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it's all good to Victor Davis Hanson.

and..

failure of the policy becomes the justification for the policy






Moral Citizen: evil-barry on Aug 23, 03 | 9:58 am | Profile
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So you are convinced that the Iraq invasion is continuing to be a failure?


Posted by: Jacques Vanderdreschd on Aug 24, 03 | 6:45 am

yes.
can't fight a gnat with a tank....



Posted by: pibor on Aug 24, 03 | 10:44 am

Jacques: could you give a detailed description of "success" in Iraq, and then give your honest appraisal of the length of occupation (at 4 billion dollars per month) necessary for reaching your envisioned goals? also, it seems only fair that we also wonder "at what cost?" with regards to the aforementioned 4 billion dollars per month by factoring in to the final tabulation the relative benefit of domestic increases in spending on infrastructure, education, tax relief, boder security, midnight basketball, state deficit relief, federal deficit relief, digital technology r/d, etc..........


Posted by: Slothrop on Aug 24, 03 | 1:02 pm

border security


Posted by: Slothrop on Aug 24, 03 | 1:03 pm

Carlos--thats a good question but I'm on my way out. Lets talk tonight


Posted by: Jacques Vanderdreschd on Aug 24, 03 | 2:49 pm

CG said:
could you give a detailed description of "success" in Iraq

...well, I can only try and repeat what I believe from stuff I've read over the last several months. Considering the title of this post, it seems appropriate to quote VDH:

If on the evening of September 11th, an outside observer had predicted that the following would transpire in two years, he would have been considered unhinged: Saddam Hussein gone with the wind; democratic birth pangs in Iraq; the Taliban finished and Mr. Karzai attempting to create constitutional government; Yasser Arafat ostracized by the American government and lord of a dilapidated compound; bin Laden either dead or leading a troglodyte existence; all troops slated to leave Saudi Arabia — and by our own volition, not theirs; Iran and Syria apprehensive rather than boastful about their own promotion of terror; and the Middle East worried that the United States is both unpredictable in its righteous anger and masterful in its use of arms, rather than customarily irresolute and reactive."

That is as good a list as I can think of. I might add that we have not suffered another 9/11 (perhaps a victory, perhaps the grace of God, probably both). By the way, I must say that the June 20th op/ed I am quoting that from is one of the best I've read from Hanson for a couple of different reasons.

As for the second part concerning a timetable, money and priorities, I really don't have much of an opinion on it, because the question has never really interested me–not because it's not an important question, rather about 'bandwidth'. Is there a more narrow way you could ask the question?


Posted by: Jacques Vanderdreschd on Aug 24, 03 | 7:33 pm

Pibor said:
can't fight a gnat with a tank....

Are you suggesting that we should not fight an assymetrical war, but rather engage Al Queda combatants in a different way in order to be more effective? Are you familiar with the November 2002 execution of the three Al Queda operatives in Yemen by the Predator drone? I would agree that as amazing as this was, we are still forced to play 'by thier rules' in terms of scale. You are right.


Posted by: Jacques Vanderdreschd on Aug 24, 03 | 7:58 pm

When you're talking about one billion dollars every seven days, human lives lost on all sides, and the cultural and psychological toll exacted on the citizens of a nation at perpetual war, there simply doesn't seem to be any "narrow bandwidth" way to ask or answer the question "At What Cost?" Obviously, whether you are for or against our "War on Terrorism," in principle or merely just as it is currently being waged, the cost is inarguably enormous and complex.

Your quoted description of "success" in the two years after 9/11 not only paints a rosier picture of the situations on the ground in Kabul and Bagdad than even the Pentagon is willing to present, it also draws no connections between our foreign wars and the widespread decay of our nations domestic situation: physical infrastructure, education, health care delivery, jobs, the manufacturing base, the ballooning trade deficits, the exploding budget deficits, etc....

Frankly, I think the neo-cons are so ideologically driven that much like your favorite editorial writer they are completely blind to empirical reality, and are headed for an electoral spanking in '04. That's why you are not able to confront such a "broad bandwidth" question head on. To sit down and actually produce an inclusive cost/benefit analysis would totally undermine the neo-con agenda.


Posted by: Slothrop on Aug 26, 03 | 9:24 am

Heck, they won't even give us the bottom line, dollars and cents breakdown so that we citizens of this country can begin to tally the financial cost:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0825/p16s01-coop.html


Posted by: Slothrop on Aug 26, 03 | 11:26 am

Carlos said:
When you're talking about one billion dollars every seven days, human lives lost on all sides, and the cultural and psychological toll exacted on the citizens of a nation at perpetual war, there simply doesn't seem to be any "narrow bandwidth" way to ask or answer the question "At What Cost?"

As you have added "human lives... and cultural and psychological toll" onto your original question regarding the financial costs of the war, I feel as if you think that neither do I care about those issues, which would be untrue. I apologise if I have given that impression.

I understand if you cannot phrase the question with more precision; I myself would be the first to admit this is a complex topic. Again, I have to apologise for simply not being very well-read on the financial details of the Iraq war. Some people are passionate about saving money and some aren't! My wife is the world's biggest penny-pincher, so I think I know where you're coming from. It's in your blood!

Carlos said:
Your quoted description of "success" in the two years after 9/11 not only paints a rosier picture of the situations on the ground in Kabul and Bagdad than even the Pentagon is willing to present, it also draws no connections between our foreign wars and the widespread decay of our nations domestic situation: physical infrastructure, education, health care delivery, jobs, the manufacturing base, the ballooning trade deficits, the exploding budget deficits, etc....

Of course, we disagree about how accurate is VDH's list of successes. But I must point out that your original question never asked for me to "draw connections", so I cannot be faulted for not answering something that I was not asked.

More importantly, this revision of your original question (asking, in a sense, why I have not admitted other negative impacts of the war) is itself a "Fallacy of presupposition". In other words, you have asked me for an explanation of something which is untrue or not yet established. I am not saying that your statements are untrue, only that you have not established them as facts, in my opinion.

Regarding your predictions about the 2004 elections, I admire your faith. This only underscores that–no matter for whom you vote–all Citizens need to remember to register and vote! No exceptions! Every vote counts! Especially in 2004!


Posted by: Jacques Vanderdreschd on Aug 26, 03 | 2:27 pm

So you are convinced that the Iraq invasion is continuing to be a failure?

It's an unanswerable question. Isn't this itself a "Fallacy of presupposition?" If you predict.. words are held against you later. What do I know? The news is shit, and in fact it tells us often times what we want to hear. In our case, it's projecting our fallacies around the world for everyone to see, 24 hours a day. But we don't see what news media says about us. It's like a one way mirror with us (U.S.) on the self reflecting side.

Want to go to Iraq or Afghanistan and find out? Er, we probably couldn't find out, but we could meet some people and talk to them and have our faith in humanity restored.

quote VDH: If on the evening of September 11th, an outside observer had predicted that the following would transpire in two years, he would have been considered unhinged: Saddam Hussein gone with the wind; democratic birth pangs in Iraq; the Taliban finished and Mr. Karzai attempting to create constitutional government; Yasser Arafat ostracized by the American government and lord of a dilapidated compound; bin Laden either dead or leading a troglodyte existence; all troops slated to leave Saudi Arabia — and by our own volition, not theirs; Iran and Syria apprehensive rather than boastful about their own promotion of terror; and the Middle East worried that the United States is both unpredictable in its righteous anger and masterful in its use of arms, rather than customarily irresolute and reactive."

This is not my experience on the evening of 9-11. I hope he had other things on his mind as well other than the radical visions of psychopaths of the PNAC, however well intentioned they are in putting the 'ends before the means.' (in my mind that phrase can be attributed to alot of shite) I remember listening to public radio in which they said that 89% of the people polled said that they would not accept military action with significant civilian casualties in response to the 9-11 attacks. That I think is the real America, before they heard months upon months of pundits, supposed 'terrorism experts' like Olliver North (responsible for terrorism himself, but celebrated in our culture). Of course we were all primed up for this with 10 years of Limbaugh pumped into every corner of the country like it's fucking candy apples (OK I don't know why I said candy apples but it sounds funny).

I don't care if I'm not responding on VDH's terms – like a coach whispering into the ear of his star quarterback. He's only doing his 'job' I guess, and that's fine. So's everyone, just doing their jobs. God bless 'em.

As for timetable, money and priorities. Just be moral, and it will come back to us tenfold. Like Karma, but it ain't mystical. The hardest thing for a government ever to do is to say 'we were wrong'. I don't mean on an impersonal world scale like Victor David Hanson is talking about, but on a personal scale, like my friend Masuda Sultan's extended family, 19 of whom were killed in Afghanistan village after running from bombs in Kandahar. Bullet holes through the car, childrens books strewn about the back seat. Angry survivors talking of revenge. Not Taliban, or Armies. People. 90% of war casualties are civilians.

People accused of being anti-American are looking for some kind of acknowledgement of things like this, this but they can't get it, because they are dealing with an insititution. Frustrated, they become fundementalist.

There's a quote by George Bush Sr. to that effect- 'Never say you're sorry'- as it would upset the whole power structure.

I think Carter, being spiritually minded, feebly attempted this kind of reconcilliation (along with shutting down the needless pork barrel dam construction in the western states, [read the book 'Cadillac Desert'] since exported to other countries, like DDT and other banned chemicals). O.K. That's a tangent.

Pibor said:
can't fight a gnat with a tank....

and Jacques said: Are you suggesting that we should not fight an assymetrical war, but rather engage Al Queda combatants in a different way in order to be more effective? Are you familiar with the November 2002 execution of the three Al Queda operatives in Yemen by the Predator drone? I would agree that as amazing as this was, we are still forced to play 'by thier rules' in terms of scale. You are right.


Yes. I was overtaken in this sentence by 'amazing as it was' at first, but then I realized that you were talking about this not being 'fair play', I think. I was in India when this happened and people came up to me telling me about this, and how they thought it was sickening, and was a real fear for them. It does not represent so-called American way of thought (there was no trial, and there was a child that was killed in that car). We suppose the right to send out a 'drone' to kill someone (even a terrorist) in another country is within the range of choices. No wonder we need to spend 1/2 our taxes on military (and over half the worlds military budget). BTW, the most Al Qaeda operatives have been caught using conventional police actions in Afghanistan and Pakistan rather than all out war, massive bombing, or targeted killings like that. I think in the end you are agreeing that this kind of overreaching action amounts to out of bounds - others will be willing to call it terrorism or some other equivalent, and with that comes the 'more 9-11's' that you mention. Remember, it was a handful of people who had enough hate it their guts to get on a plane with fucking BOX CUTTERS (The Lockerbie victim's family were calling for congress to put secure doors on pilots cockpits, but that didn't happen due to airline lobbying of congress – now instead we have airline pilots carrying guns, a machismo absurdity) Meanwhile we have all the right-wingers in congress calling for a recall of the CIA assasination ban. According to them a 'bullet through Saddam's head' will fix everything. (in the 70's after CONTELPRO abuses, Congress said that the US government and CIA could not covertly could not assasinate foreign leaders.)

Carlos: Your quoted description of "success" in the two years after 9/11 not only paints a rosier picture of the situations on the ground in Kabul and Bagdad than even the Pentagon is willing to present,

BTW, the DOD makes civillian casualty assessments, but they are used for internal uses, and never released to the public.

it also draws no connections between our foreign wars and the widespread decay of our nations domestic situation: physical infrastructure, education,

30 teachers laid off from the Oalkand school district here..

Frankly, I think the neo-cons are so ideologically driven that much like your favorite editorial writer they are completely blind to empirical reality, and are headed for an electoral spanking in '04.

Kelly's mom used to be a lifelong Republican voter (mostly because her father said he would disown her if she voted for a Democrat) but now she brings up Kuchinich at the dinner table unprompted. My Father, a lifelong ideological anti-liberal (not that he can espouse a real reason for being on the right in any terms except being a social conservative and against percieved excesses of the 60's (student protesters chanting: 'Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh'), and generally believes in a generic american apocalyptic Christianity (especially thanks to current events) is talking about NAFTA (mind you, even as of 2003 in anti-Clinton terms, but I remind him that that issue was trumpeted by the pro-business and Clinton made the term 'market democracy' a buzzword, ramped up NAFTA, etc.) and connecting that vision with Wal-Marts rolling through small towns (shutting down his store, and taking out his savings about 10 years from retirement). Earlier this year they stopped and particiapated in an anti-war protest, in front of Roy Blunt's office in Springfield, Missouri - John Ashcroft's home town. He also wrote letters of support to my two cousins in the Army, in Kosovo and South Korea.

Finally, I know we do care about all these issues. We speak the same language, we want the same results (peace? happiness?), but we are being driven into ideological extremes because that's the way it's presented on the left and on the right. Only so far spiritually minded writers who speak of non-violence make sense to me. I guess that's some kind of faith, and it's practiced by all religions, no matter my 'apocalyptic Christianity' taunting or general usage of the term 'Islamofascist'. (Jesus was a 'criminal' practicioner of non-violence, and I just read about an amazing Islamic practicioner of non-violence and contemporary of Ghandi Abdul Ghaffar Khan, check him out on google)


Posted by: evil-barry on Aug 26, 03 | 11:19 pm


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