immigrants are very different than the spectre of the legal system changing. By your logic our nation should be under Mexican law because of the millions of undocumented workers here.I ask again. What scenario can you come up with to justify such a dire prediction as "If you don't fully support the President's policies, then the US is under a real risk of living under Sharia law." I realize this isn't a direct quote, but I think it sums up your position. If not, tell me what a fair phrasing would be.What time frame are you thinking of? A decade? A generation? A hundred years? Next Year?

Re:Give me a plausible scenario

I see. You are unable to imagine a means by which Sharia law could be established in the United States.

I gave you real world examples, if you want to hide your head in the sand that's not my problem.

Troublesome immigrants are very different than the spectre of the legal system changing. By your logic our nation should be under Mexican law because of the millions of undocumented workers here.

There are parts of this country that don't seem to be under any law because of the large amounts of illegal immigration.

I ask again. What scenario can you come up with to justify such a dire prediction as "If you don't fully support the President's policies, then the US is under a real risk of living under Sharia law." I realize this isn't a direct quote, but I think it sums up your position. If not, tell me what a fair phrasing would be.

Not only is it not a direct quote it isn't even close to summing up my position. This was the original post the sharia comment stemmed from:

"You like to bring up Afghanistan when you're challenged Daniel and that's the only time you talk about it. You mention Pakistan but don't mention how exactly we're supposed to fight Al Qaeda there and how it wouldn't involve pushing ourselves onto another soverign country. All you ever do is bash a four year war in Iraq without acknowledging the over 20 years wasted playing Iraq off against Iran and the 10 years wasted doing flyovers and letting the UN undermine any political attempts at direct reform.

I don't know whether Bush's plan will work. I don't pretend to know. I don't really consider it my job to know. I do know we need a strong footprint in the center of the Middle East and not in a backwater like Afghanistan. I do know Pakistan has nukes. I also know Iran is trying to get them and several countries will follow suit if they do. I also know we're in a global war that "cultural exchanges" aren't going to solve, unless you really want Americans to experience sharia law, and that economic and diplomatic efforts have been used for most of the 20th century and in the end failed. To compare that history with the short time we've been in Iraq and say that we need to go back to the old way of doing things is precisely the definition of not wanting to deal with it."

A single sentence from 2 paragraphs. All you 've been doing is running away from very real problems Daniel. Grow up.

Re:Just a Librarian and Why we Lost

I didn't say no amount of information, but no, just reading books isn't going to cut it.

"When we left Vietnam, there was no string of newly Communist countries as a result. The domino theory was discredited until resurrected by the President and his advisors."

Nope, no domino effect, just a bloodbath. Does that discredit the domino effect? I doubt it. You have this strange way of looking at just a thing and nothing else. Nothing happens in a bubble and the US and USSR were playing a game of world chess long before and long after Vietnam. The Soviets were supply the VietCong with arms the same way we supplied the Afghans when the Soviets were invading. The Communists in Vietnam weren't anymore superior miltarily, I don't know if they were as corrupt but they were certainly not politically legit.

Training and other points

Hi Matt,I thought you made some good points in your comment and asked some good questions. I promise to just tackle a few:"Even if it were decided to leave we could not simply load everyone up and go. We owe it to Iraq to leave a stable government with a well-trained military and civilian police force. We cannot simply cut and run."I have to agree with you that even if we redeployed our military, we would need to continue to have a substantial diplomatic/reconstruction presence in Iraq. And we would take casualties from those. But as you point out we do owe Iraq at least to the point where they want our help and desire what we do (i.e. a secular, unitary state).If the Iraqi gov't gives in to their people's desire for us to leave within a year, or if the Shia and Sunni continue to make it abundantly clear they will not work with one another to lower violence, then what we owe them declines.We may even owe them border protection so they can settle their quarrels without outside "help.""You can't think that withdrawing all combat troops and leaving advisors is a feasible action plan. Who will protect these remaining troops? Who will protect the Iraqi military and police being trained?"I do. I'm not sure what to do about the advisors, but I feel strongly that Iraqi military and police should be trained out of country. Hopefully somewhere else in the region (Turkey? Jordan? Egypt owes us a favor for all the aid we send them). But if no one in the region will train them, then we must train them here in the United States. Why?

  • Security. They'll be able to focus on their training instead of whether someone will blow up them up on the way home. If insurgents demand to know where male relatives are, the family can truthfully say the US took them.
  • Opportunity to create mixed units. One of the big problems, according to many writers is that the National Army and National Police are in reality militia units, mostly for the Shia and Kurdish factions. By taking training outside the country, we can put mixed units together and attempt to build loyalty to nation as opposed to faction.
  • Frees up more US and Iraqi soldiers for other tasks. If we don't have to tie up people in force protection for training military and police, there are more Americans to be advisors and more Iraqis to be on the streets.

I know the idea of bring Iraqis to train here scares some people. And there are valid concerns since insurgent peneration of the Iraqi armed forces has been documented. But we can mitigate those risks by having them train in remote locations where they'd be VERY obvious if they escaped (Utah? Idaho?) and we could even consider (not my first choice) monitoring bracelets/leggings for trainees like we give to probationers. But I believe we'd gain in quality of troops and police officers.I think these things are worth trying because after four years at $8B a month, all of the major security and infrastructure indicators have been deteriorating.The President's plan of more troops only seems to bring us up to a level slightly lower than we had in October 2005 and depends on PM Maliki living up to nearly identical promises he failed to live up to 2006. So the new plan looks like the old plan. If the old plan failed, this one will as well.On that basis, we should try something different even if it is not an occupation-oriented solution. Give it the same four years that the President has had a blank check for. I think it will be better. Not bloodless. But better.

Justify or drop usage

By using the phrase "unless you really want Americans to experience sharia law", you are implying that Americans may experience sharia law.I feel you either need to justify how that could happen or stop using it as a prop to scare people.

Military Historians disagree

"Does that discredit the domino effect? I doubt it."Army War College Historians disagree (emphasis mine):

The United States survived its Vietnam experience as it had the Civil War —battered, changed, bloodied, but intact. The withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1973 and the unification of Vietnam under a communist government in 1975 did not produce the dire consequences predicted by those who argued for intervention. The Asian communist dominos did fall in Cambodia and Laos; however, the original American belief in a monolithic international communist movement shed its last vestiges of credibility when Vietnam invaded its communist neighbor, Cambodia, in 1978 to oust the genocidal regime of Pol Pot; an act that, in turn, caused communist China to invade Vietnam briefly in 1979 to reassert Chinese regional hegemony. But the dominos stopped falling in Indochina, and communism did not spread as predicted to Japan, which lay at the root of the original U.S. justification for projecting containment into Vietnam. Thus, one of the most significant impacts of the Vietnam War was the stark clarity with which the original domino theory was rebutted as the other Asian “dominos” —Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Japan —all remained standing. George Herring provides a poignant critique of containment and the domino theory:By wrongly attributing the Vietnamese conflict to external sources, the United States drastically misjudged its internal dynamics. By intervening in what was essentially a local struggle, it placed itself at the mercy of local forces, a weak client and a determined adversary. It elevated into a major international conflict what might have remained a localized struggle. By raising the stakes into a testof its own credibility, it perilously narrowed its options. A policy so flawed in its premises cannot help but fail, and, in this case, the results were disastrous.

Source: CHAPTER 10: WHY A WINNING STRATEGY MATTERS: THE IMPACT OF LOSING IN VIETNAM AND AFGHANISTAN by Douglas A. Borer.Taken from: U.S. Army War College Guide to National Security Policy and Strategy, Edited by J.Boone Bartholomees, Jr. (July 2004)

Re:Justify or drop usage

I have, you refuse to acknowledge them. How about you explain how cultural exchanges with people who practise sharia law will benefit the peace process.

Re:Military Historians disagree

Oh for pete's sake. The guy says right in his own conclusions that the Tet offensive was a disaster for communists forces, "a defeat from which they never fully recovered..." and he also says much earlier that Japan and other neighboring countries were strengthened during the Vietnam War because of US defense spending.

So much for stark clarity.

Re:Training and other points

Training their police someplace other than Iraq is quite a good idea. Heck we probably have some nice training grounds at Gitmo that are not being used. That way if they wander off it will be to Cuba and they'll climb back over the fence in minutes.

I do agree that out of country training would allow the Shia and Sunni factions to cooperate more fully. There will not be the pressure to conform to the 'party line' as there would be in Irag. If we can keep them from shooting at one another and point them toward cooperation and nation building then we have done what is required of us.

Re:Training and other points

"That way if they wander off it will be to Cuba and they'll climb back over the fence in minutes."Hee! I agree that would be the case.But I'm hoping that we'll close the entire gitmo base and turn the area back to Cuba after razing it to the ground.In my view we should have vacated the base after the collapse of the Soviet Union since after that point Cuba wouldn't be used by a major power to threaten the US.Air and ship ranges have improved to the point where I don't think we need a base on a country who doesn't want us. Our mere presence allows the Castro regime to plausibly claim that we have imperialistic designs on the island. Closing the base would send the message that there is nothing Cuba could say or do to threaten us.I'd be open to renogiating a lease with an eventual democratically elected government that has invited us to have a presence on the island.

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