Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan
I promise to quit responding to your future posts and will defer to you whether you will quit responding to mine.
Since you are going on my ignore list (only Seahawks and Bengals fans, together with the banned hardwork, have made it until now - congratulations) I assume that any danger of you being bored by my failure to meet your high standards of intellectual discourse can be avoided in the future..
That's kind of sad. I was only hoping for some creative, original and intelligent discussion on the subject. I'm sorry that you feel it's somehow my fault that you were either unwilling or unable to engage me in debate. I still respect your intelligence and will continue to read your posts with great interest. And it's certainly your prerogative to ignore me.
Anyway, I was heading to a summation, so I'll go ahead and wrap it up.
There has been an awful lot of 20/20 hindsight and selective memory concerning Iraq. Maybe even a little revisionist history. If Rip Van Winkle woke up today after 5 years of sleep, this is pretty much the conclusion he could draw from what the mainstream media is touting:
?Evil George Bush, in order to create interminable military conflict, deliberately misled the entire world so he could start a war for oil. Bush also purposefully sent too few troops in order to create quagmire in Iraq. He doesn?t care about anything but oil profits and is wasting US soldier?s lives because he?s stupid and stubborn and just doesn?t care. The US should immediately pull out all its troops and the Iraqi?s sort it all out for there selves.?
I agree that the Bush administration has made horrible mistakes regarding Iraq, but too much attention has been focused on the errors themselves and not the reasons the errors occurred. I believe the following to be true based upon everything I?ve read:
- WMD. The spin is that Bush knew all along that Saddam had no WMD, and he deliberately concocted evidence in order to initiate War. There is only one problem with this theory. At no time did the UN, the US, or any of the major US allies with significant intelligence bodies ever for a second think that Saddam DID NOT have WMDs. It was very widely accepted as stone cold fact that Hussein was in possession of WMDs and was in fact working towards a nuclear program. The CIA was absolutely convinced. The US had several reports from European allies that Saddam had WMDs. This is where some of the Republicans and most of the Democrats show just how disingenuous they really are. There was nearly unanimous consent on both sides of the aisle, and I don?t mean just the rank and file, but the leadership of both parties, that Hussein was an imminent threat that had to be removed. Even Hussein?s most trusted and closest Generals believed that he had WMDs. There was a lie, alright, but it was Saddam?s lie. It was one of the greatest programs of disinformation ever, but was completely necessary for him to continue to keep control of his regime. The most important and glaring error about the WMD doesn?t have anything to do with Bush, but everything to do with the fact that nobody had any reliable intelligence coming out of Iraq.
- Insufficient troop levels. So much is made of the Shinseki ?Magic Number? of 380,000, but no one seems to remember that 380,000 was projected as the minimum to overthrow the regime. In fact, half that number of troops was actually required to win the war, and they did it in less than 40 days. The difference was going to be made up by?
- The Iraqi Army itself. Every piece of pre-war planning counted upon the Iraqi army being kept on as a peace keeping and security entity. When Paul Bremer and his flunky Walter Slocombe hoodwinked Rumsfield into disbanding the Iraqi Army, the seeds of disaster were planted. The disbanding of the Iraqi Army is one of the greatest blunders ever committed by the United States.
- Endgame or near endgame. The giant blunder created a vacuum in Iraq so large you can still hear the sucking sound. The Fedayeen already had a blue print to defeat the US, and the disbanding of the army let them blossom amidst the resulting anarchy. The insurgents knew that ?Black Hawk Down? in Mogadishu was the way to beat the unbeatable. The US has the greatest military in history, but lacks will to take casualties. Clinton made that abundantly clear when he, fearing the political backlash, pulled out all the troops from Somalia after the US suffered 73 wounded and 19 dead. The insurgency in Iraq is fueled by violent hatred of the US, but what really gives it legs is the equation that enough US dead = US withdrawal. That?s what makes Arab allied troops acting under the auspices of the UN so critical now. With UN support, the US can start redeploying and start the process of making Arab Iraq an Arab Iraq. But if we actually withdrawal before that country can stand on it?s own, God help all of us.