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Iraq: another Vietnam?

Michael Ernest
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I've held an intuitive interest in this analogy for some time. I've opined elsewhere that invading Iraq took the war -- whatever the pretext flavor-of-the-month might be -- onto ground the enemy would most favor. We're not carpet-bombing jungle or initiating fire-fights in rural villages; tactical comparisons are not what I have in mind here. But some of the strategic and political comparisons seem all but obvious to me.
In particular, the echo of Nixonian politics, something I've been dreading to hear observed by anyone else, is more than in the air: Karl Rove loves to tell his dissenters to shove it, and more or less with those words. It doesn't bode well for a country run on the notion that dissent may seem like a waste of time, yet here we are 200+ years later and doing just fine. Throttling it to make one's own job easier is crap. Running America is a white-hair-making, aging, stressful, damnable privilege.
Anyway, here's an Op-Ed link from the NY Times that covers some of my views pretty well. I believe you have to register to the site to read it, but it's free and has been non-spam-inducing to me for at least a month.


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I like "a meta-Nixon" thing:
And there's one more parallel: Nixonian politics is back.
What we remember now is Watergate. But equally serious were Nixon's efforts to suppress dissent, like the "Tell It to Hanoi" rallies, where critics of the Vietnam War were accused of undermining the soldiers and encouraging the enemy. On Tuesday George Bush did a meta-Nixon: he declared that anyone who draws analogies between Iraq and Vietnam undermines the soldiers and encourages the enemy.


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Jason Menard
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There is no comparison. Vietnam was a military victory and a political defeat. The politicians forced the Vietnam war to be fought in a certain manner which hamstrung the military. This time though, the politicians are smart enough to let the generals run the war. The military is not being hamstrung by the politicians. While a military defeat will never happen in Iraq, politics back home can always run the risk of contributing to a political defeat. This is what can happen when people galvanize behind the Ted Kennedies of our country. They fail to realize that their actions are directly contributing to prolonging the war, comforting the enemy, and increasing the chances of a political defeat.
If one chooses to only look at the aspects of a conflict that best make their argument for them, comparisons may be drawn between any two given conflicts. We could draw comparisons between Iraq and Grenada if we really wanted to badly enough.
Here's an article from a right-wing rag, to balance off one from a left-wing rag.
Jason Menard
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he declared that anyone who draws analogies between Iraq and Vietnam undermines the soldiers and encourages the enemy.
And he's quite correct. During a conflict is not the time to play politics and present a divided front. If people could actually grasp the effects their actions have on the enemy, you would think that they would simply wait until after we finished the job. Any notion by anti-war people that they are "supporting" the troops is 100% false. They are deluding themselves at best. They are endangering the troops and making their jobs harder. The troops almost unanimously do not appreciate their very special brand of support and it isn't wanted. Why on earth someone would provide comfort to the enemy through their apparent support of the enemy's position (in the eyes of the enemy, dissent is support for their position) when the result is more of our own dead is a great mystery, not to mention a grave disservice to those fighting.
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JM: Here's an article from a right-wing rag, to balance off one from a left-wing rag.
But it is too late for "shoulda, coulda, woulda." Machiavelli reminds us that the reverse is true: it is better to be feared than loved. Indeed, numerous experts on the Middle East point out that the Iraqis may have interpreted U.S. restraint as weakness. I believe that the new approach indicates that the Coalition is getting serious about extirpating the guerrillas. The Marines in Iraq have adhered to a simple principle: "no better friend, no worse enemy." That's a pretty good guide to action for the Coalition as a whole.

Sounds patriotic enough to me...
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Jason: And he's quite correct. During a conflict is not the time to play politics and present a divided front.
Actually, I agree with Jason. I think, right-wing pundits advising to flatten an Iraqi neighborhood to save one United States Marine, only encourage the enemy. If people could actually grasp the effects their actions have on the Iraqi people, you would think that they would simply wait until after we finished the job. Any notion by pro-war people that they are "supporting" democracy is 100% false. They are deluding themselves at best. They are endangering those who fight to win "hearts and minds"and making their jobs harder. These fighters almost unanimously do not appreciate their very special brand of support and it isn't wanted. Why on earth someone would provide comfort to the enemy through their apparent support of the enemy's beliefs (in the eyes of the enemy, America is here to destroy the country) when the result is more of our own dead is a great mystery, not to mention a grave disservice to those fighting.
Sorry, couldn't resist.
Don Stadler
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In particular, the echo of Nixonian politics, something I've been dreading to hear observed by anyone else, is more than in the air: Karl Rove loves to tell his dissenters to shove it, and more or less with those words.

And James Carville and Lee Atwater didn't tell people to 'shove it'?
Krugman thinks the Bush administration is Nixonian, but that particular 'argument' doesn't hold water. Unless you want to characterize Both Bush pere's and Clinton's administrations as 'Nixonian'. That's going too far in my view. Most presidents use 'Nixonian' methods to one degree or another. There are some who went as far or further than Nixon did (JFK, LBJ, FDR perhaps). Nixon went way too far but most presidents use many of his methods, hopefully to a lesser degree than he did.
Warren Dew
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And here's a link from another liberal paper (the Washington Post) entitled "This is Hardly Vietnam":
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16299-2004Apr15.html
I have to say there is one similarity, though. In both cases, the enemy realizes that the best way - in the present case, the only way - to for him to win is to undermine popular support in the U.S., to get the U.S. to pull out even while it is winning militarily. I suspect those who are presently drawing the parallels actually realize this, and are trying to help turn Iraq into a Vietnam, because they want the U.S. out of Iraq for their own personal or political reasons.
To me, the biggest dissimilarity is that there is no cognate to North Vietnam. The only way I can see that changing would be if Iran were to start a war against whatever government is installed after June 30.
Warren Dew
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Oh, and I would add, for those who are interested in Vietnam and whether other conflicts are analogous, No More Vietnams by Richard Nixon ought to be required reading. It provides lots of inside information on the mistakes we made in Vietnam and on how to avoid them in the future. I would bet that many of those in the upper ranks of the current administration have read it.
Rufus BugleWeed
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Viet Nam did not sit atop the second largest oil reserves on earth, nor did it threaten its neighbors also sitting atop huge oil reserves. It did not have billions to support terrorism. The French did not get the US into this mess.
Albiet, both Iraq and Viet Nam are, among other similarities, costly and a pain in the neck.
I love the Krugman guy who writes for the Times.
Michael Ernest
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JM: Vietnam was a military victory and a political defeat.
ME: Vietnam was a US military victory?
JM: This time though, the politicians are smart enough to let the generals run the war. The military is not being hamstrung by the politicians.
ME: From the article:
Vietnam shook the nation's confidence not just because we lost, but because our leaders didn't tell us the truth. Last September Gen. Anthony Zinni spoke of "Vietnam, where we heard the garbage and the lies," and asked his audience of military officers, "Is it happening again?"
It sounds as if at least one General is considering the parallel.
And this from Krugman:
Sure enough, the parallels are proliferating. Gulf of Tonkin attack, meet nonexistent W.M.D. and Al Qaeda links. "Hearts and minds," meet "welcome us as liberators." "Light at the end of the tunnel," meet "turned the corner." Vietnamization, meet the new Iraqi Army.
All ridiculous analogies barely worth automatic contradiction? Not even O'Reilly sports cojones that brassy.
JM: This is what can happen when people galvanize behind the Ted Kennedies of our country. They fail to realize that their actions are directly contributing to prolonging the war, comforting the enemy, and increasing the chances of a political defeat.
ME: That's sounds like a lot of jingoistic spooking and hooey. The right to challenge in debate the merits of any military program is not only the right of any American, it's a responsibility when that challenge is a matter of conscience. We're a stronger country for the right to debate what we do, not weaker.
Paul Stevens
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Except for the fact that the Dems supported the very thing Bush is doing while Clinton was in office.
The dems are concerned with only 1 thing. There own power. They lost and want it back and are willing to do and say anything to get it.
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
Except for the fact that the Dems supported the very thing Bush is doing while Clinton was in office.
The dems are concerned with only 1 thing. There own power. They lost and want it back and are willing to do and say anything to get it.

That sounds like a Republican plank to me.
On a more serious note, I don't recall which Democrat said we should invade Iraq because one of them took aim at their daddy.
[ April 16, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Paul Stevens
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Proof: Are the Democrats still speaking with forked tongues? Let's look at the facts....
"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line." - President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998
"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." - President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998
"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face." - Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998
"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." - Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998
"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." - Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI), Tom Daschle (D-SD), John Kerry( D - MA), and others Oct. 9, 1998
"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." - Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998
"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies." - Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999
"There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has invigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies." - Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, December 5, 2001
"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them." - Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002
"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country." - Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002
"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." - Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002
"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." - Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002
"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..." - Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002
"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force-- if necessary-- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." - Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002
"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction." - Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002
"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do" - Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002
"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members.. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." - Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002
"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction." - Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002
"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real." - Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

Listening to the political and media rhetoric about the war in Iraq, you�d think that only President Bush thought Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Here are just a few past statements made by Bush�s critics.
President Clinton (1998): "One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (February 1998):
"Iraq is a long way from here, but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
In 2002, Al Gore said, "We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
Also in 2002, Sen. Ted Kennedy said, "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. John Kerry, Democratic presidential front-runner, said in 2002, "I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe
that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
In January 2003, Kerry added, "Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp
for weapons of mass destruction. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real."
The fact of the matter is that former President Clinton, as well as many members of Congress, believed, just as President Bush did, that Saddam Hussein possessed or was developing biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. The widespread attacks on President Bush are little more than political demagoguery and grandstanding and depend on public forgetfulness and ignorance to succeed.
Michael Ernest
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Except, of course, it is now clear that Bush's decision to invade Iraq wasn't really based on any of this -- for him it was just the pretext of the moment.
Paul, couldn't you have just linked to all these quotes? They sound quite familiar and I'm fairly sure you've used them before. Or is this the NewsMax information that I was getting all sentimental for?
Warren Dew
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ME: Vietnam was a US military victory?
Despite all the fumbling throughout the 1960s, in the early 1970s the U.S. had the North Vietnamese on the ropes enough to force a truce on favorable terms in 1973, which held for two years.
Unfortunately, by 1975, the Watergate scandal had made the U.S. unable to either (1) fulfill its own explicit and implicit obligations under the truce and (2) make sure the North Vietnamese fulfilled their obligations. As a result of this political turmoil in the U.S., the North Vietnamese reinvaded and, with little opposition, quickly overran the south.
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ME: Paul, couldn't you have just linked to all these quotes?
What Did The Democrats Say About Iraq's WMD
Paul Stevens
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
Except, of course, it is now clear that Bush's decision to invade Iraq wasn't really based on any of this -- for him it was just the pretext of the moment.
Paul, couldn't you have just linked to all these quotes? They sound quite familiar and I'm fairly sure you've used them before. Or is this the NewsMax information that I was getting all sentimental for?

It is interesting how you discard any information that doesn't fit your pre-conceived notions. Next we will here how the election was stolen. Or Bill Clinton had a detailed plan to deal with Bin Laden (never used in 8 years) and Bush just ignored it.
Map provided a source. They come from such republican organizations as CNN, USAToday, Kerry senate speechs, Clinton senate speeches congressional record type stuff.
So are they telling the truth now in an election year. Or where they telling the truth before? It is blatant election year bs. Oh wait, only the republicans play politics. Let's just call them what they are hypocrits.
Paul Stevens
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
ME: Paul, couldn't you have just linked to all these quotes?
What Did The Democrats Say About Iraq's WMD

Excellent link Map.
Michael Ernest
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PS: It is interesting how you discard any information that doesn't fit your pre-conceived notions.
ME; What's interesting to me is how you always seem to accuse me of the very thing I think you're doing.
PS: Next we will here how the election was stolen.
ME: If I can find a long list of quotes, I'll link it in.
PS: Or Bill Clinton had a detailed plan to deal with Bin Laden (never used in 8 years) and Bush just ignored it.
ME: One advantage of telling everyone what other people have to say is that is precludes any discussion about the lack of merit in your own stuff. Which is exactly how all radio conservatives like it. Control the conversation by putting everyone else on the other side of a switchhook.
Paul Stevens
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
PS: It is interesting how you discard any information that doesn't fit your pre-conceived notions.
ME; What's interesting to me is how you always seem to accuse me of the very thing I think you're doing.
PS: Next we will here how the election was stolen.
ME: If I can find a long list of quotes, I'll link it in.
PS: Or Bill Clinton had a detailed plan to deal with Bin Laden (never used in 8 years) and Bush just ignored it.
ME: One advantage of telling everyone what other people have to say is that is precludes any discussion about the lack of merit in your own stuff. Which is exactly how all radio conservatives like it. Control the conversation by putting everyone else on the other side of a switchhook.

Typical of your posts Michael. You can't defend the position of the left but attack the poster and conservatives.
I post a link you discard it without reading it and then accuse me of not believing your opinion which you didn't backup. As seen by your last statements.
The left are hypocrits on the Iraq issue as shown by their own words. You change the subject because you can't refute the facts.
You use rhetoric in place of facts as a defense of their position.
[QB]PS: It is interesting how you discard any information that doesn't fit your pre-conceived notions.
ME; What's interesting to me is how you always seem to accuse me of the very thing I think you're doing.
What link have you provided to back up your position. I see you deleted your comment that started this discussion. Is that because you can't back up the statement?
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Paul, I'm a little confused: Is your position that the democrats also felt that SH was a threat?
If so, I think you've proven your point.
Or are you making another point: namely that the Democrats wanted to engage Irag without UN support?
Thanks,
M


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Warren Dew
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I believe Paul's point is that the Democrats believed just as much as the Bush administration did that Saddam Hussein had "WMD", making it disingenuous to argue that Bush's reason for going to war is "unknown". It also makes the argument that Bush "should have known" weak, at least when coming from Democrats.
Paul Stevens
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Originally posted by Max Habibi:
Paul, I'm a little confused: Is your position that the democrats also felt that SH was a threat?
If so, I think you've proven your point.
Or are you making another point: namely that the Democrats wanted to engage Irag without UN support?
Thanks,
M

They did both. What extra approval did the Clinton administration ask for and get to attack Iraq? My point is it is totally hypocritical to attack the very same position that was taken while Clinton was in office. I condemn the few republicans who did the very same thing.
But these kind of contrary positions exist all through the left. Take free speech. They claim to be the champions of free speech. Yet on campuses across the country take conservative papers to prevent ideas to be aired. Or prevent conserative speakers from speaking or shout them down if they are allowed.
They claim to be champions of minorities yet will do anything to prevent minority judges (Who are conservative.). Or bad mouth them constantly if they are in a position of power. Thomas, Powell and Rice are good examples here.
How about the groups that are totally against the death penalty for any reason, yet don't bat an eye at abortion.
These type issues are why I quit the party. I cannot reconcile all of the contradictions. The "big tent" only exists if you stay on the reservation.
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Worse than vietnam.....
Michael Ernest
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PS: Typical of your posts Michael. You can't defend the position of the left but attack the poster and conservatives.
ME: As I've mentioned elsewhere, I'm not "the left." But even if I were, I certainly wouldn't choose to defend their position as you characterize it.
PS: I post a link you discard it without reading it and then accuse me of not believing your opinion which you didn't backup. As seen by your last statements.
ME: I read them, and I ignored them for several reasons. One, you've used them before. Two, using a montage of quotes from different politicians and White House officials over several years is not the Democratic position. Three, I see the Democratic largely at odds with the Bush Administration's tactics. The fact that both parties agreed on the facts, took flawed intelligence at face value, and perceived Hussein as a threat and yet are divided over how we as a country acted, is to me the kind of partisan politics I have come to expect.
The Newt Gingrichs, Jesse Helms, Bob Barrs and other Republican-ordained a$$holes of the 90s are to thank for this manner of political debate, and I expect every GOP supporter to acknowledge that the current playground is very much the one they wanted and made. Now that they've got the reins, they can live with the political consequences of being wrong, which amounts to being damned and second-guessed ad nauseam. Certainly any President after Clinton for years to come can expect to be challenged well beyond his 'professional' judgments. That too is the legacy of the political energy of an angry, pugilistic, mean-spirited, win-at-all-costs Republican party.
Filling the page with a bunch of quotes assembled by some die-hard conservative radio talk show host -- what does he call himself, the Last Real American, or something like that? -- is for me not a means to debate. Real journalism and real analysis require that a reporter place these quotes in some kind of context, so the reader has half a chance at understanding the audience and intent of each statement. As it is, the quote-assembler seems to put them out there as self-evident. I have no doubt it's merely bait to get someone to call in and argue with him for the sheer pleasure of the audience to hear that person cut off in mid-sentence or simply shouted down for being a liberal.
As it is, throwing them together and calling them the 'position of the Democratic Party' is not only a tiresome attempt at giving conservatives another spirit rally they so desperately need to avoid debates on substance, the intent is to preclude debate, not further it. Isn't that why you threw up the list on this topic? To give everyone an exhausting list of half-formed implications to try and refute? Please. We all have better things to do, and playing against a smug conservative with a talk show and a guarantee of speaking 3-400 words to a caller's one or two -- assuming he doesn't hang up on them -- is a waste of time.
PS: The left are hypocrits on the Iraq issue as shown by their own words. You change the subject because you can't refute the facts.
ME: I started this topic and I'll pursue it along any line I want to, thank you very much. It is you who change its subject; wherever it is I encounter you, you seem to want to focus on the hypocrisy of the left, or the indefensibility of the left, or the corruption of the left, or something wrong about the left. I change the subject but yours never seems to, and I'm really very bored by the subject you seem most interested in. "The left sucks." Fine, heard you! "And here's why!!!" Uggggghhhh...the politics of outrage isn't exhausting, it's just dull.
PS: You use rhetoric in place of facts as a defense of their position.
ME: I use rhetoric sometimes to mock what I think is a purely rhetorical position.
PS: What link have you provided to back up your position.
ME: Links aren't facts, Paul, and a montage of quotes without an interpretation offered -- other than the implied "look at these to understand the hypocrisy of the left!" -- is not for me reason enough to engage. And I'm not linking in alternative biases just so we can all go arbitrate the credibility of sources (although, I have to say, NewsMax? why not just link in the collected works of Ed Anger?).
I don't care for the 'liberal rag' vs. 'right-wing rag' discussion. We did a round of linking in sources a while ago, and it always played out the same way: this is a liberal rag and so cheerfully upholds the hypocrosy of the left, these people are in Karl Rove's back pocket and if you challenge them they just give you the bird, blah blah blah.
If I wanted to sit around all day and say or listen to opinions, that's one thing: I think that can be a valuable way for people to question their own sense of things as well as each other's. But to go digging in the media for quotes that 'verify' a position on the strength of one interpretation, then go through rounds of damning the credibility of this or that source -- again, tiresome. I reserve that aspect of conversation for subject matter appropriate to the tactics: Who was "better," Ty Cobb or Honus Wagner? Coke or Pepsi? No, seriously, where is Jimmy Hoffa?
No real point to it. That's what hack scholars and political radio talk show hosts spent most of their time doing, building careers out of being passionate and tunnel-visioned and one-sided about something that has no greater intent that getting people to argue or cheer. A ball game is a much better place for that sort of thing.
PS: I see you deleted your comment that started this discussion. Is that because you can't back up the statement?
ME: If you look at the topic starter, you will see it has not been edited. I don't take kindly to the implication that I have ever silently removed a statement merely because I couldn't and didn't want to take time to back it up. The mistakes I make anf my laziness, when it occurs, are out there for anyone to see.
[ April 17, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:

That sounds like a Republican plank to me.
On a more serious note, I don't recall which Democrat said we should invade Iraq because one of them took aim at their daddy.
[ April 16, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]

If you meant this post, it was edited to include the second statement. That edit took place moments after I wrote the first line.
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:
I believe Paul's point is that the Democrats believed just as much as the Bush administration did that Saddam Hussein had "WMD", making it disingenuous to argue that Bush's reason for going to war is "unknown". It also makes the argument that Bush "should have known" weak, at least when coming from Democrats.

I'm disinclined to believe that is Paul's only point, given his laundry list of blanket accusations that follow, all based on a few incidents strung together and then pointed to as some greater plan at work. I just can't understand how anyone who does that can say with such outrage and disaffection that the left are always cooking up conspiracy theories. Are there no mirrors on the right?
That said, this is still a point that is cast in the name of creating retro-fictions like the "pre-9/11 Democrats." I think it's pretty clear that in an election year some amount of feces-throwing is inevitable.
The hardline conservative point is that Democrats flip-flopped, and that's just election-year gas. The Democrat-based attack is much simpler: before going to war and risking the lives of American soldiers and assets, the Bush Administration went looking for a fight in the UN because they didn't simply cave on US say-so. It was the reluctance of the UN to sponsor war without concrete evidence to back up everyone's belief, that Bush used as proof of the UN's ineptitude and lack of resolve. The conservative media in this country spent as much time bad-mouthing the UN as it did the trumped-up Axis of Evil and as it did insulting weapons instructors who said all the while, "intelligence-gathering is what it is, but we're telling you, there's no there there." Then it was slimy France, caught with their hands in the Iraqi oil jar, which was both true and embarrassing. But why not Russian and China implicated with equal vigor? Oh right: those guys can rip us a new one (on the world political stage) if we aren't careful. So for a short time we still had Chinese Chicken Salad and Russian Dressing, but only "Freedom Fries" to go with them. I think that kind of insipid marketing development demonstrates as well as anything else could what kind of rampant emotionalism the Bush Administration was only too happy to promote in order to whip up support for invading Iraq. So how much safer is the world from terrorism? Not. Hunh. Darn. How much safer is the Middle East, now that Hussien is out? 'Bout the same? Hm. Dang. How many American soliders and citizens dead in Iraq? More or less than in the 90s? More. Ew. But at least terrorism hasn't gotten worse, and the Middle East hasn't gotten worse, that's worth...a few...American lives....hey, I know, you know what? The left sucks!
I'm not sure I see the so-called Democratic "should have known" position as pure hypocrisy -- not in the political arena. In any event, it's the conservative positions that the Democrats are actually saying Bush should have known. I'm sure someone will link in some pastiche of almost-relevant quotes on the matter, and I look forward to reading them if they come from any news source I don't feel like dismissing blindly at the time.
But let's just say a representative Democrat has said "Bush should have been able to see the truth even if the intelligence-gathering failed." Hey, welcome to America. Life is not fair on top and it never was. Party lines have nothing to do with it. The Presidency gets attacked on some side every day. It takes a moral coward in a democracy to say challenging the President in a time of war favors the enemy. I say it takes a leader of deep conviction and abiding trust that the right thing is being done, because going to war and putting other people's children in harm's way should never, ever be a popular thing to do. Nor should it's necessity mean all citizens must now tow the line. That's not democracy in action, that's indoctrination.
The fact of the matter is, we found no WMDs. Ergo, we truly believe they had them, but we had no idea where they were. That's sad intelligence, but it's even sadder to believe that we sent troop one to Iraq without at least one verified sighting of a WMD cache.
It seems now the conservatives are more than happy to call the Democrats hypocrites, as if the protests against an invasion as a unreasonable option never took place. You won't hear any Republican ballyhooers recalling that little tidbit of information, will you?
(No information was linked in the making of this article. This is what I think, and I don't need a radio talk-show host to validate it)
[ April 17, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
[ April 17, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
JM: Vietnam was a military victory and a political defeat.
ME: Vietnam was a US military victory?

Despite what the left-wingers want you to believe, it was.
The US military did not loose a single engagement above platoon level in the Vietnam war. They were however forced by political constraints which went against all military doctrine to no press home those victories and to abandon any advantages gained.
The battle was won on the field but lost in the bloody arena that is congress and the white house when those got occupied with leftist politicians.


42
Tony Alicea
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Joined: Jan 30, 2000
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    5
We lost the Vietnam battle.
Don't try to pull a George Orwell 1984 here.
Good is not bad and bad is not good.
We lost the Vietnam battle because the communists pushed us out and they took over, for "god's sake"!
In case you didn't know, in a war between two parties, the party remaining in power after the war is over, by definition, wins.
And so what!? It was a MISTAKE for the US to get involved in the first place.
That's an indisputable fact.
The battle, so costly in American lives (in case you care), was not necessary for our final victory in the war against Soviet International Communism, whose purpose as publicly declared in the UN by Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeyevich (the Soviet dictator of turn in the early 1960s) was to "bury us".
(What a freaking coincidence! Today is his birthday: Born April 17 [April 5, Old Style], 1894)
We won the war against the communist thugs. And Vietnam didn't have to happen. No wonder Johnson quit!
[ April 17, 2004: Message edited by: Tony Alicea ]

Tony Alicea
Senior Java Web Application Developer, SCPJ2, SCWCD
Tony Alicea
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Joined: Jan 30, 2000
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    5
I was "there" during the Vietnam war and the similarities I can see without effort, is that the government was lying to the American people through their teeth trying to justify the continued presence of American troops (our neighbors) in a foreign land fighting for essentially almost nothing; really.
OK. False. We were fighting against the specter of International Communism.
I am not a political fanatic and I have always been an independent (presumably smart) person.
I am not a fanatical Democrat or Republican; maybe I'm too old for that but most importantly I am a rational person
A rational person readily admits when s/he was wrong and changes his or her position accordingly:
For example; I was fully in favor of the Iraq war at the beginning because I believed that Hussein was about to hand out chems and bio weapons to al-queida in no time.
I was (and still am in principle) in favor of PREEMPTIVE strikes, BTW.
Too bad the intelligence was not bad, but dismal instead.
Or less, we would have to think that Bush Jr. had a personal agenda of getting even with Hussein of Iraq and used the American military as a personal gang of thugs to exact revenge from Saddie?
Who knows?
The point is that the GREAT ORIGINAL justification for the attack on Iraq has been proved NOT to have been there in the 1st place.
Fair enough! Even our intelligence services can make mistakes. (But of this kind!?)
OK, OK, even of this kind; no problem. Nobody's perfect.
So: We killed Sadies' two son's (Excellent!)
We have him in custody (Excellent too!)
The argument of the fact that he was a 'bad' dictator and therefore that justified our incursion into Iraq is laughable.
The reason told us Americans is that he would give WMDs to Al-Qeida and not only that but that he would use it against us in 45 minutes time after our military action against his corrupt regime.
It turns out, unfortunately, the Bush admin. is asking too many unjustified sacrifices of families who's members were supposed to be, like, National Guards (to help in floods) or Reserves to be called when Fidel Castro finally decides to attack Miami... (humor).
It turns out that we don't even have enough regular armed forces!
We can blame the Clinton admin for that, but the current one says that we don't need more divisions! (We need two more at least; and Congress has asked to talk about it)
And Bush needs to accept our (actually his) mistake and get out, leaving Iraq in a pre industrial age.
I may say more on this complex subejct later on on a separate (non-Java) thread! :-)
[ April 17, 2004: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Paul Stevens
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Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:

On a more serious note, I don't recall which Democrat said we should invade Iraq because one of them took aim at their daddy.
If you meant this post, it was edited to include the second statement. That edit took place moments after I wrote the first line.

That is exactly the one but it isn't exactly like the original. That one is cleared up.
You claim I make comments about the left. You seem to make snippy comments about the right everywhere. In fact your snippy little comment started mine. My comments seem to follow one of your comments about the right. But you are right I am the only one who does that.
You claim the right created the environment in the 90's. I guess you didn't follow politics in the 80's. I won't say the 70's because Nixon deserved what he got.
There have been weapons programs found in Iraq. (But the link isn't to the New York Times so I won't provide it.) The only thing not found is the actual weapons. Do they exist? They could be buried. They could have been transferred. They may not exist. We know they did and it was Iraqs responsibility to proove they where destroyed. They didn't or couldn't.
Did you know that Iraqi scientist are being assassinated? Why would that be? Maybe someone doesn't want them to talk.
MAP provided the link you are trashing. I had never been to the site before and do not even know who the person is. I actually got it from an opinion piece that did analyze the quotes. Unlike you I feel the quotes are in context. There are 2 contexts. The first is 1998 they where debating the authorization of force on Iraq. The second was in 2002 debating authorizing force on Iraq.
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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MAP provided the link you are trashing.
I believed it was an act of sarcasm.
Paul Stevens
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Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
I have heard varying reports on this. Exactly what chemicals aren't listed. Although most reports say they came from Syria.
Paul Stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
I have heard varying reports on this. Exactly what chemicals aren't listed. Although most reports say they came from Syria. The only things the same in the reports are 17.5 tons and the trucks came from Syria. Also Al Queda involvement.

Here is a report from Feb.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
ME: It was the reluctance of the UN to sponsor war without concrete evidence to back up everyone's belief,
bzzzt Wrong answer. And quite a bit of revionism at that. It was the statement by one nation on the UNSC who stated they would veto any resolution which would explicitly authorize the use of force in any circumstances. That kind of kills the UN process doesn't it? It's the height of revisionism to say the UN refused anything when there was never a UN vote due to France's stated position. On top of that, it is abundantly evident by anyone who has bothered to read the UN resolutions that Iraq was in violation of them and subject to serious consequences, which is diplomatic speak for military action. The troika of nations profitting from the status-quo refused to carry out their responsibilities.
So how much safer is the world from terrorism? Not. Hunh. Darn. How much safer is the Middle East, now that Hussien is out? 'Bout the same? Hm. Dang.
It's called "long term strategies". This isn't some kind of McDonald's fast-ffod drive-through designed to cure terrorism and make the world a safer place in ten minutes. These things are not quick fixes and the actions required to meet the goals cannot satisfy the "I want it now" demands of today's society who generally can't be bothered to look at the situation, never mind understand it, beyond what Tom Brokaw tells them at 7pm EST.
I look forward to reading them if they come from any news source I don't feel like dismissing blindly at the time.
Is there an official moveon.org sanctioned list of acceptable news sources that you could direct us to?
It takes a moral coward in a democracy to say challenging the President in a time of war favors the enemy.
I don't see why people get up in arms about pointing out the obvious that many in this country are comforting the enemy, which has the effect of prolonging the war, and making things even more dangerous for our soldiers. I know people don't like to hear it, and the typical lame response is some canned bit about it being the patriotic duty of dissenters to voice their opposition. Nobody cares if you voice your opposition, but people would rather it not be something that encourages and gives strength to the enemy. Why do you think the majority of military people loathe these anti-war types? It's the whole bit about making their job tougher and strengthening the will of the enemy that really pisses them off. And if you actually believe that these actions aren't strengthening the will of the enemy and encouraging them to fight on, you are just plain deluding yourself.
I say it takes a leader of deep conviction and abiding trust...
Or a political opportunist in an election year?
The fact of the matter is, we found no WMDs. Ergo, we truly believe they had them, but we had no idea where they were. That's sad intelligence, but it's even sadder to believe that we sent troop one to Iraq without at least one verified sighting of a WMD cache.
Nobody ever said that we only went into Iraq because of WMDs. Regarding verified sitings of WMDs, we had them in 1998 before the inspectors had to leave. As far as your assessment of intelligence, do you feel you are qualified to make such an assessment, and if so on what basis?
It seems now the conservatives are more than happy to call the Democrats hypocrites
Speaking of hypocrites... Congress First Voted to Back Regime Change in Iraq in 1998.
[ April 17, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
Despite what the left-wingers want you to believe, it was.
The US military did not loose a single engagement above platoon level in the Vietnam war. They were however forced by political constraints which went against all military doctrine to no press home those victories and to abandon any advantages gained.
The battle was won on the field but lost in the bloody arena that is congress and the white house when those got occupied with leftist politicians.

Absolutely. I thought this was common knowledge. A "military victory" is a battlefield victory through force of arms. We never lost on the battlefield, or not significantly so anyway. In nearly all instances of military engagement, our forces prevailed and met their objectives. That's all the military can do, no more or less. The only reason Vietnam is considered a loss is because we did not meet our political objectives, due in part to some of our upstanding patriotic citizens back home. I can see why they would like to pin the blame on the military though. It was a political loss, and the military was victorious in nearly every engagement. Nothing more needs to be said on that subject as far as I'm concerned.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Tony Alicea:
We lost the Vietnam battle.

No, we won all the battles. We lost the war, although not because of any military reasons.
We lost the Vietnam battle because the communists pushed us out and they took over, for "god's sake"!
We lost because of a lack of political will and because the politicians were bent on running the war instead of letting the generals do it.
It was a MISTAKE for the US to get involved in the first place.
That's an indisputable fact.

Uh, no it's not. Interestingly enough, my Laotian friend tells me of the misery his nation faced when after the Americans pulled out, the Communists seized power in his country. His family was lucky enough to be able to flee the country. I don't believe the Hmong, among others, would agree with your statement either. Many of them had to be relocated to the US, so it shouldn't be difficult for you to find some and ask them. Had the Americans prevailed, Laos and Cambodia may not have fallen to Communist forces.
Jason Menard
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Posts: 6450
PS: You claim I make comments about the left.
And if you're really lucky you'll get your own personalized PM on the topic.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Here's an interesting opinion piece about a congressional resolution I hadn't heard of.
Democrats vs. U.S. Troops (Warning: not a moveon.org sanctioned source of information)
There's much that is quote-worth imho, but here's just one:
The Democrats� 2004 strategy is crystal clear: Iraq must be portrayed as a failure at all costs. This mission takes precedence over honesty, over Congressional decorum, and, indeed, over issuing a heartfelt thank you to troops on the anniversary of a war they went to fight on our behalf.

That certainly is the perception, isn't it. That isn't the thrust of the article though. It's actually about the Dems wanting to politicize thanking our troops for their service, and really offer a backhand-swipe at them. It is clear that the Democrats will say or do anything to attain the White House in 2004, no matter who or what they have to trample over to make it happen. These people are sickening.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Iraq: another Vietnam?