Friday, June 17, 2005

No One in His Senses...

In the 19th century, Prussian military philosopher Carl von Clausewitz wrote: “No one starts a war--or rather, no one in his senses ought to do so--without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by that war."

Some time later, 21st century American president George W. Bush, referring to the march to war in Iraq, said, "My conversations with the Prime Minister [Tony Blair] was how can we do this peacefully?"

Do what peacefully?

If weapons of mass destruction were the real reason for invading Iraq, why didn't we leave when we found out there weren’t any there?

Did we really invade because of suspected al Qaeda connections? Al Qaeda didn't have a presence in Iraq until we invaded the country. Did we start a war to give ourselves an excuse to fight it?

If the real goal in Iraq was regime change, did Bush and Blair honestly believe they could do that peacefully?

Facing pressure from congress, President Bush is about to launch a campaign to ease America's concerns about the conduct and progress of the war in Iraq, but doesn’t plan to offer any policy changes.

Is that because:

a) there's no real policy to change?


b) because the real policy was one that couldn't possibly have been achieved peacefully, so the Bush team figures it's best if he just doesn't talk about it?

Before you decide on an answer: if you haven't done so yet please, please, please read the 1998 letter from the Project for the New American Century to President Clinton calling for "removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power" through military action. Make sure to take a good look at who signed it. Then pass the link along to your friends.


Good grief! Some right wing wonk on MSNBC just denied the administration ever tried to tie Saddam Hussein to 9-11.

We live in Rovewellian times.

I'm going to try and get my mind off this over the weekend. Maybe I'll catch up on the latest news about Tom Cruise and Katie.

I'll leave you with a couple more logic puzzlers.

--How many more have to die in this war to prevent others from having died in vain?

--How long do you keep making a mistake to justify having made it in the first place?




  1. If we were there because of WMDs, why didn't we leave when we found none?

    I would suggest by the time we found there weren't any, the country's government had been toppled and we had incurred a moral obligation to stay and help them to the extent possible.

    But I was never swayed by the WMD arguments, and I said so from before the launching of the war.

    It is clear to me that the goal all along was regime change for the purpose of trying to change the political face of the middle east. I don't think any reasonable person could have expected to do that without violence, so Bush's comment is disingenuous.

    I think Bush probably expected, as did many members of Congress and of the previous admin, including our illustrious former Pres., to find WMDs once they got there, and to be able to hold them up and say "see, we told you," thereby providing what they thought would be a good public justification for things, even though WMDs were never their real reason for going. The lack of WMDs obviously threw a big wrench into this plan.

    What we need to do now is figure out how to get out of there within the next year. I'd like to see Al-Zarqawi caught by then if possible, because I think his absence will make life much easier on Iraqis and the new government there, but the main focus should be on leaving. The new Iraqi government is in place. They have armed forces of their own (and maybe we could stick around a little to help in further training if they request it - but only in that capacity). Also, I think the insurgents will fnid that any public sympathy they might have will erode in a hurry if the Americans leave and they are still blowing up ordinary Iraqis and Iraqi police etc.

  2. Scott,

    I think we agree down the line on this one. WMD was never the real reason.

    I've come around to the opinion that coming up with a timetable is the best thing we can do. This argument that "they'll just wait for us to leave before they attack again" is bunk. If it were true, it would be the best possible outcome. If we say we're leaving in a year, and the insurgents lie low, that gives us a year to train up Iraqi forces in a secure environment.

    Darn sight better strategy than the one we have now.


  3. Anonymous2:01 PM

    I didn't know that Navy Commanders could be such tinfoil hat wearing moonbats. Rovewellian times? Get a grip, sir.


  4. "Tinfoil hat wearing moonbats?" Who'd you learn all those big words from, Froggy: Rush or Ann? ;-)


  5. Congrats, Jeff! I see that you have a troll, your very own wingnut from Wingnutistan with an ironic nym: a warty and slimy creature that tastes like chicken.

  6. Hard to say. Froggy might have gotten "tinfoil hat wearing moonbat" from Aristophanes or or Shakespeare. Except, no, they didn't have tinfoil in Aristophanes' or Shakespeare's days, did they?

    If I have a troll, does that mean I've "arrived" in the blogosphere?