Alarming News

January 31, 2007

How to lose a war

I was at a friend’s place scrolling through headlines on his computer when I saw the one about US Troops being authorized to kill Iranian operatives in Iraq.

I misread it, and thought we were going to start killing Iranian operatives in Iran. “Man,” I thought. “This is all going to get so much worse before it gets better”. But when I realized it said Iraq and not Iran, I couldn’t believe we weren’t doing this already. Does this mean that we know of Iranian operatives fighting against us in Iraq but until now it has been policy to not kill them?

Posted by Karol at 04:32 AM |
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Posted by: Jody at January 31, 2007 at 9:22 am

Who. You haven’t been keeping up?

Posted by: ccs178 (Chris) at January 31, 2007 at 9:37 am

Precisely what I was bitching to someone about the other day. You hear all of this and go Yes! but then realize, HEY! We weren’t doing this already!
It astounds me the extent to which our troops hands are tied – I don’t know if it’s int’l pressure, Abu Ghraib fallout, fear of US media, or what.

Posted by: Scott Sala at January 31, 2007 at 9:42 am

Scott, our troops been very, very slowly disengaging. Mostly for two reasons. One is because of the very things you mentioned. The other is to kind of force the Iraqis to take a bigger role and more responsibility. This would, hopefully, lead to us not really being needed and pulling out. Unfortunately, the Iraqis haven’t been stepping up for the most part. Apparently, this has emboldened the Iranians and they’ve decided to take us on ALMOST directly now. As close to directly as they can get while still being able to maintain some measure plausable deniability anyway.
I wouldn’t expect us to invade anytime soon. If anything is done on a massive scale, I’d expect something along the lines of what we did in Yugoslavia. Lots and lots of bombing with maybe some minor naval action thrown in. I wish we still had a battleship or two in the fleet. They’d be quite handy. You could anchor one in the middle of Iran’s major harbor and just start shelling. There isn’t a lot that modern anti-ship weaponry could do against one of them.

Posted by: ccs178 (Chris) at January 31, 2007 at 10:02 am

But don’t question Bush’s strategy in Iraq or infer he hasn’t got the slightest idea what to do about Iran (or North Korea for that matter) other than posture and whine to the press, no matter how clear it is that this administration has no fucking clue how to solve these problems.
That would make you “two-faced”.

Posted by: Joe Grossberg at January 31, 2007 at 11:05 am

Joe, when Specter ran for office, Bush was his best friend because back then Bush’s approval rating was high and it benefited him to be seen with the president.
A war is not run by one man. Blaming Bush might get Specter kudos among his Democratic peers but it’s useless in terms of figuring out what to do with Iraq. That’s exactly the kind of do-nothing middle ground that career politicians like Specter live in.

Posted by: Karol at January 31, 2007 at 11:17 am

Actually, the way to lose a war is to vote in favor of it, and then when the going gets tough, to back away and blame somebody else for making you vote in the first place, as Hillary Clinton did this past weekend in Iowa.

Posted by: Dorian Davis at January 31, 2007 at 11:45 am

We’ve packed away the comfy chair – now we’re getting out the wet noodles ;->

Posted by: Purple Avenger at January 31, 2007 at 2:44 pm

Forget the war, have you heard Hillary sing the national anthem? Unforgivable.

Posted by: scot at January 31, 2007 at 3:51 pm

A war is not run by one man.
Ahh, but wouldn’t he have you believe that he is the master architect? Isn’t that what all the I’m-the-decider crap is about?
And I recommend for Dorian reading, “Fooled by Randomness” by Nassim Taleb, for critique of the idea of changing one’s mind.

Posted by: David at January 31, 2007 at 4:54 pm

Isn’t that what all the I’m-the-decider crap is about?
No, that’s him taking sole responsibility. Of course, I realize that’s a very alien concept for a lot, if not most, of the left wingers. Especially when hearing it from a President.

Posted by: ccs178 (Chris) at February 1, 2007 at 9:34 am

David, it does sound like you’re being unfair to Karol, Dorian and President Bush, by conflating the meanings of different words.
President Bush is the “Commander-in-Chief,” therefore, it’s true that he IS the “Decider” about GOING to war as well as ‘big picture’ decisions.
But that is different from being the “architect” of the war, and the idea that one man is “running” it.
The President is not the “architect” of it, nor is he the one man “running” it.

Posted by: BadBoyInASuit at February 1, 2007 at 1:05 pm

But don’t question Bush’s strategy in Iraq or infer he hasn’t got the slightest idea what to do about Iran (or North Korea for that matter) other than posture and whine to the press, no matter how clear it is that this administration has no fucking clue how to solve these problems.
That would make you “two-faced”.

No, it just makes you look angry, clueless and shrill, with no true plan of action, nor sense of history. You panic and you fear, but you provide no real solutions yourself except for disresctful putdowns and attacks. Bush has made mistakes in a war. So has our military. So have some of our soldiers on an individual basis daily. I guess you want to skewer them to and run them up the flagpole? War is full of mistakes, of best made plans gone wrong. But if you stop attacking along lines of ideology and relax a moment, breath and look back at the history of War, you will find that this one has been successful along many lines. If you want to count numbers, then please.
Add them up in comparison to WWI, WWII, Germany, Japan, Korea, Vietnam.
Calm down Joel. This is a long war and Iraq is one part of it, one of the most important and integral parts of it, if you will just open your eyes. We need to establish a friendly government, a more ethical, democratic and free society in Iraq. A government that answers to its citizens. We won the initial war, we defeated Saddam and have delivered the vast majority of his administration to justice by trial or death – however they wanted it. We’re now fightin an insurgency sponsored by Al Qaeda, Iran and Syria who are fighting proxy wars against us, who are surprise – being supported by our old nemesis Putin’s new Sovietska.
Instead of attacking Clinton’s mistakes, which is easy to do. Lets all admit what the truth is. Our country under all leadership has failed to face the dangers associated with the Kings, Tyrants and Despots of the Islamic countries who radicalize and preach hatred.
Instead of us pointing fingers of hate toward each other, lets recognize the true enemies we face together. Iran, Syria(supporting Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist around the world), Russia and China supporting Iran and Syria, Sudan, Venezuela, and whatever ThirdWorld country they can sell weapons too. They undermine us at the UN. For this reason we cannot depend on the UN or the IAEA to truly support American safety.
Bush is not the enemy Joel and neither are we for supporting a strong offensive war against those who have been killing us since 1979. The true Pariah’s are the terrorist leaders of the Middle East, not America.
I hope you understand, that our country needs to come together, alone with Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, etc., and others. They have been declaring war on us for decades. Killing innocents around the world in Lebanon, Argentina, Kenya, Thailan, India, Phillipines, London, New York, Snipers in our own country shooting innocent people getting gas for God’s sake.
We have bent over backwards in the past to try and negotiate, deal, give money to in support of all these regimes. And they not only slap us in the face, stab us in the back as a nation, but they murder our people.
Sorry, I refuse to listen to the normal, old Media who seem to be completely lost and leading this nation dangerously away from reality just because of political bias. The Media has a duty of which they have not been fulfilling for this nation over the last 10 or so years. They have failed just as severely as our government, with the exception of a few reporters who warned ahead of time this was coming.
Most of us did not listen prior to 9/11. But after 9/11 there are no more excuses. We cannot go back to status quo of supporting Kings and Tyrants that oppress their people and teach the religious bigotry and hatred 24/7. They brainwash the children from a very young age. Unless we all come together and unite to face these evil leaders, work to empower the people in these nations to overturn these nutjobs, then it will come back to hit us.
So, I disagree with your rant against our President. His administration made some mistakes. But no war is clean and it is not a Hollywood movie script. The true issues are ones of communication to the American people about how serious this threat is around the world and in fighting against the propaganda of hatred put out by these rogue nations and terrorist leaders, along with their religious Imams of hatred, supported by rich oil financiers.
Our Business, our Media and our politicians should be defending our values over those of Tyrants and bigots and hatemongers. And we the American people need to defend our views as well. We need to stop apologizing for who we are and start demanding that our leaders stand up to these thugs and murderers for what they are. They routinely torture and oppress their own people in Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sudan, Libya and so many other places.
Instead of shrinking back and apologizing. I want leaders who will hold these thugs to account and shine light on their evil ways.

Posted by: Michael at February 1, 2007 at 8:39 pm
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