You Had Your Chance part II
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By etrigan - Last updated: Thursday, March 18, 2004 - Save & Share - 14 Comments

Yesterday’s volley of mud from both sides is recorded in the Sacramento Bee

My beef today is Kerry’s continued insistience that “our men and women in uniform fight on almost alone”, as if the continued support from Britain, Australia, Japan, Turkey, etc, so on, and so forth (not to mention a new push by the Pakistanis in penitance for their dealing nuke secrets to Iran) constitutes “alone”. Do we really want a president whose concept of the rest of the world does not extend beyond Brussels, Paris, and Berlin?


Don’t forget that Kerry denounced administration strategies that he said had alienated allies and left American forces to “go it alone” – As if positions like his don’t quite alienate the allies that have chosen to stand against terror and dictators who are threats to both the world and their own people.

In the short term, the bombing in Spain may have been a gain for the terrorists. But the threats against France and the bombing in Spain seem to have awakened Europe much like 9/11 awakened the US. From the Wash Post (The non-Moonie, leftist rag from the “stagnant swamp”):

“The bombs of Madrid have shown us how much we are without defense and how much our knowledge of the terrorists is insufficient,” says Le Figaro. “Each country can be hit, whether or not it has participated, like Spain, in the Iraq war, whether or not it has decided, like France, to forbid Islamic headscarves in the schools.”

…”Only a dreamer would believe that Germany will not be attacked,” say the editors of Bild, Germany’s best-selling tabloid. “Islamic terrorists are waging a war against the West, not just against individual countries.”

… “When the Americans declared war on terrorism, many of us thought they exaggerated. Many thought terrorism was not likely to occur on our premises, [inhabited by] peaceful and civilized Europeans who speak no evil of anybody, who dialogue, who are the first [to] send assistance and offer cooperation. We are pacifists, they are warmongers. . . . . Don’t we defend the Palestinians? Are we not pro-Arab and anti-Israeli?”…”Can we dialogue with those who desire only our death and nothing but our death?” Lamo (Of French paper, Le Monde. Not the yellow sheet that started Le Tour) asks. “Dialogue about what? The manner in which we will be assassinated?”…”The war against terrorism will be long and difficult,” he concludes. “It was that cretin, President Bush, who said that.”

Maybe because he was caught in the pre-9/11 world while he sat reading to children in Florida while the WTC began to burn, GWB seems to have appreciated sooner than much of the world that prosecuting terrorists needed to be done in the field with the wrong end of big frickin’ guns rather than waiting for us to be attacked, then prosecuting the folks who commit the attacks (Who should we try for 9/11, Mr. Kerry? the 19 hijackers?).

Iraq may not have been directly tied to 9/11, but they WERE sponsors of terror, the WERE in gross violation of over a dozen UN resolutions, and they WERE a threat to US national security. None of that is debatable; even Kerry is on record acknowledging all of that back when WJC was president.

The war in Iraq, while failing to turn up WMD’s, HAS lured terrorists there, HAS shown that the US and many other nations take international agreements seriously, and HAS shown that the US and our allies are committed to reconstructing Iraq and encouraging freedom and democracy worldwide.

Sure, the foreign leaders that fill Sen. Kerry’s world view may not have supported invading Iraq (possibly due to oil payouts – see Le Monde, translation by babelfish for a list) way back when, but just because a position isn’t popular doesn’t mean it’s wrong. A president shouldn’t be hamstrung by the rest of the world.

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14 Responses to “You Had Your Chance part II”

Comment from etrigan
Time March 18, 2004 at 8:39 am

> continued support from…

Put numbers on that. How many factors of US soldiers are there compared to the sum total of everyone else? Even do the numbers as a % of each countries population and I bet it doesn’t stack up.

> Iraq may not have been directly tied to 9/11

Iraq *was/is* not directly tied to 9/11 — don’t play Bush’s and Rummy’s word games.

> The war in Iraq…HAS lured terrorists there

and more here and more to Spain and France. It will be many decades before we know if it was a good idea for W to smack the beehive with a stick instead of smoking them out slowly, but either way he got us into Iraq by being wrong — which is close enough to lying in the eyes of most of the world’s population. He tried to do a good thing in such a way that he pissed more people off. He needs to let someone run the country who won’t stumble towards entropy with his diplomacy.

Comment from Jank
Time March 18, 2004 at 8:50 am

> He needs to let someone run the country who won’t stumble towards entropy with his diplomacy.

Neville Chamberlin was a hell of a diplomat. Saw nuances and shades of grey. Figured appeasement and international bodies could solve problems with irrational players. Churchill pissed people off who disagreed with him. Pissed people off who agreed with him, too. Stubbornly and bullheadedly put the defense of England first.

Perhaps GWB’s not the best diplomat, but giving the reins to someone who wants to turn the clock back to August 2001 by handing terrorism back to impotent bodies such as the UN is a bigger mistake.

Comment from KMc
Time March 18, 2004 at 9:18 am

Coalition of the willing — It’s from a year ago though, so I’m sure there have been some changes.

And come now, (I knew Winston Churchill and) GWB is no Churchill. Kudos for finding the perfect and equally-sensical analog to “Bush=Hitler”.

Churchill had France on his side. ;)

Comment from Jank
Time March 18, 2004 at 9:28 am

> do the numbers as a % of each countries population

and even if most countries around the world had committed their entire defenses, it wouldn’t stack up. The US is way ahead of most of the rest of the world in defense spending, even after the post-cold war drawdown. And I’d argue that the US military, and the stability we provide by being the baddest m’f’er on the block is one of our gifts to the rest of the world.

(Scratch the % of population thing – found this CBO study from 2001 that shows that most of the rest of the NATO uses extremely manpower intensive militaries instead of investing in technology.) A lot of other countries still use conscription, too, and cannot send conscripts out of their home countries.

Army numbers show that there are 150,000 coalition troops on the ground in Iraq, and about 20K in Afghanistan. Wolfowitz back in September, 2003, testifying before Congress said that “close to 30 nations have sent close to 23,000 personnel to Iraq. Over 40 nations have pledged more than $3 billion in assistance. In southern Iraq, Polish forces have assumed command of an international division and we’re hoping to add another division above and beyond that.”

Comment from Jank
Time March 18, 2004 at 9:45 am

> Churchill had France on his side.

At least until DeGaulle was run into the Channel. Then the Vichy took over, and the Allies started killing Frogs as necessary.

>Kudos

Thanks. Took some work, but then it was staring me right in the face.

Oh, and one last for JRO –

> being wrong — which is close enough to lying

‘Cept for the small matter of intent. And it’s not like the White House has tried in any way, shape, or form to cover up the lack of WMD’s – far from it; they’ve downplayed the portions of the Kay Report which support infrastructure still being in place to potentially support WMD production. They may not have made the leap to saying “We were wrong” about WMD’s, but they are trying to find out why. (And again, WMD or no WMD does not change the continued ignorance of UN resolutions or threatening body language coming from Iraq.)

Comment from Jank
Time March 18, 2004 at 1:50 pm

Churchill’s a lot funnier than GWB, though:

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

Comment from etrigan
Time March 18, 2004 at 4:17 pm

> matter of intent

Yes, he intended to start a war whether or not the data supported it. ;)

I support the good we’ve done for the oppressed people of Iraq with this war and I agree the UN needs to find it’s teeth. Unfortunately, most muslims around the world (and there are a lot of them) and most of the muslims in Iraq think we lied so that we could invade their country. If Bush is not able (and he shows not interest/ability) to change that interpretation then he will only drag us deeper into a terrorist war that we may not win. There are “too”:http://www.etalkinghead.com/news/archives/al-qaeda-group-endorses-bush-for-president-2004-03-18.html “many”:http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2004/3/16/132854.shtml “indications”:http://www.shortnews.com/start.cfm?id=37889&rubrik1=Politics&rubrik2=World%20Politics&rubrik3=All&sort=1&start=1 in today’s news that say Al Qaeda is more aggressive against Bush than Kerry. Go ahead and twist that around all you want, but it says to me that the more Bush uses the stick and the longer he refuses to offer a carrot the more suicide bombs we’re going to see.

I think the UN realized this would occur with whoever attacked and that’s their excuse for holding back. They need to get into the terrorism fray big time or they will be quickly obsolete — if it’s not too late.

Now that we’re in Iraq, we need a President to leverage our presence AND find an olive branch to bridge the muslim world’s gap of fear in joining the modern world. I think Kerry can do that better than Bush.

Comment from Jank
Time March 18, 2004 at 4:35 pm

> Al Qaeda is more aggressive against Bush than Kerry. … the longer he refuses to offer a carrot the more suicide bombs we’re going to see.

What stick is going to be acceptable to groups like Al Quaeda? Pulling back from the rest of the world? Making American women wear burkas? My guess is that the Federal Marriage Amendment is going to seem mild with their demands…

I know you’ll pooh-pooh this, but take Israel’s experience with Arafat. Everyone praised the Oslo accords, and things were going swimmingly, until a percieved slight (Israeli PM going to the Wailing Wall) set off the current ugliness over there. My guess is that there was never good faith on the Palestinian side; only a desire to push Israel into the sea. My guess is that negotiating with Al Quaeda will be a similar experience.

Comment from Jank
Time March 18, 2004 at 4:45 pm

Dr Seuss speaks from the grave:

Comment from etrigan
Time March 18, 2004 at 5:04 pm

feh. I’m not talking appeasement of Al Qaeda. I’m talking about an outreach to Muslim peoples showing that in a quality secular society all religions can coexist. Maybe documentaries about Amish and Mennonites (or even Muslims in America.)

Comment from etrigan
Time March 18, 2004 at 5:07 pm

“uh-oh”:http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=4&u=/ap/20040318/ap_on_re_eu/poland_iraq

Comment from Jank
Time March 18, 2004 at 6:50 pm

He tempered them by stressing that Poland is not about to abandon its mission in Iraq, and said Iraq was a better place without Saddam.

“But naturally I also feel uncomfortable due to the fact that we were misled with the information on weapons of mass destruction,” Kwasniewski told French reporters, according to a transcript released by his press office.

“This is the problem of the United States, of Britain and also of many other nations,” he later told a news conference.

Oh well. At least they aren’t turning tail. Could it be some good diplomacy on the part of the Administration keeping the coalition together?

Comment from Jank
Time March 18, 2004 at 8:11 pm

> And it’s not like the White House has tried in any way, shape, or form to cover up the lack of WMD’s

I may have spoken too soon. At least that’s what the Pakistan Daily Times would have us believe:

the Bush administrations assurance about finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was based on a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) plan to plant WMDs inside the country. Nelda Rogers, the Pentagon whistleblower, claims the plan failed when the secret mission was mistakenly taken out by friendly fire

the unit was paid through the Department of Agriculture in order to hide it,

These people died, mostly in the same place in Baghdad, supposedly from a stray cruise missile or a combination of missiles and bombs that went astray, Martin continues. There were supposedly 76 who died there and the other 24 died through a variety of friendly fire, mistaken identity and some of themtheir whereabouts are simply unknown.

Hey – the Ag Department. Perhaps this ties into the conspiracy theory that has GWB heading to Central America to collect plants…

Comment from Jank
Time March 25, 2004 at 5:20 pm

> It will be many decades before we know if it was a good idea for W to smack the beehive

I’m rapidly becoming more of a fan of John Derbysihre for stuff like this. It’s in reference to Israel’s killing of Shiek Yassin, but has a little bearing on this:

You win a war by killing as many of the enemy as you can find.

Your logic seems to be: “(This action) will get (them) real mad. More of them will join terrorist groups. They will be more highly motivated to kill (us). They will be more dangerous to the rest of us.”

So what? Can you name any action by any party in any war, of which the same could not be said? I bet after we sank the Japanese fleet at Midway, the Japanese got real mad. I bet recruitment went up; I bet they were better motivated.

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