This is a blog to discuss philosophy, chess, politics,
C. S. Lewis, or whatever it is that I'm in the mood to discuss.
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"...We heard that the surge in Iraq is working, when we know that's just not true..."O RLY?And, uh - how does Mr. Obama figure that? Reading the New York Times?Try Michael Yon.
I think a lot depends on what you mean by "working." Is a decrease in sectarian violence enough to constitute working, or does working require progress toward political stability. We know we can't maintain a surge-level military presence forever, so is this band-aid really going to promote healing in the long run?
I totally agree with you about this idea of "working" (or progress...whatever we may call it), but in the case of Iraq - a great deal of the political progress relies on military progress, the two things are inseparable. Pulling our troops out immediately, as Sen. Obama suggests, will guarantee political failure and promote instability.Obviously, the situation in Iraq is a very delicate one. In most cases - the military objectives must be met, so that the political ones can follow. Nobody wants us to remain in Iraq longer than we have to be there - but if we really care about the Iraqi's making political progress, talking about exit strategies, and benchmarks publicly (or making statements like, "The war is lost") does little to help the situation on the ground. My main problem with the Bush administration has been the lack of education and information that the American people have received (and understood) about the complicated nature of this struggle. And our news media hasn't helped the situation one iota. Here in the US - you have to dig up the real news yourself to hear what's actually going on in Iraq - since, unless it makes America look bad, or fits into a 30 second sound byte- our media just yawns.Also, it doesn't help that most American's know little about the history of the situation and what is really at stake. On this note, I highly recommend reading The Looming Tower, by Lawrence Wright. While you're at it, pick up Mark Steyn's, America Alone as well. Two books that do a great job highlighting the many complicated facets of this struggle.Bottom line, Lord willing, we can bring an end to this war sooner, rather than later. And hopefully - build some good friendships with the Iraqi people. Sen. Obama seems like a good guy, but I fail to understand how he can really care about the "political progress" in Iraq -while talking about pulling troops out before the Iraqi's are ready.
Even if our continued presence serves some useful purpose relative to Iraq, the question of whether this is the best use of the resources needed to maintain our presence is still open. Of course, I am not asking the other question; whether it was the best use of our resources when we invaded to begin with. What really turned me against the Bush Administration was the drumbeat of WMDs before the invasion, then the discovery that there were no WMDs, but more important to me was what the Administration's response at that point. If Bush had said "OK, there were no WMDs, we were wrong about that, but we had probable cause to think there were, and we didn't want to take a chance" that's would have been one thing. But, no, we got such comments as "Freedom is on the march." But if course there are plenty of countries that need freedom, why pick that one?" And then those ridiculous jokes about not finding the WMDs. It sure looks as if we were lied to. In my view, invading a country militarily and deposing their established government requires some very special justification. A present threat to America might do it. Anything less, and I would ask why not make sure we finish the job in Afghanistan first and take out Al Queda and Bin Laden. Or why not invade Darfur and stop an ongoing genocide, as opposed to going after a guy whose genocidal days are over? Why not whack North Korea and close down their nuke program? How long to we have to babysit a country, at terrible cost of American and Iraqi lives, who lacks the political will to form a stable government?
Excellent post Dr. Reppert!We babysit every country we help and it always seems to turn around and bite us in the ---! One of the things that are biting us hard is the fuel prices and I feel that this is in direct retaliation of the Iragi war. We get our noses in too many things, and it certainly looks horrible for the US and their ability to multitask. There is huge amounts of fuel in Iraq and the use is being wasted. I agree with you Professor! I believe as a present threat Oh Yes! It is there! Osama Bin Laden needs to be stopped and stopped soon. That task does need to be finished first, and then Iraq, and then Darfur, and of course there will always be and then, and then, and then, and then. It is sorry to say that the US is losing the race, once known as the most powerful nation, I would say we should change that to the "most vulnerable" because the hook is always thrown out there and the US puts a double lip lock on the hook with super glue. When Bush leaves office, he will be taken care of by his oil cronies, in Texas, and the country continues to fail.Sad, Sad situation
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