A War We Just Might Win

Discussion in 'Politics' started by carpro, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. carpro

    carpro
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    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/30/opinion/30pollack.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

    A War We Just Might Win

    By MICHAEL E. O’HANLON and KENNETH M. POLLACK
    Published: July 30, 2007
    Washington

    EXCERPT

    VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration’s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.

    Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

    After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated — many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

    Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.
     
  2. Rufus_1611

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    The NYT's New Pro-War Propaganda

    ..........
     
  3. carpro

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    Excuse me while I recover from a good, deep belly laugh.:laugh:

    Can't stand good news from Iraq, I see?

    Since their news is good, it is absolutely necessary to attack them personally instead of disproving what they reported.

    Typical.
     
  4. James_Newman

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    Yes, it is hard to admit, but this looks like the evidence we need to finally prove that the war needs to continue. See, before we weren't getting anywhere, but as this article states:
    See? We are finally getting somewhere now. Before when we were told we were getting somewhere, it wasn't true, but finally we are getting somewhere.
     
  5. Rufus_1611

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    There...now I had a "good, deep belly laugh".
     
  6. Bro. Curtis

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    I think the N.Y. Times is just getting everyone ready to have Hillary keep our troops there.
     
  7. KenH

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    A good point, Bro. Curtis.
     
  8. KenH

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    This article efficiently shows why not to pay any attention to the authors of the article in the New York Times:

    The Sounds of Silence — How Sweet It Would Be

    Monday, July 30th, 2007 by Justin Raimondo

    Kenneth Pollack and Michael O’Hanlon, two top Democratic party foreign policy mavens, were instrumental in bringing around the Democrats in the run-up to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Now they’re back, with more advice: we’re winning and the “surge” needs to go on until at least 2008. And we should listen to them … exactly why? Their predictions weren’t all that great last time around. Here’s Pollack on the eve of the invasion:

    “I believe that we are going to have to go war with Iraq sooner rather than later. The reason that it has to be sooner rather than later is because of Iraq’s development of nuclear weapons. … the problem is that containment was a good policy when it was put in place, but by 1996, ‘98, we realized that it really was failing. The inspectors weren’t finding anything. The Iraqis had gotten so good at hiding their weapons of mass destruction that the inspectors just couldn’t find anything.”

    The reason they weren’t finding anything is because nothing was there. But that wasn’t an option for Senor Pollack. After all, he had an agenda

    O’Hanlon had — has? — an identical agenda, and was similarly completely, utterly, and totally wrong about Iraq’s alleged “weapons of mass destruction”:

    “What we know for a fact from a number of defectors who’ve come out of Iraq over the years is that Saddam Hussein is absolutely determined to acquire nuclear weapons and is building them as fast as he can.”
    And this nonsense, uttered in the winter of 2003:

    “Democrats implicitly assume that Iraq will still be as big a national problem come election time next fall. That assumption is probably wrong. For one thing, a number of trends in Iraq today—in the education and health sectors, in electricity levels, in availability of fuels for cooking and heating, and in market activity—are more positive than commonly appreciated.

    “Perhaps most crucially, U.S. troops in Iraq will almost surely be fewer in number—and less exposed to attack—come next fall.”

    Tell me this: why in the name of all that’s holy should anybody listen to these guys — about anything? What this warmongering duo needs to do is take a vow of silence for the next decade or so.

    - www.antiwar.com/blog/2007/07/30/the-sounds-of-silence-how-sweet-it-would-be/
     
    #8 KenH, Jul 31, 2007
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2007
  9. KenH

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    Some very good points by Joe Klein, especially in the "Update" portion:

    What's Missing in this Column?

    Posted by Joe Klein

    I agree with many, but not all, of the conclusions Ken Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon reach in this NY Times column, but you really can't write a piece about the wae in Iraq and devote only two sentences to the political situation, which is disastrous and, as Petraeus has said, will determine the success or failure of the overall effort.

    It could be argued that what the U.S. military is now accomplishing is clearing the field of foreigners--i.e. the Al Qaeda in Iraq foreign fighters--so that the indigenous Sunnis and Shi'ites can go at each other in a full-blown civil war, complete with Srebrenica style massacres. (Although a precursor to that civil war is the internecine Shi'ite battle between the Hakim and Sadr militias that is about to take place in Basrah. If Sadr wins that fight, he will control Baghdad and the southern oil fields--and will be the de facto leader of Shi'ite Iraq.) I see absolutely no evidence that the majority Shi'ites are willing to concede anything to the minority Sunnis, and there are significant signs that Baghdad is being ethnically cleansed.
    Yes, progress has been made in the fight against the most extreme jihadis (AQI), but that should not be extrapolated into anything resembling optimism....And if we manage to put a major hurt on AQI--which is Bush's (current) rationale for us being there--what rationale remains for us staying there if the Iraqis themselves are intent on slaughtering each other?

    Update: One thing I just realized--Pollack and Hanlon seem to have visited only Sunni areas--Ramadi, Tal Afar and Mosul, the Ghazaliya neighborhood on the west (Sunni) bank of the Tigris River. And that's where the progress, such as it is, has been made, with the tribes moving against the jihadis and toward us. But Iraq is primarily a Shi'ite country--and we're not doing so well with those guys, especially the most prominent of them, Muqtada al-Sadr.

    I should also note that their optimism about the Iraqi Army might look a bit different if they went to mixed areas like Diyala province, where a corrupt Shi'ite-dominated Army is going to have to deal with a police force that is being recruited from former Sunni insurgents. There certainly are a few excellent, mixed units in the Iraqi Security Forces, but the majority of units are local, sect-specific and awful.

    - http://time-blog.com/swampland/2007/07/whats_missing_in_this_column.html
     
  10. Ed Edwards

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    http://www.heritage.org/Research/NationalSecurity/cda04-11.cfm

    This page says since 964 and average of about 1/4 (25%) of
    US Troops have been stationed overseas.
    Until the mid-90s this was about 600,000 of the some 2.4
    million in arms.

    Here is what VICTORY in IRAQ looks like:

    In 2063 there are over 40,000 USMilitary persons
    (with 10,000 Saudi Troops would be nice) still
    stationed in Iraq.

    Anything less and we DO NOT DESERVE to be the
    world's only SUPER POWER.

    BTW, I don't think God tryed to confuse John
    in the Revelation by mixing up New York City
    and Babylon :godisgood: at Geography also.
     
  11. StefanM

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    We can have the best military strategy in the world with the best commanders and the best equipment used by the best soldiers, but we will accomplish nothing if the inept Iraqi government doesn't decide to make some tough political decisions.

    If the government doesn't start to reach real compromise, we could support the surge until 2108, and it wouldn't matter.
     
  12. StefanM

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    If that's victory, I want no part of it.

    Victory to me is a stable Iraqi government that can manage its own affairs, without US troops.
     
  13. KenH

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    It is rather difficult to accomplish that while the Iraqi parliament is on vacation for the next month.
     
  14. StefanM

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    HERE HERE! We need to drag them by force into that parliament.
     
  15. carpro

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    Any?

    That's not what Klein's article said. That's what KenH says.

    "I agree with many, but not all, of the conclusions Ken Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon reach in this NY Times column,..."
     
  16. Bro. Curtis

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    Yup. This stunt pretty much makes them ungrateful, in my eyes, and unworthy of one more of our service people's lives.

    I have no doubt our soldiers & marines could fix that place, but it's not their job. Iraq must step up, not go on vacation.
     
  17. carpro

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    And who is Justin Raimondo and why should we pay any attention to what he says?

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID={1E39E2B4-95CE-40D5-AD56-C50822DE1FBC}

    Justin Raimondo: An American Neo-Fascist
    By Stephen Schwartz

    FrontPageMagazine.com | 3/15/2005

    Dennis “Justin” Raimondo is a minor celebrity in the U.S., thanks to a 10-year career as an amateur demagogue in the libertarian milieu of the San Francisco Bay Area, a political environment where anything goes and nothing matters. He has the familiar personality traits of the type: “sentimental formlessness, absence of disciplined thought, ignorance combined with gaudy erudition.”

    He poses as a conservative but maintains a website at antiwar.com, that features anti-American cranks like Noam Chomsky and is hugely popular with the left – not surprisingly since it views America as an incipient fascist state.


    He doesn't have an agenda, now does he?:rolleyes:
     
  18. KenH

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    And Joe Klein also wrote: "Yes, progress has been made in the fight against the most extreme jihadis (AQI), but that should not be extrapolated into anything resembling optimism".
     
  19. KenH

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    Frontpagemag doesn't have an agenda, now does it? :rolleyes:

    Regardless of the personalities involved you are on the losing side of the argument over whether Iraq can be a united, democratic country. The Sunnis and the Shiites are not going to start holding hands and singing "Kumbaya" in the forseeable future.
     
    #19 KenH, Jul 31, 2007
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2007
  20. carpro

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    That's the "opinion" part of his article.
     

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