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Belmont Club

In Search of Plan C

June 14th, 2014 - 4:58 pm

Andrew McCarthy lays much of the blame for the disaster in Iraq on George Bush, whose greatest mistake he argues was lacking a clear vision of who the enemy was. Bush refused to see the problem was radical Islam. Instead of focusing on destroying it, Bush futilely tried to reform it. Failing that, he put a faction in power hoping it would ‘evolve’ as time passed.  But as McCarthy implies, no evolution was forthcoming and the disaster was compounded by Obama.

In late 2008, several weeks before Obama entered the Oval Office, I wrote here about the status of forces agreement (SOFA) the Bush administration was then entering into with the ingrate Shiite government of Nouri al-Maliki. … far from democratizing the country in any cultural sense, Bush officials fortified these tendencies by encouraging Iraq’s adoption of a constitution that enshrined Islam as the state religion and sharia as a primary source of law. …

the Bush doctrine morphed from a crackdown on the jihad into a reimagining of the Middle East. When democracy predictably didn’t take, the dreamers decided to define democracy down rather than admit failure. “Democracy” somehow became fully compatible with repressive sharia, and we fantasized that anti-Western Islamic supremacists were democratic allies and that Iran would play a constructive regional role.

Has President Obama been a disaster in Iraq — as in every other place? Sure he has. … Let’s not pretend, though, that America’s Middle East mess is strictly an Obama production. Today … it happens after more than 20 years of willful blindness to the ideology of our enemies, and more than 20 years without a strategic vision of the global jihadist challenge.

Obama took the alternative strategic route of denying that Islam was a problem in need of reform; rather it was our inability to understand and deal with its nuances that lay at the root of security problems. Rejecting the Bush approach of overawing the locals followed by a semi-colonial nation building strategy, Obama substituted engagement, pay-offs and flattery, epitomized by assigning NASA to boost the ego of the Muslim world. The result, as McCarthy notes, bordered on madness:

Today, a Sunni jihadist in Iraq might be killed by an American drone in support, incredibly, of the Iranian military intervention to prop up Iraq’s Shiite government. But if that same Sunni jihadist instead crosses the border into Syria, he will be given American-supplied weapons to fight against the Iranian military intervention that props up Syria’s Shiite government.

As recent events in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Iraq show, the problem with Obama’s conception is it doesn’t work.  It is so bad that it makes GWB look good by comparison.  The world didn’t jump from the frying pan into the bright clear uplands. It jumped into the fire. The threats as it turns out, emerge whether America invades anything or not. For starters, countries in the region were constantly invading each other without any prompting. Iraq invaded Iran in the Saddam years; gassed Kurds and massacred the Shi’ites.  All by his lonesome.

Syria, which was never invaded, unraveled just fine. So too did Libya, overrun by jihadis supported by a president whose name I need not mention, under the Doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect.  And then there’s Egypt, once our ally, now arguably a foe.  Of course September 11  happened before GWB invaded Iraq, as the did the attack on the USS Cole, Khobar Towers, the African embassies, the first WTC attack, etc. though no one can remember that now, except maybe the man who prosecuted the Blind Sheik.

Obama pulled out the Middle East only to prove Trotsky’s dictum “you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” America may not believe in invading Syria from Iraq, but Iraq may be invaded from Syria all the same. And it is combat of a most peculiar sort. In contrast to the GWB method of war by nation building and the Barack Obama method of war by surrender and bribery, there is a third model of conflict, exemplified by the way Islam wars on itself.

The tribes of the region, drawing from centuries of experience fighting one another, do so without quarter. It is characterized but not limited to treachery, forced conversion, the carrying away women and children, unlimited cruelty upon the vanquished and ethnic cleansing.  Anything goes, and usually does. Its goal is frank extermination.

While the humanitarian West rends its garments at the sight of Americans handling Korans without gloves, in pointed contrast half a million Iranians and half a million Iraqis died in their short war against each other.  They sent groups of children over minefields to clear them. About 160,000 Syrians have died so far in the civil war, from barrel-bomb, nerve gas, land mines, rocket, gun and dull knife. The roads to Baghdad are reportedly lined with the decapitated bodies of thousands of vanquished men. That’s the Islamic way of war.

One is almost tempted to say McCarthy is right. Maybe radical Islam is the problem.  No take that back: the technology of the West plus radical Islam is the problem. For as academic departments will soon point out, the White Man started it all. Before he supercharged the region with petrodollars, ruined the pastoral paradise, before the West created the air routes, sea routes and highway building technology to enable the locals to import AK-47s, nerve gas, uranium enrichment centrifuges and missiles, they were limited to pounding each other’s skulls with rocks. By destabilizing paradise with modern weapons the White Man has unleashed yet another disaster upon the world.

Yet think for a moment what it might mean if McCarthy is right and Radical Islam is the enemy?

The horrifying implications of treating Islam as an enemy akin to Nazism were explored in 2003 in my essay The Three Conjectures. It argued that the nature of warfare in the region would eventually compel the West to adopt Islamic rules of fighting, for Muslims would resist destruction to the full extent of human ingenuity which centuries of their tragic history had taught them.  The West would be forced to fight like them, since they could fight no other way, which eventually would result in the literal extermination of the Islamic world — or near enough.

This outcome was so horrifying that trying everything else first was the only chance of saving our souls.  This is what GWB failed to achieve; or maybe he only publicly claimed it as a goal, to make it sound good. Yet it seems indisputable that he failed, even though we are perhaps the better for having tried it, even if we failed.  Future historians (if there are any) may draw a parallel between events in 2008 and those of 1953.

One of the key moments of the Cold War came when Dwight Eisenhower continued the containment policy of Harry Truman.  It did not look like a winner then. Harry Truman at that point in history was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. He had “lost Eastern Europe”.  He had “lost China”.  He had committed the unmentionable crime (to the Left) of dropping not just one but two atomic bombs on civilian targets. And he had just been fought to a draw in Korea by the Chinese, at the loss of 33,386 American combat deaths.

Eisenhower could have rejected Truman’s policy as a ‘failed Democratic policy’. He could have demonized HST and embarked upon a ‘fundamentally new foreign policy’. But Eisenhower continued containment and the rest is history.

Although President Dwight Eisenhower (1953–61) toyed with the rival doctrine of rollback, he refused to intervene in the Hungarian Uprising of 1956. President Lyndon Johnson (1963–69) cited containment as a justification for his policies in Vietnam. President Richard Nixon (1969–74), working with advisor Henry Kissinger, followed a policy called détente, or relaxation of tensions. This involved expanded trade and cultural contacts, as well as the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.

Containment in 1953 was not the obvious winner. But as Reagan showed in 1989 it was the right choice and Eisenhower had the courage to take it. Whether someone other than Obama might have fixed the Bush-legacy problems and gone on to spreading Democracy in the Islamic world will forever be a what-might-have been.  But the fact is that Obama didn’t and it is now the road not taken.

The track we find ourselves on is unfamiliar territory. We only know is not the fine broad highway that Barack Obama promised to lead us on when he waxed lyrical about himself. Every turnoff leads deeper into the forest and there’s not even room enough to turn around.  If anything, Obama took America from the rutted, but graveled road of the Bush era into an axle-breaking trail to nowhere.

The danger is that events will lead the West by the hand.  Committed to Obama’s forest road, Western security chiefs are already warning a new generation of al-Qaeda, more powerful than the last, has been forged in the furnaces of Syria, Libya, Iraq, Africa and Afghanistan ready to attack.  We already know, if we haven’t guessed already, that Obama’s is not going to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, which in any event, Pakistan already has.

It’s more than likely the West will face attacks in the near future that will make 9/11 look like a Sunday School picnic by comparison. It is more than likely that the Islamic world will continue to unravel and that the inhabitants thereof will not stop until they buy nuclear rocks to pound each other on the head with. Yet if Obama declared Bush’s Plan A to be a mistake and events have shown Obama’s Plan B to be an even greater mistake, it leaves us, as Andrew McCarthy implies, in search of a Plan C.

What is our Plan C?

Are we, as I feared, on the way to the terrible trajectory of the Three Conjectures or is there an escape we haven’t found yet?  One thing seems likely. We can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing and expect things to get better.

I believe there is an exit, though I do not know what it is. But the key to finding it lies in facing the facts, even so unpalatable a set of facts as McCarthy proposes, full in the face.

For perspective, let us go back to the widespread pessimism for the future of mankind at the dawn of the nuclear age.  The smartest men of that era looked at the situation and concluded humanity was going to perish. Albert Einstein, shortly before his death, signed a declaration together with Bertrand Russell arguing that mankind was on a pathway of doom. “The prospect for the human race is somber beyond all precedent. Mankind are faced with a clear-cut alternative: either we shall all perish, or we shall have to acquire some slight degree of common sense. A great deal of new political thinking will be necessary if utter disaster is to be averted.”

The gist of the Einstein-Russell manifesto was simple. Better Red than Dead. “The abolition of war will demand distasteful limitations of national sovereignty. … Shall we, instead, choose death, because we cannot forget our quarrels? We appeal, as human beings, to human beings: Remember your humanity, and forget the rest.”

It seems shocking to read now. But if Einstein, Russell, Max Born, Linus Pauling and others could come to that conclusion, you can be sure that the alternatives were not self evident. Do not imagine that the lesser intellects of the Obama administration will not come to a derivative conclusion similar to the old one: better a world under Islam than a world under war, though I should hasten to add the former is much like the latter.

Yet even as Einstein and Russell were despairing, a breed of younger intellectuals were “thinking the unthinkable”. Men like Thomas Schelling (under whom I had the great good fortune to study) looked the Gorgon in the face and with others and created a doctrine for using the nuclear weapons Einstein and Russell lacked. Their great achievement was to quantify the use of nukes as signalling devices.  Deterrence was what made containment work. Deterrence was what gave the militaries something besides fighting to do.

Until this intellectual revolution atomic weapons had been regarded just like big World War 2 iron bombs.  Before the theory of deterrence America literally had no idea about how to use nuclear weapons. The only thing people were agreed upon was they were terrible. Had this mental fog remained in place the worst fears of Einstein and Russell might well have been realized. It was only by “thinking about the unthinkable” that Schelling and his contemporaries found an exit from the nuclear trap that even the geniuses declared was inescapable.

The question of what the War on Terror is — and who the enemy is — will sooner or later shoulder its way to the fore. The unthinkable will force its way past political correctness; push aside the diplomatic evasions, unmask the arrangements of convenience and force us at last to look upon it.

And then we will too hestitate to glance upon it, not only for the sake of “our humanity”, but out of frank fear. And yet if we are to find an escape from the current dilemma this is exactly what we must do. Today’s intellectuals will have to do 13 years after 9/11 what an earlier generation of thinkers did nearly 15 years after Hiroshima: think the unthinkable, say the unsayable — in order to find a way out. If we are to have a war of civilizations, then how do we win it without becoming criminals?

We will have turned the corner, I think, when it becomes intellectually acceptable to discuss fighting radical Islam without being shut down by the PC crowd. Only then may thoughts turn to ways of waging that struggle without predominantly resorting to force. Perhaps beggaring the enemy through the development of cheap nuclear energy gives us a chance. If the White Man’s oil wells created this monster, than the White Man’s new-tech nukes can undo the original sin.

But it will not do to remain in denial, to value talking points over all else. In that way the danger can only grow. The Einstein-Russell exhortation: “remember your humanity, and forget the rest,” is self-evidently wrong. Einstein forgot to remind us — well he was dying — not to forget our brains as well.

Recent items of interest by Belmont readers based on Amazon click-throughs.

Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway
Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You
The Decline and Fall of IBM: End of an American Icon?
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Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.

The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
Rebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you free
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Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get small
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.
Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific
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Top Rated Comments   
Cfbleachers is right.

I have complete faith in my country to be able to "see off" any number of moslem nutters -- IF.

IF we can defeat the Leftwing Enemy Within. That, friends, is our biggest problem. They turn our victories to ashes; they vilify us around the world; they infest the halls of power and turn them against our own people; they arm and aid and abet our enemies abroad, at every single turn.

So, what do we do about the Leftists?

I suggest ripping the lid off them. Goebbels said that the Truth is the enemy of the power of the state. Well, let's get Truth out there by any means necessary.

As far as the moslem nutters are concerned: (a) take their religious fanaticism seriously (this, the Leftists are seriously idiotic about, not being "religious" themselves except for their leftwing politics). (b) Kick them where it hurts, hard and fast, and keep kicking them until they cave. (c) Pen them in their own countries, and take a leaf from Japan's book: don't let them immigrate, don't let them buy property, don't let them overstay their visas (yes, that's what the Nipponese are doing, because they see the moslems as a sort of human Y. pestis, and rightly so).

For the good moslems (read: those who are lax about their religion), so sorry, old thing, but we have our civilization and Christendom to defend, so you'd best beetle back to the Levant and sort your OWN people out.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think the key is to chop up the problem. A war of civilization with Islam is likely zero sum. But if you decompose the its constituents into two parts: energy and cultural conflict, each by themselves is not existential in nature.

The West can completely win a war of energy sources by creating cheap and sustainable alternatives without having to harm a single human being. By the same token, if Hollywood spent as much time reviling radical Islam as it did making fun of Christianity we'd already be leading a victory parade down Broadway.

Neither is likely to generate a desperate response. If you can win the energy and culture parts separately, the sting of the overall conflict between Islam will tend to a small value.

It's straightforward. The problem is to make a start. Right now we are hedged about by taboos which make everything impossible. No Nukes. No Oil. No Global Warming. No criticizing Cultures, except Western culture. No making fun of religions except Christianity and Judaism.

In other words you can order any omelet you like as long as it doesn't use eggs. You will know we have won when there is an institute for the defeat of radical Islam in the major universities. I wouldn't be surprised if we receive a surrender offer from Saudi Arabia on the actual day.

Once you can think the idea, you can do it. But we can't think it. In that case we are condemned to writhe in the confines of the taboos until we strike out in despair and commit a terrible crime against humanity in a fit of denial. That's crazy when we can win by doing no more than exercising engineering and persuasion.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Where do we go from here, depends entirely on where "here" is.

I don't blame Bush for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, that attack on 9/11 changed the game. Sorry to all others who suggest that it did not. I simply won't be moved from this position.

The jihad came ashore. What would Obama/Kerry/Hagel have done? Gore? Either Clinton? Lob a few missiles into the wind and sands of the desert and call it a day?

Talk and talk and talk? Try to find "root causes" and blame the US and Israel ala Jeremiah Wright?

Bush took the battle off the shores. He found "nation state enablers and advancers" and made them a target.

It was NOT Bush who made the US doctrine of slapping down an enemy, then extending a hand to pick them off the ground, buy them a drink and shake hands. That predated Bush.

Calling it "nation building" in Japan or Germany looked and felt like an act of a gracious gladiator.

The slander that Bush and Cheney were trading "blood for oil" is no better a slander today, having been disproved completely.

The suggestion that the war was not prosecuted properly because we "should have gotten out", "should have finished the job", "should have done something in hindsight, but wait until next year for me to tell you what that something better hindsight".

Because the left lied about ALL of it, I resist piling on. It is unseemly and only gives them more fodder for their seditiouss instincts.

Obama deep bowed, groveled and apologized a path to weakness. That weakness gives of a smell of fear to feral beasts who get "triggered" by it. It snaps them into a "prey drive".

Obama is bathed in sedition. He was not raised on the mainland and was not brought up to respect, admire or defend America. Quite the contrary. The whole of his life was spent in adamant rejection of America and antipathy toward "colonialism", "the typical white man" and Judeo-Christian religious beliefs and tenets.

These are Woodstock traits. They believe in One World Governance and mean to get there by totalitarian iron fist tactics.

The oddity of their bedfellowing with radical to give homage to the "radical" part while ignoring the Islam part. Obama studied the Koran in Jakarta. He has a kismet with Rashid Khalidi/Edward Said that the LA Times seized hold of and is keeping hostage, so that it will not destroy Jewish support for Woodstock politics.

Woodstock Jihad is the new approach to "fighting for the cause". By any means necessary.

America and Israel cannot win a global war against them because their greatest enemy is hiding as "liberalism" which both countries have cleaved to their breasts as their idealized self-identification.

(As has Western Europe). It is under this camouflage that Woodstock Jihad does all of its damage.

It gives radical Islam daylight to break into the safety and security of all of the "enemy" world. The enemy of Woodstock Jihad happens to be the enemy of Islamic Jihad.

And BOTH are inside the gates and tearing apart their targets from the inside.

There is no Plan C. Because we waste so much time trying to find a way to look "reasonable" by blaming "our side" and Bush. Bush isn't the problem, he isn't close to being the problem.

The problem is our myopia. And refusal to understand and admit that we are in the middle of a seditious overthrow.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (139)
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Having just read The Three Conjectures I conclude the author is deluded. He says radical Islam can survive as long as it restrains itself to killing us just a little bit at a time. That's not his delusion. His delusion is that our responses to that kind of warfare would/should be measured. Well, he didn't say it but if he had said a "full" measure then I could retract. Islam must either be eradicated or eradicated. Pick one.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
One of the problems GWB had was that he had a fifth column rather than a fourth estate. Worse, the press were, and are, just not that bright. Their ideological blinders have made them too stupid to think, yes. The War on Noticing Reality has led to mental brain damage. But they are also, not that bright.

Between 2001-2003, Rumsfeld was speaking daily, in detail and with enormous depth, to a press to dumb to understand "unknown unknowns". 30 page interviews on Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rummy, Feith, and the rest were avenues for deep explanations of the policies and strategies being discussed and considered; the media took nothing from those conversations.

I remember being *dumbstruck* at one of the last lines of Woodward's Bush at War. Woodward is talking with GWB in August 2002. He has chronicled the terror and the year after Sept. 11 already. The questions about what to do beyond Afghanistan are on the table; the Sept. 2002 UN speech is coming. GWB brings up Iraq. From Woodward himself, p. 343:

"His blueprint or model for decision making in any war against Iraq, he told me, could be found in the story I was attempting to tell--the first months of the war in Afghanistan and the largely invisible CIA covert war against terrorism world wide. "You have the story," he said. Look hard at what you've got, he seemed to be saying. It was all there if it was pieced together---what he had learned, how he had settled into the presidency, his focus on large goals, how he made decisions, why he provoked his war cabinet and pressured people for action. I was straining to understand the meaning of this."

It is difficult to discuss the implications of the Three Conjectures with a press that is so stupid.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
The thing is with the prog-press-ives, and the smarty folks who believe they represent the balanced view, is that if the entirety of a thing can't be neatly encapsulated in a headline and lede, or fit on a bumper sticker in such a way as it can be read by other motorists, then it need not be considered.

My family used to sit together to share and enjoy Rumsfeld's detailed eviscerations of the presstitutes.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
As a famous general once said..." War is Hell!"

Let us stop pussyfooting around on the subject. The purpose of war, if you are going to fight one, is to win. Completely subjugate the enemy ala Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

Then tell them...Don't make us come back, if you get my gist.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hope cfbleacher's term "Woodstock Jihad" makes it into the mainstream. It is a perfect putdown in 2 words. Old white baby-boomers are still stickin to the man without figuring out that THEY are The Man now. But, like the man said, you can't fix stupid.

My comment on Mr. Fernadez' article:
Most people on earth forget that God owns The Game of Life--all of it--every breath, every heartbeat, every blink of every eye. Maybe the peoples' forgetfulness these days is caused most by the grotesque ritual of man-made religion. The Old Testament world was filled with religious ritual. The New Testament world is ruled by one and only one religious fact: the Spirit of God a.k.a. God Himself taking up His abode in the very lives of His people--one person at a time. Biblical-levels of wickedness such as we are now beginning to see always get a Biblical remedy. Every. Single. Time. It's the long lapse of t-i-m-e between those dramatic Biblical events that lulls many into believing, "Oh pooh! It's all a big myth. Nothing like THAT can ever happen." Matthew chapter 24 says different and it's all coming true.

If you have the eyes and ears for it here is a document that might clarify a few things: Good luck!
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Islamic rules of fighting, for Muslims”

Pity we can’t get some non-Western people like the Nazis or Communists (USSR or PRC) to solve Islam for us. Nazis and Communists (well, Socialists of all stripes) care not for humanity or law, and freely indulge in mass murder.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
“Rethuglicans” like Geo. Bush are responsible for all ills, Andrew McCarthy agrees.

What the United States government needs is an opposition party.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
The next 9/11 will bring an America united in surrender.
Whether we want to surrender or not our fearless leaders will wish to surrender, then we become Mexican, Islamic and enslaved.
Most American's won't give a damn either way as long as the T. V. stays on and the phones keep working "Oh Look Kim Kardashian's looks so sexy in her Burkha!"
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Pretty much how Castro has stayed in power: marijuana and television.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Did anyone predict 9-11? No. So how can anyone predict American will surrender? Always in motion, the future, said Yoda Tzu.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I had an illuminating conversation with an Obama loving Dr. of Psychology who said what we as American's needed to do was get the Islamist to fight for us against our enemies.
I do not know if he meant Islam as the enemy but I can say he voted Obama and low and behold the Islamist are fighting for us against themselves, in Afghanistan, Iraq, libiya and Syria.
POTUS Obama and his supporters have gotten Islam to fight for us against themselves while we send no troops or treasure to fight them ourselves.
Whether getting Iran to help kill Iraqi's and Syrian's to kill Iranians is moot, they are killing each other with the glee that only an Islamist can feel, holding the dead rotting head of their enemies while snackbar's and laughter ring out.
Is this a bad thing?
We stay out of it, let them cut each other to pieces and when it's over we deal with the victors, any way they wish us to deal with them.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Quick thought, inspired the comments.

One big honking reason why we're losing is because we accept failure so wonderfully well.

Bush tried. He almost. The left lied about him, so it wasn't his fault. Etc.

Stop. The British famously shot Admiral Byng for his failure, and they later won that war.

We should profit from their example.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Interesting thought exercise.

Had Lincoln been replaced by Andrew Johnson earlier, and stopped the prosecution of the Civil War, the history books should side with McClellan.

It should be written then that Lincoln failed. He tried, but McClellan thought it foolhardy to continue the "surge". And all those body bags!

It was Lincoln's "fault". He never should have engaged. Rather, it was better and more noble and wise to let Jeff Davis rule the South. The "cause" was not worth the price...obviously...and Johnson's cessation of the prosecution "proved" the point.

Lincoln was 90% to "blame", because where did all those deaths get us, after all? Back to the same place. Andrew Johnson "proved" that with his wisdom of apologizing to Jeff Davis and simply letting things go on as before.

There are some who believe this. That the "noble cause" was ill conceived and the price paid far too costly.

Maybe they are right. There is no cause so noble that it is worth the sacrifice.

Fighting communism for all those years, where has it gotten us?

Maybe we should not have gotten involved at all with Hitler. Terribly costly. Because, if we stop prosecuting and will always prove that particular point.

When you fail to win a is ALWAYS wrong to have engaged in it.

Or is it?

The left says it is...except when the enemy attacks us. THEY have the "noble cause" that we never do with the seditionists.

The Islamists picked a fight with us that Bush took to their soil to fight. The surge was his intent to adjust, adapt and prosecute that fight. Obama pulled the plug on all of it...and Bush is to blame.

Because, after all...Lincoln just barely squeaked by the history books and there will be no statues erected for Bush sitting in DC. Saving people from being subjected to totalitarianism is not a noble cause in and of itself worthy of the sacrifice of 4000 brave men. Nothing is.

If we pick our starting point at a time most convenient for the history books.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
No offense but your comment is an excellent example of what I was writing about.

The key point is that in the real world Lincoln was not in fact replaced by McClellan or Johnson, before the was was won, and he succeeded. The Union was preserved, the Slavocracy was defeated, and the stage was set for the upcoming American Century.

Again, Lincoln succeeded, which mattered greatly for everyone involved.

Bush, on the other hand, did not. He did not in fact save anyone from totalitarianism, he enshrined it into the constitutions of Iraq and Afghanistan. He left any potential non-fundamentalist muslims, potential supporters of modernity, twisting in the wind, at the mercy of islamist killers.

As an added bonus, he also allowed Christians to be ethnically cleansed from large parts of Iraq, under the noses of the US army. I was told about this personally by an American with Christian relatives in Iraq, while the US was actively engaged in combat and fully in charge of ruling the country.

I'll admit he took the fight to them. But he did it in such a way that their will to fight was left completely intact, domestic support for the war evaporated, and then the US government came under the control of a fool or traitor who threw away anything Bush may have gained.

In my opinion, alas, we have accomplished essentially nothing since 9/11 despite trillions spent and thousands dead.

Yeah, I blame Bush.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
CFB is talking about the election of 1864. Lee and Grant were locked in what appeared to be a perpetual meat grinder, and Lincoln's oppo in the Dem party was the general he'd sacked, McClelland, running a peace campaign --calling for a negotiated end to the war, a two-state solution. Lincoln was losing the presidency to this idea, due to the casualties (finally, 2% of the entire population, north and south, equivalent to about 7 million in today's ten-times-larger population --7 million, today's population of Massachusetts, or Virginia --the whole population of either).

What saved Lincoln was Sherman's March to the Sea. The burning of Atlanta, far behind the front lines (Lee & Grant) was the equivalent to what we call these days an ''October Surprise'' --which delivered the election to Lincoln.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
We love you Buddy but you've posted more than four times! (Just kidding...DQ)
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who Dares, Wins.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cfbleachers is right.

I have complete faith in my country to be able to "see off" any number of moslem nutters -- IF.

IF we can defeat the Leftwing Enemy Within. That, friends, is our biggest problem. They turn our victories to ashes; they vilify us around the world; they infest the halls of power and turn them against our own people; they arm and aid and abet our enemies abroad, at every single turn.

So, what do we do about the Leftists?

I suggest ripping the lid off them. Goebbels said that the Truth is the enemy of the power of the state. Well, let's get Truth out there by any means necessary.

As far as the moslem nutters are concerned: (a) take their religious fanaticism seriously (this, the Leftists are seriously idiotic about, not being "religious" themselves except for their leftwing politics). (b) Kick them where it hurts, hard and fast, and keep kicking them until they cave. (c) Pen them in their own countries, and take a leaf from Japan's book: don't let them immigrate, don't let them buy property, don't let them overstay their visas (yes, that's what the Nipponese are doing, because they see the moslems as a sort of human Y. pestis, and rightly so).

For the good moslems (read: those who are lax about their religion), so sorry, old thing, but we have our civilization and Christendom to defend, so you'd best beetle back to the Levant and sort your OWN people out.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Agreed with CFbleachers, as well. Before a President can effectively defend America, he must "believe" in America, i.e. the historic America (not some Marxist Socialist construct of a country that has never been).

Obama does not believe in this America, which is why he gets nearly every policy decision "wrong". I define "wrong" in terms of "hurts America, Americans, and American interests, and rewards America's enemies, sloth, and anti-capitalists". He cannot conceptualize the negative impact that illegal immigration can have on the USA, for example, because he believes a priori that everything America has was somehow derived from evil men and evil deeds. These illegal migrants were "injured" by "imperial America". They deserve to inherit America's rights, privileges, and wealth at the expense of undeserving "white" Americans. A minimal amount of research will prove this assertion true, not only about Obama himself, but Holder, Jarratt, Hillary C., and everyone else of any note in this corrupt Administration.

Until Obama, and more significantly, the "progressive" (a.k.a. Marxist-Socialist) Democrats are thoroughly vanquished, America is lost. By vanquished, I mean so thoroughly discredited that no sane American would vote for them, listen to them, or tolerate their very presence in civilized society.

As to the Moslems, all they really need to do is make a sufficient "score", to execute their dream attack that kills 10,000, 100,000, or even a million Americans, and America will fulfill Richard's worst fears from his 2003 post. Americans will wage unrestricted warfare against Muslims, and openly discriminate against Islam as a religion merely to survive.

America is a large country and rich country. The few thousand deaths and less than 100,000 casualties didn't really bother most Americans, who neither contributed to the actual war with skin in the game, nor knew anyone personally who actually fought or suffered from the war. It was merely an expensive video game, for most. When the Muslims finally kill enough American's, they will realize that the wrath of Allah comes from above in the form of an angry American eagle. 15 months and then 15 years after that American strike, the target will still be devastated - there will be no rebuilding or "hearts and minds" bullsh**t; just "death" and then "good bye".
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Many of the regions and areas depopulated by the religious war to end religious wars --the Thirty Years War (ended by the Treaty of Westphalia and the birth of the modern nation-state) --remained depopulated a century later, so horrific had been the bloodlust and carnage of the fight.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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