Even though that goes against traditional ideas of military service, it sounds like a good idea to me!
It might cause folks to really think about what foreign engagements are important and which are not. And...when we do take them on we will commit our fullest effort to winning.
Agree. This is the way it should be. Draft without deferment. Hopefully it would give pause before engagement.
That, IMHO, is why Iraq is a mess now. (Yes I do agree it's a mess, I don't agree with those who say we are losing and should pull out.)
I'm not an alcoholic, I'm a drunk. Alcoholics have to go to meetings.
The first step to getting on the right path here is acknowledgement of where were we now stand. That an alcoholic fails to see his condition for what it is doesn't change his condition, but definately affects the outcome of his situation. Acknowledging that we are losing in Iraq is step one of a 12 step program to better our situation. We are losing in Iraq, we're now caught in their civl war.
As for pulling out? Maybe. Let the Iraqi people vote on it. It's their country. We wanted democracy, we've got democracy. Let's put it to the test.
Vietnam was lost in the 68-69 time frame. Yet we stayed until 75. All staying did was double our KIA count. With regard to Iraq, if staying does not affect the outcome what's the point?
As for losing wars, the war on terror is a war of heats and minds. it's not a war that can be won with military action. In the middle east we are taking a serious ass whoopin in the hearts and minds department. Want to keep this country safe from terrorist, fix that first.
We clearly had the right troops and technology to take the country and depose Hussein. Where we've fallen short is in having sufficient personnel and the right strategies to help get the civil unrest under control and the new government on its feet.
The problem wasn't taking down Saddam. Our leadership acknowledged it would only take weeks to achieve that goal. The problem was there was no plan on how to run the country after we gained control. The plan was to keep Iraqi govt workers in place to run the day to day operations of the government. Analysts who said that wouldn't work were blown off. As were military leaders who said it would take 100,000 troops to take Iraq but 300,000 to hold it. Bush was convinced that there were WMDs. Rummy micromanaged every aspect of the invasion and Cheney was Ok with whoever we put into power to lead the country post war as long as it was his hand picked choice. And so it goes. Inept is as inept does.
We have dip!
That guy from the Chicago thread said he was going to bring ove some of the almondy tasting fruit juice they're swill at his firm...
AW Shucks! Darnit!
yer no fun....
Bondguy and Dude and csmelnix,
Let me first say that I think you guys have done an awsome job here. You've been first rate, period, end of sentence.
"As for losing wars, the war on terror is a war of heats and minds. it's not a war that can be won with military action. In the middle east we are taking a serious ass whoopin in the hearts and minds department. Want to keep this country safe from terrorist, fix that first."
From the book This Is Why Liberals Never Maintain Control, 'Cause They Don't Agree With Each Other.
I'd like to put a refinement on your point.
When the Taliban ran Afghanistan, and it allowed Ossama to headquarter and train his army there, they thought that they would be victorious, and there would be no price to pay. (Perhaps they watched The Mouse That Roared once too many times).
When Al Queda took it's best shot and took down the Twin Towers with a couple of pocket knives, Retribution had to be swift and painful.
At the same moment that Terrorist groups were applauding the actions of 9/11, they also knew that it was dumb dumb dumb! You don't poke a sleeping bear with a stick when your backup is armed with little stones!
Pre 9/11 the entire world was afraid of the US Military. We had won the Desert Storm, we had ended the Bosnia genocide, we had shut down Haiti, and we did all of this with minimal casualties. We had bombs that could knock on the door and ask if you were there, if you weren't it'd ask where you had gone and when you were expected to be back.
Post invasion Iraq... the world is much less afraid of the US military. That's not because of Cindy Sheehan, it's because they don't seem so invincible as they did. It's the Buster Douglas effect. Before BD, people practically fainted when they faced Mike Tyson! He knocked people out in the first 18(?) seconds of the first round! He was invincible! Then came Buster Douglas. He knocked Tyson down! Figuratively speaking, Tyson never got all the way back up.
Hearts and minds, yeah... We have to win the cooperation of those with a heart and mind to cooperate and we have to HAVE TO HAVE TO instill the image of invincibility and swift certain retribution into the minds and hearts of those who would do us and our friends harm.
We are on the same page, my brother!
I knew you had it in you!
I do appreciate some of the concerns, reservations, and fears that some have expressed. Some I even agree with.
I have a problem, and get my dander up a bit, when folks are contemptuous of the President and judge his decisions harshly with the benefit of hindsight.
I also have a hard time swallowing this whole "the Neo-Cons were planning to invade Iraq from before Inauguration Day" story. Call me naive.
" when folks are contemptuous of the President and judge his decisions harshly with the benefit of hindsight."
Well it's hindsight to you, it's confirmation of our warnings to us.
All along there were many of us who said that Iraq had no WMD's the Yellowcake story was a fake that was circulated before, that the guy was being impetuous, petulant , deceitful and so on and so on. We were the minority at the time. I was getting the living snot beat out of me for saying such things in the NYTs forums (In the liberal sections no less). Some of us are not Johnny come Lately s to this understanding.
As to those who are, how can you blame them?
It's like when Clinton said "I did not have sex with that woman." I didn't believe him for a nanosecond, but my father-in-law (who still has the medals that he was given by the Japs during WWI in his arm, apropos of he's a Democrat and a patriot) did. When he found out that he had been lied to (even though I had been letting him know right along) he was sorely disappointed.
People believed in Bush, against their better judgement. They shut down their critical facilities in no small part because the propoganda machine was running at full tilt and the administration was able to fool "all" of the people for some of the time. But when Katrina hit, it blew the scales from the public's eyes (and the media FINALLY reported the shame) and they saw that the emperor was, indeed, with out clothes. Then they realized that they had been lied to all along, that they had been willing to believe and this administration took advantage of that willingness. They are sorely disappointed.
It's not just the administration they judge harshly with the benefit of hindsight, it's themselves.
"I also have a hard time swallowing this whole 'the Neo-Cons were planning to invade Iraq from before Inauguration Day' story.
Paul Wolfowitz and the Defense Planning Guidance text of 1992
Tracing the history of the doctrine back through the Department of Defense it appears the first full explication of the doctrine was the initial "final draft" version of the internal Defense Planning Guidance guidelines written by Paul Wolfowitz, then in the role of Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, in 1992. When the guidelines, commonly termed the Wolfowitz Doctrine, were leaked to the press and a controversy arose, the George H. W. Bush White House ordered it re-written. The revised version did not mention pre-emption or unilateralism.
From Wikipedia (which is very good but NOT the definitive source) (BTW, I don't seem to be able to stop the centering madness)
Iraq was the test case all along. We knew this too.
Another Republican heard from,
Gerry Ford (MTGLHMOHS) said that he was against the use of war force in Iraq and that Cheney had become pugnacious in his later years.
BTW, love the choice of picture in that article!
Ford must have just heard about another Earl Butz joke when he got his picture snapped there.
Ole' Earl was one smooth operator!
I also found it pretty funny that NBC was dancing all around themselves trying not to say... "You know, when he pardoned Nixon, I was really pizzed at him! " and "If it weren't for Gerry Ford, nobody would have laughed at Chevy Chase, and if nobody laughed at Chevy Chase Saturday Night Live would have been shot at Sunday Morning Surnise!"
And there is balance in this universe in that The whitest man in America (Ford) and the blackest man (James Brown) both passed within days of each other.
Mr A, Bond Guy, csmelnix,
I thank you for bringing a maturity (I'm assuming y'all are a wee bit older than my meager 29 years) of insight to this discussion. I am learning a lot here. My thoughts are born less from a command of all the fine print and details and more from the 'heart'. I have always believed that if it looks and smells like sh*t, you don't have to taste it to be 'sure enough' that it's sh*t.
If I believed that this was all about making our country safer and really fighting terrorists, I might have been persuaded to put down my peace loving, Gandhi inspired 'be the change you wish to see' attitude and pick up an M-16, battle fatigues and a few grenades on my way to Afghanistan to fight for all of us. Unfortunately, I am, like the majority of my peers, very jaded about the state our our country. It feels like the worst kind of despondence to be handed the reigns to a horse which is so off course and running so hard that you'll have to put the horse down and walk all the way home, bruises, broken bones and all. Thank you for giving me hope that there are wise and cognizant individuals in your generation.
MikeB, babbling looney, starka,
Thanks for your spirited participation and sincere care about our country. Even though in many of these areas we disagree, I appreciate that we can have this discussion and at the end of the day still laugh together. That is the beauty of America and a reality I would gladly fight for if I truly believed America was in jeopardy...actually I do believe that in some ways our country is in jeopardy, but it is more at risk from collapsing in on itself rather than from outside forces.
I often hear of America being a beacon for the world. I like this idea, but I believe that it we are misguided on how to be that beacon.
I am not a Christian in the traditional sense, but I esteem Jesus Christ as a man that I'd like to be like above all else (and not just revere in words, dogma and tradition). He solved problems by being a 'beacon' of light. When the pharisees and sadducees were going to stone the prostitute, he stepped in and pointed out the prostitute in us. He was crucified sybolically (for some literally, both equally powerful in my mind) for the sins of others. Man has distorted the message (which ultimately was Christs' actions, not his words) Christ offered (key word here) us. Christ did not try to change others by coercing, forcing or beating them into changing...he offered a solution and that solution was to love those in pain....even though as a symptom of that pain we may be persecuted. You can not REALLY heal by treating symptoms but by going to the heart of the problem and weeding out the deep root of the problem. People are feeling unloved (or substitute with another word) by our country and we keep on trying to treat the symptoms...which only postpones and potentially amplify's the consequences of the disease. I believe the wars we have been fighting have been symptoms of a deeper disease that we are in denial about.
All of the greatest men in my world (Ghandi, Jesus, Martin Luther King, Buddah etc...) treated disease not symptoms. They accepted responsibility and persecution for the disease of others, helping them heal when they were reviled by their own actions.
I'm not claiming that the best solution is to let terrorists or our enemies hurt us by any means. I'm just saying that there is wisdom in treating disease not symptoms. Treating symptoms can be really deceptive since it 'numbs' or 'makes dissapear' the percieved problem, but we'll have to pay the debt eventually and it will be much harder to resolve. I believe that America has evidence of this problem all over...Social Security, Wellfare, Medical System issues...on and on.
Works great for politicians to treat symptoms because treating disease is far less popular. It's in their best interests to keep the disease hidden and to slap some duct tape over it. Now it's my generations issue to solve and I think we are confused.
So, in honoring Christ's message this Christmas season, I uphold his example of being a beacon. A beacon draws those seeking illumination, it doesn't force...it quietly, humbly suggests a direction for those who would seek it's benefits. I say let's be an example for others.
God Bless everyone, no exceptions.
All of the greatest men in my world (Ghandi, Jesus, Martin Luther King, Buddah etc...) treated disease not symptoms. They accepted responsibility and persecution for the disease of others, helping them heal when they (the persecutors) were reviled by their own actions-causing harm to those who were loving them by turning their cheek.
Wow, George Bush is great…
North Korea has been cured. Although I don’t agree rewarding for bad behavior it is one lest thing for the dems and others to bitch about. Also this was backed by China, Russia, Japan, South Korea and others.
Well you now say IRAN? Well Irans oil revenue (95% of their income) is down 30%. At the same time US sanctions have put pressure on the leadership.
Somolia is now led by a government with support from Ethopia. Leaders who blew up US targets there are dead.
Iraq… Al Sadr is on the run and like rats we have laid the poison to remove the cancers that walk among the free. Top internal and external terrorists have been killed and captured over the past two months.
Palestine is working towards a unified government… Of course Hezbollah is a terrorist organiztaion so that is not going to be an end all solution, but a positive step for the Palestiniens.
All of this must really disapoint DUDE. Kerry would have been a great president for you… Remember his great quote we should be more sensative. That is more your style.