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Lesson to the Future Warlords

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Iraq is something that can be turned into a positive, but it is up to every world leader who will follow to bring out the positive there, and only time will tell if the positive is learned. The positive is not what you might think it is however. The positive has nothing to do with any of the stated or implied goals we entered into that country under. The positive has everything to do with the historical lesson in pride used as a basis for policy and how the path to Hell is paved with the best of intentions.

There is no doubt that those who planned the war in Iraq really did believe everything they claimed going into it. I really believe they thought we would be greeted as liberators and not occupiers. I really believe they thought the war would pay for itself. They really thought that the Iraqis were so angry with Saddam’s rule that they would welcome anyone who liberated them from his reign. There is also no doubt that these people were so convinced they were correct that they did not even bother with a plan “B”.

What was learned upon taking Iraq was a slap in the face of every Neocon ideal. The Iraqis turned out to be a very nationalist people who were weary of any outsider. We learned the Iraqis are a splintered group of people who had only paused in their civil war because Saddam gave them something they hated more. We learned that the enemy of my enemy is probably my enemy as well. We learned that good intentions are not the basis of policy, and that wars should always be the last resort and not the primary option. We learned the dangers of unbridled pride run amuck. We learned that doing the right thing at the wrong time is always the wrong thing.

I think the perfect analogy for the Middle East is to view it as a sweater. Follow me with this. The Middle East is a sweater, and each country is a different thread of wool. There was a frayed end on one of the threads, let’s call that thread Iraq. The frayed end was annoying us and posed the risk or ruining the entire sweater, so naturally we pulled on that thread. What we missed was the fact that the thread was holding many other threads in place and now, with that thread removed, the sweater we tried so hard to protect is destroyed by our act of salvation. I never said G-d is opposed to irony. I think it is His greatest of joys personally.

This is the main reason I am such an isolationist. It is not that I do not care for other people or their plight, but that my helping may cause more damage than doing nothing. If they ask for help I am the first one there. I let them know I am there if they need anything, but I never take it upon myself to help someone if not asked. I probably do not know the entire situation. I would be working on assumptions and that never leads to good things. Look at Iraq.

Back to the subject at hand.  Iraq in the proper light is a noble and valiant lesson in the value of restraint. If Bush had taken as long to decide about invading as he has about what to do next the lack of weapons of mass destruction would have been common knowledge, and we would have more than 20,000 troops in Afghanistan.

More pride can be found in the thought that 20,000 troops can do what the Soviet Union failed to do in 10 years. Afghanistan broke the U.S.S.R. as much as Reagan and rock music did and now it is going to break us. The Taliban are even regaining lost turf as we play in the sandbox known as Iraq.

Of all man’s sins, pride is by far my favorite one- Al Pacino in “The Devil’s Advocate”

Soldiers die so that other might live in a better world. If the deaths in Iraq prevent the next rushed war then the deaths will not have been in vain. If every nation learns that war is a beast unto itself and does not care about your intentions then they can rest in peace.

If we continue on our proud path then we murdered our children to feed our egos. We cannot undo the death. We can only learn from our folly. I hope we learn.

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About Brad Schader

  • Bliffle

    Good article. I think you’ve made an informative and original contribution to the Iraq discussion.

  • STM

    Yeah, good work Brad … but I think in terms of your reference to Afghanistan, it’s worth noting that while coalition strategy mightn’t be working too well outside the cities – it never has, for any occupying force there going right back – the conduct of the fighting has been far more successful than it has in Iraq. It’s hard to know why the US military seems to employ the two different styles of operation. I am not a strategist so I just don’t understand the reasons behind that.

    Most Iraqis, BTW, are grateful to the coalition for ridding them of Saddam Hussein. The problem is, they are the 90 per cent who aren’t popping off AK-47s and EIDs, so you don’t hear much about what they think. They are the ones we need to listen to at the moment, not the insurgents.

  • http://kanrei.blogspot.com Brad Schader

    Thank you both. It is amazing how the articles I think are going to get attacked find an audience and the ones I think are brilliant get attacked. It is a constant source of surprise.

  • SHARK

    ~helloooooooooo…

    BS: “There is no doubt that those who planned the war in Iraq really did believe everything they claimed going into it.”

    “THERE IS NO DOUBT”~?!

    Good gawd man, ya lost me right there! After that turd was poured into my champagne flute, I pretty much lost my appetite and just scanned the rest of this “brilliant” essay.

    FYI: There is plenty of ‘doubt’ among a great many people — both inside and outside of the Bush administration — as to the motives of these idiots and assholes. History will have to sort this one out, but jeesus, don’t assume that yer talkin’ to a bunch of True Believers when it comes to the honesty and purity of the Bush Cabal.

    BTW: This thing, including yer major “point” about pride and learning from one’s mistakes — but especially that painfully bad Middle East as a Sweater analogy — sounds like it was written by and for a junior high student.

  • SHARK

    Before you can protest that I’m being a bit harsh…

    If you can reread this string of cheesy, simplistic, over-obvious cliches — and not wanna cut off yer typing fingers with a rusty chainsaw — then yer a better man than I. In any event, you should probably consider a career as a Televangelist.

    “Soldiers die so that other might live in a better world.
    If the deaths in Iraq prevent the next rushed war
    then the deaths will not have been in vain.
    If every nation learns that war is a beast unto itself
    and does not care about your intentions
    then they can rest in peace.
    If we continue on our proud path
    then we murdered our children to feed our egos.
    We cannot undo the death.
    We can only learn from our folly.
    I hope we learn.”

    ======

    Gotta run! On CNN, a “wool sleeve” just blew up and killed sixty innocent people somewhere just below the neckline!

    S

  • http://kanrei.blogspot.com Brad Schader

    Good gawd man, ya lost me right there!

    No loss. You stalk my posts on a regular basis with your lack of substance and overflow of bile.

  • SHARK

    I’m only tryin’ to be helpful, cuz…

    “Being critiqued for one’s public attempts at writing is something that can be turned into a positive, but it is up to every writer who will blog to bring out the positive there, and only time will tell if the positive is learned.”

  • Shark Milton

    BTW: I think the Pacino quote was about “Vanity” as being his favorite sin.

  • http://kanrei.blogspot.com Brad Schader

    Positive?

    “After that turd was poured into my champagne flute”

    “If you can reread this string of cheesy, simplistic, over-obvious cliches — and not wanna cut off yer typing fingers with a rusty chainsaw ”

    Very positive.

  • nancy

    Shark, like his real-life namesakes, serves a useful purpose to all articles & respondents. How can we improve if there is no critique or counterpoint? How can there be debate if there is no disagreement?

    I agree wholeheartedly with Shark on one aspect of this, and that is that there is indeed plenty of doubt about the motives & sincerity of those who started this war. IMO Bush & Cheney willfully, deliberately & cynically are as guilty of the cold-blooded murder of 3,000 US troops as if they’d pulled the trigger(s) themselves, sacrificing American lives for personal pride, power, ambition, political payback, & sheer greed & gain, compounded by incredible arrogance, ignorance, ineptness, and stupidity. There’a a lot of blood on their hands & their heads & I hope I live to see both of them pay for it in spades, altho I grant that’s very unlikely, these two cowards so hot for war – as long as they or theirs were safe & sound from actual harms way.

    Personally I liked the article & the sweater analogy. Good one, & a very vivid image to this ol’ knitter-crocheter. I’m an isolationist for less sterling reasons than Brad, tho: while part of my sentiment is for the same reasons (first, do no harm….), frankly I don’t give a damn about most non-Americans. IMO here in the US we have PLENTY of problems of our own to be fixed without us having to get involved with or correct everyone else’s problems, a point I wish Bush & Cheney were more aware of, then & now. They want to rebuild roads, schools, infrastructures & cities? There are plenty here in the US that are falling down from sheer age & decrepitude that could have used these billions & trillions they’ve been pissing away down the rathole of Iraq, wasting on a passel of ungrateful no-‘count ragheads, who, frankly, if they didn’t like Hussein, were or should have been more than capable of rising up & getting rid of him themselves. And if they couldn’t, weren’t or didn’t, then screw ‘em, they were living as they deserved – a point only glanced & hinted at by Brad: they’ve been slaughtering each other for centuries. It’s their favorite recreation, & was before Saddam arrived. So let them go back to it, and good riddance to them & their fleas.

    While they’re at it, I wish we could send them Bush & Cheney as permanent citizens as well.

  • http://kanrei.blogspot.com Brad Schader

    Nancy,
    Thank you. I do not mind debate. Most things I write here are not well recieved, but there are ways to do it. Shark is a wanker. He attacks, but ignores context. I list the things they said that I say they believed.

    I really believe they thought we would be greeted as liberators and not occupiers. I really believe they thought the war would pay for itself. They really thought that the Iraqis were so angry with Saddam’s rule that they would welcome anyone who liberated them from his reign. There is also no doubt that these people were so convinced they were correct that they did not even bother with a plan “B”.

    All of this is true. The debate was the WMD excuse. Shark also accuses me of being a Bushie when it is obvious I am not even close to one.

    don’t assume that yer talkin’ to a bunch of True Believers when it comes to the honesty and purity of the Bush Cabal.
    He serves not purpose.

  • nancy

    Please explain the last sentence of your last response: he serves not purpose. You meant “he serves no purpose” perhaps? I have to disagree. He’s rude & rough, but he has & does make good points. It’s his style perhaps that offends; he makes no attempt at diplomacy. I didn’t interpret his comments to indicate that he thought you were a Bushie; just that he thought you were giving BushCo far too much benefit of the doubt.

  • http://kanrei.blogspot.com Brad Schader

    It was supposed to be “no purpose”, but my fingers do not always agree with my choice of spelling.

    If he wants to discuss my story, then there are ways. Being an asshole off the bat is not going to get a response other than hostile from me.

  • nancy

    That’s just the way he is. Kind of like Arch & Redtard can be depended on to come out & breathe fire & slaughter on anyone who doesn’t believe as they do, most of the time, when discussing politics. I range from conciliatory to absolute sphincter m’self on occasion. And sometimes a good insult or a good fight is a way to stir things up a tad, get them going. Better reading that when it’s one’s own writing that’s the target, I grant you.

  • http://kanrei.blogspot.com Brad Schader

    I just find it amazing that a person who has not published an article here since January 2006 and has not updated his own blog since May 2005 has so much to say about everyone else’s writing. Those that cannot do criticize I guess.

  • nancy

    Possibly. I junp in quite a few threads, but write none myself, mainly ’cause I’m aware of my shortcomings as an author. Commenting is another matter, because that’s just opinions.

  • D’oh

    Brad, I share some of the same concerns about the body of your article that SHARK does.

    Namely that you might be giving too much credit to the Administration and their motives, all this while noticing their very real and demonstrable shortcomings.

    As for the bullshit attempted argument about some people not writing articles anymore, but stillexpressing themselves in commentary…

    Folks have their reasons, I used to write articles, under another name, but chose not to anymore for my own reasons. Yet here in the environment of an open forum which allows discussion, you have to take the tomatoes with the applause.

    iron sharpens iron

    When it comes to this topic,and wars of convenience, I keep asking myself an old question,
    who are the trusted?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    A sweater?! I did have to laugh out loud at that…and this subject is too serious for an analogy that invites ridicule.

    Shark, it’s not fair of you to pick on this guy. You must save your gifts to anoint better writers with worse politics, which is in fact where you most often do post.

    Brad does have a point, though…You are, potentially, a great writer…Why don’t you write some articles of your own? You are depriving us of some fine entertainment and artful bashing of pompous right-wingers.

  • Bliffle

    “There is no doubt that those who planned the war in Iraq really did believe everything they claimed going into it.”

    There CAN be doubt, and I’m developing more of it. Reflecting back on events, the neocons were not at all surprised when no WMD appeared in the first weeks of the invasion and they had excuses at the ready. They were not deterred one whit from continuing the invasion. And to this day they maintain the same flimsy excuses. I would like to think they were merely naive with Chelabi, and perhaps badly informed by careerist intel agents, but as time goes by and more of the props for this invasion are disabled, it becomes believable that this fiasco is NOT just a screwup, but a calculated contrivance: a network of lies.

  • SHARK

    BS: “Shark also accuses me of being a Bushie…”

    I never said that. I said that one of your initial assumptions, ie in the purity/honesty of motives of the Bush Junta — was debatable.

    Look, Brad, the FIRST meaty line of your FIRST meaty paragraph begins with:

    “…There is no doubt that those who planned the war in Iraq really did believe everything they claimed going into it.”

    That’s not only HIGHLY DEBATABLE — but at this point — it’s pretty PROVOCATIVE, you dig? You toss it out like it’s the Gospel, so while the rest of your “I believe they believe”s might be true, a reader like me has already been lost from the get-go. The words “NO DOUBT” stuck in my craw like a cockleburr in a loose-knit sweater.

    I don’t have a clue as to your politics, but that phrase sounds like something Dick Cheney would say while he’s tryin’ to talk his way out of a long-term sentence in the bowels of Hell.

    “ahahahah! Your front-row seat is over here, Mr. Vice…”

    ==============

    BTW: Four susbequent commentors echoed my reaction. While they might disagree with my *tone, they all had a problem with your assumption.

    *my name is not “Paula Abdul”. My name is Shark. Does that conjure an image of a nun breast-feeding an orphan?

    =============

    re: the Middle East as Sweater thingy:

    Brad, did it ever occur to you that the knitted sweater is sort of a universal symbol of love, home, hearth, comfort, warmth, etc? And therefore, to use it in an analogy with a potential World War III is sorta surreal and jarring, to say the least?

    And even excluding that — the idea of a thread unraveling has been used by everyone from Charlie Chaplin to old Warner Bros. Cartoons? It has gone BEYOND the realm of cliche. No decent writer would ever touch it, unless to make a sardonic point. It’s probably the most UNORIGINAL thing you could have said in that context.

    Ya with me here?

    ============

    RE: “I just find it amazing that a person who has not published an article here since January 2006 and has not updated his own blog since May 2005 has so much to say about everyone else’s writing. Those that cannot do criticize I guess.”

    Coupla points:

    1) “Those that cannot do criticize I guess.”

    Needs a comma — and has at least one other error.

    2) Blogs are for wankers.

    3) As you state, I do have quite a record as a writer hereabouts, both in essays and comments — which contradicts your line from #1 above, BTW. Anywhoo, babe, Peruse, Destroy, and Deconstruct my shit at yer leisure. Ya take off yer clothes in public, you gotta take the slings and arrows along with the “bravo!”s.

    4) I forgot my password at Movable Type.

    5) As to writing; If you were a teenager, I’d probably go easier on you, but at this point (I’m assuming yer fully grown), you should be polishing yer writing like a man. NO ONE — no teacher, mentor, family member, or friend — is going to let that pile of cheesy, over-obvious 19th century cliches go without pointing them out to you. Any true friend, at least…

    You have to reread yer essay and ask yerself “EXACTLY WHAT AM I TRYING TO SAY HERE?” — because, quite frankly, it reads like you sat down, thought up some imaginary “optimistic” lecture, and began writing like you get paid by the word.

    Snip snip snip.

    6) More advice: ALWAYS CUT YOUR FAVORITE LINES.

    xxoo
    S

  • SHARK

    D’oh, “who” did you used to be? Do tell!

  • http://kanrei.blogspot.com Brad Schader

    Shark,
    Long post but you wasted your time because I do not read the posts of wankers. Once you become hostile with me you have nothing to offer. Please continue to waste your time though if it makes you feel more powerful.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Shark,

    I had similar problems with this post. So that makes five commenters, not four. I’m honestly not sure Brad was sure himself of what he was trying to get across here, except perhaps that a good idea went bad. I similarly stopped and had to look at that first assertion. It flies in the face of what I know to be reality.

    But the problem is that Brad has closed his mind to what you have to say, even though much of it makes sense, just from the point of view of a writer, forgetting the actual assertions of fact or ideas involved.

    But then there is that element of “those who can’t, teach, and those who can’t teach, teach education.”

    You’re good, Sharkie babie, but there is more to the world than nipping at other’s tails for a chunk of meat. Underneath all them comments of yourn lies a damned good article waiting to be written. And don’t give me any shit about losing a password to “Moveable Type.” I did that already long ago, and got another one.

    You can do the same – if you can forget how pissed you are at how this site has developed…

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Brad: Your #22 is quite childish,and it’s your loss. Shark has some real wisdom to offer you in this case.

  • http://kanrei.blogspot.com Brad Schader

    Handy,
    It may be my loss. You had harsh words for my story as well, but were a bit more polite in dealing them. I took your advice to heart to be honest. It is not the words, but the tone. Shark has this “I am better than everyone else” attitude. He snipes. He does not do this to help people become better writers, he does it to feel better about himself. I have had many things I wrote here attacked before and have learned from most of them, but have no time for the waste of space posters.

  • http://kanrei.blogspot.com Brad Schader

    Ruvy,
    I’m honestly not sure Brad was sure himself of what he was trying to get across here, except perhaps that a good idea went bad.

    That is sort of my point. My point is that Iraq is a horrible mistake that has been bad from the start. I am looking at it from a historical point of view that this folly can be the perfect example of pride used as a basis for policy. “If Bush had taken as long to decide about invading as he has about what to do next the lack of weapons of mass destruction would have been common knowledge”. I probably need to work on sticking to my main point more and avoid tangents.

  • Bliffle

    I think one lesson to future warlords is “quit while you’re ahead”. If we had quit after invading Afghanistan we’d still have the respect of 99% of the world, terrorists would still fear us and have few tactical ideas, our military would still be a palpable menace to wrongdoers, and we’d be money ahead. Oh yeah, we also wouldn’t have earned the enmity of 2billion people by declaring a Lomg War on (some flavor of) Islam.

    Bush has forfeited all those benefits with his ill-begotten charge into Iraq. In fact, GWB has done more to damage the National Security of the USA than anyone else could possibly have done.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Ah Spliffle, I see it’s rewriting history day today. Last I checked it was the radical muslims who declared war on us, not the other way around, and we had the enmity of those 2 billion lunatics the moment we decided we liked freedom more than god.

    dave

  • Clavos

    Bliffle, it’s been a looooong time before Iraq (the sixties?) since we’ve had “the respect of 99% of the world.”