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245 weeks ago @ Frontpage Magazine - Obama's Iraq Surrender · 0 replies · +1 points

There are plenty of places on the internet where you can find a cavalcade of quotes from the Bush Administration on Saddam as imminent threat. It's how the political will was generated toward the colossal blunder we're discussing. If you'd like a link, I'll try to share one, but last time I did it seems to have been moderated.

I appreciate the case you are making, but I make a point of this, above, because...Pakistan is a nuclear power with a huge Islamist influence. Iran is a huge regional player and openly hostile. Afghanistan hosts the Taliban who hosted al Qaeda. Saudi Arabia is its own unique devil's pact. There are, in other words, many, many threats from which to choose which make Iraq look almost inconsequential. Saddam had dreams to be Saladin, but what regional despot didn't? So why, then, the emphasis? Because of the school of thought to which many Bush officials subscribed, involving a proactive reform of the Middle East. They knew Saddam was a paper tiger and they thought it would be relatively easy to finish what was started in the first Gulf War. Iraq would thus be the first domino, from which we could deal with those more challenging countries.

Again, this idea sounds good on paper. And the so-called 'neoconservative' group who came up with this idea had some valuable insights--e.g., many of them knew the defense paradigm would shift to counterterrorism right after the Cold War, and in fact predicted it would take an event like Sept.11 to find the political will to make this shift. But this vision of ME reform was simply half-baked, relied on wishful thinking, and represents an egregious misuse of US power. If the goal were simply, take out Saddam--fine. But it wasn't. And so tax dollars, Chinese loans, our social fabric--and American lives--were spent building Iraqi infrastructure, while our own infrastructure sits in disrepair and our economy collapses.

That's a blunder for the history books. Yet this author wants to blame Obama for getting out of there? That's shameful.

245 weeks ago @ Frontpage Magazine - Obama's Iraq Surrender · 2 replies · 0 points

An eloquent rationalization.

Iraq's status as an "imminent threat to the United States" was always a gin-up. Always. It was when Clinton was president, and it was when Bush was president. It wasn't that Saddam wasn't a "wildcard"--obviously, he was. But a threat to us? This isn't something we can only see in hindsight; this is something many recognized. If they didn't--if there were really substantive (non-rhetorical) consensus about the danger Saddam posed, then the lead-up to the Iraq War would not have been so contentious and bitter. Most people (to the right of Chomsky, anyway) had no trouble going after the Taliban in Afghanistan, remember. You, me, and everyone here--none of us thought, "Wow, we should really get Saddam out of the picture" when we saw the towers go down.

Yet that is precisely what Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld did think. And what we do know now--with the benefit of hindsight--is that they didn't really have any special intel we didn't have. We know that the intel they did have, they cherrypicked. And what we also know is that Iraq was on the table before the 9/11 attacks. So these guys used our outrage to justify their Iraq agenda.

Now I agree, it sounds good on paper--Iraq as the first domino to fall in democracy's uplifting sweep. Mr. Bush thought big and decisively--and I think that reflects well on him. But why do I get the feeling that if he could do it over again, he never would? Probably because the architects of this action were marginalized or resigned in his second term as Mr. Bush brought in people with a more traditional bent.

You can call this historical blunder well-intentioned, if you like.

245 weeks ago @ Frontpage Magazine - Obama's Iraq Surrender · 0 replies · +1 points

I agree there were several fine reasons for going in. But there were many more fine reasons for not doing so. I remember being called a "traitor" for even suggesting this. I always ask people if their first thought after recovering from the shock of 9/11 was to invade Iraq. Most people would say no. However, it was the first thought for Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, and we know that as a matter of record. That does not sit well with me, and we can paper over it all we want, call it water under the bridge, whatever. It does not change the fact that we leapt into a serious error of judgement. Are we any MORE free now? No, we are less free. Are we any more safe because we invaded Iraq? Not in any measurable way. Worth the cost?

There are many here who say "Let them fight each other" and I agree. If my friends and relatives go to war I want it to be for our country against another that has truly harmed us--not FOR another country's "freedom" that it doesn't even want, and not against a shadow. There are other ways of dealing with terrorism, and better ways of killing terrorists.

I applauded Mr. Bush for putting it starkly: You're wither with us or you're with the terrorists. I hoped he was doing the right thing. But good intentions....

245 weeks ago @ Frontpage Magazine - The View from Londonistan · 0 replies · +1 points

THE POINT: You don't need to have a "matching faith" to stand against this cult. You need a belief in the the benefits of Western Civilization. Minus 8 points for that???

246 weeks ago @ Frontpage Magazine - The View from Londonistan · 3 replies · -8 points

"Somehow, I doubt that secular humanism or the facile belief that “nice people don’t butcher or seek to enslave others” won’t cut it against a rabid, unreasoning, uncompromising, to-the-death fanaticism."

There is absolutely no reason to think secular humanism won't cut it. It is not one and the same as moral relativism.Think on Englishmen like Hitchens and Dawkins who have taken impressively bold stances against religious totalitarianism and Islamism in particular. But these are men who knew their history and the roots of their own thinking. All one needs is an understanding of what the Enlightenment wrought.

246 weeks ago @ Frontpage Magazine - Message to "Moderate" ... · 1 reply · +10 points

Good point, Uvais. Now--any idea where that inquisitive spirit has been for the last, oh, 700 years or so since then?

246 weeks ago @ Frontpage Magazine - Obama's Iraq Surrender · 23 replies · -6 points

Here's the deal: I've been coming to this site for about ten years. Generally, I think it has the right idea concerning the threat of Islamism and calling totalitarianism for what it is. But when it comes to Iraq, FPM reminds me of Bill Clinton lecturing someone on the sanctity of marriage.

246 weeks ago @ Frontpage Magazine - Gibson Guitar and the ... · 0 replies · +6 points

Not Gibson! Now, it's personal!

Though personally I would have investigated Gibson's quality control dept.

246 weeks ago @ Frontpage Magazine - Obama’s War on the M... · 0 replies · +1 points

Find me a Republican candidate who is in touch with what everyday people go through, who takes a libertarian view toward social issues, and can explain his views without resorting to cliches, and you'll have my vote. Simple as that.

247 weeks ago @ Frontpage Magazine - Obama’s War on the M... · 2 replies · 0 points

I enjoy Mr. Hendrickson's articles at Forbes.com, and while I disagree with some of the characterizations in this article, I have to say it is a step up in quality from some of the usual fare, here. I appreciate the research; the author's sources hold up in context, too, which pleasantly surprised me.

I happen to think Obama operates not from some insidious agenda but from a desire to use government to fix all the problems he sees (including, clearly, the problem of opposition to his policies). And he seems to come from the Bill Clinton/Tony Blair "middle way" school. In other words, he actually has the option and the base support to be a lot more s-cialist than he has been, and has failed to do so.

But we are at a point where we are playing with pretend money and making decisions on an almost purely political rather than practical basis. I chalk this up to Obama's achilles' heel, and that is his greenhorn status as a player in DC. I had hoped he'd be a bit more bold in the right ways in his second term, and I'm not sure he's up for it. So it seems like there is a real opportunity for a sensible, non-bozo Republican, or even a pro-business Democrat to make a case to the American people for the tough choices we are inevitably going to have to deal with.