Had lunch on Friday with Ashley Kindergan, a young reporter for Colorado Springs’ own Gazette. It’s a pretty damn good paper, with a libertarian-leaning editorial page
Gen. Abizaid says the same.
It’s amazing, isn’t it, that people have such a poor grasp of history that you would have to remind them of this dictum.
War isn’t about bullets. It’s about resolve.
Japan was defeated when the United States made it crystal clear to them the PRICE they would pay to continue … the complete and total destruction of city after city – beginning with Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
These were cities full of civilians; and they were wiped off the map in a few seconds.
Now, we can argue about whether it was moral to do this … but we can also take a lesson from it. The war ended because we demonstrated our resolve to win it; and this directly caused the enemy to lose the stomach for fighting it.
It’s my belief that there is not a price we are willing to make the Islamofascists pay that will be sufficiently high for them to stop fighting.
In fact, we’re fighting two wars: the one in Iraq is different from the one bin Laden is fighting.
What’s going on in Iraq is out and out GREED. The lefty’s had it right. The Iraq war is about oil – not for us, but for the guys we are fighting over there.
Whichever Arabist thug outlasts us in Iraq gets 115 BILLION barrels of oil at $50 a barrel. I’ll do the math for you: that’s $5.7 TRILLION DOLLARS.
Someone will always fight us when that much money is on the line.
I hate to break it to the “exit strategists” but there IS NO EXIT STRATEGY in Iraq – because we’re not ever gonna leave that much money lying around.
Just. Won’t Happen.
The other war, the Bin Laden War, won’t end either – without a Hiroshima type event. The Japanese were very much like the Jihadists of today – convinced God was on their side. Hell, they invented the suicide bomber and in one day sunk the majority of our Pacific Fleet with it.
So, I’m afraid we’re in this for the long haul. Mecca and Medina becoming the new Hiroshima and Nagasaki is probably the only price high enough to end it – and we won’t go that far.
We don’t yet have that resolve to break their will.
Good points, all of them.
I was talking with LOML last night on the phone and I happened to make an off-hand comment about naval ranks. (I was told that there is no “1-star” admiral rank in the peace-time Navy.)
“Well Bush did say the war was over.” she said, I think trying to be ironic.
That led into a bit of a kerfuffle over “major combat operations” and the nature of the war itself. I envision a 100-years kind of war here.
As for how do you take away the will to fight from people who take their orders from their god? In my view you play upon their regions precepts. Send back bodies covered in bacon fat or some such thing. Whatever would ruin their concept of martyrdom: If there is no glorious death in store for them, that would give a religious-minded sort pause, I think.
I’m interested to hear what the reporter’s response was to this answer.
“Retreat, hell no! we’re attacking in another direction.”—O.P. Smith in 1950 when 12,000 Marines were surrounded by 60,000 Chinese troops and the US 8th Army was in full retreat. The American public today could never endure Truman’s war.
All this talk of getting out by such-and-such a date is (1) shortsighted (2) one more feel-good gesture (the other one is whenever Mr. Bush says the war is going well) which has nothing to do with reality.
It’s over when it’s over. This is a real F%^&ing mess but Mr. Bush can’t say that. The sad thing is, I wonder if they are saying it in the White House?
Why an “Exit Date” is a Sham Concept
Watch out for Stephen Green when he’s forced off the sauce: Naturally, Iraq was one of the topics we discussed. Poor thing. She asked one little question
What did you tell her?
We’ve being Viet Nam’d by the press?
Did you mention the Iraqi and Iranian bloggers? where to go for different PsOV?
Did you use this as a teaching moment?????
THis Frontpage article has an interview from a North Vietnames Colonel who explains how the US could have won the Vietnam War.
The Iraqi insurgents know these lessons and they know that when we have Congressman submitting resolutions requiring a withdraw date they are more likely to win.
Anyone still voicing support for a set date to exit Iraq (or any other military operation) is an idiot. While I am not as eloquent as Stephen, here’s my my take on this lunacy:
This Way to the Great Exit Strategy
I mostly agree, but we do have a third option: have an Iraqi army ready, willing and able to keep up the fight. I won’t have a big problem with us leaving the job to them, when the day comes. And once we think we’re close – within months – announcing an exit date will keep the pressure on the Iraqis to be ready.
But we’re not close to that day yet, even as much as the Iraqis have progressed.
Catching my eye: morning A through Z
Here’s what’s caught my eye this morning: CR at Angry Bear has a post about the housing bubble. Many links. How do you fight an incipient class action lawsuit? Don Imus is flogging it daily on his radio and TV…
Now there is an idea.
And, you say this young reporter’s name was Kindergarten?
Take the time necessary to do it well…
…and if it doesn’t need to be done well, does it need to be done at all? I’m a wee bit busy, so in lieu of a long post that I don’t have time to write well, I’ll refer you…
Actually, you’re all making a small, but critical mistake: There’s a big difference between an exit _date_ and an exit _strategy_.
I completely agree that giving a ‘hell-or-high-water’ date the US military is going to pull out of Iraq would be a catastrophe.
But an exit _strategy_ gives us concrete goals to work towards _without_ tying us down to a specific timetable. For example, everyone seems to agree that there needs to be a functioning Iraqi army/police force to provide security before we can leave. Well, that statement may feel all warm’n fuzzy, but it’s suicidally non-specific.
How big do the Iraqi forces need to be to control their own country? Does anyone even have an estimate? A blind guess? To what level do they need to be trained? How is the New Iraq Gov’t going to supply and pay them?
These questions, and a whole lot more, all _must_ be answered before we can even begin cutting our troop levels. _That’s_ what a strategy is supposed to tell us – what goal (specifically, not some PR feel-good horseshit) we should be working towards. And frankly, I haven’t seen that kind of thing offered up by anyone yet.
The hysterical media doesn’t seem able to recognize that the war was won a long time ago. This is mostly an extended mop-up.
Stephen I was talking about this with a mate over pints the other night and I was arguing that Americans and Brits are not being hard assed enough. I reckon it’s going to take many more deaths before the enemy is convinced he is defeated. Millions had to die in the trenches before WW I was ended and how many millions more died in WW II. Germans are pacifists now but how many bombs did the USAAF and Bomber Harris have to drop on them to make them that way. Same with the Japanese. Hundreds of thousands died in Vietnam and the north was not subdued at all. I think this could go on for donkey’s years if they Americans/Brits don’t start killing more terrorists.
We already have an exit strategy.
It’s called victory. Regardless of who finishes the job, us or the Iraqis.
The biggest fight we have on our hands is with the dems(read exterme left, because that’s all that remains)here at home.
If we exit prior to convincing the jihadis to never attack us again, then our leaving will jack up the jihadis’ motivation in the same way that the Iranian revolution and 9/11 did.
We’re in Iraq not only for the duration of the Iraqi issues, but for the duration of the jihadi issues vis-a-vis the United States. That could be a very long time, indeed.
Also, I’d like to hear your thoughts on what changes when the Iranians have a nuclear weapons inventory (which will also jack up jihadi morale)? This now seems likely to happen on Bush’s watch, and will change the political situation in the US, and the military situation in Iraq.
If the jihadis run us out because they are helped by threats from a nuclear-armed Iran, the situation seems quite dire to me.
So, Stephan, when will you be enlisting? Numbers are down, and you guys need every patriot around!
About the same time as you join the human shields to protect Iraqi citizens from the depredatations of their Sunni cohorts.
Legion, that is the dumbest thing I’ve heard all day. It reminds me of the many middle-management goofballs that went thru Six-Sigma, and now espew that the only way to address a problem is to define metrics that have nothing to do with the problem.
Congratulations on getting out Microsoft Project and making a bunch of neblous little boxes with all these fancy lines attached. That still dosen’t mean you have a clue as to what you are talking about.
I just hope our generals listen to thier soldiers better than you listen to your developers.
We are fighting a war with both hands tied behind our back. We are fighting Islamic jihadists everywhere, in Lodi, no less. I agree this war will go on for a long time. But it seems that we could step up the pace by heavy pressure on the instigator of the whole thing, Saudi A., not something being done so far that is apparent to me and maybe you also. I can adjust to a world without their oil. A weapons demo in the desert outside of Riyadh could be instructive. Hey, you can have your rop but leave the rest of us alone, we don’t want it. Thanks.
Speaking of oil, interesting article on Suncor and Canadian sands at Bros. Judd.
I agree, setting an exit date is stupid.
As far as the “exit strategy” a previous commenter mentioned: The only respectable exit strategy of any war is to leave only when it’s clear you’ve won.
Any other standard is just going to be an artificial goalpost which will prolly just get moved later.
It’s be easy to respond to your pointless insults with more of the same, but you’re a symptom of a much larger problem.
I’ve just offered a suggestion on how we can get our troops home from Iraq. Where’s your bright idea? Keep fighting until “victory”? So what’s “victory” mean, smart guy? Tell me when we can get out of that hellhole.
I’ll bet you a donut you’ve never served in the military. It’s real easy to talk tough and offer nothing when it’s not your ass that’s on the line.
I’m currently serving. Does that qualify me to point out that the type of exit strategy you are demanding has already been in open press releases for months now?
Do you know we’ve already drawn down slightly in Iraq? Do you know that each month, more Iraqi security forces complete training and are integrated into experienced Iraqi units? Do you know that each month they take up the reins more and more?
That’s your exit strategy. Want a timeline? Look at Afghanistan and add something like 12 to 18 months.
The simple ‘exit strategy’ is the one the US used at the end of WWII: help those you saved from oppression to stand up on their own two feet until they tell you they don’t need your help any longer.
Worked in Germany, Japan and, later, in South Korea during the hiatus in that conflict. When Germany and South Korea started to have sizeable portions of their populations telling us that our presence was no longer helping things, we revisited having such a large presence in both places. Both countries are experiencing a draw-down of US forces and base reductions/closures.
You help those that need it until the help is counter-productive. You honor your friends, your allies and those you have saved from brutality.
That is the only viable exit strategy, and it works quite well. When the Iraqi people let us know it is time to leave, we will leave.
Anything else is abandoning a friend in need.
I believe the Sunnis, like the Israeli army, don’t stop for human shields anymore. This is war, Lurking Observer, why don’t you go over and have a closer look? Your kids are paying for this adventure, after all.
And in the meantime, we should all support the hell our of our troops
I’m currently serving. Does that qualify me to point out that the type of exit strategy you are demanding has already been in open press releases for months now?
Do you know we’ve already drawn down slightly in Iraq? Do you know that each month, more Iraqi security forces complete training and are integrated into experienced Iraqi units? Do you know that each month they take up the reins more and more?”
I doubt he does, and neither do many of our fellow Americans because our “citizen of the world” press mistakes an international aristocratic elite for said “world”, and thus adopts their worldview, and repeats their shibboleths in lieu of reporting actual news, especially news that might help the U.S. and thus destabilize the status quo that allows this elite to continue exploiting the actual “world”, as they have for millenia.
The situation is not static, but it needs work.
As noted, this is a war of Will. Those trying to break our will include the homicide bombers and the terrorists in Iraq and the left and MSM here. It’s hard to win a war when the enemy’s interests are represented within our own media and our own Congress, e.g. Durbin.
You’ll note that the Marine in the story is based at MCAS Yuma. The following is a link to their tenant commands.
Tell me, do you see any ground combat units stationed there? (I’m making the very generous assumption that you have the slightest clue as to what those unit designations on the left side of the screen mean…) Whatever PFC Jeremy Tod’s MOS is, it damn sure isn’t 0311. The Marines are the red-headed stepchild of the armed services & operate on a shoestring budget. The high end Interceptor OTVs go to the “Self Propelled Sandbags” first, then MPs & other units that make supply runs, and aircraft mechanics last. I have no doubt that Father Tod would prefer his baby boy to be first in line for the NIJ Class IV vests issued by Uncle Sugar, but it’d be even more scandalous if, given a limited supply of vests, that they went to folks stationed on a nice safe airbase while folks patrolling Ramadi or driving big fat targets along an ASR have to do without. Try doing some research of your own instead of being a tool for a reporter with an axe to grind.
Excellent. As bezuhov says, that sort of information is not reported enough. Every time I do hear something about Iraqi units coming on-line, it gets countered by an article with someone criticizing their readiness, etc. The press is so partisan, both for and against, that it’s extremely difficult to see what’s actually going on over there. Even when troops on the ground are interviewed, they can only speak to what’s in their immediate vicinity.
And jacksonian, I think that is a perfect parallel. In those conflicts, we blew the crap out of their infrastructures and pretty much eliminated the existing governmental structures. The we helped them rebuild & re-join the world community. My issue is that this is absolutely _not_ the message that’s been coming out about Iraq. First, we’ll hear about how we’re building permanent bases & there’ll be big US presence there for years, maybe decades. Then Congressional constituents start screaming, and someone else comes back and says we’ll start bringing troops back in a couple of years. Then you’ll see an interview with some unnamed senior military person who says the insurgency won’t be broken for many years. Then the Vice President says we’ll start bringing troops back right after the 2008 elections.
What you describe would be a great way to reach ‘victory’. And I believe there are some people, on both sides of the aisle, that are actually working towards that end. But I have deep concerns that there is any top-level vision, direction, or even committment to dealing with the long-term problems of Iraq. And that isn’t just a ‘we broke it, we bought it’ issue – an unstable and insurgent-filled Iraq causes turmoil throughout the Middle East & Islamic world, and that makes things worse for America and the rest of the world. If we actually want to stop terrorism, we need to get stability out there.
I didn’t read all the comments, don’t have the time. My one point: WE ARE STILL IN GERMANY!
How did we conquer them? Basically, we never left……
Not bad son. Just imagine if you would have had a couple of drinks….tom
So, in one comment, you manage to:
–Equate the Sunni car-bombers with the Israeli Army
–Claim that the Israelis don’t stop for “human shields” (care to name a few?)
–Give Vince a pass on the stupid “chickenhawk” meme.
…An exit date is a signal of retreat….
We aren’t leaving until we win. We’ll have won when they love us.
And even then, we’ll stay. We’re still in Germany, Japan, Korea, fer Chrissakes!
We are not leaving.
Sorry, azlibertarian, but I’m going to have to disagree w/ you there.
The reality is that we have consistently left countries when we have been asked to do so.
Look at Libya. When Qaddafi came to power, he asked and we left.
Ditto for the Philippines (cf. Clark AFB and Subic Bay).
If the South Koreans ask us to leave, we’ll depart.
And if the Iraqis ask us to leave, lock-stock-and-smoking barrels, we’ll do so.
Of course, it may not be very healthy for them, what w/ jihadis running around, to ask for us to leave immediately—but we’d do so.
In this regard, we are hardly the Soviet Union.
Iraq, Economics & the Nature of Conservatism
As I’ve said about many other subjects too, (ranging from global warming to gay marriage to healthcare), the honest conservative position is not one of “no role for government, never ever no-way no-how, go away we’re not listening!” (or as the esteem…
Easycure — we are still in Germany because everytime we threaten to leave they start crying about all the beer they won’t sell and daughters they won’t rent…
…the exception, of course, is Cuba.
Ashley Kindergan talked with me for one hour for a bottle of mineral water, took copious notes, and sounded as though she had explored my Web site thoroughly. I look forward to seeing her finished product.
Amen to mcenroe – the main reason the Germans don’t want us to leave is because of the untold billions we’ve pumped into their economy over the years. And one of the few things the rest of Europe agrees on is that someone has to keep an eye on the Germans, and it might as well be the USA. Who could take our place – France? Spain?
Why not play the Secularism card, and arm allies against the Islamofascists? Exactly what do Iraq’s parasitic clerical leaders have to offer either Iraqis or Americans interested in Middle East security? Not one damn thing!
Let’s write them off, and help rub them out.
I’ll go for a date. Let’s see, WWII lasted about 6 years and 60 years later we’re still in Germany, so since this war started in about 622 AD, you can do the math.
A quick look around. Captain Ed notes that the Oil for Food scandal in the UN isn’t the only one that might involve nepotism and payoffs. Hugh Hewitt interviews a Gitmo soldier, now returned to the States.
Setting an Exit Date for Iraq….
I am, after all the years I’ve spent on Planet Earth, baffled by the inability of ostensibly intelligent people to think of the consequences of their words before speaking them.
given a limited supply of vests
why would the richest country in the world, which almost spends more money on national defense than rest of the G8 combined, have any shortage of armor vests?
we must have different intepretations of the word “reality.”
the U.S. has been told myriad times, in myriad sovereign nations, to GET OUT and instead our soldiers have paid the price for the stubbornness of Wall St. & armchair generals like Vodkaboy, cheering on the carnage at a comfortable distance, over here.
here’s a short list:
50% of colombians want us out of their country right now. i hear they’re getting tired of U.S. soldiers getting caught smuggling guns and coke.
about cuba, i think frankly fidel is just jealous of the guantanamo gulag, it really makes his iron fist look so petty and dilapidated.
i also seem to remember a whole boatload of muslims, maybe a million or two, telling us to get the heck out of saudi arabia, and then maybe a couple of buildings in manhattan getting leveled to that effect–does that ring a bell? have we withdrawn all our troops from there? (despite pentagon press releases trying to make that impression back in 2003, the answer is NO, we are still there, just in reduced numbers).
let’s see, where else? do the people of okinawa like having our 37 military installments, what, about 20,000 marines stationed there? let’s take a straw poll and find out.
thus we add another gem of misinformation to the Lurking Observer oeuvre:
“our empire is completely consensual! our subjects love us! their wish is our command!”
Drawing a comparison is not necessarily a statement of absolute moral equation. The Israeli army and Sunni suicide- and car-bombers both kill innocents and violate international laws and should be condemned harshly for doing so.
Sure, how about American peace activist Rachel Corrie, 23, crushed to death by a bulldozer while allegedly protecting a doctor’s home?
Why would Vince be the target on my ire? I generally like people who point out hypocrisy, hell, even my own.
Rachel Corrie wasn’t protecting anyone’s home, she was trying to keep the Israelis from sealing tunnels used to smuggle people and weapons.
Does this look like a ‘peace activist’ to you?
I didn’t realize that Okinawa had declared independence from Japan.
I didn’t realize we had bases in Colombia.
The US is currently withdrawing from Saudi Arabia.
And to suggest that the Israeli Army’s killings are in any way, shape, or form comparable to blowing up Sbarro’s and buses, well, I think it sez more about your views than I’d cared to find out.
But then, you’re of the opinion that Rachel Corrie was deliberately run over (and “protecting a doctor’s home” no less!).
But then, the destruction of the WTC seems to be justified as well, righteous anger over bases, eh?
I don’t know much about Libya, but do know about the Philippines. We left the P.I. not because we were asked, but because the Wall had come down. The real strategic reason for the existence of Clark AB (not “AFB”, BTW) had little to do with the Air Force, and much to do with the NSA. Subic Bay is one of the few natural deep water ports in the world. When the Wall came down, there was little reason to keep our forces in the P.I. to watch the Western Pacific for Soviet troublemakers who were too bankrupt to take up much adventuring. Besides, the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo largely made the existence of Clark AB a moot point. We left the P.I. for our own reasons–not because the Philippine government or people wanted us out.
A Coward’s Way Out
Some Democrats and a few fair-weather Republicans (Walter