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Thread: The Emerging "Neocon" Alibi on Iraq

  1. #21
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default See!

    We have far too many folks kicking around in these circles who don't understand even the basics of intellectual research and confuse .ppt History and a few History Channel shows for real research and background.
    Steve gets it, too, Marc!

  2. #22
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Steve gets it, too, Marc!
    So many students will be disappointed if we ever started testing not using ppt and the History Channel . I mean, after all, if it's good enough for politicians and bureaucrats, what's like the problem, eh ?

    Marc

    Editorial note: the expression "eh?" was first popularized by Bob and Doug MacKenzie in the early 1980's. Originally, it was only used in a small stretch of Canada opposite Buffalo. The author only used it here to keep Tom happy
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    Here's a new one. The "Iraq war" actually started in 1968.


    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Hitchens
    when I wrote the essays that go to make up A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation of Iraq, I was expressing an impatience with those who thought that hostilities had not really "begun" until George W. Bush gave a certain order in the spring of 2003.

    Anyone with even a glancing acquaintance with Iraq would have to know that a heavy U.S. involvement in the affairs of that country began no later than 1968, with the role played by the CIA in the coup that ultimately brought Saddam Hussein's wing of the Baath Party to power.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
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    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
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    Default Christopher Hitchens ...

    ... has never been noted for sloppy thinking.

    One of the problems with the anti-war crowd is that they don't seem to have had a problem with the numerous bombing raids carried out under the previous administration, or the economic sanctions. (With the exception that some seemed to think we should have lifted them once Saddam turned "Oil for Food" into "Oil for Politicians and Weapons.") On the other hand, the fact that Bush wasn't 100% correct in everything, and the occupation was bungled, makes him and the US totally evil.

    A second problem, that Hitchens has spoken to before, is that they refuse to recognize the world is a better place with Saddam out of power. That, too, is always ignored.

    It would be nice to lock leftist, anti war types and "Neocons" in a room. The next day we could shoot the survivors.
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  5. #25
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Actually, it started before that. However, his 1968

    date isn't that far off the mark for our involvement specifically in Iraq. Hitchens engages in his usual hyperbole and provocative style but he's not totally out to lunch in that article

    One can argue that Iraq was not well planned or even a good plan -- but one should have an alternative proposal for what was to be done about the steadily increasing probes from the Middle East from 1979 through 2001 other than continue to accept them with almost no reaction. Thus far, I've seen no one offer such an alternative other than 'diplomacy' and some feel-good efforts which, given the long memories and propensity for feuds in the ME would have been highly unlikely to confer even minimal success..

    One can go back to the FDR and Ibn Saud conference on the return trip from Yalta and wish the US had done many things in the ME differently over the next 30 years. Not much point in that, we did what we did and the seizure of the Tehran Embassy resulted and our totally ineffectual response to that started the ball rolling. I submit diplomacy would not have stopped it. Nor will Iraq -- but Iraq did short circuit their efforts and it will have a deterrent effect provided we don't get stuck on stupid. That's far better than doing what we did from 1979 until 2001.

    While no fan of Wolfotwits, Feith et.al. and while agreeing with most above on the stupidity of the Neocon ideas (and their current CYA effort -- which is pathetic but was to be expected), I've never been totally convinced that Bush adopted the Neocon mantras -- I think he realized on a gut level that it was impossible to seal the borders of the US and that something more than diplomacy was required. He simply followed some (not all) of the Neocon ideas because they made more sense than most of the alternatives. IOW, no one had a better plan.

    And, five years later, I still haven't read or heard of one...

  6. #26
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Will there be knives? I like knives...

    Quote Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post
    ...
    It would be nice to lock leftist, anti war types and "Neocons" in a room. The next day we could shoot the survivors.
    I'll even donate a few. Voila, no survivors....

  7. #27
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default We used to

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    I'll even donate a few. Voila, no survivors....
    have an ideal way of dealing with Post Modernists and others suffering from PMS (Post Modernist Syndrome) which was similar. Lock them in a spherical room and tell them to deconstruct a continuous loop of Celine Dion .

    There would be no survivors .
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
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    I find it quite ironic that the neo-cons are taking a page out of German history with the "dolchstoss" defense...these people are out to lunch.

    Ken, sometimes lack of policy and action is good enough.
    "Speak English! said the Eaglet. "I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and what's more, I don't believe you do either!"

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  9. #29
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Doing nothing is always an option.

    Whether it's advisable or not when you're being stalked by a Pride of Lions is another question.

    Turning the other cheek is, to steal a phrase from Marc, a Post Modernists preferred methodology. Works generally okay with most westerners. Not so much with folks from the ME who are definitely not into post modernism...

    Response should be tailored to sources not dreams.

  10. #30
    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    have an ideal way of dealing with Post Modernists and others suffering from PMS (Post Modernist Syndrome) which was similar. Lock them in a spherical room and tell them to deconstruct a continuous loop of Celine Dion .
    That's odd. I'd have thought you would be opposed to torture.
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    A pride of lions? Please. You give the Islamic radicals too much credit sir.

    Iraq had no lions, they had a broken country that had the illusion of stability and strength.

    The surveillance program under Desert Spring and other Iraq tailored operations worked quite fine. It was undoubedtly cheaper, both in blood and treasure, and kept a modicum of stability in the region.

    Now there is a power vacuum that we are temporarily filling. I am of the opinion this cannot be sustained indefinatly.
    "Speak English! said the Eaglet. "I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and what's more, I don't believe you do either!"

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  12. #32
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Depends...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ski View Post
    A pride of lions? Please. You give the Islamic radicals too much credit sir.
    Not really, but I'm incredibly easy. Not lions then. How about a pack of Jackals -- or even wild dogs? Still propose to do nothing? If so, we have a different approach to life.
    Iraq had no lions, they had a broken country that had the illusion of stability and strength.
    If you were under that illusion, as were many, not my problem. IMO, they were neither stable nor strong but they did have the misfortune to have an unloved dictator and be smack dab in the geographic center of the ME, they thus became an easy target.
    The surveillance program under Desert Spring and other Iraq tailored operations worked quite fine. It was undoubedtly cheaper, both in blood and treasure, and kept a modicum of stability in the region.
    Stability in the region was not the issue -- export of nominally Islamic fundamentalist terrorism to the rest of the world was the issue and, in particular, attacks on the US (read: Afghanistan, here we come) and more importantly, US interests worldwide (as in Khobar towers, the embassies, Beirut and all that -- read Iraq and the greater ME, here we come...) were the triggers to do more than passively accept them -- which Desert Fox and such did absolutely nothing to deter. One could argue that such halfhearted foolishness merely encouraged the Jackals...

    The object in attacking Iraq was not to produce a stable ME, it was to get bases in the area in order to facilitate the local development of greater stability and to deter local adventurers in the field of global terrorism by cutting the time to accomplish that from four or five generations to only two or so. May not have been the best plan in the world but it'll probably work and it is certainly vastly preferable to continuing to encourage the attacks by NOT responding significantly.
    Now there is a power vacuum that we are temporarily filling. I am of the opinion this cannot be sustained indefinatly.
    Shouldn't need to be sustained indefinitely, just another 15-30 years or so. Hang in there, it'll get worse before it gets better.

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    Jackals or wild dogs is a better desciption for Al Qaeda. Not for the Baathists in Iraq. They were mosquitos - kept at bay with a nice fresh dose of DDT every so often.

    Agree that Iraq was not strong, but was relatively stable, much more so than what we are seeing today. Unloved dictators are dime a dozen in the world, it does not mean we are invading their countries however. I suspect our political beliefs are different and that's good.

    Where we part ways - Gathering bases is a do-nothing plan for me when we have bases scattered in the region from Turkey to Oman to Kuwait to Qatar to Bahrain to Kyrgystan...how many is enough? We could have done enough damage to non-state terror groups without invading Iraq for additional bases (do you really believe that?) We could have kept a close eye on Iraq, built up a Division size presence on the Kuwaiti-Iraqi border. Hell, we had a great deal of military surveillance on the place as is...after 13 years, we should have known everything about the damned country.

    I don't believe the American public will allow us to stay in Iraq for 15 years, much less 30. We shall see.






    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Not really, but I'm incredibly easy. Not lions then. How about a pack of Jackals -- or even wild dogs? Still propose to do nothing? If so, we have a different approach to life.If you were under that illusion, as were many, not my problem. IMO, they were neither stable nor strong but they did have the misfortune to have an unloved dictator and be smack dab in the geographic center of the ME, they thus became an easy target.Stability in the region was not the issue -- export of nominally Islamic fundamentalist terrorism to the rest of the world was the issue and, in particular, attacks on the US (read: Afghanistan, here we come) and more importantly, US interests worldwide (as in Khobar towers, the embassies, Beirut and all that -- read Iraq and the greater ME, here we come...) were the triggers to do more than passively accept them -- which Desert Fox and such did absolutely nothing to deter. One could argue that such halfhearted foolishness merely encouraged the Jackals...

    The object in attacking Iraq was not to produce a stable ME, it was to get bases in the area in order to facilitate the local development of greater stability and to deter local adventurers in the field of global terrorism by cutting the time to accomplish that from four or five generations to only two or so. May not have been the best plan in the world but it'll probably work and it is certainly vastly preferable to continuing to encourage the attacks by NOT responding significantly.Shouldn't need to be sustained indefinitely, just another 15-30 years or so. Hang in there, it'll get worse before it gets better.
    "Speak English! said the Eaglet. "I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and what's more, I don't believe you do either!"

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    Council Member Billy Ruffian's Avatar
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    It's disgusting when the rats flee a floundering ship with all their goodies securely snug in their jaws.
    "I encounter civilians like you all the time. You believe the Empire is continually plotting to do harm. Let me tell you, your view of the Empire is far too dramatic. The Empire is a government. It keeps billions of beings fed and clothed. Day after day, year after year, on thousands of worlds people live their lives under Imperial rule without ever seeing a stormtrooper or hearing a TIE fighter scream overhead."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    and be smack dab in the geographic center of the ME, they thus became an easy target.
    Define "easy."

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    The object in attacking Iraq was not to produce a stable ME, it was to get bases in the area
    If you're right, then the war was unnecessary. Saddam would've given us a huge base in the dessert in exchange for his life.
    Last edited by Rank amateur; 03-18-2008 at 02:10 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

  16. #36
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Again you miss the point. However, that's what

    Quote Originally Posted by Ski View Post
    Jackals or wild dogs is a better desciption for Al Qaeda. Not for the Baathists in Iraq. They were mosquitos - kept at bay with a nice fresh dose of DDT every so often.
    you're supposed to do; concentrate on Iraq and miss the rest of the ME. Part of the strategery, I think. Seems to be working. Your mosquito advice was adhered to by three former Presidents-- you see where that got us...

    Iraq is just the most visible aspect of the multi pronged strategy, Afghanistan is another -- and totally separate LOO (to use the buzz-acronym) -- while the real effort is closing off the money supply and infiltrating the operating entities (nothing classified in that, been touted in open sources here and there). The Baathists were not an issue. Saddam was not an issue. Iraq's oil was not an issue. Iraq was not an issue. The issue was destabilizing the Islamist terror base throughout the ME. Iraq just happened to be the geo location thereof because it's smack dab in the middle of the AO.
    Agree that Iraq was not strong, but was relatively stable, much more so than what we are seeing today. Unloved dictators are dime a dozen in the world, it does not mean we are invading their countries however...
    The dictator wan't a big issue but the fact the he was unloved by many made him a better target than some others. That and the fact that an attack there was likely to be minimally disruptive to world oil supply. Not ours; the world's -- we really want China and India to have all the oil they want.

    Nor was Iraq's stability an issue. Isn't really one today in broad terms other than as that stability affects our ability to do what we wish. Callous but that's life in the real world.
    ...I suspect our political beliefs are different and that's good.
    Perhaps. Though the issue to me is not political and, domestically, I'm pretty much apolitical and don't like or trust either party or ANY politician. I am a complete pragmatist, I've spent a few years in the ME and I know that four previous Presidents inadvertently encouraged them to continue their attacks over a 20 year period. Bush may not be great but at least he had enough sense to say 'enough.'
    Where we part ways - Gathering bases is a do-nothing plan for me when we have bases scattered in the region from Turkey to Oman to Kuwait to Qatar to Bahrain to Kyrgystan...how many is enough?...
    Actually we don't have any bases in Turkey though they did allow us to use some of theirs under very tightly controlled conditions. The others you cite in the ME are all subject to similar conditions and all are small and would not allow for three or four BCT with training space. Kyrgyzstan is not in the ME (neither is Afghanistan). It's not how many, it's where they are and the capability they provide.
    ...We could have done enough damage to non-state terror groups without invading Iraq for additional bases (do you really believe that?)...
    No, I don't believe we could have done such damage -- we haven't done them much damage even with Iraq ; that's a different thing entirely and is being worked quietly in many places around the world by a surprising number of US guvmint employees from many agencies (not least USSOCOM who are not into advertising). Yes, I do believe the bases were a very significant reason for the attack on Iraq; not the only reason, there were a dozen or more but the bases were a biggie.
    ...We could have kept a close eye on Iraq, built up a Division size presence on the Kuwaiti-Iraqi border. Hell, we had a great deal of military surveillance on the place as is...after 13 years, we should have known everything about the damned country.
    In reverse order; we obviously didn't know much about it all (Intel failure of significant magnitude); Kuwait is not big enough to allow a Division sized force and adequate training room plus there would have been conditions of use; yet again, Iraq is not the issue -- the support of trans national terrorism by a broad swath of people throughout the ME is the issue.
    I don't believe the American public will allow us to stay in Iraq for 15 years, much less 30. We shall see.
    Heh. Okay. We will, indeed...

  17. #37
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Three weeks to Baghdad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    Define "easy."
    That was fairly easy.

    Huh? Oh, the last five years? All that was due to (1) A massive Intel failure before the invasion by numerous agencies. (2) An Army that had no idea how to occupy another country because they had not done that in almost 60 years. (3) An Army that due to deliberate and planned lack of training and focus over an almost 30 year period under four Presidents from both parties was not prepared to pre-empt an insurgency or to fight it if it erupted. Even at that, it's been easy and five years later, we've used about one third the body bags estimated by many for the initial attack. As wars go, trust me, this one is real easy.

    Yeah, aside from the casualties, always a concern but inevitable to some degree, it's also been expensive, dollar wise -- but a very large part of that is due to inane laws and regulations prompted by those laws, all passed by a series of lame Congress critters over the years in oder to 'protect the taxpayers money.' You'll have to speak to Congress about that; out of my hands.

    That's the definition of easy. Not for the poor guys that got hit but, all in all, as wars go, that's easy.
    If you're right, then the war was unnecessary. Saddam would've given us a huge base in the dessert in exchange for his life.
    Funny guy. In order for that to have occurred, we'd have had to have the ability to deprive him of life -- we obviously did not.

    Besides, we wanted three or four, dispersed, all with big airfields to facilitate rapid deployment elsewhere -- and with no strings on their use. That meant taking them. Even Saddam's generosity had limits...

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    Ken

    I understand where you are coming from now. Don't agree with you all the way, but that's life.

    We do have an air base in Turkey - Incirlik. Been there twice.
    "Speak English! said the Eaglet. "I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and what's more, I don't believe you do either!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ski View Post
    ....I understand where you are coming from now. Don't agree with you all the way, but that's life.

    We do have an air base in Turkey - Incirlik. Been there twice.
    Ski - I've spent a bit of time there as well, but Incirlik is not our base. It is a Turkish AF installation, of which they permit us to use a part. We've been using it since '55, but it still ain't our base. They've made that very clear; especially clear on the occasions that they've rolled armored vehicles onto the airstrip to stop our aircraft from taking off when they were engaged across the Iraqi border.

    Over the years, Incirlik has played an important role in a broad spectrum of missions, from the '58 intervention in Lebanon, to OPC/ONW and current ops. But the Turks always have the last word on what we can launch from that site - and since the interference they ran against us with OPC missions, and the issues we had with them over OIF launch, they are no longer viewed as reliable ally in the COE (despite public stroking to the contrary). In too many important regards, their interests diverge from ours - long-term, we need an air base to replace Incirlik that will meet the same regional needs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    In order for that to have occurred, we'd have had to have the ability to deprive him of life -- we obviously did not.

    Obviously, we had the ability to kill Saddam, because he's dead now. Obviously he knew it, because he had a spider hole prepared.

    Or to express my thoughts more concisely, if all we wanted were bases, we should have offered to call off the invasion in exchange for bases. Since the people in the White House are pretty smart and didn't make that offer, I suspect it was about more than bases: at least in their minds.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Even Saddam's generosity had limits...
    I wasn't refferring to his genoristy. I was reffering to his desire for self preservation. I suspect that Saddam with a gun to his head would be more likely to give us permission to use bases to attack Iran than an Iraqi Prime Minister who has been told that he's liberated and holds hands with Ahmadinejad. But that's just my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Huh? Oh, the last five years? All that was due to

    I'd place the blame for the last five years higher up: a combination of arrogance and ignorance of the basic fact that urban combat can't possibly play out like the 1991 slaughter in the dessert. But that's also just my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    it's also been expensive, dollar wise
    Given that one of UBL's objectives was to weaken our the economy, and our massive debt has contributed to the weakening economy, I personally wouldn't brush off the expense so quickly.

    Slate has a whole bunch of people reflecting on whether they were right or wrong five years ago.

    This is the link to the liberal hawks." (There are a few more that will be coming on line this week.):


    IMO, Richard Cohen is the most honest:

    "I admit it—I wanted to strike back."


    "How Did I Get Iraq Wrong? I trusted Colin Powell and his circumstantial evidence—for a little while," by Fred Kaplan. Posted March 17, 2008.

    "How Did I Get Iraq Wrong? I underestimated the self-centeredness and sectarianism of the ruling elite and the social impact of 30 years of extreme dictatorship," by Kanan Makiya. Posted March 17, 2008.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

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