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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Peaches En Regalia

From Winds of Change:

...Zarqawi suffered an unqualified defeat today - one that he is not likely to soon recover from. Not only did he fail at his purported desire to derail the Iraqi vote, but he was unable to carry out anything resembling the kind of operations that his group has mounted in the past in either the Kurdish or the Shi'ite areas of the country. This was literally his "make or break" moment in the eyes of the al-Qaeda leadership and goes to show just how limited the insurgency is to a single geographic area of the country, only being able to launch attacks in other areas such as Irbil or Basra with extensive preparation and planning.

I should mention that I had major reservations about the war in Iraq when it first started. I continue to think that the war was sold under false premises, and it wasn't handled with nearly the level of capability that we as a country posess, but I am unreservedly pleased to see that the elections went as well as they did.

This is not to say that I think it is now a rousing success, but the elections are were obviously good for the country by some measure. My friend Ben (of our soon-to-be-famous Welcome To Do Land blog) has consistently supported the war, albeit for reasons of his own, and not necessarily the ones that were given1 by Bush & Co. The alternative argument for the war, as I understand it, is more of a cultural one than a political one.

The basic argument is summed up in this week's Federalist Patriot

The principal objective of President Bush's doctrine of pre-emption -- Operation Enduring Freedom (or "Operation Let's Roll," as it's known around our shop) -- is to keep the front lines of our war with Jihadistan on their turf, rather than our own. Our Armed Forces are the most capable, best-trained and best-equipped in history, and they've issued a standing invitation to Jihadis worldwide to engage them in Iraq, where tens of thousands of these vermin have met their fate.

Why Iraq? In 1991, Saddam Hussein signed a binding agreement of surrender as a precondition to the cessation of Gulf War hostilities -- the subsequent violation of which was, in effect, grounds to resume the military campaign against Iraq. After a jaw-slackening 17th UN resolution to disarm was flouted by Saddam, the Bush administration determined that Iraq would be a suitable, logical and defensible front line with Jihadistan.

Let's be clear: American forces are NOT, first and foremost, "fighting for Iraq's freedom." They are fighting for U.S. national-security interests and those of the free world, which was, and to a lesser degree (thanks to our considerable military achievements), remains, in great peril. Ultimately, these two objectives are inextricably bound. Our ultimate objective in Iraq is to establish a forward deployed presence in the Middle East -- military personnel, but primarily equipment -- now that the Saudis have pulled our lease. Our analysts estimate that once the new Iraqi government is seated, the U.S. will be invited to establish permanent military installations in southern Iraq. This presence is critical, given that it would place us in the heart of Jihadistan, with the ability to protect our national interests in the region quickly without having to respond via sea and airlift. Our sources indicate that this new forward presence will be offset by part of our Cold War tactical and strategic assets in Germany.

Regarding all the clatter about Saddam's "nonexistent" WMD programs and stores, what we don't know only constitutes what is yet to be known: and ignorance, when it comes to WMD, is not bliss2. (Emphasis added.)

To be honest, this sounds a lot better to me than all of the other reasons (read: lies/"failed intelligence responses") the administration gave. However, it's clear why they didn't give these reasons--they're inherently flawed and contradictory to their actions. First of all, if what we needed was a homebase in the Middle East, why not choose Afghanistan, a country that we already invaded (and with good reason)? Why not finish the job we set out on initially? Jihadistan and terrorism being the enemy, why not fight the enemy instead of creating new messes and spreading your resources thinner? While we're at it, why not allocate some money to reconstruct a nation that we just invaded?

Also, if we were to set out on this goal (and "NOT" establishing democracy in Iraq, as good as it sounds) to defeat the troops of Jihadistan, why aren't we making that more apparent and carrying out those goals more efficiently? Why send far less troops into a region than the number recommended by the Army's top general?

I mentioned in a previous post the idea of catching and killing terrorists being a priority--but instead it seems that Iraq has become a breeding ground for them. Wait a minute--if terrorists are the enemy, then why aren't we doing more to stop them? Just another example of why The Marshall Plan was one of the finest moments in US diplomatic history, and why the war in Iraq will prove to be an example of how to mishandle military affairs and foreign relations.

It's not the sentiment of this "new" argument I disagree with--it's the method with which it was carried out.

1Incidentally, I'm glad he's stuck with the reasons that he found to be correct (even if I generally disagree with him on them), and didn't simply support the war because he's a conservative, or because he was mislead with all the bullshit that came with the marketing of the war in the first place. He'll probably harrangue me later for misunderstanding his reasons, however.

2Even though the search for WMD was called off in December. Explain that shit, Federalist Patriot.


Blogger Ben said...

>First of all, if what we needed was a homebase in the Middle
> East, why not choose Afghanistan, a country that we already
> invaded (and with good reason)?

Surrounded by mountains. No access to the sea. Not sitting on the jugular of the world (i.e. oil deposits. Yes, oil is a factor. No, it's not a war for oil.) And we ARE building a base of operations there, it just won't be the homebase.

>Why not finish the job we set out on initially?

How long do you think that will take? Afghanistan is WAY worse off than Iraq was, civilizationally speaking. It's gonna take awhile. So, we let America go back to sleep, when there's other important fronts on the "war on terror" (war on islamic fascism) we could be warring upon with the "anger-capital" that was generated by 9/11?

And as far as not allocating money to Afghanistan's rebuilding goes, well, that's stupid. I hope though that "reconstruction efforts" are folded into the military's budget for the region, but I don't know how that works. Also, I hope the "international community" is ponying up some money. But I really don't know. I'd like to do more research on that.

>Jihadistan and terrorism being the enemy, why not fight the
>enemy instead of creating new messes and spreading your resources
> thinner?

Like, Japan being the enemy, why not fight them rather than spreading our resouces thin in Germany? It's on the other side of the world for gosh sakes!

Iraq WAS the enemy. On the tree of islamic terrorism, Iraq was the "low hanging fruit," as some call it. Not the most important fruit, not by a long shot, but the most accesable one.

Now, me, I would have rather seen the mullahs in Iran get blasted first, but I guess the Bush admin was hoping that Iraq would be more feasable, seeing as how there had been a jabillion UN resolutions against them, and so MAYBE international opinion would be more OK with that. Guess he was wrong.

>Also, if we were to set out on this goal (and "NOT" establishing
> democracy in Iraq, as good as it sounds)

That's part of the achievement of the goal. Like the article said, we're not primarily fighting for Iraqi freedom, we're fighting for American interests. Happily for the Iraqis, Iraqi freedom is in the interest of America. This should cause rejoicing in liberal circles, that a war should be appealing to both sides: a war for economic/strategic interests ("conservative") with a strong liberationist humanitarian component ("liberal"). Somehow, the potential for liberty in Iraq seems to be seen by so-called liberals as an opportunity to carp and caveat. Boy, there's some winners ~I~ wanna vote for!

>to defeat the troops of Jihadistan, why aren't we making that
>more apparent and carrying out those goals more efficiently?

Cause humans are stupid? I can't think of a single major undertaking that HAS been carried out efficiently. If you make efficiency a prerequisite for taking action in places where action MUST be taken you will never accomplish anything. I too wish that some of the truely dunderheaded decisions (troop numbers) had been made better, but between inefficiently-accomplished elections yesterday or Saddam still in power, I pick elections. Of course, I'm not Iraqi.

>instead it seems that Iraq has become a breeding ground for them.

Can you imagine any way of defeating terrorism BESIDES making the terrorists pariahs in their own host communities?
Can you imagine any way of making the terrorists the enemy in their host communities BESIDES instituting democracy there?
Can you imagine any way of instituting democracy in any of the Middle Eastern countries BESIDES war?
Can you imagine any other way of waging a war in Iraq or ANYWHERE in the Middle East that wouldn't create the kind of situation, even temporarily, where Islamofacist-terrorists could "breed"?
I can't think of another way. But maybe I'm just not reading the right (or left, I should say) blogs.

Consider yourself harrangued, biiii-atch!!

3:09 AM  

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