HNN Poll: Is President Bush Likely to Lose Public Support If Soldiers Continue to Die?





Guerrillas killed two US soldiers in the region west of Baghdad, and wounded 11 (yes, 11!) others on late Thursday through Friday. In addition, US soldiers mistook Iraqi auxiliary Facilities Protection Services personnel (our guys) in Falluja for guerrillas and killed 10 of them, along with a Jordanian guard. The situation in Falluja has been tense all summer, and the temperature just went up several notches.

At this rate we would have 2000 - 4000 wounded US troops a year, and several hundred dead. It seems to me a rate of casualties that is unsustainable and inexcusable.--Juan Cole, on his blog (Sept. 13, 2003)

Recently, Lawrence F. Kaplan argued in the New Republic that while the media elite have no stomach for high casualties in Iraq, the public does.

Do you agree?

From Mr. Kaplan's article,"Willpower" (New Republic, September 8 & 15, 2003):

[T]he casualties generated in Iraq's "shooting gallery" rile the likes of [Howard] Dean and {Bob] Herbert more than they do the public at large. Well before the first shot was fired, a mass of polling data suggested the country's willingness to tolerate battle deaths in Iraq exceeded even the figures predicted in worst-case scenarios. In 1999, a massive opinion survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates for the Triangle Institute for Security Studies (tiss) asked people to name the highest number of American military deaths they would accept in a war to "prevent Iraq from obtaining weapons of mass destruction." The mean response: 29,853. A CBS News/New York Times survey last October found that 54 percent of respondents favored military action even in the event of "substantial" American casualties. Despite the failure to locate weapons of mass destruction, the war's bloody aftermath hasn't elicited much of an outcry, either. In the face of mounting casualties, 58 percent of those questioned in a July Wall Street Journal/NBC poll said American troops should stay in Iraq "as long as necessary to complete the process, even if it takes as long as five years." Another poll in July, this one for The Washington Post and ABC, found three in four respondents expected significantly more American deaths, yet seven in ten still believed U.S. forces should remain in Iraq "until civil order is restored there, even if that means continued U.S. military casualties." The most recent Washington Post survey, taken during the second week in August, shows the number of Americans who support the U.S. presence in Iraq--seven in ten--remains unchanged. Even a Newsweek poll taken in the aftermath of last week's U.N. bombing found that 60 percent of respondents support maintaining current force levels in Iraq for more than a year, with twice as many favoring staying ten years or more as supporting immediate withdrawal.

There is a story behind these numbers. In recent years, the public's unwillingness to tolerate combat deaths has become an article of faith for America's leaders. The first President Bush justified the decision to halt the Gulf war short of Baghdad on the grounds that doing otherwise would have entailed further American losses. President Clinton imbibed the same lesson after the October 1993 slaughter of crack American troops in Somalia, subsequently offering assurances to the public that any military action would endanger as few lives as possible. Clinton-era Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Hugh Shelton even devised a "Dover Test" for the use of force: "Is the American public prepared for the sight of our most precious resource coming home in flag-draped caskets into Dover Air Force Base?" According to the tiss data, the architects of U.S. foreign policy believe the answer is no. Seventy-eight percent of officers and a nearly identical percentage of their civilian counterparts agreed with the statement: "The American public will rarely tolerate large numbers of U.S. casualties in military operations." America's foes agree as well. Prior to the first Gulf war, Saddam Hussein insisted that Americans could never tolerate "ten thousand dead in one battle." For his part, Osama bin Laden boasted that the collapse of U.S. support for the operation in Somalia "convinced us that the Americans are a paper tiger." But those who insisted the American public has no stomach for casualties were wrong then, and they are wrong now. The real challenge for America's leaders will not be convincing the public to stay the course in Iraq. It will be convincing themselves.

he public has long been less fearful of casualties than America's political and military elites assume--and, for that matter, less fearful than the elites themselves. According to polls taken by the American Institute for Public Opinion (aipo), the level of support for World War II never slipped below 75 percent, even though more than 200,000 Americans had been killed by mid-1945. World War II, of course, was the "good war." But the absence of a correlation between casualties and public support holds true even in more controversial conflicts. Survey data dating back half a century consistently shows that what determines the public's willingness to tolerate casualties has little do with casualties themselves.

Specifically, polls demonstrate that Americans will sustain battle deaths if they think the United States will emerge from a conflict triumphant, if they believe the stakes justify casualties, and if the president makes a case for suffering them. Each of these measures has important implications for the operation in Iraq. "The public is defeat-phobic, not casualty-phobic," Christopher Gelpi and Peter Feaver conclude in their forthcoming book, Choosing Your Battles: American Civil-Military Relations and the Use of Force, which culls a mountain of data to prove the point. In Korea, for example, an aipo survey found that public support for the war in August 1950 was a sturdy 66 percent--despite the death of 5,000 American soldiers in the two-month-old war. By December 1950, however, that number had plummeted to 39 percent. Because of battle deaths? Probably not. Between November 1950, when Chinese forces intervened in the conflict, and the time of that survey, the United States suffered a series of devastating battlefield defeats. A few months later, once U.S. forces halted the Chinese offensive and launched their own, public support climbed--even as the number of American deaths passed the 20,000 mark. A 1994 rand corporation study even concluded that the Korea toll "led not to cries to withdraw but to a desire to escalate."

Even Vietnam, where the myth of a risk-averse public was born, proves nothing of the kind. There, too, the public's sensitivity to casualties depended on its faith in the eventual success of the mission. And, prior to the Tet Offensive in 1968, that faith remained substantially intact. Despite the more than 10,000 Americans killed by then, numerous opinion polls taken on the eve of Tet found a clear majority favored either continuing or escalating the war. According to a Harris Poll, 31 percent of those surveyed in mid-1967 cited American casualties as the most disturbing feature of the war. But, in the aftermath of Tet, which the media portrayed as a major defeat, "the impact of casualties on support tripled in size," according to Gelpi and Feaver. Within a month, the percentage of those most troubled by American losses rose to 44 percent. Even so, those favoring a withdrawal from Vietnam never comprised a majority before the Nixon administration's decision to "Vietnamize" the war, when withdrawal became official policy.

Moreover, victory isn't the only source of public resolve in the face of battle losses--a fact that has become fairly obvious throughout the past decade. "[W]hen important interests and principles have been at stake, the public has been willing to tolerate rather high casualties," Eric Larson writes in his 1996 book, Casualties and Consensus: The Historical Role of Casualties in Domestic Support for U.S. Military Operations. "In short, when we take into account the importance of the perceived benefits, the evidence of a recent decline in the willingness of the public to tolerate casualties appears rather thin."

The paramount example of this tolerance was the 1991 Gulf war. As John Mueller's book Policy and Opinion in the Gulf War shows, American casualty estimates prior to Operation Desert Storm ranged into the tens of thousands. The public was well aware of these figures. A poll taken by the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation on the eve of the ground war found that 67 percent knew about a Pentagon estimate forecasting 30,000 American deaths. Far from prompting a collapse in support, a Gallup Poll taken during the same period reported that a majority felt the Gulf crisis was worth going to war over, even if that meant up to 40,000 American deaths. Looking back at the polls, Larson details how the public's willingness to incur casualties derived from the promotion of a "number of foreign policy goals or principles in the Gulf that majorities of the public generally thought were very important"--among them, to deter further aggression by Iraq, to prevent Saddam from developing weapons of mass destruction, and to reverse Iraq's occupation of Kuwait.


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Dave Livingston - 10/6/2003

Josh,

You have yet to respond to my posting: "If you fail to consider the documentation we have about the life of Christ unconvincing why do you think, if you do, that Socrates ever lived?" After all, we have far, far more evidence that Christ walked on eatrh than we do that Socrates ever lived. But it seems generally accepted among scholars that Socrates did live. The problem with this acceptance is the only evidence we have that he did is the testimony of a single man, Plato, one who claimed to have been one of his students. If in comparison to the historical record that Chrrist Jesus walked the earth that is mighty slim evidence--but ask any historian who Socrates was & he'll quote you reams about the Socratic method, etc., no?


Josh Greenland - 9/27/2003

"Likewise, there are people today who wish He did not exist. Otherwise, they would not be fearful of and so resistant to His message."

So those who assert that Jesus Christ didn't exist are "fearful and resistant to his message"? Maybe they just don't see sufficient historical evidence of his having existed.

How do we know that what we have gotten from the New Testament is really his message? And why should anyone who isn't a christian accept what his present day followers say his message is?

"After all, He's the One who said, "The truth shall set you free." Those afraid of the truth natually enough reject Him."

What do you mean, "reject Him"? Reject what we are told that he said, or reject the notion that he ever existed?


NYGuy - 9/26/2003

While democrats talk down the U. S. economy, encouraging OPEC to take advantage of our apparent weakness, GW's leadership continues to bring us out of the the Clinton rececession. If he were properly supported at home, and the U.S. not divided, we could have a sharp world wide economic recovery next year. Good for Bush, but not the Democratic candidates.

Meanwhile immigration continues to grow as jobs arelost, putting additional pressure on the job market.

StocksView: Stocks have room to rise despite job lag
Friday September 26, 3:54 pm ET

http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/030926/column_stocks_week_1.html

“The U.S. economy emerged from recession two years ago.
But the recovery has shown a start-and-stop performance with scant improvement in the job market. Since March 2001, when the recession began, nearly 3 million jobs have been lost. Computer maker Sun Microsystems (NasdaqNM:SUNW - News) and tobacco producer R.J. Reynolds (NYSE:RJR - News) are the latest to announce major layoffs.

But job growth following a recession has lagged the stock market's gains in the past. In the early 1990s, the improvement in the labor market lagged the stock market's gains by about 18 months, according to David Sowerby, chief market analyst at Loomis Sayles & Co., a money management firm. This time, the lag is about two years.

"We will create a significant number of jobs this time, but it is a delayed process," Sowerby says.”


NYGuy - 9/26/2003

JW
“We need to start thinking of the nations of the world much the same way that we viewed the 13 colonies in 1789. We are now too close and too interdependent to do otherwise.”
NYGuy
You and I agree, and we are drawing closer in our ideas. Yes, telecommunications is making the world smaller, and its speed is improving. Not only does the world now buy goods on eBay, Amazon, etc. but Amazon is developing new marketing software that will bring the world even closer together and more interdependent and by increasing the potential for international marketing over the Internet:
Amazon.com Invades Google's Turf
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030926/ap_on_hi_te/google_advertising_2
“Unlike Google, A9 isn't trying to develop an all-purpose search engine that indexes billions of Web pages. The startup instead is zeroing in on one of search engines' sweet spots — e-commerce.
As more consumers have become comfortable with the Internet, a growing number are using search engines to review products and compare prices. The research frequently results in online sales, prompting more advertisers to pay for prominent listings in the commercial sections of Google and other search engines.”



NYGuy - 9/26/2003

JW:

You too? I have made deals with people in Uganda, Nigeria, Liberia, and a bunch of other places. A veritable fortune awaits. Unfortunately I don't have much in my bank account, so I gave them random numbers. Some people are going to get rich thanks to my efforts. :)

NYGuy

We may not agree, but I can appreciate your humanity. I, however was taught that "Charity begins at home." Have I gone wrong somewhere? :)


Dave Livingston - 9/26/2003

Jerry,

It appears you & I are largely in agreement on most aspects of the situation in Iraq. Yes, most of these reports, good & bad, probably reflect only regional conditions, but as Tip O'Neil said, "All politics is local." Ergo, the acummulation of reports on a certain theme may amount to a significant trend.

No, no reports of female G.I.s taking up with Iraqis have come to my attention. But then, perhaps no more than 2%, possibly far less, of the G.I.s serving in Iraq are female, but Rudolf Valrentino in his roles as an Arab chieftain aside, I'm aware that Arazb men sometimes seem attractive to American girls. For instance, one or perhaps, as I vaguely may recall, two of the gals to serve in the Liberia One group of Peace Corps Volunteers married Lebanese men living in Liberia. But then, perhaps they weren't really Arab, but Caanite or Phoniciean instead. Either way their cooking is darned good. But even in Liberia & Christian rather than Moslem the Lebanese traders kept their women-folk well out of sight.

The second prettiest girl, IMO, in my high school in smalltown Kansas was Lebanese American, whether Arab or whatever.

If the American occupation in Iraq is as resinted as the Leftist media would have us believe, where's the flood of refugees, a la the Vietnamese Boat People? Clearly, 1) there has been no such flood, 2) therefore the Iraqis are not desparately afraid or weary of our boys. Dog-gone it, the American civilian tends to forget that the American G.I. is simply an American boy like the boy next door here at home. Putting on the uniform does not transform him into a zombie or a brute. Look again at the movie "Platoon." It provided a fairly accurate picture of the intercourse of G.I.s & Viets, both good & bad.

As those of us who served in 'Nam know full well most of the time the Amertican G.I. got along quite swimingly with the Viets, especially the kids. Yes, there are veterans who hate the Viets, but there are also a number of former G.I.s married to Viets as well.

from my experiences as a Peace Coprp-s Volunteer in West Africa & later a soldier in 'Nam, then Germany & then back to 'Nam that youngish Americans generally along pretty well with nearly everyone. Too, I was acquainted with a fellow co-pilot in a UH-1 flying in the so-called DMZ who was roused from his nap, whilst the other guy was flying the aircraft to discover the aircrsft had crashed, presumably shot down, and to find an AK-47 stuck up his nose & who then was then marched north with the touching opportunity to spend 5 1/2 years in the Hanoi Hilton. Despite all that he 1) learned tp speak Vietnamese, 2) yet has if not an affection at least a respectful concern (less than fondness, but nothing even close to hatred for) for the North Viets.

In contrast, I retain a mild fondness for the South Viets, but the North Viets, the political types, but not the ordinary people, I'd like to see only over the sights of a gunbarrel, except for some of their soldiers, whom I respect in a way. For example, back during the post Viet-Nam War border war between the Chinese and the North Viets, circa 1980, personally I was cheering for the Viets. Go figure. :-)))



Jerry West - 9/25/2003

-
I think that there should not be any deficit financing for anything but capital improvements. The rest is bad stewardship. Bush should raise taxes now to cover the entire cost of the war and let the American people decide if they want to pay for it. If they do, fine, if not, do the democratic thing and pull out.


Jerry West - 9/25/2003

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Dave Livingston wrote:

WIII did not begin with the attacks on 9/11. Those attacks finally drove home to our self-satisfied and pampered civilian population that indeed we were again at war. WWIII was the Cold War, of which the Korean & Viet-Nam Wars were but episodes, nearer to campaigns within the Cold War than as stand-alone wars. Now we are engaged in WWIV.

JW:

Actually, I think we are in WW0. It was over shadowed by WWI-II-III and now has risen to the top again.


Jerry West - 9/25/2003

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Dave Livingston wrote:

The conquering of Iraq drove home to the entire Muslim world that all al-qaeda has accomplished with the attacks on on 9/11 was to force the loss of Afghanistan and Iraq to the West, and to drive home the point that Islamists had better not attack us lest the price it pays as a consequence is excessive.


JW:

The message could also be, given the state of the US military, that if we suck them into a couple more occupations around the world they will snap and come unglued.

If I were planning strategy here from the US side I would be very cautious and looking for snakes under every rock and bush.

If I were Al Qaeda I would strike again, and make sure that the lines tracked back to yet another place for US troops to be deployed in a hostile environment.

Fortuneately I am neither and can watch this whole sorry and stupid mess play out with dismay but little pain.

DL:

Whrether or no correspondents in this net wish to believe it or not, it appears from communications received daily from the troops in Iraq we are having considerable success in successfully beginning to remold the society.

JW:

It is probably regional and situational. There are also lots of negative reports. I think that it is far too soon to tell which way this thing will eventually go.

DL:

One sign that we're making headway was illustrated by the recent marriages of G.I.s to Iraqi girls. It was amusing to read that once we set up camp in Iraq that a non-fraterization order was issued to the troops. Right away one knew that perhaps politically necessary to attempt wouldn't work. If there are girls in the area where American boys go, boy will meet girl.

JW:

What else is new? Non-frat orders are a waste of paper. I bet that they are having wonderful interactions with the kids too.

Any report yet of a GI Jane marrying an Iraqi?


Jerry West - 9/25/2003

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NYG:

I thought it was China who opposed lowering subsidies to help the less fortunate countries since it interferes with them making profits.

JW:

Lowering subsidies is a two edged sword. One can argue that it is better to protect one's domestic industry, and in the case of Japan, ones staple food supply, by supporting ones farmers and manufacturers.

There is no guarantee that dropping subsidies would benefit most people in a developing country if it means invasion by foreign capital and the conversion of subsistance agriculture for domestic consumption to cash crop agriculture for export. Net result could be hordes of previously self sufficient farmers tossed off the land for a life of poverty in urban slums and an increase in starvation levels, not to mention conditions ripe for the rise of terrorists. Of course a few people with already too much wealth would make their pile even bigger.

NYG:

I believe the U. S. action in Iraq has great potential to make the world a better place.

JW:

It might if they only provided security, put US forces under the control of the Iraqis, let the Iraqis make all the decisions and left it solely up to a democratic decison by all Iraqis if they wanted to allow foreign control of any part of the industrial base or national infrastructure.

Else wise it is reasonable to see the US as a conquering power imposing its will on the country for its own economic benefit.

NYG:

France was a little child with no vision.

JW:

Or pehaps wiser and with much more vision than you give them credit for. It depends on where one see the real threat to the world.

NYG:

Certainly, the easier thing is to pull troops out of Germany, and Korea and use them in Iraq where we have more important priorities.

JW:

There is no good reason for US troops to be in any of those places anymore. We could pull them out of Japan, too. If we really want troops stationed all over the place to provide world stability it is time we start looking at beefing up the UN with new powers and a better decision making process as well as the power to raise funds and troops from its members.

We need to start thinking of the nations of the world much the same way that we viewed the 13 colonies in 1789. We are now too close and too interdependent to do otherwise.

NYG:

I am an equal opportunity despiser. The only difference is maybe we can give California back to Mexico if we pay them enough.

JW:

My plan has always been to apologize for the Mexican War and hand back California south of the Tehacipis along with Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. :)

NYG:

Someone from Uganda just sent me an email that his father was a political dissenter that was killed and who had $10 million dollars in a Swiss Bank account. He said he needed my help but first he had to be sure I was committed. So I sent him my bank account and password and am waiting to become a millionaire.

JW:

You too? I have made deals with people in Uganda, Nigeria, Liberia, and a bunch of other places. A veritable fortune awaits. Unfortunately I don't have much in my bank account, so I gave them random numbers. Some people are going to get rich thanks to my efforts. :)




Dave Livingston - 9/25/2003

You two have my strong agreement with you that in my conviction in too many instances execuitive pay has become, and, I would add, as has that of many sports figures', unreasonably bloated.

The Archbishop of Denver made this very point a few months ago in an address during which he referred to how wearisome is the situation of an acquaintance, a single mother, as I recall, whose salary of $37,000 kept her constantly on tenderhooks, fretting about each of $50. bill she needed to pay, performing a juggling act as sshe attempted to get along on her salary and her continual arguing with Blue Cross or with whomever over a bill of $35. or so fretting in comparison to the situation of the different world in which the CEO of the firm for she worked lives, he who who rackes in millions. There clearly is a social disconnection of vast proportions here.


Jerry West - 9/25/2003

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NYG:

I will agree that in most cases the salaries paid to business executives are way out of line. One of the worst is the one that Grasso got from the NYSE. These have a compensation committee which compares the salaries of other similar executives and then says, I guy is better and give him more. This cycle of annual pay increases keep escalating until it gets to be outrageous. I think we might be agreeing on something.

JW:

I am sure we agree on more than one thing, we just haven't hit many of the right buttons.

Personally I think that a big problem is the spreading gap between the top income earners and the average and lower ones.

Three things might help:

1) radically crank up income taxes on the upper levels of income and either use the extra revenue to supply services to the public that they are currently either paying for or not getting because they can't afford to pay for it, or crank up the basic minimum deduction to drop the lower end of income earners out of the tax pot altogether;

2) Put a limit on how much wage or salary or other benefit a company could deduct as an expense for each employee, thereby providing greater disincentives to pay higher salaries; and

3) Pegging the minimun wage to a fixed ratio the highest wage/salary/other compensations package so that high incomes in the upper levels also brings up the bottom of the pile.

As far as the illustration of VP Dick goes, the message is the interwoven nature of public position with personal (real or preceived) economic advantage. That companies close to the members of the administration are also major beneficiaries of government policy makes one wonder, and with good reason, whether we are being governed for the good of the country as a whole, or to fatten the coffers of the chosen few.

Personally I think that persons entering government should be completely divorced from any possible kind of profit from there government position outside of their government compensation package, and should be barred from re-entering the private sector in any area that where it could be even remotely perceived that they could benefit from their government service. This would be particulary true of military officers having any ties at all with the civilian defense industry, something that should be absolutely banned.

With past officers and investors of Haliburton et al in charge of the country, those companies should be barred from participating in government contracts.

We have plenty of talented and qualified people in the country, far more than we have jobs for at their level of ability. There is no need to have these overlaps that raise the spectre of conflict of interest or profiteering.




Dave Livingston - 9/25/2003

There is far more evidence available that Jesus walked this earth than there is evidence availble that Socrates ever lived. To the best of my knowledge the only evidence, far, far from proof, that Socrates ever lived is the testimony of a,un, uno, ein, but one fellow, Plato, who claimed to have been one of his students.


NYGuy - 9/25/2003

JW
You send us to a website for the Boston Globe where a reporter makes the following statements.

“Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey pointed reporters toward Cheney's public financial disclosure sheets filed with the US Office of Government Ethics. The sheets show that in 2002, Cheney received $162,392 in deferred salary from Halliburton, the oil and military contracting company he ran before running for vice president. In 2001, Cheney received $205,298 in deferred salary from Halliburton.
The 2001 salary was more than Cheney's vice presidential salary of $198,600. Cheney also is still holding 433,333 stock options.
Later the reporter tells us that:
Cheney has set up the 433,333 stock options in a charitable trust.

NYGuy

Frank Lautenberg who is also a recipient of similar severance pay packages only “points” because he has nothing to say about the correctness of Cheney’s severance pay package. After all, he would not want to be labeled a hypocrite. He hopes, as has happened here, some ignorant reporter, such as this one, who did not understand business, would then put out the political report he did. These packages are common and can be quite generous. Welch, formerly of GE, who had to reveal his expensive severance package, which includes free wine, is still receiving money from GE even though he is not employed. What I did not see was any reference by the reporter or Lautenberg that there was anything illegal.

I don’t mind the exchange of ideas, but it is so tiring educating Democrats.

According to the dictionary defer means:

to delay something until a later time; to hold back to a later time.

What is so difficult about that.

I will agree that in most cases the salaries paid to business executives are way out of line. One of the worst is the one that Grasso got from the NYSE. These have a compensation committee which compares the salaries of other similar executives and then says, I guy is better and give him more. This cycle of annual pay increases keep escalating until it gets to be outrageous. I think we might be agreeing on something.





Dave Livingston - 9/25/2003

A few days ago Josh Greenland objected to the claim that it is an objective fact that Christ Jesus Is Who He says He Is, he was a liar, or he was a madman on the grounds that it is questionable that Jesus even existed.

Josh, do you believe Socrates lived?


Dave Livingston - 9/25/2003

If this administration falls for this Red Herring I will indeed vote for anyone but Bush. The whole point of conquering Iraq was to establish a permanent military prescense in the heart of the recruiting grounds of militant Islam. Bases in Saudia Arabia & Turkey have proven nearly valueless because we couldn't freely utilize them as we deemed necessary in his conflict with al-qaaeda.

With permanent military bases in Iraq we will be able to pressure regional governments to rein in al-qaeda recruiting and financing within their borders--or else we'll do it for them. As valuable as aircraft carrier battlegroups and floasting Marine garriosns have proven to be to accomplish the mission of destroying al-qaeda we need permant facilities for major vcombar units to be established in the Middle East in circumstances in which there are no strings attached on how we may utilize those facilities in the future. In short, if Geo. W. in deference to the Almighty Dollar, the apparent reason of asking for assistance from the U.N. and from other governments in securing Iraq, has lost his guts to stay the course, I want no part of him. Bush of course wants to cut taxes, but to do so, how does he pay for the operation in Iraq?

As someone else pointed out, Bush may be making L.B.J.'s error of attempting to have both guns & butter at the same time. L.B.J. attempted to fund his pet project, The Great Society Program, while fighting the Viet-Nam War, but without raising taxes. It didn't work. As regretable as it may be to need to pay for a war, to Bush's oil patch cronies, it needs doing. IMHO tax cut or no, we need to stay the course in Iraq.


NYGuy - 9/25/2003

NYGuy

I reject your subject line babbling on, I am a deep thinker.:)

JW

World wealth distribution statistics are plentiful on the net for those who want to look into this prior to saying that it isn't so.

NYGuy

I thought it was China who opposed lowering subsidies to help the less fortunate countries since it interferes with them making profits.

JW

I notice that your looking forward does not include the French and Germans whose past you dredge up selected parts of repeatedly in order to denigrate them.

There are plenty of problems with Germany and France, they are just not germane to the Iraq issue.

NYGuy

Since France and Germany are on the Security Council I believe they do have importance in the Iraq situation. I believe the U. S. action in Iraq has great potential to make the world a better place. France has already muddied the waters with the help of Germany. I had long been like many Americans and admirer of the artistic achievements of Europe and was blinded by this subject. As I rethink the history of France and German I see nothing else that is exemplary about them. Their history of blood soaked lands is probably one of the worst in history. They have proved with their recent actions that they are not leaders. As I pointed out in prior posts, the meeting of the World Bank in the Mid-east brought forth this comment:

"This part of the world will not be able to realize its full economic potential until a just and permanent solution to the regional conflict is found and the international community makes a serious effort," Sheik Hamdan said. “

Instead of realizing that getting Iraq back on its feet and reducing terrorism will benefit all Europe who depends on oil, France was a little child with no vision. They may have to pay the price with higher oil prices and higher interest rates. And of course you remember the old saying, “When the U. S. sneezes the rest of the world catches cold.”

It is my contention that most of the rest of the world understands the potential of a stable and democratic Iraq and will support the U. S. effort in many ways over the next few months. Certainly, the easier thing is to pull troops out of Germany, and Korea and use them in Iraq where we have more important priorities.

JW

Economics is to science as witch doctors are to modern surgery. Instead of a cap and gown the regalia for graduating economists shoud be a grass skirt and a bone in their nose. :)

NYGuy

I agree, but would modify your point:

History and Economics are to science as witch doctors are to modern surgery. Instead of a cap and gown the regalia for graduating historians and economists should be a grass skirt and a bone in their nose. :)

JW

Now, I have a question: which do you despise the most, France, Germany or California? :)

NYGuy

I am an equal opportunity despiser. The only difference is maybe we can give California back to Mexico if we pay them enough. ;)

NYGuy

Your comments on Venezuela are on point. I hope we work it out. Just goes to show we should be more independent when it comes to oil. GW, Cheney, Halliburton, the oil industry, etc were right on target when they said we should be more self sufficient. I remember being in a meeting at Chase when they were talking about the world outlook for oil and the dangerous position were in. They were right soon after. But, it seems we haven’t learned much about this subject since then. And, remember, it also helps build profits. :)

JW

As Dave Livingston has said, the development of the Internet has sure allowed us to get information around unlike we have ever been able to do before.

NYGuy

While I don’t know who said it first, I have always said that the world is getting smaller because of telecommunications and technology and the speed with which we communicate is growing rapidly. This is an important part of my thinking, that we have to look at the world in a different way than in the past. This is another major revolution in history whose effect is only beginning to be felt. The changes are so fast that countries can’t afford to fall behind. That is another reason why GW’s entry into Iraq is providing the leadership necessary to show the rest of the world that terrorism will only hurt them and get more dangerous in the future. I believe most countries understand that, and while reluctant to applaud the U. S. will follow its lead.

JW

Bush and Company may be in charge of America (actually the US, a small part of America) but they certainly are not very American, at least by the standards set in our historic ideology. Compared to Washington, Paine and Jefferson they probably have more in common with George III than our early leaders.

NYGuy

The democrats say, “UN in, US out”. Seems they believe we get a better government with the UN then the one you are talking about. I think the UN may also be able to allay your concerns about the “Patriot Act.” Annan may well be our next Caesar. Now wouldn’t that be nice for all the underdeveloped nations.

JW

Look for a future version of the Patriot Act (not the same kind of patriot as the Founding Fathers for sure) to start setting severe limitations on the Internet.

NYGuy

I don’t want restrictions on the Internet. Someone from Uganda just sent me an email that his father was a political dissenter that was killed and who had $10 million dollars in a Swiss Bank account. He said he needed my help but first he had to be sure I was committed. So I sent him my bank account and password and am waiting to become a millionaire. When I do, I will take you out to diner. :)

Cheers




Dave Livingston - 9/25/2003

Friend J.L.,

It is far too soon to make an informed judgement as to whether or no the Iraqi campaign was in error. Once more, the principle reason for the campaign was to insert U.S. military power into the Middle East in such a manner as to a) persuade the governments of the lands from which al-qaeda and other militant anti-Western Islamist groups draw recruits & funding to rein in such activities, or else we'll put a stopo to it directly. The Administration has accomplished that mission.

In truth it is ironic that to put pressure upon militant Islamists we took out a secular Arab government, a government as nearly despised by al-qaeda as are we despised by it.

The conquering of Iraq drove home to the entire Muslim world that all al-qaeda has accomplished with the attacks on on 9/11 was to force the loss of Afghanistan and Iraq to the West, and to drive home the point that Islamists had better not attack us lest the price it pays as a consequence is excessive.

Whrether or no correspondents in this net wish to believe it or not, it appears from communications received daily from the troops in Iraq we are having considerable success in successfully beginning to remold the society.

One sign that we're making headway was illustrated by the recent marriages of G.I.s to Iraqi girls. It was amusing to read that once we set up camp in Iraq that a non-fraterization order was issued to the troops. Right away one knew that perhaps politically necessary to attempt wouldn't work. If there are girls in the area where American boys go, boy will meet girl.


Dave Livingston - 9/25/2003

There is a typical civilian opinion. WIII did not begin with the attacks on 9/11. Those attacks finally drove home to our self-satisfied and pampered civilian population that indeed we were again at war. WWIII was the Cold War, of which the Korean & Viet-Nam Wars were but episodes, nearer to campaigns within the Cold War than as stand-alone wars. Now we are engaged in WWIV. But as long as it was merely G.I.s dying, Marines in Beruit, sailors on the U.S.S. Cole, foreign service officers & Marine guards at our embassies, most Americans didn't give a flying F... It is that attitude that led post-9/11 to Congress dishing millions to the families of civilians killed in the WTC but letting the G.I. insurance of $10,000. for the families of the G.I.s killed in the Pentagon stand as was.


Dave Livingston - 9/25/2003

Friend James Jefferson,

"including nearly all Moslems..." is in error. Although having not watched, or rven had, a TV set for nearly a decade it is easy to recall the print news stories about Palestinians joyfully shooting AKs in the air in celebration of the attacks on 9/11 & our pals the Taliban, nor most Saudis, nor the Sudanese nor many Indonesians condemned the attacks.

James, please remove your pink-colored, for Left-think glasses.

The priest who celebrated Mass at my parish church the day before yesterday disagrees with us. In his opinion it is a religious war because militant Islamists consider it to be one.


Dave Livingston - 9/25/2003

Evidently, what I read elsewhere about what supposedly Colonel Hackworth, well regarded by most of us who fought in 'Nam, wrote about Clark was misleading, likely sour grapes. Or Hackworth expressed more than one opinion.

Jerry, one reason I appreciate your posting this item is that Yours truly, my first of two tours in lovely Viet-Nam, fought with the, First Infantry Division, THE FIRST DIVISION, was & is considered by those in the trade a, if not the, premier division in the U.S. Armee. Moreover, based upon personal experience I well know that fighting with the Big Red One, a nickname for the division, was usually in the thick of the nastiest fighting that there was. It was the first U.S. Army division deployed to Viet-Nam in 1965.

As Hackworth said, Hollingsworth was, yet alive the last I knew, three years ago, & no doubt is, if still alive, a fighting man's general. Any alcolade from him is IMHO a compliment & commendation of the highest order. Therefore Clark has depending upon what position in the future he takes on abortion and the support of "alternate lifestyles" may well have garnered my vote via your posting.


Jerry West - 9/24/2003

-
At least Slick Willie's lies were about personal matters and masses of people did not die as a result of them.

-----------------

DERRICK Z. JACKSON
Cheney's conflict with the truth

By Derrick Z. Jackson, 9/19/2003

ON "MEET THE PRESS" last Sunday, Vice President Dick Cheney said, "Since I left Halliburton to become George Bush's vice president, I've severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interests. I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven't had now, for over three years."

That is the latest White House lie.

Within 48 hours, Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey pointed reporters toward Cheney's public financial disclosure sheets filed with the US Office of Government Ethics. The sheets show that....

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2003/09/19/cheneys_conflict_with_the_truth?mode=PF


Jerry West - 9/24/2003

-
NYG:

Since you do not produce any solutions I find your comments simplistic. I attempted to broaden our discussion by looking forward, which is where we are now, but you prefer to live in the past.

JW:

Well, among other things I am somewhat of an historian. The past is kind of critical in that field. And, this is a history site of sorts.

I notice that your looking forward does not include the French and Germans whose past you dredge up selected parts of repeatedly in order to denigrate them.

If you want to look forward the solution to many of these problems lies in giving many more people around the world a better stake in peace and civility, luxury items that come when basic economic needs are met. So redistributing wealth to a greater degree is part of the solution. Even the World Bank, I believe, has stated that the developed countries are sucking the wealth out of the less developed ones and has become alarmed at the situation. World wealth distribution statistics are plentiful on the net for those who want to look into this prior to saying that it isn't so.

NYG:

No problem with the French and probably the same with Germany, but you have a list of problems with the U. S. And, of course, you have no solutions. Just bitch, bitch, bitch about the greatest country in the world.

JW:

There are plenty of problems with Germany and France, they are just not germane to the Iraq issue.

As for the US, our relationship is like that of an abused child of a criminal. One loves them but really wants them to change their ways.

NYG:

No wonder they call the subject, Political Economics.
Just another example of: “Everyone is out of step but California.”

JW:

Thanks for the article. Politial Economics is an OK title just as long as they do not try to pass it, or any economics or politics, off as science. Economics is to science as witch doctors are to modern surgery. Instead of a cap and gown the regalia for graduating economists shoud be a grass skirt and a bone in their nose. :)

Now, I have a question: which do you despise the most, France, Germany or California? :)

NYG:

OPEC Agrees Surprise Oil Cut, Prices Jump

JW:

Related to this one might also consider this item:

Venezuela may be forced to apply "diplomatic restrictions" on oil supplies to the United States of America....

http://www.vheadline.com/readnews.asp?id=11131

In case your blood pressure is too low you can also check out this site for a history of US international relations over the last 50 or so years:

http://www.killinghope.org/

The interpretations may be debatable, but the subject matter is certainly worth serious investigation.

As Dave Livingston has said, the development of the Internet has sure allowed us to get information around unlike we have ever been able to do before.

Look for a future version of the Patriot Act (not the same kind of patriot as the Founding Fathers for sure) to start setting severe limitations on the Internet.

Bush and Company may be in charge of America (actually the US, a small part of America) but they certainly are not very American, at least by the standards set in our historic ideology. Compared to Washington, Paine and Jefferson they probably have more in common with George III than our early leaders.



NYGuy - 9/24/2003

Another example of the great leadership of Jacques Chirac and his friend German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Chirac told his people, "we may freeeze in our beds this winter and many of your will be without jobs, but we taught the U. S. a lesson." What a great leader. He is getting both higher oil prices and higher interest rates for his people. No wonder the democrats want the "UN in and the U. S. out with that type of leadership.


OPEC Agrees Surprise Oil Cut, Prices Jump

"If oil prices continue to move higher, then interest rates in the G7 may need to be higher than they would otherwise be which is not good for recovery prospects," said Paul Robson, international economist at Bank One Corp in London.


NYGuy - 9/24/2003

JW,

As a fair and balanced guy I thought you would appreciate this one for your side.:)


Forecast: Recovery Hopes Are Too Rosy
2 hours, 59 minutes ago Add Business - Reuters to My Yahoo!

By Michael Kahn
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The U.S. economy faces at least another year of tepid growth despite a growing number of predictions that a stronger recovery is around the corner, according to a forecast released on Wednesday.
…………
While a recent spate of better-than-expected economic data has pushed growth forecasts to 4 percent or more for the second half of the year, the Anderson Forecast pegs growth at a modest 2.5 percent on average through the middle of 2004.

That forecast is far less optimistic than the emerging consensus. A panel of 35 economists at the National Association for Business Economics earlier this month raised its forecast for U.S. growth this year, citing tax cuts and very low interest rates.

"There is nothing to make you think we will have this spurt of growth," said the report's author, UCLA economist Ed Leamer. "I just don't see it."


NYGuy

Of course we must consider the byline.

No wonder they call the subject, Political Economics.
Just another example of: “Everyone is out of step but California.” :)


James L. Love - 9/24/2003

NY Guy:

I feel I must respond to certain of your points as follows:

1. Long Term View: I think everyone in their right mind concedes that terrorism is out there and needs to be dealt with. My opinion is that WW3 formally began with the attack on the WTC. I also agree that if the UN does nothing, then the responsibility for dealing with terrorism falls on the West, most notabaly the USA.

2. But how to deal with it? I submit that invading Iraq was about as bright as Custer going after the Sioux at the Little Big Horn. Not that the American Army is being wiped out, but the enormous costs of the war and the fracturing of the Western Alliance, plus the unification of Sadam loyalists and Terrorist Groups (Al Queda included)all were clearly foreseeable and the Bush admin discounted all of this, perhaps "thinking" that this will be easy. Well, it hasn't been and now there is a large mess that will take years, Billions of dollars and (perhaps) thousands of lifes to clean up.

3. Conclusion: So, yes we must deal with terrorists and in some cases we will have to fight them. But NOT THIS WAY. The Iraqui invasion was an enormous misadventure that we will all be paying for in many ways for years to come. For this reason, I strongly favor relieving the president of his command. His strategies and approach to dealing with the problem are incompetent in the extreme. We the people have no obligation to support wrong-headed policy. This administration has made a monumental mistake and we need to recognize that first(because they never will) and then move on with more competent leadership to deal with terrorism and repair as much of the damage as possible.

Final rhetorical questions: Do you think that Bush's actions has made the world a safer place? Make sure you include the reservists who are sweating out their tours of duty in Iraq. Also include the Iraqui people. Also include the regulars in the armed forces who now have to worry about other threats in other places that cannot be easily dealt with because we are overcommitted to the Iraqui shooting gallery. Perhaps in time all this will pass. (And I certainly hope that it will.) HOWEVER, the approach used by this administration in dealing with the problem was/is too risky to say the least. I deeply resent that these risks were undertaken in what appears to be an arrogant, unthinking and high-handed manner. I doubly resent the fact that when Bush speaks of sacrifice he means other people, his daughters safely out of harm's way while other's sons and daughters are not. Come to think of it, why does he not speak of sacrificing the tax cuts to pay for the war now, rather than passing the costs on to the next generation?


Jame L. Love - 9/24/2003

NY Guy:

I feel I must respond to certain of your points as follows:

1. Long Term View: I think everyone in their right mind concedes that terrorism is out there and needs to be dealt with. My opinion is that WW3 formally began with the attack on the WTC. I also agree that if the UN does nothing, then the responsibility for dealing with terrorism falls on the West, most notabaly the USA.

2. But how to deal with it? I submit that invading Iraq


Dave Livingston - 9/23/2003

Clarification:

It was an error on my part, if I did, to have indicated Clark is cowardly. When a company commander fighting in my little war, Viet-Nam, he thrice was decorated for valor on the battlsfield. Therefore, Colonel David Hackworth's claim that Clark is gunshy seems mistaken or is another case of sour grapes at someone else's success.

Despite my determination to never again vote for a Democrat, Clark might well garner my vote, if he'd change his Clintonesque positions on support for abortion and for homosexuals.

One reason some of the criticism of him appears to be nothing but sour grapes is one critic said, "He is able, but not as able as he thinks."


Dave Livingston - 9/23/2003

Friend James Love,

1. I agree that there is no evidence that yet has been unearthed to indicate Saddam was in possession of WMD upon the onset of the Iraqi campaign, but it is undenieal that he had used poison gas against both the Kurds and against the Iranians during their 1980-88 war. But that makes a weak argument even to me, because the WMDs I once a soldier fear are nuclear and biological, not difficult to use effectively in the open and difficult to transport poison gas on a massive scale.

But as both a onetime soldier & as a citizen I di not believe we are obligated to sit back to take the first hit, to await an instance of the spread over here of, say, smallpox. This does not mean we should attack anyone who merely hates usm, but ehen thre's evidence someone ius actively seeking weapon systems that can destroy our society it is insanse to let him try to do so unhindered.

2, the s-called debacle in Iraq is not what the Leftist, anti-American press would have us believe. This very day I received, forwarded, two emails, one from a Marine omn active duty in Iraq, who says that very thing, that things there are going much better than the horror stories spread over here. The other email was an essay by Democratic, Democratic, mind you, Congressman Jim Marshall, who says the press is lying to us.

To see the story yourself, go to, http//www.ajc.com/print/content/epaper/editions/todat/opinion_f3e6393975d4906b00ea.html


Dave Livingston - 9/23/2003

Oops,

Inteded, of course, was W.C.T.U.

One can only try for perfection, or even competence.


Dave Livingstn - 9/23/2003

J.J.,

Gotcha! T.R. WAS a Republican! Or at least, he was before he became a Bull Mooser. Too, he was an avid hunter, including something of which I strongly disapprove, trophy hunting.

But contrary to what may think, I'm no Republican. Granted, once I wuz registered as a Republican, but then once I wuz registered as a Democrat. Today? A pox on both of their houses!

But to perhaps clear things up a mite, one might conclude my politcis are sorta conservative, I presently the Secretary of the El Paso County Reform Party. By the same token, I'm a longtime member of the National Prohibition Committee.

Yes, Prohibition marches on. In fact, the W.T.C.U., headquartered right there in Minneapolis, yet exits too. So, you boozers watch out, your nasty habit is endangered.

Indeed, in 1990 Yours truly ran for governor here in Colorado on the Prohibition Party ticket, coming in first among all third party candidates, slbeit with a mere 2% of the vote cast, 8,000+ But my TV ads gave the big boys a momentary case of heartburn, "Where'd this guy come from?"

Why won't you believe some of us conservatives too strive to preserve whatever of Nature is left to us? But while we will stoutly resist raping the land & our waters that doesn't mean some limited expliotation of our natural resources should not be permitted, esprcially when necessary for national defense.

For instance, I own three partly treed gold mining claims up in High Country, above 9,000'. A creek flows through the corner of one of'em & Id raise hob if some joker chose to pollute or dam up the creek (it's another thing altogether if beaver chose to dam it up). I'd be tempted to slit his throat if he set off a fire that damaged those beautiful aspen, firs, pine & juniper.


Dave Livingston - 9/23/2003

Friend, T. Herzel,

Yes, indeed it has been far better for world peace that the U.N has existed than had it not. Moreover, it often is a vehicle for doing good in other regards, succoring refugees, for instance. Too, UNESCO certainly does good.

But it is annoying the U.N. bureaucracy continually pokes its nose into our national affairs and its militantly pro-abortionstance is abhorhent. Those are the principle reasons why I'd like us to rid ourselves of it. Foreign nationals, U.N. bureaucrats, who reside here seem to conclude merely living here gives them the right to attempt to interfere in our internal affairs.


Dave Livingston - 9/23/2003

Clearly, then there were people who wished he did not exist, which is why He was crucified. Likewise, there are people today who wish He did not exist. Otherwise, they would not be fearful of and so resistant to His message.

After all, He's the One who said, "The truth shall set you free." Those afraid of the truth natually enough reject Him.


NYGuy - 9/23/2003

Following are excepts from this article which show great hope for Iraq by its mid-east neighbors. And an appeal to expand economic growth.

World Bank Chief Scolds Rich Nations

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030923/ap_on_bi_ge/money_summit_5

Refusing to lay blame for global troubles entirely on the wealthy West, Wolfensohn said poor countries spend $200 billion on defense — more than they invest in education — which he called "another major imbalance."

The money summit, which wraps up here Wednesday, is the first such event held in an Arab country, and many delegates are calling that a good signal for the troubled region.

The host country, United Arab Emirates, opened Tuesday's session with a call on the international community to help rebuild Iraq (news - web sites) and to help bring peace in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

"The Arab world is a region of tremendous richness, diversity and potential," said Finance Minister Sheik Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

"This part of the world will not be able to realize its full economic potential until a just and permanent solution to the regional conflict is found and the international community makes a serious effort," Sheik Hamdan said.

He cited "rays of hope" in Iraq, which is hoping to recover from decades of economic mismanagement under Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) and U.N. sanctions that held back its crucial oil industry. Iraq has just announced a plan to establish a market-based economy with access to foreign investors in all segments but oil.

NYGuy

The only problem today is from the two greatest war mongering nations in history, France and Germany. Seems they haven’t learned anything from their blood stained soils


NYGuy - 9/23/2003

JW:

The solution to terrorism is not military, despite what the testosterone junkies may advocate.

NYGUY

Since you do not produce any solutions I find your comments simplistic. I attempted to broaden our discussion by looking forward, which is where we are now, but you prefer to live in the past. Your comments on my constructive ideas were dismissed as: “Do you.... yadda, yadda, yadda.” Just puts us back in the past with no new ideas or any solutions. Turns out to be just another anti-bash Bush propagandist position you present that is in a quagmire.

NYG:

....no ever said the French were smart.

JW:

That is highly debatable. Besides, if were not for the French there might not be a US today.

NYGUY

As a country that has “ sponsored, abetted and committed a raft of acts that were brutal, in opposition to basic human rights, and counter to our own ideals” I wonder how you can defend such ignorant people. Oh yes they produced a few world-renowned artists on their blood soaked soil. No problem with the French and probably the same with Germany, but you have a list of problems with the U. S. And, of course, you have no solutions. Just bitch, bitch, bitch about the greatest country in the world.

But, as a good American, I support your right to express your opinions :).

Cheers


John Kipper - 9/23/2003

Wwhile I have read many non-sequiters on this site, I have to admit that you take the cake. Your preposterous response raises inanity to new heights. My congratulations on your achievement.


ian august - 9/23/2003

john kipper, the world might be better off but the usa would not be, because our economy made a killing off the war and off of rebuilding europe, and thus we would not be the worlds only superpower that we are today,


NYGuy - 9/23/2003

Ian,

No one can believe anyone today, not even you. Thanks for the insider information into the corrupte minds we are dealing with.

Brillant.


Jerry West - 9/22/2003

-
Could this be George's salvation? :)

------------------------------------

Syria offers to send peacekeepers to Iraq

The aid comes with conditions that the UN takes over and US sets withdrawal date.

By Nicholas Blanford | Special to The Christian Science Monitor

DAMASCUS, SYRIA – With the United States facing mounting problems in Iraq, an offer of assistance is coming from an unlikely direction - Syria.

A staunch opponent to the US-led invasion of Iraq, Syria now says it is willing to dispatch peacekeeping troops to Iraq on condition that the United Nations takes over Iraq's reconstruction and the US provides a deadline for the withdrawal of American forces....

http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0923/p01s03-woiq.html



Jerry West - 9/22/2003

-
Since the topic was raised here some while back, I thought that this latest on Clark from Hackworth might be of interest:

Reporting for Duty: Wesley Clark

By David H. Hackworth

With Wesley Clark joining the Democratic presidential candidates, there are enough eager bodies pointed toward the White House to make up a rifle squad. This bunch of wannabes could make things increasingly hot for Dubya – as long as they don’t blow each other away with friendly fire.

Since Clark tossed his steel pot into the inferno, I've been constantly asked, “Hack, what do you think of the general?”

For the record, I never served with Clark. But after spending three hours interviewing the man for Maxim’s November issue, I’m impressed. He is insightful, he has his act together, he understands what makes national security tick – and he thinks on his feet somewhere around Mach 3. No big surprise, since he graduated first in his class from West Point, which puts him in the super-smart set with Robert E. Lee, Douglas MacArthur and Maxwell Taylor.

Clark was so brilliant, he was whisked off to Oxford as a Rhodes scholar and didn’t get his boots into the Vietnam mud until well after his 1966 West Point class came close to achieving the academy record for the most Purple Hearts in any one war. When he finally got there, he took over a 1st Infantry Division rifle company and was badly wounded.

Lt. Gen. James Hollingsworth, one of our Army’s most distinguished war heroes, says: “Clark took a burst of AK fire, but didn’t stop fighting. He stayed on the field till his mission was accomplished and his boys were safe. He was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart. And he earned ‘em.”

It took months for Clark to get back in shape. He had the perfect excuse, but he didn’t quit the Army to scale the corporate peaks as so many of our best and brightest did back then. Instead,....

http://www.sftt.org/cgi-bin/csNews/csNews.cgi?database=Hacks%20Target%20Homepage.db&command=viewone&op=t&id=32&rnd=871.0086235935744

or indirectly at

http://www.sftt.org/


Jerry West - 9/22/2003

-
NYG wrote:

Your argument of 50 years of U. S. terrorism history in the past are controversial and depends on one’s point view. Meanwhile, today is the first day of the rest of our lives with new players, new perspectives, new dynamics, and new leaders.

JW:

You could also say that about other acts we are labeling terrorism. Fact of the matter is we have sponsored, abetted and committed a raft of acts that were brutal, in opposition to basic human rights, and counter to our own ideals.

You can not wash those away merely by saying that they were in the past. If such an argument were valid, then one has a good case for opening all prison doors and dropping all pending charges in the courts.

NYG:

Do you.... yadda, yadda, yadda

JW:

What is the point? Believing in the assumptions in the questions you ask could well lead to my conclusions.

NYG:

Since the U. S. was attacked and Iraq was unwilling to provide the necessary proof that they would not become a terrorist nation in the future,....

JW:

That is like saying we should lock people up if they are unwilling to provide proof that they will not commit crimes in the future. If this is Bush's reasoning then the Canadian aide had it right when she used the word moron.

I wonder how many excuses for attacking Iraq will be floated and discredited before the well runs dry?

NYG:

....by not supporting the U. S. they know they are encouraging terrorists.

JW:

The solution to terrorism is not military, despite what the testosterone junkies may advocate.

NYG:

....no ever said the French were smart.

JW:

That is highly debatable. Besides, if were not for the French there might not be a US today.


NYGuy - 9/22/2003

JW

“Except the Iraq was not the seat of anti-US terrorism and in fact was an enemy of Al Qaeda, those nice folks who gave the Bushes a new lease on life.”

NYGuy

Your argument of 50 years of U. S. terrorism history in the past are controversial and depends on one’s point view. Meanwhile, today is the first day of the rest of our lives with new players, new perspectives, new dynamics, and new leaders.

Do you believe we are in the early stages of a technological revolution that is only now starting to connect the world in new ways that we have not experience before?

Do you believe that the taking down of the Twin Towers in a few hours is the outer limits of the amount of destruction that terrorist’s acts can bring upon the world over the next 10-15 years?

What level of terrorist destruction are you willing to tolerate in the future as the terrorists move ahead with developing and deploying more powerful nuclear and biological weapons?

Do you really feel safer with the U. N. protecting the world from terrorism, a task they are ill prepared for, considering the level of terrorist activity in the world today?

With the world economy now on the rebound do you think the rest of world leaders prefer an unstable world in which to do business?

These are questions we have to deal with.

Since the U. S. was attacked and Iraq was unwilling to provide the necessary proof that they would not become a terrorist nation in the future, I have no problem with the U. S. providing the leadership the U. N. cannot show. And, my opinion is that the rest of the world leaders agree and will support us in this effort. Of course I don’t expect anything from France and Germany, two countries that have a bloody history and never cared about anyone else but themselves. They are just spoilers and everyone knows it.

JW

More likely it should be interpreted as China exerting its traditional role of hegemony in East Asia, and letting both the North Koreans and US know that it does not favour the Korea thing getting out of hand, at least at this point.

It would have little to do directly with Iraq except that the Chinese might consider our entanglement in that swamp as a card in their favour when making moves in other areas.


NYGuy

You really make my point. As laggards in the technological revolution they are trying to play catch up ball, but by not supporting the U. S. they know they are encouraging terrorists. I think this just means they hurt themselves economically and further delay their ability to come into the 21st Century. And if they miscalculate they too may see how the record can be broken on taking down Two 110 story building in hours. Perhaps they will find it takes on a few minutes and there would be no need to revisit the site. This thinking also applies to Russia and other countries, except France, but then again no ever said the French were smart.

JW
Little difference between either GWB or WJC when you peel away the wrapping.

NYGuy
I would not put it that way. I believe the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. Of course there is the possibility I could be wrong. No, no that is not an answer. :)

Cheers


Jerry West - 9/22/2003

-
Dave Livingston wrote:

The Guardian" it in apparently the European tradition of journalism openly admits it hss a political bias, in its case, Left-leaning.

JW:

It is not just a European tradition, most periodicals have a political bias, some are just more blatant (honest) than others. Some would say that the US press is predominantly right of center, except for those way right of center who see it as leftist. Of course it depends on where one sees center. So what?

DL:

Lacking faith in the common sense of the American people the administration sought to use a, they thought, more politically palable reason for conquering Iraq than the true reasons.

JW:

In other words they lied and subverted democracy.

DL:

For Pete's sake, the photos and casualty lists from 9/11 made it clear to anyone with eyes that we were now again at war.

JW:

But not with Iraq, at least not concerning 911. In fact, we attacked the enemy of our enemy in this case.

And "again at war"? Perhaps we have always been at war at one level or another.

DL:

All the administration needed to do to justify taking on Iraq was to have told the American people the plain truth.

JW:

Actually the plain truth might have scuppered the whole adventure.

DL:

Who here will bet against me that a lot of American men & boys are fighting & some of them dying on the q.t.?

JW:

What else is new? Been doing that for years, and often in support of people as bad as or worse than Saddam. There is good reason that the US does not want to see an international mechanism for dealing with war crimes.

DL:

That I'm sitting here in comfort only because American men & boys are at this very moment round the world on the q.t. fighting & dying

JW:

Or that might be part of the reason that the twin towers got zapped. Just moving the war onshore.

DL:

....it is clear that if one includes mustard gas and other chemical weapons in the catergory of WMD, then the fact that Saddam's gov't had killed tens of thousands of Kurds and Iranians with poison gas is proof enough that he had that type of weapon. But of course, if one does not consider poison gas a WMD, then it looks Saddam was merely attempting to acquire nuclear and biological weapons.

JW:

Ah, but we tolerated, maybe encouraged, the killing of the Iranians, and we sold out the Kurds. Not to mention years of support and what not for SH. There is more than one set of dirty hands here.

And merely attempting to acquire is an excuse for the invasion? So far it looks like he got rid of most of his stuff and that the inspections were working.

What next, we start attacking countries for thinking about something? Or maybe just thinking that they are thinking?

DL:

The casualities we are taking in Iraq are petty to what we took in 'Nam.

JW:

Yep, but there was a reasonable expection of more casualties in RVN than there is now in Iraq. And the bogus reasons for the war were less obvious.

DL:

Once an officer reaches Field Grade, Major, he & his peers tend to pass out decorations to each other as if they were toys from corn flakes boxes.

JW:

And don't we know it.

DL:

As a fellow pointed out in a posting in a different thread, "This is a religious war."

JW:

That is a facile analysis. Religion is a convenient organizing tool and cover for other motives, but without other conditions and motivations there would probably be no war.

Interesting piece in the NYT on this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/22/opinion/22PAPE.html?th

James L. Love wrote:

Bush in factual comparison will not fare well. While others paid their dues in Nam and won their decorations, he served his country in the Texas Air National Guard, insuring that the Mexican Air Force never violated American air space.

JW:

It is worse than that. One can hardly say that he served his country as he spent a lot of time absent to the point, some say, of desertion.

In general I agree with much of James' entire post and that of James Jefferson.

NYG wrote:

What the U. S. has done, in its invasion of Iraq, is to finally bring terrorism to the front and set a standard that it can not be tolerated in any stage of its existence.

JW:

Except the Iraq was not the seat of anti-US terrorism and in fact was an enemy of Al Qaeda, those nice folks who gave the Bushes a new lease on life.

And if the US was truly serious about not tolerating terrorism, it would address its own role as a terrorist and supporter of terrorists over the past 50 years and clean up its own act first.

The US fighting terrorism is kind of like an unrepentent Larry Flynt announcing a fight against porn, except his of course.

NYG:

I read where they (China) recently were redeploying troops along their border with North Korea. Can this be interpreted as support for our policy in Iraq?

JW:

More likely it should be interpreted as China exerting its traditional role of hegemony in East Asia, and letting both the North Koreans and US know that it does not favour the Korea thing getting out of hand, at least at this point.

It would have little to do directly with Iraq except that the Chinese might consider our entanglement in that swamp as a card in their favour when making moves in other areas.

As for Wesley Clark, he is the conservative back-up to put in power if GWB goes down in flames. Note his support from the Clinton bunch, not exactly the most progressive Democrats. Little difference between either GWB or WJC when you peel away the wrapping.





NYGuy - 9/22/2003

Every argument begins with a starting point and where one starts usually determines what ones answer is. It seems many arguments are based on past history and ignore important long term trends that are having a profound on the world today.

My comments on the electronic, computer, telecommunications revolution are so simplistic that it is easy to dismiss them. But, one can not deny that the world is getting smaller and more interrelated as telecommunications increases and becomes available to anyone worldwide, while at the same time communication gets faster each year. This gives voice to more people and makes everyone aware of terrorism and how no one is immune.

The concept of the UN sounds good in theory but fails in practice. What the U. S. has done, in its invasion of Iraq, is to finally bring terrorism to the front and set a standard that it can not be tolerated in any stage of its existence. This can not be done by debating societies but by the collective action of the major world powers. First we must acknowledge that all countries are looking at the long term in developing their policies

Two simplistic examples: One China is trying to become a big power in world trade since its consumption at home is not able to provide the growth it needs. Allowing terrorism to exist or grow, particularly if it involved biological and nuclear attacks not only hurts their trade but threatens their people at home. I read where they recently were redeploying troops along their border with North Korea. Can this be interpreted as support for our policy in Iraq? Possibly.

We are also shipping about 1.0 million jobs/year overseas which are benefiting countries in Asia. Terrorist acts only make these interelationships with other countries less attactive.

If one gets past France and Germany, two countries who have provided no leadership to the world but both have a bloody history, I don't believe we will find as much unwillingness to help the U. S. efforts. After all stopping terrorism, and posssibley the developmnet of nuclear weapons among rogue states benefits all. The U. S. has provided the leadership when the U. N. could not and I am sure that world leaders would prefer to follow the U. S. rather than go back to a do nothing debating society. Look at what countries do not what they say. It may take a little time to work out but I believe support for our actions will continue to grow.

As for military leaders we can learn from Abraham Lincoln who found out that having the rank of General does not qualify one for getting the job done.

So the world has a simple choice support GW and the start the U. S. has made on terrorism or put us all back in the dark ages.

Meanwhile, GW has engineered the economic recovery that he inherited from Clinton and we should have happy days in 2004. Meanwhile the world economy is also beginning to recover. So it is possible that the shallow, partisan critizism of our President may be unfounded because those who make such statements don't know what is going on in the wordl.


Josh Greenland - 9/22/2003

There are incidents in history that are not properly subject to reinterpretation.

For instance, Christ Jesus was either 1) Who He said He Is, 2) he was a liar or 3) he was a madman. That, IMHO, is objective fact. Not so?

No. 4) He could also have had his actions and words so distorted that he isn't the person many believe him to be, or 5) perhaps he didn't exist.


John Kipper - 9/22/2003

Two apologies, one for double posting, the other for the error in the first sentence. I should have said for the past five decades, not three.


John Kipper - 9/22/2003

Pardon me, but I do believe that almost every reputable military/dipolomatic historian of the last three decades (along with the written record of both the Nazi German General Staff and diplomatic corps) agrees that Hitler's regime could not have survived an Allied preemptive strike into the Rhineland in 1936. The historians Kagan, Keegan, Liddell Hart, Taylor, Trevor- Roper, ; the German generals, Beck, Guderian, even the opportunist Von Pappen and such interested parties such as Churchill and Roosevelt all agree on this. My point, despite your facile and sophomoric interpretation of the history of Europe, was that an intervention at this point would have toppled the Hitler regime and thus avoided the European war of 1939.

Would this intervention have been aggressive, or merely proactive self-defense? I know that this kind of distinction may be beyond your perception, but would it have not been better to send in 2-3 Allied divisions in order to avoid the millions of caualties, both civilian and military, in the ensuing decade and beyond?

Just looking at the numbers of it, any sane person would have to agree that preemption, in this case, was not only morally justified, but a moral imperative. Unless, of course, it doesn't fit into your political agenda. In fact the evidence proves that French preemption would have prevented the breakout of World War II in Europe. And this would have been aggression? NOT!


John Kipper - 9/22/2003

Pardon me, but I do believe that almost every reputable military/dipolomatic historian of the last three decades (along with the written record of both the Nazi German General Staff and diplomatic corps) agrees that Hitler's regime could not have survived an Allied preemptive strike into the Rhineland in 1936. The historians Kagan, Keegan, Liddell Hart, Taylor, Trevor- Roper, ; the German generals, Beck, Guderian, even the opportunist Von Pappen and such interested parties such as Churchill and Roosevelt all agree on this. My point, despite your facile and sophomoric interpretation of the history of Europe, was that an intervention at this point would have toppled the Hitler regime and thus avoided the European war of 1939.

Would this intervention have been aggressive, or merely proactive self-defense? I know that this kind of distinction may be beyond your perception, but would it have not been better to send in 2-3 Allied divisions in order to avoid the millions of caualties, both civilian and military, in the ensuing decade and beyond?

Just looking at the numbers of it, any sane person would have to agree that preemption, in this case, was not only morally justified, but a moral imperative. Unless, of course, it doesn't fit into your political agenda. In fact the evidence proves that French preemption would have prevented the breakout of World War II in Europe. And this would have been aggression? NOT!


James Jefferson - 9/22/2003


I basically agree with James Love, and think Dave Livingston, though well-intentioned, is mistaken on a couple of his points. The deliberate conflating of 9-11 with Saddam in the public minds was a careful strategy hatched at the "Project for a New American Century" and implemented starting on the very day of Sept 11th. I agree with James, though, that even worse than this massive deception is the incompetence of the Bush crew. We have had Presidents who lied to us before, but could you imagine massive international demonstrations against FDR a mere 12-18 months after Pearl Harbor ?

No, Dave, it IS not a "religious war" (practically the whole world, including nearly all Moslems, condemned the 9-11 attacks) but Osama and his buddies want it to BECOME one, and Bush and his blundering hypocrites are so far helping Osama's wish come closer to fulfillment. Whether or not Bush wins the election he is doomed in the hereafter for that horrible abetting, done only for personal short-term political aggrandizement.


J. Johnson - 9/22/2003


Dave, I invite you to take a good look at Pres. Bush's forestry record and plans, and at what conservative conservationists like Theodore Roosevelt IV have to say about Bush's energy and environmental polices generally, and compare that to what your Colorado Congressman Udall is saying, for instance, before assuming Republicans are necessarily better than Democrats for what you (and I believe in). I enjoy visiting my Colorado relatives and wish you luck in preserving the viability of your wonderful outdoors there.


James L. Love - 9/22/2003


David:

I appreciate your reasoned response. My follow up comments below:

1. On WMD's: Technicalities aside, there is no evidence of such weapons on the scale and in the timeframe that the admin said Iraq possessed them. So, if lying and character count, this administration flunks its own character litmus test.

2. Debacle in Iraq: What makes it a debacle is much more than body counts. Yes, the KIA numbers are comparatively smaller than other conflicts. However, the costs (billions passed on to the next generation which has no say), the deprioritization of other important programs which could sorely use the money that is being squandered and the polarization of American society qualify the Iraqui adventure as a debacle that we will continue to pay for for years to come. (So, no, I am not confusing it with something like Dien Bien Phu.)

3. Clark may not be a genuine war hero, but he may do until the real thing comes along. It's perception and not proven performance that matters in the political wonderland anyways. If it can be sold, then he's a viable candidate. If not, the Dems have no viable candidate. Besides, Bush in factual comparison will not fare well. While others paid their dues in Nam and won their decorations, he served his country in the Texas Air National Guard, insuring that the Mexican Air Force never violated American air space.

4. Your last point of strong exception: Here I object strenuously to the assumption that if I'm against invading Iraq I'm automatically in denial about World War III having already begun. Please understand my view is that we are at war and must fight. I even concede that even though Bush has blundered badly in Iraq that we have to see it through. What I objected to then and object to now is incompetence. Bush and his advisors have pursued an idiotic policy that has only made the world less safe for the USA. They have fractured the Atlantic Alliance, united our enemies (and here I thought good strategy was to divide and conquer)and generally used a blunt instrument, when a certain diplomatic finesse was required. Al Quida and Sadam loyalists are now bedfellows. Our military operations have managed to convert Iraq under our occupation into a kind of arabic Alamo. The more we kill and are killed, the more martys we convert to their cause.

And they will never forget the invasion.


Dave Livingston - 9/22/2003

It is a scratch on the slate in the cherry tree column that Bush owned up to Saddam not being involved in 9/11. According to a story carried on "Fox News.com" today Khalid Shaikh Mohammed ( I sure like these Arab names, if I make a typo, no-one realizes it) serious planning for 9/11 was begun in 1996.

Guess which "I loath the military, lying, cowardly pot-smoking skirt-chaser was then in the White House? Never mind Geo. W. was nearly as much of a draft dodger as Willie by hiding out in the Nat'l Guard. It was on Chicken Willie's watch that the perception of U.S. unresolve and weakness was transmitted to those who hate us.


ian august - 9/21/2003

you say "Actually a leading NYC bank economist said he was not changing his 2004 figures on the deficit because of this as well as a rebound in the economy. "


with the high level of corruption today how does one even begin to believe bank economists, let alone quote them


Dave Livingston - 9/21/2003

One calling him or herself T. Herzel,

:-))) I'll take the pardon & go grab a cup of tea, thereby having a use for the hot water in which I suddenly find myself.

Of course, the U.N. hasn't worked very well as a peace-keepper. For starters, the great powers do whatever they will regardless the yammering in the U.N. building. And to keep the peace it is nrecessary that there be a peace to be kept, or at least a slackening of the shooting. Moreover, many times peace-keepers are drawn from nations whose troops haven't been in a shooting war in years, decades & in some cases, not in living memory. Ergo, what kind of soldiers are they? Toy ones, IMHO. Too, it is fruitless to attempt to rely upon the U.N. in dealing with al-qaeda. Al-qaeda is not a member of the U.N.



For all I'd prefer the U.N. get out of the U.S. & the U.S. out of the U.N. it sdometimes serves as a useful vehicle to accomplish someting positive. It was useful in helping East Timor to quite Indonesia.


Dave Livingston - 9/21/2003

Brother John (I nearly resisted "Dear John"),

Certainly, like anyone fond of the out-of-doors, after all, I live on five heavily treed (Ponderosa PIne mostly) acres a few miles NE of town, I strongly oppose clear-cutting. My brother-in-law, a fellow Viet-Nam War veteran, hunter & a retired U.S. Forest Service firefighter-cum-fire-fighting instructor would surely agree that clear-cutting is muy malo.
Clear-cutting and fire are the bane of something, forest and its creatures, very dear to us, regardless he lives in California & I in Colorado.

Lest you'd forgotten, in Colorado, as in most states, the principle source of funding for game management derives from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. As a set hunters & fishermen are dereply committed to preservation of forests, our waters and their creatures.

Moreover, us Christians are admonished to husband, not despoil, God's creation and His creatures. We were granted dominance over His creatures on the condition we take proper good care of them. This means we may harvest game for our use, but we must not kill wastefully. After all, the creatures are His, not ours. You wamnna mess with Him, da Man? :-)))


Dave Livingston - 9/21/2003

Jerry,

I've developed a fondness for you & for a few other of the fellows in this net. It does not upset me in the least to concede to superior knowledge and intellect to most of those who make postings here.

As a student of history, B.A., Univ. of Kansas, 1965, certainly I see the point that reinterpretations of history are poper given new information. Oh golly, look at what areial photography has done for historians by locating forgotten hill forts in England, for instance. But as a fellow more or less ssid, "A tree is not a frog, nor may it be redefined as one."

There are incidents in history that are not properly subject to reinterpretation.

For instance, Christ Jesus was either 1) Who He said He Is, 2) he was a liar or 3) he was a madman. That, IMHO, is objective fact. Not so?


P.S.: If you'll send me a snailmail address or an email one, I'd delight in sharing with you a short story of how the mere sharing of a little bit of historical knowledge evidently saved one life, or perhaps several lives. True story, & noting to do with the Viet-Nam War nor with the armed forces in any regard.


Dave Livingston - 9/21/2003

"...on its own merit.." ?

That being the case, I'll concede the point. If it is an objective fact, then amount of Clintonesque parsing of words may get around it regardless I deeply distrust "The Guardian." One reaso n I distrust "zThe Guardian" it in apparently the European tradition of journalism openly admits it hss a political bias, in its case, Left-leaning. Once-upon-a-time I subscribed to "The Guardian," but that was quite a few moons ago.





Dave Livingston - 9/21/2003

James Love, my friend,

You certainly have my strong agreement with your first point, Bush & his gang lied about the reasons he thought it necessary to conquer Iraq, but it is clear that if one includes mustard gas and other chemical weapons in the catergory of WMD, then the fact that Saddam's gov't had killed tens of thousands of Kurds and Iranians with poison gas is proof enough that he had that type of weapon. But of course, if one does not consider poison gas a WMD, then it looks Saddam was merely attempting to acquire nuclear and biological weapons.

"Debacle in Iraq?" The casualities we are taking in Iraq are petty to what we took in 'Nam. Throughout the Viet-Nam War, '65-'73 we took roughluy 100 KIAs a day in addition to our WIAs. Of course, WWII was worse and made made even worse because our casualities were taken in a more compressed time frame than in 'Nam. Moreover, our national population in 1970 was approximately twice what it had been during WWII. As a consequence, the home front was harder hit by battlefield losses during WWII than during Viet-Nam. In comparison, today's one, two, three G>i.s KIA in a day is less than the number of those Americans to die in drownings and of no great national consequence, eccept to those who are casualities & to seek to thwart our effort in Iraq.

As time passes, it is looking more & more you may be correct that Rumsfeld is to Bush as Robert Strange McNamara was to L.B.J.

A retired general with recent combat experience? What war? w
What experience? Colonel David Hackworth refers to Clark as a REMF, a rear echelon gunshy sissie. The fruit salad on Clark's tunic doesn't impress me. Once an officer reaches Field Grade, Major, he & his peers tend to pass out decorations to each other as if they were toys from corn flakes boxes. In fact, there are decorations, feel-good ones given for jobs well done virtually reserved to higher ranking officers.

In regard to "Bush was wrong [to attack Iraq]" There I take strong exception to what you say. Is there anyone in this net unaware that we are at war with, were attacked by on 9/11, militant Islamic elements? It matters not that great clashes of armored forces are not occurring on each of the continents, nonetheless we are engaged in a war being fought worldwide. It is the U.S and Russia which are the Western nations, if one may include Russia as Western in this context, which are most visibily at war with militant Islam.

As a fellow pointed out in a posting in a different thread, "This is a religious war."



Dave Livingston - 9/21/2003

Jerry,

Yes, indeed, the administration has lied time-after-time on Iraq, but by the same token at least one member of it has admitted that they did so. Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolowitz said, more or less, "We settled on the threat of WMD because it was one justification on which we all [the policy wonks] could agree upon." Lacking faith in the common sense of the American people the administration sought to use a, they thought, more politically palable reason for conquering Iraq than the true reasons. For Pete's sake, the photos and casualty lists from 9/11 made it clear to anyone with eyes that we were now again at war . All the administration needed to do to justify taking on Iraq was to have told the American people the plain truth. Just as the people now back our remaining in Iraq until we set it staight they would have gone along with the President had he told us the truth.

This is to me another example of Washington, D.C.s' artificality, a place divorced from the real America. Once there politicians no longer represent their constiuants to the Federal, not national, government, they quicky, usually become enarmoured of the place and the power they weild. Congressmen end up representing Washington to the folks back home rather than representing the folks back home. Can I be the only person sworn to defend the Constitution to conclude that is about, past, time we cleaned the place out root & branch.

As was noted in an editorial in pur paper, this, Colorado Springs, by & large, a conservative town, There is a recommendation from some body the U.S. establish a second vice-presidency to maintain the line of succession in case a terrorist attacvk takes out both the President and Vice-President. Humbug! said our paper. It went on to point out ours is a Federal gov't. If the entire line of succession in D.C. is killed off, decapitating the Federal gov't. So what? Because ours is not [in theory at least] an ational gov't (Was it Hamilton who wanted to use the term national gov't instead of the term federal gov't in a certain circumstance, but was over-ruled?)

Our paper masde the point that if D.C. & all its parasites were wiped out in a single blow, so what? The states independently governed could simply call a Constitutional convention to re-establih the federal gov't. Not so?

Of course, the paper didn't say if D.C. were wiped out the result just as probably would be a birth of several nations in lieu of the U.S. of A., especially us Westerners not too fond of the urban near city-states on the two coasts.

Youse Bleed'n Heart Liberals belly-ache all you want, yours truly is glad we have a President with the gumption and determination to lead the defense of the U.S. Who here will bet against me that a lot of American men & boys are fighting & some of them dying on the q.t.? That there isn't an exceedingly vicious and bloody covert war being waged out of sight of "New York Times" and other reporters? How else has al-qaeda has been prevented from following up with multiple strikes after 9/11?

Like you guys, today I'm a Mondasy Morning Quarterback, but my nose tells me that there is a lot of fighting going on sub rosa. That I'm sitting here in comfort only because American men & boys are at this very moment round the world on the q.t. fighting & dying


NYGuy - 9/21/2003

Jerry,

I appreciate your bringing us these articles but am not sure what to make of them.

I had learned as a journalist that the first paragraph should be a summary of what the article was about so one did not have to read the entire article to get the what it was about. Although I guess Gumbel did that, his real message was an anti-Bush tirade.

Another saying in journalism is it takes two points to make a trend and I guess that is what Pearle found to conclude that that there is a rebellion going on in the country:

"Public opinion is beginning to rebel against the failed policies of the Bush administration - and against their enormous costs in money, human casualties, and chaos."

And finally how could you trust someone who says the "French were right" when they and German have been two of the bloodiest countries in the world. Could anyone really look to them for leadership with their history?


James L. Love - 9/21/2003

Polls on past wars notwithstanding, the mounting casualties in Iraq will seriously impair Bush's reelection prospects because of two additional factors:

1. Bush at worst lied or (at best) misled everybody in getting the USA into this mess. There are no weapons of mass destruction and Iraq was not involved in 9/11. You can watch for firings and resignations of high officials in the Defense Department in future months in desperate attempts to deflect blame for the ongoing debacle in Iraq.


2. As commander-in-cheif, Bush has demonstrated his incompetence by allowing political/ideological arguments to shape war policy. Rumsfeld is to Bush what McNamara was to LBJ: full of ideas, influential and wrong.

In view of this, the Democrats have suddenly realized that the issue for next year's campagn is not whether or the electorate should support a global war on terrorism or even the war in Iraq. (It is too late to turn back now for the latter.) No, the issue will be whether or not the electorate should support a cheif executive who is both incompetent and (possibly)someone who could teach Bill Clinton a thing or two about big-time lying.

Why do you suppose that the recently announced candidacy of a Silver Starred Southener, who is a retired General with recent combat experience has sparked so much interest?

Answer to the rhetorical question: Because the (growing) bipartisan opposition to Bush knows that a true war hero has the right and the credibility to say that Bush was wrong, likely misinformed and will only make things worse if allowed to continue.

And it will stick.


James L. Love - 9/21/2003

Polls on past wars notwithstanding, the mounting casualties in Iraq will seriously impair Bush's reelection prospects because of two additional factors:

1. Bush at worst lied or (at best) misled everybody in getting the USA into this mess. There are no weapons of mass destruction and Iraq was not involved in 9/11. You can watch for firings and resignations of high officials in the Defense Department in future months in desperate attempts to deflect blame for the ongoing debacle in Iraq.


2. As commander-in-cheif, Bush has demonstrated his incompetence by allowing political/ideological arguments to shape war policy. Rumsfeld is to Bush what McNamara was to LBJ: full of ideas, influential and wrong.

In view of this, the Democrats have suddenly realized that the issue for next year's campagn is not whether or the electorate should support a global war on terrorism or even the war in Iraq. (It is too late to turn back now for the latter.) No, the issue will be whether or not the electorate should support a cheif executive who is both incompetent and (possibly)someone who could teach Bill Clinton a thing or two about big-time lying.

Why do you suppose that the recently announced candidacy of a Silver Starred Southener, who is a retired General with recent combat experience has sparked so much interest?

Answer to the rhetorical question: Because the (growing) bipartisan opposition to Bush knows that a true war hero has the right and the credibility to say that Bush was wrong, likely misinformed and will only make things worse if allowed to continue.

And it will stick.


James L. Love - 9/21/2003

Polls on past wars notwithstanding, the mounting casualties in Iraq will seriously impair Bush's reelection prospects because of two additional factors:

1. Bush at worst lied or (at best) misled everybody in getting the USA into this mess. There are no weapons of mass destruction and Iraq was not involved in 9/11. You can watch for firings and resignations of high officials in the Defense Department in future months in desperate attempts to deflect blame for the ongoing debacle in Iraq.


2. As commander-in-cheif, Bush has demonstrated his incompetence by allowing political/ideological arguments to shape war policy. Rumsfeld is to Bush what McNamara was to LBJ: full of ideas, influential and wrong.

In view of this, the Democrats have suddenly realized that the issue for next year's campagn is not whether or the electorate should support a global war on terrorism or even the war in Iraq. (It is too late to turn back now for the latter.) No, the issue will be whether or not the electorate should support a cheif executive who is both incompetent and (possibly)someone who could teach Bill Clinton a thing or two about big-time lying.

Why do you suppose that the recently announced candidacy of a Silver Starred Southener, who is a retired General with recent combat experience has sparked so much interest?

Answer to the rhetorical question: Because the (growing) bipartisan opposition to Bush knows that a true war hero has the right and the credibility to say that Bush was wrong, likely misinformed and will only make things worse if allowed to continue.

And it will stick.


Thomas McGrath - 9/21/2003

"...the policy wonks did not trust the American people enough to tell us the true reasons why the invasion was necessary..." because they knew the American people would have blown off their arguments. The neo-conservative construct that by application of violent force the United States can impose democracy on, and change the culture of, hundreds of millions of people in the Middle East and Southwest Asia is wrong. The invasion of Iraq has not made us more secure, nor will it.


Jake Lee - 9/20/2003

Jerry, it is worse than you imagine. The Romans and 19th century Brits were brutal and exploitative but their empires were genuine, long-lasting and based on the far-sighted visions of skilled rulers.

What we have now in the White House is a wet-behind-the-ears novice trying to temporarily ape the military policy of Likudnik Israelis, but finance it with tax cuts. The "empire" of our non-nation-builder in Washington is a phony two-year stunt designed to cover up the disaster of 9-11 and make an empty Presidency look brave and bold. He took us from 99% support in the UN to 95% opposition in little over a year, and all in order to stage photos of a toppling statue in Baghdad and an aircraft carrier scraping up against San Diego surfers, for later use as campaign sound-bites.

The only thing long-lasting about Dubya's "empire" is the international mess his successors have to clean up.


T. Herzel - 9/20/2003


You are pardoned, Dave (for not reading my comment). I did not at all say that the UN was set up for "peace-keeping". The point I thought I made clear was that unilateral preemptive aggression (of the kind now advocated by service-evaders in our national government, and by Mr.Kipper here), having produced the unintended consequences of many devastating wars, in particular the two world wars of 1914-45, was the impetus for organizing collective security procedures through the UN in 1945. The UN has not worked out all that well either, but having it is much better than having a Somme or Monte Cassio every twenty years in Europe.


J. Johnson - 9/20/2003

Dear Dave,

I hope your childrens' love of fishing, hunting and camping is coupled with an awareness that these American pastimes are not compatible with massive clear-cutting of the national forests
(which has zilch to do with fire prevention, ask any fire fighter). There is no doubt that the Democratic Party has slipped since the days of JFK, and also little question that the Republican Party has plunged since the days of conservationist Teddy Roosevelt.

I remember the 1960s (as a school pupil not a teacher then) and your post brings back some nostalgic recollections. I am not all convinced, however, that all blame can be put on one political party or the other for the sad reality the most kids today, even in the "affluent suburbs", are not able to walk to school, play ball in vacant lots, build forts and camp out in undeveloped canyons nearby etc. the way I remember doing. And I wonder where your attention has been in the decades since the 1960s. Do you really think that Jimmy Carter was given the Nobel Peace Prize last year, or Bill Clinton invited to Bosnia this week, because they supported background checks for gun buyers ?


Josh Greenland - 9/20/2003

I think you're right. And I think one specific reason the US went into Iraq was to replace the bases we are pulling out of in Saudi Arabia (to give in to an Al Qaeda demand and to take pressure off the Saudi monarchy). Months ago top military people were saying that we may have 4 permanent bases in Iraq.


Jerry West - 9/20/2003

-
A few more articles that crossed my desk today discussing Bush's fate and the Iraq mess:

----------------------------

White House is ambushed by criticism from America's military community
By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles

20 September 2003

George Bush probably owes his presidency to the absentee military voters who nudged his tally in Florida decisively past Al Gore's. But now, with Iraq in chaos and the reasons for going to war there mired in controversy, an increasingly disgruntled military poses perhaps the gravest immediate threat to his political future, just one year before the presidential elections.

From Vietnam veterans to fresh young recruits, from seasoned officers to anxious mothers worried about their sons' safety on the streets of Baghdad and Fallujah, the military community is growing ever more vocal in its opposition to the White House.

"I once believed....

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=445128

-------------------------------

Patrick Seale: Americans know they have gone well past the point of no return

19-09-2003

I came back from a visit to Washington this week with one overwhelming impression: US thinking on the Middle East is going through a profound revolution. Public opinion is beginning to rebel against the failed policies of the Bush administration - and against their enormous costs in money, human casualties, and chaos.

The tide is turning against the architects of these policies - in particular against Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his closest Pentagon aides, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith - who now find themselves on the defensive, having got the US in the mess it is in. Some observers of the American political scene believe these men could lose their jobs before the end of the year, and many think they should.

The leading advocates of America's muscular, unilateralist approach to foreign policy were the so-called 'neo-cons', a powerful right-wing group of senior US officials and their supporters in the media and in Washington's numerous lobbies and think-tanks, many of them close to Israel's hard-line Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Likud party.

The neo-cons pressed for war against Saddam Hussain, arguing that it would lead to the defeat of Arab and Islamic radicals, the rout of the terrorists, the 'reform' of the entire Middle East on democratic lines, and the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict in Israel's favour. The road to Occupied Jerusalem, they proclaimed, lay through Baghdad.

The swift collapse of Saddam's regime marked the high-point of the neo-cons' political fortunes. Throughout this period, Bush enjoyed the almost unqualified support of the US Congress, while the American press and television echoed the triumphalist tone of the administration.

All this has now changed. The American public is....

http://www.gulfnews.com/Articles/opinion.asp?ArticleID=97923

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Pride and Prejudices

Newsweek Web Exclusive

A sturdy-looking American matron in the audience at the American University of Paris grew redder by the second. She was listening to a panel talking about the Iraq war and its effect on U.S.-French relations, and she kept nodding her head like a pump building emotional pressure.

FINALLY SHE exploded: "Surely these can't be the only reasons we invaded Iraq!" the woman thundered, half scolding, but also half pleading. "Surely not!"

What first upset her was my suggestion that, looking back, the French were right. They tried to stop the United States and Britain from rushing headlong into this mess. Don't we wish they'd succeeded? (Readers, please address hate mail to shadowland@newsweek.com)

Then she listened as another panelist and I went through the now-familiar recitation of Washington's claims before the war, and the too-familiar realities since: the failure to find weapons of mass destruction and the inevitable conclusion that Saddam Hussein was not the threat he was cracked up to be, the fantasy that this war could be waged on the cheap rather than the $1 billion per week American taxpayers are now spending, the claim that occupation--called "liberation"--would be short and sweet, when in fact American men and women continue to be shot and blown up every day with no end in sight.

As we went down the list, I could see the Nodding Woman's problem was not that she didn't believe us, it was that she did. She just desperately wanted other reasons, better reasons, some she could consider valid reasons for the price that Americans are paying in blood and treasure.

It's not the first time I've come across this reaction. I just spent a month in the States and met a lot of angry people....

http://www.msnbc.com/news/969219.asp?0dm=N21KN#BODY


Jerry West - 9/20/2003

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Dave:

You said - Jerry, pardon me, I'm unimpressed by anything published in "The Guardian,".

Fair enough, but you may have noticed that the letter from the GI was originally published in the US, I assume his home town paper. And no matter who publishes it, it stands on its own merit, whatever that might be.


Jerry West - 9/20/2003

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NYG wrote:

What the US has done is send a signal to the rest of the world that terrorism has to be eradicated,....

JW:

This is a hypocritical message coming from a country that has been an major instigator and supporter of terrorism around the world for the past half century.

The first step for the US to take in eradicating terrorism is to clean its own house and bring its own terrorists to justice.


Jerry West - 9/20/2003

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Dave,

Your statement on WMD is debatable, but for another time.

You stated "In any event, we conquered Iraq for basically three inter-related reasons, none of which were openly expressed to the American people: "

A good point and a kind way of saying that the administration lied. In democracy one would think that the citizens have a right to know the truth about what and why their government is doing something, particularly something that cost them great amounts of their wealth and endangers their lives.

This administration failed miserably to do this. It engaged in deceit and the weaving of fairy tales to entice the public to support a course of action that they may well have refused to had they known the truth. With this act they prove that they have no honor and no respect for those who provided the votes to give them power. The American people deserve far better than a nest of draft dodgers who rule with lies and spend the nation's wealth feathering their nests and the nests of their financial sponsors.

The Democrats may not be much or any better, but that is another issue.


Jerry West - 9/20/2003

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Dave Livingston wrote:

History is not mutable, fact is fact.

JW:

Ah, yes, but sometimes a fact is not representative of the sum of all the facts, and selectively presented facts may prove just the opposite of reality. Along with supressed facts we also have to deal with manufactured facts whose only factual basis is that they are in fact a fantasy. A common term for such might be disinformation, not that our or any government would ever stoop to disseminating such.

Revisionist history can be either good or bad depending on whether it is exposing more facts or covering them up.


Dave Livingstron - 9/20/2003

NYGuy,

I strongly agree with your assessment point-by-point.


NYGuy - 9/20/2003

Dave,

I agree with your post and just wanted to add a comment. The reason this action is worthwhile is because the UN was incapable of providing the leadership necessary to fight terrorism. Actually I believe it is "paper tiger" stance of the UN which emboldens terrorist.

What the US has done is send a signal to the rest of the world that terrorism has to be eradicated, and nuclear expansion must not be allowed to continue. Therefore each country in the world has to make a choice, do we allow terrorism to continue or do we make the world safer so more normal activities that benefit the citizenry to prosposper can be allowed to grow.

Germany and France has never done anything to improve the world. Actually their lands probably have more spilled blood than any other country in the world. But, I believe China, Russia and many other countries see the benefit of a sane and safer world and they too are giving support, even if it is not fully apparent.



NYGuy - 9/20/2003

Yes,

And they stood tall during Isabel.

Which some people can not understand.


Dave Livingston - 9/20/2003

Mr. Thomas,

the non-religious West? Have you waved a magic wand to dismiss us 63 million Catholics and nearly that many Evangelical Protetants in the U.S.? Granted, we've been too forgiving in letting the miltants hostle to traditional Western, Christian, values and thereby leaving policy determination too long in the hands of a secular minority determined to destoy our culture.

Is Mexico, better than 90% Catholic, not in the West as you define it? True, our Canadian neighbors have been seduced by the wiles of the Adversary and most of Western Europe has forgotten its roots and is in steep decline as a consequence.
Fortunately for Europe and the West Europe is experiencing, since 9/11 massive immigration from Latin America & it looks the Latinos may reimport the Faith to its land of origin.


Dave Livingston - 9/20/2003

Friend Jesse,

"What is this war about?"

Contrary to some propaganda we did not conquer Iraq for its oil, nor even for its WMD, which unquestionably it one-time had. After all, Saddam's gov't killed some 100,000 Kurds with poison gas. How many bodies need be made dead to prove the existence of WMD?

In any event, we conquered Iraq for basically three inter-related reasons, none of which were openly expressed to the American people:

1) to persuade by threat, demonstrated military action that governments in the Middle East and elsewhere had best constrain al-qaeda's operations within their borders--or else we'd do it for them, and if the gov't fell as a consequence, that is the way the cookie crumbles.

2) to insert U.S. military power into the Middle East in a manner that makes us independent of any change of policy by any Middle Eastern gov't, so that we might effectively project our military power in the region operating from established bases in Iraq

3) to impress upon the Islamic world as a whole that the U.S. is not weak and unwilling to defend itself

Unhappy with it or not, the Bush administration has accomplished all three goals, or it have once we have secure bases in Iraq, smack-dab right in the middle of the ever so volitale Middle East & al-qaeda's principle source of funding and recruitment.

No pone, one would hope, be happy we became caught up in the Moslem rage and frustration that led to the attacks on 9/11. But we did not start the shooting in the war with al-qaeda. Nor may we withdraw from it without fighting it to victory.


Dave Livingston - 9/20/2003

Friend Thomas McGrath,

You are correct in perceiving that the Bush administration lied to the Amerian public about the reasons for conquering Iraq. It angers me that the policy wonks did not trust the American people enough to tell us the true reasons why the invasion was necessary for our national security and the preservation of the West as we know it.

The campaign in Iraq is & is just that, a campaign within the larger conflict with al-qaeda. So too was the operation in Afghanistan but a campaign within the wider war. What happens in and to Iraq is a side issue.


Dave Livingston - 9/20/2003

Brother John Johnson,

Thank you muy mucho for perking me up with your notation that high school too is academic. The only teaching done by Yours truly was in Sinoe High School, Greenville, Liberia, 1962-4 and more recently GED via a Benedictine Convent. But then, were my own three children, whom I taught to shoot, camp out & fish.

It is not at all certain that my vote will be cast for Geo. W, but it is a certainty this yet a strong fan of J.F.K. will not vote for a Democrat for even so much as garbage collector.

Today's Democratic Party is not the one of forty years ago, the values it supports, pro-abortion, in favor of alternate lifestyles, hostile to the Second Amendment, would have been seen as abhorent to it in the sixties.

The Left claims the legacy of J.F.K., but it appears forgpotten that he the president who established one of the Left's pet organizations, the Peace Corps also established the Army's Special Forces. Indeed, even today the Special Forces mount a 234-hour honor guard at his tomb in appeciation.


Dave Livingston - 9/20/2003

The editor & publisher of "WorldNetDaily.com" says that General estly Clark can and probably will beat Bush.


Jerry, pardon me, I'm unimpressed by anything published in "The Guardian," well-known to be a radically Leftist broadsheet.

What "The Guardian" is indifferent too is that our conquering of Iraq was accomplished, among other reasons, a) to impress upon other Middlre Eastern counties that if they fail to rein in al-qaeda opewrations on their soil, we'll do it for them and if that causes the ruin of the present gov't, "Oh well.", b) to permanently, I say again, PERMANENTLY,or at least until al-qaeda is destroyed,insert our military on the ground into the Middle East in order to effect our threat and if necessary, carry it out, c) to impress upon the Islamic world that the U.S. is not a paper tiger, as it was led to believe by the weakness of Chicken Willie's administration(s)


Dave Livingston - 9/20/2003

Jerry,

Certainly, you are correct to say there is a variety of opinion among the troops. That is always so. There is a military axiom that goes, more or less, "As long as troops are complaining everything is O.K., but if & when they turn sullen and quiet, watch out."

Good golly, oh how I dread & hate warfare, but as one fellow veteran put it, "I wouldn't go through that experience again for a million dollars, BUT I wouldn't have missed it for two million."

Thanks to Al Gore's invention, the internet, many of us veterans, mostly fellows who fought in Viet-Nam, but including some guys on active duty are in daily contact.

Chicken Willie, the Bastard from Hope (I'm not simply being nasty here, he in fact is one--his Daddy not bothering to get a divorce from his wife before he married Willie's Momma too), said he despised the military, the sentiment was and is returned in spades by millions of G.I.s & former G.I.s.

Jerry, thank you for that "Military.com" item. My horse is in that very race, but not wanting to be greedy I'm not certain it is desirable that the horse come in. But if the money appears in my bank account it will be appreciated.


Dave Livingston - 9/20/2003

Pardon me, the U.N. was not invented as a peace-keeping body. It was established in the closing days of WWII by the allied powers as a vehicle for guiding military operations, the final conquest of the Axis Powers and as vehicle to use to reorder the international order after the war. It was established in San Francisco by the U.S., the U.K., Nationalist China, the Soviet Union & by France. That is when & where the organization of the Security Council was set up. Those powers made certain of their permanent seats on the Council.

The peace-making U.N. is the offspring of war.


Dave Livingston - 9/20/2003

IMHO Terry is right on target with his assessment of why this administration is "in hot water." The administration lied to the American people about our reasons for invading & conquering Iraq. WMD were not the principle reason we took on Iraq. The administration claimed w were going in to thwart a threat from WMD, but in truth we conquered Iraq as a warning to the other Gulf states, to warn them if they do not rein in al-qaeda operations on their soil, we'll do it for them. Our incerting our militsry power directly into the region gives us a flexible and secure from the political changes of the wind in the Middle East base of operations close to al-qaeda's principle sources of fuding and recruiting.

There is a fantasy that the U.S. is soon to pull out of Iraq. Humbug! we are there, at least in the form of holding some bases for the foreseeable future--think Germany. Our troops have been in Germany for 59 years, since American troops captured the first chunck f Germain soil in 1944.


Dave Livingston - 9/20/2003

Friend Josh,

A Senior Chief is a senior noncommissioned officer, necessarily with a limited perspective. Chief Messer is actually a civilian construction worker in a Naval Construction unit, but working for the Navy he is granted what amounts to a courtesy Naval rank.

Yes, his 98% figure is nonsense when looking at the wider picture, but for him in a narrow perspective it is reality, the truth.

As Jerry West poined out, there are variety of perspectives among the Americans in Iraq, everyone has his own reality based in part upon his personal interaction withg Iraqis. The point of my posting Chief Messer comments was that there is not among the troops the universal negative opinion about our efforts in Iraq that opposition politicans blabber about.

Again, I hold no brief for this Administration, but I tire of armchair warriors weeping crocodile tears over the supposed horrors the troops are experiencing. For instance, "Oh my goodness, the troops must pay for their own meals," with no thought that the troops on temporary duty receive a per diem allowance to pay for their meals. No-one better than a soldier knows how terrible a battlefield is and no-one more than a soldier who's been there hates it more.



Dave Livingston - 9/20/2003

My friend Jerry,

Of course those of us mixing it up at close quarters with Mr. Charles, the V.C. & the N.V.A. were aare that intent in attempting to perform honorably our duty, keeping our comrades & ourselves alive were far too concerned with the present to appreciate what was going on in the larger frame of reference.

For instance, toward the nominal end of my second tour in 'Nam, our troop commander, the C.O. of Troop B, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 101st Airborne, in 1969 took me aside to lecture in a friendly sort of way on the political realities that the war was drawning to a close. He suggested that one should cease taking risks that one might avoid.

I listened to and understood him, but contrary to the apparent impreession given my intention was never to unneccessarily risk my own sweet hide, let alone the hides of those to whom I was responsible, led or commanded on the battlefield. But there are moments on the battlefield, as there sometimes are here at home, when one make a choice between right and wrong, what is honorable or that which is not, regardless if following the honorable path may be more dangerous than were honor.

For those who do not believe in objective truth, which clearly some of those in AHA do not, the notion of honor may seem naive and unsophisicated. That's O.K., but I am pleased I need not trust folks with that worldview to stand beside me on the battlefield.

In short, I believe there is, in contrast to what is said in an essay posted on this site, in "Revisionist Historians," objective truth. Those who believe there is not are, IMHo, deceiving themselves. Or they may be in thrall to the Advesary, whose principle tool is deceit. History is not mutable, fact is fact. IMHO the author of "revisionist historians" would have fit in quite comfortably in Stalin's Soviet Union, where historians frequently rewrote the past to match present politial demands.


NYGuy - 9/20/2003

JW,

As I said I appreciate your posts and the information you provide. After all I can't know everything and your help is appreciated.:)

I am however a "big picture" guy. I look at the market which is at a 15 month high, and is based upon confidence, which has been provided by GWs leadership. I also understand that the market is a predictor of the future which leads me to believe better times are ahead. While GW is not a braggard, he should take a lesson from Bill, if it happens on your watch, take credit for.

But appreciate your efforts.

Best


Josh Greenland - 9/20/2003

What is a Senior Chief, is it a military rank like Sergeant or Lieutenant, or is it the guy who runs the Seabees? If the latter, then he can only expected to push administration propaganda and can't be believed.

I've read from many newspapers reports of MANY Iraqis who say they hate the US and want us out. From very soon after the war officially ended, Iraqis were expressing feelings like this on a protest sign: "All done. Go home." Many have said they are grateful that the coalition defeated Saddam, but they don't want us to occupy their country.

I've read many quotes from Americans in Iraq saying that they don't trust the Iraqis, that they never know when a seemly friendly Iraqi will try to attack them. And then there are the reports of ordinary Iraqis showing jubilation at the sites of attacks on our troops and doing such things as jumping up and dancing on the hulks of just-destroyed American vehicles. There have been reports of mullahs saying to their followers that they should not attack coalition troops YET, and of the rage of people at all the house raids and the triggerhappy behavior of our troops whenever they feel threatened, including the shooting for 45-90 minutes of the Iraqi cops in Fallujah who were working for us, or the shooting of the people at that wedding recently.

I don't know if you actually believe that 98% of Iraqis want us to never leave their country, but I'm sorry, that's just hogwash.


T. Herzl - 9/20/2003


France did intervene in the Rhineland: in the 1680s, in 1918 and again in 1923. Intervention is not a cure-all panacea and warmongering leaders do not always know best. That is why the UN was invented and why American governments supported it...until neo-Zionists hijacked American foreign policy under the current incompetent from Texas.


Jerry West - 9/20/2003

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Dave:

I would hope that those on the ground have a good appreciation of what is going on, at least within their scope of immediate experience. I would think that the same would hold true for any decent reporter on the scene, too, although what is reported and what is printed may not be exactly the same thing. Everyone, however, has agendas.

A Senior Chief in the Navy, though, may be a bit removed from the day to day reality faced by the troops in the field unless they either spend considerable time with the troops at the dirty end of the E-tool, or are in intelligence. So, whether the 98% estimate is based on solid research, reliable anecdotal knowledge, or wistful thinking, who knows?

There is no doubt that more than one view about Iraq exists among the troops. Some of them will be in conflict with those of the chief. Where is the balance between these views that best represents the over all reality? That is the question that the strategists and and planners need to answer.

As you may well know from RVN small perspectives and local conditions may often vary considerably from the broader picture.

We may be ages away from reliably declaring the Iraq adventure either a success or a failure.


Dave Livingston - 9/20/2003

Jerry West has a point that our boys need to be wary of those who falsely present themselves as friendly.

Unsurprisingly, this was a bit of a problem for us in Viet-Nam. One became a mite cynical about the Viets when it was discovered a South Viet intelligence agency vetted waiter in the officers club was discovered pacing off distances to ammo dumps, etc., measurements if passed to Communist mortar & rocket units made it much easier for particular targets on base to be hit. On the other hand, there was little doubt that small boys running up to armored vehicles carrying wicker baskets of soda pop for sale were friendly.

There were rumors that the V.C. doctored bottles of soda & beer with poison & ground glass & sold them to G.I.s. Maybe so, but in two tours of fighting in exotic Indochina I, like most most G.I.s with a liking for children and a frequent buyer of their wares, never encountered a doctored bottle.


Dave Livingston - 9/20/2003

Friend West,

I strongly concur with your assessment about influences upon one's opinions.


Dave Livingston - 9/20/2003

Brother West,

Is it considered subjugation if it is true that as an American Seabee on the ground emailed, "...98% of the people of Iraq love us and they do not want us to leave--ever!"?

Yes, yes, the word of Senior Chief in the Seabees does not compare to that of a Leftist journalist sittng comfortably in an urban cafe. But unfortunately for the Left, its dominance of the news media began to fail with the spread of cable TV and has been dramatically exacerbated by Al Gore's "invention," of the internet. But Yours truly would far rather trust the veracity of an American G.I., even a civilian Seabee than the agenda-driven B.S. of a "New York Times" reporter.


Jerry West - 9/20/2003

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I think that one's view in Iraq might be determined by at least two factors, 1) a predisposition to see things a certain way, and 2) immediate personal experiences which may or may not be representative of the bigger picture.

In addition we have to ask if positive and negative events have the same weight in determining what will happen, or which one is the greater determinant.

One also has to wonder how many people put on a good show of liking the Americans while busily gathering intelligence to use against them and worse.

Here is a link to an article on opposition in Iraq that indicates that it is not all coming from the usual suspects:

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Sunni Triangle dangerous ground for U.S. soldiers
Last Updated Fri, 19 Sep 2003 19:59:05

BAGHDAD - Saddam loyalists may not be the only people behind recent attacks on U.S. soldiers patrolling the Sunni Triangle, an area of Sunni communities lying north of Baghdad....

http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/09/19/sunni_triangle030919


John Kipper - 9/19/2003

I would submit that the world would hae been better off if France or France and Britain had preeemptively intervened in the Rhineland.


Dave Livingston - 9/19/2003

My vote is cast with John Horse's "...key to winningis gainig the supportof the Iraqi people."

Whast do you thinkof these words extracted from an email from a fellow presently serving in Iraq? Granted, he a Seabee is not a sol;dier, but he is on the ground out there and near the troops, "Imagine ecery shooting incident in L.A. or Portland being blown way out of proportion. This is a country where most of the Saddam Hussein thugs are being chased around like scared rabbits...there are some that were very loyal to Saddam that are trying to sneak around and take pot shots at us. We are cleaning them out pretty fast. There are also thugs from other countries...So the Iraqi people are hunting them down too! I can honestly say 98% of the Iraqi people love us and they do not wanty us to leave--ever!"


john horse - 9/19/2003

NYG, Regarding your comments about fighting terrorism, read Chancellor Schroeder's editorial in today's NY Times. It may change your view that Germany is a "spoiler."

I still think that the key to winning this war is gaining the support of the Iraqi people. A guerilla movement can only succeed if the people are either apathetic or opposed to the government in power or the occupying power.

I dont think we will get much support from other countries in Iraq. Bush proceeded with his invasion despite the reservations and/or opposition from these countries. If I was in their shoes, my attitude would be "you made your bed, now lie in it." It hasn't helped that there has been such a lack of evidence regarding WMDs and the ties to Al Queda.

Finally, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions in the other post. Even though we may have our differences, I appreciate the civil tone of your comments.


Jerry West - 9/19/2003

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Off the topic a bit, but given his emphasis on the rebounding US economy, I thought that I would pass this piece along for the New York Guy:

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U.S. stock markets slip, C$ tops 74 cents US after wholesale sales data

CRAIG WONG
Canadian Press

Friday, September 19, 2003

TORONTO (CP) - Traders taking profits nudged U.S. stock indexes into the red Friday, but the Canadian dollar hit its highest level since the first week of July as the American dollar weakened against most major currencies....

Avery Shenfeld, senior economist with CIBC World Markets, said of the loonie's rise that a general erosion of the U.S. dollar "is the tide that's raising all boats."

"It's been an on-again-off-again concern about the state of the U.S. trade and current account deficit as investors see that as unsustainable over the longer term," Shenfeld said.

"The market is beginning to understand at these exchange rates the U.S. is not going to cure its trade imbalance, so ultimately we'll have a weaker U.S. dollar and the general trend this year has been in that direction." ....

http://www.canada.com/vancouver/story.asp?id=3DCDB30E-578F-4ACF-AC75-D4FFA89B60F1


Jerry West - 9/19/2003

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Jesse Lamovsky wrote:

If the U.S. forces in Iraq can avoid getting involved in a latter-day "Tet"- a battle costly in lives and the perception that the situation is under control;....

JW:

Which brings up again the contrast between Iraq and Vietnam and what kind of casualty rates are acceptable and why.

My simple (simple minded) analysis is that the two are quite different.

In Vietnam the myths for being there were more believable and it took longer to dispel them, for one, and it was a real war, not an occupation of a supposedly pacified and grateful population as the current fiasco was sold as. People expect causualties in a real war, so a hundred a day or so is not remarkable if one believes in the war.

In an occupation of a country with a supposedly friendly population one does not expect to be daily hated and reviled, shot and blown up. A much lower casualty rate here could be more damaging to support than the higher rates in RVN if the public no longer believes the rationale for being there and that they were deceived about the necessity for this conquest.

Below is a link to a piece by a serving US soldier in Iraq that indicates that support for this war may be shakier than some of its most adamant believers think. Reminds me of the attitudes of many GIs I knew personally towards the end of the Vietnam adventure. I wonder if there is a correlation there too?

-------------------------------

We are facing death in Iraq for no reason

A serving US soldier calls for the end of an occupation based on lies

Tim Predmore
Friday September 19, 2003
The Guardian

For the past six months, I have been participating in what I believe to be the great modern lie: Operation Iraqi Freedom....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1045345,00.html


Geoff Ericson - 9/19/2003

First he asks rhetorically if academics will EVER support President Bush. Now he tells us he meant that MUCH of academia fiercely opposes Bush.

Probably no fair observer would disagree with the restatement. Anyone who launches and then loses an international popularity contest against Saddam Hussein is bound to have some character flaws that generate domestic antipathy as well. But is it so hard to be reasonable at the outset, and not have to spend an entire thread attempting futilely to rationalize the arrogant ignorance exhibited as part of a weird desire to derail the question posed in the original article into an irrelevant slam against American higher education ?


Jerry West - 9/19/2003

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NYG wrote:

Well we have a stable world.

JW:

Nothing like a little humour to spice things up. :)


Jake Lee - 9/19/2003


Incumbency has its built-in advantages, but it did not protect Daddy Bush who arguably had a greater appeal as a force for stability, and was less of a loose cannon than Junior is.

Tell me Jess, which Democrats running would not be an improvement over a President who has broken every campaign pledge except for "tax cuts" (a kind of welfare in disguise to his campaign donors), ruined the federal budget, uprooted civil liberties, built up a massive military and security apparatus based on crude fear rather than real need, tried his darnedest to turn over taxpayer-owned lands to his crooked corporate cronies, and destroyed fifty years of international cooperation ?


NYGuy - 9/19/2003

Thank you JW for this wonderful incite by the history profession. As you can see I don’t quite get what he is saying, but have to assume it has meaning to others.

Enjoyed the other articles you posted, particularly the one on the VA. Always happy to learn something new.

Cheers.


Professor McPherson:

Almost all the historians “I know of” who maintain that the evidence for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction or support for Al Qaeda is ambiguous (i. e. having two or more meanings) or false were saying the same things six months or a year ago.

NYGuy

What a forecast, they did not know and the evidence could even be false. Bravo, I never thought an historian could make such a great forecast.

Professor McPherson:

All who then insisted that Iraq posed little threat to the United States or its allies.

NYGuy

Well I will have to look that one up to see if we had any terrorist attacks in the past year.

Professor McPherson:

and that a war with Iraq would endanger American lives.

NYGuy

Historic training has its advantages, and I can give you that one, soldiers do die in wars.

Professor McPherson:

Endanger security

NYGuy

I can only speak for myself but I feel a lot more secure today, but then I don’t live on a plush college campus were I hear fear levels are at record highs.

Professor McPherson:

endanger national interest.

NYGuy:

Well we have a stable world. This is good for the economies of all countries, and benefits its citizens. I guess some of the Professors have not heard that GW is bringing us out of the Clinton recession.

Professor McPherson:

far more than a continuation of the policy of containment and UN inspections.

NYGuy

Of course the UN has been a little swamped, with all the debating that goes on and they thought it might take another year or so for them to do anything. And then you have places like Liberia, etc which pop up and require watching patiently. I don't know how they do it and still maintain their hectic social schedule


Jesse Lamovsky - 9/19/2003

If the U.S. forces in Iraq can avoid getting involved in a latter-day "Tet"- a battle costly in lives and the perception that the situation is under control; if the Administration can heed Karl Rove's advice of "No War in '04" and resist neocon pressures to spread the war to Syria, than I don't see how Bush will lose the election. Who is going to beat him?


Jerry West - 9/19/2003

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An interesting read from the President of the AHA:

Revisionist Historians

by James McPherson

This summer the Bush administration thought it had discovered a surefire tactic to discredit critics of its Iraq adventure. President Bush followed the lead of his national security adviser Condoleeza Rice....

http://www.theaha.org/perspectives/issues/2003/0309/0309pre1.cfm


Jerry West - 9/19/2003

-
Alec Lloyd wrote:

Again, I am uncertain if this amazing resistance to any loss whatsoever is because we are too soft to take it, or if it is because the "wrong" leader might get the credit for advancing a noble cause.

JW:

Neither, such a loss is a needless waste of lives. And saving Iraqis has nothing to do with it, that is one of the biggest lies of all.

At least those who support this war by saying it is about extending US power and domination over the globe are honest in their appraisal.

In the end we become no different than anyone else who set out to subjugate other nations and acquire their resources.


Jerry West - 9/19/2003

-
Pehaps there is an overwhelming desire among many of those in a position to do so, not to make the compromises necessary to eliminate conflict.

Why is perhaps a good avenue to explore.


Alec Lloyd - 9/19/2003

One might also note how utterly ineffective both the treaty and the UN have been at eliminating conflict.


Alec Lloyd - 9/19/2003

What "defeat" would that be? We have occupied a nation the size of California at a cost in lives that is without historical precedent.

When a "heated" battle brings a dozen casualties, defeat isn't even distantly at hand.

That is my point.

People are looking for defeat (you certainly are) and are more fearful of Mr. Ashcroft it seems, than terrorists.

In a now-distant time, people who pronounced the Justice Department as more sinister than Middle Eastern terrorists were derided as wacko militia types. Now this passes for civil discourse.

How fortunate we are that rationing, war bonds, blackouts and (heaven forbid) blackouts are not needed!

No burden, it seems, is too light, and no skirmish too trivial to demonize this president.

I should think historians of all people would have perspective. They might remember the disappointing summer of 1864, when thousands of lives were lost each day to a struggle that seemed to have no ultimate end.

Again, I am uncertain if this amazing resistance to any loss whatsoever is because we are too soft to take it, or if it is because the "wrong" leader might get the credit for advancing a noble cause.

What would a "properly managed" war look like? Would no one die? Would a brutal regime that has spent 30 years poisoning minds suddenly vanish overnight? Or should we have left it alone because 24 million Iraqis aren't worth 500 dead GIs?

We are there, and the Iraqis want us to stay. It seems to me that more effort should be spent on finding out what we can do to help than indulging in McNamara-esque body counts.


Jerry West - 9/19/2003

-
Good point Howard.

But, after all, wasn't the administration in 1928 made up of a bunch of pinko communists out to destroy the country? (Hmmm, come to think of it they almost did, witness 1929) And, that bunch that got us into the UN, they weren't real Americans were they? Boy are we lucky to be rid of the likes of FDR, George Marshall, Ike and a host of others that ruined this nation for decades. :)


Alec Lloyd - 9/19/2003

I don't think the proposition that most academics are deeply opposed to George W. Bush's policies needs much research to bear it out.

My original post did not say ALL academics opposed him, merely observed that much of academia is overcome with loathing for him.

Thus, pointing out a handful of conservatives (one of which works in his administration) is hardly a stinging rebuttal.


NYGuy - 9/19/2003

Anthony,

You have to put this in perspective. GW inherited a recession from Bill Clinton who did not know what he was doing and refused to take advice from Greenspan, a Republican. Than six months later he gets 9/11. Can you name another President who faced such problems.

Not only is GW protecting us but he has restimulated the economy amd the stock market is at its highest levels in 15 months. What a herioc effort. And you know that Jobs come later in an economic expansion and new jobs are just around the corner, in time for Christmas.

What a guy.


HOWARD N MEYER - 9/19/2003

Any discussion about the war on Iraq -- in a world where U S and others agreed (Kellogg/Briand, 1928) to OUTLAW war as an instrument of national policy and (U N Charter -- a Treaty) to eschew war except in self-defense and to leave to Security Council sole authority to safeguard international peace and security -- that omits International Law betrays an amnesia that should not afflict historians.


Anthony State - 9/19/2003

Yeah, it sure is. 3 million jobs lost, projected $5 trillion surplus now a $5 trillion deficit, acorporations paying no or little tax for the infrastructure and market they need; what a wonderful world.


Stephen Thomas - 9/19/2003

Is it permissible to say: Damned if I know?

Yes, I was the first to note on this board that Prez Bush's first rationale for invading Iraq was to bring feminism to Iraqi women. Strange, huh?

Hope you've read my other remark on this subject. The demise of the Soviet Union created a world wide power vacuum that was going to be filled by the U.S. regardless of U.S. action or inaction.

I also explained what I thought was the fundamental conflict between the tradition religious cultures and the non-religious west.

I don't think this conflict is sensible, but that doesn't mean that it's avoidable. It is ultimately a religious war.


Jesse Lamovsky - 9/19/2003

Yeah, Mr. Fitzpatrick, all of us white males out in the sticks are really making out like bandits off this war. And the white males in the military who are coming home in bags- well, gee, the war's been a real boon to them too, huh?

You're against the war? Fine. Me too. But if you will, please spare us the whole "white-males-are-evil" brainwashing humanities professors feed everybody. The white males that pay most of the taxes in this country are getting screwed plenty.


Jesse Lamovsky - 9/19/2003

"Mideast oil was pumped out of the ground as a result of Dutch, English and U.S. investment and technology."

Good point, Mr. Thomas. What you, correctly, did not say was that Mideast oil was pumped out of the ground as a result of American military might.

Our country's self-interest has always been best advanced through peaceful and amicable relations with other countries. The United States bought Arabian oil for decades without having to send a single soldier there. Not that this war is about oil anyway.

Your stands on the culture wars are admirable, Mr. Thomas. How do you feel about the fact that our foreign policy is being directed by a group of people who are more loyal to another country than to this one? That some of these same people are former liberals, and some former Marxists? That rationales for staying in Iraq include "womens' rights"? That Paul Wolfowitz described Iraqi guerrillas as "forces of reaction", a term that could have come, unabridged, from Pravda?

This war, ultimately, has nothing to do with oil, or with U.S. self-interests. You're usually right, but you're wrong on this one.


The Henry Herbert Hoover High Club - 9/19/2003


My name is John Johnson.
I teach in Wisconsin.
(High School is “academic” too.)
To coach next year’s baseball,
we need a new face. All
of us SUPPORT W.

4-H of Win Con Sin


John Cuepublic - 9/19/2003


The "wealth effect" depends on the time frame. Like him or not (and I am hard-pressed to find any other U.S. president as feeble-minded), Ronald Reagan established the generally accepted standard in 1980: Are you better off now than four years ago ?

The comparison will be 2004 vs 2000. The "promised land" is something for Bible-belt Jesus freaks, terrorist-settlers on the West Bank, and suicide Jihadists. It is not on the radar screen of most Americans, even those like NY Guy who have been brainwashed into regarding Fox and MSNBC as reliable information sources.

In the case of Iraq (the issue here before NY Guy's attempted derailing) the “body count effect” will again depend on the overall before and after comparison: Do you feel more secure against terrorism and weapons of mass destruction (the main alleged reasons for the war) than before Bush took office ?


NYGuy - 9/19/2003

Wrong,

The Dow and other financial averages reflect confidence in our country and our president as well as his policies which is leading us out of the Clinton recession. Why else do you think the market is rising because the country is going down the tubes like the uninformed democratics are saying.

Listen to me and learn. I have been tellint you about GW's economic turnaroud for three months but you don't listen.


NYGuy - 9/19/2003

John,

You don't understand the wealth effect which puts money in the pockets of the average investor. Remember GW inherited the Clinton recession and then Clinton's failure to prevent a terror attack on our country. His masterful leadership is now leading us to the promised land. Read the daily newspapers or turn on your TV.


John Cuepublic - 9/18/2003


The Dow is still well below where it was when Bush took office.
Not that the Dow has much to do with the economy or Bush's policies, or deaths in Iraq. (Even when NY Guy goes off on irrelevant tangents, he gets it wrong).


NYGUY - 9/18/2003

U.S. stocks surge on good employment report
Thursday September 18, 1:47 pm ET
By Steve Gelsi


NEW YORK (CBS.MW) - U.S. stocks rose Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallying to a 15-month high as positive reports on the economy helped offset concern over the impact of Hurricane Isabel and NYSE Chairman Dick Grasso's resignation.


Jackie Hinds - 9/18/2003

Hal, how do we know that Alec Lloyd is a real person and not a computer virus launched by "Hackers for Bush" ?


Hal Jacobs - 9/18/2003


Would you present your evidence, if you have any, Alec Lloyd, that Rice "never supported" Bush while she actively working at Stanford, and your comments, if you are capable of formulating any, on the article by Kaplan ?


Alec Lloyd - 9/18/2003

I wasn't aware she held a teaching position at present.


Terry Tintin - 9/18/2003

The "looting expedition" theory of Gulf War II is not far off the mark, but the accompanying racial hypothesis is nonsense. Nearly every prominent and effective critic of George W. Bush, from Robert Byrd to John McCain to Howard Dean to Michael Moore, is a white male. Far from "taking care" of "white males", Bush & Co are in hot water now because white males, like every other subgroup in the population, are sick and tired of being lied to and ripped off by a international laughingstock president and his crooked minders.


NYGuy - 9/18/2003

John,

I just finished responding to your post above.

One of the factors that enters into my analysis is that we are in a world that has changed dramatically over about 5 years or so, due in large part to the changes in electronics and technology. There is more communication among peoples throught the world and that capability is growing rapidly each year.

Such communication allows all to be more aware of the risk of nuclear or biological terrorist activities. If you have ever watched a simple 3-5 story building being taken down you know how long it takes do so. And even using dynamite it takes days to properly place charges before a 10 - 15 Story can be demolished. In NYC we saw two 110 story buildings taken down in hours. I have to believe that the world leaders understand the greater danger everyone faces from such terrorist attacks. And with nuclear countries such as North Korea, India, Pakistan and Iran the threats of even greater damage is real. Since most governments are looking 5-10 years down the road in their plans, they have to all be well aware that if terrorism goes unchecked, they are putting themselves and their country at great risk.

I believe if China wants to stimulate its econony it will not benefit from terrorist activites. The same goes for many other countries. The French and the Germans in my opinion are just spoilers. But I believe other world leaders do take the threat of terrorism seriously and therefore we will achieve the levels of cooperation and support that are necessary to create a peaceful world that will foster greater international trade.

This will take time but I think that time is closer than we think, and there are already signs of success. While each country will look out for its own interest, I don't think they want to shoot themselves in the foot by permitting terrorism to flourish. And the UN, with its record in Africa is not going to do the job. Instead of focusing on Empire, we should focus on the need for world leadership at this dangerous time and I believe the U. S. is the only country that can provide it. That being said, I also think the costs will be shared by others in term of men and material the need to dramatically raise our share will not be that great.



reat of nuclear activity is also bec


NYGuy - 9/18/2003

John,

This forecast was made by the head economist at Chase JP Morgan.
The deficit depends on many other variables, such as when the money is actually spent vs the funds that offset the spending. On the later point, he had an optimistic forecast for the economy in the second half of this year, I think it was for about 5% growth and I believe next year was 4% but don't hold me to it.

I am sure there are other forecasters with other points of view. My main point is that the full $87 billion will not likely be spend in one year, and with an economic recovery underway the full impact will likely be less next year.

Of couse a change in the conditions in Iraq or a a change in the economic recovery, up or down, would also effect the forecast.


Thomas McGrath - 9/18/2003

Kaplan's analysis is profoundly wrong. The American public is willing to accept higher casualties than the media because the public is ill informed. As the large statistical majority that reportedly still believes Iraq was complicit in the September 2001 attacks on the United States begins to understand that they have been lied to, the death of one soldier in Iraq will become unacceptable.

There is no prior instance in American history comparable to the current military situation in Iraq. Citing casualty rates in Vietnam or Korea or the first Gulf War to buttress his argument is akin to Kaplan holding to the notion that the sun rises in the east because roosters crow.

The Bush administration is unsurpassed in the art of message management, a euphemism for equivocating. That “skill” cannot be used indefinitely to hide the truth. The Internet makes it impossible to maintain the lie. When the truth finally becomes clear to a majority of people in this country there will be hell to pay, and rightly so.


Kevin M. Fitzpatrick - 9/18/2003

Remember that the demonstrations against this war are far larger than anything that occurred during the early part of the war. Personally, I don't think this war is anything more than an imperial looting expedition by the Bush clique. Let's be honest. The people this administration cares about, affluent white males, are being taken care of and its to hell with anybody else. As to all this support for the war, I don't see it where I live in NYC. As to security here, you can bring anything into the port in a container you care to. We wouldn't want to offend Wal-Mart by delaying their shipments of trash,would we? All this war is a businessmens' scam. Eventually, even white males are going to figure this out.


john horse - 9/18/2003

Oscar, I agree with your insight that if Bush's "opponents can convince the public that the invasion of Iraq was either a) a bad idea, or b) a good idea badly managed, then the casualties will be a major factor in the election." This gets back to Kaplan's point that public support is dependent on the perception that we will emerge triumphant. I don't think this is possible unless we win the hearts and minds of the vast majority of Iraqis. Bush may be able to pull this off. $87 billion buys alot of hearts and minds. The reason this is important is that a guerilla movement cannot be defeated if the majority of people are either apathetic or sympathetic to the guerillas. For example, in Japan after the war the Communists flirted briefly with the idea of guerilla war but this was easily destroyed because of lack of support among the people.

On the other hand, I believe that we have a short window of opportunity in Iraq. I don't believe the public will support Bush if we continue to sustain casualties with no end to this war in sight. At $87 billion a year, the economic cost is also unsustainable in the long run. If Bush's $87 billion gamble fails, then I think the game is up. Ironically, the public support that Bush should be most concerned about is the Iraqi people.


Joshua Williamson - 9/18/2003


Guess what, Stephen. We HAVE a system that combines self-interest with at least a degree of moral action. It is called capitalism.
Thanks, but we don't need to resort to might-makes-right thievery or crony mercentalism.


Jake Lee - 9/18/2003

Good, "NY Guy". With your age and wisdom to protect you, why not give us your name ?

Probably you also remember that the U.S. did not defy the rest of the world to attack Hitler preemptively in 1935 when he started violating international agreements. We waited, too long in retrospect, but we waited. As we waited in Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Kosovo, and yes, even Afghanistan. We attack in self defense after we are wronged, not just because a weak president needs a foreign distraction. That is the American way, and someday that history may finally penetrate the thick skulls of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the other military-service-evading cowards in Washington who think they know better. Maybe now that Bush is finally admitting publicly that Saddam was not behind 9-11, the cranium penetration has already started.

You should still read books though, no matter where or when you lived. Computer screens are not good for eyesight.


Jake Lee - 9/18/2003


And from a typical source.

Alec, I've read most of the comments here and don't recall any "hopes" for American defeat. I do get a sense of dismay and anger at the disaster and defeat being inflicted upon the USA by a dishonest, corrupt and incompetent Presidency. And could you possibly stop parroting banal and imprecise Administration propaganda phrases such as "enemies of freedom" ? That could easily apply to John Ashcroft, when presumably you meant to finger Saddam or Osama or some other not yet dead or captured foreigner.


Geoff Ericson - 9/18/2003

Yes, now that you have returned from your sabbatical, the ad hominem attacks have returned to full throttle. Your comment starting off the thread is a typical dive to the gutter that infects HNN over and over. Haven't you got the guts to acknowledge your silly oversight of Professor Rice ?


Jerry West - 9/18/2003

-
Just came across this in the National Post, Canadas major right wing newspaper. Haven't seen US references yet. I wonder how this war chest will affect the world of spin?
-----------------------------

Billionaire puts millions behind bid to dump Bush
White House misusing its power, says George Soros

Isabel Vincent
National Post

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

George Soros earned the moniker "the man who broke the Bank of England" when he reportedly made US$1-billion in a single day through currency speculation that drove down the value of the pound in 1992.

More than a decade later, the billionaire philanthropist is once again aiming high, declaring he wants to be known as the man who brought down the government of George W. Bush, or at least prevented the U.S. President from winning a second term in 2004.

To that end, Mr. Soros has personally committed an initial US$10-million to building an anti-Bush grassroots campaign in 17 states where organizers believe the battle for the presidency will be hottest. He is....

http://www.nationalpost.ca/world/story.html?id=107907ED-E2AD-4D04-9BF6-CE2F60D141F1






Jerry West - 9/18/2003

-
Concerning the statement that the troops on the ground support this war, information that keeps crossing my desk indicates that you can take your pick on whether they do or not. I have seen reports home indicating Dave Livingston's view, and others just the opposite. There certainly have been public complaints made by troops about the conduct of the occupation, and it appears that their living conditions are pretty dismal. If this goes on with high ranking officers getting perks while the troops suffer, you can bet morale will tank over time and more opposition will come from the ranks.

There is also the existence of organized opposition by families of service members in Iraq, not a good sign for the administration. And a number of senior officers are opposed to the war, hardly a sign of cohesion in the face of national peril, but then it is questionable whether there is national peril and if so exactly what it is.

The unknown quantity is by next year which side of this equation will have the most credibility with the American people.

The following column from Military.com, written by a retired officer, is one indication of unhappiness in the vertern community:

--------------------------------------
....What should be a nonpartisan issue has become very political. The Democrats, with support of a hand full of Republicans, are pushing in favor of veterans benefits across the board while it appears the GOP leadership will go to no end to deplete as many as possible. The present administration, the administration that sent our warriors to war to be killed or permanently disfigured, should not be trying to cut back on benefits to care for them.

Hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of veterans are promising to keep their promise and not vote for those who don’t support them. Many were registered GOP members. Their new motto is "Out the Door in 2004." Veterans in Florida have even gone as far as to start their own political party, the Veteran's Party of Florida (VPF). In 67 counties across Florida, veterans, family members and friends changed their voter registration to the VPF. They said they were "tired of not having their voices heard by members of congress, and broken promises from the Bush administration."

http://www.military.com/NewContent?file=Youmans_091503&ESRC=marine.nl
--------------------------------------

An opinion piece from the Ferdnand Braudel Center at Binghamton U is quite critical of Bush's chances. One can debate it, certainly, and no doubt some will eschew debate for the slinging of aspersions against the author, universities and intelligence in general, or whatever bogeyman they find convenient to avoid considered examination of the issues, but it does have points to consider.

-----------------------------------------

The first American voices for a full U.S. withdrawal from Iraq have started to be heard. Their numbers will be growing and they may be shouting quite loudly in the next three months, as the casualties continue to mount, the situation in Israel/Palestine deteriorates still further, and unemployment continues to mount in the U.S. The neo-cons are aware of this. They have begun to say that the comparison is not with Vietnam, but with Somalia, where the U.S. withdrew in disgrace and defeat. They are warning that, if the U.S. does not stand firm, it will lose everything. In a sense they are right.

This is George Bush's unsolvable dilemma. If he stands firm, but resolves nothing in Iraq, his likelihood of reelection will diminish radically and rapidly. If, however, he doesn't stand firm, he will be ridiculed as someone who talked big and couldn't stand the heat in the kitchen. His principal danger is not losing the center, but losing his own firm supporters on the right. Many of them are already unhappy that this administration has been one of the most spending administrations in the history of the U.S. despite its rhetoric. The U.S. deficit is approaching rapidly the half trillion dollar mark. Probably George Bush's only way out would be to say to the American people: The U.S. needs to stay in Iraq for five years at least. And for that, we need American sacrifices. I am going to reinstitute the draft, and I am going to ask for sharp tax increases to pay for this imperial policy. This is in fact what someone like Sen. McCain would do. It might even work, at least in terms of American backing for such a policy. But George Bush doesn't have the guts to do it, and the people around him have many other agendas.

So, bye-bye George W. Bush. In ten years, we will look back and agree that no president in the history of the United States did more to weaken the world power and prestige of the United States. George W. Bush will have the record.

http://fbc.binghamton.edu/121en.htm
-----------------------------------------------

Former diplomat Joe Wilson has published a piece in the San Jose Mercury News quite critical of Bush & Company's adventure. Again debatable, but one can hardly dismiss out of hand someone who has hands on experience with the issues.

----------------------------------------

Seeking honesty in U.S. policy
EX-U.S. DIPLOMAT SAYS WHITE HOUSE IS IN FULL RETREAT FROM IRAQ REALITY
By Joseph Wilson

During the gulf war in 1991, when I was in charge of the American Embassy in Baghdad, I placed a copy of Lewis Carroll's ``Alice in Wonderland'' on my office coffee table. I thought it conveyed far better than words ever could the weird world that was Iraq at that time, a world in which nothing was what it seemed:....

http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/news/editorial/6769302.htm
------------------------------------------

The Soldierf For The Truth website has a lot of material by military personnel and veterans with a wide range of views. It is worth a peek for those considering the effects of current policy on the military and on the opinions of GIs and vets.

http://www.sftt.org/

Col. David Hackworth's recent column is quite critical of the current escapade and its effects on the troops:

-------------------------------------

....The losers are our soldiers still stuck in the sand, the scores of fallen warriors who were quietly buried from “sea to shining sea,” the hundreds of maimed who are maxing out our military hospitals, and the American taxpayers who’ll be laying out big bucks for a war against terrorism that has struck the wrong target.

And we’re talking another big win for Osama, who’s out there somewhere sucking the sweet Pakistani mountain air as he plots yet more genocide against an America whose homeland defenses – despite the billions of dollars blown – are perhaps only marginally better than pre-9/11.

The Bush administration has a responsibility to tell the American people the truth, not feed us more self-serving lies – now more than ever, since so many good folks are too busy looking for jobs to separate the cow mounds from the grass....

http://www.sftt.org/cgi-bin/csNews/csNews.cgi?database=Hacks%20Target.db&command=viewone&op=t&id=34&rnd=831.7410974125581
---------------------------------------------------------

Col. Jim Revels writes a piece supportive of the war that mirrors the position some have taken that it is not about US values, oil, WMDs or such, but about the naked extension of American power into the heart of the Middle East in pusuit of national goals.

-------------------------------------------------
....However, it is my firm belief that you and the American people have not been told the real reasons for your presence in the hellhole that is Iraq today. Earlier this year, during those long hot days in the tent cities, just outside of Kuwait City, you were told the reason for invading Iraq was to liberate the Iraqi people from the grip of an evil tyrant.

Since the successful march to Baghdad, you have not been treated as liberators, but in large part as hated occupiers.

The American people were told you were sent to Iraq to prevent weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of terrorists groups who might use them against American targets. So far, no nuclear or chemical weapons of mass destruction have been found.

As public support for the invasion has waned, in this country and around the world, President Bush was forced to reaffirm the reasons for the invasion, in a recent brief speech to the nation, that claims you are fighting the enemy in Iraq so that we will not have to fight him in our city streets. All these reasons are in a sense accurate, but do not constitute whole truth that you deserve.

My fellow warriors, you are in Iraq to plant the American flag in the heart of the remnants of the Ottoman Empire. Military power is an extension of political power. Accordingly, your successful presence in the middle of the Arab world is an exercise of United States power....

http://www.sftt.org/cgi-bin/csNews/csNews.cgi?database=DefenseWatch.db&command=viewone&op=t&id=196&rnd=670.8929374485316
-----------------------------------------------------

An Army Sergeant writes:

---------------------------------------------------
....Yes, we are physically able to finish our mission, but mentally and spiritually, we are dying. If retention for the Army National Guard is anything of importance, we need to have faith in our government and our leaders....

We are slowly becoming frantic. I hear people saying they are going to begin hurting themselves or others if they can’t go home. The helplessness our soldiers are feeling is indescribable, it is past the point of “Suck it up, drive on....

http://www.sftt.org/cgi-bin/csNews/csNews.cgi?database=Defensewatch%20Special.db&command=viewone&op=t&id=3&rnd=405.55523778989493
---------------------------------------------------

Bush was probably a loser prior to 9-11, or so it has been said. Thousands of American deaths have been good for his political prospects so far. The question is how both Iraq and the economy will play out over the next year, and whether the American public is willing to forgive his lies. Some have said that another terrorist attack a la 9-11 would boost his standing, I think that such an occurance could be a two edged sword. It would depend on who has the best spin doctors. But then, isn't that what most modern politics has boiled down too, who has the most prevasive and attractive spin?


john horse - 9/17/2003

NYG, could you clarify what you mean by "$87 billion will be spent over a period of time"? Do you mean that this is going to be a one-time payment? Would your opinion of the situation in Iraq change if Bush asked for additional money by next year? Also, do you have a link to the "leading NYC bank economist" who believes that the $87 billion will not affect the deficit. Everything I've read has said that it will, though there is some disagreement regarding the extent that it will.


cogito - 9/17/2003

And remember Bush was never popularly elected. He's dropping steadily. The only thing that can save him is another terrorist attcks, or a really strong economic rally. time is running out, the deficit is getting bigger, and the economic signs are mixed at best.

It seems to me that the idea that Hispanics will vote for jeb bush becase his wife speaks spanish is silly, and underestimates the intelligence of hispanic voters. They may indeed vote for him, but I hardly think his wife willbe the reason


Alec Lloyd - 9/17/2003

I think the message he was trying to get across is that this generation is indeed thin-blooded if it views a level of casualties that would historically result from one skirmish as a national catastrophe requiring immediate and ignominious retreat.

While it may satisfy smug hyperpartisans to see American military might humbled, it is hard to see a positive side for either the cause of democracy or human rights should the world's leading republic be defeated by a combination of Islamic militants and Baath fascists.

Indeed, logic would dictate that the enemies of freedom (who don't care to note whether a given American has "Democrat," "Republican" or even "Green" listed on their party affiliation) would be encouraged to attempt even greater acts of murder against our interests.

Like it or not, international credibility is still largely measured by the ability to inflict and withstand the loss of life through military operations.

A power with such widespread interests as the US will not see its security enhanced by gaining a reputation as a glass-jawed weakling.

Perhaps the people posting here are not hoping for defeat so much as anticipating it with a little too much eagerness. But given the vitriol directed at the current administration, such a distinction is hard to discern.


Alec Lloyd - 9/17/2003

A Hitler comparison. How original.


Alec Lloyd - 9/17/2003

And I see the ad hominem attack is also still the first recourse to criticism.

Thanks for making my point.


Dave Livingston - 9/17/2003

Ron Pollard has a misunderstanding of the matter of G.I.s paying for their own meals. G.I.s on TDY, temporary duty, receive a per diem bonus with which to pay for their meals. Were they here in the States, they could on post or base go to a messhall for their meals. But if they chose, they could go to McDonald's instead paying for their meals in either instance using their per diem. In any event, officers, unless in the field, without beneit of a per diem bonus usually pay for their meals. But there are frequent circumstances when officers too draw a perdiem.

Folks unaware of some of the twists & turns of government accounting become unnecessarily upset sometimes. For instance, in hospital subsequent to being WIA in Viet-Nam if I wanted soap, a razor, or toothpaste I purchsed those items out of my own pocket. One could eat the food served on a hospial ward, but if one were up & about & chose to go the officers mess, one paid cash for one's meal there.

Because I've no TV, ceased to watch it in '95, the Cheney speech referred to doesn't surprise me. It has been evident for some time that the U.S. in a transition from Republic to Empire. The possible hubris of the Bush administration is understandable in light of our present position of over-whelming military, financial, cultural and political power in the world.

My worry is how our empire is going to affect our manner of goverance here at home. Of course, we've had experience with empire before, after the Spanish-American War, for instance.


NYGuy - 9/17/2003

Cogito,

I suspect you support the "UN in, the U. S. out plan" of the Democratics. And giving your sovereignty to the U. N. will make you sleep better at night. Good luck.


NYGuy - 9/17/2003

I don't have to read any books, I lived through that period and knew many of the heroic men and women who stopped this demented leader. What is your point?

Killing millions of people in WW II is not the best policy for democracy, but what were the alternatives?


NYGu - 9/17/2003

Oscar,

I followed your comments and appreciated them until the last conclusion which was:

"The administration was not prepared for an Iraq in which significant distrust and resistance remained. That is simply incompetent."

NYGuy:

It is a little difficult for me to accept a conclusion that a plan which exceeds expectation in going into Iraq is based upon being incompetent and unprepared. As has been point out by the administration there were many contingecies that were planned, and given different weights, and some variables were probably underweighted. I look at this as normal. Forecasting a complex problem is not perfect and therefore easy to critize, particuilarly when one is not in the country and has to used intelligence reports to prepare. Meaning, not that intelligence is not useful, only that the knowledge content is different than doing the actual onsite investigation.

The other point I would make is that a mission of this scale has to be planned out for more than 2-3 months. It is the handling, and adjustment of this extended plan, which is more difficult to project. But if one succeeds for 80-90% of the plan, which I believe we have, then the burden to adjust to the unexpected becomes less and the problems can be easily accommadated. That is what is happening now.

To make a statement that a forecaster who can achieve the plans we did,in the time we did, is unprepared and incompetent, would only be made by those who do not do long range planning and understand what is a normal and expected process.

So, I must disagree. Yes, minor setbacks occur, but this does not define the plan as being a failure, at least in my opinion.

I won't review the plans for Japan and German which stretched out more than a few months. But, I suspect there were unaccounted for problems, and setbacks, but I doubt if you would call this an incompetent and failed mission.



Dave Livingston - 9/17/2003

As said before, no Republican I I've no horse in this race. It is wishful thinking on the part of the Left that Bush will lose. Indeed, the Republicans are going to hold the White House through 2015, because, boys & girls, the economy is beginning to pick up & will be roaring along at full speed come November and he who will win the presidency in the elections of 2008 & 2012 will be Geo. W's brother, Jeb. Porque? For starters the fastest growing voting bloc in these not so united states is the Hispanic one. You don't think most Hispanics, by a wide margin, will vote for a fellow Spanish-speaking Catholic with a Mexican wife? No? Ah come on.

And said elsewhere, the G,.I.s serving in Iraq perceive their mission as a success and they are telling their families so, regardless the emotional pain this inflicts on the limp-=wristed Left.


Dave Livingston - 9/17/2003

:-))) Yes, I make many typos with my in a hurry hunt & peck typing, but I reckon folks usually get the message regardless.

I? Where wuz you i, if you're old enough to have been around then, in 1962-4? I was in Liberia serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. BUT yes, I drifted a mite Right in my politics subsequent to the great job I did in striving to make Liberia the land of peace, joy and prosperity you see today. My having fought in Viet-Nam, Lieutenant, 1st Infantry Division, 1966-7; Captain, 101st Airborne, 1969-70, may have had a mite to do with my bouncing to the Right, do you think? :-)))


cogito - 9/17/2003

Unless there is another major terrorist attack. His poll numbers have been on a steady decline, and the administration seems unable to articulate any ideas that could change that--it' sticks to the course it charted with the inflexibility of a genuine idealogue, rather than the flexibility of a pragmatist.

Bush has mislead the public about the "imminent" nature of the threat on two fronts: the WMDs, and the collusion with Al-Queda. He has also deepened the deficit while cutting taxes for the rich, and he just asked for nearly 100 billion dollars more--a sum he could get without raising taxes by simply not enacting the cut in the tax rate for the top 1%. Job growth has not happened. Meanwhile, Bin Laden and Saddam are still at large. The situation in Iraq seems to be growing worse. Bush is in big trouble.

He rolled the dice big time on A: a quick economic upturn, and B: a quick win in Iraq. Neither has happened, and now that rush to declare "mission accomplished" is just foolish looking. He's going down

The democrats will be able to run and win on a program of cleaning up the mess Bush has made. Rescind the big tax cuts for the very rich, repair interational ties which Bush snapped, and come up with a forthright, frank and practical plan for rebuilding iraq, even if it includes more troops. I have a feeling we will see an Edwards/Clark ticket, or maybe a Kerry/Clark ticket, and Bush will lose.


Dave Livingston - 9/17/2003

In an earlier posting I accused Kaplan of being a Fifth columnist. In re-reading what he had instead of jumping to the conclusion that anything written in "The New Republic" is necessarily hostile to any but a far-Left agenda. On balance it seems to me Kaplan is correct in observing that radically Lefties like Dean and Herbert are out-of-touch with the reality of how the campaign is perceived by the American people. For one thing, the G.I.s in the field believe they are doing very well in destroying the remsaining elemts of the Hussein dictatorship, & in winning the hearts & minds of the Iraqi people.

Thanks to Al Gore's invention, the internet, some of us no longer need rely upon the Left-dominated news media for our news. The story told there by G.I.s in Iraq is largely positive.


Jackie Hinds - 9/17/2003


In the wake of Hitler's early successes, there was a rash of fascist movements across Europe. Read Walter Lacquer for details. Intimidation can be an effective policy. Rarely is it the best policy for a democracy.


Oscar Chamberlain - 9/17/2003

Strange as it may seem, I agree with your comment about unweighted lists and political spin. The "cynical" part of my comment stems from the fact that most political debate consists solely of either unweighted lists or lists that are weighted solely for partisan reasons.

However, my criticism (and the criticism of many others) of the occupation planning is solidly based and was expressed by myself and many better known experts before the invasion began.

I could list those( and even weight the list) but the single most important point was this: "Never ever assume that military victory over Saddam is the same as winning the war. The war will be won or lost in the occupation. Be as prepared for the occupation as you are for battle, and that means preparing for the occupation not going well just as you would prepare for the first military assault not going as well as expected."

The administration was not prepared for an Iraq in which significant distrust and resistance remained. That is simply incompetent.


Crockett Stanley - 9/17/2003


The more blood and guts the better, I presume.

After you have fixed your broken spell-checker, could you tell us what you are if not a "Republican", Mr. Livingston ? A fascist perhaps


Dave Livingston - 9/17/2003

IMHO there is nothing whatsoever cynical with Oscar Chamberlain's observation. The Left may not care for the notion, but the word has gotten around, thanks in part to "Strategic Forecasting" to many people that the true purpose of our invasion of Iraq wasn't to go after WMDs, but rather to impose our military strength into the Middle East in a manner to persuade governments to rein in al-qaeda, or we'd do it for them. In short, the campaign in Iraq is indeed widely seen as just that, a campaign in the war begun by al-qaeda.


Dave Livingston - 9/17/2003

Unfortunately for Fifth columnists like Kaplan the G.I.s in the field in Iraq tell a very different story than he. Come the next election the limp-wristed Lefties in the news media and in the Academy with an agenda are going to once again be amazed that the voter hasn't followed their sdmonishments on how to vote. Mind, I'm no Republican.

Kaplan is horrified that we took 11 WIAs in Iraq in a single day? For Pete's sake, How many murders were there in New York City on that day?

In Viet-Nam we took, roughly on average, 100 KIAs a day & perhaps twice that many WIAs.

Unfortunately for the Left, the G.I.s in Iraq think they are having considerable success and they are telling the folks back home that. Proifessional nay-sayers for a dose of reality might do well to speak to someone other than their fellow true believing haters


Stephen Thomas - 9/17/2003

Mideast oil was pumped out of the ground as a result of Dutch, English and U.S. investment and technology. That oil would still be under the ground if not for this investment and technology. Middle Eastern societies have been immeasurably enriched by this investment and technology.

The notion that the U.S. should not pursue its self-interest, as well as attempt to promote democracy and development is Iraq, is just PC nonsense. It is an extension of the notion that white hetero men should stand aside and simply give away jobs and advancement to blacks, women and gays. (Oddly, blacks, women and gays are constantly urged to pursue their own self interests with a vengeance. PC always works this way. Thus, white male managers who have already attained their career ambitions feel no compunction about deep sixing the careers of younger men to demonstrate their devotion to the advancement of blacks, women and gays. It's a win win situation. The manager gets to keep his job and wear his halo while he disposes of a potential competitor.)

The pursuit of self interest does not equal an abandonment of moral action.


NYGuy - 9/17/2003

Oscar,

Your option of (b) is interesting and I believe most in the cloistered academic area might agree with you.

There are many of us in the real world who have in our career dealt with forecasting, budgeting, predicting the future, etc. and find it hard to accept such elite opinions from those who have a rear view mirror, saying that they could do better, particularly since they do not put their money on the line.

In any forecasting problem one tries to evaluate all variables, some are know, other materialize as time move on, and even more important, which many professional unstand, give proper weight to each variable. Most critics ignore this last step and just run off lists.

We also know that the point forecast is not the solution. It is the skill in monioring and adjusting the forecast that is critical and ultimately the real test for those "involved directly" in the program. It is much easier for those on the sideline to suggest failure, particularly since they don't know all the elements in the forecast.

That is why it is difficult to take as serious scholarship those who merely give a list of items, not properly weighed and then begin their political spin. It says more about them then it does about any administrion who untakes the complex world problems we are now dealing with.


Oscar Chamberlain - 9/17/2003

Perhaps I'm cynical, but I don't think that the 2004 election is going to be decided by whether the war is right or wrong. The situation is muddy enough that decent arguments can be made in both directions.

If Bush can keep the public convinced that invading Iraq was a good idea, then the casualties won't be a major factor.

If his opponents can convince the public that the invasion of Iraq was either
a) a bad idea, or
b) a good idea badly managed

then the casualties will be a major factor in the election.

For what it's worth, I think that "b" is the possibility the Bush Administration should fear most, as their serious underestimation of the difficulties of occupation really did start things off badly.

However, opponents of the invasion (and critics of its handling, like myself) must remember that Americans want to believe that this to be a good war. A majority will lean toward Bush on this issue if they can.


NYGuy - 9/17/2003

Ron,

Little confused about your reference to Halliburton. What is you point? Perhaps you think we should give the work to a French company that has less revenues and less experienced than the U. S. companies. Would that make you sleep better at night.

Yes Cheney is cool, but that is the type of leadership you want in a war. That is why Lincoln chose Grant. We don't need leaders who cut and run, it already cost us 9/11.


Ron Pollard - 9/17/2003

I think we have to look at the situation we're in within the context of who is in control/who wants control. Bush and his "cronies" want complete control, for gods sake did anybody see Cheney's interviewed this Sunday w/ TRussert. The modulation in his voice alone was as cold as dry ice,
listen to what he says also, "Iraq has 20% of the worlds oil reserves". Our troops PAY FOR THEIR MEALS! and I mean literaly cash out of their own pockets. Who supplys those meals....You guessed it Haliburton,WOW. And the Haliburton employees who dish up the tasty grewl are dressed in US fatiuges. I'll take a double dip sir.


Ron Pollard - 9/17/2003

I think we have to look at the situation we're in within the context of who is in control/who wants control. Bush and his "cronies" want complete control, for gods sake did anybody see Cheney's interviewed this Sunday w/ TRussert. The modulation in his voice alone was as cold as dry ice,
listen to what he says also, "Iraq has 20% of the worlds oil reserves". Our troops PAY FOR THEIR MEALS! and I mean literaly cash out of their own pockets. Who supplys those meals....You guessed it Haliburton,WOW. And the Haliburton employees who dish up the tasty grewl are dressed in US fatiuges. I'll take a double dip sir.


Warren Wonka - 9/17/2003

Alec Lloyd is back, and as kneejerk as ever. As an alumnus of Stanford I am offended by his belittling of Condi Rice. Adherence to his style of comment would now require listing the various “ims” which this glaring oversight might make him guilty of, but I believe in the truth and believe that simple rude arrogance is the most likely explanation.

While I do agree that the question posed in the “poll” is trivial, that does not make the comment board an acceptable forum for anti-intellectual irrelevancies, which are already the bane of HNN.


NYGuy - 9/17/2003

John many fail to realize the $87 billions will be spent over a period of time. Actually a leading NYC bank economist said he was not changing his 2004 figures on the deficit because of this as well as a rebound in the economy.

With GW's leadership the economy is now rebounding, Americans are benefiting from the "Wealth effect" of the stock market, other countries are coming around and agree and support our actions, Iraq is being rebuilt and the flow of oil revenues will help offset the spending.

Meanwhile, see the article from Yahoo on my post below on the many other benefits of the U. S. actions.


NYGuy - 9/17/2003

The public is not stupid, but many who are blinded by political bias fail to recognized what is happening in the world. There are many benefits coming from GW's leadership and Americans are smart enough to know the difference.

From Yahoo:

Tue Sep 16, 9:40 AM ET
By MARK FRITZ, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK - Iran's legislature mulls a plan

The United States and its bare-knuckled diplomacy may have alienated old allies and inspired armies of vengeful extremists, but the last superpower's might and money — along with its military conquests in Iraq (news - web sites) and Afghanistan (news - web sites) — has commanded some measure of respect among enemies who wouldn't mind being showered with cash instead of cluster bombs.

Call it a case of Iraq-a-phobia, an affliction that analysts say will prove fleeting if Washington — or Americans in general — grow weary of U.S. troops dying while serving on missions that become lengthier and more lethal than expected.

"There's little doubt that the U.S. pre-emption policy has, for example, made perennial state sponsors of terrorism less inclined to act provocatively," said Jonathan Stevenson, senior fellow for counter-terrorism at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

More....

A list of other achievement are listed on the following web site:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&e=17&u=/ap/20030916/ap_on_re_mi_ea/the_iraq_effect_3her achievement are on the website:

One of the greatest Presidents in our history. Get him ready for Mount Rushmore.

Best Wishes


Elia Markell - 9/16/2003

This remakr is ignorant and cynical. Are you suggesting that the public is simply too stupid, or simply too morally dead, to care about soldiers deaths even an unjustified war? The reason the deaths have not changed opinion that much is that the public sees, with good reason, that the war WAS justified. Unlike the left, which (apart from a handfull of them) has demonstrated unbelievable indifference to the plight of Iraqis under Saddam all the way along this past 10 years, the public as a whole DOES in fact care that its wars be jusified. It has concluded (correctly) that this one is clearly justified.


Alec Lloyd - 9/16/2003

Nice to see the invective is just as reasoned as it always was.


Jaqueline Hinds - 9/16/2003

As tragic as the deaths of those lives sacrificed in even a justified war are, a few soldiers killed each week in an unjustified and mishandled war, such as this one, are not likely to make much impact on public sentiment or policy decisions. Unless those soldiers have last names like Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Kristol, etc...


john horse - 9/15/2003

I think support for Bush's handling of Iraq has dropped not just because of American casualties. Other factors include:
the $87 billion additional dollars that this war will cost and the lies about the weapons of mass destruction and Saddam's ties to Al Queda. I agree with Kaplan that "polls demonstrate that Americans will sustain battle deaths if they think the United States will emerge from a conflict triumphant." The problem is that things have not gone well for Bush in Iraq following the capture of Baghdad. Bush's plea for UN support and his request for $87 billion is a tacit admission of this. If this doesn't do the trick of winning Iraqi hearts and minds, the chances of us emerging "triumphant" will be increasingly bleak.

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