ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Oliver Willis to Iraqis: Drop Dead

Interesting post by Oliver Willis (aka the Twinkie-meister):

Iraq is screwed. It's screwed because there were no weapons of mass destruction and no plan to deal with the American occupation and the resulting insurgency. We're almost four years into this war and no wiser. Iraq isn't anywhere near a functioning democracy and most of its people are frankly not interested (they're more interested in a tribal Islamic republic). I fail to see the reason why, in order to demonstrate how "serious" they are, why Democrats must play this game with American lives again. What is the worth of playing up one's foreign policy credentials among the DC elite when all it leads to is more caskets shipped home and the continued spread of international terrorism?

Not sure what no WMDs has to do with the current situation on the ground. Perhaps it was just a reflexive reference... couldn't help himself. Or more likely, Iraq is still a domestic political tool for OW and he cannot allow himself to stop using it to score political points.

And yes, the occupation did not go well, but I believe it was miscommunication between Bremer (a State Dept guy) and the military planners that resulted in our current situation. The initial plan was to allow Iraqi military & police infrastructure to remain in place, meaning that a large occupation force would not be required. Bremer & Co wanted to de-Baathify the troops and liquidated the whole lot. Thus, security vacuum because we brought enough fighting troops to kill the enemy, but not to police the largest city.

Back to the twinkie-meister:
I don't know of anyone that knows that Iraq will be a mess if we leave, but it's already a mess today. The choice is no longer between Iraqi fantasy and wimpy retreat. It's between dead Iraqis and Americans or dead Iraqis. Neither choice is great, but that's the hand the Bush administration has dealt us. Arguing about this like there's a magic bullet position to take is silly.

Oliver - I know that Iraq will be a mess if we leave - a worse mess than it is today. If you'd like to wager on it, I'd be happy to put my money where my mouth is.

The Iraqi people want security... without security, progress in any other area is temporary if not impossible.

That you would tell Iraqis (who trusted us and participated in one of the few democratic acts in the Middle East) that it was all for naught is a terrible message to send, not just to the Iraqis, but to other people in the region, such as the millions of students that are struggling to change the regime in Iran. If we demonstrate that they cannot count on America to support their desire for freedom, why would they even make an attempt? I point you to these words from President John F Kennedy's inaugural address:
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
This much we pledge—and more.
To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required—not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
It's a shame that the Left has become so isolationist and unwilling to support the seeds of freedom in a troubled part of the world.

Now, back to Oliver:
The argument that not staying in Iraq forever will be a victory for Al Qaeda is equally silly. In the case of Iraq, Al Qaeda has already won the PR war. We, by mistake and incompetence, have proven right many of the things they've said about the West and specifically the USA. We went to an Arab country, invaded and occupied on trumped-up pretenses and when we got there allowed anarchy to take hold while also torturing citizens. What more has Al Qaeda got to say? Thanks to the Bush presidency, their rhetoric is as strong as ever.

Al-Qaeda and affiliated Islamofascists (including Iran) will see our "redeployment" from Iraq for what it will be - a retreat. They will be emboldened, just as they were emboldened when Clinton pulled us out of Somalia.

You state that Al Qaeda has won the PR war. If this is true, I lay the blame directly at your feet and the feet of the Dems and the liberals in the MSM. While the Dems paid lip-service to supporting the President and our efforts in the beginning, that sentiment was disingenuous. Within days of the Afghanistan campaign, the Left was calling it "another Vietnam." The same is true of Iraq, when the troops had to halt for the sandstorm. It is worse to authorize a war that you don't believe in, sending American sons & daughters into the breach, when you know that in the end you will make every attempt to undermine their efforts in order to score political victories domestically.

*** Update ***
Cox & Forkum provides this cartoon:

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Comments (5)
Oliver Willis said...

Actually it was the right who told the Iraqis to drop dead by invading and occupying their country.

Monterey John said...

Amen, St. There is no way we can "redeploy," i.e. surrender, not unless we want to see another Cambodia. Your point on the rules of engagement is well taken. We have to allow the troops to do what is necessary to accomplish the mission, that is to kill the thugs, and finally bring security. As McCain has said, security is the pre-requisite for all our other goals.

Brian said...

Actually it was the right who told the Iraqis to drop dead by invading and occupying their country.

Huh? People for the war (I count myself as one of them) weren't telling the Iraqi's to drop dead. They were telling Saddam to drop dead. They were already dieing from Saddam.

But as you point out several times. Iraqi's dieing from Saddam's hands was ok as long as he didn't have nukes....

Brian said...


My mother the English teacher is tsk tsking right now.

St Wendeler said...

Actually it was the right who told the Iraqis to drop dead by invading and occupying their country.

Oliver, I don't believe it was just those on the "right" that authorized war with Iraq...

And, I'm sure the Kurds, the Marsh Arabs, and the Shiites would all rather that Saddam were in power, so they could continue on with the status quo of getting fed into industrial plastic shredding machines.

No go eat a twinkie...