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Jalexson Iraq
Sunday, 19 August 2007
Withdrawal No Option
Topic: Iraq, Past wars

Those who think the United States can withdraw from Iraq with no risk to our troops aren't living in the real world.  On a playground someone who doesn't want to play any more can use his hands to make the letter "T", call "time out" and say he wants to go home.  Iraq isn't a playground.  It's a combat zone and withdrawing  from a combat zone is difficult to do without getting killed.

The first to leave might get out safely, but the last ones would have little hope.  General Douglas MacArthur was able to withdraw only a portion of his force from the Phillipines during World War II safely.  The ones left behind were captured by the Japanese.  Those who survived the Bataan Death March were badly treated in the Japanese prison camp.

The Americans who would be left behind in Iraq wouldn't end up in a prison camp, but would be tortured and killed if captured alive by al Qaeda.  An organization that will fly airliners into office buildings isn't going to just let our soldiers leave without trying to kill as many as possible.  

Soldiers have trouble defending themselves when they are moving away from the battle.  Artillery pieces cannot be moved and fired at the same time, particularly when the artillery shells are loaded in trucks.  An enemy will take advantage of the vulnerability of a retreating army and attack without having to worry about a counterattack.  Even our army would attack a retreating enemy that hadn't first surrendered.  

Leaving a battlefield safely can only be done in three basic ways:

1. Defeat the enemy like the U.S. did in World War II; partial withdrawal can occur as the enemy is weakened as happened in Vietnam and in Europe late in WWII;
2. The army can be replaced by another army as occurred in Vietnam when South Vietnamese forces gradually took over from American forces.  This process is occurring in Iraq, but very slowly.

3. Negotiate with the enemy, including surrendering to the enemy.  World War I ended with negotiations.  The final American forces left Vietnam after the U.S. negotiated a settement with the enemy that resulted in a victoy because our ally  was recognized as the government of South Vietnam - the primary U.S. goal in the Vietnam War.  

In the short run a partial withdrawal of American forces cannot be done without  high risk to those remaining until al Qaeda has been further weakened.   A withdrawal without weakening al Qaeda would allow al Qaeda to claim it is winning the war which could increase its ability to recruit new soldiers by a factor of 10 to 100.

American forces currently have only two options, complete withdrawal or no withdrawal.  Complete withdrawal would only be practical by going north. The Kurds might be able to protect withdrawing American forces leaving through  their territory, but would probably need for us to give them our tanks, artillery and possibly some of our aircraft to do so.  The U.S. might also have to sign a treaty with the Kurds stating that in case of a war between the Kurds and American NATO ally Turkey that the U.S. would not attack the Kurds.

The Kurds are the only Iraqi group that might capable of governing themselves.   A functional Iraqi government isn't currently practical.  

Neither Americans nor Iraqis understand the damage Saddam Hussein did to the Iraqi people.  Iraqis lack experience in operating a government, especially in working with members of  other ethnic groups.  Hussein attempted to eliminate anyone who might pose a threat to his leadership, including killing his own generals if he thought them capable of conducting a successful coup.  

Our own founding fathers needed two attempts to set up a successful national government and they had experience with limited self government before the American Revolution.

I realize many Americans support the Ted Kennedy approach to such matters.  You remember Kennedy.  He drove off a bridge and then went home and left his passenger to drown.

As  Secretary of State Colin Powell told President George W. Bush the "pottery barn" rule applies -- "you break it you buy it." We have a responsibility to help the Iraqis develop their own govenment without interference from al Qaeda.  We shouldn't leave them to drown because just because some compassionless politicians don't care.

They didn't ask us to eliminate the tyrant Saddam Hussein.  We are the ones who drove the car off the bridge and we should help them get out.



Posted by reasonmclucus at 12:01 AM CDT
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Sunday, 5 August 2007

Topic: Iraq, Past wars
Bush is correct about al Qaeda.  Using extreme violence can be addictive and his type of violence doesn't require large easily identifiable armies, but those who dress and act like everyone else.  

If al Qaeda can achieve a victory using such methods in Iraq others will think they can also achieve victory even though they have no realistic chance of actually taking over any country.  Al Qaeda has a chance of taking over Iraq because Saddam Hussein eliminated those capable of leadership and instilled a sense of fear in those who survived.  Incidentally, Hussein's killing of potential leaders is a major cause of the inability of the survivors of his reign to form a functional government.  

Even the Sunnis have no real leaders available, they are looking for al Qaeda or someone else to lead.  

40 years ago fictional spies fought international terrorist organizations with science fiction technology rather than foreign governments. UNCLE agent  Napoleon Solo fought Thrush.  James Bond fought Dr. No and Blofeld.  Matt Helm and Our Man Flynn fought private organizations  wanting to take over the world.

Al Qaeda may not have science fiction technology, but it has the same ambitions of the fictional organizations.  Osama bin Laden believes that he doesn't need fictional technology.  He believes he can use random terroristic violence to scare some into not fighting him and convince others to think they cannot defeat him.

Posted by reasonmclucus at 12:01 AM CDT
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Friday, 27 July 2007
President Bush Should Resign If...
Topic: Iraq, Past wars

By Jalexson

The Constitution assigns the President the exclusive power of being Commander in Chief of the nation's military forces.  The President has the sole authority to determine whether to commit troops to battle, how to conduct the battle and when to withdraw troops.  Congress may have the authority to declare war or appropriate money to fight a war, but only the President can decide if troops will fight the war.

If Congress attempts to take away President George Bush's power to determine how troops are used in a combat zone, President Bush should recognize the action as a coup that removes him from office and submit his resignation as President.  Vice President Dick Cheney should then follow his example and allow the person Congress has chosen as Bush's replacement, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, to become President.

Then if Congress' decision to retreat from Iraq resulted in a disaster, American voters would hold Pelosi and her fellow Democrats responsible for the disaster.  Democrats want  a situation in which they can claim credit for getting troops out of Iraq and they can blame George W. Bush if the action results in disaster.  If Bush resigned, Democrats wouldn't be able to blame anyone else for their mistake.

We may or may not have made a mistake by electing and reelecting George W. Bush to be president, but until the next election he is the President.  Congress should let him do the job in the way he sees fit until we have a chance to elect his successor.  Congress should not attempt to take away our ability to choose our Commander in Chief. 

Members of Congress are elected to serve local constituencies and local interests.  Only the President is elected to serve the national constituency and national interests.


Posted by reasonmclucus at 3:03 AM CDT
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Sunday, 29 April 2007
Americans Don't Give Up
Topic: Iraq, Past wars

I bought a cheap DVD with old cartoons recently at Walmart. The first one was an WWII cartoon in which Daffy Duck operates a scrap yard to support the war effort. The Nazis send in a goat to eat the scrap. Daffy initially has trouble getting rid of the goat and says "I give up". An apparent dream reminds Daffy that Americans don't give up. Daffy not only takes care of the goat, but it captures a German sub. When he "wakes up" the sub is on top of the scrap heap.

Iraq isn't the worst situation Americans have been involved in. George Washington didn't give up even after spending a very bad winter at Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War. He and his soldiers survived the winter and went on to win the war because they didn't give up.

Americans didn't give up during the War of 1812 even after British troops invaded the capital and destroyed several buildings. They kept fighting and even won an overwhelming victory in the Battle of New Orleans.

Northern Americans had trouble winning battles in the early years of the Civil War, but didn't give up. They continued to fight and eventually won the war.

Americans didn't give up in World War II even after being forced out of the Phillipines. They came back and defeated the Japanese.

Americans didn't give up in Korea even after being nearly pushed out into the sea.

The situation in Iraq doesn't come close to comparing to the difficulties Americans encountered in these wars so why do Democrats want to give up? Are they as unfamiliar with American history as the people Jay Leno interviews on Jaywalking?

Or, are they losers whose only interest is playing silly little political games? They don't care about America. They only care about their political careers. They would rather lose in Iraq than risk having a Republican President handle it successfully. Democrats want to create a disaster in Iraq so they can blame it on the Republicans


Posted by reasonmclucus at 12:01 AM CDT
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