How "Bad" Could Turn Into "Worse"

By Pejman Yousefzadeh Posted in | Comments (36) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

This Washington Post editorial is excellent and on point when it comes to the challenges facing us in Iraq:

. . . Advocates of withdrawal would like to believe that Afghanistan is now a central front in the war on terror but that Iraq is not; believing that doesn't make it so. They would like to minimize the chances of disaster following a U.S. withdrawal: of full-blown civil war, conflicts spreading beyond Iraq's borders, or genocide. They would have us believe that someone or something will ride to the rescue: the United Nations, an Islamic peacekeeping force, an invigorated diplomatic process. They like to say that by withdrawing U.S. troops, they will "end the war."

Conditions in Iraq today are terrible, but they could become "way, way worse," as the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan C. Crocker, a career Foreign Service officer, recently told the New York Times. If American men and women were dying in July in a clearly futile cause, it would indeed be immoral to wait until September to order their retreat. But given the risks of withdrawal, the calculus cannot be so simple. The generals who have devised a new strategy believe they are making fitful progress in calming Baghdad, training the Iraqi army and encouraging anti-al-Qaeda coalitions. Before Congress begins managing rotation schedules and ordering withdrawals, it should at least give those generals the months they asked for to see whether their strategy can offer some new hope.

An entirely reasonable position. And I am exceedingly close to losing hope that it will be enshrined into policy at the end of the day.


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by Vets for Freedom. Others are involved, too, like Major Eric Egland www.troopsneedyou.com

http://www.vetsforfreedom.org/tenweeks/

(thanks for posting the solid editorial!)

Join the Win the War campaign, joshlevy@yahoo.com, www.win-the-war.com.
Our leaders waver, but we can give them the courage they need.

WaPo's editorial was spot on. Only piece of Dem baloney they left out was the Dem's convenient, counterintuitive and false claim that our withdrawal would make political reconciliation MORE likely and, in turn, full-scale civil war LESS likely. As I pointed out in my post months ago (link below), if our departure becomes imminent, sectarian divides will harden as each side seeks to unite against common enemies, and as those who are or may oppose radical sectarian elements (e.g., Sunni tribal leaders in Anbar opposing al Qaeda, and Shiite "moderates" who could oppose Sadr's Mahdi Army militia) see a short expiration date stamped on our protection and support. The Dems are wrong and to some extent Bush is wrong, and we need a common sense approach that commits us to full support if the Iraqis make a good faith effort toward political reconciliation but makes our full support contingent upon such progress: http://www.redstate.com/blogs/brooksrob/2007/apr/29/iraq_strategy_a_sens...

Withdrawal was the wrong policy to end our involvment in SEA and it's the wrong policy for Iraq.
It was a sad day indeed when it became acceptable for America to retreat from its commitments.

I suppose it's a result of our twenty-two minute mentality.
There was a time in America when we finished a task and lived up to a commitment. We married,-for better or worse- one person and stayed with that person till death do us part.
We raised our children to understand and carry on the ideals of the great American experiment.

But sadly, all that has changed now. We divorce at the drop of a hat and leave our children to grow in a one parent household, we show them by our actions that a commitment made does not have to be lived up to.
We abandon an entire people to the possibility of genocide with hardly a second thought.
America,while a possible force for freedom and democracy in the world has become a nation that cannot be trusted,not because we are conquerors and occupiers,raping and pillaging a regions resourcses for our own needs,but because we fail to live up to our word time and time again.
We repeat the mistakes of past adventures while expecting a different result.

I used to think that 9/11 changed everything,I was wrong. It really didn't change anything. We still have yet to learn that a determined enemy cannot be appeased, cannot be negotiated with, it can only be destroyed.
It seems that half the country leaned that lesson,and the other half did not.

The left may be willing to accept responsibilty for leaving Iraqis to the barbarian horde that awaits our withdrawal but that will be small comfort to those who lose their country or their lives once we are gone.
To be sure, I'm still waiting for the left to accept responsibility for the Millions that were murdered in SEA after we left Vietnam.
Wishing away evil does not make it go away, it must be fought.
Finish the job, Victory IS an option.

"You never need a firearm,until you need it BADLY!"

Increasingly, this seems to be the primary question.

I have to laugh at people who don't consider the GWOT an existential threat - if the West can't even hang in with a relatively low intensity conflict like Iraq (and Afghanistan), there is no way the West will even exist within 50 years.

It's amusing, and tragic, how few people get this.

Looks like the editorial came before Al-Maliki downplayed this type of scenario, saying that US forces can leave any time.

Still think the Washington Post is liberal?

Join the Win the War campaign, joshlevy@yahoo.com, www.win-the-war.com.
Our leaders waver, but we can give them the courage they need.

But the editorial he posted a link to is hardly positive on the war. It's only asking that congress stick to the agreement that they made to wait until September....

Socialism doesn't work. It looks nice on paper, but it's been tried and it's failed miserably every time (usually accompanied by widespread death and suffering).
Proud member of the V.R.W.C.

Here's one from the Times that says:
"It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit." Dated last week.

If you REALLY need one I'll find an antiwar editorial from the Post.

Socialism doesn't work. It looks nice on paper, but it's been tried and it's failed miserably every time (usually accompanied by widespread death and suffering).
Proud member of the V.R.W.C.

Will it be enough for you to come to the conclusion that the Washington Post is "calling for withdrawal"?
You would have to weigh those pro-withdrawal editorials with any anti-withdrawal editorials they may have written, and then reach your conclusion. I will work with you on this one.

It seems the Post's own editorial board has some sense and understands that a withdrawal before Iraq is ready to take over security will lead to mass murder.

I was assigning the views of some of their guest editorials to the Post's editorial board. I humbly appologize to the Post.

The NYT is on the other hand, a bunch of surrender monkeys.

Socialism doesn't work. It looks nice on paper, but it's been tried and it's failed miserably every time (usually accompanied by widespread death and suffering).
Proud member of the V.R.W.C.

Moe has taken swift and clearly appropriate action to address the problem.

***

“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so.” – Ronald Reagan

editorial board. It's a mistake I wouldn't have know if he hadn't questioned me.

Socialism doesn't work. It looks nice on paper, but it's been tried and it's failed miserably every time (usually accompanied by widespread death and suffering).
Proud member of the V.R.W.C.

BIG PICTURE ALERT.....BIG PICTURE ALERT!!!

Setting up a US/West-friendly nation-state, or several of them, in Iraq is IMPOSSIBLE. Why? Islam makes this so. It will be, like EVERY other Muslim nation, a backstabbing one at best. (See: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, now Turkey too) Hell, the damn Iraqi Constitution already enshrines Sharia into their law system. Game over...no good, trustworthy ally there.

If we CAN'T set up a nation friendly to infidel states, then we shouldn't be wasting any more men or money there? We shouldn't. This is a clear and simple point ANY real conservative could recognize and have the courage to act upon, regarldess of the carnage that will ensue. Some liberals say "no blood for oil", well a hell of a lot of conservatives are saying "no blood for people who hate us now and will always hate us, because their religion commands them to."

Hey guys, isn't the War on Islamic Jihad a global war? If so, why get all hung up on Iraq as though it's the ONLY place we can win, or lose, this war? You sound like little children who have one toy taken away and scream their heads off when they've got a million other, better toys to play with.

How 'bout immigration? It won't matter what happens in Iraq as long as the border isn't closed to Muslims. EVERY Muslim community in the West and the US has already bred jihadists....you think this will somehow get better if we "WIN" in Iraq? Hell no, the larger the Muslim community, the more jihadists they produce, and the harder it is to protect the country from terrorist attacks. We will eventually become another Arab Muslim shithole, be it in 50 or 100 or 150 years. It's obvious, just take a gander at Islamic history and see what happens to countries where Muslims show up. HELLO!?!?!? It's the Quran stupid!!

The carnage in Iraq after we pull out will be a great blow to GLOBAL JIHAD. The greatest financiers of global jihad and Wahabbist Islam, Saudi Arabia, will be forced to spend money, men, and materiel in Iraq...as will Iran, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Hezbollah, Hamas, Al-Queda, etc....instead of using it all to pay off our corrupt politicians, to build mosques all over Europe and America, and to fund jihadist groups (both violent and non-violent)around the world (see: Chechnya, Albania, al-Queda cells in South America, CAIR). Traveling jihadist from all over the world will want a piece of the action in Iraq, and their Sunni, or Shia, or Kurdish, or Perisan adversary will put the bullets in them for us. Jihadist will literally LEAVE the West to go die in Iraq, to win the heart of the Islamic world for their tribe. Don't underestimate their hate for each other. Don't underestimate the ability of their pride to cloud their judgement and run them straight into death's arms, at the hands of their own. These people are nuts, and we'll TRULY see this once we leave Iraq.

The Camp of Islam would be terribly weakened my the mayhem in Iraq, and this would be a GREAT thing for the West and the US. Then we could start concentrating on the heart of the matter, Islam, and doing the simple things that MUST be done to defeat Islamic Jihad once and for all....like shutting down ALL Muslim immigration to the US and the West, and giving the boot to all non-citizen Muslims.

You're WAAAAY behind the curve here on RedState as far as the big picture goes, embarrassingly so. You're beating dead horses and it's utterly boring. And sometimes funny, especially when you get all self-righteous and blindly start calling ANYONE who wants out of Iraq a coward and a traitor.

Wow, WOW.

BIG PICTURE ALERT.....BIG PICTURE ALERT!!!

Setting up a US/West-friendly nation-state, or several of them, in Iraq is IMPOSSIBLE. Why? Islam makes this so. It will be, like EVERY other Muslim nation, a backstabbing one at best. (See: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, now Turkey too) Hell, the damn Iraqi Constitution already enshrines Sharia into their law system. Game over...no good, trustworthy ally there.

If we CAN'T set up a nation friendly to infidel states, then we shouldn't be wasting any more men or money there? We shouldn't. This is a clear and simple point ANY real conservative could recognize and have the courage to act upon, regarldess of the carnage that will ensue. Some liberals say "no blood for oil", well a hell of a lot of conservatives are saying "no blood for people who hate us now and will always hate us, because their religion commands them to."

Hey guys, isn't the War on Islamic Jihad a global war? If so, why get all hung up on Iraq as though it's the ONLY place we can win, or lose, this war? You sound like little children who have one toy taken away and scream their heads off when they've got a million other, better toys to play with.

How 'bout immigration? It won't matter what happens in Iraq as long as the border isn't closed to Muslims. EVERY Muslim community in the West and the US has already bred jihadists....you think this will somehow get better if we "WIN" in Iraq? Hell no, the larger the Muslim community, the more jihadists they produce, and the harder it is to protect the country from terrorist attacks. We will eventually become another Arab Muslim shithole, be it in 50 or 100 or 150 years. It's obvious, just take a gander at Islamic history and see what happens to countries where Muslims show up. HELLO!?!?!? It's the Quran stupid!!

The carnage in Iraq after we pull out will be a great blow to GLOBAL JIHAD. The greatest financiers of global jihad and Wahabbist Islam, Saudi Arabia, will be forced to spend money, men, and materiel in Iraq...as will Iran, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Hezbollah, Hamas, Al-Queda, etc....instead of using it all to pay off our corrupt politicians, to build mosques all over Europe and America, and to fund jihadist groups (both violent and non-violent)around the world (see: Chechnya, Albania, al-Queda cells in South America, CAIR). Traveling jihadist from all over the world will want a piece of the action in Iraq, and their Sunni, or Shia, or Kurdish, or Perisan adversary will put the bullets in them for us. Jihadist will literally LEAVE the West to go die in Iraq, to win the heart of the Islamic world for their tribe. Don't underestimate their hate for each other. Don't underestimate the ability of their pride to cloud their judgement and run them straight into death's arms, at the hands of their own. These people are nuts, and we'll TRULY see this once we leave Iraq.

The Camp of Islam would be terribly weakened my the mayhem in Iraq, and this would be a GREAT thing for the West and the US. Then we could start concentrating on the heart of the matter, Islam, and doing the simple things that MUST be done to defeat Islamic Jihad once and for all....like shutting down ALL Muslim immigration to the US and the West, and giving the boot to all non-citizen Muslims.

You're WAAAAY behind the curve here on RedState as far as the big picture goes, embarrassingly so. You're beating dead horses and it's utterly boring. And sometimes funny, especially when you get all self-righteous and blindly start calling ANYONE who wants out of Iraq a coward and a traitor.

Wow, WOW.

BIG PICTURE ALERT.....BIG PICTURE ALERT!!!

Setting up a US/West-friendly nation-state, or several of them, in Iraq is IMPOSSIBLE. Why? Islam makes this so. It will be, like EVERY other Muslim nation, a backstabbing one at best. (See: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, now Turkey too) Hell, the damn Iraqi Constitution already enshrines Sharia into their law system. Game over...no good, trustworthy ally there.

If we CAN'T set up a nation friendly to infidel states, then we shouldn't be wasting any more men or money there? We shouldn't. This is a clear and simple point ANY real conservative could recognize and have the courage to act upon, regarldess of the carnage that will ensue. Some liberals say "no blood for oil", well a hell of a lot of conservatives are saying "no blood for people who hate us now and will always hate us, because their religion commands them to."

Hey guys, isn't the War on Islamic Jihad a global war? If so, why get all hung up on Iraq as though it's the ONLY place we can win, or lose, this war? You sound like little children who have one toy taken away and scream their heads off when they've got a million other, better toys to play with.

How 'bout immigration? It won't matter what happens in Iraq as long as the border isn't closed to Muslims. EVERY Muslim community in the West and the US has already bred jihadists....you think this will somehow get better if we "WIN" in Iraq? Hell no, the larger the Muslim community, the more jihadists they produce, and the harder it is to protect the country from terrorist attacks. We will eventually become another Arab Muslim shithole, be it in 50 or 100 or 150 years. It's obvious, just take a gander at Islamic history and see what happens to countries where Muslims show up. HELLO!?!?!? It's the Quran stupid!!

The carnage in Iraq after we pull out will be a great blow to GLOBAL JIHAD. The greatest financiers of global jihad and Wahabbist Islam, Saudi Arabia, will be forced to spend money, men, and materiel in Iraq...as will Iran, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Hezbollah, Hamas, Al-Queda, etc....instead of using it all to pay off our corrupt politicians, to build mosques all over Europe and America, and to fund jihadist groups (both violent and non-violent)around the world (see: Chechnya, Albania, al-Queda cells in South America, CAIR). Traveling jihadist from all over the world will want a piece of the action in Iraq, and their Sunni, or Shia, or Kurdish, or Perisan adversary will put the bullets in them for us. Jihadist will literally LEAVE the West to go die in Iraq, to win the heart of the Islamic world for their tribe. Don't underestimate their hate for each other. Don't underestimate the ability of their pride to cloud their judgement and run them straight into death's arms, at the hands of their own. These people are nuts, and we'll TRULY see this once we leave Iraq.

The Camp of Islam would be terribly weakened my the mayhem in Iraq, and this would be a GREAT thing for the West and the US. Then we could start concentrating on the heart of the matter, Islam, and doing the simple things that MUST be done to defeat Islamic Jihad once and for all....like shutting down ALL Muslim immigration to the US and the West, and giving the boot to all non-citizen Muslims.

You're WAAAAY behind the curve here on RedState as far as the big picture goes, embarrassingly so. You're beating dead horses and it's utterly boring. And sometimes funny, especially when you get all self-righteous and blindly start calling ANYONE who wants out of Iraq a coward and a traitor.

Wow, WOW.

You raise some points worth considering, but your overgeneralizations and hyperbole detract from the strength of your arguments. You seem to view all Muslim governments -- and every Muslim community and perhaps even individual -- as equally anti-Western and committed to violent jihad against the West. That premise has no basis in reality. It is simply absurd. You also seem unaware that a great number of Muslims are not Arabs, warning us that unless we deny immigration to all Muslims we'll become an "Arab Muslim [expletive deleted]". And by the way, profanity is a violation of the rules here on RedState. I'm not a moderator, but you, as a newcomer, should check the posting rules and you should have presumed that profanity was inappropriate until you had some reasonable reason to believe otherwise. Finally, there is a great disconnect between your condescension and your apparent oversimplified understanding of the world and related erroneous assumptions. Other than all of the above, great first impression. Glad we have you hear now to make it all so clear to us and to do so in an insulting manner and with inappropriate language.

It may seem that I'm overgeneralizing, and I'll grant you that my tone make it seem that way, but if you read closely what I've written, you'll see that I in no way accuse all Muslims or Muslim communities of supporting Jihad or being anti-Western.

What I did say is that ALL Muslim communities eventually create jihadists, whether some of those individual Muslims in the community want them to exist or not. By the very nature and amospherics of Islam, jihadist will and can survive within Muslim communities consisting of anti-Jihad or pro-Western Muslims. See the typical response to homegrown jihadists: "He was such a nice, quiet boy. We would never have thought he would plant a bomb somewhere."

Jihadists have the upper hand in the theological debate within Islam. They also have the upper hand in the brute force department, hence they always win....and always will come to dominate and control ANY Muslim community....eventually. Those anti-Jihad Muslims are always silenced, one way or another. Such is the ENTIRE history of Islam and Islam's spread around the world. We Westerners cannot change that.

ok, but if you recognize that there are wide variances in the degrees to which different muslim communities will spawn violent jihadists, you have to ask if the kind of blunt, sweeping approaches you suggest toward all Muslims are justified (in terms of fairness to them) and even more importantly, desirable to us (in terms of national security strategy). Yes, there may be a tiny percentage of, say, Malaysians, committed to violent jihad against the U.S., but does the small risk level make the kind of policies you advocate -- such as completely banning all Muslim immigration -- wise policy, or should we take it on a case by case basis in terms of nations and individuals? Bear in mind that such a policy is not cost-free. It can sour relations with governments and peoples whose cooperation we need in the GWOT (not exactly winning hearts and minds -- and YES, there ARE hearts and minds among Muslims that we can win or at least not turn hostile), and can also affect economic relations. We have to balance pro's and con's, one risk/cost against another, and doing so sensibly means resisting the kind of oversimplified view that you seem to be putting forth.

And while you may be right regarding the antagonistic sentiments of most Iraqis toward the U.S., your argument that we shouldn't bother to try to foster an Iraqi government and society with relatively decent relations toward us seems premised on the assumption that simply because they are Muslims they are incapable of anything short of an inevitable, strong, official and popular commitment to violent jihad against us. If you wish to make that point about the Iraqis, do it based on your observations and insights regarding the Iraqis (or more precisely, the various segments of Iraqis), and maybe you'll have an argument that seems more sensible. You weaken your argument by basing it on sloppy, oversimplified, hyperbolic premises.

sorry 'bout that...:0

you REALLY REALLY REALLY feel strongly about this. ;)

I don't agree with you that chaos in Iraq is a good thing, but I strongly second your belief that we must look at the big picture. If we have a generations-long struggle ahead of us, does it make sense to stake the farm on one single corner of it? Just next door is Iran, with 380,000 men under arms and a draft-age population of 19 million (and 1-5 years away from nuclear weapons). Plus, unlike Iraq, Iran has thousands of high-placed agents in virtually every important country in the West (for example, the interpreter to the NATO commander in Afghanistan. It would be really nice to have the military capacity to undertake action on the ground, particularly since the Iranians are apparently killing our soldiers in Iraq, but we don't have the resources--our entire fighting force has been taxed to the brink of exhaustion, and even sailors and airmen are being redeployed to do street-level combat in Baghdad. If Iraq was the last battle of the war against global jihadism, and the whole thing rested on its outcome--victory or the death of our civilization--it would be justifiable to throw our military into it as we have done, although every one of us, military and civilian, should be pulling our weight, and universal military service would be a given. But as dangerous as it now is, Iraq is not the last battle, it's just the warmup. And we have nothing left, at present, for the rest of the struggle. That's my sense of the big picture.

What happens in Iran, if the a modest democratic government takes root in Iraq? What happens in Saudi Arabia?...

Now do you see why it's so important to stay?

It would also be great if I found a diamond mine in my back yard.

but the democratic experiences in Turkey, Pakistan, and "Palestine" suggest that true democracy, i.e. elections + rule of law + basic individual rights not subject to whims of the majority is extremely unlikely to take hold in Iraq.

Presume we are successful in Iraq. I have every reason to be confident in the ability of our armed services. How long would it be before some Sharia law party takes charge?

Turkey's Islamist party does better with each election. Hamas triumphed of Fatah, and Fatah is hardly secular. Pakistan would likely be a Sharia law state but for the military coup in the late 90s.

Islam teaches the opposite of separation between church and state. In that context, can true democracy survive for any length of time?

You may recall that Afghanistan sentenced a man to death for converting from Islam to Christianity since our intervention in that country. It was only do to a specific request from the U.S. government that the man was handed over to U.S. authorities so that he could leave the country.

Lebanon used to be a shining example in the Middle East. Look at it now. One thing Lebanon and Iraq have in common is a Christian population that is fleeing.

Exactly!!! Islamic law eventually takes over....always. Kemalism in Turkey has been around some 80 years. Islam and Jihad have been around 1400 years. The only way Kemalism has survived is through the use of brute force against supporters of Sharia Law. But, as we are seeing, it won't survive much longer...and the rest of Turkey outside Istanbul and Ankara and the tourist spots is properly Islamic, honor killings, jihad against infidels, and the rest.

Thank God Europe has woken up soon enough to the danger of letting Turkey into the EU. Hopefully they won't fall asleep again.

Another issue at hand is whether things will get worse if we stay.

As you said, our military is taxed to the limit our there, and we're right in the middle of what is, in the big picture, enemy territory, surrounded by coutries full of people and armies that hate us, some of them with nuclear weapons.

It may take a perfect storm for us to lose a big chunk of our military in the Middle East, but that perfect storm isn't all that improbable. Cut off a few supply lines here and there, collaborate with some neighboring Muslim countries, and you could take a big bite out of the Great Satan. A nuke from Pakistan would really get the party rolling. It's an improbable scenario, but not enough so for me to feel comfortable with our troops standing around wondering who the enemy is every moment.

Reports say that it will take about a year to pull out, and that's if we leave a ton of our equipment there. Two years if we want to take our equipment back home. In that year or two and lot of things could happen, things that could create the PERFECT storm to destroy a big chunk of our military and/or suck us into a wider, more wasteful and costly war against a number of countries/groups who decide to attack us.

Unfortunately the hubris runs strong up top, where Bush and some generals believe our guns and boys on the ground can somehow settle 1300 year old sectarian differences, violence, suspicion, and hatred. All that while they have a holy book and prophet that fuels and supports it all.

It's too risky for us to be there, waaaay to risky, especially for the expected return, which is almost NOTHING. Even the guys who want to stay can't say with confidence that the return will be great. All they can say is that they HAVE FAITH, or BELIEVE IN OUR TROOPS....just like Bushie and some of those generals up top.

could we have a consensus that now is not a good time to start a war against Iran?

soup of possibilities that the fact that while we, as a Judeo-Christian-democratic entity, will in our withdrawal have proven that we are unable to establish any kind hegemony over the area, does not preclude a strong Muslim entity (especially one that is developing nukes) from establishing that hegemony.

Saddam had no trouble containing the various factions in Iraq. We abhorred his methods, but they worked. And Iran would not hesitate to use them again, and I have little doubt about the Iraqis quickly falling back into old survival habits.

Once they have hegemony, they have half the world's oil to finance their expansion. And how long will Musharef's government last in the face of Jihaddi victory in Iraq and Afghanistan? Who then gets his nukes?

When Iran has hegemony over the whole area, Israel has a major, imminent problem. They, of course, will do what they need to do to survive. We do have oil drilling bits that will go through thick glass right?

Want to look at the big picture? Look at the really big picture. It's just this: Does democracy itself ultimately prevail in the ME, or does fascism? If (as it appears likely) it's going to be fascism, why would anyone think it will stop there?

We commonly refer to "Radical Islam" as a completely different entity from run-of-the-mill Islam..... and think of it as a splinter group, or small faction of Islam that just happens to be running amok right now. I think it more likely the "Pacifist" Islam that is the splinter group. In poll after poll around the world, most of Islam seems perfectly content with the culture of death and the concept of the replacement of democratic legal structures with Sharia. Even a healthy percentage of Muslims in this country feel that way.

Think this will all sort out through Muslims killing each other off or the government (and with it the Middle East) just stabilizing.... either by itself or through self-attrition, once our influence is withdrawn?

I think we're in for some 'Interesting Times' in the coming decade if we lose the foothold democracy has established there, and I think it's only the concept of democracy that has a prayer of keeping this thing from escalating off the scale in the coming decade. Unless, of course, we want to just capitulate to the Caliphate and get it over with.

What the hell.... as a bearded male, I won't have it so bad.

You made a lot of different comments there, some I agree with, some I don't, but overall I believe you ended up proving my point, which is:

It's a freakin' mess over there... even when they DO vote they vote terrorist groups or Islamists into power (See Palestinians and Turks), when they don't vote some dictator takes over. So why stay if democracy only leads them to Sharia law and dictators when we can leave and ultimately get the same result?!?! Why spend money and have men die or lose their legs and arms for the same crappy result, different variations of facism?

After that, the first priority in this war is to protect our home base, the good ole US of A. The step in that process is keeping Muslims from coming into the US. No entrance, no suitcase nukes, no lawsuits forcing Sharia law on us, etc. If one of those dictators one the other side of the world gets and threatens us with a nuke, we bomb and leave, and then resume watching them kill each other as we work to educate our own population and others about the religion of war that is Islam.

In the end it will be education and spreading the truth about Islam that will win this war. And that will likely take hundreds of years.

is to defend the good ole U. S. of A."

Thank you. It's worth reminding ourselves of this from time to time.

being between democracy and fascism, I wasn't referring to democratically elected fascism (as in Palestine). Hitler was elected. Where that occurs, fascism has won. Democracy is about responsive government that holds forth the welfare of the individual (as opposed to the state.... or the Caliphate) as being of prime concern. An election does not in and of itself constitute democracy.

So I don't believe I made your point at all.

If we pull out, Iran gets hegemony and fascism prevails. Then we fight a much bigger fight down the road.

We have roughly 3400 soldiers dead in this struggle so far. Less than were killed in the first two hours on Omaha Beach. I just think that if fascism is allowed to prevail there, our fight is going to end up being of an order much closer to that war than any war since.

I think what you're shooting for is classically liberal democracy, or some variation of that. Regardless, the term democracy implies, to me, the system of voting for one's leaders and laws. We've seen that in the Middle East elections leads to facism.

Unfortunately Islam doesn't give a damn about the idividual, and thus any government inspired by Islamic law will never care about protecting the rights of the individual. It's a pipe dream to think so. Even if they manage it for a short time, Islam ends up winning. See how Turkey's government and society is becoming more Islamic.

Sorry, but Iraq becoming even more of a choatic mess doesn't necessitate us having to take on casualties similar to that of WWII. We can isolate the Muslim world and their carnage will not reach our shores.

We've seen that in the Middle East elections leads to facism.

A few points about this:

1) There are several examples where your point about "elections always leading to fascism in the Middle East" is false - Turkey has never succumbed (and really doesn't look like it will - more "Islamic" doesn't mean more Islamicist), Lebanon is a mixed bag but hasn't gone that route either, and even Palestine didn't really embrace Hamas' policies as much as it rejected Fatah's (under Arafat) corruption.

2) Even if elections did put Islamicists in charge, over the long-term that would work in our favor: as soon as the Islamicists failed to deliver for their people (and, let's face it - that is an inevitable result: just look at Iran, taliban-Afghanistan, Gaza) their entire approach would be discredited (and pretty much already has been in Iran). Yeah, in the meantime, they'd eliminate true democracy, but that would just put them back in the same place as the current dictators (meet the new boss, same as the old boss - not likely to endear them to the populace).

3) If elections do put Islamicists in charge, then the whole "avoiding collateral (civilian) damage" calculus goes out the window, and some serious "collective punishment" can be applied to the ME the next time we're attacked.

4) No matter how you slice it, it's hard to see how maintaining the authoritarian rule that presently runs in the ME works in our favor - afterall, these are the very systems that have led to the rise of the Islamicists (as opposed to places like Turkey, where the real hardline Islamicists fail to make any significant headway).

In other words, there's very little downside in trying to force democratization on the ME.

As to your whole rationale that an unstable Iraq works in our favor, it's laughable, but I'll let someone else dismantle that one.

A few points about your points:

1) point #2 pretty much refutes itself and supports what I've been saying. Whatever path a "democratically elected" government in the ME takes, it leads to a nasty dictatorship, with or without the will of the people behind it.

2) The part where you mention Gaza being run by thugs after attempting to defend Palestinians by casting the election of Hamas as an expression of disgust with Fatah corruption is reeeeeally funny. Tell me, why weren't there any non-violent, non-Islamic, or non-Muslim parties in the running? Why didn't they win, or even get close to winning, or eve have candidates up for election? Hmmm, a camel race between those two groups tells you a lot about the potential those Palestinians have for creating any sort of Western-friendly, infidel-tolerant country, government, or community.

3) Point four is equally funny and nonsensical. You act as though leaving Iraq equates to leaving Iraq in control of one authoritarian entity. That wouldn't happen, at least not without a bloody war in which a lot of those authoritarian groups would expend a lot of time, energy, money and manpower trying to be top dog of Iraq, or a measely region of Iraq.

Even so, if an authoritarian government were to rise out of the ashes, you would, as you have admitted, be left with yet another authoritarian government that Muslims tend to elect into power anyway. And it really doesn't matter if they're upset with the last dicator's corruption or not, they're still just choosing another one.

And tell me how this is different from the Islamic constitution already established in Iraq, under US supervision? Islamic law IS authoritarian and the US has supported it. It's already happened. How do we "progress" from there?

4) There is very little downside to trying to force democracy on the Middle East??? WHAT!?!?!?! That comment isn't even necessary to reply to.

5) Give Turkey some time, the Islamists will win, especially with all the secular Turks getting out of there and heading West. Sometimes Islamization doesn't happen quickly. Regardless, Turkey isn't remotely close to what ANY true American would be willing to accept as a "democracy," even today, and much less in the future.

 
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