Monday, January 08, 2007

Reader's Response

Dear Readers,

I got this response for the "Newsflash: We're Not Winning the War" entry on my blog.

You've got to be kidding. I understand that you have a unique, one sided look at the "big picture" as you say but this isn't about "staying the course" because it's hard. This is about how "we" being the people who where told, including Colin Powell and all the Military leaders, that Iraq and Saddam Hussein had cashes of biological weapons and WMD after the 1st Gulf War. It's about the power hungry struggle between Rumsfeld and the State Dept. on why things weren't set up right for a post war Iraq. It's about Bush's desire to have his presidency turn into a legacy. It's about power. It's why Bush is too ignorant to ask his advisors more in depth questions instead of just taking everything at face value. At least Clinton dug deeper into what the people around him were saying. He admitted to mistakes and tried to fix them. Educate yourself on the interworkings of how you came to be there. Read Bob Woodward's book "State of Denial", read Richard Clark's book "Against All Enemies". The Democrats aren't bitching and wanting to "cut and run" because it's hard. They want to bring you home because you shouldn't be there in the first place. Maybe you see the families and faces of children who are glad you are there, but do you really know what they say about you when they are sitting around the fire which used to be there living room? They want you to leave. I think the people there don't want anything that Americans think they want and we are out of touch and arrogant to thing everybody wants what we want. Stay safe, Mike.

I found the author made a well thought out response and seems knowledgeable on the topic. I have even taken the steps of ordering the books that he mentioned (Bob Woodward's book "State of Denial" & Richard Clark's book "Against All Enemies"). I am genuinely curious about the books and their content. I look forward to future responses from Mike and feedback from all of you as to this point of view. I only have one question for Mike. How many natives here have you stayed with (in their villages) for months on end, helping them rebuild and defending them to know if all of them want us out? Of course they want us out, some so that they can run their own country and build their future on their own, which I totally agree with, and others so that they can run amok in the place (insurgents). Of course they talk bad about us when we leave. So do some members of my family when I leave. That’s a fact of life.

As far as the weapons of mass destruction (chemicals, etc.), they were supplied to him (Saddam) by the French and other third world governments through black markets. I have seen (firsthand) the residue (canisters in French & Russian) and the result of the use of these weapons and know how governments in this region go about acquiring them. Have you ever asked yourself why the French and Russian governments were so vehemently opposed to the invasion in the first place? I think it has to do with the fact that they had been supplying Saddam with the weapons technology (through a third party) that he wanted in order to stay in control. Whether it was intentional or not, how would it look to NATO & the UN if this was brought into the light?

Of course Mike is correct about the power struggle in Washington. Look at how aggressive dirty politics have become, by both sides. But be careful Mike, politicians have a nasty habit of standing up for what is popular for the day in order to stay elected. As you advised me to “Educate yourself on the interworkings of how you came to be there”, study the established patterns by the politicians you support now to see the wavering nature of their stances. Remember, Democrats voted (overwhelmingly) for us to invade with the same information that was provided to the president.

I have added an editorial written March 23, 1999 by Mr. Ted Galen Carpenter on Clinton's military policies. If you're going to compare administrations Mike, please pick a better administration than the Clinton's because the only thing Bill really did during his administration is to make adultery popular and Hillary abused power and government that wasn't hers to even approach, much less, use & abuse. It sounds similar to what you have pointed out about President Bush.

There are some occasions when one should not mince words, and the spectacle of U.S.-led air strikes on Serbia is one. Put bluntly, if President Clinton orders an assault on Serbia, the United States will be guilty of committing a flagrant, shameful act of aggression. U.S. forces will be attacking a country that has not attacked the United States, a U.S. ally, or even a neighboring state. That is the very definition of an aggressor.

Belgrade is guilty of nothing except attempting to put down a secessionist rebellion in one of its own provinces. Nearly a dozen other countries have done the same thing in this decade alone -- often with far greater bloodshed. Russia's war in Chechnya, Sri Lanka's conflict with Tamil rebels and Turkey's suppression of the Kurds are merely a few examples.

The Clinton administration's spinmeisters insist that Serbia is the aggressor in the current confrontation, but that argument twists language in a manner reminiscent of characters out of George Orwell's novels 1984 and Animal Farm. "Aggression" is a long-standing concept in international relations, and it has a very specific meaning: unprovoked cross-border warfare -- an unwarranted attack by one state on another. A country cannot commit aggression in its own territory any more than a person can commit self-robbery.

The argument that Serbia has committed aggression in Kosovo, thereby justifying military intervention by NATO, is not only an Orwellian distortion, it sets an extremely dangerous precedent. The traditional standard that developments within a country, however sad and tragic, do not justify military intervention by outside powers is one that should not be cast aside lightly. Without that limitation, weak and imperfect as it may be, the floodgates are open to intervention by an assortment of countries for any number of reasons -- or pretexts.

Before the proponents of NATO intervention in Kosovo cheer too loudly, they ought to consider the potential ramifications. For example, might Russia and its ally Belarus someday cite the Kosovo precedent for attacking Ukraine because of the latter's alleged mistreatment of Russian-speaking inhabitants in the Crimea? Could China and Pakistan argue that India's suppression of secessionists in Kashmir is a humanitarian tragedy and a threat to the peace of the region, justifying joint military action against that "aggressor"?

Of course, the Clinton administration contends that the events in Kosovo are not really an internal Serbian affair, because the conflict might spread southward in the Balkans. According to that scenario, the fighting threatens to draw in Albania and Macedonia and, eventually, NATO members Greece and Turkey. That argument is a refurbished version of the old domino theory, and it is dubious on two levels.

First, it is curious (if not nauseating) to see Clinton, Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and other alumni of the anti-Vietnam War movement make that argument. They ridiculed the domino theory when Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon invoked it during the conflict in Southeast Asia. They were even more scornful when Ronald Reagan invoked it with regard to the communist insurgencies in Central America and the Caribbean during the 1980s. Now, suddenly, they believe the theory has indisputable validity in the Balkans in the 1990s. At the very least, they owe the American people an explanation of their dramatic change of perspective.

Second, even if one accepts the dubious domino theory, the administration's policy is making the spread of the Balkan conflict more rather than less likely. The Serbs are not the party with expansionist ambitions in the southern Balkans; the Albanians are. Kosovo Liberation Army commanders have stated that their ultimate goal is, not merely an independent Kosovo, but the creation of a Greater Albania. Nationalist groups in Albania openly circulate maps of Greater Albania -- an entity that includes not merely Albania and Kosovo but an additional slice of Serbia, all of western Macedonia and a large chunk of northern Greece.

By facilitating Kosovo's secession -- and the NATO-imposed peace settlement is nothing more than Kosovo's independence on the installment plan -- the United States and its allies would be strengthening the very faction that is the most likely to stir up additional trouble in the southern Balkans. Thus, the administration's policy lacks even internal coherence.

War against Serbia is unwarranted on strategic, legal and moral grounds. If air strikes take place, Serbia will be the fourth country Bill Clinton has bombed in the past seven months. That record is one of a trigger-happy administration that is creating an image of America as the planetary bully. Decent Americans need to make a stand when it has reached the point of a full-scale war of aggression against a country that has done us no harm.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I note the following statement from the person that responded to your post:

"Maybe you see the families and faces of children who are glad you are there, but do you really know what they say about you when they are sitting around the fire which used to be there living room?"

I venture to say that most of the living rooms turned into fireballs are NOT at the hands of our troops - that at this point, much of the violence in Iraq is due to the fighting between the people in Iraq - not the bombs of our troops. Sure, things may have been less violent between the Shiites and Sunnis under Saddam Hussein, but that's only because he killed, tortured, and raped anyone that expressed any sort of dissent. I get the impression that the Kurdish people are doing much better now that Saddam Hussein is gone and new sections of the country are being turned over to the Iraqis each month. Yes, there are sections of the country where there is much violence and much remains to be done, but to me, it is not worth giving up yet. Too many of our troops have given their lives in order to find success - we cannot let them die in vain. We must finish what we started and we CAN be successful.

Whether or not people agree or disagree about WHY we went into Iraq, the fact is WE ARE THERE NOW. There ARE insurgents and terrorists there now that hate us NOW. We cannot go back and change time. We must deal with the situation we have now. If we leave, what will happen? Those that seek to destroy America and the West will see victory. It will be a success to them. Iran and/or Syria will move in and the fighting within Iraq will only escalate. Our role and status within the region will be reduced and those who hate America will be encouraged - as they see how easily we back down when faced by political pressures within our own country.

I refuse to accept a "cut and run" strategy. I do not agree with the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Cindy Sheehan. I might not like it that my husband is deployed and that he missed the birth of our daughter, but I am willing to make such sacrifices in hopes that a free Iraq can someday be our ally in the region and show those that seek to destroy us that we will not give up and not back down in the face of threats. At the very least, they are now taking their battles with us to Iraq instead of bringing them to our shores as they did on 9/11.

Why is it that when Bill Clinton went into Yugoslavia and Somalia for "humanitarian reasons," there was little outcry about "justification for war," but even though mass graves and evidence of mass torture have been found in Iraq, so many want to string up Bush for sending troops into Iraq?

*sigh* I am not a fan of politicans from either side of the aisle, but I'd rather us at least TRY to win rather than giving up on the mission that so many have given their lives to complete.

All the best to you and yours C-Commando.

9:31 AM  
Blogger just-judee said...

I would like to link you Coconut Commando to Fox News Bill Oreilly and see what would come out of this with a fair and balanced report. I feel for the frustration this must cause you and I pray that God will use the BS and turn it into PS, We won!! Steve and Judee Dufresne

5:50 AM  
Blogger Rosey said...

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say Mike is a Liberal...

I agree with Anonymous' comments above. The WMD were there, and the reason they weren't found was because they were moved. Probably to Syria.

I have to say that I have backed the Prez and the war for most of the time, but recently my opinion is wavering...Why? I recently read (most of ) From Beirut to Jerusaelum by Thomas L. Friedman. I guess the prez didn't. The first half of the book he is in Beirut, and you learn about the intense hatred of the Shia and the Sunni. Exactly what is happening in Iraq now. As mentioned above, it took a brutal dictator to keep things "in-line," or at least to have that appearance. Given what should have been known about the age-old Sunni-Shia feud, the current situation seems inevitable. It is still going on in Lebanon now, punctuated by breaks of calm...

I am beginning to wonder about the concept of "Arab Democracy." Can it really work with all the tribal violence and hatred? Or is a brutal dictator the only answer? Maybe hacking Iraq in 3 pieces would work better. I don't know. I do know the world is better off without Saddam...

Godspeed Coconut.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Beach Girl said...

Commando, thank you for your note at my blog. I will post on that - I appreciate your comments and hope that you don't mind if I use them upon occasion in my posts. You are "in country" and your words speak to all of us.

Thank you. Sometime, if you have time, please go to Save the Wren Cross Blog and comment on the efforts of the students and alumni there - if you have a chance, please give the issue some thought. Thanks,

4:21 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home