Saturday, November 19, 2005

Those who cannot learn from history are condemned...

The Anchoress has written this wonderful post, so I don't have to.

Read the whole thing, please, but most particularly this:

Right now, the insurgents are being vastly encouraged by what they read coming out of the mouths of Democrats and reporters, and even, sadly the Republicans. The message they are being given is: Just be patient. Just hold out a little while, and America will be gone, and you will re-gain control.

You who want to play politics with this war, wishing to abandon the people of Iraq merely to shame a president you hate and do a bit of crowing, just be ready to take responsibility for what comes after. Understand that when the inevitable deaths occur in Iraq, and elsewhere, at the hands of these insurgents, and at the hands of a rejuvenated Al Qaeda, that the blood of every victim thereafter will then be on your heads, as will the blood of all 2065 of our service people whose sacrifice will be rendered meaningless by your action.

If America pulls out without victory - without the Iraqis being capable of defending themselves - then every death from insurgents or terrorists - all over the world - will have to be a death counted upon the heads of those who would not allow a serious War on Terror to continue and succeed, simply because to do so would reflect too well on a man they hate.

The blood of innocents is a heavy, heavy stain - it will not easily be washed away.

I wish I could agree with the Anchoress, however, about that last sentence. The left and liberals, in particular, are no Lady Macbeths. In fact, as far as the results of our pullout from Vietnam goes, they don't need all the perfumes of Arabia to wash their hands clean:

Doct. What is it she does now? Look, how she rubs her hands.
Gent. It is an accustom'd action with her, to seem thus washing her hands. I have known her continue in this a quarter of an hour.
Lady M. Yet here's a spot.
Doct. Hark! she speaks. I will set down what comes from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more strongly.
Lady M. Out, damned spot! out, I say! One: two: why, then 'tis time to do 't. Hell is murky! Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?
Doct. Do you mark that?
Lady M. The thane of Fife had a wife; where is she now? What, will these hands ne'er be clean?...Here's the smell of the blood still; all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, oh, oh!
Doct. What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely charg'd.

It is not my impression that the left--or even most liberals--have been walking in their sleep over the Vietnam pullout, much less considering the stain unremovable. In fact, one of the reasons an Iraqi pullout is being pushed so hard now is that many in the left consider the Vietnam pullout to have been their finest hour.

I spent quite a few words and a great deal of thought on the issue a while back, here, when I attempted to answer the following, based on some musings of Dean Esmay:

Where were you in the mid- to late-70s, oh bleeding-heart Vietnam War protesters? Didn't the terrible aftermath of the Vietnam War convince you that you had been wrong to work so hard for US withdrawal? And, if so, why not?

In my attempted answer, I linked to this article about the fall of Vietnam. I'm highlighting it again, and putting it in bold, because I can't recommend it highly enough; please, please read it.

If the history of the Vietnam exit has been supressed, unknown, or denied, how can we ever learn from it? But please be assured that those on the left have learned that history very very well--the history of their success in getting the US to pull out of that war, that is.

If you don't believe me, please read still another post of mine, here (I'm starting to feel as though I'm repeating myself, but I think these things bear repeating right now--unfortunately), based on an article written by Tom Hayden (does the name sound familiar?) one year ago, detailing the left's plans to recapitulate the Vietnam pullout and providing a blueprint for doing just that. You will see that Mr. Hayden finds no blood on his hands, no blood whatsoever.

As David Horowitz has written in his book Radical Son:

Assisted by radical legislators like Ron Dellums and Bella Abzug, Hayden set up a caucus in the Capitol, where he lectured congressional staffers on the need to end American aid. He directed his attention to Cambodia as well, lobbying for an accommodation with the Khmer Rouge guerillas. Nixon's resignation over Watergate provided all the leverage Hayden and his activists needed. The Democrats won the midterm elections, bringing to Washington a new group of legislators determined to undermine the settlement that Nixon and Kissinger had achieved. The aid was cut, the Saigon regime fell, and the Khmer rouge marched into the Cambodian capital. In the two years that followed, more Indochinese were killed by the victorious Communists than had been killed on both sides in all thirteen years of the anti-Communist war.

It was the bloodbath that [the Left's] opponents had predicted. But for the Left there would be no contrition and no look back.

Radical Son was published in 1998, so we can forgive Horowitz for not seeing the future with total exactitude. He is right about the "no contrition" part. But the left is looking back, to the days of its greatest triumph. They have learned the lessons of history, and are proud to repeat them. But if the rest of us fail to learn those lessons, we--and the people of Iraq--will be condemned to repeat them.

And then I'm afraid there'll be an awful lot of sleepwalking and handwashing to be done.


At 12:32 PM, November 19, 2005, Blogger TmjUtah said...

My wife thought that last night's floor vote was a stunt.

I think it was the most important house vote since the beginning of the war.

We are a nation of laws. Our elected representatives operate in a fog of public relations, ambition, and partisan politics much of the time - but there are moments when the questions posed or issues addressed do clearly rise to the level of life or death.

Last night was such a moment, and now the members of the people's house are on record. That the Dem's voted as a bloc, with the exception of a handful of flat out communist/moonbats, to reject the cut/run option is not a meaningless gesture, and cannot be rationalized away as such to anyone outside the anti-Bush,anti-American, anti-democracy minority that the Dems must pander to for their diminishing power.

Murtha's words were the public manifestation of the "pull the trigger" memo. The objective is partisan political and the considerations never extended beyond what short term political gain might be realized by embarassing Bush - even if the price for embarassing the president were measured in the lives of thousands of our fellow citizens, hundreds of billions of dollars we could well use elsewhere, and continuing decades of bloody Islamofascist aggression. There is no consideration of the fate of the millions of Iraqis and Afghans that have already stood - and the thousands that have died - in pursuit of the freedom and democracy we have fought to introduce as an antidote for the failed systems that generate Islamist terror.

There is NOTHING inherently wrong in fighting for what is in our own interest. That we elected a strategy requiring years of sacrifice and have publicly committed to a faith in the power of rule of law to achieve our goals vice simply slaughtering the populations of entire countries is a liberal act of tremendous political risk, and incredible bravery to boot. Where are the true progressives of liberal thought to be found these days? Not on the left. Not nearly.

The sentiment expressed by the Murtha amendment are a recipe for defeat. We've tried that "over the horizon" and "Marine prescence" bullshit before, and it just provides targets of opportunityfor the enemy to strike at their liesure. That the terrorists would be catastrophically, immeasurably emboldened by the clear fulfillment of bin Ladin's "strong horse/weak horse" contention would be undeniable.

The Democrats and their press enablers will belittle the vote last night - because they reduce all their actions to mere politics.

They are unfit for public trust, and the coming weeks and months where they will try to shove last night's moment of clarity into a memory hole will just add detail to the portrait of a party that has become less an opposition than it is become an ally to our enemy.

At 12:57 PM, November 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s very depressing. The anti-warriors have gotten the upper hand, like they did during Vietnam. What I see coming is a premature pullout, maybe even coupled a little later with a de-funding.

Let’s review history: Nixon & Kissinger had withdrawn American troops from Vietnam, but had left a trained South Vietnamese Army. Then Congress cut all funding to South Vietnam. You can’t fight a war without bullets. And that’s when desperate Vietnamese clung to the skids of departing American helicopters. The anti-Communist movement in South Vietnam, the government, the army; all the individuals that had helped American forces knew then their country was doomed. Ho Chi Minh subsequently took over South Vietnam with no resistance & wholesale executions followed. I am very afraid something similar is going to happen with Iraq & perhaps down the road, Afghanistan.

It’s more than just the recent Congressional bill requiring the administration to “explain” itself every 3 months – which will result in anti-war spin on negative details in the quarterly reports – which the MSM will flood news outlets with – which will result in more anti-war gains in the polls – which will result in the abandonment & possibly the de-funding of Iraq.

No, my depression really has to do with the loss of will by the American public. Like bin Laden, I have become convinced that any determined foe can defeat America. If a war isn’t quick, easy & casualty-free to the point that it almost doesn’t fit the definition of war, America will end up slinking away with tail between legs.

A few snipers, a few car-bombs, a few suicide terrorists wearing explosive vests, a few roadside bombs & a little patience, that’s all it takes to defeat the USA. No battles have to be won, no ground taken & held. Political forces inside America, the MSM & wrong-headed Americans can always be counted on by the enemy to work against their own country.

America can’t be relied on: Our allies as well as our enemies are beginning to see this clearly. Although America has the best military means in the world, it can’t fight a real war. Many who are currently not warring against the USA, but would like to, must be watching with interest & rising hopes. I see America’s future as one of isolation, economic & political stagnation & eventually subjugation to the coming Caliphate.

The Anchoress writes:

You folks demanding that we leave Iraq without completing the mission - be ready to bear the cost - be ready to wear the blood of every terrorist victim in Bali, Seattle, Malaysia, Miami, Los Angeles, Paris, Las Vegas, Spain, New York, Chicago, Holland, London, Belfast and Berlin, for it will stain and it will stick, and it will remain.

I wish I could agree but even though many were murdered after the Vietnam pullout no one was held accountable. Hayden sure didn’t suffer. Kerry went on to eventually run for President & continues to enjoy considerable political standing to this day. The murder of all those innocents never hurt A single political career. No one ever had to answer for those unconscionable actions. Indeed, the ones who gave Vietnam to Ho Chi Minh glory in their deed even today. The ability of human beings to rationalize any behavior is without boundaries. And if Iraq is given over to the jihadists no American politician will pay for the bloody aftermath – the MSM is anti-war – remember? Never forget that the MSM controls public perception. I wouldn’t be surprised if after the fall of Iraq that Western intellectuals & politicians didn’t visit the new jihadist regime in Iraq & come back with glowing reports on how nice the new regime is – just like they did for generations about the Soviet bloc.

At 1:57 PM, November 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much powerful information...I am heartbroken, angry, full of questions about how we can prevent history from being repeated. I email goverment officials and media publications hoping that a small voice added to many might make a difference. Reading the account about Vietnam leaves me almost at the point of dispair. Inspite of our alternative news and opinion sources, it still might not make a difference. For the life of me, I don't understand why all people in democratic countries don't take seriously the threat of islamic fascism. It is not paranoid delusions to say that their goal is to rule the world and we have to be willing to take a stand and stick with it. How can the Democrats not understand this?

At 2:53 PM, November 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I could disagree with the assessment of the other commenters on this blog...*sigh*

I just have this weird feeling that if we had the same press during World War II as we have now, all these comments would be in German.

At 2:57 PM, November 19, 2005, Blogger JoshSN said...

What is this victory that the Anchoress and the President talk about?

Can you define it?

Does it look like this chart?

Whose hands are stained by the blood of 10s of thousands of innocent Iraqis? Certainly not the 50% of Democrats in Congress who voted against the war.

Even many who voted for it qualified their support.

The bill last night was a farce. The real vote was on the rule, right before, which prevented any amendments on the underlying.

Murtha didn't call for instant pull out, and the Anchoress is full of it.

At 3:05 PM, November 19, 2005, Blogger JoshSN said...

Somebody comments about Germany above.

Do you think the Germans won WWII because they had a free press?

The Nazi machine didn't allow critical press, and they lost.

America allowed the critical press, and we won.

Stories about medical doctor shortages were on the air ON D-DAY.

Shortage? D-Day?

Hell yeah.

At 3:14 PM, November 19, 2005, Blogger Eric said...

Hi neo neocon:

I sent you an e-mail that floated the idea of inviting you to speak at Columbia University.

I'll add to that e-mail this idea: if/when you come down to CU, you speak on precisely this subject.

At CU, the anti-American groups' linkage between the Vietnam War and the WOT is proudly proclaimed and continually taught. In fact, on 18SEP01 - a week after 9/11 - I attended a meeting titled, "Lessons of the Vietnam War: How to Stop the US War Machine". My anger at that meeting led me to advocate support for the WOT on campus.

At 5:08 PM, November 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josh narins keyed: What is this victory that the Anchoress and the President talk about?

Can you define it?

I guess you didn’t read the article – below is your answer:

If America pulls out without victory - without the Iraqis being capable of defending themselves - then every death from insurgents or terrorists - all over the world - will have to be a death counted upon the heads of those who would not allow a serious War on Terror to continue and succeed, simply because to do so would “reflect too well” on a man they hate.

We pro-warriors want the US troops there until the new Iraqi government is strong enough to cope with the terrorists.

Josh asks: Whose hands are stained by the blood of 10s of thousands of innocent Iraqis?

Answer: The terrorists are stained by that blood.

A time-tabled pullout is tantamount to surrender.

At 5:16 PM, November 19, 2005, Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

“…Right now, the insurgents are being vastly encouraged by what they read coming out of the mouths of Democrats and reporters, and even, sadly the Republicans…”

Yeah sure dude: y como no? as these damn dark-skinned brownies say south of the great state of Texas!

Every day that Allah makes, when he wakes up in the fetid Arabian morning, your average Abdul-Jahân Doe reaches for the San Francisco Chronicle and the New Yorker sitting on the breakfast cart next to the glass of freshly squeezed dates juice: Abdul relishes the writings and vulgar cum defeatist propaganda of Seymour Hersh and his collaborationist comrades of the mainstreammediapinkopolitburo …

Intellectual luminaries such as Kristol, Horowitz and Goldberg are right: lately, our own President has done a poor job of explaining the war and rallying support for it...We must pump up the volume on the president’s “forceful explaining” and hire yet another set of smart Madison Avenue communication gurus to better “market” our glorious global war for (the) freedom (of Neocon grandees and the ensuing use of disposable American kids as pawns in their totalitarian “geo-strategic grand game”)….Blahblahblah…Zzzzzzzz

I wish it were that simple. I mean how on earth can we “explain” rationally to the American people that our prescient president was chosen by Yahweh to spread democracy at gunpoint amongst backward Mohammedans of Sunni persuasion??

With all due respect for Ted Kennedy, John Kerry et al, the real “communication problem” of course is not that “a handful of desperate Muslim rebels in their last throes” read regularly the New York Times or listen to the eloquent harangues of democrat ranters on Capitol Hill!

The core issue at hand is simply that there are 1.4 billion of them out there spread from Dakar to Djakarta and from Bradford to Brussels- and unfortunately for Dick, Dubya, Donald & Co, 95% of them happen to be (angry) Sunnis just like the “desperate dead-enders” we’ve been “finishing off” with limited success across that little renegade triangle “over there” in Ayyraq.

So many Sunnis, So much gun-pointing work to do, so little time…

Anyway, long live el Presidente Bush!

Long live Shariaa-based Islamic Law and the institutionalized persecution of second-class citizen such as women, Christians and Sunnis in “grand” Ayatollah Sistani’s “free Iraq” for which we’ve spent a mere $800 billion in taxpayers money and the life of 2,100+ American kids!

Long live our Liberty-loving social-democratic friend His Wahhâbiness King Abdullah of Riyadh and Mecca and his coterie of clerically enlightened Saudi friends of freedom!

Eternally yours in Liberty,

Dr Victorino de la Vega
Chair of the Thomas More Center for Middle East Studies

At 6:12 PM, November 19, 2005, Blogger Unknown said...

I just turned 54 years old.

I was a Viet Nam war demonstrator.

The communists came to my campus at Indiana University and they lied to us. They said the Khmer Rouge were Utopians. They said we were the target in Viet Nam, if we left the killing would end. They said the the Viet Cong would not hurt their own people.

They lied.

And they were never sorry. They never admitted that they used young stupid Americans to get their way. They never lost any sleep over the millions of people who suffered because they believed in America and were betrayed by America.

In fact they are out there now. Avidly hanging onto death tolls, thinking how best they can used for their own political gain.

They preach like the self righteous little hypocrites that they are about the bad Bushies and Halliburton but the truth is Saddam could obliterate half his population and they would not lift a finger to help the victims. They could render America a coward in the eyes of the world and as long as they get they want they could care less.

Back after Viet Nam the only people that came here from Viet Nam after the war were boat people.

If we cut and run from this one, the people who will be coming will be like Zarqawi and Atta.

What are we fighting for? To liberate Iraq and enforce the resolutions and to keep our word.

People try to make it more complicated than it is because they want to have an excuse to ignore the kind of people that blow themselves and other people to little pieces for jihad.

Nahh, the antiwarriors are too smart for that. They believe that Bush is lying to them and once we go away and Bush is gone then we will all go dancing through fields of laughing flowers.

I don't think the vote last night was anymore of a stunt than the silly closing of the Senate was.

In fact I think that if the enemy can get the sense that they can not win, they have no future doing what they are doing, they might give it up or at least the people who aid them will give it up.

Of course the anti war people think that if we show the terrorists that blowing other people gets them what they want, then the thing to do is to keep encouraging them.

I heard a soldier say that most Americans who were killed in Iraq were killed engaging the enemy and that if they were not willing to engage the enemy they could always go hide somewhere. But he said, soldiers don't hide.

Too bad the same can not be said for the Democrats that voted to send them over there in the first damn place.

At 6:38 PM, November 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too am very, very troubled by the lowness and fundamental unseriousness of the critique of the war. I am afraid that the debate has somehow come to be framed by the anti-war, anti-American Left.

A thought that infuriates me is that even though we may very well lose this war because of the cowardice, treason and hypocrisy of those who purport to love freedom and defend the helpless, they will have no trouble proclaiming for years that this is all soley the fault of President Bush. They will never admit to their (I hope) unintentional complicity with the goals of our enemy. All that matters to them is their "good intentions".

I am sick to death of those who mock and complain so shrilly, but never offer a compelling and workable alternative. Hopefully winning will shut them up eventually.

At 6:41 PM, November 19, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I differ with John Moulder on some things, resulting in a slightly different conclusion than the one he had written. I, myself, do see the dangers, setbacks, and reality in similar terms as John Moulder, but I consider the situation in its entirety, and thus because of that, my conclusion is not nearly as pessimistic as his is.

But first, a note to Neo-Neo. Thanks for the link on the Japanese suicide squadrons and their creation, the letters of those pilots were both enlightening, enjoyable, and very consistent with what I had seen in Japanese Anime.

And then I'm afraid there'll be an awful lot of sleepwalking and handwashing to be done.

I'm afraid there will also be a lot of dieing to do, as in, on the part of Americans.

Iran, North Korea, Syria, they ain't gonna go away like the Soviet Union with arms treaties, and stacking Pershing missiles on top of nuclear silos and stealth bombers.

As we see in Europe, the Islamics are not collapsing, by any standard of reason. In fact, it is the West collapsing, and notably it is the Western nations with nuclear capabilities that are collapsing in on itself.

Compare this with the fact that the Soviet Union disappeared because it collapsed in on itself, through a revolutionary grassroots movement. And what is Islamic suicide bombers but a revolutionary grassroots movement?

What this tells me, is that unlike the end result of Vietnam, the end result of a failure in Iraq due to pullout will be 1 or 3 orders of magnitude greater in effect.

The dominoe theory to justify Vietnam wasn't justified, but the theory that communism is in itself defunct, was justified, and we saw that when the communists took over Vietnam. So, while the world saw the US defeated, they also saw that when the US gets defeated, the Four Horsemen reigns supreme.

Not so with Iraq. With Iraq, it is the centerpoint of our strategy. Crucial in a way, that Vietnam never was. If it fails, people will get the blame, and it won't be Bush. But it doesn't really matter who gets the blame, the damage would have been done.

If we are unable to acquire a mobile assault force, as either sepoys or proxy fighters, in the form of Iraqi or Afghanistani patriots and nationals, then there ain't nobody else that is going to fight for us in a high casualty environment.

Since we gave up on the Iraqis, the Iraqis who are much less casualty sensitive, will give up on us. And the only people we can then push into the fire would be U.S. troops, which would already be non-feasible given our sensitivity to casualties.

This war would turn into a defensive one, allowing the terroists to get in the first blow with whatever weapons they will want to acquire.

And without Iraq, the dictators, the Iranians, and etc will be giving Al-Qaeda everything they got.

And it won't be Spain, Britain, or France that'll get hit, it'll be a weakened, defensive, utterly sleeping America.

We'll be doing the dieing, not in the thousands, but in the hundreds of thousands.

It would be as if the government incited a nuclear holocaust with the Soviet Union. The damage would be irreversible.

Not only would this hurt America's honor, but it would truly leave us alone in the world, with neither allies nor friends. Our enemies cannot trust us, our friends do not dare trust us.

This would either turn America into "Fortress America" isolationist to the core, and leave this world forever in darkness, ignorance, and injustice. Or it would turn America into something truly frightening and unlimited in our limits. A non-benevolent America, someone that overreacts because they have no other choice and no one else to count upon.

This would mean we would win, but I am uncertain whether a victory born from suffering hundreds of thousands of casualties in order to make America "less" casualty sensitive, is such a great triumph.

This is of course, the consequences of failure. As to the nature of what is going on "now", however, that is something quite different.

John Moulder writes that America is now casualty sensitive and weak, with a few IEDs. But that isn't quite true. The nature of American casualty sensitivity is not disputed, what is disputed is how much propaganda the enemy itself is wielding against America. Given the preponderance of evidence that neither the military, the civilian administration, nor the Republican party are undermining enemy propaganda, domestic and foreign, that 40% of America still supports the war is amazingly good.

It pays to know who is weak, and who are consistent and strong. In a fight, you want anyone who tends to run away, to run away now.

It really isn't a few IEDs, car bombings, and whatever. It is a national, and a trans-national propaganda campaign. In Vietnam it worked, callusion between communists in Vietnam and communists in the US.

Politics make strange bedfellows. Progressives now ally themselves with Islamic terror. With Islamic terror, we can jail, execute, or otherwise terminate with extreme prejudice. With political progressives, that option doesn't seem feasible.

That makes their alliance very effective. We should expect setbacks given the strength of such an alliance.

To know thy enemy. And not face his strengths.

A few snipers, a few car-bombs, a few suicide terrorists wearing explosive vests, a few roadside bombs & a little patience, that’s all it takes to defeat the USA.

A person called Dan Rather, everyone at CBS, a few people at NBC, with a few CNN guys, and Reuters, the AP, France, Germany, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran is all it takes to cause Americans to question herself. OH ya, don't forget Pakistani tribes. UN bureacrats. New York elites. The ACLU. The Judicial system of the United States. Don't forget George Soros funneling money into pro-terroist propaganda machines and 527s.

All it takes is a little bit of the above to make America doubt herself. So no, it isn't a little bit of IEDs, snipers, and roadside bombs only. What is surprising is that America didn't cave in 2004, you know, before the Purple Finger meaty eaters?

It is a false perspective of the attack on America, and false perspectives destroy morale. False perspectives are the only things that destroy morale actually.

There is a rather big difference between my perspective and someone that has almost given up. I recognize the seriousness of the situation, but I do not recognize the futility of it.

A warrior does not give up. The warrior philosophy is not a light burden. Duty, honor, loyalty, those are not things believed in lightly or taken as jokes by me.

I take my duty to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic, quite seriously. I honor the truth, and I honor the loyalty the Iraqis have shown us as they fight and die for their beliefs.

America cannot get any stronger without being tested in the furnace of war. And war means despair, war means weakness, war means people will break, psychologically and physically. Losing a part of themselves, whether that is a part of their soul or a part of their leg.

Most Americans have not been prepared to face psychological propaganda and intimidation, most Americans have not been prepared through their lives to deal with death, suffering, and ruthlessness.

Americans go about their daily lives, dealing with mundane issues. Finances, college, jobs. We leave war to the warriors and the politicians.

What has gone wrong in the dawning of the 21st century is simple. We may want to leave war to specialists, but our enemies want to bring war to us, the civilians, personally.

This requires the public to toughen up. And you will only toughen up a public, by straining it to the breaking point.

The public, like people and military units recruited from Iraq, needs tempering and testing. Sometimes they will break, and that is sad, but far better for them to break now, when the stakes are low, than for them to break when we really require strength for survival.

This isn't a survival issue for me and you, I remind everyone. It is a survival issue only for Iraqis, Afghanistanis, terroists, and our military troops in the theater.

And we do see what happens to the Iraqis when their survival is at stake. They turn from a bunch of idiots who ran off just about 2 years ago, to a bunch of combat hardened veterans. To get stronger in war, you'll take casualties in war.

It is a fact I know, and have accepted. But there is no despair, because if that is how the world works, that is how it works. Orders are orders, you follow them as best you can.

Our military has been hardened for just this conflict. American civilians have not. Therefore it is neither surprising to me, nor depressing, that America is losing public support. The terroists are using their strong point, to attack our weak point. They do not attack the Marine Corps, and what attacks they do committ have no effect, simply because to defeat a Marine Corps unit you must destroy that unit down to the last man.

But a civilian is even worse than a green, unexperienced, soldier. In that a civilian doesn't expect to suffer casualties, he doesn't expect the enemy to target him, he does not expect it and he is not prepared to face the consequences.

But Americans are flexible, and they are courageous. When it counts. As it did in Flight 93, and as it does in Iraq. And of course, Bush won't be in office forever. What we need is a President that will finish a war, a Harry S. Truman. Bush was the President that began this war, and began it well. But he will not be remembered for finishing, oh no, and that is why he cannot help us finish it. Accept that fact, but don't despair of it.

I find it a curious fact that it is in fact the Mil Bloggers, soldiers blogging on the internet, that is probably keeping the public support at around 40% for the war. Or maybe even 50%.

The morale of our troops is good, no one need worry about their morale, it is American morale everyone worries about. For good reason. A soldier who thinks he can't do anything about public opinion, and worries that he might be fighting for his fellow citizens, and his fellow citizens doesn't support him in the doing... will have lower morale. But soldiers are trained to fight under low morale.

Civilians are not. We need encouragement from the soldiers and our leaders, and we do get that if not from our leaders, then someone else. And it does help. Far more than the soldiers probably realize.

If America fails, it will not be because I believed America lacks strength, values, and honor. If America fails, either in the short term or the long term, it will simply be because our enemies were better than us.

A superpower that losses the war, and the battle, deserves not the responsibility nor the power bestowed upon them. That would be our fate.

The dawn of the 21st century will determine if the United States is worthy of being the world's lone superpower.

That may be depressing, but I tend to look at it as an opportunity, to grow. To reach our limits, and to exceed them, for it is not part of the American cultural fabric to believe in something we cannot do.

Just as it is not in the Japanese culture to believe that a person need not do their duty.

Just as it is not in the French culture, to believe in peace through superior firepower.

People who want to give up, should give up now, lest we require their assistance somewhere down the line and they are unable to give it.

But if you want to fight, you'd better steel yourself to fight to the end. Only from that, may determination spring. Leave yourself an escape route, some justification for why we will lose... and you might as well become part of the rout. Because humans are infinitely capable of self-rationalization, it is best not to think of any.

Vega, tell the people you work, that we're onto them.

At 6:57 PM, November 19, 2005, Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

Well my dear Ymarsakar, when reading your robotic Neocon nonsense I remembered the words of a famous 19th century American philosopher of Gallic descent who once said of brainwashed pseudo-patriots : “Now, what are they? Men at all? or small movable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power?...

Visit the Navy Yard, and behold a marine, such a man as an American government can make, or such as it can make a man with its black arts—a mere shadow and reminiscence of humanity, a man laid out alive and standing, and already, as one may say, buried under arms with funeral accompaniments, though it may be

"Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O'er the grave where our hero we buried."

The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense…”


Dr V

At 7:05 PM, November 19, 2005, Blogger Unknown said...

I can not remember where I saw the number but only about 19% of the American public wants to cut and run from Iraq.

People are just tired of it.

At 7:27 PM, November 19, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Assistant, why are you telling me that, exactly?

The first draft will always be long. Some people have spelling problems in their first draft, I have a stream of consciousness affinity in my first drafts. You want a summarization or something? That, I can probably do.

Besides, it's fun talking to Dr. He raises my morale that there indeed, are weak people on the side of the terroists. That is, if he doesn't work for Saudi Arabia, then he works for nobody, which would make him self-employed, and therefore a Republican. Which would not make sense exactly.
Gallic descent who once said of brainwashed pseudo-patriots : “Now, what are they? Men at all? or small movable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power?...

Didn't I say that the French didn't believe in peace through superior firepower, and you do know that Gallics is French for Gaul right?

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o'beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's ``Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's ``Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy how's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

And so do I.

At 11:05 PM, November 19, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

I just saw a program on the History channel about the Malmedy massacre of US troops in WW2 during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec. 1944. 81 GIS were mowed down by SS troops. In the subsequent trial of 70+ SS men identified, the US military defense team for the accused claimed that torture, abuse and trickery had been used to obtain confessions/evidence. Go figure - sounds familiar. Sen. Joe McCarthy essentially took the side of the SS men and led a propoganda attack against the US military. Fast forward to Rep. Burtha and the rest of the cut-and-run crowd and Liberals who want to combat terrorism with police action and Constitutional considerations.

I found it interesting that reference was made to the US military ending its occupational, governoring status in 1949 - that's 4 years worth of our military being in charge and control of all German affairs. Iraq got its own government alot sooner than did the Germans.

At 11:38 PM, November 19, 2005, Blogger Rick Ballard said...

"Why do you think Americans are getting "tired" of the war?"

I don't believe that the ones who will vote next fall are getting tired. Many people commenting are reacting to polls of adult Americans. Had polling been done in 1780 Washington might have thrown in the towel because the American Revolution never had much more than 40% support. If Lincoln had seen polls of adult Americans in the north in 1863 he might have chosen not to run in 1864. After all, LBJ believed the polls in '67 and quit.

I believe that people commenting on about "losing" need to carefully examine who is paying for any poll that they are drawing information from as well as noting whether the poll is just of adults. Politicians certainly don't pay close attention to adult polls. Let's see some likely voter polls before drawing conclusions.

Remember 40% of American adults either don't have the intelligence to vote or don't have the get up and go to get out of bed. They're not people worthy of attention.

Mark this post of NNC's to be read next September. Things will look much different then.

At 11:51 PM, November 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Osama bin Laden's October 29, 2004 speech:

"it was easy for us to provoke this administration and lure it into perdition. All we had to do was send two mujahidin to the Far East to raise up a rag on which 'al-Qaeda' was written, and the generals came running. This inflicted human, financial, and political losses on America without them even achieving anything worth mentioning... We are continuing to make America bleed to the point of bankruptcy, by God’s will... it seems as if we and the White House are on the same team shooting at the United States' own goal, despite our different intentions."

At 1:51 AM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...

You who want to play politics with this war, wishing to abandon the people of Iraq

80% of the Iraqis want us out, NOW.

At 1:52 AM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...

Understand that when the inevitable deaths occur in Iraq, and elsewhere, at the hands of these insurgents, and at the hands of a rejuvenated Al Qaeda, that the blood of every victim thereafter will then be on your heads

We didn't break Iraq, Bush did.

At 1:54 AM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...

If America pulls out without victory - without the Iraqis being capable of defending themselves

It's about time they fought for their own freedom.

At 1:56 AM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...

They are unfit for public trust

Who's unfit?

"We know for a fact there are weapons there." - Ari Fleischer, Jan. 9, 2003

THE PRESIDENT: Our mission is clear in Iraq. Should we have to go in, our mission is very clear: disarmament. 3/6/03

"But make no mistake -- as I said earlier -- we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass
destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about." -Ari Fleischer Press Briefing 4/10/03

At 2:01 AM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...

At CU, the anti-American groups' linkage between the Vietnam War and the WOT is proudly proclaimed and continually taught.

As well it should be:

1) Both were started over lies (Gulf of Tonkin incident, WMD)
2) Both fought in cultures we have little understanding of
3) Both justified by the same spurious reasoning (Domino heories)
4) In both, the actual state of affairs on the ground was hidden from the American public
5) In both, the civilian eadership botched the war and refused to admit mistakes
6) In both, we lost the hearts and minds of the native civilians.

At 2:12 AM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...

Josh Narins the change in language was Murtha's. He went to the press with one wording, then substituted another when it came to submitting a resolution.

That is a LIE.

At 2:14 AM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...

There are no shortages of anything.

There is a shortage of morality at the highest levels of our government.

At 3:27 AM, November 20, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Promothea asks: Why do you think Americans are getting "tired" of the war?

The MSM controls the public’s perception, has been consistent in it’s anti-war cheerleading & the propaganda is beginning to reap dividends.

Elitist elements in the conservative intelligentsia & other key political figures on the right no longer support President Bush & the spectacle of the Miers humiliation has had a negative effect on Bush’s credibility.

The American culture has lost much of the vitality it displayed in past eras. This lack of purpose, will & resolve is exhibited in our art, literature & politics. It’s called decadence. It’s manifested by a dwelling & glorifying of the morbid, pathological & cynical. There is an unreasonable hatred of America which is accompanied by a belief that the enemy always deserves victory.

Steve j. asserts: 80% of the Iraqis want us out, NOW.

Where do you get your 80%, Steve?

Steve j. asserts: It's about time they fought for their own freedom.

They are fighting well for their freedom. After deposing Saddam the US has an obligation to protect Iraq until the new government can defend itself. Did you know that America had a lot of help with its own fight for freedom during the Revolutionary War?

Steve J.: The trouble I have with the statements by the administration that you quoted is that there were similar statements issued by Democrats. Everyone saw the same intelligence & thought the weapons would be found, not just Bush. If the intel was wrong, that’s no reason to fault Bush. It comes under the heading of a mistake, not a lie.

And anonymous, I wouldn’t put too much faith in what Osama’s speeches have to say about our President, unless of course you want to allow Osama to define how you perceive things. About the only thing you can trust from the King of Terror is what he says he wants to do to the infidel.

At 3:48 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...

Where do you get your 80%, Steve?

"A poll recently conducted shows that over 80% of Iraqis are strongly opposed to the presence of coalition troops, and about 45% of the Iraqi population believe attacks against American troops are justified. I believe we need to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis."

At 4:50 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...

Everyone saw the same intelligence

That simply is not true. The doubts about Al-Libi were kept secret from Congress and the American people.

At 5:25 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Epaminondas said...

It just doesn't matter.

Since those who believe god tells them to cut off our heads ('strike the neck' yadda yadda) will, if we take off from Iraq, just figure out a way, since 'god made us weak' in the test against the 'believers' just come here and do it again, and again until we react as we will be ultimately compelled to, in a final paroxysmal manner.

This could not be more clear. And it could not be more clear that we have to do all we can to find the path that does not lead to this end.

They are not trying to just 'defend' Iraq from the kufrs.

To them this is a test between good and evil, and they will not relent nomatter what we do.

We can keep on keeping on in this way, with the entire enterprise being what Wellington said about Waterloo (a near run thing) or we can quit, and kill an awful lot of people later on, in far more 'efficient' manners.

It is not up to us to end this by stopping, any more than it is up to the Israelis to end that situation by simply giving the palestinians the west bank. Anyone who believes that would be the end to either struggle is a naif.

There is a KKK within Islam who has decided this is for keeps.

In the end they will allow us no alternative but one.

This is true whether we leave Iraq tomorrow or leave thru victory. The only difference is how many will die in the course.

By remaining, far fewer will suffer.

At 5:29 PM, November 20, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found something about the survey Steve J. & Murtha are referencing.

One of the things that bothers me about the survey was that it was conducted by an “Iraqi university research team.” That’s kind of vague. The article claims the researchers were “not told the data it compiled would be used by coalition forces,” but it wouldn’t take a genius to guess who was bankrolling the survey. After seeing the Pallywood fraud revealed at I’ve gotten a bit more suspicious & critical of the information I believe.

I would want to know who were the surveyors, what are their qualifications, what was the method of sampling & a good translation of the questions.

Another thing is that it contradicts a survey conducted just last year.

Still another thing is that it wildly contradicts the military blogs & Michael Yon.

I would like to see a follow-up survey conducted by trained pollsters supervised by a civilian polling organization like Gallup.

At 6:08 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...


Here's something from a poll the U.S. did:

Decisive victory doubtful in Iraq
Military: Diplomacy is only path to peace
Bryan Bender
Boston Globe
Jun. 11, 2005 12:00 AM

Meanwhile, a recent internal poll conducted for the U.S.-led coalition indicated that nearly 45 percent of the Iraqi population supports the insurgent attacks, making accurate intelligence difficult to obtain. Only 15 percent of those polled said they strongly support the U.S.-led coalition.

At 7:12 PM, November 20, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the article, Steve, & thought it very interesting.

New U.S. government analyses suggest that the insurgents, which are led by Sunni nationalists, remnants of Saddam's police state, and foreign extremists waging holy war, have vastly more staying power than previously thought.

Hey, they should’ve asked me. I would have told them that the terrorists & terrorism would be in Iraq long after the US passed the baton to the new Iraqi government. I never envisioned that the terrorists would be made to stop, by the US or Iraq – not for a long time. I expected the level of terrorism to be a constant, like it is in Israel, part of the general expectation as life proceeds around it, abhorred, feared, but lived with because there is no other alternative but to live, not with it, but despite it. Of course, Cheney was mistaken that the terrorists were in their “last throes.” It was a bonehead statement to make, I freely admit that. But what does Cheney’s mistake change? Is the US going to decide that any sustained terrorism means our defeat? Terrorism, which even with the best security precautions is relatively easy to perform, especially with the sponsorship of states like Syria & Iran, will quickly establish the caliphate under that policy. A few suicide bombs, a few snipers, a few roadside bombs, 2,000 soldiers dead & it’s goodbye, whoever you are, because you’ve won.

Meanwhile, a recent internal poll conducted for the U.S.-led coalition indicated that nearly 45 percent of the Iraqi population supports the insurgent attacks, making accurate intelligence difficult to obtain.

Steve, the article is citing the same British Ministry of Defense-financed survey we’ve been commenting about. See my previous comment if you want to review my reservations about that survey.

At 7:30 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...


I read your post about the MoD poll & I agree that it would be better to know much more about it.

I brought up the older U.S. poll because the number who think the insurgents are justified - 45% - is the same as that in the more recent poll.

At 9:32 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

If anyone wants to know why America is getting tired, they can take a quick look at all the fake pro-terroist propaganda "polls" that keep popping out. But, of course, that is only part of the answer.

If the UN was in charge of Iraq, there would be a fake plebescite that would "prove" that 99% of the Iraqi people want the US out.

Al-Qaeda doesn't bother with hypocrisy, they don't use fake democratic principles to hammer out a fascist ideology.

And that's something to respect, if not admire. And it is also something a lot of people tend to have unreasonable fears about, Al-Qaeda coming to power in an election.

Guess what folks, Al-Qaeda is incompatible with democracy in any shape or form. They know it, we know it, other people don't seem to.

They are the disease, and we are the cure. And you can't get the cure to the patient by telepathic suggestions. Got to use invasive procedures.

At 12:12 AM, November 21, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Steve, the article is citing the same British Ministry of Defense-financed survey we’ve been commenting about. See my previous comment if you want to review my reservations about that survey."

Not only the reservations you cited, but did you notice it was a "secret poll" that they somehow got a hold of? So you will *never* have any of your questions answered nor can you prove anything about it - hmm, wonder why?

You know, for persuasive evidence you really need to do better than "secret poll by unknown people that I can only tell you the results". Especially given that the publication in question has been known to, umm, be less than honest in the past.

Lets put it this way - if Fox News uncovered a secret poll sponsered by the French and carried out by unnamed people at an Iraqi university that said the opposite would you believe it? If not, then why do you this one?

I'm sure this person understands this perfectly well - after all I know without asking what his answer to the above question is and I'm not even psychic (for one thing, there are quite a few non-sooper-dooper-secret polls only this one paper knows about that say something VERY different and he choose the secret unverifiable one). He just hopes that no one is capable of mounting a decent defense against it.

It reminds me of my days in college when the net was just beginning to be used. We realised that the teachers knew nothing about it so we could easily set up our own "expert" to say whatever drivel we wanted, cite it, and get a good grade. It worked until the profs finally figured out how easy it is to post something on the internet. The Steves of the world either think we are that stupid/uninformed or are that way themselves.

At 2:22 AM, November 21, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve j.: I brought up the older U.S. poll because the number who think the insurgents are justified - 45% - is the same as that in the more recent poll.

But Steve, I think it may be likely that they are the same poll. I think Murtha, the Arizona Republic & the Telegraph may be citing the same survey – that’s why the numbers are the same. I’m aware that the Telegraph has their poll as being “carried out in August,” & the Boston Globe article carried by the Arizona Republic was written in June, but that is very close together & newspapers are frequently sloppy about the accuracy of such details. I think I need to know more about the sources before I come to any conclusions. There ought to be a rule that articles cite their sources less vaguely so that the reader can access the source & compare the article with the source.

At 7:27 PM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

that’s why the numbers are the same.

What happened to smart people, did they all become Republicans or engineers or something working in Iraq?

At 7:24 PM, November 23, 2005, Blogger John Sobieski said...

Why are we responsible for the Iraqi's miserable failure? It's Islam. Bush violated the first rule - know thy enemy. The Anchoress automatically assumes that Muslims killing Muslims after we leave is a bad thing. It's not. Better they expend their resources, human and money, destroying each other rather than the infidels. If Islam is the problem, and it is, then you want Islam to destroy itself. Not help it. Not finance it. Not allow it to invade the West and slowly dhimmify, and in Europe's case, Islamize the West. Cutoff the jizya. Disengage as much as possible - start with eliminating those 10,000 visas for Saudi students, and build the fence, a real fence like Israel's along the Mexican border, stop Muslim immigration and get real about the Islamics in our midst.

You can call Islam a cult, you can call it a political movement cloaked in monotheism, but don't call it a religion.


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