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Leader
09 Feb 04,, 03:53
Bush's Foreign-Policy Critics Score Goose Egg

The Democrat/liberal outcry was deafening. War with Iraq, unless the United Nations gave us permission, would bring the Arab countries down on our heads, set off the Arab "street" and leave a "unilateralist" America isolated. President George W. Bush's "axis of evil" speech would solidify anti-American hatred and make it impossible to deal with the Middle East.

In the attack on President Bush and his policies, the Democrat/liberal critics indulged in a singular contradiction. His "unilateralism" in the Middle East was a crime. But he was equally criminal in working with China, South Korea and Japan in attempting to cope with the North Korean nuclear crisis. And from the start, the war against Afghanistan and Iraq would become a "quagmire" - our armed forces bogged down in a war they did not know how to fight, and one in which the United States would suffer many thousands of casualties. In short, another Vietnam.

When U.S. forces cut through both countries in a historic demonstration of military genius and power, the Democrats and their allies buttoned their lips for perhaps 48 hours and then embarked on a different tack. President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, it was charged, had not planned for the occupation or for the future of Iraq. Iraqi guerrillas and imported terrorists were striking back, and it was all George Bush's fault. Every new casualty proved this. (Blame FDR and Gen. Eisenhower for the horrendous casualties of Normandy and because they did not anticipate the Battle of the Bulge.)

The onslaught continues to this day, and to hear the Democrats the course of events worldwide is a continuous disaster. But is it? Let's call the roll:

Item: Libya's Muammar Qaddafi has become a pussycat and confesses that the Iraq invasion is responsible. He has shut down his nuclear program and invited U.S. and U.N. investigators to check him out. He even is begging to be admitted into the civilized world.

Item: Syria's Bashir Assad is quaking in his boots, fearing that his country will be next. His efforts at a deal with the European Union have come to naught. He is seeking a face-saving formula to get out of Lebanon, which his father occupied, and even is showing some interest in coming to terms with Israel. His friends in Iran no longer are willing to invite him to tea. And his greatest worry is that Saddam Hussein will spill the beans about the game of footsie they were playing.

Item: India and Pakistan have begun to talk to each other, eliminating a perilous flashpoint and putting off the possibility of nuclear war - the result of President Bush's quiet diplomacy.

Item: Saudi Arabia, which had given al-Qaeda both moral and financial support, slowly is mending her ways. Events precipitated by the Iraq war have convinced the Saudi royal family and its army of "princes" that bribery doesn't work. Being Saudis, they still have not fully committed themselves to Bush policies, but they seem to be getting there.

Item: Iran is moving slowly. President Bush's offer to send a delegation to the country was not rejected out of hand by the ayatollahs. Not now, they responded, but perhaps later. Nevertheless, the president ordered a three-month lifting of economic sanctions, including the ban on allowing American private funds to go to the country's stricken earthquake victims. But even prior to this, Mr. Bush had played tough on closing down Iran's nuclear activity, and Iran had begun to bow. Iran also is moving to restore relations with Egypt, seen as a U.S. ally, and making friendly gestures to Turkey, ending the boycott of Muslim countries that do business with Israel.

Item: Even France and Germany have begun to come around.

Compare all of this with the prediction of American disaster as a result of Bush administration policies and the Iraq war, and you come up - despite the left-reactionary media - with a score for the Democrat/liberal critics of a big, fat goose-egg.

Ralph de Toledano is the dean of Washington columnists and a contributing writer for Insight magazine.

http://www.insightmag.com/news/2004/02/17/Features/The-Last.Word-593459.shtml

smilingassassin
09 Feb 04,, 09:19
Good post Leader it amazes me how the left predicted a disaster that would unfold the minute we set foot in Iraq.....I'm still waiting for their prediction.

Ray
14 Feb 04,, 03:14
Let me play the Devil's Advocate on this news report. Maybe it will liven up the debate and interesting views may surface.

"War with Iraq, unless the United Nations gave us permission, would bring the Arab countries down on our heads, set off the Arab "street" and leave a "unilateralist" America isolated".

It has happened. It may not have 'set off the Arab street' but it has left the US isolated. US could not cobble enough support to get the second resolution through and so backed off. Normally, US would have all countries clamouring to help the US in Iraq, which has not happened. Only microscopic countries and ex Soviet allies wanting to be closer to the US for obvious reasons have stepped out.

"…the war against Afghanistan and Iraq would become a "quagmire"'

Both have become so. Afghanistan has become a dead end street. Agreed Americans are not dying there, but the British and the Canadians are. Bush dismissed disdainly and even some members of this forum scoffed that UN was irrelevant, but then Bush had to eat crow since now he asked the UN to step in to check out the election in Iraq. What are the compulsions that made this volte face?

"U.S. forces cut through both countries in a historic demonstration of military genius and power"

Cut through, yes. But then, thereafter bogged down. It's like jumping into a swamp with all the gusto, executing a few strokes and then getting sucked down.

'it was charged, had not planned for the occupation or for the future of Iraq. Iraqi guerrillas and imported terrorists were striking back, and it was all George Bush's fault. Every new casualty proved this".

Indeed it was not planned for. It was expected that cheering Iraqis would greet the US forces with flowers etc. That did not happen. How many scapegoats for the Iraqi resistance must be found? First it was the Saddam loyalists, then it was the Baa'athists and then foreign fighters and now the Al Qaeda. Like it or not, as the US would revolted with revulsion at the violation of their sovereignty with the insane act on the WTC, the Iraqis are revolting at becoming an occupied state and having a propped up and corrupt regime of Iraqis all set to take over under US might. One may argue as to how come people are flocking to join the Iraqi police or the army. True. But an empty stomach can make the unusual happen. Women of easy virtues, if given an opportunity to eke a respectable living would have done so. But poverty and want, forces them to walk the streets.

"Libya's Muammar Qaddafi is begging to be admitted into the civilized world'.

Pussycat is true. But begging to enter the civilised world is a bit thick. What is the civilised world? Attacking sovereign nations, gunboat diplomacy, financial and economic arm twisting is civilisation? Not that Qaddafi is much civilised himself.

"Syria's Bashir Assad is quaking in his boots".

This is a fond delusion. Let's be very clear about Syria being the next. Sabre rattling won't do. Heard of that story about crying wolf too many times? The US's case as the international policeman has been badly damaged now that no WMD can be found even by their own handpicked investigator. The byline that it will be found eventually is another canard or so it appears. A country so sanguine that there WERE WMD and that there was no doubts about the same, and a country that didn't give Blix and El Baradi even an extra day and labelled being a bunch of nincompoops now expects time to find WMD till Judgement Day? Why this latitude for the greatest and most efficient power in the world? It is claimed from the rooftops that the US intelligence is infallible. How come now the US is calling a different tune?

"India and Pakistan have begun to talk to each other, eliminating a perilous flashpoint…"

Fair enough to some extent. But let's look at it from Pakistan's point of view. The people are not with Musharraf and Musharraf has been backed to the wall because of perceived kowtowing to US interests. What options does Musharraf have? Wait till the snows melt and then we can say that the diplomacy is paying off. Right now the mountain passes have been blocked and so the terrorists can't come. Even before Bush's diplomacy, the Indian Prime Minister was advocating confidence building measures. Also, India has a general election this April and the coalition government has to show it is better than the opposition!

"Saudi Arabia, which had given al-Qaeda both moral and financial support, slowly is mending her ways".

Saudis have no options. Bush is categorical about his war on terror. Before the US was pussyfooting and turning the Nelson eye. If Bush impounds the entire Saudi money stashed away in US and European banks and industries, the Princes will be up a gum tree and will not be able to even go to Europe for a peg of whiskey that they love but cannot have in their country!

In so far as Iran is concerned it is opening up as it is. There is a upsurge amongst the Conservatives mullahs. Interestingly, Russia is still exporting nuclear fuel even thought the US has asked them not do so.

It makes a whole lot of divergent opinions to make this world.
Personally, Bush suits my perception of the world but his justifications should be tempered with more logical reasoning and polish. Armtwisting and the brandishing of weapons is for folks like Al Capone.

Ray
14 Feb 04,, 03:16
Continued....

Blair is the polished chap, except he has been caught lying and the British are rather chary about liars and those who don't appear above board. Gentlemanly stuff and all that. Pip pip, what ho and cheeerio, old bean.:lol

Trooth
14 Feb 04,, 18:49
Iraq is a quagmire and an unplanned one. Hopefully the US deathtoll won't get to thousands. But it isn't unimaginable.

Iran is openining up only in the sense that the Prime Minister is quite liberal. However he could well be deposed soon by the ruling council.

India and Pakistan is an interesting one. Whilst th talks are happening Musharref is dodging one assassination attempt after another. Hopefully the assassin's can be caught. But the problem with Terror is that the hatred doesn't go away.

Libya has offered to give up the WMD it never had and to stop trying to develop new ones. In all other aspects (Iraq for example) i have never accused the west of acting over oil or gas etc. This one is pretty blatently about getting at these resources in Libya.

As for Mr Blair. Well he has a i think a unique problem amongst the war time leaders of the coalition, democratic accountability/ Mr Blair has committed (possibly unintentionally) the cardinal sin of a prime minister. He has mislead parliament over WMD. This is about as serious as it gets in British politics. That is one reason why there is an enquiry in the UK

Confed999
14 Feb 04,, 21:57
Originally posted by Ray
"…the war against Afghanistan and Iraq would become a "quagmire"'

Both have become so.
They both allready were. Maybe if they were left to stew for 30 more years we could be dealing with another North Korea, also a quagmire for decades. In fact is there any conflict ever, that couldn't be called a quagmire?

Praxus
14 Feb 04,, 23:27
Iraq is a quagmire and an unplanned one. Hopefully the US deathtoll won't get to thousands. But it isn't unimaginable.

How can you call it a Quagmire?

We crush an Army and fight Guerillas for over a year and we only have 500 casulties!


Cut through, yes. But then, thereafter bogged down. It's like jumping into a swamp with all the gusto, executing a few strokes and then getting sucked down.

Explain to me how we are "bogged" down, it's not like we are attacking an Army and need momentum.

If you want to look up a battle were an Army jumped into a swamp and then got boged down and butchered look up when the Armies of Mallius and Caepio at Arausio got butchered, over 60,000 legionares.


This is a fond delusion. Let's be very clear about Syria being the next. Sabre rattling won't do. Heard of that story about crying wolf too many times? The US's case as the international policeman has been badly damaged now that no WMD can be found even by their own handpicked investigator.

They are surronded by the two most powerful military forces in the entire Middle East(Israel and the US Military). You bet your ass he is scared.

Trooth
15 Feb 04,, 00:46
Originally posted by Praxus

Explain to me how we are "bogged" down, it's not like we are attacking an Army and need momentum.


We are now into the "winning the peace" bit of the war and in true cliche fashion it is often more difficult. I agree that the demolition of the Iraqi army was a superb demonstration of superior tactics, weaponry and for that matter covert ops (bribing the senior officers was quite inspired).

But the problem is now the peace is a quagmire. I, frankly am surprised at the Iraqi reaction. I wasn't surprised at the looting and saw this as failure of the the coalition (De Gaul played it much better following the liberation of France).

I am, however, surprised at their desire to kill each other and the people who are there to help them. Whilst we can all see the argument that the coalition force are occupiers, we can also see that the coalition is quite keen to hand over control back to the Iraqis, it isn't a battle the Iraqi's have to fight.

But, whoever is doing the killing and whatever their reasons, the coalition created this situation, a situation it was not prepared for (certainly in Baghdad at least) and must deal with it. It could take a decade or longer, and that is certainly a quagmire.

Confed999
15 Feb 04,, 01:10
Originally posted by Praxus
How can you call it a Quagmire?
It's easy....
Main Entry: quag·mire
Pronunciation: 'kwag-"mIr, 'kwäg-
Function: noun
1 : soft miry land that shakes or yields under the foot
2 : a difficult, precarious, or entrapping position : PREDICAMENT
.... anything difficult is a "quagmire".

Praxus
15 Feb 04,, 02:13
LOL, so by that defination all wars, hell half our lives are quagmires.

Confed999
15 Feb 04,, 02:27
Originally posted by Praxus
LOL, so by that defination all wars, hell half our lives are quagmires.
Exactly...

Ray
15 Feb 04,, 02:40
Confed

QUAG + MIRE6
1 wet, boggy ground, yielding under the foot
2 a difficult or inextricable position! "a quagmire of debts"


1. [Swamp] — Syn. marsh, bog, mire; see swamp.
2. [Dilemma] — Syn. perplexity, entanglement, quandary, morass; see difficulty 1, 2, predicament.
See quicksand, slough

Dictionary meanings.

If Iraq and Afghanistan are not 'quagmires', then what is? It reminds me of the song sung by Maryln Monroe in the film 'River of No Return' by the same name. How will the US extricate itself? Just pack their bags and leave? Both will be in a greater mess. The British could not subdue the Afghans (who are basically tribes with very strong bonding and a large majority are illiterates and will remain so for a long time to come), therefore, US will have a gigantic task for many years. In Iraq, we can put any type of govt - US sponsored, UN sponsored or whatever. There will intercenine fights on for a long long time. Both will become North Koreas and worse.

Agreed that they were morasses before, but then so are there many countries which are no better. Go ahead and clean the world. It will only exhaust you and all your finances. I wonder how many then will support the wars of democracy and freedom. They would have been exhausted much earlier than the US.

You have to understand Islam first. Have you read about the Hudaibiya treaty? The treaty was a temporary truce that Mohammad reached with Jews while he sorted out other battles. He later attacked them.

What should get your antennae up is that Musharraf quoted the treaty and justified his alliance with the US in the same speech. It is because in the US people know so little about the culture of others that they don't understand the nuances. Because of this they find themselves in a cul de sac and go to war, mostly at their own expense. If Musharraf, who is the friend of the US could allude to the Hudaibiya treaty, then you can well imagine whats going in the mind of Qaddafi or the Syrian President. What surprises me that columnists in the US who are supposed to be well read cannot read between the lines and instead gloat that Syria, Iran and Libya is cowering!

Then comes the question of being prepared for the aftermath of the succesful culmination of the War. There were no intrepreters, which is the basic minimum. That should be the indication of preparedness. It indicates that in the US administration there was a belief that flowers would be strewn as they entered like the Victory Parade at Arc de Triumph (I can't recollect the French spelling).

Notwithstanding, I wish you all well. May you all be correct. Sooner this mess is cleared, the better it shall be.

Confed999
15 Feb 04,, 05:55
Originally posted by Ray
If Iraq and Afghanistan are not 'quagmires', then what is?
I actually agreed that they were, my point was that they all are.

The only hope Iraq and Afghanistan truly have is if the people there insist on a fair government. It's the only hope any of us really have. They have a chance now, I hope for their sake they are given enough time to take advantage of it. It would be tough to top their last governments in cruelty though.

As to trusting politicians, from any country, I try not to anymore than I have to.

Major_Armstrong
22 Feb 04,, 18:27
Check out rushonline for some interesting views:


http://www.rushonline.com/index2.htm

http://www.rushonline.com/indextopic.htm

Also see

http://www1.faithfreedom.org/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=index

Ray
23 Feb 04,, 02:09
Major,

The last link given is definitely anti Islam. In fact, there is a post indicating that Islam stands for Murder. That's is a trifle too way out a thought and not very fair.

While terrorists should be treated with the contempt they deserve, but one cannot pick up selective excerpts from the religious text and broadbrush the whole religion as a bunch of murderers.

Just a thought. And I am not a Moslem BTW lest you feel that is why I am posting this.

Trooth
23 Feb 04,, 02:16
Originally posted by Ray
And I am not a Moslem BTW lest you feel that is why I am posting this.

Indeed not, i thought Muslims took offence to the spelling Moslem.

And i am not a muslim either. Just a pedant :)

Ray
23 Feb 04,, 04:43
I didn't know they take offence to the spelling.