Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"It wasn't America in a quagmire in Iraq. It was Al Qaeda."

From Orson Scott Card, a truly interesting editorial.

11 comments:

Democracy Lover said...

Since Al Qaeda didn't exist in Iraq until after America got there, it's still an American quagmire. But even if it were not a quagmire, it is still a war crime.

Anonymous said...

Link doesn't work.

Cameron said...

Anon, thanks for the heads up. It's been fixed.

DL, since you obviously were unable to read the link, I suggest you do so.

rmwarnick said...

Al-Qaeda committed no resources to Iraq, while the bulk of the U.S. Army and Marines have been tied down trying to occupy the country for five and a half years.

Meanwhile, half of Afghanistan is slipping back into the control of Sunni militant groups including the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The situation is described as "grim" in a new, classified National Intelligence Estimate.

Last week, Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress “we’re running out of time” in Afghanistan.

Cameron said...

Richard, we were "running out of time" in Iraq a year and a half ago. Obama would have quit. Instead, we followed McCain's plan and now Iraq is a far sight better off than it was then. As Obama says, the surge worked far better than anyone expected. Well, almost anyone.

And, as Card notes in his column (which I doubt anyone who has commented to date has actually read), Iraq effectively served as a referendum on al Queda and perhaps terror as a whole; and for the sole reason that we didn't follow Obama's advice and do what bin Laden said we would do - leave because we're afraid of terrorism - al Queda lost some of its effectiveness.

rmwarnick said...

I did read Card's partisan and willfully ignorant column. It is not reality-based.

The so-called "surge" failed, in strategic terms. It diverted desperately needed reinforcements away from Afghanistan. It made 2007 the bloodiest year of the Iraq occupation, as our forces stepped up artillery and air strikes in urban areas.

Most insurgents simply waited out the "surge," including 100,000 Sunni militiamen who even managed to get us to pay them $300 a month each in exchange for not shooting at Americans.

Very few of the stated objectives of the "surge" were achieved. The Iraqi oil sector wasn't de-nationalized. Political reconciliation didn't happen. Militias were not disarmed. Elections were not held.

Heavy fighting continues in Mosul. Sunni militias and the Kurdish Peshmerga remain at odds with Maliki's Green Zone government and are waiting for the right moment to fight.

One success of the "surge"-- President Bush gets to leave office with more troops in Iraq than there were in 2006, when America voted for withdrawal.

Cameron said...

Obama must not have gotten your memo about the surge's failure.

rmwarnick said...

And now you've gotten the memo.

President Bush ordered the so-called "surge" against the recommendations of his Iraq commander, Gen. George Casey, the CENTCOM commander Gen. John Abizaid, and the Pentagon brass.

It was a fiasco within a fiasco.

Democracy Lover said...

Cameron, it's really not worth the time - just a diatribe put together with fake facts like so much right wing noise.

Once you treat the American incursion into Iraq the way you would treat any other similar act by another nation, you see quite plainly that it was and is a war crime. You can't "win" a war crime, you can't "improve" a war crime, you can't do anything positive other than end it and take responsibility for your crimes.

I would quickly add that this is not Obama's position of course. Obama has waffled around on this subject and he hasn't taken a clear and defensible position. That however, is far better than McCain, who simply applauds the war crime and wants to extend it and somehow make Iraq into a US satellite.

As for his comparison of Obama and Palin, that is a joke. Palin is quite obviously out of her league and can't form or utter a coherent sentence about much of anything. She is a complete dunce and fool and McCain should have known that - but of course, he doesn't make considered thoughtful decisions, he makes stupid impulsive ones designed solely for what he perceives as public relations value.

Regardless of what one might think of Obama's politics, voting for McCain/Palin is an unpatriotic and anti-American act.

Frank Staheli said...

The surge didn't work so much as David Petraeus's tactics--which are that we show respect for the Iraqi people. That being said, W should have never sent troops there in the first place.

Cameron said...

General Petraeus's tactics were more than just respecting Iraqis. He used the additional forces provided by the surge to clear an area and then remain there in order to provide security. This is how they gained Iraqi respect and saw informant and weapons cache information increase.