Sunday, August 05, 2007

# Posted 10:56 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

PHIL CARTER IS STILL ONE OF THE BEST: Capt. Carter returned from Iraq a while ago, but I unfortunately fell out of the habit of reading his blog. If you have been reading Intel Dump all this time, then good for you. If not, you may want to start with Phil's most recent post, a brief commentary on Michael Ignatieff's mea culpa for supporting the initial invasion of Iraq. Although less than enthralled with Ignatieff's penchant for abstraction, Phil points to two paragraphs in Ignatieff's essay that struck him as insightful:
The decision facing the United States over Iraq is paradigmatic of political judgment at its most difficult. Staying and leaving each have huge costs. One thing is clear: The costs of staying will be borne by Americans, while the cost of leaving will be mostly borne by Iraqis. That in itself suggests how American leaders are likely to decide the question.

But they must decide, and soon. Procrastination is even costlier in politics than it is in private life. The sign on Truman’s desk — “The buck stops here!” — reminds us that those who make good judgments in politics tend to be those who do not shrink from the responsibility of making them. In the case of Iraq, deciding what course of action to pursue next requires first admitting that all courses of action thus far have failed.
Phil comments:
In the Iraq context, I think Ignatieff's point is somewhat oversimplified. Americans will pay many costs for leaving as well. But in broadbrush strokes, he is correct. The worst consequences will not weigh on the judgment of the American people and politicians who will inevitably make this decision. And because of that fact, I think the decision is pre-ordained. At some point, maybe in this political election cycle, or maybe in the next one, America will withdraw from Iraq.
I basically agree. American voters will not resist a withdrawal from Iraq because of the mass slaughter that may follow. The more positive way to present that statement, if one is an advocate of withdrawal, is that Americans will not keep sending their soldiers to die in a war they believe is essentially lost.

Both of these interpretations have some merit. If American voters had to pay the same price as Iraqis for a withdrawal, those voters might be willing to keep paying for and fighting a war in which the prospect of victory is remote.

It is worth adding that the unstated premise of both Ignatieff's argument and Phil's commentary is that American voters don't believe that we will endanger ourselves here at home by pulling out of Iraq. That danger is what the Bush administration has been emphasizing for some time by reminding us that Al Qaeda sees the war in Iraq as the central front in its struggle with the United States. In response, Democrats have spoken of leaving a smaller force behind to deal with Al Qaeda.

What do most Americans think of Bush's argument and the Democratic response? You tell me. Personally, I think it would be very dangerous to give Al Qaeda a victory in Iraq, but it is several steps from there to another attack on the homeland.

Not because Americans are especially short-sighted or self-centered, but because democratic republics are set up in order to ensure that

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Americans are short sighted and self-centered, as are people in most countries.

This attitude can best be explained by four elements:

The MSMs propensity to report only the horrors of war and not the good side (Understandable from a commercial standpoint);

The ratbags excellent information warfare strategy;

The lack of a coherent information strategy from the Bush Administration; and,

The Democrats insatiable, some would say unhealthy, obsession to attack everything Bush, despite the effect on our war effort.
"Personally, I think it would be very dangerous to give Al Qaeda a victory in Iraq,"

Well then you shouldn't have supported the war in the first place.
nice blog
It would have been far more dangerous to have left Saddam in power, with his nuclear program completed by now and celebrated by every Muslim as the champion of Araby against the Satanic West. Oil would be $200 a barrel and Libya would also still have a nuclear program. All this talk of withdrawal and defeat is wishful thinking for the Bush Derangement Syndrome crowd. Frat boy wins again!
"American voters will not resist a withdrawal from Iraq because of the mass slaughter that may follow"

..especially when the media declines to examin what happens to the people that we leave behind. All the nostalgic paeans to the antiwar movement of the 60's pointedly ignored what happened after Saigon became Ho Chi Minh City.
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