This is about us…

Review_bhd2 "The Republican-controlled Senate yesterday soundly rejected two Democratic proposals to withdraw troops from Iraq, turning back the Democrats’ argument that there should be a clear policy change in the war.
    "Withdrawal is not an option. Surrender is not a solution," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican. "  WT

""They were just looking for a political opening and I think they really messed up," Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, said of the Democrats’ strategy. "People see that things are moving [in Iraq]. This was a good week for Republicans."
    Vice President Dick Cheney also criticized the Democrats’ efforts, saying in a CNN interview that "absolutely the worst possible thing we could do at this point would be to validate and encourage the terrorists by doing exactly what they want us to do, which is to leave." "  WT

""The only ones who would win by us setting a date certain … is al Qaeda," said Sen. Johnny Isakson, Georgia Republican. "The result of today’s debate sends a strong message to our men and women in the Middle East that the country is behind them."
    "A failed state in Iraq would pose a clear, present and enduring threat," said Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican. "We’ve just one choice in Iraq and that is to see our mission there through to victory." "  WT


Muslim_distribution Isakson is right.  the country is "behind" the troops.  Good.  If you are going to send people to fight, you should be behind them. 

Countries are like individuals in some ways.  A man with his "blood up" is going to fight until he is exhausted.   We Americans have our "blood up."  We are not exhausted.  We do not want to lose.  We are going to continue to fight until we are exhausted.  We are a strong country.  Exhaustion will be a long time coming.

We have inserted ourselves into a situation in the Middle East and Central Asia in which we only dimly perceive the outlines.  The "locals" have their own axes to grind.  Once they are sharp enough they are going to start to use them on each other "with a vengeance."  Literally. 

Given our current level of emotional "investment" in the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, I would guess that it will be at least five years before we will have had "enough."

Democrats? Republicans?  It won’t make the slightest difference who is in power.  These wars will go on until we are through with them.

Pat Lang

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17 Responses to This is about us…

  1. Curious says:

    Al Qaeda already wins. What we are running on is just pride, wrong analysis, and wishfull thinking. (sentimental reasoning, is btw, a VERY clear signal that things are running on empty. There is no analytical strategy left.)
    This is what will happen:
    1. Al Qaeda will pull the most sucessfull guerilla campaign in modern history against the most sophisticated arm force in the world. The harder we crush, the more we destroy Iraq. We are shooting blind. And much of Iraq isn’t in our side becaus of previous actions.
    2. We gonna pull one dumb moves after another, just a matter of pride.
    3. Iran sees it first, cause they are next door. And as of now, they are my strongest indicator. The Iranian has to decide soon, if Al qaeda has gotten too strong and they need to play inside Iraq for their own safety. (by then our presence in Iraq has become so hopelessly irrelevant to unfolding events)
    4. All f our international asset will be affected soon. (diplomatic standing, influence in europe/Asia. We lost Taiwan, this is certain. It would be interesting how South Korea stand in all these. We are in the process of losing the entire middle east. ) The overall effect is readily seen. Dollar exchange rate, energy price, budget balance, and industrial feed price.
    5. within 6-8 months we will se if the war start to affect the stability of our own internal democratic system. (we will start to see, political assasination, use of terror against population, law change regarding vote/political allegiance, corruption, spying, raw religous/patriotism talk, increasing racism/violent crime/xenophobia, etc)
    It’s fairly predictable really. It happens in countries after countries in similar situation.

  2. lina says:

    Seems the new Irai government might have a different idea:,,7374-2239088,00.html
    “THE Iraqi Government will announce a sweeping peace plan as early as Sunday in a last-ditch effort to end the Sunni insurgency that has taken the country to the brink of civil war.
    The 28-point package for national reconciliation will offer Iraqi resistance groups inclusion in the political process and an amnesty for their prisoners if they renounce violence and lay down their arms. . .”
    The Government will promise a finite, UN-approved timeline for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq; a halt to US operations against insurgent strongholds; an end to human rights violations, including those by coalition troops; and compensation for victims of attacks by terrorists or Iraqi and coalition forces. . .”

  3. Brent Wiggans says:

    There is no argument about support for the troops and the military. The vast majority has always supported the people who serve their country in the military. The real argument has always been about the policies our military power is being used to implement and support; how our leaders are choosing to spend our country’s blood and treasure. Anyone who tells you that it is about support for our troops has just picked your pocket.
    We are now in the classic position of the investor who is watching his investment shrink or the gambler who is watching his winnings disappear in a run of bad luck. Do we stay with the hope of recouping our losses or do we accept the loss and move on. There may not be any rule of thumb to know when to call it a day, but we should at least recognize some of the factors that make us reluctant to leave the table. Pride is a big one, especially with all the neocon talk about how it is our proper place to play the bully in the world. The frustration of our need for revenge for 9/11 makes withdrawal an even bitterer pill to swallow. It is a lot to ask of the political party likely to take most of the blame for failure to initiate withdrawal; a lot, but not too much. The good intentions of those who bought the belatedly introduced humanitarian arguments for our invasion of Iraq confirm the image that many of us have of ourselves as moral people and good citizens of the world. Giving up on those good intentions makes us look morally weak. And fear of the flood of terrorism that may boil out of the reaction that we have catalyzed in Iraq is a powerful deterrent to removing ourselves from the mess we have made. Hope, of course, springs eternal and the previously mentioned factors make distinguishing between the genuine article and wishful thinking impossible for a lot of people. Are any of these or even all of these factors enough to justify “staying the course”? Is there another compelling reason to stay? These are among the questions we must ask ourselves as we face more margin calls and antes to stay in the game.

  4. john says:

    Good analysis of Iraq.
    It canot be grasped, nor let go of.
    But if you do neither,
    It goes its own way.
    If you remain silent, it will speak.
    Speak, and it is silent.
    (Ch’an Master Hsuan Chuen of Yung Chia)
    The profits are stilling flowing to privitized national defense. We’ll be there a while yet.

  5. zanzibar says:

    The American people are ahead of the politicians and generals on the issue of Iraq. Bush has already stated that the US presence in Iraq will have to be decided by the next President.
    No doubt the Bush/Cheney administration is on an auto-pilot, stay-the-course policy because anything else would mean a complete rejection and defeat of their neocon preventative war strategy.
    The problem they face is that the American people know that stay-the-course for a failed policy and incompetent execution is not a good option. They want change. The drumbeats for change will only get louder. I hope the revulsion of the American people to this military action does not hurt the military and will actually hold to account those that deceived for personal profit and utopian visions.

  6. W. Patrick Lang says:

    1- No one will be punished at the top.
    2- There are a lot of good hearted but uninformed people in this country who will continue to be repelled at withdrawal under pressure. They will stay that way for a long time IMO. pl

  7. zanzibar says:

    Agree. No one at the top will be held to account.
    There will always be a segment of the populace that will countenance withdrawal under pressure as failure and will not accept that. There is another segment which is steadily shrinking that is of the opinion that invading Iraq was a good idea. However, the trends are that larger and larger segments of our country want a real strategy and policy on Iraq and not just stay-the-course when the course is going the wrong way. Already a majority of Americans believe that invading Iraq was a mistake and that the US should have a withdrawal timetable and 82% in a June CBS poll believe there is a civil war in Iraq. If these trends continue the pressure for policy change will increase. By the time the policy changes however we may very well have another President who won on the basis of getting us out of the Iraqi quagmire. One reason why there has not been a major outcry yet despite dissatisfaction with the policy is because sacrifice is narrowly constrained to military families. The rest of us have had to pay no immediate and visible price.

  8. W. Patrick Lang says:

    My friends and their families pay, but they/we signed up for that. pl

  9. jonst says:

    With all due respect PL, I have to disagree with you. Its been doomed since the start.

  10. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Ah, yes, But, that is another question. I have reviewed Cobra 2 for MEP and that will be published in their next number. pl

  11. Larry Mitchell says:

    It’s easy to sit in congress and argue either way on withdrawal based on theories of what might happen. Exhaustion probably will be what it takes to actually force action down a different path. What I think will become exhausted first is the credit card to which we are charging the war expenses. I can’t see that lasting for 5 years at this rate. Certainly we will have a normal business cycle recession sooner than that (due to not cutting enough taxes, I’m sure), and I would think some in congress will have to come to their senses on the fiscal problems with this project. Didn’t the Soviets stay the course in Afghanistan for about 10 years before their super power days ended due primarily to financial problems? Can our volunteer military continue the necessary recruiting two years from now under these conditions? I don’t picture the chest beaters in Congress picking up any slack in that regard. When they say we must stay the course, they know that “we” does not include them or their children.

  12. sbj says:

    I don’t know if you meant it this way, but it does seem clear that it is our collective “emotional investment”, rather than our “rational, cognitive, reality-based” grasp of the situation that will keep us directly engaged for probably quite a few more years in Iraq.
    The delusional rhetoric from the neocons (Jacobins), has proven quite effective at weaponizing the ignorance of a huge segment of the population, despite the near perfect record of that rhetoric at getting things wrong. I sense they are on the wane, but even so, the destructive momentum established via their insane agenda will still be able to cause significant further damage even after they themselves are out of the halls of official power in the government.

  13. W. Patrick Lang says:

    That is exactly the way I meant it. pl

  14. ikonoklast says:

    The administration has no intention whatsoever of leaving the region in the near future, regardless of US public opinion. We are building the world’s largest embassy in Baghdad, a veritable fortress. Plans are still in process for creating “enduring” military bases in Iraq, the reported numbers varying from four to fourteen – these in addition to our base in Kyrgyzstan.
    Sadly, despite the ineptitude and inane half-baked theories of the neocons, the Cheney faction is correct that the US is dependent on oil for the time being. Too bad they have no realistic ideas about how to go about securing it short of turning Central Asia into a battleground. Practically any trade strategy besides “creative destruction” would have put us in the catbird seat, if they’d had enough sense to use our economic power – carrots in place of sticks. Any succeeding administration is going to be stuck with this situation.
    So now a strategic withdrawal is framed as “cut and run,” accusations of cowardice being sufficient to keep the public’s blood up. It’ll be interesting to see what talking point comes up when the elected government asks us to leave. I’ll bet on the “unwilling puppets of Iranian Islamofascist expansionism” trope.

  15. Curious says:

    the Cheney faction is correct that the US is dependent on oil for the time being.
    Posted by: ikonoklast | 24 June 2006 at 05:31 PM
    You now. that’s the part the doesn’t make any sense at all!
    think about it. we spend what? $320B so far?
    If we can adopt Japan and Italy’s oil consumption pattern. That is to say, we can implement modest reduction by using existing technology.
    at pre war oil price….HOW MANY years exactly are we going to get???
    If anybody then blurb, yeah but what about after 2020… (If by 2020 we are still driving gas guzzling SUV … then we got bigger trouble than running out of oil)
    Fuel cell for car is almost ready, and it promise to cut gas for driving consumption by some 40%. Brazil is near self sufficient with gas for driving. THen there are plug-in hybrid that promise 80+mph
    all these are RIGHT NOW, not some science fiction story in 2020.
    $320 Billion is enough money to give everybody in the country brand spanking new car (design, production line, new hydrogen system)
    The whole friggin thing…
    but we decide to kill bunch of brown people to steal a couple barrel of oil?
    I mean seriously…wtf?
    It’s as if the whole plan is designed by bunch of highschool flunkies.
    let me repeat that. $320 BILION people!!! The entire MANHATTAN project is estimated around $20B

  16. Michael Siger says:

    Dear Pat, Two things:
    1. This “Lucy” person is polluting what has been an exciting exchange of views. Why is this poison she spews relevant to the discussions we are having?
    2. I don’t believe the nation is behind the war; it is behind the troops fighting the war. The Bush/Cheney axis got us into this war by terrorizing Americans and Congress into believing Iraq was responsible for 9/11: a boldfaced lie.
    Bush started it and he should be held to account for stopping it. If it is not over by then, whoever wins in 2008 will have “a secret plan to end the war” as Nixon said he did. We can only pray the new President not wait three years for thousands more to die before he/she makes peace with the Iraqi national resistence. Michael Singer

  17. W. Patrick Lang says:

    When someone offends my highly developed sense of decorum, I ban him temporarily to see if bewhavior improves. I did that with “Lucy” who is actually a man (claimed) She/it has screwed up again and banning is now permanent.
    As for the level of public support for the war, I think it is much higher than you believe, You need to get out of the NY City area more. pl

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