Tuesday, June 17, 2008

War Protesting, War Undermining

Another gem from Orson Scott Card:

"Lincoln, facing probably defeat in the election, called together his cabinet and handed them a sealed memorandum, which he directed that they should sign as witnesses, so that when, after the election, the document was opened, they would know that this was what Lincoln had written at that time.

...because McClellan was running with the pledge to let the South have its victory in the Civil War after all, the Confederacy based all its hopes on prolonging the war long enough for McClellan to become president."

"This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probably [sic] that this Administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my duty to so cooperate with the Government President elect, as to save the Union between the Election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such ground that he cannot possibly save it afterwards."

Card argues here that enemies of the United States listen to public opinion and presidential candidates and adjust war strategy accordingly - namely, they try to hold out long enough for the American public, and by extension American politicians, to tire of the effort and quit. What the Democratic Party has done the last five years is undermine the war effort. Which shouldn't be surprising, since that's the express purpose of their protests and non-binding resolutions and campaign stump speeches. They want to leave Iraq, so of course those groups fighting for control of that country need only wait long enough for US policy to change with the new prevailing winds.

I've written on this topic a few times:

'Jane's Back: The Effect of War Protests'
'Thanks For The Support, Dad'
'Render Them Hostile to Bush'
'Speak Up And Speak Out: The Portland Protest March'


Jesse Harris said...

Once a political decision has been made, you can be mad about it, rant about it and take extra blood pressure medication over it. No matter what you do, however, you simply cannot undo the decision that was made no matter how badly you want to.

That's what war protesters are all about: attempting to undo that which cannot be undone. Even if we pulled out of Iraq right this instant, that did not undo the decision. I say this as someone who did not and still does not agree with the initial decision. Now that we have been committed to this course of action, our best hope of undoing it is to support anything which makes it successful so that we can leave without lasting negative effects.

Cameron said...

I really think that we would be much further along in Iraq if the protesting and politicization had not occurred.

Charles D said...

Cameron, what exactly would it mean to be "further along in Iraq"? What purpose does the United States have in Iraq that one could desire to be furthered?

Lincoln, at least, had a clear purpose - preservation of the Union. One could argue whether preserving the union with the inclusion of the slave states was a good or bad policy, but at least it was clear what the policy was. In this case, there is no obvious policy.

All the pretexts for this war have already been proven false and no one has advanced a clear idea as to what a "victory" would look like. It should also be observed that the Democratic Party has consistently and clearly opposed the war protesters and supported this war. Their only argument is about how it was conducted, and what strategy would not yield the best results.

The war protesters stated that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was a war crime and that the perpetrators should be impeached and convicted. That is hardly the position of the Democratic Party "leadership".

Cameron said...

The "no clear purpose", "what does winning mean" etc. arguments are a canard. It's obvious what the purpose is. Remove a dictator and ensure anther one doesn't take his place. Prove a democratic society can exist in the Middle East. Have real stability rather than just "containment" - whatever that means.

I wholeheartedly agree with you that the Democratic Party has used the war for political gain. They have used honest protesters in order to gain power.

But you may have a point. It's possible that it was the politicization of the war that caused greater harm than did the protests. But I tend to lump them all into the same category, as they are simply extensions of each other.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious what the purpose is...

Cameron, I gave you more credit than this. Here's another news flash, the Civil War was not about freedom.

Cameron said...

News flash - I don't take history lessons from anonymous.

Anonymous said...

You dont have to take it from me. Just pick up a book. Did you really think the Civil War was about freedom for black people?

Charles D said...

Well we removed the dictator long ago, and any chance we might have had to establish a Western-style democracy in the Middle East is long gone and is unlikely to return as long as the nation is occupied by foreign troops.

We cannot achieve stability or democracy in Iraq - only the Iraqis can, and they can't do it when they know that any people they elect are not really going to be in charge - just puppets of the American occupiers.

This war was not politicized by the Democrats. It was political from the beginning. There was never any valid cause to start the war and from its conception it was sold to the American people by politicians for political purposes.

We don't need to curtail war protests, we need to curtail unnecessary war. We need to use our armed forces to defend the USA, not to intervene halfway around the world to achieve some politician's wet dream of Middle East hegemony.

Cameron said...

It is the security provided by those troops that has given any hope of an elected government in Iraq.

And it is the loud protesting and political grandstanding by the Democratic Party that has undermined that security - just as it did during the Civil War.

The policy becomes one of simply waiting us out. And it is for that reason that I argue that we would be much further along in Iraq had we not had so many McClellans in office.

Anonymous said...

Cameron, is that hyperbole that you're full of or something else?

Cameron said...

Pretty big talk coming from an anonymous coward.

Everything I have written is demonstrably true. You can try to refute my arguments if you'd like, but taking anonymous pot shots is pretty silly.