Monday, November 21, 2005

Clintons II 

No sooner had a I gone out on a limb to recognize their centrist political genius for supporting (or at least not attacking) the Bush Administration on Iraq and the GWOT, than out comes Bill with a very silly assault saying, essentially, "well I wouldn't of done that (speaking of Iraq)." Putting to the side that we don't know what Clinton means by "that" (since we know how he feels about the multifaceted word "is"), he is clearly pandering to the base and his MSM constituency.

This is a dangerous place for him to tread. Clearly, the Democratic Party has adopted a strategy geared for November 2006 which is denigrating the Iraq War decision in all its facets - prewar intelligence and decision-making, postwar execution, etc.

However, and thanks to Power Line, this approach has its flaws and its political dangers. Read this little article, which again stuffs Democrats own policies, actions and words in their mouths.

Here is the best way for Republicans to respond to the Democratic Party strategy of eroding confidence in the Iraq decision.

1) Repeat after me - we won. Saddam is in jail. Uday and Qusay are dead. The Iraqis have elected a representative government and embraced a constitutional government. Iraq has the best Arab government in the Middle East. And when their military is able, we will draw down troops. But in the meantime, we are daily killing al qaeda is Iraq with our finest...and better there than here.

2) We all read the same intelligence. Here are the quotes...etc etc etc. Let's not forget that the Congressionally legislated policy of the USA since 1998 was regime change in Iraq.

3) Here is where Democratic leadership policy gets you -- after the Cole bombing and the embassy bombings in Africa, we sent a couple of missiles into Al Shifa and Afghanistan. Half of the justification for this halfhearted, weak-kneed policy was the feared and suspected alignment of Iraq and Al Qaeda. Here's the quote...

4) Instead, we get 9/11. Hmmm. Guess that policy was a little lame. This is a place that the current administration has scrupulously avoided. But I have to believe that if Clinton falls off that respectful wagon, all bets are off.

5) The Republican Party, hey, we got after the enemy -- in Afghanistan. And in Iraq. Where we kill them every day. No 9/11 since then, eh? Oh, and by the way, we may finally have a shot at liberalizing the Middle East as a result. That's interesting...but remember, we kill the enemy. Boots on ground and such. And we're are going to continue to stomp around killing al qaeda wherever they operate. You can count on it. No more 9/11's. Testosterone. Not nuance. This is a winner with the American electorate.

That, of course, will send the MSM and Pacifist crowd into quite the tailspin. But if you cut through it, that's what the majority of the American people want. They want butts kicked overseas by our professional military until the threat is smashed.
They enjoy seeing dirtbags like Saddam and his son dead and imprisoned. They like seeing al qaeda names crossed off Most Wanted lists.

It is quintessentially American. And I would be surprised if the Clintons put themselves in the antiwar camp. I don't think it will win them the married woman vote, which they need to have a shot...


By Blogger cakreiz, at Mon Nov 21, 02:38:00 PM:

This reminds me of the great quote from Michael Reynolds, blogger extraordinare of "The Mighty Middle". He says: "Dems carry two viruses in their bloodstreams: pacifism and Marxism. For their part the GOP carries strains of theocracy and plutocracy, equally disturbing."  

By Blogger Lanky_Bastard, at Mon Nov 21, 07:39:00 PM:

Of course Clinton wouldn't have invaded Iraq. Most former presidents wouldn't have(including 41). That's an assault?  

By Blogger SeekerBlog.com, at Tue Nov 22, 03:49:00 PM:

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.  

By Blogger SeekerBlog.com, at Tue Nov 22, 03:54:00 PM:

One quibble, where you wrote:

1) Repeat after me - we won. Saddam is in jail. Uday and Qusay are dead. The Iraqis have elected a representative government and embraced a constitutional government. Iraq has the best Arab government in the Middle East. And when their military is able, we will draw down troops. But in the meantime, we are daily killing al qaeda is Iraq with our finest...and better there than here.

I fervently hope your assessment is correct. My main concerns are two:

1) whether the Iraqi Security Forces are gaining capability faster than the insurgency.

2) whether endemic corruption can be suppressed sufficiently for the government and ISF to be effective.

A month ago I wrote that I believed the rate of improvement of ISF capability had gone geometric sometime in the past six months. After reading James Fallows latest at 3:00 AM last night I'm questioning whether my confidence is justified (Why Iraq Has No Army). I'm not ready to post on the Fallows piece (actually I'm hoping you will tackle it), but here are some fragments representative of what worries me - including recognizing that Fallows does have the capability to acquire off-the-record views of officers dealing with the training:

"I have to tell you that corruption is eating the guts of this counter-insurgency effort," a civilian wrote in an e-mail from Baghdad. Money meant to train new troops was leaking out to terrorists, he said. He empathized with "Iraqi officers here who see and yet are powerless to stop it because of the corrupt ministers and their aides."

The ethnic and tribal fissures in Iraq were another big problem. Half a dozen times in my interviews I heard variants on this Arab saying: "Me and my brother against my cousin; me and my cousin against my village; me and my village against a stranger." "The thing that holds a military unit together is trust," T. X. Hammes says. "That's a society not based on trust." A young Marine officer wrote in an e-mail, "Due to the fact that Saddam murdered, tortured, raped, etc. at will, there is a limited pool of 18-35-year-old males for service that are physically or mentally qualified for service. Those that are fit for service, for the most part, have a DEEP hatred for those not of the same ethnic or religious affiliation."

Listening to the Americans who have tried their best to create an Iraqi military can be heartening. They send e-mails or call late at night Iraq time to report successes. A Web magazine published by the training command, called The Advisor, carries photos of American mentors working side by side with their Iraqi students, and articles about new training techniques. The Americans can sound inspired when they talk about an Iraqi soldier or policeman who has shown bravery and devotion in the truest way—by running toward battle rather than away from it, or rushing to surround a suicide bomber and reduce the number of civilians who will be killed.

But listening to these soldiers and advisers is also deeply discouraging—in part because so much of what they report is discouraging in itself, but even more because the conversations head to a predictable dead end. Sooner or later the question is What do we do now? or What is the way out? And the answer is that there is no good answer.

Unfortunately I'm afraid that those who have the very best insight, such as Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, will be unable to publicly debate the Fallows case.  

By Blogger Cardinalpark, at Tue Nov 22, 04:18:00 PM:

I don't think there is any doubt that the Iraqi military has made enormous strides in organization and professionalism in the last 12 months. But 12 months is nothing.

The stabilization project in Iraq will work...the majority population has every reason to see to it. In the absence of an American presence, they would likely exterminate the sunni enemy - but it would be horribly ugly and akin to civil war - and likely attract regional sunni enmity. In fact, it is in all the participants interests to see stability in Iraq -- except for al qaeda.

Al Qaeda, on the other hand, has lost in Iraq. Zarqawi's Jordanian bombing is superb evidence of their desperate status. You don't defecate where you eat...and ZMan just soiled his dinner. Bad idea. He's got Zawahiri mad at him, and now his home tribe. He'll be done in by an insider pretty soon.

Now this doesn't mean there won't be continued crime and atrocities committed. But these events will be akin to massive mafia activity, rather than necessarily threaten the survival of the government.

That's one person's opinion, and others may disagree. But that's really where this is settling out.

As for American objectives, they have been achieved with respect to Iraq, though not completely viz. al qaeda. A long, hot war, which we will also win.  

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