Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Top Ten Myths of the Iraq War

While reading the StrategyPage today, I saw this post and decided that I had to link to it and also reprint it here. Normally, I wouldn't reprint the article, but since the Strategypage suffers from "link rot", I decided to include it here in order to preserve it for posterity. So in the future, when the US runs away, Iraq falls into anarchy and Iran gets "the bomb", I'll have this quick guide to counter all the hand-wringing by liberals trying to cover their anti-American asses.

January 28, 2007: Top 10 Myths of the Iraq War. In no particular order. There are more, but ten is a manageable number.

1-No Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Several hundred chemical weapons were found, and Saddam had all his WMD scientists and technicians ready. Just end the sanctions and add money, and the weapons would be back in production within a year. At the time of the invasion, all intelligence agencies, world-wide, believed Saddam still had a functioning WMD program. Saddam had shut them down because of the cost, but created the illusion that the program was still operating in order to fool the Iranians. The Iranians wanted revenge on Saddam because of the Iraq invasion of Iran in 1980, and the eight year war that followed.

2-The 2003 Invasion was Illegal. Only according to some in the UN. By that standard, the invasion of Kosovo and bombing of Serbia in 1999 was also illegal. Saddam was already at war with the U.S. and Britain, because Iraq had not carried out the terms of the 1991 ceasefire, and was trying to shoot down coalition aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone.

3-Sanctions were working. The sanctions worked for Saddam, not for Iraq. Saddam used the sanctions as an excuse to punish the Shia majority for their 1991 uprising, and help prevent a new one. The "Oil For Food" program was corrupted with the help of bribed UN officials, and mass media outlets that believed Iraqi propaganda. Saddam was waiting out the sanctions, and bribing France, Russia and China, with promises of oil contracts and debt repayments, to convince the UN to lift the sanctions.

4-Overthrowing Saddam Only Helped Iran. Of course, and this was supposed to make Iran more approachable and open to negotiations. With the Iraqi "threat" gone, it was believed that Iran might lose its radical ways and behave. Iran got worse as a supporter of terrorism and developer of WMD. Irans clerical dictatorship did not want a democracy next door. The ancient struggle between the Iranians and Arabs was brought to the surface, and the UN became more active in dealing with problems caused by pro-terrorist government of Iran. As a result of this, the Iranian police state has faced more internal dissent. From inside Iran, Iraq does not look like an Iranian victory.

5-The Invasion Was a Failure. Saddam's police state was overthrown and a democracy established, which was the objective of the operation. Peace did not ensue because Saddam's supporters, the Sunni Arab minority, were not willing to deal with majority rule, and war crimes trials. A terror campaign followed. Few expected the Sunni Arabs to be so stupid. There's a lesson to be learned there.

6-The Invasion Helped Al Qaeda. Compared to what? Al Qaeda was a growing movement before 2003, and before 2001. But after the Iraq invasion, and especially the Sunni Arab terrorism, al Qaeda fell in popularity throughout the Moslem world. Arab countries cracked down on al Qaeda operations more than ever before. Without the Iraq invasion, al Qaeda would still have safe havens all over the Arab world.

7-Iraq Is In A State of Civil War. Then so was Britain when the IRA was active, and so is Spain today because ETA is still active. Both IRA and ETA are terrorist organizations based on ethnic identity. India also has tribal separatist rebels who are quite active. That's not considered a civil war. This is all about partisans playing with labels for political ends, not accurately describing a terror campaign.

8-Iraqis Were Better Off Under Saddam. Most Iraqis disagree. Check election results and opinion polls. Reporters tend to ask Iraqi Sunni Arabs this question, but they were the only ones who benefited from Saddams rule.

9-The Iraq War Caused Islamic Terrorism to Increase in Europe. The Moslem unrest in Europe was there before 2001, and 2003. Interviews of Islamic radicals in Europe reveals that the hatred is not motivated by Iraq, but by daily encounters with hostile natives. Blaming Islamic terrorism on Iraq is another attempt to avoid dealing with a homegrown problem.

10- The War in Iraq is Lost. By what measure? Saddam and his Baath party are out of power. There is a democratically elected government. Part of the Sunni Arab minority continues to support terror attacks, in an attempt to restore the Sunni Arab dictatorship. In response, extremist Shia Arabs formed vigilante death squads to expel all Sunni Arabs. Given the history of democracy in the Middle East, Iraq is working through its problems. Otherwise, one is to believe that the Arabs are incapable of democracy and only a tyrant like Saddam can make Iraqi "work." If democracy were easy, the Arab states would all have it. There are problems, and solutions have to be found and implemented. That takes time, but Americans have, since the 18th century, grown weary of wars after three years. If the war goes on longer, the politicians have to scramble to survive the bad press and opinion polls. Opposition politicians take advantage of the situation, but this has nothing to do with Iraq, and everything to do with local politics in the United States.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

From the "No duh!" department

The headline of this reports says it all: "Report alleges corruption at U.N. agency"

I guess liberals, the MSM and other U.N. apologists think this is news. For everyone else, it's "Duh! What else would you expect from a place (formerly) run by Kofi the Corrupt!"

Big Al conveniently ignores the facts

The inventor of the Internet and all-around environ-mental wacko, "Big Al" Gore, has released a "documentary" based on his book (of fiction) call "An Inconvenient Truth" and /*Gomer Pyle voice on*/ Surprise, Surprise! /*Gomer Pyle voice off*/ it got nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary category.

This post from the National Review's Corner talks about his trip to Denmark that he took to "save the planet". What I liked best was this link to a website which debunks his film, "An Inconvenient Truth". Maybe it should have been nominated for an Oscar as Best Fiction Masquerading as a Documentary. I don't know if I should go out on a limb here, but, I'll bet you dollars to donuts that his film will win the Oscar. Anyone want to take that bet?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Okay, Geniuses, what should we do now?

Today's Deseret News contained a smug article from several BYU professors boasting how they predicted back in 2003 that Iraq would turn out to be a quagmire and an abject failure.

Setting aside their contention that the Iraq War is a "failure", the article reminded me of why no one likes Monday-Morning Quarterbacks: As the saying goes, when you're up to your ass in alligators, it's not time to starting whining about how someone should have listened to you and drained the swamp.

Of course, like all anti-war pundits who have recently said "I-told-you-so", these six Wise, Brilliant Savants offer no vision or strategy other than...the one proposed by President Bush. According to the article, "the professors agree America should remain in Iraq until the region is stable."

Wow. So other than giving these eggheads a chance to masturbate their considerable egos, what did this article accomplish?

I've got an idea: How about they put their Superior Intellects together and offer what they think is a realistic, viable strategy for victory in Iraq? Or, if they think victory is impossible, how about giving their ideas for a realistic, viable strategy for withdrawing from Iraq? I mean, since they've demonstrated how much smarter they are than everyone else, they can at least provide us with a roadmap for the future. That way, we can worship their intelligence and foresight another four years from now.

Apparently, they aren't up to that, because as one put it: "We don't have analogies here," Hyer said. "This isn't Vietnam. This isn't Korea. This isn't World War II. This isn't Lebanon. Every step ahead is a step into the dark."

I stand in awe.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Insult a homosexual........

.......go to "re-education camp". Last year, during a heated argument on the set of "Grey's Anatomy", Isaiah Washington, was so foolish to use a pejorative term for a homosexual in regards to fellow cast member, T.R. Knight. Unfortunately, since we live in a society where certain members are afforded special victim status (which means you cannot even think of criticising them), he got taken to the proverbial "woodshed" and that....

"he had begun counseling "as a necessary step toward understanding why I did what I did and making sure it never happens again."

"I appreciate the fact that I have been given this opportunity and I remain committed to transforming my negative actions into positive results, personally and professionally,"

I guess the producers told him that he had better learn to do the "mea culpa" dance if he wanted to continue to cash that fat paycheck. (Ed note: The Great El-ahrairah does not watch "Grey's Anatomy", so he doesn't know what the show is about other than a medical drama with young doctors saving the world, one patient at a time. Been there, watched that, got the t-shirt.)

The Cap'n and I joke about being carted off to "re-education camp" by the liberals for some of our views, but like they say, the truth is stranger than fiction. I'm surprised that Mr. Washington didn't try to turn the tables and accuse Mr. T.R. Knight (and others of the mostly white cast) of using the "N" word. That would have really been entertaining to see which aggrieved minority trumps the other. I wonder if "Big Al" Sharpton would have intervened?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

To surge or not to surge.......

......that is the question.

With all the news about the surge in Iraq, the Great El-ahrairah decided to throw in his two-cents worth (Of course, my two-cents are Euro-cents and worth more than two US-cents). Anyway, my opinion of the surge is this: So? It may do what the president says or it may not. What is important is how we got here and what we can do to get out of this situation.

Ah ha! The Great El-ahrairah has turned into a lefty-war critic and will now start to tell everyone that he was against the war before he was for it (or vise versa). Nope, nothing of the sort. I am still 100% for the Iraq war. But, the situation that we are in right now is not due to whether or not there were enough troops on the ground when we invaded or whether there were after or whether it was pollyanne-ish to believe that Sunni and Shia could live together in harmony or anyone of a million liberal talking points on criticising the war. The reason that we are here is because of the influence of the Vietnam generation. The terrorists/insurgents have taken a page from the Vietnamese tactics and decided that using the useful idiots in the press and congress, they can win by making the US public believe that they are loosing the war. To do so, make the only things that they read on the front page be the steady drip, drip, drip of death and the Vietnam generation of John Kerry and John Murtha will do the rest and as we can see, they have fullfilled their part of the bargain.

If the anti-war crowd had been on board from the start with "I may not support the war, BUT, as long as we are there, let's got for desicive victory" instead of "Bush Lied, People Died", things would have turned out much different. The terrorists/insurgents would have become disheartened after a while seeing the total resolve of the American public and political classes for a total and complete victory. I dare say we would have been out of Iraq by now and working on Iran and Syria. Instead, we have all the lefty moonbats in the press and congress salivating over yet another Vietnam-era defeat.

What can we do to change things. Well, that depends on President Bush. Now is the time for President Bush to step up to the bully-pulpit and start laying down the law. Since the anti-war left have such contempt for him and his policies, he should return the favor and show them just how much contempt he has for them. Since the press only reports negative news stories, just think of the feeding frenzy they would go into if President Bush really called all the "anti-surge/anti-war" crowd what they really are, anti-American. The Senator Kerry's of the world would indignantly respond about how nobody can question their patriotism, and then let the President stick it right back to them by stating that hell yes he's questioning their patriotism because anyone who wants anything other than total terrorist-crushing victory in Iraq is anti-American and aiding and abetting the enemy. A few newscycles of the President calling the anti-war crowd to the carpet and telling them to shove their white flags where the sun never shines will start to turn things around. After a year of non-stop critiscim from the President (and the Republicans in Congress who still support the war) would really shut the liberals up.

Unfortunately, our president is a "uniter, not a divider", so I doubt he will really go after the anti-war left like he should. It would be very entertaining to watch the liberals run for cover everything they open their collective pieholes, but it probably won't happen. The president is too afraid of the press to really do what needs to be done, so hopefully, we can get someone with a bit more spine to take on the liberals in 2008. Whether that is Mitt Romney or someone else remains to be seen.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Yep, He's a Jerk Alright

About a year ago, a lawyer and Marine reservist by the name of Paul Hackett made a big splash with the Moonbat Left when, as a candidate for an open House district in Ohio he publicly insulted President Bush, calling him a "chickenhawk".

Hackett of course played up the fact that he had been to Iraq and thus was a Genuine War Hero. The lefty blogs showered love on him, simply because he had dared to stick a finger in the eye of the Eeevil BusHitlerburton White House. At the time, I just thought he was being an arrogant prick; some of his statements were pretty over-the-top.

Well, it turns out he is quite the jerk; an pompous, calculating braggart who is prone to do idiotic things, like, say, grab a loaded AR-15 and chase down three neighborhood kids who run into his fence.

While that might sound like justice to some, in reality it's rash, stupid, and quite likely against the law. In Utah and most other states, you have a pretty clear right to draw a gun and use deadly force, but only if you or someone else is in imminent danger of death or severe bodily injury. Pointing a loaded AR-15 at a bunch of teenagers who run over your fence and then drive off would not meet that legal standard in Utah, and I doubt it would meet the standard for use of deadly force in Ohio as well.

I first read about this at Uncle's site, and the article he linked to didn't provide much detail about any consequences. But Reason had it on their blog, and the article they linked to strongly suggested that Hackett was being investigated for criminal misuse of a firearm, something I could have predicted based on my understanding of Utah law.

There's another interesting thing about Hackett that I gleaned from the articles: When he was approached by the police, he said that while in Iraq he had arrested jihadis the same way "about 200 times". Which would really be quite the feat, considering that Hackett is a major who serves as a civil affairs officer. While he was at the battle of Fallujah, he supervised the distribution of humanitarian aid. In other words, although he served with honor and distinction, he was a headquarters type, not a combat grunt. And as such, it is doubtful that he would have had the opportunity to effect an average of one arrest for every day he was in Iraq.

Hackett apparently is what I always thought he was: A loudmouthed asshole who thinks he's above the law.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Instead of clicking on.......

.....House Speaker Pelosi's website to get the "same ol, same ol", why not use that mouse and visit a website that actually says something worthwhile like Mitt Romney's website.

The best quote from his website is "America cannot lead the family of nations around the world if we suffer the collapse of the family here at home" which kind of has a familiar ring to it, don't you think Cap'n? I doubt House Speaker Pelosi could come up with something as simple as that without proposing a new federal bureaucracy to try to implement it.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy "Revenge of the Nerds" New Year!

Happy New Year to all readers of the Warren! This year looks like it's going to be the "Revenge of the Nerds" if the Rose parade is any indicator. I'm more of a trekkie, but I can get into Star Wars as long as the story line line doesn't deteriorate into a sappy love story (like the last two installments).

Anyway, lest anyone think that I sit downstairs in my parents basement, arguing endlessly on trekkie websites over who was the best captain (no contest, Kirk although Mr. Quantum Leap was pretty good) and swapping photoshopped nude photos of Counselor Troi (Subcommander T'Pol is hotter), I'm above that sort of stuff. The fact that I'm married shows that I have an actual life which revolves around something other than a 60's-era TV program.