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Thread: Time to hold the US generals accountable for Afg. and Iraq

  1. #21
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Perhaps electing former senior military officers and NCOs into office (but most have too much honor to enter politics) to help change the culture.
    Bill,

    Rothkopf's referenced article covers a number of bases...perhaps one of those could be seen as warning shot for future aspirants attempting to capitalize on this theme.

    It will be interesting to see how many vet's make it into office in November...putting the nation's welfare before personal gain, still apparently a novel concept in some quarters of the country.
    Sapere Aude

  2. #22
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
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    Some insight into the stupid parochialism still evident on all sides as the nation burns. All of these yahoo's need to do some real work for once, pull a tour, and learn something about the importance of teamwork and sacrifice...

    Lucky or Good? By Joshua Green and Peter Coy on March 21, 2012, Bloomberg Businessweek

    .... halted the worst downturn since the Great Depression and rescued the financial sector with a plan that drew on private, rather than public, funds to recapitalize ailing banks. Despite the best efforts of an intractable Congress, [] kept the government from shutting down or defaulting on its debt, which bought the economy time to heal.

    But [] and [] advisers also failed to recognize the shape and scope of the crisis and hesitated to push for new jobs programs once they did (FIG. 1). Even with overwhelming assistance from the Federal Reserve, growth remains tepid and unemployment, though falling, remains high at 8.3 percent.
    Sapere Aude

  3. #23
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Patrick Porter, an Australian and Reader in Strategic Studies at Reading University (UK); writes an irregular blog and his current post is 'The Neocons Made Me Do It: Iraq and the Alibi of Liberal Hawks'; note it is not possible to add comments:http://offshorebalancer.wordpress.co...liberal-hawks/

    As Tom Friedman, NYT columnist, has appeared before here I was struck by this:
    As the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman told Ha’aretz in May 2003: ‘Iraq was the war neoconservatives wanted… the war the neoconservatives marketed…. I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office [in Washington]) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.’

    For the record, Thomas Friedman also supported war in 2003.
    As did the author he admits.

    IMHO a good balance to the original FP Blog.
    davidbfpo

  4. #24
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Good find, David.

    Thanks for posting it. Especially notable is this paragraph from the article:
    "A ‘neocon’ alibi gets the likes of Anne-Marie Slaughter off the hook too lightly. Having supported war in Iraq, and routinely supporting American military action from Rwanda to Libya to Syria, Slaughter would prefer us all to move on, and focus on the real issues of how to rebuild from the rubble created by the wars she endorses in the first place."
    She and others who espouse that R2P foolishness and the Rothkopf's of this world who support similar follies (performed by their President...) are every bit as responsible as are the equally deluded Neocons.

    The truth IMO is that it was a good strategic effort flawed by poor execution and that even with the flaws and costs, it achieved many of its original aims even if this Stephen Walt writes is correct:
    "...who after voting for the worst military adventure in our time, went on to advise Americans that they should exercise ‘smart power.’"
    If "our time" is defined as the the last 37 years, a generation, he may be proven correct but I'd be far more inclined to nominate Afghanistan (and something even worse might yet appear... ). Even if it is the 'worst,' is that military misadventure the fault of the military forces involved -- or of the politicians who sent and then kept them there when it was obvious that those forces were ill prepared and that the politically assumed and militarily totally unnecessary task was likely unachievable.

    Time will tell. What we hopefully have learned is that such efforts are unduly expensive, unlikely to achieve success and a distraction. We should avoid them to the maximum possible extent. "Smart Power" to me is not wasting military force where it will likely do more harm than good. Iraq may escape such a judgement, barely if at all. Afghanistan is less likely to do so...
    Last edited by Ken White; 03-26-2012 at 02:42 PM.

  5. #25
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Ken,

    I refrained from citing Ms Slaughter, mainly as her views on R2P have been robustly challenged here. Secondly however well-written Rothkopf was I needed the wider US context to judge his views and SWC has done that.

    After reading two scholarly UK authored articles on Iraq today, as posted on the Iraq thread, I did wonder if Americans will one day ask why the sacrifice to end with this?
    davidbfpo

  6. #26
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    ...I did wonder if Americans will one day ask why the sacrifice to end with this?
    Many asked that in 2002, more do so now. Probably even more will in the future.

    Conversely, many had no questions or qualms in 2002, more have none today. I think most though, then and now, had and have doubts and questions. Most to whom I've talked are pretty well convinced it's too early to make a valid assessment and that most 'assessments' one reads today are ideologically tainted and tilt to one side or the other...

  7. #27
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    I doubt that it'll have much of a lasting impact, though.

  8. #28
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Could be...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    I doubt that it'll have much of a lasting impact, though.
    We'll have to wait until about 2030 to get a decent idea.

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