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Should We Have Invaded Iraq?

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For me the election comes down to the advisability of the war in Iraq, and the candidates, based upon their mutual emphasis on the matter, seem to agree.

By way of perspective, I am a social liberal, an economic moderate, and, since 9/11, a defense hawk. I agree with the notion of getting them before they get us, and the wisdom of an aggressive offense being – in the long run – the best form of defense.

Sen. Kerry speaks about only 5% of containers being shipped into the U.S. being inspected, and I agree that this is a source of concern, but circling the wagons is always going to leave space between those wagons and it will always be possible for determined, ideologically-crazed murderers who worship death to squeeze through those spaces.

The best hope for security really IS to stop the terrorists at the source by capturing or killing them, by dissuading those who might aid, support or sympathize with them that their jihad is pointless, and by spreading liberty, as free people are least likely to feel the need or desire to engage in terrorism. If this is the “neocon” worldview, then so be it.

Does this sound naive and utopian? Perhaps in the short run it is – look at the mess in Iraq, and there is no question that right now it IS a mess. But we are at the beginning of the process: radical change of any kind tends to release competing forces that appear anarchic and that cost real lives, suffering, pain and resources. War always looks like an miasmic mess from the inside and while it is ongoing, just like a hurricane or a tornado, but there IS an end to both kinds of whirlwinds, though riding both out requires determination, vision, perspective, and some luck.

But does that mean the change is not worth the cost? That is a very reasonable and arguable question and I respect the views of those who do not share my perspective, we simply disagree.

Ultimately it’s very simple: was Iraq under Saddam Hussein a threat? The question is not did he have WMD, it would appear he did not. It would appear the combined intelligence of the Western world rather sucked, and there is zero doubt in my mind that the members of this administration viewed the available intelligence in a light most favorable to their own agenda: they wanted to go into Iraq. But this is not the same as lying.

So was Saddam a threat? The only reason he didn’t have WMD anymore was because of an ongoing, expensive, and onerous international system of sanctions that Iraq’s open and secret (France, Germany, Russia) allies were doing their best to subvert and undermine. The sanctions and military efforts and expense required to enforce them could not have been sustained forever. When they would have ended – either officially or by the time they were completely breeched unofficially – Saddam would have resumed his efforts to obtain and create WMD. The Duelfer Report confirms this, just as it confirms that Saddam did not currently have WMD.

Therefore, in the medium or, without question, long run, Saddam would have once again become a threat, jsut as he has been in the past – to his neighbors, his own people, and to the United States, toward whom he has expressed nothing but hatred and contempt. More specifically, there are reasonable arguments that link Saddam to the first WTC bombing in 1993, and there is debatable but ultimately not dismissable evidence that Saddam backed a plot to kill George H.W. Bush in April of ’93. Ergo, he had the will, and ultimately, one way or another, would have regained the means in order to carry out that will. Saddam was a dangerous malignancy that would have inevitably metastasized.

But, doesn’t that apply to all kinds of countries, including the other two-thirds of Bush’s own Axis of Evil, Iran and North Korea? Why yes it does, but for a variety of reasons practical, logistical, political, and (oh no, you mean anyone in the current government cares?) diplomatic, it was simply not feasible to invade and overthrow the governments of either North Korea or Iran. This is the subject of another discussion, but is anyone going to tell me we could have, or could now (including if we hadn’t invaded Iraq) directly effect regime change in either of these countries by overt military action? Reality counts because we live in the real world – you do what you can when you can. We had to start somewhere and Iraq was the most reasonable, possible place to start.

If Iraq was indeed a threat or would have been if foreseeable events were to come to pass (the sanctions being subverted or lifted), then regime change was the right thing to do because the cost of dealing with what appears to me to have been an inevitable problem was only going to grow over time – I believe it was and it was, therefore, despite reservations about social policy, the environment, and separation of church and state, I can only logically vote for Bush. And with only two weeks left to go, I can’t foresee my position changing.

A final note: despite my reservations on a policy level with both candidates, I do not see my vote as a matter of “the lesser of two evils.” I respect and admire John Kerry, agree with him on a number of issues, believe he is sincere and that his changes of opinion and policy are not only, or even primarily, politically motivated.

I also believe he loves this country just as much as George Bush or I do. And while my differences with Bush are real and strong, I do not believe he is stupid, or evil, or insincere or a liar. He is a manager and a very good one: he is not a puppet – he is the one who pulls the strings.

I believe both candidates can ably run the country and that is the beauty of the two-party system: the candidates are forced toward the middle, they are forced to reach a consensus with the 60% or so of the nation in the middle, so that while things DO change from administration to administration, there is more continuity than discontinuity.

We all know, deep down, no matter how hard we fight the fight and bitch and moan during the election process itself, that we can live with the result even if it goes against our wishes. That is very comforting knowledge to hold.

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About Eric Olsen

  • JR

    Should we have invaded Iraq?

    Yes. For two reasons:

    1) Saddam Hussein was a criminal

    2) It’s a test of our leader’s ability to get a majority of Americans behind him, convince the international community of the justness of our cause, win a decisive victory and establish a secure and peaceful post-war environment.

    Now Saddam Hussein is in jail and we know that our current President is not up to the job. Mission accomplished!

  • Vern Halen

    It was nice to read a rational, moderate piece in the politics column that didn’t attempt to demonize either candidate or make rash claims against both the poitical left and right. Maybe the voice of one blogcritic in the wilderness is comforting enough to know. Thanks there, Mr. Olsen.

  • http://screenrant.com Vic

    Eric, what are you doing? Trying to set a precedent for reasonable, balanced discussions on this site? ;-)

    Vic

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks guys, much appreciated – I’m glad it came off that way, I was trying

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    I think the basic premise simply fails: spreading liberty and democracy with guns is oxymoronic, at best, and counter-productive in reality, as in Iraq.

  • andy marsh

    Nice piece Eric…I agree with most of what you wrote.

    I wouldadd this…guns and peace (or liberty and democracy)are not oxymoronic. In fact, in the day and age in which we live they are required.

  • Dawn

    This was certainly a measured and reasoned response, which I can only conclude was precipitated by hours of arguing and lamenting about our opposing positions.

    But the one thing I think (after reading this) that I can agree with you on is that Bush is indeed NOT a puppet – he is the guy running the show, a show that he apparently doesn’t mind running alone and with zero input or facts, differing opinions, or the use of logic.

    Bush is all about instincts and his own infallibility, unfortunately his instincts are indeed fallible.

  • http://lifeinaurora.blogspot.com Jason Koulouras

    Eric, well versed and thought out post.

    When I put myself into full logic mode, I am unable at this time to decide whether the invasion of Iraq is a good thing or bad thing for the U.S. I watch and wait to see what if any impact there is on Syria and Iran’s activities as a result of having the U.S. army next door.

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    I think the invasion of Iraq will and can only be measured in proper historical context 20 years down the road. I would say that the jury is still out. Right now, this war is neither good nor bad. It is a war, and war is always painful. Troops and Iraqi citizens have died horribly.

    But the jury is still out. This war is going to take a lot more work. (It’s hard work, in case you didn’t hear Bush say it 2,000,000 times during the debates.)

    I am not going to say who I am voting for, because I have started to enjoy my place in the middle, but to be quite honest, I think either one has the potential to run the rest of this war effectively.

    By the way, an update from the swing state, Ohio, I would say via my unnofficial anecdotal evidence that I think Ohio will go to Bush in the election. Just me thinking I have my hand on the pulse around here. Take it for what it is worth.

  • Bernard

    Eric, I am impressed by your thoughtfullness. However, the idea that international threats can be met through suppression and warfare worries me.

    In my mind, that’s what got the world where it is in the firstplace.

    But I’m honoured not to share your opinion.

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Bernard, very kind of you. In the most general sense I agree with you that suppression and warfare are core sources of trouble, but I don’t think what we are doing is suppression, I believe we are saying, or beginning to say, that suppression will no longer be acceptable

    Craig, I absolutely agree that historical perspective is needed before anything approaching a final assessment can be made – and even then historians still disagree on the advisability of virtually every war ever thought.

    Jason, also a very good point, an important element in measuring the “success” of this war is how it effects other parties

    thanks Andy, I think you are right

    Hal, I think our unwillinglness to support our ideals with “robust” action is part of what got us to 9/11. Liberty cannot take hold until repression is cleared out – that will sometimes take military action, where possible and practical, because, again, it’s the real world. There are a lot of places where overt action won’t be possible for a variety of reasons.

  • http://squaringtheglobe.blogspot.com Harry Forbes

    Eric,

    I, too, enjoyed your piece very much. A couple of points you make need further emphasis.

    First, to say our intelligence SUCKED is far too kind. Certainly Saddam benefited (at least for a while) by playing cat-and-mouse and making the US believe he was a greater threat than in fact he was. A mystery about WMD would have this effect more than anything else. But this does not excuse the poor judgments of the intelligence organizations of the US, UK, Russia, and others. All these organizations believed that Saddam had WMDs. They should do penance for developing such innacurate information.

    The second point concerns the level of risk to the US from Iraqi WMDs. Why is the US threatened to such a high degree by a few hundred or a few thousand terrorists? The key reason has been stated best, I believe, by Wretchard of Belmont Club. It is that the Islamofacists are quite unrestrained in their use of violence against the Infidels. Therefore it is prudent to presume that they will use without hesitation any weapons they are able to obtain.

    In Wretchard’s words:

    “Radical Islam is self-evidently at war with the West because their efforts are limited only by their capability. And the West is just as clearly not yet at war with radical Islam because its actions are still limited by its intent. Zarqawi sawed off Bigley’s head simply because he could; America spares Fallujah from choice. That inability to think of ourselves as being truly at war underlay the rejection of Mark Steyn’s column. He had only stated the obvious.”

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Harry, very important information – certainly we have not employed all-out war yet, precisely because of our concern for human life

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Location counts, Eric, when it comes to “liberty” and “repression.” We’re starting to get less of the former and more of the latter in America.

    I would like to see some of your “robust action” in Washington, DC, and state houses across the country, rather than being used to create more terrorists in the Middle East.

    My view is not that of Max Boot, who forsees a future filled with America continuously at war. I didn’t like that vision when I read George Orwell, and I don’t like it when the neoconservatives impose it on America.

    It’s anti-American.

  • Bernard

    If the goal of the action is to end suffering and suppression two important issues come to mind:

    One is nation building; which is the responsibility you assume by such actions. Powell said ‘You break it, you own it’. Bush said ‘we should not engage in it’ or used words to that effect (I don’t remember the exact quote). The planning for the ‘peace’ that followed the war has proven inadequate at best. If one is spreading freedom and it results in chaos one has failed. Of course, it might still work out in the long run, but there are no real signs of improvement as of yet.

    Secondly and related to the first issue. If spreading freedom and democracy is your goal, why piss off two thirds of the nations that could offer very real assisstance in the process. International support for your effort was and still is inadequate. Internationalisation of this crusade for democracy is highly necessary for it to be succesfull. Up till now the current administration has failed that task.

    I have said this to you before: Even if the goals are commendable (which I partly believe they are) the execution of them has not been up to par and a new approach could help the situation, by one or the other candidate as long as things get better.

    On a sidenote: personally I don’t believe that freedom and democracy are installable commodities, allthough Japan in the post WWII era could be used to prove me wrong. Difference being; back then there was a man with a plan, not just a man with a commendable goal

  • Eric Olsen

    Hal and Bernard, i share both of your concerns even if I come to different conclusions. My hope is that Bush can learn from his (manifest) mistakes and use that knowledge along with his demonstrated resolve and good intentions to follow this through to a “successful” conclusion. I hope that success in iraq precludes the need for “perpetual war.”

  • jim

    >I do not believe he is stupid, or evil, or insincere or a liar. He is a manager and a very good >one: he is not a puppet – he is the one who pulls the strings.

    Sorry, but if your read David Corn’s book, the Lies of George W. Bush you will see very clearly that Bush is a liar. I don’t think he capable of telling the truth.

    Ron Suskind’s article in the October 17th New York Times, Without a Doubt (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/magazine/17BUSH.html), is a frightening look at how GWB operates. He is incapable of admitting a mistake. This is systematic of someone who is an alcoholic that has treated the alcohol problem but has not treated the ism part.

    Sanctions were working against Hussein. He was not our most immediate threat. GWB has made the worst political policy blunder in our nation’s history by attacking Iraq while playing into Osama bin Laden’s hands and creating more enemies against us than before imaginable. You do remember OSB?

    What we are seeing in Iraq is the Neocon theory writ large. It was a theory first tested out in Argentina when they privatized the entire country to disastrous effects. They had a shot at it again in Iraq and totally botched the operation from start to finish. Now when Kerry is elected president he’ll have to deal with this mess. This is par for the course when it comes to GWB. He has botched everything in his life and left others to deal with his mess.

    Look into PNAC (Project for a New American Century) and you will find the details of this war going back many years. They needed a new Pearl Harbor to launch this war and 9/11 was it. I’m not saying they knew about 9/11, but it was their cover. That’s why they had to tie Saddam Hussein into 9/11.

    Wake up!

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Distorted Angel

    Eric, there’s a really fascinating cover story in yesterday’s NY Times magazine section about Bush. It goes into great detail about his complete disinterest in analytic thought and his dislike of empirical evidence, particularly if it conflicts with his own world view. If there’s even a grain of truth to that piece, the likelihood of Bush learning from his mistakes is less than zero.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    You keep seeing resolve, Eric, while I see pigheaded pursuit of courses even he must recognize as failures (while refusing to admit that, of course).

    This type of behavior borders on the psychotic.

  • http://www.outragedmoderates.org Thad Anderson

    In response to Vern’s comments above, I agree that some demonization of the candidates has gotten out of hand (notable examples would be various anti-Bush things comparing him to Hitler, or anti-Kerry things saying something like “this bumper sticker paid for by al Qaeda.”)

    However, I don’t think that it is “demonizing” Bush to call him out on lying to and/or misleading the American people on fundamental aspects of the Iraq war, the cost of Medicare, or the serious health costs of cutting back New Source Review.

    The right has consistently used the term “Bush-bashing” as a way to try to dismiss legitimate, factual arguments against the Bush administration. In my opinion, labelling criticism of President Bush as “demonization” falls into this same category.

    When President Bush was elected, I knew I would have some policy disagreements with him. But I never imagined that I would come to see him as the ultimate triumph of marketing over factual arguments in U.S. politics.

  • andy marsh

    Why is it that people will accept a “grain of truth” from a NY Times magazine article on faith, but ignore an entire book written and confirmed by 280 Vietnam vets as nothing but a smear?

  • http://www.awddaily.com Bill Lamb

    Thank you for your comments Eric. They are thankfully made without electioneering hysteria.

    I do disagree with you. Fairly simply put, I fail to see any serious attempt on the part of President Bush to address, or pre-empt the problems that precipitated the Iraq situation in the first place. World War II taught us that long-term solutions to war involve treating the root causes. The Marshall Plan has ensured no war between the U.S. and European nations for possibly centuries to come.

    President Bush has given us failure to manage the funding that is supposed to prevent problems in Iraq in the future as well as failure to understand the Iraqi people and the situation on the ground…not to mention failure to secure international involvement in the peace effort.

    My biggest reason, however, to vote for John Kerry is that the thuggishness engaged in on a regular basis by Republicans is at epidemic level, and President Bush completely ignores any of this, or his own failure to unite, simply to maintain power. We do not see Democrats making completely untruthful allegations (the Swift Boat group…as proven by ABC News trip to Vietnam to sort out the truth) and hurtful, divisive use of religion (the ‘liberals will ban the Bible’ handouts funded by the RNC) simply to maintain power. Thankfully, now Republican power grabs in the media (the Sinclair Broadcasting Group) are finally seeming to collapse in on themselves (the stock has fallen almost 10% for Sinclair today).

    I want to live in a United States. President Bush has proven he is not up to that task. John Kerry deserves the opportunity to do better.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    I was researching a history paper, and read in a 1930s article in the Loyola College paper on the Spanish Civil War: “God bless General Franco and the Spanish People”.

    I’m sure in decades to come, many people will have as much contempt as I have for your quiescence to nothing more than the exercise of brutal, oligarchic power totally at odds to your own self-interest. Really, can’t you feel just a bit of shame, like you’ve accidentally shit yourself?

  • http://copygodd.blogspot.com copygodd

    i must agree with most everyone else’s comments and say very nice job on the post.

    however, when it comes to the war in iraq, i don’t believe it’s going to matter which guy wins. kerry’s not going to be able to pull our troops out. and he knows it. we’re there for the long haul, which probably means at least 10-20 years. so, i don’t think there’s really much difference between the two candidates there.

    which leads us to economic and domestic policies. for the past four years, we’ve had a republican adminstration, a republican house and a republican senate. on paper, it seems like a sure equation for getting spending under control. in reality, these guys have yet to meet a spending bill they disagree with. bush refuses to veto anything, while the republicans are falling all over themselves trying to think of new ways to spend money. all the while, of course, cutting taxes. in the 90’s, we had a democratic president who was kept in check by a republican congress. since the democrats are in no danger of winning back control of the house or senate, putting a democrat in the white house is the only way to get our spending back under control.

    it’s a choice between a guy (bush) who wants to cut taxes and spend more (a fiscal impossibility) versus a guy (kerry) who wants to raise taxes while spending more (a crappy platform, but still more realistic than bush’s).

    face it: gridlock works. and unfortunately, as much it turns my libertarian stomach, that’s the reason i will be voting for kerry this time.

    i think.

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks, and I can understand that theory: the governemetn that governs least governs best.

    I think there would be a great difference in priorities and zeal regarding Iraq and the greater war on terror between Kerry and Bush, though, and at the top, tone counts

  • curt

    andy –

    one of those people who don’t believe your bible, “unfit for command,” is john mccain, who called the swifties attack on john kerry’s combat service “dishonest and dishonrable.”

    with all due respect to your 20 years of non-combat navy duty, mccain’s 5 1/2 p.o.w. years in ‘nam earn his opinion a little higher expertise, in my view.

  • andy marsh

    never called it a bible curt…I said I read it…maybe you should try that …reading!!! and no disrespect to John McCain, I love the guy…I lived in AZ for 4 years and voted for him once, but there is another group of POW’s that don’t agree with him…that say that his actions after he came back from his “tour” in Vietnam cost them dearly! A lot of people seem to like to take the opinion of one or two people over teh opinion of a whole lot more as is the case here.

  • JR

    There’s an even larger number of people who never became POW’s partly because of the efforts of the anti-war movement. If that came at the cost of the people who already were POW’s, it was still worth it. Anybody who served in the military after Vietnam ought to be particularly appreciative of that.

  • andy marsh

    I have no arguments with the anti-war movement in general JR…I have no problems with the anti-war movement now, that’s part of what makes this country so great! The fact that people can voice their opinions, right or wrong! and before you even start, I’m not suggesting they are either right or wrong.

    it’s the statements that kerry made in front of congress from the winter soldier meetings that I have a problem with and also with his meeting with the enemy in paris. Those are the words that were used against the POW’s.

  • Shark

    “Should we have invaded Iraq?”

    NO.

    Will it haunt us — regardless of who’s US President — for decades?

    YES.

    Will we ‘win’ in Iraq, regardless of who is US President?

    NO.

    ====

    Most deluded line by Eric:

    “He [Bush] is a manager and a very good one…”

    Please see his entire career prior to TX governor. He managed companies about as well as he’s managed the nation.

    PS: despite all the lovey-dovey ‘bipartisan’ bullshit expressed in various comments, BUSH is Satan incarnate, will be the end of the American Experiment — and I can prove it with a pencil and paper.

  • Shark

    Dawn: “This was certainly a measured and reasoned response, which I can only conclude was precipitated by hours of arguing and lamenting about our opposing positions…”

    Dear Mrs. Olsen,

    One word…

    “Lysistrada”

    Yer welcome!

  • bernard

    I think Eric would hold out for two weeks, Shark.

    and no, not Satan incarnate;

    Satan is smarter…
    and has more of a sense of humor

    I wonder, Shark?

  • bob2112

    Thank you for your moderate approach to mass murder, murderers, & lying liars. I appriciate making the world want to kill us all, even if we didn’t agree with our President-appoint’s poorly pre-planned debacle. Thank you Eric, for the onesided spin on a completely bloody disaster no matter how you slice it!

    P.S. What a terrible president Jimmy Carter was for how he handled the Iranian Hostage Crisis. What sloppy leadership & shame on Americans when he couldn’t rescue them & lost those ‘copters in a sandstorm. Wow, what a loser!

    Get real people!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Bob:

    Go vote Nader, where your heart lies…

  • bob2112

    I would vote Nader if it wasn’t a vote for Bush!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    It’s not. It’s a vote for Nader.

  • bob2112

    A vote for Nader is equal to not voting, which in turn is a vote for Bush.

    The Bush Administration does not listen to anyone but Karl Rover. So I am voting for change. Some kind of change to postpone or erase PNAC crap. I hate Bush so much, I would vote for ‘Stinky Sock’ if it stood a chance to defeat him. You can say whatever you want about my anybodybutbush stand. Anybodybutbush! No more years!

    If Bush is elected, expect chaos! I have kids so I can’t participate. I will promote as much revolution as possible from my obsolete pc.

    Next thing you know in 2008, Busheads would say that since he was only elected once the war president should get to run again for a third term. You suck!

  • bob2112

    I just want to make it clear that when I said, “You suck!” I was not referring to RJ. I was directing my outburst toward right-wing kooks who would try to do something this crazy.

    If RJ is really JR then you do suck!

  • MCH

    “Honor the Fallen”

    “Army Sgt. 1st Class Henry A. Bacon, 45, of Wagram, N.C.; Assigned to Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 4th Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Ft. Hood, TX; Killed Feb. 20, ’04, when he was struck by a recovery vehicle while he was assisting a disabled vehicle in Dujahl, Iraq.”

    In spite of advancing age and other priorities, the 45-year old Bacon – whose family was comprised of his wife, Ethel; a daughter, Tabitha Bonilla; and a 17-year old son, Keith – delayed his retirement so he could serve in Iraq.

    When Sgt. “Butch” Bacon’s father tried to talk him out of volunteering for Iraq, the 21-year veteran told Robert Bacon, “Dad, I went into the service to fight for my country.”

    http://www.militarycity.com/valor/257059.html
    http://www.fallenheroesmemorial.com/oif/profiles/baconhenrya.html

    – MCH, Vietnam era vet

  • Duraegeru McCrary

    I can’t say if it was a smart move or not. Yes, I say strike if we are under threat by another… yet from what I see now we obviously were not in danger of getting attacked, other than the man hated the U.S..
    But what did Bush hear? What was he seeing that I did not…
    Therefor it is impossible for me to say what was the right action.
    Maybe he had very good reason to attack Iraq, though I don’t believe he did…
    But even so, in the end it proved to be a mistake, for we were not in danger from that country and I believe that attacking without being attacked or under positive threat of it is only going to cause real danger to us… after all, that IS Ladens reason for attacking us in the first place. Proving what I just said correct from when I said it 6 years ago.

  • jess

    bush is a fing retard

  • abby

    Bush is a crazy person who needs to pull these troops out of Iraq. We are loosing our loved ones and friends to this war that he created. We need to pull them out

  • abby

    Also, if we hadn’t gone in Iraq, we wouldn’t have our journalists killed and our oil gone to waste by some president who doesn’t even know how to run his country properly.

  • anonymous

    i think we should have invaded iraq because everyday all over the world, stuff happens in iraq that nobody ever knows about. why?
    because as soon as something goes wrong, the u.s. sends in delta force and whatever is going on, we end it fast, before it gets to crazy to control. {basically, were just preventing another ww}

  • The Obnoxious American

    Invading Iraq was the right thing, and removing Saddam from power was the policy of both Democratic and Republican presidents.

    The problem wasn’t with invading Iraq, it was with how the invasion and more importantly occupation, was managed. We would not even be having this conversation had this been managed better.

    Sadly, Bush’s biggest mistake was the first three years of management of the war and the thousands of Americans and Iraqis who died as a result. Even more sadly, though Bush did realize the mistake and changed course, ultimately bringing a peace to the region and allowing for actual democracy and a nation comprised of multiple different religious views (kurd, sunni, shiite, etc), he will never get credit for that.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    …ultimately bringing a peace to the region and allowing for actual democracy and a nation comprised of multiple different religious views (kurd, sunni, shiite, etc), he will never get credit for that.

    It’s a fragile peace which shall disintegrate the day our troops leave or sooner when the United States becomes bankrupt.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Silas,

    The other shoe is dropping on your faux conservativism. Real conservatives are optimistic about mankind. Not unrealistic mind you, optimistic.

    Bear in mind, the liberal media will only report stories in Iraq when they are negative. Hence the total lack of coverage over the most recent election in Iraq, which was civil and very promising, yet the media just loves to give voice to pretty much any radical homicide bomber with a jacket made of C4 and ball bearings.

    The reports from the soldiers coming back from Iraq and the Iraqis themselves is that this may indeed be a lasting peace, and not one that dissolves as soon as we leave. Provided of course, that we leave the right way, not based on timetables at all but based on real events on the ground.

    While Obama has muddled this position a bit, I think Bush’s Surge did enough good to make up for any missteps that Obama can possibly make now. But we shall see.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Faux conservatism? I think not.

  • The Obnoxious American

    If you say so, but your lack of trust in other humans, just because they happen to live “over there” is distinctly the kind of mindset that believes we need a massive big brother government (or in this case military presence) lording over us to make us behave. That’s a distinctly liberal position if you ask me.

    I feel that most Iraqis like the more peaceful Iraq of today. Is it perfect? No, but most average Iraqis, like average Americans want a normal life to go and live as they please. These are not religious extremists (though a minority might be). I think, given the more solidified base our military has provided in Iraq, the chances for peace and maybe even democracy to take hold are pretty good. Because man strives for freedom not tyranny by government. Distinctly conservative viewpoint over here. try it, the water is nice and warm.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    everyday all over the world, stuff happens in iraq that nobody ever knows about.

    Including, apparently, the startling news that the country of Iraq now covers the entire planet.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Doc, What do you expect from anonymous. When he gets a real name, THEN we can talk!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s just as nondescript as OA. Same ballgame.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Please Roger, no need to be insulting. I have a name just as real as yours. “Anonymous” isn’t a name, it’s an adjective.

  • STM

    Anonymous has been one of the greatest contributors to the richness of the English language.

    On that basis, Anonymous should be applauded for his effort.

  • Jordan Richardson

    “Anonymous” isn’t a name, it’s an adjective.

    FAIL.

  • STM

    G’day Jordan. How’d you enjoy Commonwealth Day???

    All of Canada get out and have a big knees-up?

    (To be honest, I didn’t even know what it was until a few years back. We’ve only celebrated it once here as far as I know, when the Queen’s message to the Commonwealth was delivered in Sydney in the lead up to the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.)

    I’ve heard it’s big in Tuvalu, Aitutaki, Belize, The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos :)

    I hope you at least put an extra squeeze of (fair dinkum Canadian) maple syrup on yer bacon and eggs.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I hope you at least put an extra squeeze of (fair dinkum Canadian) maple syrup on yer bacon and eggs.

    I surely did!

    I also spent seven hours honouring the Queen on my hands and knees.

  • yusuf broujerdi

    dude do you know ANYTHING of the middle east’s history and America’s!? America has always wanted to destory the middle east to control the oil as they knew it would become a big recource later. It’s shown everywhere in histrory! America was best buds with america and a conspiracy sais even a cia agent and america happily provided saddam hussain with chemical weapons (a war crime) to aid Iraq in their already ilegal iran-iraq war! And America fully supported The oppressor the shah when the dictator ruled and didn’t help iran escape the rising of the islamic regime and now today your media depicts the shah as a hero and you only shun ahmedinajad without doing anything – a good idea to make the middle east look worse! And you give around half of all other-country-support-money-or-whatever-you-call-it to israel when they’re stinking rich and they only use the money to aid in their genocide of the palestinians when u give less money to all of africa added together when they have the poorest places on earth and supported israel’s attack on the now 2nd poorest country in the world gaza

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Thanks, Yusuf. I never knew that “America was best buds with america.” That’s quite a shocking revelation.

  • yusuf broujerdi

    P.S. the 9/11 has nothing to do with the iraq invasion – if a country that wasn’t muslim you would be more sympathetic wouldn’t you!?