Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 23, 2008
WAR/POLITICS: George W. Bush And The Curious Case Of The Dog In The Night-Time

Beldar reminds us of the two great accomplishments of George W. Bush's national security policy. I have nothing to add to the first, which affects me personally, but I would underline the second:

[E]ven if the Iraq War did nothing else (a proposition I reject), ... it emphatically demonstrated to every other country in the world that, in their dealings with the United States, there simply is no "military solution" which can favor them.

This can't be emphasized often enough in discussing the deterrent effect of the war. Yes, the war has been hard at times on the U.S., but it is not lost on other regimes how badly it ended for Saddam, his sons and his senior apparatchiks. Or for Zarqawi or other leaders of the foreign forces opposing us in Iraq. That's a huge distinction from how Vietnam ended for Ho's regime. Only the Iranians have really come out of this well, and only because they have not yet provoked us to the point where we would turn our guns on them directly. And if the U.S. did invade and seek to conquer Iran in the same fashion as Iraq (not that I'm suggesting this would be a good idea at any time in the foreseeable future), no matter how difficult that would be for the U.S., it would be much worse for the Iranian regime.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:04 PM | Politics 2008 • | War 2007-16 | Comments (38) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

In Afghanistan, we sent the message that in short time we could take over a country -- even a country half way around the world that had thwarted foreign powers for centuries.

In Iraq, you're correct, we further reinforced this message, BUT how do other countries respond to it? Do they cower in their palaces, hoping and praying the US won't invade? Do they call up George Bush and tell him what a courageous leader he is and ask to join his team?

No. They build nuclear bombs (Iran and god knows how many other countries); they invest their rapidly expanding fortunes into their militaries (China); they ally with one another against the United States (Russia & Iran).

So I agree. The US' ability to knock out a country's leadership by force is now considered more than ever by leaders across the globe. But tell my why that is a good thing.

Posted by: Patrick at May 23, 2008 11:48 PM

Just because it may be worse for the regime, does not mean it will eventually be worse for us.

Say, accidentally bombing a school, and having every family member plan on slow revenge building up over a period of years instead of direct rebellion. You don't think 100 people who only want revenge might not be worse?

Or, if the next regime turns out to be so much worse than the first? Say, friendly Egypt (which he mentions), and a not so friendly populace?
Or even if Iraq goes from a hostile country with an unpopular leader to a hostile country with a popular leader.

What a silly article - reason enough to avoid them and read useful things like KingsOfWar, SWJ or IntelDump.

Posted by: Dave at May 24, 2008 1:57 AM

A third accomplishment, which encompasses the other two and which is likely to be considered by future historians as the most significant, is Bush's re-posturing of American strategy and forces away from Europe toward the Middle East. Inertia and ambiguity (generously) kept Clinton from recognizing that a reconsideration of America's true security interests lay to the south and east. To Bush's eternal credit, he figured it out and has been steadfast-- ruthless even-- in making necessary changes.

Posted by: seamus at May 24, 2008 8:44 AM

A third accomplishment, which encompasses the other two and which is likely to be considered by future historians as the most significant, is Bush's re-posturing of American strategy and forces away from Europe toward the Middle East. Inertia and ambiguity (generously) kept Clinton from recognizing that a reconsideration of America's true security interests lay to the south and east. To Bush's eternal credit, he figured it out and has been steadfast-- ruthless even-- in making necessary changes.

Posted by: seamus at May 24, 2008 8:44 AM

Apologies for the double post above, and the clunky "recognizing that a reconsideration...". Shoud read "Recognizing that America's true security interests..."

One final point:

Crank repeats the oft-quoted nugget of conventional wisdom that our recent efforts in the Middle East have been a strategic boon for Iran. While it does seem that the Iranian regime has been able to exploit Iraq and Afghanistan for domestic political purposes ("they're coming after us next!" propaganda has had the effect of galvanizing support for an otherwise unpopular regime), one needs only look at a map to understand that Iran is in a very precarious position. With American forces in substantial forces on its western border and NATO forces on its eastern, Iran has very few strategic options. Huffing and puffing about nukes and Israel is all they've got, really, so it's no surprise they're doing so relentlessly. Even Iran's low-level subversion in Iraq is bringing diminishing returns ( unless one thinks Maliki is an Iranian stooge, an idea complicated by the fact that Iranians think he's an American stooge). I suspect the "Iran's stronger strategically" theme began w/ a zero-sum appreciation that absent the decades-long counterbalance that Saddam's Iraq provided, Iran was in a stronger position. The idea has been tough to shake, but take a look at how Gen Petraues responded yesterday when asked about Iran's position by Sen Webb. Like President Bush understanding that the Cold War is well and truly over, he's figured it out.

Posted by: seamus at May 24, 2008 9:09 AM

How do other countries respond to what we did to Saddam? Libya gave up a nuke program we didn't know existed.

Pakistan shut down their mad nuke scientist who was spreading the nuke threat.

Posted by: stan at May 24, 2008 9:42 AM

seamus, I think the jury is very necessarily still out on whether Bush's policies regarding Iran have been, on balance, a success. All we know for certain is that they have yet to be a catastrophic failure.

The Democrats, by contrast, have been wholly incoherent. In 2004, people like Kerry, Edwards and Obama ran around saying Iran was a huge threat because they wanted to find a place where they could sound more hawkish than Bush and accuse him of neglecting a threat. The more it became possible that we would actually do something about Iran, they more they changed their tunes.

Dave - You missed my point. The fact that it's bad for the regime to get invaded (duh!) necessarily factors into their calculations about doing the sort of things that bring that about.

Posted by: The Crank at May 24, 2008 10:56 AM

Another benefit of all this - one whose true value we won't know for eons - is the intel we're gathering from boots on the ground. If we are pushed to taking out another nuke site in Iran, the G2 we would get is assured (or at least far more likely) to be spot-on than with Saddam. Now we'll have spooks in the Middle East that don't look like, well, me (blond hair and blue eyes).

Posted by: tsmonk at May 24, 2008 10:58 AM

Stan -- Get your facts straight. Libya had been coming around to the West long before we invaded Baghdad.

In 1999, suffering from the effects of international sanctions imposed following the Pan Am bombing and low oil prices, Libya agreed to compensate victims of its state sponsored terrorism and cooperate in the investigations.

Further Libya was among the first Arab leaders to denounce the Sept. 11 attacks, and even lent tacit approval to the American-led invasion of Afghanistan and assisted in our Anti-Terrorism efforts.
(See http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/62669.pdf).

So sanctions initiated under Ronald Reagan (whom chest thumpers like William Kristol whisper about as being a patsy to terrorists), and low oil prices (and maybe a few well placed cruise missiles) led to Libya's turn around -- not this $1 Trillion Dollar disgrace called the Iraq War.

And Pakistan famously flipped on September 12 – choosing prodigious amounts of over facing the full wrath of NATO.

.

Posted by: Patrick at May 24, 2008 12:44 PM

Thanks to the Iraq War, the world now knows the limits of the US military.

Posted by: Robert in BA at May 24, 2008 2:35 PM

One of the weakest threads on here during this election season. It is extremely rare historically for the U.S. to get attacked on its own soil. One of the two modern times it happened it did so on Bush's watch, in spite of intelligence warnings. That's a failure, period, and the return to historical normalcy after 9/11 isnt an "accomplishment" on Bush's end. And the 2nd claimed "success" of Bush's presidency...the message sending of our attack on Iraq....is absolutely preposterous. Dictators around the world knew long before the war began that if we focused our sights on them, they could be decimated. The notion that Bush's invasion of Iraq was necessary to teach them that is absurd. In fact, the opposite message has been sent and been confirmed by the consensus of military think tanks at home; we are far LESS prepared to go after a true rogue state threat while we are bogged down in Iraq.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at May 24, 2008 3:23 PM

So we're less prepared to go to war but other countries are more prepared to face us - because this 'message' of our ability and willingness to take out foreign governments has been delievered (not once but twice).

Now get to the good part.

Posted by: Patrick at May 24, 2008 3:57 PM

Actually, the Iraq war erases the perception among Muslims that Americans can't fight.

Muslims were able to overlook Desert Storm because it was too short. In the mind of the average jihadi, we beat Saddam with technology--air power, smart bombs, cruise missiles, tanks, and armored fighting vehicles--not guts and determination.

Operation Enduring Freedom was over too quickly as well. Muslims argued that an insurgency--such as the one the Algerians waged against the French and the Lebanese waged against the Israelis--would prove that the Americans couldn't take casualties and would run when faced with the ruthlessness of the masked men setting bombs and cutting throats.

Well, if you follow jihadist Web sites, you'll see that nobody is making that argument anymore.

Two developments prove that Americans are now viewed by the Muslim world as the world's greatest fighters, better even than the vaunted mujahedeen:

1. Young men all over the middle east are wearing their hair "high and tight" in imitation of the U.S. Marine regulation cut.

2. The Iraqi military has adopted the M-16 rifle and its variants, a tacit admission that this is the weapon of winners.

During the Second Battle of Fallujah, the word got out that the Americans were relentless and just as ruthless as the muj. There were several cases of muj wearing suicide vests being buried up to their necks in rubble, and the explosive ordnance disposal teams simply blew up these hapless idiots, treating them as artillery shells or unexploded bombs.

When snipers occupied an empty house, the Americans flattened the entire building and moved on.

The muj were and remain in awe.

That's what the Iraq war has accomplished, and that's a priceless, far-ranging victory we couldn't have achieved any other way.

They fear us now, which is what we need in order to get their cooperation.

Posted by: Tom W. at May 24, 2008 8:18 PM

I wonder what the Iraqi death toll is from the Iraq war. Last I looked it was in the hundreds of thousands. I wonder how their families feel about this war? Do they care about the macho, pro-war b.s. that turns up in the U.S. media? I doubt it.

Posted by: steve at May 24, 2008 9:57 PM

Since the attack on the U.S embassy in Tehran, and the torture of the hostages, the United States has kept a close eye on Iran. Invaiding Iraq killed three birds with one stone (1) eliminate Saddam (2) create a military front against all Jihadi's away from the U.S. (3) keep Iran from invaiding southern Iraq. I wouldn't give Bush all the credit. Iran is suffering emensely from within, they are spending all of their wealth to spread terror and have allied themselves with Syria, North Korea and Venezuela. Having to support these countries and their proxies (Hamas & Hezbollah), develop a nuclear bomb, threaten everyone in the west and suffer U.N. sanctiions costs a lot of money, money that the people back home dearly need. The wrench is slipping off the bolt as various politicians and even clerics openly are challenging the Iranian regime. To top all of that they are 85% reliant on the price of oil to keep them afloat, don't think for a minute this is not a vunerable time for Iran. All those Saudi/U.S. meetings are more than likely designed to build even more pressure on Iran. Iran has become so use to the oil nipple than when the cash flow dries up from the bursting oil buble this fall you will see mayhem on the streets of Tehran, count on it, its a short version of what the U.S. did to the former Soviet Union, let them buy weapons and flex their muscle, it costs money to maintain any level, the higher they climb the harder the fall.

Best Regards

Posted by: Bryan H. at May 24, 2008 10:15 PM

Tom,
"1. Young men all over the middle east are wearing their hair "high and tight" in imitation of the U.S. Marine regulation cut."
Find me 2 sources for that, especially as it is a change due to this.

"2. The Iraqi military has adopted the M-16 rifle and its variants, a tacit admission that this is the weapon of winners."
They've adopted this because we gave them money for it. Well maintained, it's vastly superior to the generic AK, especially the 10-40 year old ones they have/had. What were they going to do? Purchase Israeli Galil's? FN SCAR's? Zastavas? Do you think they ran extensive tests on the reliability of each weapon? And then compared it to the training each recruit receives, as well as their armorers, or likely combat situations they would be having in the next 10 years?
One of my friends who came back said that the Iraqis he met loved the M4 - the look alone, and knowing it was new, and just for him, rather than his hand-me-down, interchangeable AK with no long accuracy.

Leaving along that a different type of ammo leaves it less likely to be sold on the black market, as well as the fact they can be easily traced. They are biometrically tagged to the new weapon - in case one wanders away.

Let's see... 100k+ new M4/M16 x $1200 per weapon. Nice >$150M for Colt. And that before a new ammo supply.

Nah, nothing that layered and complicated.

Posted by: Dave at May 25, 2008 12:34 AM

I assume the best way to keep a nation in check (Iran), is to remove their mortal enemy (Saddam).
GWB is Sun Tzu, the C-plus version.

Posted by: Robert in BA at May 25, 2008 12:41 AM

You have to wonder about someone who tells you that your facts are wrong and then cites "evidence" irrelevant to your point. Amazing.

Posted by: stan at May 25, 2008 9:43 AM

Stan wrote: "How do other countries respond to [the Iraq War]? Libya gave up a nuke program we didn't know existed. Pakistan shut down their mad nuke scientist who was spreading the nuke threat."

I responded by detailing the steps taken towards normalizing our relations with these countries that occurred well before March, 2003. I thought the relevance was obvious. But let me clarify. (i'll type slowly so Stan can follow.)

If steps 1 through 8 in a 10 step process occur before a certain event occurs, its hard to credit that new and independent event for the ocurrence of the whole process.

And if you want to focus exclusively on the most recent step (ending Libya's weapon's programs), its still hard to credit the new and independent event while ignoring steps 1 through 8.

http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/62669.pdf

Posted by: Patrick at May 25, 2008 11:02 AM

Crank and others-don't you realize that you can't argue with lefty mental patients. Whatever Bush or any Republican leader does is always wrong, no matter what the result is-Reagan puts pressure on the Soviets-he is an idiotic warmonger-when the pressure results in the collapse of the Soviet Union-well thats because of Gorbachev or it was going to happen any way-20 million jobs-they are hamburger flipping jobs.

Bush 41 ejects Iraq from Kuwait-the Democrats complain about why Saddam is left in power and that it is improper that the cost of the war was paid primarily by other countries-remember that?

Bush 43 invades Iraq after 13 years of failed sanctions and tens of thousands of violations-well that is a rush to war, no Al Quaeda attacks on US soil since 9/11-well thats just more proof of the failure of the Bush Administration. Libya abandons its WMD program, that no one knew existed-pish posh. Let's not even go into the liberal amnesia that strikes all of them when you remind them what the Clinton Admin. and Congressional Dems had to say about Iraq for the 8 years before there was a Bush 43. Better yet, remind them of that stuff and watch the look they give you as they realize they are totally caught and full of crap.

These people have nothing. They have had nothing for close to 40 years. Do you remember how clueless they were for the last 2 decades of the Cold War? It is almost 7 years after 9/11 and they still have no plan or answer or anything about how they will deal with terrorism-they have nothing. All they can do is foam at the mouth about Bush and talk about running away.

They talk about unilateralist Bush and then when he engages in multiparty diplomacy with North Korea and Iran they complain that we should be negotiating alone with them. These people are stuck in a Vietnam time warp-Nicaraqua was going to be Vietnam, El Salvador was going to be Vietnam, Kuwait was going to be Vietnam, Somalia, etc, etc. Is it not interesting that these people will say stuff about Bush and the US that they have never and will never ever say about the enemies of this country? As long as they focus on the "failures" of Bush they can continue to live in their little fantasy world.

Posted by: dch at May 25, 2008 2:24 PM

"Is it not interesting that these people will say stuff about Bush and the US that they have never and will never ever say about the enemies of this country?"

What makes you think "Bush" and "enemies of this country" are mutually exclusive?
---------------
Off topic, but still worth seeing (since the appeasement thread is a bit dated), i give you a brilliant letter to the Boston Globe published today:
TOO BAD that when President Bush was pontificating on the dangers of appeasement by using Hitler and Nazi Germany as an example, he didn't complete the illustration by warning us about the primary appeasers who made Hitler's reign of terror possible: the complacent and gullible German people, who back when they were still living in a democracy and could have voted the Nazis out, instead bought their lies and propaganda hook, line, and sinker, thus allowing Hitler to trample the rights of German citizens, crush or compromise his opponents, and start a war that ultimately left the country in ruins. Mind you, I'm not suggesting that this concept applies to the Bush administration, any more than he was directing his remarks at Barack Obama.

PATRICIA BERMON
Barton, Vt.

Patricia Bermon for President!

Posted by: Robert in BA at May 25, 2008 5:00 PM

Lets see we have a democratic House, a democratic Senate, its an election year and despite all the "crimes" , conspiracies and evil that the left froth at the mouth about and swear with wide eyed fury have occured- no investigations, no hearings, no impeachment preceedings. None of this is happening....interesting, Even though if only 1 percent of what they claim is true the Republicans would be finished for a generation. Its almost as if, I don't know, all the various claims by the left are complete and utter BS, used to keep simpletons in a state of constant agitation. But that can't be it.

BTW-Thanks for making my point-the only person that you will cite as being an enemy of the US is.......wait..... the President-priceless.

Gee, quoting to a letter in the Boston Globe (owned by the NYT if I remember correctly) thats persuasive. Have you ever heard the adage that whoever first brings up Nazi Germany in an argument has lost that argument? Just for historical accuracy-the Nazis (who btw you know were socialists, right?) never received a majority of votes and, if I remember, based most of their propoganda attacks on issues like class warfare, attacking large corporations and religion, viewing citizens not as individuals but as members of particular ethnic groups that need to be rewarded or punished based on past history, etc, etc, etc-sounds like a certain major US party.

Posted by: dch at May 25, 2008 5:55 PM

I was wondering what the BA stands for in Robert in BA stands for? I thought batsh*t insane but obviously that's BI. Bizarre arrogance? I can't come up with anything unfortunately. Crank, maybe you can make that a contest or something.

Seriously, what kind of crazy world does that guy live in where he compares Bush to Hitler? What a pessimistic and depressing world view.

Posted by: Tom at May 25, 2008 7:10 PM

Tisk Tisk, dch is hot with anger. Here's the burst to your vapid bubble about Bush's critics never attacking US enemies...I cant stand Al Qaeda, but the fact is they attacked us on Bush's watch, and their leadership escaped on Bush's watch. I'm not a big fan of Iran, but the fact is their influence is on the ascent on Bush's watch and as a result of us being bogged down in our endless occupation of Iraq. I'm not a big fan of North korea but Bush sat idly by while they developed and tested a nuke, and now are trying to pawn that off to the Syrians, yet another enemy. So my biggest complaint is that Bush has ENHANCED the status and power of our biggest enemies primarily by ignoring them and attacking a lesser one, Saddam. On a totally different note, I'm rubbing my hands together in glee as I see that Bob Barr has won the libertarian nomination.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at May 25, 2008 7:11 PM

Tom - Bush's America? Heh.

Posted by: The Crank at May 25, 2008 10:33 PM

See my prior comments regarding liberal amnesia and how, no matter what happens, lefties always attack but offer nothing other than complaining about Bush. Thanks, again, for making my points.

What do you have? Answer- nothing other than memory lapses and tired Vietnam cliches . The policy of the Left in this country since the late 60s has been for massive cuts for the military/inyelligence, appeasement and weakness. Period. Disagree with that statement-than provide facts. I will just quote the pathetic record of the Carter and Clinton Administrations and the various Democratic Congresses on National Security matters over the last 30 plus years. Unlike you I do not have to create conspiracies, etc, to make my arguments-there is a record. BTW-there is lovely post over at Power Line going over all the various terrorist attacks against the US and/ or our interests over about the last 20 years-interestingly there have been none for about the last 4 years-wait that's a failure or indicative of nothing in liberal land, right?


Just a few retorts (for now)

The 9/11 attacks were planned during Billy Boys presidency you know during the time of the" Peace Dividend" remember that term? Also the terrorists were trained during Billy Boy's presidency. North Korea was given nuclear reactors by the Clinton Adminiistration with Jimmy Carters help-remember that? They continued research and proliferation all during the Clinton Adminstration with help from among other people the lovely Dr. Kahn-remember that? Al Quaeda . since you "forgot", repeatedly attacked US interests during the Clinton Administration-the embassies in Africa, the USS Cole, the troops in Saudi Arabia, etc-the response of the Clinton Admin. was what??? Basically nothing. If we had a President from 1993-2001 that cared, even a little, about confronting the enemies of this country, by taking out terrorist training camps and rolling up terrorist cells- 9/11 would not of happened.

I find your comments regarding Iran very interesting. Apparently, you have not received the memo. Per the Left, Iran is no threat to us and it is just the war mongering Bush Administration that is creating hysteria about them. Don't you know that? Any memories of the Left advocating for invading Iran 5 years ago instead of Iraq-that never happened. Cheney/Rove has clouded all of our minds. Just like all those comments by the Clinton Admin. and the Dems about Iraq from 1990-2003 they never occured either.

Posted by: dch at May 26, 2008 3:07 AM

See my prior comments regarding liberal amnesia and how, no matter what happens, lefties always attack but offer nothing other than complaining about Bush. Thanks, again, for making my points.

What do you have? Answer- nothing other than memory lapses and tired Vietnam cliches . The policy of the Left in this country since the late 60s has been for massive cuts for the military/inyelligence, appeasement and weakness. Period. Disagree with that statement-than provide facts. I will just quote the pathetic record of the Carter and Clinton Administrations and the various Democratic Congresses on National Security matters over the last 30 plus years. Unlike you I do not have to create conspiracies, etc, to make my arguments-there is a record. BTW-there is lovely post over at Power Line going over all the various terrorist attacks against the US and/ or our interests over about the last 20 years-interestingly there have been none for about the last 4 years-wait that's a failure or indicative of nothing in liberal land, right?


Just a few retorts (for now)

The 9/11 attacks were planned during Billy Boys presidency you know during the time of the" Peace Dividend" remember that term? Also the terrorists were trained during Billy Boy's presidency. North Korea was given nuclear reactors by the Clinton Adminiistration with Jimmy Carters help-remember that? They continued research and proliferation all during the Clinton Adminstration with help from among other people the lovely Dr. Kahn-remember that? Al Quaeda . since you "forgot", repeatedly attacked US interests during the Clinton Administration-the embassies in Africa, the USS Cole, the troops in Saudi Arabia, etc-the response of the Clinton Admin. was what??? Basically nothing. If we had a President from 1993-2001 that cared, even a little, about confronting the enemies of this country, by taking out terrorist training camps and rolling up terrorist cells- 9/11 would not of happened.

I find your comments regarding Iran very interesting. Apparently, you have not received the memo. Per the Left, Iran is no threat to us and it is just the war mongering Bush Administration that is creating hysteria about them. Don't you know that? Any memories of the Left advocating for invading Iran 5 years ago instead of Iraq-that never happened. Cheney/Rove has clouded all of our minds. Just like all those comments by the Clinton Admin. and the Dems about Iraq from 1990-2003 they never occured either.

Posted by: dch at May 26, 2008 3:08 AM

Apparently, some people consider Hugh Shelton, Anthony Zinni and and William Odom "leftists." But what do they know? They must be "amnesiacs" or "appeasers" right?

The Bushers are the ones bringing up the Vietnam analogy, which only demonstrates their illiteracy in military history. In actuality, Vietnam was a largely "conventional" war, and therefore much "easier" than Iraq.

In the 1950s in Algeria, the French tried to surpress an urban guerilla movement which is what we are dealing with now. They dedicated far more resources than the US will ever send to Iraq and they further had the support of millions of colonists. They lost. Please explain in military terms how the US situation in Iraq is more favorable.

The strategic impact of Bush's war is that he has shown that a gang of bandits can stalemate what is man for man the best army in the history of the world. Bush has used up the army as glorified occupation troops in an environment that negates the US superiority in mobility and firepower. The greatest strategic blunder in American history.

Posted by: franatbkk at May 26, 2008 8:18 AM

Terrorist attacks are done for a reason. The terrorists hope to get something out of them. The normal reaction in the West is to give them what they want. They want to sow fear, so we become fearful. They want publicity, so our "journalists" hasten to oblige. They want to demonstrate that we are not really dangerous, and so we lash out ineffectually. They want concessions, we run to the negotiating table. They want a break, we give them a truce.

It's like our collective mind has a little Jimmy Carter whispering in our ears.

2002 and 2003 was the first time we responded to terror attacks by doing something they REALLY don't want us to do. We cold-bloodedly and effectively brought democracy and freedom to two Islamic countries, and most importantly, one of them right in the Arab heartland. If our project in Iraq succeeds, al-Qaeda and its project are locked out of that country forever. They know it, they've said it, they've thrown their best efforts into the counter-attack.

And they fear that if they attack us we may do something like Iraq again .

Posted by: JW at May 26, 2008 5:29 PM

Bush brought up Hitler and Nazi Germany frirst, so according to dch Bush lost the argument. I suppose he could place the argument between the bookend 2 wars he lost.

You have a problem dch. The problem is you think Democrats (and Bill Clinton) are the opposite of Bush and George Bush. They aren't. They are just as much to blame (they are appeasers, just like the American people).

Also, the nonsense about the Iraq War (the one AQ goaded us into) being something our enemies didn't want us to do is foolhardy. For a group of people who want to give St. Ronald "I cut and run" Reagan credit for goading the USSR into an arms war that bankrupted them, you sure do miss the point about wasting dollars fighting war. The US has spent a half-trillion dollars and counting (and don't think for a second the Dems will turn off the spigot), and still the enemy fights us. AQ spends for 19 $400 airline tickets and $1.99 box cutters, and the US raises the white flag on our freedoms.

JW, thanks for bringing up Jimmy Carter. Can you remind me where were we attacked in our homeland during his Presidency? Also, did he go on vacation after telling the people that warned him "you've covered your asses"?

One more: Play "yeah but Clinton" with this one. When told our enemies want to kill our brave fighting soldiers in Iraq, GWB responded with "bring it on". Just make believe Clinton had said something so stupid. Let the foaming at the mouth and impeachment talk commence.


Posted by: Robert in BA at May 26, 2008 6:20 PM

I have a problem with the first accomplishment mentioned in the article, namely, that there hasn't been a terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11.

Since the war has given the terrorists accessible US targets in Iraq, they really haven't needed to hit the US.

Now if that had been the point of the war - to shift the terrorists' attention away from hitting us at home - then that is something for which Bush can take credit. But I haven't seen any evidence that it was the purpose of the war from the beginning.

Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing for sure - at least for the foreseeable future - if that was Bush's intention from the beginning. It wouldn't be a goal that he could announce to the world because the terrorists would then focus their efforts on hitting us here. The evidence of that goal would likely be in classified documents that won't see the light of day for many years.

Posted by: MVH at May 27, 2008 10:25 AM

"Terrorist attacks are done for a reason. The terrorists hope to get something out of them."
You mean like spending hundreds of billions of dollars, occupying 2 countries without a conceivable end, bringing more anger than joy to a billion Muslims, and making sure no country will trust what we say, or do, no matter how true it is?
Hmmm.. Well, that part of their plan certainly worked.

"We cold-bloodedly and effectively brought democracy and freedom to two Islamic countries, and most importantly, one of them right in the Arab heartland. If our project in Iraq succeeds, al-Qaeda and its project are locked out of that country forever. They know it, they've said it, they've thrown their best efforts into the counter-attack.

And they fear that if they attack us we may do something like Iraq again ."
Uhh... The last time democracy and freedom came to the Middle East, we got Modern Iran. Be careful what you wish for.
Leaving alone it wasn't very cold-blooded(nice, internet-tough-guy sounding though) or effective.
And psst- remember, they weren't operating in Iraq before our war.

'They' don't fear anything. Look up how much al-Qaeda detests moderate states. If anything, operating in Egypt and getting us to do something like Iraq, would bring them great joy.

Posted by: Dave at May 27, 2008 8:44 PM

"See my prior comments regarding liberal amnesia and how, no matter what happens, lefties always attack but offer nothing other than complaining about Bush. Thanks, again, for making my points."

Wow, it must be awful realizing your party is morally bankrupt, realize it has nothing to offer the majority of America, utterly failed in both the Executive and Legislative branches, and made the country substantially worse off than 7 years ago.

Blame those libs!

Posted by: Dave at May 27, 2008 8:50 PM

Dems - Repubs - what's the difference? Is anyone suggesting that a Democratic Administration would have behaved any differently after September 11 than did the Bushies? Iraq was "low-hanging fruit", ever since the first Gulf War, with virtually no ability to defend itself, its territory continually overflown by NATO aircraft, and its vast oil reserves left more or less intact, in the ground.

Given that oil is the number one strategic resource on the planet, and given the "ripeness" of American public opinion, driven by fear and anger, eminently susceptible to any argument that would see the US "kicking ass" of "evil-doers", the opportunity to get rid of Saddam's regime and bring "democracy" to Iraq was just too seductive to resist.

("Democracy" in this context means installing a regime which is friendly to US interests)

The bitter arguments between Republicans and Democrats on this question miss the point entirely - both parties are beholden to the same interests, in the end, and the opportunity to throw out one pack of crooks and liars in favour of the other pack of crooks and liars is presented merely as a sop to American public opinion.

No matter who sits in the White House, it's always the same small group that dictates the course of American policy - we can only hope that these are far-seeing, disinterested individuals who seek to promote the interests of the Nation over their own - but that, it must be admitted, is very doubtful.

Posted by: Steve at May 28, 2008 11:07 AM

Steve,

I think you're right that any administration would have undertaken a military response to 9/11. I'm not convinced that the Democrats would have chosen Iraq, especially given the lack of intelligence linking Iraq to 9/11.

Posted by: MVH at May 28, 2008 12:01 PM

GWB made NY safe? How do you ever prove the negative of that? As to the second:

"E]ven if the Iraq War did nothing else (a proposition I reject), ... it emphatically demonstrated to every other country in the world that, in their dealings with the United States, there simply is no "military solution" which can favor them."

This is insane. What our ultimate failure in Iraq qill prove to the OBL's of the world is that the US can be tricked into starting a stupid war that will drive up your recruits and enhance your reputation when the US finally realizes it can't win. Nice work, George.

Posted by: Magrooder at May 28, 2008 10:00 PM

Related piece from Friday's NY Post:

http://www.nypost.com/seven/05302008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/w_vs__terror__somethings_working_113136.htm?page=2


Posted by: abe at June 1, 2008 11:05 AM

VDH weighing in on the same:

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OTc1ZjZkMjY1OTBhMWRhYWZkMGRiYjAyYWIwYTQ0ZGE=

Posted by: abe at June 2, 2008 8:58 AM
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