Another blue-dog liberal turns traitor!

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Another blue-dog liberal turns traitor!

Postby OperaTenor » Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:47 am

Hmm, on second thought....

Warner's defection on Iraq policy cuts Republicans deeply

Gosh, I guess Warner's started drinking the Kool-Aid.

Naught but the most stubborn left, seemingly...
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Postby Shapley » Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:43 am

Just another sign that, after more than thirty years, most of our Congressmen and Congresswomen still haven't understood the real lesson of the Vietnam War.

V/R
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Postby jamiebk » Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:56 am

"the real lesson of the Vietnam War"

And just what was that?
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Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:23 am

Personally I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that the Congress needs to be replaced by a series of polls; much more efficient to eliminate the middle men/women.

I hold most, it not all, of congress in complete contempt. Make no doubt that what you are seeing is nothing more than the cowardly attempt to be seen on both side of every issue.

I noticed than none voted against Petraeus's nomination (in case he wins) while many said he would fail. Let's make sure we examine that. They are willing to risk American lives even though, according to them, the lives are already wasted since the effort can't work. That's real bravery.

Utter and completely dispicable. I condemn them.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:32 am

jamiebk wrote:"the real lesson of the Vietnam War"

And just what was that?

I think it was "If you never decide what the heck it is you're trying to do, you're really really unlikely to do it well."
Or maybe it was "Going off half-cocked is a BAD IDEA."

And yes, Haggis, Congresscritters are a lower form of life. Invertebrate.
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Postby Shapley » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:35 am

The real lesson of the Vietnam war was that it is possible to win abroad and have that victory robbed from you by political opponents at home. We saw it then, and we're seeing it now. The anti-war crowd learned that lesson, while those who see a successful conclusion to this war in Iraq as a necessary step in the war on terror have apparently missed that.

Nixon, whether by fair means of foul, had secured a military victory in Vietnam, and had driven the North Vietnamese to the bargaining table, only to have the anti-war ferver of the Congress pull the funding rug out from under him, leaving him with no means to provide necessary support for the South Vietnamese government. South Vietnam was overrun after our pullout, because we were unable (by legislative mandate, not by materiel limitations) to provide them with necessary funding.

Iran is waiting to overrun the Iraqi government, once this Congress 'pulls a Vietnam' and leaves the President with no recourse but watch as he is stripped of the means to win the war.

I guess, in a nutshell, the lesson should be stated simply that once you've made the decision to commit to war, you have to remain committed to seeing it through to its conclusion.

Here, if you're interested, is Melvin Laird's more detailed summary of the real lesson that should have been learned

V/R
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That's a concise summary of the lesson
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Postby jamiebk » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:58 am

Selma in Sandy Eggo wrote:
jamiebk wrote:"the real lesson of the Vietnam War"

And just what was that?

I think it was "If you never decide what the heck it is you're trying to do, you're really really unlikely to do it well."
Or maybe it was "Going off half-cocked is a BAD IDEA."

And yes, Haggis, Congresscritters are a lower form of life. Invertebrate.


Ditto!
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Postby Shapley » Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:05 pm

From the Melvin Laird piece linked above:

The truth about Vietnam that revisionist historians conveniently forget is that the United States had not lost when we withdrew in 1973. In fact, we grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory two years later when Congress cut off the funding for South Vietnam that had allowed it to continue to fight on its own. Over the four years of Nixon's first term, I had cautiously engineered the withdrawal of the majority of our forces while building up South Vietnam's ability to defend itself. My colleague and friend Henry Kissinger, meanwhile, had negotiated a viable agreement between North and South Vietnam, which was signed in January 1973. It allowed for the United States to withdraw completely its few remaining troops and for the United States and the Soviet Union to continue funding their respective allies in the war at a specified level. Each superpower was permitted to pay for replacement arms and equipment. Documents released from North Vietnamese historical files in recent years have proved that the Soviets violated the treaty from the moment the ink was dry, continuing to send more than $1 billion a year to Hanoi. The United States barely stuck to the allowed amount of military aid for two years, and that was a mere fraction of the Soviet contribution.

Yet during those two years, South Vietnam held its own courageously and respectably against a better-bankrolled enemy. Peace talks continued between the North and the South until the day in 1975 when Congress cut off U.S. funding. The Communists walked out of the talks and never returned. Without U.S. funding, South Vietnam was quickly overrun. We saved a mere $297 million a year and in the process doomed South Vietnam, which had been ably fighting the war without our troops since 1973.

I believed then and still believe today that given enough outside resources, South Vietnam was capable of defending itself, just as I believe Iraq can do the same now. From the Tet offensive in 1968 up to the fall of Saigon in 1975, South Vietnam never lost a major battle. The Tet offensive itself was a victory for South Vietnam and devastated the North Vietnamese army, which lost 289,000 men in 1968 alone. Yet the overriding media portrayal of the Tet offensive and the war thereafter was that of defeat for the United States and the Saigon government. Just so, the overriding media portrayal of the Iraq war is one of failure and futility.
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Postby dai bread » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:55 pm

I wonder if Mr. laird really wants another Korea, where North & South are continually at each others' throats, with on-going cost to the U.S. taxpayer.

Germany & Vietnam are now unified; one by the victory of Capitalism & the other by the victory of Communism. In both cases, the political systems had less to do with it than the will of the people.

We need to encourage South Korea's efforts to talk turkey with the North.
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Postby Shapley » Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:27 pm

I can't speak for Mr. Laird, but I believe that he probably believes that a free South Vietnam was better than a United Communist Vietnam. I also he believes, as I do about Iraq, that having once committed to the war (and it was neither he nor the administration he served that made that commitment) that we were obligated to see it through. When we entered the war to assist South Vietnam, we committed to stand by them, to help them drive back the North Vietnamese and provide them means to keep them at bay. We fulfilled our commitment to drive them out, but renigged on the part about keeping them at bay. The North Vietnamese were lapping at our heels as we made our hasty retreat.

Presidents Kennedy and Johnson made the commitment that took us to Vietnam. Nixon is faulted for 'escalating' the war, when in reality what he did was merely fulfilling the commitment he inherited. Congress, however, was weary of the war, and pulled the funding. The President had no option but to pull out and leave the South Vietnamese to their own resources. The U.S. won the battles but lost the war, all because the people and the Congress lacked the cajones to finish that which we started.

Now we are seeing the same thing happening in Iraq. The President is committed to winning. The Congress, listening to the growing clamour of the people, are backing down, telling us the Iraqis, like the South Vietnamese, need to be left to their own resources. I can assure you that al Queda and the Iranians will be lapping at our heels, shooting at our retreating arses in a Baghdad version of the fall of Saigon if we listen to the Warner's of the world.

Will you then ask if a Middle East united under radical Islam isn't better than a free Iraq with Iran and al Queda continually at its' throat?

V/R
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Postby barfle » Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:55 am

Shap, the thing about "seeing it through" is that it appears to many that it would take an infinite amount of time and resources, or our own WsMD.

It wouldn't be so bad if 1) There had been demonstrable connections between Saddam and al qaeda or 2) The UN weapons inspectors, led by Hans Blix, had been heeded. Claiming knowledge of something for which there is no evidence is a recipe for disaster, and Iraq has turned into a disaster for all peace-loving people. I'm not saying Saddam was a good guy, but it's still clear he represented no threat to anyone except the Iraqis who wouldn't kiss his posterior.

If we're going to get into a war (what the heck is our situation in Iraq - It's not a "police action" is it?), we need to have a better reason to do so than the reasons we got into Korea, 'Nam, and Iraq. If they had been quick victories followed by a brief occupation while stable governments were put in place, that would be one thing (like Granada, perhaps). History shows us that such was not the thing in Korea, Viet Nam, or Iraq.
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Postby Shapley » Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:55 pm

Barfle,

RE:
There had been demonstrable connections between Saddam and al qaeda


There were.

However, it really doesn't matter now whether the reason was valid or not. We're there. We're at war. We have committed to the war and now we have to see it through. Not just for the Iraqis or some bogus sense of 'closure' or whatever...we have to see it through because we have made the commitment.

We owe it to the people of Iraq. If we walk away they will be overrun, as the South Vietnamese was overrun. We owe it to Israel. If we walk away, we leave a steaming pot of hatred and unrest brewing on their doorstep. We owe it to the 3,000 or so U.S. soldiers that have died. If we walk away, there deaths were for naught. We owe it to the Nations that followed us to war. If we walk away we perpetrate the image that we do not stand by our allies, that we care naught for their friendship, their allegience, their sacrifice. And we owe it to the American people. If we walk away we shame them, and we make them unsafe. The world will know that America doesn't have the stomach to fight, that America is weak, that any enemy that understands commitment can outlast us. If we walk away, we become France.

V/R
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Postby OperaTenor » Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:58 am

Shapley wrote:However, it really doesn't matter now whether the reason was valid or not. We're there. We're at war. We have committed to the war and now we have to see it through. Not just for the Iraqis or some bogus sense of 'closure' or whatever...we have to see it through because we have made the commitment.

We owe it to the people of Iraq. If we walk away they will be overrun, as the South Vietnamese was overrun. We owe it to Israel. If we walk away, we leave a steaming pot of hatred and unrest brewing on their doorstep. We owe it to the 3,000 or so U.S. soldiers that have died. If we walk away, there deaths were for naught. We owe it to the Nations that followed us to war. If we walk away we perpetrate the image that we do not stand by our allies, that we care naught for their friendship, their allegience, their sacrifice. And we owe it to the American people. If we walk away we shame them, and we make them unsafe. The world will know that America doesn't have the stomach to fight, that America is weak, that any enemy that understands commitment can outlast us. If we walk away, we become France.

V/R
Shapley


What a bunch of melodramatic, equivocating carp.

Allies like Palau and Macedonia?

Maybe if we redeploy the rest of the world will understand we took our country back from the greedy, bloodthirsty, chickenhawk thugs who illegally and immorally invaded a sovereign nation that never directly threatened or attacked us.
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Postby barfle » Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:32 am

Shapley wrote:Barfle,

RE:
There had been demonstrable connections between Saddam and al qaeda


There were.

There is a record of a meeting between bin laden and Saddam, and it did not result im amicable relations between the two. If this is your definition of a "demonstrable connection" I'm wondering where the smiley is.

Shapley wrote:However, it really doesn't matter now whether the reason was valid or not. We're there. We're at war. We have committed to the war and now we have to see it through. Not just for the Iraqis or some bogus sense of 'closure' or whatever...we have to see it through because we have made the commitment.

Yes, it does matter. If we went there for the wrong reasons, the right thing to do is stop being wrong. I believe most Americans feel that way, and felt that way about Viet Nam, too. I was too young to have had a feeling for the politics of the Korean war, so I can't really comment beyond saying that it remains a debacle.

If there is any good to come from this, it will hopefully be a lesson to future American leaders to not get involved in foreign adventures that don't have valid, demonstrable, hard reasons behind them. From my limited research, it appears that public opinion still supports the hunt for bin laden and the support of what little government there is in Afghanistan, because we understand the reasons behind them. We realize the reasons behind our invasion of Iraq were as substantial as wet tissue paper, and do not support it.

I honestly don't know what the right answer is in Iraq. Actually, I don't believe there is a right answer, although there might be a least wrong one (partition). We've boogered the situation up far beyond any ability we might have to restore any semblance of order there. We've done the "more troops" business, and it resulted in more body bags. If there's a substantial plan for those "more troops" that has any reasonable chance of success, America has yet to see it.

Shapley wrote:The world will know that America doesn't have the stomach to fight, that America is weak, that any enemy that understands commitment can outlast us.

If we walk away, the world will understand that we realize when we've made a mistake.
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Postby Shapley » Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:17 am

Barfle,

The links go back much farther. I've posted this information before, as has Haggis. Here is one link outlining some early connections:

http://www.washtimes.com/national/20040624-112921-3401r.htm


OT,

You really should do your homework. Our allies in the invasion of Iraq include the United Kingdom, South Korea, Poland, Australia, Romania, Denmark, Georgia, El Salvador, the Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Latvia, Mongolia, Albania, Slovakia, Lithuania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovinia, Estonia, Macedonia, Kazahkhstan, & Moldava.

In addition, the following countries supplied troops for the invasion, but have since withdrawn: Italy, Ukraine, Netherlands, Spain, Japan, Bulgaria, Thailand, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Nicaragua, Singapore, Norway, Portugal, New Zealand, The Philippines, Tonga, and Iceland.

V/R
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Postby jamiebk » Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:21 am

Shapley wrote:You really should do your homework. Our allies in the invasion of Iraq include the United Kingdom, South Korea, Poland, Australia, Romania, Denmark, Georgia, El Salvador, the Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Latvia, Mongolia, Albania, Slovakia, Lithuania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovinia, Estonia, Macedonia, Kazahkhstan, & Moldava.

In addition, the following countries supplied troops for the invasion, but have since withdrawn: Italy, Ukraine, Netherlands, Spain, Japan, Bulgaria, Thailand, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Nicaragua, Singapore, Norway, Portugal, New Zealand, The Philippines, Tonga, and Iceland.


Yes...and I don't see any of them investing any more troops into the fiasco
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Postby Shapley » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:02 am

Barfle,

So, where do we go in Iraq? Do we stuff Saddam's body and put him back in power. Do we say "Sorry, guys, we really shouldn't have been here in the first place, now we're taking our toys and going home"? Do we just tell the Iraqi government "You're on your own" (like we did to South Vietnam)?

It's not like we can get an annulment here. We made the commitment, we gave birth to the new government, now we have to fulfill our duty.

V/R
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Postby barfle » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:49 am

Shapley wrote:Barfle,

So, where do we go in Iraq? Do we stuff Saddam's body and put him back in power. Do we say "Sorry, guys, we really shouldn't have been here in the first place, now we're taking our toys and going home"? Do we just tell the Iraqi government "You're on your own" (like we did to South Vietnam)?

It's not like we can get an annulment here. We made the commitment, we gave birth to the new government, now we have to fulfill our duty.

V/R
Shapley
after
barfle wrote:I honestly don't know what the right answer is in Iraq. Actually, I don't believe there is a right answer, although there might be a least wrong one (partition). We've boogered the situation up far beyond any ability we might have to restore any semblance of order there. We've done the "more troops" business, and it resulted in more body bags. If there's a substantial plan for those "more troops" that has any reasonable chance of success, America has yet to see it.
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Postby Shapley » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:18 pm

I posted a link to the reasonable plan for the use of those additional troops quite a while back. The plan employs tactics that were successfully used in Vietnam and led, I believe, to some of the discussion on the level of military success in Vietnam.

I do not know if the President's plan follows this plan exactly, but at the time I posted the link, which was before the President made his request for additional troops, it was stated that the White House was giving the plan 'serious consideration'.
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Postby barfle » Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:31 pm

At the moment, I view our presence in Iraq much like I would view a mechanic that's had my car for six months, sending me a bill for the mistakes he's made every week, and placing a lien on my car for the unpaid bills.

Now, we hear that we've botched the training of Iraqi police.
"If the administration had been serious and competent about establishing a functioning democracy in Iraq, it would have seen the need for a trustworthy criminal justice system in which all Iraqis could have confidence," Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in prepared remarks.

To be sure, we have the wherewithall to crush Iraq to a pulp, but doing so would be worse for our image than simply turning the problem over to the UN (and you already know what I think of the UN).

While I doubt if it would make very many of the neighboring countries happy, partitioning Iraq into Kurdish, Shiite, and Sunni enclaves, and letting each one declare alliance with whatever nearby entities they desire seems like the best answer to me. But I'm not dedicating 80 hours a week to studying the problem, so I could be (and probably am) wrong.
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