Sunday, July 22, 2007

Here's an Example of Pro-War Thinking

 
Steve Huntley has a column in Today's Chicago Sun-Times [Careful, Iraq may be key to al-Qaida]. It's a really good example of the irrational thinking behind the pro-war crowd. Huntley begins with,
The Iraq war critics seized upon a new intelligence report that al-Qaida has been rejuvenated by the Iraq war as proof that the invasion of Iraq was a distraction from the war on terror. OK, that should be good for a few minutes of bashing President Bush, but it doesn't change the reality that al-Qaida is in Iraq and is our enemy.
No, the reality is that al-Qaida is now in Iraq and it wasn't before the invasion. The reality is that al-Qaida has been rejuvenated by the invasion and occupation of Iraq but we were told that this wasn't going to happen. We were told that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was part of the war on terror, but it wasn't really. It is now, because terrorism has been unleashed in Iraq since the breakdown of civil order. The breakdown of civil order was caused by the invasion and by the presence of foreign occupying troops.
Here's another thought: What would be the reaction of the quit-Iraq advocates should al-Qaida in Iraq's fingerprints be found in a terrorist attack in America?

This is not an idle question. After all, the National Intelligence Estimate released last week also said Osama bin Laden's organization will "probably seek to leverage the contacts and capabilities of al-Qaida in Iraq, its most visible and capable affiliate and the only one known to have expressed a desire to attack the Homeland." Furthermore, the 9/11 Commission has said another attack on America by Islamist terrorists is inevitable, and a new threat assessment a week ago from the National Counterterrorism Center suggested al-Qaida is working to renew attacks on America. Now we're told al-Qaida in Iraq could be the agent for it.
My reaction would be "I told you so." The invasion of Iraq has caused a huge increase in the number of people who hate America. Some of these people are going to be easy recruits to al-Qaida and some of them are, quite possibly, going to attack America.

Most of the damage has been done but we may be able to prevent further damage by getting the heck out of the Middle East and letting the people there solve their own problems their own way.
No doubt, even as the bodies were being recovered, the wounded treated and survivors consoled, the implacable Bush haters would blame his policies for an attack by al-Qaida in Iraq. But what would be the view of the majority of Americans who have been telling pollsters that it's time for America to withdraw the troops from Iraq?
I'm hoping that the majority of Americans would see the truth. It's the Bush policy that led to more people hating American and an increased probability that the war would be brought to America. I'm hoping that the impeachment of Cheny would be swift and that it would be followed by the impeachment of George Bush.

But then, I tend to be overly optimistic about these things.

[The image is from the US Dept. of Defense and is in the public domain. See Wikipedia: Army.mil-2007-02-13-104034.jpg]

12 comments :

  1. Sorry, but i don't think you are more rationalist and realist more then the pro-war side.
    You are believing that the Moslem's Arab doesn't hate and want to clash with the West before and that the invasion increase the amount of West-hater. but the history, religion, and also science told as that nature is a long story combine series of combats about limited resources. And i think, Unfortunately, that is also the nature of human kind, and that peace is just an episode between war.

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  2. No, the reality is that al-Qaida is now in Iraq and it wasn't before the invasion.

    Wrong.

    The reality is that al-Qaida has been rejuvenated by the invasion and occupation of Iraq but we were told that this wasn't going to happen.

    By whom?

    The invasion of Iraq has caused a huge increase in the number of people who hate America. Some of these people are going to be easy recruits to al-Qaida and some of them are, quite possibly, going to attack America.

    And since America has troops in Iraq, they will go attack America there. And die there. One thing you don't hear in the mainstream media is how many of the enemy we're killing in Iraq. From the hints I've managed to pick up here and there, the kill/loss ratio is probably somewhere between five and ten to one -- for every one American or allied soldier killed, five to ten terrorists die.

    Most of the damage has been done but we may be able to prevent further damage by getting the heck out of the Middle East and letting the people there solve their own problems their own way.

    Promise our help to friendly locals, then after they've put their lives on the line to help us, run away and leave them to the sharks? Gee, that's a wonderful way to make friends.

    Every authority, including Iraq's own leaders and the UN, agrees that the most likely (as in "virtually certain") consequence of a coalition pullout is chaos and civil war. Not the current situation that the morons in the media have labeled "civil war," not even the organized warfare that Westerners call "civil war," but more like what happened to Somalia after the US ran away from that engagement: a complete dissolution of any sort of social organization and a reversion to pure feudalism. It would be decades if not centuries before the country recovered. Assuming, that is, that the second-most-likely outcome -- a regional Sunni-Shia religious war -- does not also become a reality.

    Abandoning twenty-five million people to civil war, chaos, and genocide -- gee, what a lovely and friendship-generating scenario. You're right, Larry, you really do have the best interests of the Iraqi people at heart.

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  3. wolfwalker says,

    From the hints I've managed to pick up here and there, the kill/loss ratio is probably somewhere between five and ten to one -- for every one American or allied soldier killed, five to ten terrorists die.

    Amazing. A body count that's very similar to the success in Viet Nam. That means up to 35,000 terrorists have been killed already but they just keep coming and coming. Where are all those terrorists coming from?

    Every authority, including Iraq's own leaders and the UN, agrees that the most likely (as in "virtually certain") consequence of a coalition pullout is chaos and civil war.

    Hmmm ... you're listening to the UN now? That's a switch.

    Nobody knows what will happen when the occupation forces leave. I suspect it will lead to a civil war with someone taking over as dictator of the south and the Kurds establishing themselves as a semi-autonomous state in the north. The dictator will provide peace and security.

    With any luck, civil order will be established within a year.

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  4. "Wrong"

    Kind of funny that war apologists always seem to be behind the times by several years of their evidence. Here is the guy (Doug Feith) who leaked that memo being called out. Needless to say, one discredited ideological is kind of hard to put up against 3 separate government investigations

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  5. Kind of funny that war apologists always seem to be behind the times by several years of their evidence.

    They could at least try to sort out the lies for us. The first sentence in the article was referring to the pre-war propaganda of "weapons of mass destruction", which were nowhere to be found in Iraq.

    the current situation that the morons in the media have labeled "civil war,"

    The current situation where research indicates 100 000's of iraqis dead?

    Well, if you know that not some of the contribution is internal factions strife, what about US state terrorism then? (To not be labeled terrorism "the international community considers the action justified or necessary", which wasn't the case here AFAIK.)

    Seems to me you can't have it both ways. But the international community can. :-P

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  6. No, the reality is that al-Qaida is now in Iraq and it wasn't before the invasion.


    Right.

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  7. Where are all those terrorists coming from?

    Some are native Iraqis. The rest are from outside. A lot of them are Syrian. A lot of them are Iranian. A lot of them are Saudi. Some are even Palestinian.

    you're listening to the UN now?

    No, but you do, so I figured you might just accept it as a trustworthy source. I tend to listen more to the US soldiers and observers who have boots-on-the-ground. I'm sure the fact that they agree with the UN in this case is entirely coincidental.

    I suspect it will lead to a civil war with someone taking over as dictator of the south and the Kurds establishing themselves as a semi-autonomous state in the north. The dictator will provide peace and security.

    At the expense of freedom and democracy. "Those who would trade essential freedom for temporary security deserve neither." (Benjamin Franklin, one of the greatest Americans who ever lived.) Those who would casually trade another person's freedom for security, without even asking that person's opinion ... deserve even less.

    Tyler seems to think that a biased article using material from an untrustworthy news network, drawing ultimately from a political paper that is itself of dubious reliability, somehow disproves a statement by a trained, experienced, knowledgeable intel agent. I wonder who's right. Being an informed and rational chap, I know exactly how to find out. Let's go right to the actual evidence, shall we? A memo found in Iraqi security files describes meetings between al-Qaeda agents and Iraqi security personnel on 9/15/2001 -- four days after the 9/11 atrocities, and eighteen months before the invasion.

    The document referred to in that link, incidentally, is one of a huge trove of documents that US forces seized in Iraq. It has never been publicized, but it does exist. Another document from the same collection proves that Saddam was in fact hiding things from the UN weapons inspectors. Ed Morrissey (owner-operator of Captain's Quarters) was all over it, as were a number of other righty bloggers. If you search his archives for the term "FMSO", you'll find any number of posts on the subject.

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  8. "Tyler seems to think that a biased article using material from an untrustworthy news network, drawing ultimately from a political paper that is itself of dubious reliability, somehow disproves a statement by a trained, experienced, knowledgeable intel agent."

    Poison the well much, wolf? Since you seem to have a general predilection for lying, I will do everyone the favor of noting that the ThinkProgress post I linked to sources three separate government investigations that conclude the opposite of the administration's pre-war propaganda. One should also note that the Pentagon doesn't agree with your assessment of Feith in this case. But then again I guess you'll simply dismiss them as being in on the anti-Bush conspiracy to hide the Iraq Truth. Find a new hobby-horse.

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  9. wolfwalker says,

    At the expense of freedom and democracy. "Those who would trade essential freedom for temporary security deserve neither." (Benjamin Franklin, one of the greatest Americans who ever lived.) Those who would casually trade another person's freedom for security, without even asking that person's opinion ... deserve even less.

    Benjamin Franklin was lucky. He lived in a society founded on the basic principles of freedom and democracy built up over many centuries in Great Britain. The British government established law and good government in the colonies so that Benjamin Franklin did not have to worry about security.

    Following the American Revolution, the new country of the United States of America inherited all of the infrastructure that had been established in the colonies.

    Benjamin Franklin never had to walk out of his house and trip over the body of his brother lying in the doorway with his throat slit. Benjamin Franklin never had to worry about letting his children play in the street. Benjamin Franklin never had to hire bodyguards to escort him to his office.

    Furthermore, at the time he made the statement, Benjamin Franklin had no idea how much freedom blacks and women were giving up to settle for the security of the status quo where privileged landowners could run the country and enjoy all their "freedoms."

    It's all very well and good to sit at home in the comfort of your safe, modern city and criticize those who prefer peace and security over "freedom." But when faced with the stark choice I know that I would opt for security every single time. I'm quite happy to give up some of my freedoms if it's the only way to ensure the survival of my children.

    It's you who are ignoring the opinion of the people you want to "liberate." The people of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Pakistan etc. are repeatedly telling you that they prefer strong leaders who will impose security, even if it means less freedom.

    That does not mean that it's an ideal situation, but it does mean that they value security over freedom. Listen to them for a change instead of imposing the Benjamin Franklin enlightenment view on a society that doesn't resemble eighteenth century England.

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  10. But when faced with the stark choice I know that I would opt for security every single time.

    And that's why you're unworthy of being entrusted with political power. Security bought with appeasement is not security at all. That's the point of Old Ben's quote.

    The Iraqi people have already had security. They had it under Saddam, remember? Well, they had it except for the young pretty girls that Saddam's boys took a liking to ... and the Shi'ite Arabs in the south ... and the Marsh Arabs ... and the Kurds ... and pretty much anybody else Saddam took a dislike to. Yeah, they were really secure.

    Now they want to try it on the other end of the spectrum: freedom and democracy. Are you really so callous as to take that away from them?

    Tyler: Poison the well much?

    Very good, grasshopper. You recognized the rhetorical tool in use, and saw past it. Now, when you learn to analyze the opinions of those you agree with in the same way, and see past the rhetorical tools that they use to convince you they're right -- then you'll take the next step on the road to enlightenment.

    But alas, your analytical skills still need a bit of work. See, the FMSO documents are original evidence. The reports you're relying on are filtered, third-hand muck. A scientist should trust the evidence and nothing else, and certainly not third-hand interpretations of it.

    Perhaps you would do better to think of the documents as fossil bones, and the reports you're relying on as creationist quote-mining of opinions from people who never actually saw those bones. Opinions are like rectums: everybody's got one and they're all full of it. I trust the evidence and nothing else. The FMSO documents are evidence, and they say that Saddam was working with anti-American terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda. For you to call me a liar when all I've done is repeat what the evidence shows -- well, if the tables were turned, how would you react? Not well, is my guess.

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  11. wolfwalker says,

    And that's why you're unworthy of being entrusted with political power. Security bought with appeasement is not security at all. That's the point of Old Ben's quote.

    In the USA—and several others countries—there are new laws that restrict freedom in order to combat terrorism. Poor Ben, he'd be turning over in his grave if he knew that people could be arrested and held without being charged. But you and most other people think this is a fair trade-off, no?

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  12. That's hillarious wolf, you're just an unbiased thinker following the evidence where it leads. Too bad no one outside of wingnut warbloggers finds those tablescraps of "evidence" half convincing. Not the 9/11 comission, not the SIC, not the NIE, no one outside of Bush's internet amen-corner. It's especially ridiculous that you compare me to ID creationists when it is you bucking the overwhelming consensus view and proferring conspiracy theories to explain why people don't agree with you. Like I said, find a new hobby horse.

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