Jay Reding.com

Is Anyone Surprised?

Already some Democrats are saying that we need to surrender in Afghanistan as well.

Of course, the Democrats will say that they’re really for the war, that Afghanistan was the “right” war, etc. Then again, that’s precisely what they said about Iraq as well.

The enemy knows we’re weak, and if they can force our hand in Iraq, they’ll put the same pressure on us in Afghanistan. The Democrats have taken the anti-war side, and that side is based fundamentally on a revulsion with any use of American military power. The second Afghanistan dominates the headlines like Iraq does now, the political momentum will start to shift there as well. Al-Qaeda knows that a significant fraction of the American people don’t have the guts to fight this war.

Al-Qaeda, sadly, knows us better than we do. They cannot defeat the American military on the battlefield, but they can get America to defeat itself.

6 responses to “Is Anyone Surprised?”

  1. hans says:

    They can’t beat us on the battlefield? What the hell have we been on that cost us this many lives. I for one will not follow the administration blindly and we should all demand more from them. It’s not the cause, it’s not the mission, it’s the execution of it. I’ve gone from being a part of the majority who supported those who were leading us to where I don’t know why the hell I ever did that.

    We wouldn’t suffer this incompetence in business, church or sports…why should we suffer the current plan when the stakes are so much higher. Someone on the right side of this debate please stand up!!! Or is 70+ percent of America worth writing off in the future.

  2. hans says:

    Also, it’s absurd to shift the blame to a skeptical America when the blame should be shifted to the administration. Tell those of us that supported them what they did right…and why is it so difficult to hold the administration up to accountability. Add conservative credibility to the casualties of war…but given the sacrifice of life and treasure…this is the least we have lost.

    Think this isn’t true…look at how all the candidates are tripping over themselves to jump on GW’s coattails. Following blindly will pay its biggest price on the local level.

    Tell me why I’m wrong…I want to come home…but can’t.

  3. Marcia Crowley says:

    We can’t leave Afghanistan! Its glorious global capitalism has saved billions for Europe and America’s opium/heroin users! Right up the rightwing alley! Win win!

  4. Marcia Crowley says:

    Hans – Jay says Bush is a an ignorant, incompetent, total idiot who’s messed up everything amd destabilized much of the world, but we must still suport the Dear Leader and Do What He Says!

    In fact most Republicans say that.

    Weird, eh?

  5. Jay Reding says:

    Hans – Jay says Bush is a an ignorant, incompetent, total idiot who’s messed up everything amd destabilized much of the world, but we must still suport the Dear Leader and Do What He Says!

    And you’re an obnoxious troll…

    I think the President has made massive tactical and strategic mistakes, but he’s still better than the feckless Democrats who have not even the slightest clue about the war we’re fighting in. The Democrats would take what Bush has done wrong and do more of it, which would only make things worse.

    We can’t leave Afghanistan! Its glorious global capitalism has saved billions for Europe and America’s opium/heroin users! Right up the rightwing alley! Win win!

    Yup, life was so much better under the Taliban.

    Marcia, you have 3 posts to do something more than spew the same old one-line crap. If you can’t come up with something that resembles a legitimate argument, you’re gone. I’m not tolerating trolling here any longer, and you’re well on your way to wearing out your welcome.

    Dissenting opinions are welcome, but they have to be thoughtful dissenting opinions, not just some stupid little one-line wisecrack. I find that style devoid of content or intellect, and if you want braindead snark there are better places for that kind schtick.

  6. Jay Reding says:

    They can’t beat us on the battlefield? What the hell have we been on that cost us this many lives. I for one will not follow the administration blindly and we should all demand more from them. It’s not the cause, it’s not the mission, it’s the execution of it. I’ve gone from being a part of the majority who supported those who were leading us to where I don’t know why the hell I ever did that.

    Not to be blunt, but we’re at war. Even when you’re winning, people are going to die. Every life lost is a tragedy in itself, but to be honest, if we’re so squeamish about sending our soldiers into harm’s way then we should start preparing for a life under Shari’a law. If we want this thread to be ended, we have to be willing to make sacrifices. Our troops aren’t a bunch of dumb kids. They know that their job entails them putting their lives on the line for this country, and we’re not supporting them when we start thinking that we know more than the people on the ground in Iraq.

    This country has never done anything like this before. Iraq is a fractious country that’s been raped nearly to death by 30+ years of abject tyranny. There’s almost no civil society left. Saddam emptied every prison in the country and those people are still causing chaos.

    And there’s the pesky matter of Syria and Iran fighting a proxy war against us by arming the “insurgency” — an “insurgency” which is now almost entirely working for foreign agents and not the Iraqi people.

    Have their been mistakes? Again, this is war. You don’t fight a war perfectly the first time. The military has learned a hell of a lot about counterterrorism in the last 4 years, and we’ve still got a lot to learn. Of course there have been mistakes — Abu Ghriab being the biggest. Pulling our punches in Najaf in 2004 was a major mistake. Not taking down al-Sadr early on was a mistake. Not doing more to lay the groundwork for elections was a mistake.

    But most of the mistakes we made were because we’re actually trying to find a strategy that works. The problem is that our society has ADD — we want everything now, and damn the long-term realities. We’re fighting an enemy that has a cultural memory that spans centuries. We can’t even remember what happened in the 1980s, and the enemy is still pissed off over the Reconquista.

    Tell me why I’m wrong…I want to come home…but can’t.

    It’s not that you’re wrong, it’s that you’re not looking at things through the right perspective. Look at the big picture. If we pull out of Iraq, what then? Do things get better for us? How would al-Qaeda view such a move. Again, don’t listen to Big Media, just spend an evening or two thinking things through on a deeper level.

    I’m a law student, and when you look at a complex legal issue, you break it down into its component arguments. So, let’s do the same here.

    We are fighting al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda is based off the Arab culture, which is an honor-shame culture. As bin Laden himself said, when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, they admire the strong and pity the weak. That is the mindset of the enemy. Strength is valued, and weakness is shunned.

    We’re engaged in a battle in Iraq that is not only with Ba’athist dead-enders (who now are mostly on our side) but also with al-Qaeda. There is no question that al-Qaeda views Iraq is a key battleground if not the key battleground in this war.

    Now, what happens if we withdraw, surrender, or “redeploy to the periphery” in Iraq? Whatever euphemism you use, it certainly looks like a defeat to the rest of the world. And guess what, that is exactly the way al-Qaeda sees it.

    Now, think about basic human psychology. Remember what bin Laden said, Arabs admire strength and shun weakness. Look at recent history — what was the event that convinced bin Laden that al-Qaeda could take on the West? It was the the American withdrawal from Somalia. It was then that bin Laden had us pegged as a weak, decadent culture that could not stomach a lengthy fight.

    Now ask yourself this: is bin Laden right? If we’re not willing to expend the blood and treasure necessary to fight al-Qaeda wherever the battle calls us, doesn’t that vindicate exactly what bin Laden said about us? Does it not mean that we really are a weak and decadent culture — spill a little of our blood, and we lose all taste for pursuing the enemy?

    Now, can we win in Iraq? The answer to that is yes. Less than a year ago all the analysts said that al-Anbar Province was a lost cause. We could not win, we couldn’t fight off the “insurgency” and the whole place needed to be written off. That was only a few months ago.

    And what happened since then? The situation has changed dramatically. Al-Anbar, the place that was the worst in Iraq, the home to the insurgency, and the place where a high school classmate of mine was killed by a terrorist IED when his Humvee was blown apart with him in it is now a place where markets are opening and people feel free to live their lives. Again, the media doesn’t report those things because they don’t leave the Green Zone, so the only news they get is what they’re being fed. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening, and their are independent journalists who actually are there and are covering what the media does not.

    Now, if al-Anbar can change like that, why can’t the rest of Iraq?

    The reality is that democratization is a process, not an event. There won’t be a V-I day in which there’s a formal surrender and a ticker-tape parade. This isn’t that kind of war. What there will be is an ongoing process in which terrorists are eliminated, pockets of security are created, and small associations become the building blocks of a new civil society.

    But all of that requires a hell of a lot of patience on all sides. Our biggest mistake has been in rushing everything and trying to force events to comport to our wishes rather than making the incremental changes we need to make. That was Rumsfeld’s mistake, Bush’s mistake, and now it’s the Democrats who are making the same mistake. Even if one accepts the dubious principle that this was a war “rushed into” under “false intelligence” then that provides no excuse for rushing out under equally false intelligence.

    We have an opportunity to stabilize Iraq enough so that there can be some real progress. If we give up on that before it’s even had a chance to work, then we had better be ready to give up on this war.

    Think for yourself. Take every silly little slogan and half-assed argument you’ve heard, read as much as you can, and then start with basic logical positions taken from the facts. The reality is that we cannot afford to lose in Iraq, or things really will get worse. We’ll have proven bin Laden right, and no matter how bad things are now, if we leave, they will get a hell of a lot worse.

    Do you really think that if we leave Iraq and it becomes a haven for al-Qaeda, that we won’t be forced back to finish the job again? And how many lives will be lost to an Iraq that’s spun completely out of control?

    At the end of the day, if you really value the lives our our soldiers, if you really value the future security of both the American people and those of Iraq, you cannot blindly advocate withdrawal. We may save some blood and treasure now, but we’ll pay for it with interest down the road when this conflict has spiraled into something that’s a lot more dangerous than what we’re seeing now in Iraq.