A few answersMay 27 2003 at 10:46 AM
|Occhi (no login)|
from IP address 220.127.116.11
Response to I have some questions
1. I don't pretend any of it is that simple.
Do you believe that 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq are somehow related?
Yes. They are both related to US Mideast Policy, aims and goals. Yes, in that terrorists, of whom OBL and pals are a very, very small subset, have been a security problem for us in the Mideast since about 1972/1973. What irritates me is that anyone thinks this problem is new. I've had little use for raghead terrorists for a good long time.
Direct cause and effect relationship, per a TV sitcom and per the popular soundbytes? No. Saddam was no friend to any number of Muslim groups, he is and was, his own breed of asshole, and for that matter a bit of a modernist Arab. His blatant funding of Palestinian suicide bombers, an issue of apparent fact, makes my own view on any OBL-Saddam link irrelevant and secondary, since Israel's situation is the final answer in our overall relations with some Arabs. That
is a personal view. As I see it, Saddam was/is like any leader of a large nation, not above using folks he does not like to further his own ends, or to confound his enemies. (He's been pissed at us since about January 17, 1991.) In realpolitik, everyone does that, even the US == I like to refer to South America of the past 100 years for some nice examples of that.
If so, given the beliefs of OBL and the government of Saddam, what do you base it on?
Given the attack on the WTC in 1993, I am still puzzled at the inaction, on both sides of the aisle in Congress, that precluded a "War on Terror" in about 1994. Best answer I can come up with is that working that angle without a lot of loud rhetoric was seen as a better approach. The Embassy bombings in Africa, 1998, show that such an approach was hardly foolproof.
Given the plausible concept that 'screwing my enemy helps me, even if it is another enemy of mine doing the screwing,' it is reasonable to surmise that there might have been some cooperative ventures being undertaken. Airtight case? No. The other problem is, when you are dealing with intentions, there is quite a bit of gray area. The public case against Saddam was like many a murder case: lots of circumstantial evidence and some base line issues. Depending on the DA and the Jury, that sometimes gets a conviction. After 9-11, it looks like someone found a sympathetic jury. So did OJ.
If not, what was the justification for invading Iraq?
The legal justifications are the ceasefire agreement breaches, so the real question is 'why now?' That question is still a good one. The partner to that is 'why not?' Doing nothing has improved nothing.
Oh, and BTW, explain to me again how what we've done so far in Iraq and in Afghanistan has made a dent in "Terror"?
Not sure. Terror is a tool, in this case you could call it assymetrical warfare against those who you can't fight via other means.
No news here, I hope, but there have been folks who don't like the US for a lot longer than GWB has been in office, and they speak Arabic, Pharsi, and other languages.
The 'War on Terror' was to my mind bad political rhetoric, semantically flawed among other things, and in execution it is a long term op that I suggest needs a Kohl-esque term in office to achieve meaningful results; or a long term firmness of purpose within our own shores, and in Europe, as strong as the resolve in the Cold War. That sort of resolution strikes me as lacking.
In Afghanistan? We got payback on some pricks who openly supported OBL. 'Vengeance is mine.' Caught a few of OBL's pals. Killed a few others. Got involved in almost comppletely screwing the Pakistani regime who was trying to help us. Nothing new there.
The rich bastards who support the OBL's are doubtless still safe and sound somewhere, and doubtless still rich . . . Just like the American-Irish who fund the IRA.
The American forces have done an exemplary job (as always) of carrying out the directives of the administration. But those said directives don't seemed to be focused on the war they claim to be fighting. The skill, the bravery, the pain, and the death of our troops seem to be being squandered for little gain. Brings back memories, except at least this time the American people aren't spitting on them.
Squandered for 'little gain?' Another hard one to address at this time, as West Germany wasn't built in a day. If short attention span politics is all anyone has time for, yeah, we can't have an ending as convenient as on a TV show, nor as convenient as in WW II. Whatever happens in Iraq is going to look a whole lot more like Bosnia, but harder. A lot harder.
You want to know what is bugging me? The political demographic who seemed to be the biggest supporters of this whole op, at least in volume of rhetoric, were the same folks screaming in the mid 1990's about the US not being the world's policemen, supporting that little shit named Specialist Michael New, the one who swore he would not wear a UN beret when his unit was ordered to a peacekeeping mission.
Either they want the US to be global cops now, since 9-11 showed that you can't hide behind the ocean, or something else is at work, something the Meade refers to as the Jacksonian strain in American political life.
Is it worth doing?
I don't know. Is it worth trying? Hell, why not?
Was Korea worth doing in 1950? In 1955, and in 1970, it sure seemed to have been 'a hell of a waste' to a lot of Americans, but there sure are a lot of folks in South Korea who appreciate what we did.
Was Viet Nam worth doing, or trying? Given that by 1963 the turd polishing problem was well known to those not lying to themselves, it is still a tough call. Their country paid a hell of a price for how we did what we did.
We are still paying the price, you know about that better than I do on some levels, you might be surprised as to how much Viet Nam still influences US Army thought and doctrinal development today . . . and how few lessons really ever get learned.
Long term, there might have been a certain geostrategic benefit, but those have to be reached hard for to conclude. Odd thing is, 20 years after the war, Viet Nam was looking to warm up to us due to their discomfort with the Chinese. Interesting, IMO.
Everyone keeps asking: When will Iraq's problems be solved?
The answer is: they never will be. You can't polish a turd. When can we stop playing babysitter? Well, as I said before dozens of times, G Bush senior did not invade Iraq since he did not want to own it. IIRC, he tossed Wolfowitz' stuff out as not quite ready for prime time. Someone now thinks that 'owning' Iraq for a short time is now a worthwhile policy risk within the context of the Entire Mideast strategic calculus.
Two ways to look at that, as I see it:
a. No balls, no blue chips
b. Whatever we were doing before was not working, try something new
Either way, 'tis a gamble, not a certainty.
But as I also see it, the policy question worth trying to answer is: does anyone have a shared vision, between U.S., such friends as we have working with us, and the folks who have to live there, the folks in the region, that is achievable?
I have not seen the picture painted yet, but maybe that 'work of art' is in progress.
Most likely, in 2004, the artist(s) will change. And so, the picture will be changed, again.
- Mostly, yes. - Pete on May 27, 11:44 AM
- This point cannot be driven home enough. - Roland *The Gunslinger* on May 27, 12:03 PM
- You sure sound certain - Occhi on May 27, 1:17 PM
- We're not taking hiding a pistol - Pete on May 27, 1:41 PM
- I disagree . . . - Occhi on May 27, 2:26 PM
- Time will tell about the attention span and the value of spin. - Pete on May 27, 5:55 PM
- It has begun - Occhi on Jun 4, 1:40 PM
- We'll see if there's a "Teflon" effect - Pete on Jun 4, 1:55 PM
- No William Calley's here - Occhi on Jun 4, 2:30 PM
- Re: A few answers - Jester on May 27, 11:53 AM
- I dont care for your opinion - Occhi on May 27, 1:21 PM
- Re: I dont care for your opinion - Jester on May 27, 2:43 PM
- One for instance: When you dump a dictator - Occhi on May 27, 2:54 PM
- I thought I was being clear... - Jester on May 27, 3:56 PM
- Just checking - Occhi on May 27, 4:29 PM
- Hmm? - Sirian on May 27, 5:17 PM
- Yes, the position - Occhi on May 28, 1:36 PM
- Legitimacy - Jester on May 27, 6:52 PM
- Legitimate - Occhi on May 28, 7:37 AM
- Bingo! - Ozymandous on May 28, 9:04 AM
- Well... - Jester on May 28, 4:15 PM
- Two of the big five played - Occhi on May 29, 7:34 AM
- Alliances don't cut it - Jester on May 29, 11:47 AM
- Alliances are how stuff gets done - Occhi on Jun 2, 7:50 AM
- Failures - Jester on Jun 2, 11:42 AM
- Wrong again - Occhi on Jun 2, 4:06 PM
- War of Ideas - Sirian on May 27, 4:59 PM