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Thursday, October 06, 2005
Meanwhile, back in the real world…

The actual President gave a stunning speech today focusing on the War on Terror. This speech, much like the Inaugural address earlier this year, is exemplary in its clarity of purpose and vision. This President Bush certainly does have “the vision thing,” and perhaps that is one of the reasons that conservatives sometimes express disappointment over those to whom the execution of those visions are entrusted. The full text of the speech can be found here. Here is one excerpt that I believe is compelling:

Some have also argued that extremism has been strengthened by the actions of our coalition in Iraq, claiming that our presence in that country has somehow caused or triggered the rage of radicals. I would remind them that we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001

-- and al Qaeda attacked us anyway. The hatred of the radicals existed before Iraq was an issue, and it will exist after Iraq is no longer an excuse. The government of Russia did not support Operation Iraqi Freedom, and yet the militants killed more than 180 Russian schoolchildren in Beslan.

Over the years these extremists have used a litany of excuses for violence -- the Israeli presence on the West Bank, or the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia, or the defeat of the Taliban, or the Crusades of a thousand years ago. In fact, we're not facing a set of grievances that can be soothed and addressed. We're facing a radical ideology with inalterable objectives: to enslave whole nations and intimidate the world. No act of ours invited the rage of the killers -- and no concession, bribe, or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans for murder.

On the contrary: They target nations whose behavior they believe they can change through violence. Against such an enemy, there is only one effective response: We will never back down, never give in, and never accept anything less than complete victory.

Say it over and over and over again.

And if you don't agree with me, here's a subway threat to convince you.

Are you really saying that you and Bush agree that invading Iraq *could not* make people more angry at the United States("...extremism has been strengthened...")? That the friends or relatives of those who were killed in the US invasion and subsequent chaos didn't care? That no one was, you know, upset by the invasion and the thousands of innocent people who died, despite the inability to find any basis for an invasion?

(Oh, right... I'm sorry. I forgot. Conquest and control in the name of liberation. It's okay to bomb the hell out of a country, and kill thousands of innocent people if *you* think it's for their own good. Me, I figured freedom was something each person seized internally, not something that kindly conquerers delivered.)

On top of that, you said you were working in the real world?

Well, I'll stick to my view of the real world: invading a country can piss people off. I know that hearing bombs drop around me can ruin *my* day.
Have to agree with md, plus he's got a ph.d, so that makes him right.
There really was a comment from md here...I swear, oh, and he called my original comment brilliant, which makes me agree with him, even though its not here anymore, but it was, I swear.
I think it is an open question whether more people are upset at the United States. ]

On the one hand, if you had polled Iraqi and Afghan opinion on the United States before the war, I think we would have received very low approval ratings -- like, say, 100% say "Great Satan." Today, our ratings in Iraq and Afghanistan are certainly better than that.

On the other hand, bombing people does make them unhappy. But, by that same logic, the terrorists will pay a price since they are the ones targeting so many civilians for death and destruction. I may have some sympathies for the pro-life movement, for instance, but if they started bombing malls around our area to make their point, I might find myself less supportive of their movement -- and that's true even if I continue to distrust and dislike the prochoicers.

Regardless, I think you are missing the point, which is that what we do doesn't matter. That's why worrying about opinion polls in the middle east, or Europe, or among Muslims, is irrelevant. We could get 100% disapproval ratings from the arabs and it wouldn't matter one bit.

Why doesn't it matter? Because the people we are fighting are homicidal maniacs. We cannot negotiate with them, we cannot appease them. We can only kill them. After 9/11, standing around doing nothing while islamic radicals continued to build their organization and their support across the region was no longer an option (and it shouldn't have been one to begin with). Thus, we have to take the fight to them. Some people don't like that. They, like long hair hippie dude, believe we would be better off pulling out of Iraq entirely and, essentially, abandoning the Global aspect of the war on terror.

I disagree with the "Arthur and the killer rabbit" approach ("Run Away! Run Away!"). First, there is every indication that seeing through the mission will win us support, rather than lose us support. As bin Laden said, when his people see a strong horse and a a weak horse, they like the strong horse. The Democracy movement in Lebanon wasn't holding up signs asking for the UN to come in... or holding UN flags. That didn't happen because we supported the "road map" for Palestine. That happened because we deposed Saadam and the Taliban. Personally, the opinions of the pro-democracy forces in the middle east are more important than the opinions of homicidal lunatics who hate America and the jews. But that's just me.

Does that mean Arabs or Iraqis will all love us? Nope. But they will love us a whole lot less if we break our promise and leave them to the terrorists. We have to accept the fact that terrorists want to kill us. They may stop for a while, while they plan, plot, train and gain intelilgence. But they aren't going away.

I agree that there risk when you engage the enemy. Yep. But the choice isn't between peace and war. The choice is between waiting supinely for the next attack... or taking the fight to the heart of the enemy in the middle east. Do you really believe that the creation of two democracies in the middle east, which are allied with the United States, and provide us with a base of operations for our military forces that is in easy striking distance of Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Lebanon, and Jordan, is a victory for our enemies? I don't.

Is the insurgency strong? I'm not sure. Stories about people being drugged and chained to their car bombs doesn't seem to support your notion that American actions are leading to huge manpower rewards for the insurgency.

Iraqis know what kind of society waits for them on the other side of an American defeat. They lived with the rape rooms, the child prisons, the knocks on the door in the middle of the night. They have already seen that. You may think that is the kind of government that Iraqis want/deserve. I don't. Why? Because they are human beings. Helping them build for themselves a decent government that (a) doesn't oppress them and (b) is working for us rather than against us, is a win for us, not a loss.

I'm glad the President finally stated this the way it should be stated. I still oppose Meiers. But I support the war on terror.
So you liked that speech eh Jason? Isn't it the same broken record speech he's been repeating for years? Except - after all those high sounding ideals - the actual real world results always seem to be some kind of sordid disaster.

Oh he's all for freedom and liberty - except that in order to get there it turns out we will need torture chambers and carpet bombing. He will protect us from "the terrorists" - but he can't seem to catch Bin Laden, or stop the bombings. Iraq, London, Bali, shutdown the NYC subway just this morning. Its like Bin Laden's tour is bigger than the 'Stones. But at least Chimpy caught Al-Qaeda's #2 guy. Again. Does that mean that same guy keeps getting away over and over? or does Al-Qaeda make all their operatives #2? And why was the bounty on #2 only $50k? When the bounty on dozens of other Al-Qaeda terrorists is way higher?

And oops sorry about screwing up hurricane relief. I guess he shouldn't have put the race horse lobbyist in charge of that post. I guess thats just hindsight 20/20. Who knew hurricane relief was an important issue? Only scientists, and after all what do they know? They just look at evidence. They don't talk directly to god, like Dobson and Robertson.

He seems to be all in favor of cutting government spending - and I'm sure hes really sorry about blowing the budget - again. Didn't he just ask for another $50 billion? I thought a few months ago they told congress that with all that money they had trained 3 functional Iraqi battalions. But in the latest congressional testimony our generals said that we now only have 1. What happned there? Oh and that cakewalk Rummy promised us? Well, it turns out insurgency fights average about 9 years. I guess they should have looked that up in the encyclopedia *before* they started this war. And is that 9 years and we win? or 9 long expensive years of tragedy and war and then the insurgents win? Rummy didn't make that clear.

Of course Jason, you drink so much KoolAid that I bet you don't piss yellow any more.
So I can't be surprised you liked the speech. Given the results so far, you require more and more KoolAid every day. You must be surprised that Bush's poll numbers have continued to plummet even after his speech. What was the latest CBS poll? Overall approval has dropped to like 37%? More than 3/4 Americans now believe the Iraq war was a mistake, and 2 of 3 support an immediate withdrawl.

And now all those indictments coming down. America will be out of the hands of incompetent radicals like you very soon, and for a very long time. We'll need it - it will take a long time to shovel out the barn.
TJ: Stories about people being drugged and chained to their car bombs doesn't seem to support your notion that American actions are leading to huge manpower rewards for the insurgency.

What kind of right wing fantasy web site did you read that out of? That makes no sense. The point of a car bomber is that he needs to drive the car and detonate it at a good place and time. The driver is used as a substitute for a mechanical control system. He needs to be highly motivated. He needs probably to get past checkpoints. A guy who is an unwilling driver, drugged and chained to a car, would not be willing or able to carry out a car bombing.

You have to ask yourself, we would you believe such a story?
I'm sorry- but the administration's trust me stance is too thin to believe or act on. Yes people have hated us before, but that doesn't justify this war that was presented as a defensive action to protect against Bin Laden links (he still exists- the links never did), WMDs, Yellowcake, etc.
I am all for killing terrorists- but I think that most smart people would insist that any operation be done effectivly and efficiently. These guys have mismanaged everything they have touched thus far- I'm not trusting them anymore to manage the country any more than I would trust Bill Clinton to date my daughter.
Now as you all know by now, I am not a person who thinks that everyone deserves constitutional rights, but I am just curious why it is that you have twice now removed md's comments from this blog. I first thought it was in my mind, perhaps some instance of post tramatic stress disorder due to defending what you all profess to believe in, but now that I have seen it twice I believe it is a member of the SCG's who is doing this deleting of comments. Which of course sparks outrage in the mind of this active duty( national guard call 1-800-go-guard) soldier, all be it true he's now just a recruiter, but he still thought this was a right that he had fought for,but I digress.
So back to the unfolding drama. Which SCG might it be. Is it Jason, who hates MD's comments for some personal reason? Is it JPC, whose work in the Capitol has given him way too much unearned power? If it T.J.? No, not T.J., he seems like a moderate, and he is from good blood. Is it SIP? Perhaps SIP? Is it SIP? But that still leaves two, whose names I have forgotten, because they don't post.
Who in this group of SCG's holds the answer to this question. Are you acting out, just trying to fit in to your party of choice?
thanks for watching my back but since my posts are being deleted what's the point. I guess your readership of 8 has now dropped to 7. I'll see you at the impeachment hearings
yours truly,
Long haired freaky boy (and you need not apply), you asked “Are you really saying that you and Bush agree that invading Iraq *could not* make people more angry at the United States ("...extremism has been strengthened...")? That the friends or relatives of those who were killed in the US invasion and subsequent chaos didn't care? That no one was, you know, upset by the invasion and the thousands of innocent people who died, despite the inability to find any basis for an invasion?”

No that's not what I said. It's accurate, and I pretty much do believe that, but it was not the point of my post. Read it again.

By the way, despite all the terrible things you see on TV, the one thing that hasn't changed from the day the statue fell to just last week, is that in poll after poll (conducted mostly by lefty firms like Zogby), despite how tired and weary and yes even angry many Iraqis are over the state of their nation, the majority still say the invasion was worth it, that they're better off now than before it happened, and that they don't want the coalition forces to leave.

Braveheart, you're responses to our posts are so predictable, so contrived - I swear, I think I'm going to start including your “responses” in my original posts. They'd be easy enough to write, and then you could spend more time just stewing in your own chronic disappointment. Consider it a public service.

Adam, how long will it be necessary to debate whether or not the war ever should have been waged in the first place? You will choose to believe what you want regardless of the facts. Sadam's direct and indirect ties to Al Qaeda are now incontrovertible (there's no need for the jury to retire). Pay attention, that's why the shrill coming from the left has changed ever so slightly from “no ties to Al Qaeda,” to “no ties to Bin Laden,” or “no link to 9/11.” And in the end, that doesn't matter either. It was not that alone that led to the war to remove Sadam, nor was it the reasonable belief HELD BY VIRUALLY EVERYONE that he had WMDs and was attempting procure more, nor was it his documented AND PUBLIC material and financial support for terrorists. It was all of these combined that led to the reasonable decision that waiting was no longer an option. To do so, in my opinion would not only have been fool hearty, but irresponsible. Again, how long will it be necessary to debate this? We're there. We'll succeed. Stop your bitchin'.

Mark (and/or “md”), I don't know what was posted and removed. I never saw the posts. I trust whoever removed them had their reasons however. I can think of a number of things I would not allow here. This is our tiny little site - we pay for it. I have no problem with removing inappropriate content. Don't like it? Tough.
The only thing innapropriate about it was that he disagreed with you.
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