Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Democrats talking sense

Remember Bob Kerry, Democrat and former member of the 9/11 commission? He has very important op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal. Rumors are that the Democratic Presidential Candidates are now going to retreat from Nebraska and the WSJ as well. From the article:

The critics who bother me the most are those who ordinarily would not be on the side of supporting dictatorships, who are arguing today that only military intervention can prevent the genocide of Darfur, or who argued yesterday for military intervention in Bosnia, Somalia and Rwanda to ease the sectarian violence that was tearing those places apart.

Suppose we had not invaded Iraq and Hussein had been overthrown by Shiite and Kurdish insurgents. Suppose al Qaeda then undermined their new democracy and inflamed sectarian tensions to the same level of violence we are seeing today. Wouldn't you expect the same people who are urging a unilateral and immediate withdrawal to be urging military intervention to end this carnage? I would.

American liberals need to face these truths: The demand for self-government was and remains strong in Iraq despite all our mistakes and the violent efforts of al Qaeda, Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias to disrupt it. Al Qaeda in particular has targeted for abduction and murder those who are essential to a functioning democracy: school teachers, aid workers, private contractors working to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure, police officers and anyone who cooperates with the Iraqi government. Much of Iraq's middle class has fled the country in fear.

With these facts on the scales, what does your conscience tell you to do? If the answer is nothing, that it is not our responsibility or that this is all about oil, then no wonder today we Democrats are not trusted with the reins of power. American lawmakers who are watching public opinion tell them to move away from Iraq as quickly as possible should remember this: Concessions will not work with either al Qaeda or other foreign fighters who will not rest until they have killed or driven into exile the last remaining Iraqi who favors democracy.

The key question for Congress is whether or not Iraq has become the primary battleground against the same radical Islamists who declared war on the U.S. in the 1990s and who have carried out a series of terrorist operations including 9/11. The answer is emphatically "yes."

This does not mean that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11; he was not. Nor does it mean that the war to overthrow him was justified--though I believe it was. It only means that a unilateral withdrawal from Iraq would hand Osama bin Laden a substantial psychological victory.

Now if only we could get him to run against Chuck Hagel.


Sirocco said...

Kerry makes a lot of "suppositions" which have little, if any basis. For example, on what grounds does he thing Hussein was about the be overthrown?

I am not saying the situation in Iraq prior to our invasion as ideal -- it wasn't, not even close. However, it was also not in a state of open genocide as is Darfur now, or Bosnia in the 90's. Trying to equate them amounts to a false logical position.

It may be true a "unilateral withdrawal from Iraq would hand Osama bin Laden a substantial psychological victory". However, the seeds for that were planted in the days prior to and immediately after the invasion -- an invasion which was never justified and one that, once started, has been managed with historical imcompetance.

I feel no need to keep pouring money and lives down a rathole whcih never should have existed in teh first place.

Framer said...

Kerry isn't trying to make the case that Iraq was Rawanda before the invasion, although to say that it wasn't going on at a large scale is naive to say the least, and you know better.

He admits that the overall basis for going into Iraq has arguments on both sides. What he says is that immediate withdrawal would lead to a Darfur or Rawanda AND would hand the terrorists an important victory which are both true.

Of course, if you do not believe there is a global war on terror, as do half of the Democratic candidates for president, and apparently Gabby Giffords, then there are no terrorists to claim victory and we can leave tomorrow.

Kerry has done more research and heard more testimony on Al Queada than most American politicians and citizens, including you and I. To dismiss him out of hand is simply arrogant. Not that I would accuse you of this. :)

Sirocco said...

I am not dismissing him out of hand, I just think he's come to the wrong conclusions. Nor do I think there is not a global war on terror. I just think we are trying to fight terror with the wrong tools.

I admit it's possible, likely even, things in Iraq could devolve to the state of Rwanda in the 90's, or Darfur now. We won't know until we leave.

Having said that, if things _do_ devolve to that state, we might be able to return under more compelling circumstances -- the regional neighbors might be more likely to assist us rather than work against us, the local populace might be more willing to assist us than support people shooting at us, etc.

Numerous other people who are privy to the same information Kerry gets have reached substantially different conclusions vis-a-vis exiting Iraq. I could make the same argument about the "arrogance" of dismissing their views out of hand as well.

Sadly, it's a standard human condition (mine included) to appreciate the wisdom of those who agree with us and condemn or dismiss those benighted souls who do not.

x4mr said...

Not sure how many have noticed that the surge continues to surge, and the soldier count continues to climb. I won't list links but these facts are easy to verify.

My rage is FAR more associated with the incompetence and the M.O. of the invasion, and the more I learn, the more angry I get. Nobody (self included) like to be Monday AM QB'd, but this is ridiculous.

I am not clear AT ALL about the reality of Al Queda and what forces are driving what. We have tribal stuff and all sorts of energies in the mix that have nothing to do with OBL. For all I know, the guy's dead.

Again and again, I find myself asking about money, oil, and control. That OBL and Al Queda are factors is possible but questionable.

My limited perspective has now become a complete blur. I have no idea what a withdrawal means. I have no confidence that staying is accomplishing anything. I'm no longer clear what victory and loss mean in terms of anything that could ACTUALLY HAPPEN.

Cheney's vision of the Iraqi population "greeting us as liberators" and embracing Exxon's bottom line is nuts.

These people think it's THEIR oil, not Exxon's. Leaving. Staying. Surging. Pulling back. It's all TERRIBLE to me.

The whole fiasco is predicated on a LIE. That explains a lot.

I don't have a solution.

Framer said...


If forced to bet my house on it, I would bet that Osama has assumed room temperature for some time now, If he is still alive, he is probably a shell of what he used to be, which is why we do not see anything of him.

But here is a clue. Baathist secularists really aren't all that keen on suicide bombing, as they aren't in it for religious reasons. Iraqi Shiites aren't into suicide bombing either, as they hold the stronger hand. (Iranian Shiites may be different). If you see a suicide bombing in Iraq, it is a safe bet that is is Al Queda related. Look over that list I provided of the terrorist attacks in Iraq, and see what percentage fit this profile.

Withdrawal means that these terrorists claim victory, claim Iraq, and move forward to neighboring countries to do the same thing. Right now they are moving into Lebanon, as of the news report I saw last night, especially since the surge is making things a lot tougher in Iraq. They can simply wait until September to return, however.

Just a question, have you heard any news of terrorist losses or defeats in the past six months? Would you assume that this means that there is an absence of victories for us?

I'm not trying to be cute, I'm just curious.

Framer said...

And as far as looking for truth in conflicting political claims, I would take a strong look at what Kerry says, because there is no discernible personal or political advantage for him to say what he is saying. I doubt there is a book deal in store, nor is he running for any office that I know of, and his opinion cuts against his party's consensus.

That would mean that he is likely speaking the unvarnished truth as he sees it.

Compare this with most of the Joe Wilson type "whistleblowers." I'll take Kerry all day long in this situation.

Sirocco said...


You are assuming Sunnis == al Qaeda, which is not a truism. You are also assuming, if we leave, said al-Qaeda/Sunnis will "take over Iraq".

Given they are a definite and signifiant minority, this is a doubtful proposition at best. Iraq might descend into chaos, but the chance of a Sunni-driven organization rising to power in the ensuing confusion is fairly small.

It's _far_ more likely (not necessarily better) some form of Shiite fundamentalist state would be created instead.

Oh, and yes, I most certainly _have_ heard of terrorits losses and defeats in the past six months. For example, an article in today's NY times made reference to:

"A platoon of Americans, acting on a tip that a torture cell was operating from the main Sadr mosque, surrounded it, only to come under withering gunfire from nearby buildings.

When the firefight ended, at least eight gunmen lay dead, including an Iraqi soldier, American soldiers said. Iraqi informants and overhead surveillance pictures showed that other Iraqi soldiers had been passing weapons to the Sadr fighters, the Americans said."

Sirocco said...

Do you feel the same way about Chuck Hagel's views?

I'm not saying Kerry's views aren't heart-felt, I'm just saying I think he is wrong.

Framer said...

I listened to Chuck Hagel, but he is just a straight opportunist, and has been since before the War even started. He is probably the only Republican to log more Sunday talk show time than John McCain, except with McCain, he actually has something interesting to say.

Hagel craves his media time, and by constantly trying to be a "fly in the ointment" he gets it, just like all of the time that Lieberman gets with all of the Mainstream press nowadays. . . (Well, he would if the press were actually reciprocal in that manner, but now he is pretty much relegated to FOX and the Wall Street Journal.)

Anonymous said...

Now, I'm trying to remeber why exactly the UN was established...after WWII I believe the battle cry was "Never Again!" That was in regards to genocide, never should we allow any one man to claim such a vast storage of power or allow any nation to climbed to such tyranny as Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, never should we allow genocide to occur again.

Bosnia and Darfur are obvious genocides, we understand that Hussein used genocidal methods on the Kurds. What about Pol Pot in Cambodia? We felt no need to take action there. Bosnia in the 20th century remained true to name, the bottle keg of Europe. Between Darfur and Iraq though lays a question - what made Iraq so damn important that we felt the need to take military action? With the truth known about Iraq what made that country more important than Darfur? Genocide was occuring in both Iraq and the Sudan but what American interests lay in the Sudan? What interest lay in Cambodia?

Jimmy Carter. There was no discernible personal or political advantage for Carter to say what he said as well, personally the guy should never have had to recant his words. Carter had it right though, this is the worst Presidency in US History, across the board from Iraq, to Katrina, Immigration, Education, Social Security, Global Warming science scandals, Valrie Plame, the list goes on. Whether democrat or republican you cannot deny 8 years of Bush & Co. Aside from anyone's comments though, history will judge thie administration harshly.

As of the moment, I'm feeling some sense of disillussionment. The Democrats has folded on Bench marks, postponed the no confidence vote for AG, and none of the Presidential Candidates stand out. For all your talk about "spineless Democrats" it's you're Republican Party that keeps us in Iraq, it's youre Party that is swelling the numbers to 200,000 Over There, it's your Party that failure to had over some responsibility to the Iraqis.

I'm not in an agreement of a complete withdrawal. We have to leave a residual force there because of what we created but I don't believe we should have anymore than 60,000 troops there. This is not our War anymore, it's the Iraqis responsibility to form and sustain their government, Republicans have to give it to them.