The Iraq war is over

The Iraq war is over December 16, 2011

Yesterday the war in Iraq officially came to an end.  The American flag in Baghdad was taken down, a somber ceremony was held (with no representation from the Iraqi government), and peace was declared.

The war lasted 9 years, with 4,500 Americans giving their lives.

So it’s over.  Where is the jubilation?  Where is the celebration in Times Square?  The Washington Post put the story on p.3.

We conquered the country and overthrew Saddam Hussein.  Doesn’t that count as a victory?  Why doesn’t it feel like one?  Do you think the war was worth it?

What do you think will happen now?

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TRENDING AT PATHEOS Evangelical
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • The war wasn’t worth it and it’s only a matter of time before the U.S. is in another war somewhere.

  • The war wasn’t worth it and it’s only a matter of time before the U.S. is in another war somewhere.

  • Spaulding

    It wasn’t worth it, time money or lives primarily for Junior’s vanity to finish the job that his old man didn’t or couldn’t. Iraq will become like Iran, and it seems most of the other Islamic countries in the Middle East, another state ruled by Islamic fundamentalists.

  • Spaulding

    It wasn’t worth it, time money or lives primarily for Junior’s vanity to finish the job that his old man didn’t or couldn’t. Iraq will become like Iran, and it seems most of the other Islamic countries in the Middle East, another state ruled by Islamic fundamentalists.

  • sg

    Maybe it doesn’t feel like much of a victory because so many of us weren’t really for it. It wasn’t about us. It was a police action. They will democratically elect an oppressive government. Someone once called it the third world model; one man, one vote, one time.

  • sg

    Maybe it doesn’t feel like much of a victory because so many of us weren’t really for it. It wasn’t about us. It was a police action. They will democratically elect an oppressive government. Someone once called it the third world model; one man, one vote, one time.

  • Tom Hering

    “We conquered the country and overthrew Saddam Hussein. Doesn’t that count as a victory?”

    If Saddam had WMD and was planning to use them against us, then yes, we fought and won a war to defend America. Otherwise, no, it just counts as conquest and overthrow – justified as being good for the Iraqis.

  • Tom Hering

    “We conquered the country and overthrew Saddam Hussein. Doesn’t that count as a victory?”

    If Saddam had WMD and was planning to use them against us, then yes, we fought and won a war to defend America. Otherwise, no, it just counts as conquest and overthrow – justified as being good for the Iraqis.

  • Carl Vehse

    It will become known as “the Iraqi War to End All Iraqi Wars.”

    Oh wait… that’s what they called the First Iraqi War.

  • Carl Vehse

    It will become known as “the Iraqi War to End All Iraqi Wars.”

    Oh wait… that’s what they called the First Iraqi War.

  • Jack

    The only folks who serve in the US military, today are those who volunteer.
    They serve because they want to.
    Who really cares what anyone else thinks?!?
    We have become a country to which people escape because they don’t want to serve in their country’s military, and we provide a haven for them.
    Our freedoms no longer come with an obligation to serve our country in the military. Let’s honor our military who are serving totally through choice. None of them have to be there.
    God’s richest blessings on those who serve in our military by choice. Many have served multiple tours overseas, in harms way. They, and they alone should have a voice in such a question.
    Let’s be certain that we do not denigrate the service of our military because we do not agree with the circumstances in which they voluntarily serve. You could be there by virtue of the draft.

  • Jack

    The only folks who serve in the US military, today are those who volunteer.
    They serve because they want to.
    Who really cares what anyone else thinks?!?
    We have become a country to which people escape because they don’t want to serve in their country’s military, and we provide a haven for them.
    Our freedoms no longer come with an obligation to serve our country in the military. Let’s honor our military who are serving totally through choice. None of them have to be there.
    God’s richest blessings on those who serve in our military by choice. Many have served multiple tours overseas, in harms way. They, and they alone should have a voice in such a question.
    Let’s be certain that we do not denigrate the service of our military because we do not agree with the circumstances in which they voluntarily serve. You could be there by virtue of the draft.

  • It is very worthwhile mentioning, Dr Veith, that it was not only 4500 American servicemen who lost their lives but also 179 Britons, 33 Italians 30 Poles, 21 Australian soldiers – lest we forget – and c. 1500 foreign civilian contractors, not to mention upwards of 150 000 Iraqi civilians.

    What happens next? For the sake of the blood shed and lives lost, peace and prosperity for the long-suffering Iraqi people, I hope.

  • It is very worthwhile mentioning, Dr Veith, that it was not only 4500 American servicemen who lost their lives but also 179 Britons, 33 Italians 30 Poles, 21 Australian soldiers – lest we forget – and c. 1500 foreign civilian contractors, not to mention upwards of 150 000 Iraqi civilians.

    What happens next? For the sake of the blood shed and lives lost, peace and prosperity for the long-suffering Iraqi people, I hope.

  • Tom Hering

    “They, and they alone should have a voice in such a question.”

    But in America, the military serves the citizenry, and is commanded by an elected representative of the citizenry – the President. So, while I understand the sentiment, those who served are not the only ones with a right to a voice in this question. Far from it.

  • Tom Hering

    “They, and they alone should have a voice in such a question.”

    But in America, the military serves the citizenry, and is commanded by an elected representative of the citizenry – the President. So, while I understand the sentiment, those who served are not the only ones with a right to a voice in this question. Far from it.

  • Jack

    Mr. Hering,
    The military do not serve the citizenry, they serve in place of the citizenry who do not feel an obligation to pay for the freedoms which they enjoy as those in previous generations were obligated to do.

  • Jack

    Mr. Hering,
    The military do not serve the citizenry, they serve in place of the citizenry who do not feel an obligation to pay for the freedoms which they enjoy as those in previous generations were obligated to do.

  • Tom Hering

    Jack, we don’t live in the United States of Heinlein. 😀

  • Tom Hering

    Jack, we don’t live in the United States of Heinlein. 😀

  • Mike

    The military oath specifies that they defend the constitution. So the question is was the United States, as it is represented by the constitution, under threat from Iraq?

  • Mike

    The military oath specifies that they defend the constitution. So the question is was the United States, as it is represented by the constitution, under threat from Iraq?

  • Tom Hering

    While a military (not necessarily a standing army) is necessary to defend our freedom (at times), the notion that we owe our freedom to the military is false. We owe our freedom to our political system, which is wholly a civilian system, by design. We don’t have military rulers or authorities, thank God. (We also owe our freedom to our geography, but that’s a different matter.)

  • Tom Hering

    While a military (not necessarily a standing army) is necessary to defend our freedom (at times), the notion that we owe our freedom to the military is false. We owe our freedom to our political system, which is wholly a civilian system, by design. We don’t have military rulers or authorities, thank God. (We also owe our freedom to our geography, but that’s a different matter.)

  • Joe

    In the end it will be NOT worth it. I supported the decision to invade Iraq. I supported it based on my thinking re: the use of force to preemptively defend the US’s interests. At the time I believed in the standard neo-con thinking that it was good for the US to play world policeman, my thinking has changed quit a bit since then.

    We can have the same debates we have had several times re: the propriety of a preemptive strike, whether we really did or did not know about the WND situation, but regardless of that debate – the war was not worthwhile because whatever good was accomplished comes at much too high a price.

    Was removing Saddam a net good? We shall soon find out. In the short run it was (unless you are a Christian living in Iraq), but once we leave I suspect that the Iranian backed factions of the Iraqi gov’t will take power via the vote and via force. In Liberia a common Charles Taylor campaign slogan was “He killed my father, he killed my brother, I’ll vote for him.” Such a similar view of democracy is very likely in Iraq. Without the US there to run things, I think it is likely that voters will be intimidated into supporting certain parties, the election results will be fraudulent and that force will determine the out come.

    Al-Sadr is not interested in creating a peaceful modern nation. He and his supporters are interesting in instilling their version of Islamic rule. It is very possible that their could be a Sunni-Shia civil war in Iraq. Which will not be good for Iraq – but in a very cold calculated way might be good for the US because the groups will be too busy killing each other to worry about sponsoring terrorism or other attacks against the US interests around the world.

  • Joe

    In the end it will be NOT worth it. I supported the decision to invade Iraq. I supported it based on my thinking re: the use of force to preemptively defend the US’s interests. At the time I believed in the standard neo-con thinking that it was good for the US to play world policeman, my thinking has changed quit a bit since then.

    We can have the same debates we have had several times re: the propriety of a preemptive strike, whether we really did or did not know about the WND situation, but regardless of that debate – the war was not worthwhile because whatever good was accomplished comes at much too high a price.

    Was removing Saddam a net good? We shall soon find out. In the short run it was (unless you are a Christian living in Iraq), but once we leave I suspect that the Iranian backed factions of the Iraqi gov’t will take power via the vote and via force. In Liberia a common Charles Taylor campaign slogan was “He killed my father, he killed my brother, I’ll vote for him.” Such a similar view of democracy is very likely in Iraq. Without the US there to run things, I think it is likely that voters will be intimidated into supporting certain parties, the election results will be fraudulent and that force will determine the out come.

    Al-Sadr is not interested in creating a peaceful modern nation. He and his supporters are interesting in instilling their version of Islamic rule. It is very possible that their could be a Sunni-Shia civil war in Iraq. Which will not be good for Iraq – but in a very cold calculated way might be good for the US because the groups will be too busy killing each other to worry about sponsoring terrorism or other attacks against the US interests around the world.

  • I guess I’m more or less depressed by it, because I have a nagging suspicion we’ll have to go back now, and probably sooner rather than later, and we will end up fighting to take territory we had at one time already taken. Territory that gave us strategic influence throughout the region. But because of an idiot president we no longer have.
    And we thought Bush declared Mission accomplished prematurely…. What will follow here, is not going to be pretty. I do hope I am wrong.

  • I guess I’m more or less depressed by it, because I have a nagging suspicion we’ll have to go back now, and probably sooner rather than later, and we will end up fighting to take territory we had at one time already taken. Territory that gave us strategic influence throughout the region. But because of an idiot president we no longer have.
    And we thought Bush declared Mission accomplished prematurely…. What will follow here, is not going to be pretty. I do hope I am wrong.

  • kerner

    Does it count as a victory?

    Militarily, it surely does. The process seems pretty anti-climactic now because the military victory came years ago. If we ever close our bases in South Korea, the event will seem similarly anti-climactic. We over-ran and defeated our enemies and allowed the Iraqis to develop a parliamentary system of government and elect leaders of their own choosing. We are leaving because most Iraqis want us to. They want the self government we have secured for them, and believe that our continued military presense, subject to our own laws but not theirs, constitutes and occupation they do not want to accept. But the ability to make those decisions on their own is part of what we fought for, so we can hardly deny it to them now.

    Was it worth it?

    In many respects, this remains to be seen. All the profecies of doom and gloom above come from people who didn’t want us to do this in the first place. People who constantly argue that you can’t “impose freedom on people by military action” always seem to resent the possibility that such a course of action might actually work. Today, the Iraqis are in a much better position than they were. When asked what kind of a government the founding fathers had created, Benjamin Franklin responded “A republic… if you can keep it.” The Iraqis are at that point now. Whether they can keep it as well as, say, the Koreans or Philippinos, remains to be seen. It was a bumpy road for the Koreans and Philippinos. There were authoritarian regimes in both countries after they gained self government. But both are functioning republics now. So, incidently, are Japan, Germany and Italy.

    But for some of you I think you don’t want Iraqi democracy to survive, because that would embolden neo-cons to try this again. For my own part, I have to confess that one of the reasons I want the New Iraq to succeed is because I want my children, who fought there, to feel that their sacrifice was, indeed, worth it.

  • kerner

    Does it count as a victory?

    Militarily, it surely does. The process seems pretty anti-climactic now because the military victory came years ago. If we ever close our bases in South Korea, the event will seem similarly anti-climactic. We over-ran and defeated our enemies and allowed the Iraqis to develop a parliamentary system of government and elect leaders of their own choosing. We are leaving because most Iraqis want us to. They want the self government we have secured for them, and believe that our continued military presense, subject to our own laws but not theirs, constitutes and occupation they do not want to accept. But the ability to make those decisions on their own is part of what we fought for, so we can hardly deny it to them now.

    Was it worth it?

    In many respects, this remains to be seen. All the profecies of doom and gloom above come from people who didn’t want us to do this in the first place. People who constantly argue that you can’t “impose freedom on people by military action” always seem to resent the possibility that such a course of action might actually work. Today, the Iraqis are in a much better position than they were. When asked what kind of a government the founding fathers had created, Benjamin Franklin responded “A republic… if you can keep it.” The Iraqis are at that point now. Whether they can keep it as well as, say, the Koreans or Philippinos, remains to be seen. It was a bumpy road for the Koreans and Philippinos. There were authoritarian regimes in both countries after they gained self government. But both are functioning republics now. So, incidently, are Japan, Germany and Italy.

    But for some of you I think you don’t want Iraqi democracy to survive, because that would embolden neo-cons to try this again. For my own part, I have to confess that one of the reasons I want the New Iraq to succeed is because I want my children, who fought there, to feel that their sacrifice was, indeed, worth it.

  • Tom Hering

    I think Mike @ 11 nails it. The American soldier swears to defend the Constitution of the United States – to ensure the continuation of our political system. If it can be shown that this is what they accomplished by serving in Iraq, then they did their sworn duty. Otherwise, they did something else.

  • Tom Hering

    I think Mike @ 11 nails it. The American soldier swears to defend the Constitution of the United States – to ensure the continuation of our political system. If it can be shown that this is what they accomplished by serving in Iraq, then they did their sworn duty. Otherwise, they did something else.

  • Carl Vehse

    Rev. Henderson @7,

    It should also very worthwhile mentioning that there were also U.S. civilian contractors who worked (and some wounded or killed) in Iraq.

  • Carl Vehse

    Rev. Henderson @7,

    It should also very worthwhile mentioning that there were also U.S. civilian contractors who worked (and some wounded or killed) in Iraq.

  • Jerry

    The current president of the US has shown all indications that he will not oppose the entry of Iraq into the sphere of Iranian domination…the question what will happen only remains if he is not re-elected next year.

  • Jerry

    The current president of the US has shown all indications that he will not oppose the entry of Iraq into the sphere of Iranian domination…the question what will happen only remains if he is not re-elected next year.

  • sg

    “4500 American servicemen who lost their lives but also 179 Britons, 33 Italians 30 Poles, 21 Australian soldiers – lest we forget – and c. 1500 foreign civilian contractors, not to mention upwards of 150 000 Iraqi civilians.”

    I trust the first numbers, but wonder about the last one. What is the source for that number?

    Also, there are tons of permanently disabled veterans. That number would interest me as well. I think that those disabled vets are the ones that make me lean toward it was not worth it. I value our men more than trying to force our way of life on people who don’t want our way of life.

  • sg

    “4500 American servicemen who lost their lives but also 179 Britons, 33 Italians 30 Poles, 21 Australian soldiers – lest we forget – and c. 1500 foreign civilian contractors, not to mention upwards of 150 000 Iraqi civilians.”

    I trust the first numbers, but wonder about the last one. What is the source for that number?

    Also, there are tons of permanently disabled veterans. That number would interest me as well. I think that those disabled vets are the ones that make me lean toward it was not worth it. I value our men more than trying to force our way of life on people who don’t want our way of life.

  • sg
  • sg
  • Cincinnatus

    By any conventional standards, the United States was overwhelmingly victorious in this war. We inflicted tremendous casualties upon the enemy, often with extreme prejudice, obliterating its very government and social fabric. In an age not burdened by quaint notions of “human rights” and “laws of war,” we could have easily taken whatever spoils we wanted. We shed minimal American blood and, though vastly outnumbered, put the enemy to shame posthaste. A classic war of imperial conquest in the finest British tradition.

    But like all imperial conquests, I am not inclined to believe that it was worth it by any measure–national defense, protecting vital interests, spreading democracy, etc.–unless one is using the antiquated metrics of honor and glory. A good waste of a trillion dollars if ever there was one.

    By the way, who honestly believes that this conflict is “over”? Do proxy wars via “clandestine” services and private mercenaries not qualify as conflict anymore?

  • Cincinnatus

    By any conventional standards, the United States was overwhelmingly victorious in this war. We inflicted tremendous casualties upon the enemy, often with extreme prejudice, obliterating its very government and social fabric. In an age not burdened by quaint notions of “human rights” and “laws of war,” we could have easily taken whatever spoils we wanted. We shed minimal American blood and, though vastly outnumbered, put the enemy to shame posthaste. A classic war of imperial conquest in the finest British tradition.

    But like all imperial conquests, I am not inclined to believe that it was worth it by any measure–national defense, protecting vital interests, spreading democracy, etc.–unless one is using the antiquated metrics of honor and glory. A good waste of a trillion dollars if ever there was one.

    By the way, who honestly believes that this conflict is “over”? Do proxy wars via “clandestine” services and private mercenaries not qualify as conflict anymore?

  • kerner

    Cincinnatus, you asked:

    “By the way, who honestly believes that this conflict is “over”? ”

    And the answer is clearly “no”. This is like the “Cold War”. The actual shooting wars come and go, but the conflict just keeps going, on and on.

  • kerner

    Cincinnatus, you asked:

    “By the way, who honestly believes that this conflict is “over”? ”

    And the answer is clearly “no”. This is like the “Cold War”. The actual shooting wars come and go, but the conflict just keeps going, on and on.

  • Dennis Peskey

    To properly answer Dr. Veith’s question, “Do you think the war was worth it? I would suggest we garner a historical perspective necessary for reply. On August 2, 1990, Iraqi forces stormed into Kuwait precipitating what became Desert Storm. After securing both Congressional and United Nations approval, the United States began offensive ground operations on February 24, 1991. Four days later, President G. H. W. Bush (the elder Bush) declared victory and an end to all offensive operations.

    As a supporter of Desert Storm, I was greatly puzzled by the abrupt ending. Our military had, in four short days, managed to corner the “elite” Iraqi Republican Guard; their destruction would be akin to fishing in the trout pond with dynamite – not much of a contest. More importantly, the central opponent, Saddam Hussein resided some ninety miles north of our tank divisions with nothing to slow their progress save for a few Iraqi taxi cabs – again, a sure victory ensued. Yet, there sat our victorious army, neither attacking the strength of the enemy nor holding the leadership accountable.

    The inevitable question arouse – Why? The answer is to be found in a brief history of what led to this first war. Under both President’s Reagan and Bush (elder), we gave significant economic and military support to Iraq in their defense against Iran. The adage of the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” doctrine leads to many strange conclusions. In the early 1990’s, Saddam had WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction) as well as delivery means (scud missles – thanks to our friends, the Chinese). Saddam used these WMDs; on his people, on the Kurds, on the Iranians. He fired scuds at Israel; he just wasn’t a very good neighbor.

    The US was well aware of the atrocities Saddam committed; however, he, by necessity, was engaged in a land war with Iran which seemed to justify our support. When the Iran/Iraq war ended, Iraq owed a great deal of debt to both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. I’ll let the individual reader decide whether Saddam’s case against Kuwait had any merit. The reality was on that particular August day, Saddam had no more patience and attacked Kuwait (who amazingly seemed unaware of the impending danger from the north.) The Republican Guard drove south, the Kuwait government fled to KSA and we rode to the rescue on February 24.

    The question that should be examined is why did we neither destroy entirely the Republican Guard nor proceed north, capture Saddam and hold him accountable?

    Iran – we really don’t like Iran. OK – Saddam was a jerk, but not the first jerk our nation used as a proxy to fight our enemies (see Osama Bin Laden)! H.W. knew removing the military strength of Iraq or it’s leader would cause more destabilization in the region than living with the results. Junior Bush apparently was unaware of this lesson.

    On February 5, 2003, President Bush (junior) had his Secretary of State, Colin Powell, dump a huge truckload of bovine excrement on the United Nations Security Council as justification for our countries preemptive strike against Iraq. Powell served as just a delivery boy with a bad bag of goods; I lay the blame at the feet of Vice-President Cheney (we could have saved many American lives by just sending Dick over there bird hunting with unlimited ammo – that would had done the trick.) Then there’s the biggest danger to our military, Donny Dumsfeld; we’d have been better served with Benedict Arnold as Secretary of Defense.

    On March 20, 2003, Junior Bush began the “Iraq War” which ended yesterday, December 15, 2011. This was never was about removing a dictator – the elder Bush could have accomplished that much faster and with less fanfare. It was not about forming a democratic government of Iraq (you may find enlightenment in a study of the Koran to see how democracies fare under this religious system). It certainly was not about WMDs; Saddam had neither the money nor the guts to risk another US led invasion – all he did have was a lot of hot air directed at his neighbors, particulary Iran, in hopes of avoiding another invasion by them.

    Now, we’ve managed to elevate Iran to the regional power and this devil is far worse than some jerk dictator. And I’m equally sure Iran is licking her chops, waiting for our failing geographical memories to remove Iraq from our vision of national security. Iraq by herself doesn’t have a pray (to Allah – which is no pray at all). Iran’s gonna mess with her politically, economically and finally, militarily. Persia and Baghdad are not friends now or yesterday, four thousand years ago or until the second coming. What is missing in the equation now is how much we’ve weaken Iraq and by so doing, strengthened Iran. This is what I believe will happen now and I do not believe this was worth one American life (nor any other by our hand).
    Peace on Earth,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    To properly answer Dr. Veith’s question, “Do you think the war was worth it? I would suggest we garner a historical perspective necessary for reply. On August 2, 1990, Iraqi forces stormed into Kuwait precipitating what became Desert Storm. After securing both Congressional and United Nations approval, the United States began offensive ground operations on February 24, 1991. Four days later, President G. H. W. Bush (the elder Bush) declared victory and an end to all offensive operations.

    As a supporter of Desert Storm, I was greatly puzzled by the abrupt ending. Our military had, in four short days, managed to corner the “elite” Iraqi Republican Guard; their destruction would be akin to fishing in the trout pond with dynamite – not much of a contest. More importantly, the central opponent, Saddam Hussein resided some ninety miles north of our tank divisions with nothing to slow their progress save for a few Iraqi taxi cabs – again, a sure victory ensued. Yet, there sat our victorious army, neither attacking the strength of the enemy nor holding the leadership accountable.

    The inevitable question arouse – Why? The answer is to be found in a brief history of what led to this first war. Under both President’s Reagan and Bush (elder), we gave significant economic and military support to Iraq in their defense against Iran. The adage of the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” doctrine leads to many strange conclusions. In the early 1990’s, Saddam had WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction) as well as delivery means (scud missles – thanks to our friends, the Chinese). Saddam used these WMDs; on his people, on the Kurds, on the Iranians. He fired scuds at Israel; he just wasn’t a very good neighbor.

    The US was well aware of the atrocities Saddam committed; however, he, by necessity, was engaged in a land war with Iran which seemed to justify our support. When the Iran/Iraq war ended, Iraq owed a great deal of debt to both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. I’ll let the individual reader decide whether Saddam’s case against Kuwait had any merit. The reality was on that particular August day, Saddam had no more patience and attacked Kuwait (who amazingly seemed unaware of the impending danger from the north.) The Republican Guard drove south, the Kuwait government fled to KSA and we rode to the rescue on February 24.

    The question that should be examined is why did we neither destroy entirely the Republican Guard nor proceed north, capture Saddam and hold him accountable?

    Iran – we really don’t like Iran. OK – Saddam was a jerk, but not the first jerk our nation used as a proxy to fight our enemies (see Osama Bin Laden)! H.W. knew removing the military strength of Iraq or it’s leader would cause more destabilization in the region than living with the results. Junior Bush apparently was unaware of this lesson.

    On February 5, 2003, President Bush (junior) had his Secretary of State, Colin Powell, dump a huge truckload of bovine excrement on the United Nations Security Council as justification for our countries preemptive strike against Iraq. Powell served as just a delivery boy with a bad bag of goods; I lay the blame at the feet of Vice-President Cheney (we could have saved many American lives by just sending Dick over there bird hunting with unlimited ammo – that would had done the trick.) Then there’s the biggest danger to our military, Donny Dumsfeld; we’d have been better served with Benedict Arnold as Secretary of Defense.

    On March 20, 2003, Junior Bush began the “Iraq War” which ended yesterday, December 15, 2011. This was never was about removing a dictator – the elder Bush could have accomplished that much faster and with less fanfare. It was not about forming a democratic government of Iraq (you may find enlightenment in a study of the Koran to see how democracies fare under this religious system). It certainly was not about WMDs; Saddam had neither the money nor the guts to risk another US led invasion – all he did have was a lot of hot air directed at his neighbors, particulary Iran, in hopes of avoiding another invasion by them.

    Now, we’ve managed to elevate Iran to the regional power and this devil is far worse than some jerk dictator. And I’m equally sure Iran is licking her chops, waiting for our failing geographical memories to remove Iraq from our vision of national security. Iraq by herself doesn’t have a pray (to Allah – which is no pray at all). Iran’s gonna mess with her politically, economically and finally, militarily. Persia and Baghdad are not friends now or yesterday, four thousand years ago or until the second coming. What is missing in the equation now is how much we’ve weaken Iraq and by so doing, strengthened Iran. This is what I believe will happen now and I do not believe this was worth one American life (nor any other by our hand).
    Peace on Earth,
    Dennis

  • Dust

    Bror beat me to it in 14….was going to say the Obama speech and end of war event struck me as eerily similar to the Bush “Mission Accomplished” thing. Like some sort of PR thing staged to satisfy his political supporters and improve his standings in the polls, but in reality, hollow, empty, vain and sort of sad.

    Of course, only time will tell if this is truly the end, or the end of the beginning, or the beginning of the end….who the heck really knows what is down the road? No doubt, though, there is a fork ahead…one road has a wide gate, and the other has a narrow one.

    Lord have mercy!

  • Dust

    Bror beat me to it in 14….was going to say the Obama speech and end of war event struck me as eerily similar to the Bush “Mission Accomplished” thing. Like some sort of PR thing staged to satisfy his political supporters and improve his standings in the polls, but in reality, hollow, empty, vain and sort of sad.

    Of course, only time will tell if this is truly the end, or the end of the beginning, or the beginning of the end….who the heck really knows what is down the road? No doubt, though, there is a fork ahead…one road has a wide gate, and the other has a narrow one.

    Lord have mercy!

  • DonS

    Kerner @ 15 nails it. Ten years removed from 9/11 many Americans have conveniently forgotten, or diminished, the atrocities that were done on thousands of our fellow citizens on that day, on our own soil, in the most vibrant buildings in the most vibrant city in our country, as well as in the very headquarters of our Defense Department. We knew the threat was from the Middle East, and more specifically from radical Muslims situated there. At the same time, a horrifically brutal and immoral dictator, Saddam Hussein, was in open defiance of the responsibilities imposed upon him by the United Nations, which he had agreed to, as a consequence to his having badly lost the 1990 Kuwaiti war, during which war he demonstrated his utter disregard for the sovereignty and good will of other nations. He openly claimed to be a host of terrorists bent on continuing the attack on the U.S., and credible intelligence from multiple credible sources indicated that he still had a deadly stash of WMD’s in country to use against his enemies — weapons he had previously brutally used to kill hundreds of thousands of his own countrymen.

    Bush’s decision to invade Iraq was rooted in his belief that he had a right to enforce the UN resolutions that Hussein was refusing to heed, and that he had an obligation to do so because he believed that Iraq was a direct threat to U.S. national interests, and even homeland safety. We look back and say, well, maybe not. But that is hindsight, pure and simple. And we don’t even know if our hindsight is correct — it is riddled with assumptions as to what might have happened if we had not deposed Hussein.

    I do not believe in the U.S. using its military to function as the world’s policeman, which is why I never did support military action in Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, and Africa. But in the case of Afghanistan and Iraq — that is exactly why our military is in place — to protect our interests and national safety. Our military assets are used to perform these functions using the best information available to the Commander-in-Chief. Unfortunately, that information is not always entirely accurate.

    In any event, obviously every objective of the Iraq invasion was met. The military performed amazingly and admirably, deposing Hussein in a matter of a few weeks. Once we committed adequate forces, the occupation was successful as well. Iraq not has its opportunity to be free of brutal dictatorship and to self-govern. That was our objective. If they blow it, it’s on them, not us. It will be sad, but unavoidable given our principles not to impose a particular political ideology on sovereign people.

  • DonS

    Kerner @ 15 nails it. Ten years removed from 9/11 many Americans have conveniently forgotten, or diminished, the atrocities that were done on thousands of our fellow citizens on that day, on our own soil, in the most vibrant buildings in the most vibrant city in our country, as well as in the very headquarters of our Defense Department. We knew the threat was from the Middle East, and more specifically from radical Muslims situated there. At the same time, a horrifically brutal and immoral dictator, Saddam Hussein, was in open defiance of the responsibilities imposed upon him by the United Nations, which he had agreed to, as a consequence to his having badly lost the 1990 Kuwaiti war, during which war he demonstrated his utter disregard for the sovereignty and good will of other nations. He openly claimed to be a host of terrorists bent on continuing the attack on the U.S., and credible intelligence from multiple credible sources indicated that he still had a deadly stash of WMD’s in country to use against his enemies — weapons he had previously brutally used to kill hundreds of thousands of his own countrymen.

    Bush’s decision to invade Iraq was rooted in his belief that he had a right to enforce the UN resolutions that Hussein was refusing to heed, and that he had an obligation to do so because he believed that Iraq was a direct threat to U.S. national interests, and even homeland safety. We look back and say, well, maybe not. But that is hindsight, pure and simple. And we don’t even know if our hindsight is correct — it is riddled with assumptions as to what might have happened if we had not deposed Hussein.

    I do not believe in the U.S. using its military to function as the world’s policeman, which is why I never did support military action in Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, and Africa. But in the case of Afghanistan and Iraq — that is exactly why our military is in place — to protect our interests and national safety. Our military assets are used to perform these functions using the best information available to the Commander-in-Chief. Unfortunately, that information is not always entirely accurate.

    In any event, obviously every objective of the Iraq invasion was met. The military performed amazingly and admirably, deposing Hussein in a matter of a few weeks. Once we committed adequate forces, the occupation was successful as well. Iraq not has its opportunity to be free of brutal dictatorship and to self-govern. That was our objective. If they blow it, it’s on them, not us. It will be sad, but unavoidable given our principles not to impose a particular political ideology on sovereign people.

  • I was for taking out Saddam, but not for replacing him with a constitutional theocracy.
    This has been an education for me on just how evil Islamism is. We gave ‘the people’ control over their own country and they used their new found democratic powers to persecute the Christian Church.
    As bad as Sadam was, it was safer to be a Christian in Baghdad 10 years ago that today. And all this started by Bush, whom the left suspected of wanting to increase the influence of Christians.

  • I was for taking out Saddam, but not for replacing him with a constitutional theocracy.
    This has been an education for me on just how evil Islamism is. We gave ‘the people’ control over their own country and they used their new found democratic powers to persecute the Christian Church.
    As bad as Sadam was, it was safer to be a Christian in Baghdad 10 years ago that today. And all this started by Bush, whom the left suspected of wanting to increase the influence of Christians.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Dennis @ 23 – that was a brilliant, brilliant analysis. Succint, realistic, good.

    My name is Klasie Kraalogies, and I endorse that analysis….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Dennis @ 23 – that was a brilliant, brilliant analysis. Succint, realistic, good.

    My name is Klasie Kraalogies, and I endorse that analysis….

  • –helen

    Thank you for the history review, Pastor Peskey!

    Exactly, Pastor Spomer!
    The Egyptian “spring” already has resulted in attacks on their Christian “minority” (10% of the population); the rest of the Middle East will follow.
    Hillary trotted around Burma saying nice things to a regime which is destroying the Christian tribes in the north; Obama bows in Indonesia where Christians who have been there since the 1800’s are having their churches burned.

    This was about “freedom” and “democracy”!?

  • –helen

    Thank you for the history review, Pastor Peskey!

    Exactly, Pastor Spomer!
    The Egyptian “spring” already has resulted in attacks on their Christian “minority” (10% of the population); the rest of the Middle East will follow.
    Hillary trotted around Burma saying nice things to a regime which is destroying the Christian tribes in the north; Obama bows in Indonesia where Christians who have been there since the 1800’s are having their churches burned.

    This was about “freedom” and “democracy”!?

  • It took a long time to win the peace. Watch how fast it goes away once we are gone.

  • It took a long time to win the peace. Watch how fast it goes away once we are gone.

  • Jonathan

    Shorter DonS @25: I support US wars when they’re started by Republicans, not Democrats.

  • Jonathan

    Shorter DonS @25: I support US wars when they’re started by Republicans, not Democrats.

  • DonS

    Shorter Jonathan @ 30: I support Democrats.

  • DonS

    Shorter Jonathan @ 30: I support Democrats.

  • Dennis,
    Very right, and exactly why I don’t think this is over, and removing our troops at this point is a rather dumb thing to do.

  • Dennis,
    Very right, and exactly why I don’t think this is over, and removing our troops at this point is a rather dumb thing to do.

  • DonS

    More serious response to the typically silly and pointless comment Jonathan made @ 30: Democratic presidents in recent years have seemed to be more apt to deploy military combat forces for purposes other than national defense and the furtherance of direct U.S. interests, while eschewing the operations that seem actually to support U.S. interests. It’s an odd thing, but historically (i.e. Vietnam and earlier) this was not the case. So it’s not a simple Republicans vs. Democrats issue.

  • DonS

    More serious response to the typically silly and pointless comment Jonathan made @ 30: Democratic presidents in recent years have seemed to be more apt to deploy military combat forces for purposes other than national defense and the furtherance of direct U.S. interests, while eschewing the operations that seem actually to support U.S. interests. It’s an odd thing, but historically (i.e. Vietnam and earlier) this was not the case. So it’s not a simple Republicans vs. Democrats issue.

  • DonS said (@25):

    Ten years removed from 9/11 many Americans have conveniently forgotten, or diminished, the atrocities that were done on thousands of our fellow citizens on that day…

    Hoo boy. Are you intent on recapitulating the deceptive arguments by which we were led into Iraq in the first place? Because the Bush administration also did its best to insinuate that there was somehow a connection to 9/11.

    We knew the threat was from the Middle East, and more specifically from radical Muslims situated there.

    It’s funny that you say all this as an apparent lead-in to a comment defending our adventure in Iraq. The threat wasn’t just “from the Middle East”. It was from a collection of (mostly) Saudis, whose operations were (mostly) based out of Afghanistan. But maybe if you draw the geographical boundaries wide enough, no one will notice? Also, was Saddam a “radical Muslim”? I missed that memo.

    At the same time, a horrifically brutal and immoral dictator, Saddam Hussein, was in open defiance of the responsibilities imposed upon him by the United Nations…

    It’s so funny to watch you pretend to care about UN resolutions, Don. When do “conservatives” care about the UN? When it suits them.

    …during which war he demonstrated his utter disregard for the sovereignty and good will of other nations.

    Oh, I’m sorry, are you somehow arguing in favor of the Iraq War and yet, somehow, complaining about a leader who showed “utter disregard for the sovereignty and good will of other nations”? I mean … um … so … there’s this thing called irony, right?

    He openly claimed to be a host of terrorists bent on continuing the attack on the U.S.

    Remind me what you’re referring to here.

    …and credible intelligence from multiple credible sources indicated that he still had a deadly stash of WMD’s in country to use against his enemies…

    This word “credible” — I do not think it means what you think it does.

    Bush’s decision to invade Iraq was rooted in his belief that he had a right to enforce the UN resolutions that Hussein was refusing to heed…

    Um, if you’re going to concede to the notion that the UN and its resolutions are valid, then having a single country’s leader act on his belief that “he had a right to enforce” those resolutions — contra the actual will of the UN — makes no sense.

    …he believed that Iraq was a direct threat to U.S. national interests, and even homeland safety. We look back and say, well, maybe not. But that is hindsight, pure and simple.

    Um, it’s hindsight for people like you who were blind to the matter at the time. But quite a few people saw the lack of a threat, not from their rear-view mirror, but right out the windshield.

    I do not believe in the U.S. using its military to function as the world’s policeman…

    Oh, come on! Pick a side! If, as you claim in this sentence, it is wrong for the US to “use its military to function as the world’s policeman”, then guess what? It was wrong for Bush to act on “his belief that he had a right to enforce the UN resolutions”. But you don’t criticize Bush’s doing so at all!

  • DonS said (@25):

    Ten years removed from 9/11 many Americans have conveniently forgotten, or diminished, the atrocities that were done on thousands of our fellow citizens on that day…

    Hoo boy. Are you intent on recapitulating the deceptive arguments by which we were led into Iraq in the first place? Because the Bush administration also did its best to insinuate that there was somehow a connection to 9/11.

    We knew the threat was from the Middle East, and more specifically from radical Muslims situated there.

    It’s funny that you say all this as an apparent lead-in to a comment defending our adventure in Iraq. The threat wasn’t just “from the Middle East”. It was from a collection of (mostly) Saudis, whose operations were (mostly) based out of Afghanistan. But maybe if you draw the geographical boundaries wide enough, no one will notice? Also, was Saddam a “radical Muslim”? I missed that memo.

    At the same time, a horrifically brutal and immoral dictator, Saddam Hussein, was in open defiance of the responsibilities imposed upon him by the United Nations…

    It’s so funny to watch you pretend to care about UN resolutions, Don. When do “conservatives” care about the UN? When it suits them.

    …during which war he demonstrated his utter disregard for the sovereignty and good will of other nations.

    Oh, I’m sorry, are you somehow arguing in favor of the Iraq War and yet, somehow, complaining about a leader who showed “utter disregard for the sovereignty and good will of other nations”? I mean … um … so … there’s this thing called irony, right?

    He openly claimed to be a host of terrorists bent on continuing the attack on the U.S.

    Remind me what you’re referring to here.

    …and credible intelligence from multiple credible sources indicated that he still had a deadly stash of WMD’s in country to use against his enemies…

    This word “credible” — I do not think it means what you think it does.

    Bush’s decision to invade Iraq was rooted in his belief that he had a right to enforce the UN resolutions that Hussein was refusing to heed…

    Um, if you’re going to concede to the notion that the UN and its resolutions are valid, then having a single country’s leader act on his belief that “he had a right to enforce” those resolutions — contra the actual will of the UN — makes no sense.

    …he believed that Iraq was a direct threat to U.S. national interests, and even homeland safety. We look back and say, well, maybe not. But that is hindsight, pure and simple.

    Um, it’s hindsight for people like you who were blind to the matter at the time. But quite a few people saw the lack of a threat, not from their rear-view mirror, but right out the windshield.

    I do not believe in the U.S. using its military to function as the world’s policeman…

    Oh, come on! Pick a side! If, as you claim in this sentence, it is wrong for the US to “use its military to function as the world’s policeman”, then guess what? It was wrong for Bush to act on “his belief that he had a right to enforce the UN resolutions”. But you don’t criticize Bush’s doing so at all!

  • Dennis Peskey

    tODD – Just curious, what is your favorite fishing lure; a stick of dynamite or a cube of C-4? (Personally, I prefer C-4; more stable and less affected by moisture.)

    Helen (#28) Thank you for the compliment, but I am neither called nor ordained. I have had the privilege of knowing many confessional Pastors and theologians during the past twenty years, to wit, I now understand all theology is Christology. Blessings.

    Bror (#32) If not now – when? What I never understood about the Iraq war was participation by the British. Do they have no memory capacity; how could they have forgotten why they left Baghdad the first time? Did they seriously think time would make a difference? A long time ago, I learned when traversing swampland, if you find yourself in quicksand, the best time to leave is now – later only gets worse.

    For the rest of you who seem determined to give substance to the primary argument against democracy, sometimes your leaders are not the brightest bulbs in the factory – and, they will not always tell you the truth, the whole truth, or any fraction thereof.

    Ho Chi Minh, four times, wrote letters of appeal to the United States requesting our assistance in their struggle for independence against the colonization of the French government after WWII. The Vietnamese were our allies against the Japanese during WWII; their plea deserved at least a hearing in our congress. All four times, our government rejected their appeals without consideration BECAUSE the FRENCH were our allies. 58,000 Americans died.

    Now, I personally listened to Colin Powell when he delivered the US position to the UN Security Council. At the time of the address, I did not believe any reasons given save for the possibility of WMD stockpiles existing in Iraq. I did examine the evidence of the UN observers; not one instance of stockpiling had been reported at the time of the address. I’m aware Mr. Hussein was less than cordial to the inspectors prowling about his country. I’m also aware our country has (and employs) satellite surveillance of countries which arose our suspicions. No one can move stockpiles around like a checkerboard without being detected. Krushchev couldn’t move medium range missiles into Cuba in 1962 without detection (and physical proof which could be displayed to the entire world and we would be willing to wait until hell froze over for a response) – we really didn’t get dumber during the next thirty years.

    Saddam was not about to admit to having no defense against Iran – unless he was planning a long vacation in Bermuda immediately. To feign possession of WMDs helped keep Iran at bay; without the chemical and biological weapons, the Iranian army would certainly overrun Baghdad (Saddam had no illusions he could appeal to the US government for help after Desert Storm – he was shown to be vulnerable – especially to his primary enemy on the eastern front.)

    Ask yourself, why did Colin Powell resign shortly after he gave such a passionate defense for a preemptive strike? Why did his Chief of Staff, Alexander Wilkerson call the entire testimony before the United Nations a “hoax”? (http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/wilkerson.html)

    “On September 13, 2004, Powell testified before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, acknowledging that the sources who provided much of the information in his February 2003 UN presentation were “wrong” and that it was “unlikely” that any stockpiles of WMDs would be found.” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18890-2004Sep13.html)

    Finally, I offer the following appraisal by Douglas Borer. In July 2003. he joined the faculty of the US Army War College as a Visiting Professor in the Department of National Security and Strategy. His article written for the Army War College is titled “Inverse Engagement: Lessons from US-Iraq Relations, 1982-1990“)(http://www.army.mil/professionalWriting/volumes/volume1/july_2003/7_03_2v2pf.html)

    For the past six months, I’ve read in angst the postings on possible Republican candidates. It’s been like watching Forest Gump play himself pingpong – we’re getting nowwhere fast. At the very least, I must credit President Obama with ending 9/11 – Bin Laden now swims with the sharks and this is justice. President Bush unfortunately sold us a cheap bag of fertilizer which lasted nine years and cost 4,500 American lives. In my book, I’ll go with the one who actually held our enemy responsible and executed his office with authority. No American life is worth a hoax especially when the lie originates with our incompetency or ill intention. For what it’s worth, I do apologize to our allies who supported our country in this endeavor – especially for any and all military personnel who gave the ultimate sacrifice for a war that should not have been.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    tODD – Just curious, what is your favorite fishing lure; a stick of dynamite or a cube of C-4? (Personally, I prefer C-4; more stable and less affected by moisture.)

    Helen (#28) Thank you for the compliment, but I am neither called nor ordained. I have had the privilege of knowing many confessional Pastors and theologians during the past twenty years, to wit, I now understand all theology is Christology. Blessings.

    Bror (#32) If not now – when? What I never understood about the Iraq war was participation by the British. Do they have no memory capacity; how could they have forgotten why they left Baghdad the first time? Did they seriously think time would make a difference? A long time ago, I learned when traversing swampland, if you find yourself in quicksand, the best time to leave is now – later only gets worse.

    For the rest of you who seem determined to give substance to the primary argument against democracy, sometimes your leaders are not the brightest bulbs in the factory – and, they will not always tell you the truth, the whole truth, or any fraction thereof.

    Ho Chi Minh, four times, wrote letters of appeal to the United States requesting our assistance in their struggle for independence against the colonization of the French government after WWII. The Vietnamese were our allies against the Japanese during WWII; their plea deserved at least a hearing in our congress. All four times, our government rejected their appeals without consideration BECAUSE the FRENCH were our allies. 58,000 Americans died.

    Now, I personally listened to Colin Powell when he delivered the US position to the UN Security Council. At the time of the address, I did not believe any reasons given save for the possibility of WMD stockpiles existing in Iraq. I did examine the evidence of the UN observers; not one instance of stockpiling had been reported at the time of the address. I’m aware Mr. Hussein was less than cordial to the inspectors prowling about his country. I’m also aware our country has (and employs) satellite surveillance of countries which arose our suspicions. No one can move stockpiles around like a checkerboard without being detected. Krushchev couldn’t move medium range missiles into Cuba in 1962 without detection (and physical proof which could be displayed to the entire world and we would be willing to wait until hell froze over for a response) – we really didn’t get dumber during the next thirty years.

    Saddam was not about to admit to having no defense against Iran – unless he was planning a long vacation in Bermuda immediately. To feign possession of WMDs helped keep Iran at bay; without the chemical and biological weapons, the Iranian army would certainly overrun Baghdad (Saddam had no illusions he could appeal to the US government for help after Desert Storm – he was shown to be vulnerable – especially to his primary enemy on the eastern front.)

    Ask yourself, why did Colin Powell resign shortly after he gave such a passionate defense for a preemptive strike? Why did his Chief of Staff, Alexander Wilkerson call the entire testimony before the United Nations a “hoax”? (http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/wilkerson.html)

    “On September 13, 2004, Powell testified before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, acknowledging that the sources who provided much of the information in his February 2003 UN presentation were “wrong” and that it was “unlikely” that any stockpiles of WMDs would be found.” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18890-2004Sep13.html)

    Finally, I offer the following appraisal by Douglas Borer. In July 2003. he joined the faculty of the US Army War College as a Visiting Professor in the Department of National Security and Strategy. His article written for the Army War College is titled “Inverse Engagement: Lessons from US-Iraq Relations, 1982-1990“)(http://www.army.mil/professionalWriting/volumes/volume1/july_2003/7_03_2v2pf.html)

    For the past six months, I’ve read in angst the postings on possible Republican candidates. It’s been like watching Forest Gump play himself pingpong – we’re getting nowwhere fast. At the very least, I must credit President Obama with ending 9/11 – Bin Laden now swims with the sharks and this is justice. President Bush unfortunately sold us a cheap bag of fertilizer which lasted nine years and cost 4,500 American lives. In my book, I’ll go with the one who actually held our enemy responsible and executed his office with authority. No American life is worth a hoax especially when the lie originates with our incompetency or ill intention. For what it’s worth, I do apologize to our allies who supported our country in this endeavor – especially for any and all military personnel who gave the ultimate sacrifice for a war that should not have been.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • DonS

    tODD @ 34: You are engaging in the very hindsight analysis that I was counseling against. Hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it? We’re all geniuses eight years after the fact.

    The point I was making, of course, is that we didn’t know then what we think we know now. 85% of Americans supported the invasion of Iraq at the time. A few commenters on this thread admit they were one of the 85%. The rest ……well I guess we have pretty much that entire 15% right here on this blog, don’t we?

  • DonS

    tODD @ 34: You are engaging in the very hindsight analysis that I was counseling against. Hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it? We’re all geniuses eight years after the fact.

    The point I was making, of course, is that we didn’t know then what we think we know now. 85% of Americans supported the invasion of Iraq at the time. A few commenters on this thread admit they were one of the 85%. The rest ……well I guess we have pretty much that entire 15% right here on this blog, don’t we?

  • DonS (@36) said:

    You are engaging in the very hindsight analysis that I was counseling against.

    Yes, well. I can see why you wouldn’t be in favor of such analysis, but your counsel does run the risk of coming across as merely asking to not be criticized.

    Hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it?

    You know, this really isn’t an issue of “hindsight” so much as it’s a case of “I told you so”. Though, of course, folks who don’t want to be, well, told so may frequently drag out the old “20/20” reply. That said, if hindsight really is “20/20”, then why are you still trying to hedge your bets with phrases like “we didn’t know then what we think we know now” (my emphasis). Seems like your hindsight is still myopic, as was your foresight a decade ago.

    The point I was making, of course, is that we didn’t know then what we think we know now.

    Honestly, I’m not even sure that you’ve come to know now what I was pretty sure of then. Because you’re still making excuses for it, just like back in the day. And you’re still hedging about whether we even know it now. What, exactly, have you learned from all this?

    85% of Americans supported the invasion of Iraq at the time.

    Which is, of course, yet another excellent argument against pure democracy — something you should keep in mind the next time you are suggesting (as you often do) democratic solutions for the politics in our republic. Which you only do because the popular wind happens to be blowing in your direction, or so you think. But if 85% of Americans can be convinced to support as foolish a thing as the invasion of Iraq, they can likely be convinced to support all manner of things that even you don’t like.

    That said, cards on the table, please. Citation needed. Where are you getting your numbers, because they appear to be either nonexistant or supremely cherry-picked. I mean, read through the Wikipedia article on the topic, will you? The support is nowhere near what you’re painting it as:

    [In January 2003,] Approximately two-thirds of respondents wanted the government to wait for the UN inspections to end, and only 31% supported using military force immediately. …

    A consistent pattern in the months leading up to the U.S.-led invasion was that higher percentages of the population supported the impending war in polls that offered only two options (for or against) than in polls that broke down support into three or more options given (distinguishing unconditional support for the war, opposition to the war even if weapons inspectors do their job, and support if and only if inspection crews are allowed time to investigate first). …

    Days before the March 20 invasion, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll found support for the war was related to UN approval. Nearly six in 10 said they were ready for such an invasion “in the next week or two.” But that support dropped off if the U.N. backing was not first obtained. If the U.N. Security Council were to reject a resolution paving the way for military action, 54% of Americans favored a U.S. invasion. And if the Bush administration did not seek a final Security Council vote, support for a war dropped to 47%.

    In short, I’m calling shenanigans. Even if you can find one poll that somehow, magically, supports your 85% number, it is clearly a very cherry-picked number, one that you appear to support because it gives you such a large number of similarly fooled people to hide behind.

  • DonS (@36) said:

    You are engaging in the very hindsight analysis that I was counseling against.

    Yes, well. I can see why you wouldn’t be in favor of such analysis, but your counsel does run the risk of coming across as merely asking to not be criticized.

    Hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it?

    You know, this really isn’t an issue of “hindsight” so much as it’s a case of “I told you so”. Though, of course, folks who don’t want to be, well, told so may frequently drag out the old “20/20” reply. That said, if hindsight really is “20/20”, then why are you still trying to hedge your bets with phrases like “we didn’t know then what we think we know now” (my emphasis). Seems like your hindsight is still myopic, as was your foresight a decade ago.

    The point I was making, of course, is that we didn’t know then what we think we know now.

    Honestly, I’m not even sure that you’ve come to know now what I was pretty sure of then. Because you’re still making excuses for it, just like back in the day. And you’re still hedging about whether we even know it now. What, exactly, have you learned from all this?

    85% of Americans supported the invasion of Iraq at the time.

    Which is, of course, yet another excellent argument against pure democracy — something you should keep in mind the next time you are suggesting (as you often do) democratic solutions for the politics in our republic. Which you only do because the popular wind happens to be blowing in your direction, or so you think. But if 85% of Americans can be convinced to support as foolish a thing as the invasion of Iraq, they can likely be convinced to support all manner of things that even you don’t like.

    That said, cards on the table, please. Citation needed. Where are you getting your numbers, because they appear to be either nonexistant or supremely cherry-picked. I mean, read through the Wikipedia article on the topic, will you? The support is nowhere near what you’re painting it as:

    [In January 2003,] Approximately two-thirds of respondents wanted the government to wait for the UN inspections to end, and only 31% supported using military force immediately. …

    A consistent pattern in the months leading up to the U.S.-led invasion was that higher percentages of the population supported the impending war in polls that offered only two options (for or against) than in polls that broke down support into three or more options given (distinguishing unconditional support for the war, opposition to the war even if weapons inspectors do their job, and support if and only if inspection crews are allowed time to investigate first). …

    Days before the March 20 invasion, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll found support for the war was related to UN approval. Nearly six in 10 said they were ready for such an invasion “in the next week or two.” But that support dropped off if the U.N. backing was not first obtained. If the U.N. Security Council were to reject a resolution paving the way for military action, 54% of Americans favored a U.S. invasion. And if the Bush administration did not seek a final Security Council vote, support for a war dropped to 47%.

    In short, I’m calling shenanigans. Even if you can find one poll that somehow, magically, supports your 85% number, it is clearly a very cherry-picked number, one that you appear to support because it gives you such a large number of similarly fooled people to hide behind.

  • Ah, DonS (@36), I think I’ve found your 85% number. Sort of.

    In Newsweek polls conducted between January and March 2003, respondents were provided, in three separate questions, options regarding different levels of participation in an Iraqi conflict. When respondents were asked whether they would support military action if “the United States joined together with its major allies to attack Iraq, with the full support of the United Nations Security Council,” 81-85% of Americans said they would support such action. Similar questions were asked in two Los Angeles Times polls conducted in January and February 2003. In January and February 2003, 65 and 62% respectively agreed when asked whether the US should “take military action against Iraq only if that military action has the support of the United Nations Security Council.” Only 30 percent in January and 37% in February disagreed.

    So, again, the 85% number appears to stand out as the maximum possible support the war ever got, as even concurrent surveys found 20 fewer percentage points in support.

    Oh, and you might take note that those 85%? They were supporting a war we never got. In short, they didn’t support the war we actually had. Because their support was conditional on “the full support of the United Nations Security Council”.

    In short, you are hiding your myopia behind an actual unconditional support for the war which has been greatly inflated by support for the UN.

  • Ah, DonS (@36), I think I’ve found your 85% number. Sort of.

    In Newsweek polls conducted between January and March 2003, respondents were provided, in three separate questions, options regarding different levels of participation in an Iraqi conflict. When respondents were asked whether they would support military action if “the United States joined together with its major allies to attack Iraq, with the full support of the United Nations Security Council,” 81-85% of Americans said they would support such action. Similar questions were asked in two Los Angeles Times polls conducted in January and February 2003. In January and February 2003, 65 and 62% respectively agreed when asked whether the US should “take military action against Iraq only if that military action has the support of the United Nations Security Council.” Only 30 percent in January and 37% in February disagreed.

    So, again, the 85% number appears to stand out as the maximum possible support the war ever got, as even concurrent surveys found 20 fewer percentage points in support.

    Oh, and you might take note that those 85%? They were supporting a war we never got. In short, they didn’t support the war we actually had. Because their support was conditional on “the full support of the United Nations Security Council”.

    In short, you are hiding your myopia behind an actual unconditional support for the war which has been greatly inflated by support for the UN.

  • kerner

    Dennis Peskey:

    You have your facts largely correct, but your conclusions are mostly wrong. They fail to tske into account our position in this world and the nature of the threats we face, and the fallibility of our leaders (which is manifest). Take your statement @23:

    What is missing in the equation now is how much we’ve weaken Iraq and by so doing, strengthened Iran. This is what I believe will happen now and I do not believe this was worth one American life (nor any other by our hand).

    Interesting point, but do you not see how that same principle applies to our policy of picking a fight with, and eventually utterly defeating and thus weakening Japan? The clear result of this policy was to create, strenghten and then have to fight Red China; first in a shooting war in Korea, then in the cold war, and finally in the byzantine economic manuevering of today. By your logic, the better policy would have been to keep the Chinese and the Japanese killing each other, thus keeping both perpetually weak and preoccupied. The same could be said of the rise of Sthe Soviet Union (previously a second rate and economically impoverished power, reeling from the internal political purges of Stalin) after WWII. By allying oursaelves with the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany, the USA almost single handedly made the Soviet Union what it became: a nuclear power we had to oppose (at a huge cost of lives and treasure–and yes, that includes the Vietnam debacle) for the next 50 years. Gee, WWII could still be going on today if the USA had just followed the Dennis Peskey plan. Keep everyone in the world perpetually killing each other, thereby guaranteeing that they have no strength to do other than leave us alone. That’s all the rest of the world is capable of, I guess, so why not encourage them to keep doing it for our benefit? And that wouldn’t bother your conscience at all? Really?

    Or how about your criticism of Bush Sr. for not finishing off Saddam in 1991? So, what are you saying? That it would have been fine with you if we had weakened Iraq and strengthened Iran, if we had just done it in 1991? What’s the logic for that, other than hindsight? I mean, we have been down this road before. In 1918 “Daddy” Woodrow WIlson decided that it would be best to not obliterate German culture (although the Austro-Hungarian Empire was split up into a bunch of small parts, two of which were completely artificial and no longer exist), and let the Germans try to rebuild themselves in a fashion we approved of. And we ended up with Naziism and WWII instead. But at the time, we were hoping to avoid more bloodshed, silly us.

    Well, in 1991, we hoped that Saddam would stay in his place and we could still use Iraq to keep Iran at bay (Dennis Peskeyism at its finest). But it didn’t work. Saddam just nursed his grudge against us and broke his treaties with us whenever it suited him and he thought he could get away with it. By 2003, Saddam was manipulating the corrupt UN and the Oil for Food program such that, in a couple more years, we wouldn’t have been able to enforce the treaties with him at all. In a different time we probably would have let that happen.

    But 2003 was an unusual time. Saddam was a little pissant dictator, and he was making us look weak and ineffectual by ignoring his agreements which we had insisted on. And, in 2003, we simply could not afford to let an Arab head of state make us look weak and ineffectual. Period! We had just been made fools of by 20-odd Arab/Muslim fanatics armed with box cutters. No Arab or Muslim with an army was going to challenge us and get away with it. Because that would mean encouraging other Arabs, and Muslims, with armies to kill us anywhere else, at times of their choosing. That was the consideration that overrode everything else. So we invaded Iraq and liberated its people, and tried to leave something better behind in the process, for the Iraqis’ sake as well as our own. We lost 4,500 American lives, not to mention the physical and emotional wounds of the tens of thousands of Americans who fought in Iraq. And the Arab/Muslim fanatics flocked to Iraq en masse, and we mowed them down as they came. And the Arab/Muslim fanatics were so busy dying in Iraq, there were no further successful terrorist attacks on American soil. Not worth it? You might not say that if they had killed 4500 Americans in this country, instead of in that one. Oh, and incidently, other Arab Muslims with armies, like Qaddafi, backed down and left us alone.

    One last point. You concede @35 that Saddam was maintaining the pretense of having WMD’s to fool Iran into believing that he had a defense against them. Presumably, Iran was, in fact sufficiently deceived so as to not attack Iraq. So, why is it not possible that the likes of Bush Jr. and “Donny Dumsfeld” were not decieved as well, Mr. Monday morning quarterback Peskey? Not that you aren’t entitled to your opinion. I felt that a “surge” such as was eventually used would be a better policy than the Rumsfeld strategy over a year before the Bush administration figured it out. But you and I don’t have that kind of responsibility and that makes it easy for us to second guess those who do. Give them a little mercy when they are wrong. We don’t have the pressure on us that they do.

    Peace on Earth? Maybe the Peace that passes all understanding. But not the kind you mean.

    “You gentlemen cry “Peace! Peace!” when there is no peace.”
    Patrick Henry

  • kerner

    Dennis Peskey:

    You have your facts largely correct, but your conclusions are mostly wrong. They fail to tske into account our position in this world and the nature of the threats we face, and the fallibility of our leaders (which is manifest). Take your statement @23:

    What is missing in the equation now is how much we’ve weaken Iraq and by so doing, strengthened Iran. This is what I believe will happen now and I do not believe this was worth one American life (nor any other by our hand).

    Interesting point, but do you not see how that same principle applies to our policy of picking a fight with, and eventually utterly defeating and thus weakening Japan? The clear result of this policy was to create, strenghten and then have to fight Red China; first in a shooting war in Korea, then in the cold war, and finally in the byzantine economic manuevering of today. By your logic, the better policy would have been to keep the Chinese and the Japanese killing each other, thus keeping both perpetually weak and preoccupied. The same could be said of the rise of Sthe Soviet Union (previously a second rate and economically impoverished power, reeling from the internal political purges of Stalin) after WWII. By allying oursaelves with the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany, the USA almost single handedly made the Soviet Union what it became: a nuclear power we had to oppose (at a huge cost of lives and treasure–and yes, that includes the Vietnam debacle) for the next 50 years. Gee, WWII could still be going on today if the USA had just followed the Dennis Peskey plan. Keep everyone in the world perpetually killing each other, thereby guaranteeing that they have no strength to do other than leave us alone. That’s all the rest of the world is capable of, I guess, so why not encourage them to keep doing it for our benefit? And that wouldn’t bother your conscience at all? Really?

    Or how about your criticism of Bush Sr. for not finishing off Saddam in 1991? So, what are you saying? That it would have been fine with you if we had weakened Iraq and strengthened Iran, if we had just done it in 1991? What’s the logic for that, other than hindsight? I mean, we have been down this road before. In 1918 “Daddy” Woodrow WIlson decided that it would be best to not obliterate German culture (although the Austro-Hungarian Empire was split up into a bunch of small parts, two of which were completely artificial and no longer exist), and let the Germans try to rebuild themselves in a fashion we approved of. And we ended up with Naziism and WWII instead. But at the time, we were hoping to avoid more bloodshed, silly us.

    Well, in 1991, we hoped that Saddam would stay in his place and we could still use Iraq to keep Iran at bay (Dennis Peskeyism at its finest). But it didn’t work. Saddam just nursed his grudge against us and broke his treaties with us whenever it suited him and he thought he could get away with it. By 2003, Saddam was manipulating the corrupt UN and the Oil for Food program such that, in a couple more years, we wouldn’t have been able to enforce the treaties with him at all. In a different time we probably would have let that happen.

    But 2003 was an unusual time. Saddam was a little pissant dictator, and he was making us look weak and ineffectual by ignoring his agreements which we had insisted on. And, in 2003, we simply could not afford to let an Arab head of state make us look weak and ineffectual. Period! We had just been made fools of by 20-odd Arab/Muslim fanatics armed with box cutters. No Arab or Muslim with an army was going to challenge us and get away with it. Because that would mean encouraging other Arabs, and Muslims, with armies to kill us anywhere else, at times of their choosing. That was the consideration that overrode everything else. So we invaded Iraq and liberated its people, and tried to leave something better behind in the process, for the Iraqis’ sake as well as our own. We lost 4,500 American lives, not to mention the physical and emotional wounds of the tens of thousands of Americans who fought in Iraq. And the Arab/Muslim fanatics flocked to Iraq en masse, and we mowed them down as they came. And the Arab/Muslim fanatics were so busy dying in Iraq, there were no further successful terrorist attacks on American soil. Not worth it? You might not say that if they had killed 4500 Americans in this country, instead of in that one. Oh, and incidently, other Arab Muslims with armies, like Qaddafi, backed down and left us alone.

    One last point. You concede @35 that Saddam was maintaining the pretense of having WMD’s to fool Iran into believing that he had a defense against them. Presumably, Iran was, in fact sufficiently deceived so as to not attack Iraq. So, why is it not possible that the likes of Bush Jr. and “Donny Dumsfeld” were not decieved as well, Mr. Monday morning quarterback Peskey? Not that you aren’t entitled to your opinion. I felt that a “surge” such as was eventually used would be a better policy than the Rumsfeld strategy over a year before the Bush administration figured it out. But you and I don’t have that kind of responsibility and that makes it easy for us to second guess those who do. Give them a little mercy when they are wrong. We don’t have the pressure on us that they do.

    Peace on Earth? Maybe the Peace that passes all understanding. But not the kind you mean.

    “You gentlemen cry “Peace! Peace!” when there is no peace.”
    Patrick Henry

  • Kerner (@39), you raise some interesting issues … and yet. Of course, we often can learn something by comparing one situtation with another — especially when they are very similar — but you seem to be reading in Dennis’ comments some declaration of universal truth, whereas I only see an analysis of a specific situation.

    If we are, as you seem to suggest, to apply the lessons from Japan/China around WWII to the situation with Iran and Iraq, then you would also appear to be suggesting that Iraq and Japan have many parallels. So, what do you think — do they? Was Iraq a major imperial power? Had Iraq attacked us unprovokedly? Was Iraq in early 2003 a growing military superpower? Sorry, but the parallels don’t seem terribly strong to me. As such, suggestions that apply to Iraq may not be universally applicable.

    Or how about your criticism of Bush Sr. for not finishing off Saddam in 1991?

    Um, Dennis can, of course, speak for himself, but that’s really not what I got from when he said (@23):

    H.W. knew removing the military strength of Iraq or it’s leader would cause more destabilization in the region than living with the results. Junior Bush apparently was unaware of this lesson.

    Dennis appears here to be praising Bush Sr.’s restraint (lessons learned and all), not “criticizing” it.

    More later … I have to go take my 2-year-old to get his hair cut. Yet another battle to fight! 🙂

  • Kerner (@39), you raise some interesting issues … and yet. Of course, we often can learn something by comparing one situtation with another — especially when they are very similar — but you seem to be reading in Dennis’ comments some declaration of universal truth, whereas I only see an analysis of a specific situation.

    If we are, as you seem to suggest, to apply the lessons from Japan/China around WWII to the situation with Iran and Iraq, then you would also appear to be suggesting that Iraq and Japan have many parallels. So, what do you think — do they? Was Iraq a major imperial power? Had Iraq attacked us unprovokedly? Was Iraq in early 2003 a growing military superpower? Sorry, but the parallels don’t seem terribly strong to me. As such, suggestions that apply to Iraq may not be universally applicable.

    Or how about your criticism of Bush Sr. for not finishing off Saddam in 1991?

    Um, Dennis can, of course, speak for himself, but that’s really not what I got from when he said (@23):

    H.W. knew removing the military strength of Iraq or it’s leader would cause more destabilization in the region than living with the results. Junior Bush apparently was unaware of this lesson.

    Dennis appears here to be praising Bush Sr.’s restraint (lessons learned and all), not “criticizing” it.

    More later … I have to go take my 2-year-old to get his hair cut. Yet another battle to fight! 🙂

  • JunkerGeorg

    @Joe, #13

    “In the end it will be NOT worth it. I supported the decision to invade Iraq. I supported it based on my thinking re: the use of force to preemptively defend the US’s interests. At the time I believed in the standard neo-con thinking that it was good for the US to play world policeman, my thinking has changed quit a bit since then.”
    ——–

    Exactly. Well said.

  • JunkerGeorg

    @Joe, #13

    “In the end it will be NOT worth it. I supported the decision to invade Iraq. I supported it based on my thinking re: the use of force to preemptively defend the US’s interests. At the time I believed in the standard neo-con thinking that it was good for the US to play world policeman, my thinking has changed quit a bit since then.”
    ——–

    Exactly. Well said.

  • paraphrase of George Washington- ‘stay out of the affairs of other countries (Europe) ‘…
    my take – unless attacked by them—so-no- we should NOT have been there—
    saying that-
    if we in the US do go to war–let’s go to WIN instead of playing the continuous PC game with the lives of our BEST (our volunteer troops on the ground-in the air and on the sea) !!!
    Carol-CS

  • paraphrase of George Washington- ‘stay out of the affairs of other countries (Europe) ‘…
    my take – unless attacked by them—so-no- we should NOT have been there—
    saying that-
    if we in the US do go to war–let’s go to WIN instead of playing the continuous PC game with the lives of our BEST (our volunteer troops on the ground-in the air and on the sea) !!!
    Carol-CS

  • DonS

    tODD @ 38: That 85% number was from memory — I remembered polls right at the time of invasion showing that about 85% of respondents supported the Iraq invasion. Whether it was actually 82% or whatever isn’t important — the point is that a lot of “fair weather” supporters fell off the bandwagon when the going got tougher in 2004, until now, from the comments on this blog and others, you would have thought the numbers were the other way around in 2003. Almost no one admits to having supported the invasion now. Funny how that is.

    And the UN Security Council argument you are making way oversells that issue. Sure the UN Security Council never explicitly mandated or authorized the invasion, but there were resolutions (660 and 678, for example) authorizing action by UN members in conjunction with the government of Kuwait to address ongoing Iraqi aggression, there was an international coalition supporting the invasion, far from the U.S. going it alone, and, most importantly, the UN Security Council did not condemn it. I don’t think the respondents in those polls withdrew their 85% level of support because that UN authorization didn’t come through. Rather, the sad truth is that people tend to root for winners and turn tail when things get harder. All of a sudden, everyone’s a critic. It didn’t help that the Democratic Party leadership decided to engage in a full throated opposition to the war for baldly political purposes in 2004 and 2006.

    Look, my point in making these comments was not to re-hash the pluses and minuses of the overall strategy in the Iraq conflict. We’ve had those discussions. The point was to remind people that there are terrorists out there who are willing to kill thousands of innocent American civilians, in our homeland, without provocation or warning, and regardless of our beliefs regarding American military and law enforcement strategy, or the value of the Iraq War, we would do well to remember this, and expect it to happen again. We should also give credit to those who were making decisions in that extraordinary time — the American people wanted action, and no one knew then what we knew now. Our analysis should at least respect and acknowledge that fact.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 38: That 85% number was from memory — I remembered polls right at the time of invasion showing that about 85% of respondents supported the Iraq invasion. Whether it was actually 82% or whatever isn’t important — the point is that a lot of “fair weather” supporters fell off the bandwagon when the going got tougher in 2004, until now, from the comments on this blog and others, you would have thought the numbers were the other way around in 2003. Almost no one admits to having supported the invasion now. Funny how that is.

    And the UN Security Council argument you are making way oversells that issue. Sure the UN Security Council never explicitly mandated or authorized the invasion, but there were resolutions (660 and 678, for example) authorizing action by UN members in conjunction with the government of Kuwait to address ongoing Iraqi aggression, there was an international coalition supporting the invasion, far from the U.S. going it alone, and, most importantly, the UN Security Council did not condemn it. I don’t think the respondents in those polls withdrew their 85% level of support because that UN authorization didn’t come through. Rather, the sad truth is that people tend to root for winners and turn tail when things get harder. All of a sudden, everyone’s a critic. It didn’t help that the Democratic Party leadership decided to engage in a full throated opposition to the war for baldly political purposes in 2004 and 2006.

    Look, my point in making these comments was not to re-hash the pluses and minuses of the overall strategy in the Iraq conflict. We’ve had those discussions. The point was to remind people that there are terrorists out there who are willing to kill thousands of innocent American civilians, in our homeland, without provocation or warning, and regardless of our beliefs regarding American military and law enforcement strategy, or the value of the Iraq War, we would do well to remember this, and expect it to happen again. We should also give credit to those who were making decisions in that extraordinary time — the American people wanted action, and no one knew then what we knew now. Our analysis should at least respect and acknowledge that fact.

  • Back to Kerner’s comment (@39):

    Well, in 1991, we hoped that Saddam would stay in his place and we could still use Iraq to keep Iran at bay (Dennis Peskeyism at its finest). But it didn’t work.

    Hm? What didn’t work? Did Saddam not “stay in his place” after 1991? Or did Iraq fail to keep Iran at bay after 1991? Huh? I don’t recall either Iraq or Iran doing anything major in the time period you describe that would indicate that “it didn’t work”.

    By 2003, Saddam was manipulating the corrupt UN and the Oil for Food program such that, in a couple more years, we wouldn’t have been able to enforce the treaties with him at all.

    I get the corrupt/Oil for Food part, but what, exactly, would have happened “in a couple more years”? I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Iraq would’ve become a military superpower?

    And, in 2003, we simply could not afford to let an Arab head of state make us look weak and ineffectual. Period! … No Arab or Muslim with an army was going to challenge us and get away with it. Because that would mean encouraging other Arabs, and Muslims, with armies to kill us anywhere else, at times of their choosing. That was the consideration that overrode everything else.

    It’s a wonderful ex post facto rationale you have here, but there’s a major flaw in it, as hinted at by my little Latin phrase there: the case you’re now making was in no way the case that was made to our nation by our leaders. Which means that (1) it wasn’t actually the reason we went to war, or (2) it was the reason we went to war, but our leaders deliberately hid this from the public. If #2 (which I assume you’d have to agree to, since you obviously disagree with #1), then we were apparently sold the war on false pretenses because it would have proved too unpopular from the get-go. Is this your argument, Kerner?

    And the Arab/Muslim fanatics were so busy dying in Iraq, there were no further successful terrorist attacks on American soil.

    Arguments from silence are really terrible arguments. You know that, don’t you? You know when else there were no “successful terrorist attacks on American soil”? From January-September 10, 2011. So clearly whatever we were doing then was a bang-up job, right? Because of all the terrorism we prevented! I mean, that’s your argument, right?

    Oh, and, um, your argument from silence is also factually incorrect. There were a number of terrorists who apparently didn’t get the memo that they were supposed to attack us over in Iraq, and instead plotted (yes, some successfully) to attack us in our homeland. How soon we forget?

    Oh, and incidently, other Arab Muslims with armies, like Qaddafi, backed down and left us alone.

    It’s funny, but when you say that, you make it sound like Libya was threatening us. I missed that story.

    Presumably, Iran was, in fact sufficiently deceived so as to not attack Iraq. So, why is it not possible that the likes of Bush Jr. and “Donny Dumsfeld” were not decieved as well, Mr. Monday morning quarterback Peskey?

    This makes no sense as written. Did you instead mean to write “were decieved as well”? Regardless, one may note that Iran’s leaders didn’t take foolish action based on their erroneous data. We did. That’s kind of the difference. If you’re going to pre-emptively attack a country, you’d better be darned certain about everything. But we weren’t darned certain. There was doubt. But we ignored it. Maybe Iran’s leaders also had doubt about Iraq’s weapons, but they didn’t make any boneheaded moves based on their uncertainty.

    But you and I don’t have that kind of responsibility and that makes it easy for us to second guess those who do. Give them a little mercy when they are wrong.

    Is this a policy you apply to all presidential decisions, or only when people screw up and send our nation’s men off to war for the wrong reasons? Because I haven’t heard you counseling everyone in every thread discussing our nation’s politics to cut all our leaders slack in everything. Besides, in our nation, where we elect our leaders, “second guessing” them is kind of part of the election process. No, we “don’t have the pressure on us that they do”, but that’s why we elect them to make the decisions for us. And when they fail at that responsibility (which they asked for), we have a right to be upset about it. People who can’t handle the pressure or are inclined to make boneheaded decisions should probably look for a different line of work.

  • Back to Kerner’s comment (@39):

    Well, in 1991, we hoped that Saddam would stay in his place and we could still use Iraq to keep Iran at bay (Dennis Peskeyism at its finest). But it didn’t work.

    Hm? What didn’t work? Did Saddam not “stay in his place” after 1991? Or did Iraq fail to keep Iran at bay after 1991? Huh? I don’t recall either Iraq or Iran doing anything major in the time period you describe that would indicate that “it didn’t work”.

    By 2003, Saddam was manipulating the corrupt UN and the Oil for Food program such that, in a couple more years, we wouldn’t have been able to enforce the treaties with him at all.

    I get the corrupt/Oil for Food part, but what, exactly, would have happened “in a couple more years”? I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Iraq would’ve become a military superpower?

    And, in 2003, we simply could not afford to let an Arab head of state make us look weak and ineffectual. Period! … No Arab or Muslim with an army was going to challenge us and get away with it. Because that would mean encouraging other Arabs, and Muslims, with armies to kill us anywhere else, at times of their choosing. That was the consideration that overrode everything else.

    It’s a wonderful ex post facto rationale you have here, but there’s a major flaw in it, as hinted at by my little Latin phrase there: the case you’re now making was in no way the case that was made to our nation by our leaders. Which means that (1) it wasn’t actually the reason we went to war, or (2) it was the reason we went to war, but our leaders deliberately hid this from the public. If #2 (which I assume you’d have to agree to, since you obviously disagree with #1), then we were apparently sold the war on false pretenses because it would have proved too unpopular from the get-go. Is this your argument, Kerner?

    And the Arab/Muslim fanatics were so busy dying in Iraq, there were no further successful terrorist attacks on American soil.

    Arguments from silence are really terrible arguments. You know that, don’t you? You know when else there were no “successful terrorist attacks on American soil”? From January-September 10, 2011. So clearly whatever we were doing then was a bang-up job, right? Because of all the terrorism we prevented! I mean, that’s your argument, right?

    Oh, and, um, your argument from silence is also factually incorrect. There were a number of terrorists who apparently didn’t get the memo that they were supposed to attack us over in Iraq, and instead plotted (yes, some successfully) to attack us in our homeland. How soon we forget?

    Oh, and incidently, other Arab Muslims with armies, like Qaddafi, backed down and left us alone.

    It’s funny, but when you say that, you make it sound like Libya was threatening us. I missed that story.

    Presumably, Iran was, in fact sufficiently deceived so as to not attack Iraq. So, why is it not possible that the likes of Bush Jr. and “Donny Dumsfeld” were not decieved as well, Mr. Monday morning quarterback Peskey?

    This makes no sense as written. Did you instead mean to write “were decieved as well”? Regardless, one may note that Iran’s leaders didn’t take foolish action based on their erroneous data. We did. That’s kind of the difference. If you’re going to pre-emptively attack a country, you’d better be darned certain about everything. But we weren’t darned certain. There was doubt. But we ignored it. Maybe Iran’s leaders also had doubt about Iraq’s weapons, but they didn’t make any boneheaded moves based on their uncertainty.

    But you and I don’t have that kind of responsibility and that makes it easy for us to second guess those who do. Give them a little mercy when they are wrong.

    Is this a policy you apply to all presidential decisions, or only when people screw up and send our nation’s men off to war for the wrong reasons? Because I haven’t heard you counseling everyone in every thread discussing our nation’s politics to cut all our leaders slack in everything. Besides, in our nation, where we elect our leaders, “second guessing” them is kind of part of the election process. No, we “don’t have the pressure on us that they do”, but that’s why we elect them to make the decisions for us. And when they fail at that responsibility (which they asked for), we have a right to be upset about it. People who can’t handle the pressure or are inclined to make boneheaded decisions should probably look for a different line of work.

  • DonS (@43):

    That 85% number was from memory — I remembered polls right at the time of invasion showing that about 85% of respondents supported the Iraq invasion.

    It’s remarkable that, while you’ve gone to the trouble to quote us a specific number in defense of your position, you apparently can’t be bothered to look up where that number came from. Or acknowledge how that number is quite possibly suspect in a number of ways (what the actual poll question was, and the results of other, concurrent polls which you are conveniently ignoring). No, you’re sticking to the 85% figure, but you’ve shown just how worthless it is through your defense of the same.

    Whether it was actually 82% or whatever isn’t important…

    Right. Because even though I just pointed you (@38) to a source that showed that, no, there was at least one concurrent poll that was as low as 62%, you’re willing to budge from your farcical 85% all the way down to … 82%. Why not? Once you’re cherry-picking your data absent all context, why not stick to your guns?

    …the point is that a lot of “fair weather” supporters fell off the bandwagon when the going got tougher in 2004…

    Either that, or the President never got the explicit UN Security Council permission which was the basis of that 85% poll question you’re clinging to like it was the only poll ever on the matter. But to argue that, you’d have to actually know what the poll question was, and you don’t seem to even know what poll you’re referring to, even though I seem to have found it myself, no thanks to you.

    Sure the UN Security Council never explicitly mandated or authorized the invasion, but there were resolutions (660 and 678, for example) authorizing action by UN members … and, most importantly, the UN Security Council did not condemn it.

    Once again, it is fascinating to see people such as yourself turn out to be such huge fans of the UN and its resolutions! Even as you tend to fudge what those resolutions actually mandate. But hey, I’m sure you’d be okay if the US likewise invaded Israel tomorrow, on the basis of any number of UN resolutions, right? Same justifications apply. I’m sure you’d be thrilled. Because you love the UN so and really respect its resolutions. I am employing sarcasm.

    I don’t think the respondents in those polls withdrew their 85% level of support because that UN authorization didn’t come through.

    So even though that number was “just from memory” and you don’t seem to be able to point me to the actual poll or discuss what the actual poll question was, you expect me now to rely on your guess as to what those people might have thought? Even though the poll question I did dig up for you explicitly referred to “the support of the United Nations Security Council”? Why, exactly, should your baseless assumptions trump the actual facts I’ve brought into this discussion?

    All of a sudden, everyone’s a critic.

    Oh, yes, “all of a sudden” … if you were living in a bubble. I seem to recall multiple, major protests in any number of American cities, to say nothing of a vigorous debate in the media and the public square. I mean, what?

    It didn’t help that the Democratic Party leadership decided to engage in a full throated opposition to the war for baldly political purposes in 2004 and 2006.

    Nor does it help that you’re still trying to justify this war for your own political purposes in 2011, Don.

    The point was to remind people that there are terrorists out there who are willing to kill thousands of innocent American civilians, in our homeland, without provocation or warning…

    Oh, I see. The point was to engage in some vague fearmongering in the apparent hope that it would somehow justify some war that had nothing to do with terrorists?

    We should also give credit to those who were making decisions in that extraordinary time — the American people wanted action, and no one knew then what we knew now.

    Oh yes, let’s give credit to the people who led us into that foolish quagmire! Full credit: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld. I give them all the credit for that. After stirring up the public with fearmongering not unlike yours, they convinced enough of the American public that something — even something clearly unrelated and possibly foolish — had to be done, and then, like the good leaders they were, they listened to the wishes of the people they had convinced with fearmongering.

  • DonS (@43):

    That 85% number was from memory — I remembered polls right at the time of invasion showing that about 85% of respondents supported the Iraq invasion.

    It’s remarkable that, while you’ve gone to the trouble to quote us a specific number in defense of your position, you apparently can’t be bothered to look up where that number came from. Or acknowledge how that number is quite possibly suspect in a number of ways (what the actual poll question was, and the results of other, concurrent polls which you are conveniently ignoring). No, you’re sticking to the 85% figure, but you’ve shown just how worthless it is through your defense of the same.

    Whether it was actually 82% or whatever isn’t important…

    Right. Because even though I just pointed you (@38) to a source that showed that, no, there was at least one concurrent poll that was as low as 62%, you’re willing to budge from your farcical 85% all the way down to … 82%. Why not? Once you’re cherry-picking your data absent all context, why not stick to your guns?

    …the point is that a lot of “fair weather” supporters fell off the bandwagon when the going got tougher in 2004…

    Either that, or the President never got the explicit UN Security Council permission which was the basis of that 85% poll question you’re clinging to like it was the only poll ever on the matter. But to argue that, you’d have to actually know what the poll question was, and you don’t seem to even know what poll you’re referring to, even though I seem to have found it myself, no thanks to you.

    Sure the UN Security Council never explicitly mandated or authorized the invasion, but there were resolutions (660 and 678, for example) authorizing action by UN members … and, most importantly, the UN Security Council did not condemn it.

    Once again, it is fascinating to see people such as yourself turn out to be such huge fans of the UN and its resolutions! Even as you tend to fudge what those resolutions actually mandate. But hey, I’m sure you’d be okay if the US likewise invaded Israel tomorrow, on the basis of any number of UN resolutions, right? Same justifications apply. I’m sure you’d be thrilled. Because you love the UN so and really respect its resolutions. I am employing sarcasm.

    I don’t think the respondents in those polls withdrew their 85% level of support because that UN authorization didn’t come through.

    So even though that number was “just from memory” and you don’t seem to be able to point me to the actual poll or discuss what the actual poll question was, you expect me now to rely on your guess as to what those people might have thought? Even though the poll question I did dig up for you explicitly referred to “the support of the United Nations Security Council”? Why, exactly, should your baseless assumptions trump the actual facts I’ve brought into this discussion?

    All of a sudden, everyone’s a critic.

    Oh, yes, “all of a sudden” … if you were living in a bubble. I seem to recall multiple, major protests in any number of American cities, to say nothing of a vigorous debate in the media and the public square. I mean, what?

    It didn’t help that the Democratic Party leadership decided to engage in a full throated opposition to the war for baldly political purposes in 2004 and 2006.

    Nor does it help that you’re still trying to justify this war for your own political purposes in 2011, Don.

    The point was to remind people that there are terrorists out there who are willing to kill thousands of innocent American civilians, in our homeland, without provocation or warning…

    Oh, I see. The point was to engage in some vague fearmongering in the apparent hope that it would somehow justify some war that had nothing to do with terrorists?

    We should also give credit to those who were making decisions in that extraordinary time — the American people wanted action, and no one knew then what we knew now.

    Oh yes, let’s give credit to the people who led us into that foolish quagmire! Full credit: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld. I give them all the credit for that. After stirring up the public with fearmongering not unlike yours, they convinced enough of the American public that something — even something clearly unrelated and possibly foolish — had to be done, and then, like the good leaders they were, they listened to the wishes of the people they had convinced with fearmongering.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    Isn’t there always an, “and yet”? (sigh)

    You make some good points too. And I, like you, have another battle to fight (Packer game and family coming to watch it in about 10 minutes). For now, look at this article:

    http://frontpagemag.com/2010/01/05/unrest-in-iran-the-vindication-of-george-w-bush-by-larry-elder/

    and this:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100096840/bush-trumps-barack-in-the-arab-world-president-obama-is-proving-an-embarrassing-flop-in-the-middle-east/

    Salient points:

    Libya got off the State sponsors of terrorism list and shut down his nuclear program at least in part because the US looked strong and respectable.

    Syria withdrew from Lebanon and gave the Lebanese a chance to democratize.

    Iran developed a pro-democracy movement.

    All at least in part because of our work in IRAQ, and all advantageous situations that Obama is pi$$ing away.

    More later, I hope.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    Isn’t there always an, “and yet”? (sigh)

    You make some good points too. And I, like you, have another battle to fight (Packer game and family coming to watch it in about 10 minutes). For now, look at this article:

    http://frontpagemag.com/2010/01/05/unrest-in-iran-the-vindication-of-george-w-bush-by-larry-elder/

    and this:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100096840/bush-trumps-barack-in-the-arab-world-president-obama-is-proving-an-embarrassing-flop-in-the-middle-east/

    Salient points:

    Libya got off the State sponsors of terrorism list and shut down his nuclear program at least in part because the US looked strong and respectable.

    Syria withdrew from Lebanon and gave the Lebanese a chance to democratize.

    Iran developed a pro-democracy movement.

    All at least in part because of our work in IRAQ, and all advantageous situations that Obama is pi$$ing away.

    More later, I hope.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Kerner (#39) You have managed to earn the first position in my Noah’s Ark file with a singular posting. To qualify, your post must meet all the attributes of Noah’s Ark: to wit, slow moving, utterly devoid of direction and populated internally with many strange things. Touchdown! Home Run! GOOOOOAAALLL!

    I’ve waited the perfunctory twenty four hour cooling off period before attempting any response. Even now, when I reread your posting for the twentieth time, my reaction is “HUH???” Seriously, did you just cherry pick my posting for offensive material since you could not have actually read it (if you do have a reading deficiency, please forgive my directness). For certain, I know you did not attempt to digest the position paper written by Douglas Borer PhD for the U.S. Army War College.

    I don’t have a plan; I don’t have an “ism”; I don’t play quarterback on Monday mornings (although we do share faith in the Packers which for some reason I find somewhat disturbing). Let us try to stick to actual facts so we can get somewhere, rather than structure a false company of strawmen – then turn our flamethrowers loose.

    The policy of surrogate or proxy war engagement did not originate with me. Frankly, I doubt anyone in Washington, DC or the Pentagon would give what I think a moment’s thought, much less serious consideration. Let me be perfectly clear – I fully support President G H W Bush’s policy of ending Desert Storm when and how he choose. Initially, (as I indicated), I strongly questioned the abrupt ending of Desert Storm. I found the answers not from FOX or Larry Elder or any other opinionated columnist. I took the time and effort to find real information from real sources.

    When the younger Bush had Colin Powell give the UN presentation as a prelude to invasion, again I questioned. This is what democracy demands of it’s citizens. In post #35, I referenced “the primary argument against democracy” but I did not spell out what this is. Ignorance – either willful, neglectful or deceitful – on the part of the elector to what their leaders do.

    It was not I that termed the U.S. case presented at the UN a “hoax”; it was Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff. It was not I that declared we would find no WMDs in Iraq – this was said by the man who gave the very UN presentation claiming this as preemptive justification, Secretary of State Colin Powell. It was not I that removed Saddam Hussein from the U. S. terrorist watch list (ignoring his support of Abu Nidal) so our country could funnel in financial, economic and military support – this decision belongs to President Ronald Reagan and President George H. W. Bush. Finally, it was not I who choose to ignore or muffle intelligence information which opposed the presence of WMDs in Iraq and lead our country into a very expensive and costly war – thank President Bush junior for this (a strong case can be made for laying blame with Vice President Cheney – this in no way alleviates the Commander-in-Chief of responsibility.)

    While I’m on the subject of responsibility, I fully intend and support holding my President (whomever that be) accountable and responsible for all that occurs on his (her – not yet) watch. I don’t vote for them to guess, make it up or just ride on their merry way regardless of the consequences. The military taught me – you lead – you’re responsible and will be held accountable. If your President can not or will not embrace this position, then stay out of the kitchen. He bears the weight of the direction and deaths which accompany the declaration of war – it goes with the job.

    I do not know of any reasonable method whereby I could respond to the rest of your posting (I think the only mark you left out was Little Big Horn); there simply is no logical flow or detectable reasoning evident in the post. I can appreciate your concern for the Iraq War given your indication of children having participated in the conflict. Sir, you do them no honor by defending what should not be defended. The military is charged with fighting the wars – not starting them; there is a significant gulf between the two which should never be breached. I have no desire to see my grandchildren become involved in a middle-eastern quagmire; I volunteered and served honorably in the Republic of Vietnam. But, I don’t blame my commandeers nor the Pentagon for this debacle; this rests solely with the U. S. Congress and the respective Presidents in office making the decisions. That is the substance of a true democracy. My primary concern now is, since having discovered your allegience to my Packers, they are now trailing the Chiefs 6-0 at half-time. I have more important matters to attend to immediately; the Green and Gold need my support and advice (roll your window down, you’ll hear me yelling from across the lake).

    “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Here is where we find real peace.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Kerner (#39) You have managed to earn the first position in my Noah’s Ark file with a singular posting. To qualify, your post must meet all the attributes of Noah’s Ark: to wit, slow moving, utterly devoid of direction and populated internally with many strange things. Touchdown! Home Run! GOOOOOAAALLL!

    I’ve waited the perfunctory twenty four hour cooling off period before attempting any response. Even now, when I reread your posting for the twentieth time, my reaction is “HUH???” Seriously, did you just cherry pick my posting for offensive material since you could not have actually read it (if you do have a reading deficiency, please forgive my directness). For certain, I know you did not attempt to digest the position paper written by Douglas Borer PhD for the U.S. Army War College.

    I don’t have a plan; I don’t have an “ism”; I don’t play quarterback on Monday mornings (although we do share faith in the Packers which for some reason I find somewhat disturbing). Let us try to stick to actual facts so we can get somewhere, rather than structure a false company of strawmen – then turn our flamethrowers loose.

    The policy of surrogate or proxy war engagement did not originate with me. Frankly, I doubt anyone in Washington, DC or the Pentagon would give what I think a moment’s thought, much less serious consideration. Let me be perfectly clear – I fully support President G H W Bush’s policy of ending Desert Storm when and how he choose. Initially, (as I indicated), I strongly questioned the abrupt ending of Desert Storm. I found the answers not from FOX or Larry Elder or any other opinionated columnist. I took the time and effort to find real information from real sources.

    When the younger Bush had Colin Powell give the UN presentation as a prelude to invasion, again I questioned. This is what democracy demands of it’s citizens. In post #35, I referenced “the primary argument against democracy” but I did not spell out what this is. Ignorance – either willful, neglectful or deceitful – on the part of the elector to what their leaders do.

    It was not I that termed the U.S. case presented at the UN a “hoax”; it was Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff. It was not I that declared we would find no WMDs in Iraq – this was said by the man who gave the very UN presentation claiming this as preemptive justification, Secretary of State Colin Powell. It was not I that removed Saddam Hussein from the U. S. terrorist watch list (ignoring his support of Abu Nidal) so our country could funnel in financial, economic and military support – this decision belongs to President Ronald Reagan and President George H. W. Bush. Finally, it was not I who choose to ignore or muffle intelligence information which opposed the presence of WMDs in Iraq and lead our country into a very expensive and costly war – thank President Bush junior for this (a strong case can be made for laying blame with Vice President Cheney – this in no way alleviates the Commander-in-Chief of responsibility.)

    While I’m on the subject of responsibility, I fully intend and support holding my President (whomever that be) accountable and responsible for all that occurs on his (her – not yet) watch. I don’t vote for them to guess, make it up or just ride on their merry way regardless of the consequences. The military taught me – you lead – you’re responsible and will be held accountable. If your President can not or will not embrace this position, then stay out of the kitchen. He bears the weight of the direction and deaths which accompany the declaration of war – it goes with the job.

    I do not know of any reasonable method whereby I could respond to the rest of your posting (I think the only mark you left out was Little Big Horn); there simply is no logical flow or detectable reasoning evident in the post. I can appreciate your concern for the Iraq War given your indication of children having participated in the conflict. Sir, you do them no honor by defending what should not be defended. The military is charged with fighting the wars – not starting them; there is a significant gulf between the two which should never be breached. I have no desire to see my grandchildren become involved in a middle-eastern quagmire; I volunteered and served honorably in the Republic of Vietnam. But, I don’t blame my commandeers nor the Pentagon for this debacle; this rests solely with the U. S. Congress and the respective Presidents in office making the decisions. That is the substance of a true democracy. My primary concern now is, since having discovered your allegience to my Packers, they are now trailing the Chiefs 6-0 at half-time. I have more important matters to attend to immediately; the Green and Gold need my support and advice (roll your window down, you’ll hear me yelling from across the lake).

    “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Here is where we find real peace.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • DonS

    tODD @ 45: Still nothing acknowledging that we were living in extraordinary times in the early 2000’s, and that some 3,000 of our fellow Americans, almost all civilians, were murdered in cold blood on our soil, in an unprovoked attack?

    Still living in the dream world that it was all that evil Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld orchestrating this dastardly attack on Iraq? That it had nothing to do with the times we were in, that the American people didn’t support, and in fact, demand, that we address the issue of terrorism in the Middle East? Well, you’re wrong. It was very much a demand of the people that this tragic loss of lives be addressed, and it was also a very bipartisan affair. Witness the Joint Resolution on Iraq, co-authored by House Minority Leader Dick Gephart (D), and passed by overwhelming bipartisan margins in both Houses of Congress in 2002: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/july-dec02/joint_resolution_10-11-02.html

    It would do all of us well to read it — to understand the state of knowledge in 2002 concerning terrorism and Iraq’s role in it, and to understand the urgency felt by our people at that time in the wake of the dastardly attacks of 9/11. That is all that I have been trying to say the whole time — a bit of understanding and fair play on the part of all sides of the debate goes a long way to moving forward with a coherent national defense strategy in the future. Or, we can continue the way we have been — endless bickering based on current knowledge applied to long past decisions and an impasse that will continue, to the benefit of partisan political hackery, indefinitely.

    The fact that President Obama, a vocal opponent of the war, continued President Bush’s policies in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and in fact escalated the conflict in Afghanistan, says something as well about the realities of governing vs. “armchair criticism”, particularly when that criticism comes with the luxury of second guessing a decade hence.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 45: Still nothing acknowledging that we were living in extraordinary times in the early 2000’s, and that some 3,000 of our fellow Americans, almost all civilians, were murdered in cold blood on our soil, in an unprovoked attack?

    Still living in the dream world that it was all that evil Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld orchestrating this dastardly attack on Iraq? That it had nothing to do with the times we were in, that the American people didn’t support, and in fact, demand, that we address the issue of terrorism in the Middle East? Well, you’re wrong. It was very much a demand of the people that this tragic loss of lives be addressed, and it was also a very bipartisan affair. Witness the Joint Resolution on Iraq, co-authored by House Minority Leader Dick Gephart (D), and passed by overwhelming bipartisan margins in both Houses of Congress in 2002: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/july-dec02/joint_resolution_10-11-02.html

    It would do all of us well to read it — to understand the state of knowledge in 2002 concerning terrorism and Iraq’s role in it, and to understand the urgency felt by our people at that time in the wake of the dastardly attacks of 9/11. That is all that I have been trying to say the whole time — a bit of understanding and fair play on the part of all sides of the debate goes a long way to moving forward with a coherent national defense strategy in the future. Or, we can continue the way we have been — endless bickering based on current knowledge applied to long past decisions and an impasse that will continue, to the benefit of partisan political hackery, indefinitely.

    The fact that President Obama, a vocal opponent of the war, continued President Bush’s policies in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and in fact escalated the conflict in Afghanistan, says something as well about the realities of governing vs. “armchair criticism”, particularly when that criticism comes with the luxury of second guessing a decade hence.

  • kerner

    Dennis Peskey @47:

    Well, Mr. Peskey, I hope you will note that additional charistics of “Noah’s Ark” were that its crew were correct in their perceptions of the situation and that they survived, as opposed to the quicker, better directed and more common (and very dead) folks outside it.

    Goal indeed.

    I did read your posts, and I found them to be filled with such juvenile ad hominem phraseology as “Junior Bush” and “Donny Dumsfeld”. The sort of thing that I’ll bet has never graced the pages of a PhD. position paper presented to the U.S. Army War College. If you want your writing to get the same respect I extend to Dr. Borer’s, perhaps you could tone it down a little.

    Then, there was this:

    On February 5, 2003, President Bush (junior) had his Secretary of State, Colin Powell, dump a huge truckload of bovine excrement on the United Nations Security Council as justification for our countries preemptive strike against Iraq. Powell served as just a delivery boy with a bad bag of goods;

    Which implies not just error or even incompetence, but mendacity. The conclusion that Bush, or anyone in his administration was intentionally lying to the American people is not supported by any evidence, but you flippantly throw around the implication. THe facts are that there was a lot of intellegence out there that caused us the Bush administration to believe that WMD’s existed, much of it, as you admit, disseminated by the Iraqi regime itself in the mistaken belief that it had more to fear from Iran than it did from the USA. There is every indication that Bush, Powell, and most of their subordinates, believed that the WMD’s existed. No one would have relied as heavilly as they did in justifying the invasion had they believed otherwise. Nor would they have equipped our troops so scrupulously against the non-existent WMDs, nor would they have sent honest men out looking for them, had they known that there was nothing to find.

    Hold President accountable for his mistakes all you want. They are, in fact, his responsibility, and it is the right of every citizen to hold every president so accountable. But I am sick to death of the implication that we were lead into this war by someone who was intentionally lying to us, when the evidence is overwhelming that he was not.

    It is true that there were some counter-indications, and a lot of people connected with the intelligence community of that day is (now, after the fact) claiming that someone else supressed those “vital” counter-indications. Even one of the disseminators of the false intelligence claims that ” they knew I was telling lies even though I never admitted it.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/16/colin-powell-cia-curveball

    I just love that. Everybody should have known he was lying, even as he kept right on doing it. And, according to just about everyone else involved, it seems, including Colin Powell, somebody else is responsible for not figuring out that the intellince about WMD’s wasn’t true. None of them ever seem to say, “I should have known better”, or “I could have done more to cross check the facts.” They’re all blaming each other, and covering their own behinds. When all than behind covering is going on, you won’t find the unadulterated truth in it.

    And, forgive me, but who appointed you to apologize to our allies as you presume to do @35? Especially when our current president is issuing statements like this:

    “WASHINGTON — President Obama, welcoming Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq to the White House on Monday, said that after nearly nine years of war, Iraq had become a “sovereign, self-reliant and democratic” country that could serve as a model for aspiring democrats across the Middle East. Mr. Obama, who as a young politician labeled Iraq a “dumb war” and campaigned on a pledge to end it, used language reminiscent of the Bush administration to justify the costly commitment of American lives and treasure. Thanks to these sacrifices, he said, “what we have now achieved is an Iraq that is self-governing, that is inclusive and that has enormous potential.” NY Times, 12/12/2011

    In every war we have ever fought we may have tried to do some good, but we also did a lot of damage and generated a lot of unexpected consequences. A lot of wrong things get done for what seemed like good reasons, while sometimes we end up doing good for the wrong reasons. I simply don’t see much merit in your simplistic condemnation of this particular war.

  • kerner

    Dennis Peskey @47:

    Well, Mr. Peskey, I hope you will note that additional charistics of “Noah’s Ark” were that its crew were correct in their perceptions of the situation and that they survived, as opposed to the quicker, better directed and more common (and very dead) folks outside it.

    Goal indeed.

    I did read your posts, and I found them to be filled with such juvenile ad hominem phraseology as “Junior Bush” and “Donny Dumsfeld”. The sort of thing that I’ll bet has never graced the pages of a PhD. position paper presented to the U.S. Army War College. If you want your writing to get the same respect I extend to Dr. Borer’s, perhaps you could tone it down a little.

    Then, there was this:

    On February 5, 2003, President Bush (junior) had his Secretary of State, Colin Powell, dump a huge truckload of bovine excrement on the United Nations Security Council as justification for our countries preemptive strike against Iraq. Powell served as just a delivery boy with a bad bag of goods;

    Which implies not just error or even incompetence, but mendacity. The conclusion that Bush, or anyone in his administration was intentionally lying to the American people is not supported by any evidence, but you flippantly throw around the implication. THe facts are that there was a lot of intellegence out there that caused us the Bush administration to believe that WMD’s existed, much of it, as you admit, disseminated by the Iraqi regime itself in the mistaken belief that it had more to fear from Iran than it did from the USA. There is every indication that Bush, Powell, and most of their subordinates, believed that the WMD’s existed. No one would have relied as heavilly as they did in justifying the invasion had they believed otherwise. Nor would they have equipped our troops so scrupulously against the non-existent WMDs, nor would they have sent honest men out looking for them, had they known that there was nothing to find.

    Hold President accountable for his mistakes all you want. They are, in fact, his responsibility, and it is the right of every citizen to hold every president so accountable. But I am sick to death of the implication that we were lead into this war by someone who was intentionally lying to us, when the evidence is overwhelming that he was not.

    It is true that there were some counter-indications, and a lot of people connected with the intelligence community of that day is (now, after the fact) claiming that someone else supressed those “vital” counter-indications. Even one of the disseminators of the false intelligence claims that ” they knew I was telling lies even though I never admitted it.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/16/colin-powell-cia-curveball

    I just love that. Everybody should have known he was lying, even as he kept right on doing it. And, according to just about everyone else involved, it seems, including Colin Powell, somebody else is responsible for not figuring out that the intellince about WMD’s wasn’t true. None of them ever seem to say, “I should have known better”, or “I could have done more to cross check the facts.” They’re all blaming each other, and covering their own behinds. When all than behind covering is going on, you won’t find the unadulterated truth in it.

    And, forgive me, but who appointed you to apologize to our allies as you presume to do @35? Especially when our current president is issuing statements like this:

    “WASHINGTON — President Obama, welcoming Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq to the White House on Monday, said that after nearly nine years of war, Iraq had become a “sovereign, self-reliant and democratic” country that could serve as a model for aspiring democrats across the Middle East. Mr. Obama, who as a young politician labeled Iraq a “dumb war” and campaigned on a pledge to end it, used language reminiscent of the Bush administration to justify the costly commitment of American lives and treasure. Thanks to these sacrifices, he said, “what we have now achieved is an Iraq that is self-governing, that is inclusive and that has enormous potential.” NY Times, 12/12/2011

    In every war we have ever fought we may have tried to do some good, but we also did a lot of damage and generated a lot of unexpected consequences. A lot of wrong things get done for what seemed like good reasons, while sometimes we end up doing good for the wrong reasons. I simply don’t see much merit in your simplistic condemnation of this particular war.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    It’s late, but I’ll try to respond to a couple points. There are some parallels between Imperial Japan and the Anti-US Islamic world. But one of the major differences is that Imperial Japan was a unified national force, whereas Anti US Islamism is comprised of a large group of of different elements, all antagonistic to the USA, but sometimes for different reasons, and some of which are antagonistic to each other.

    While Japan could be identified, cornered and destroyed with single minded resolve, that cannot be done with the diverse elements of Anti-US Islamism. Think of Japan like a large single predator, but the various elements of Anti-US Islam as a pack of small predators. Alone, no single element (some of which are not nations at all, but are international paramilitary organizations) can harm us much, but as a group are capable of inflicting serious damage.

    When you ask this:

    “If #2 (which I assume you’d have to agree to, since you obviously disagree with #1), then we were apparently sold the war on false pretenses because it would have proved too unpopular from the get-go. Is this your argument, Kerner?”

    It is a too simplistic question.

    First of all, if you read the last link in DonS’s last post, you will see a lot of general anti-terrorist language, a lot of pro-democracy in the mid-east region language, and a lot of “we’re enforcing the treaties” language that accompanies the Saddam has WMD’s language. And I seem to remember a lot of generalized “anti-terrorism” sentiment in the United States in 2002. I also remember a some voices saying that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Which may have been true in the sense that the Ba’athists were no friends of Al-qaeda, nor did they help Al-qaeda plan the attack. But this objection confuses a military and a criminal-justice response.

    When Pearl Harbor was bombed, we did not go looking for the individual pilots to prosecute them. We attacked Japanese whenever and wherever it suited our purposes. Likewise, when it bacame clear that the Islamic world was not going to just give us the locations of the Al-qaeda leadership, what I believe happened is that the very next element of the general group of Anti-US Muslims to threaten US interests was going to be dealt with very severely. Saddam, as it turned out, was that element. He had been violating the treaty flagrantly. He was conducting itself in such a way that our interests were threatened, even if some of the reasons that we thought existed did not. I doubt that any US war was started over completely accurate information. And almost all our wars were wars of choice.

    And we dealt with Saddam severely. Our fight was not with the Iraqi people so much as the regime that controlled Iraq. So, we destroyed the regime, but did our best to rebuild Iraq. We also followed through on all the pro-democracy and stability in the mid-east region language in the Congressional resolution. President Obama is still pursuing that course, although there are those who think his methods are questionable.

    In answer to one of your other questions, I am often critical of our present administration, as I was (to an admittedly lesser degree) of our last one. But I’ll give Obama this much, I believe that Obama is doing what he thinks is best for the country. I also think that he is wrong because his whole concept of what is beneficial is flawed. And he has made a lot of other mistakes for other reasons. But I try not to make up reasons to dislike him. You won’t hear me calling him a closet Muslim or giving him disrespectful nick-names. If I’m critical of Obama, I try to confine my criticisms to policies I’m pretty sure exist and that he would admit exist. Maybe I’m not perfect in that, but I try to be.

    Finally, though the articles I cited were not scholarly, the mentioned some events that are better documented elsewhere and I found them quickly. Qaddifi, who may have been moving toward better relations with the US anyway, hastened to drop his own WMD program in 2003. Walid Jumblatt, a leader of the Druze in Lebanon, did credit the Invasion of Iraq with helping hasten the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon and giving the Lebabese an opportunity to improve their own country. And the pro-democracy forces in Iran probably were heartened by our attempts to democratize Iraq, although, the Obama administration failed to take advantage of that. But I don’t think Pres. Obama was lying when he indicated that he could effectively negotiate with the present Iranian regime, just mistaken.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    It’s late, but I’ll try to respond to a couple points. There are some parallels between Imperial Japan and the Anti-US Islamic world. But one of the major differences is that Imperial Japan was a unified national force, whereas Anti US Islamism is comprised of a large group of of different elements, all antagonistic to the USA, but sometimes for different reasons, and some of which are antagonistic to each other.

    While Japan could be identified, cornered and destroyed with single minded resolve, that cannot be done with the diverse elements of Anti-US Islamism. Think of Japan like a large single predator, but the various elements of Anti-US Islam as a pack of small predators. Alone, no single element (some of which are not nations at all, but are international paramilitary organizations) can harm us much, but as a group are capable of inflicting serious damage.

    When you ask this:

    “If #2 (which I assume you’d have to agree to, since you obviously disagree with #1), then we were apparently sold the war on false pretenses because it would have proved too unpopular from the get-go. Is this your argument, Kerner?”

    It is a too simplistic question.

    First of all, if you read the last link in DonS’s last post, you will see a lot of general anti-terrorist language, a lot of pro-democracy in the mid-east region language, and a lot of “we’re enforcing the treaties” language that accompanies the Saddam has WMD’s language. And I seem to remember a lot of generalized “anti-terrorism” sentiment in the United States in 2002. I also remember a some voices saying that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Which may have been true in the sense that the Ba’athists were no friends of Al-qaeda, nor did they help Al-qaeda plan the attack. But this objection confuses a military and a criminal-justice response.

    When Pearl Harbor was bombed, we did not go looking for the individual pilots to prosecute them. We attacked Japanese whenever and wherever it suited our purposes. Likewise, when it bacame clear that the Islamic world was not going to just give us the locations of the Al-qaeda leadership, what I believe happened is that the very next element of the general group of Anti-US Muslims to threaten US interests was going to be dealt with very severely. Saddam, as it turned out, was that element. He had been violating the treaty flagrantly. He was conducting itself in such a way that our interests were threatened, even if some of the reasons that we thought existed did not. I doubt that any US war was started over completely accurate information. And almost all our wars were wars of choice.

    And we dealt with Saddam severely. Our fight was not with the Iraqi people so much as the regime that controlled Iraq. So, we destroyed the regime, but did our best to rebuild Iraq. We also followed through on all the pro-democracy and stability in the mid-east region language in the Congressional resolution. President Obama is still pursuing that course, although there are those who think his methods are questionable.

    In answer to one of your other questions, I am often critical of our present administration, as I was (to an admittedly lesser degree) of our last one. But I’ll give Obama this much, I believe that Obama is doing what he thinks is best for the country. I also think that he is wrong because his whole concept of what is beneficial is flawed. And he has made a lot of other mistakes for other reasons. But I try not to make up reasons to dislike him. You won’t hear me calling him a closet Muslim or giving him disrespectful nick-names. If I’m critical of Obama, I try to confine my criticisms to policies I’m pretty sure exist and that he would admit exist. Maybe I’m not perfect in that, but I try to be.

    Finally, though the articles I cited were not scholarly, the mentioned some events that are better documented elsewhere and I found them quickly. Qaddifi, who may have been moving toward better relations with the US anyway, hastened to drop his own WMD program in 2003. Walid Jumblatt, a leader of the Druze in Lebanon, did credit the Invasion of Iraq with helping hasten the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon and giving the Lebabese an opportunity to improve their own country. And the pro-democracy forces in Iran probably were heartened by our attempts to democratize Iraq, although, the Obama administration failed to take advantage of that. But I don’t think Pres. Obama was lying when he indicated that he could effectively negotiate with the present Iranian regime, just mistaken.

  • helen

    “The fetters imposed on liberty at home have ever been forged out of the weapons provided for defence against real, pretended, or imaginary dangers from abroad. -James Madison, 4th US president (1751-1836)” [A.W.A.D.]

    That is the reason the was may have ended but it doesn’t seem like it.
    When I can think of a airplane trip without having to choose between machine and physical intrusivness, it may be over.
    When the bills are paid, if ever, it may be over. [Johnson couldn’t have both “guns and butter”; why did we think we could have two wars and tax cuts!?

  • helen

    “The fetters imposed on liberty at home have ever been forged out of the weapons provided for defence against real, pretended, or imaginary dangers from abroad. -James Madison, 4th US president (1751-1836)” [A.W.A.D.]

    That is the reason the was may have ended but it doesn’t seem like it.
    When I can think of a airplane trip without having to choose between machine and physical intrusivness, it may be over.
    When the bills are paid, if ever, it may be over. [Johnson couldn’t have both “guns and butter”; why did we think we could have two wars and tax cuts!?

  • Dennis Peskey

    Mr. Kerner (#49) Might I inquire, sir, do you actually read any of your posts after they’re written. I do have my doubts. Consider your opening accusation directed against me personally, “juvenile ad hominem phraseology“. Ever heard this phrase, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” Allow me to demonstrate: In post #39, you wrote, “Gee, WWII could still be going on today if the USA had just followed the Dennis Peskey plan.” This was your conclusion of assigning blame for the U. S. policy of surrogate/proxy warfare – and the reason I questioned whether you had actually taken the time to read Dr. Borer’s article. But, you did not so much as tug on the reins but let your words run further, stating “Well, in 1991, we hoped that Saddam would stay in his place and we could still use Iraq to keep Iran at bay (Dennis Peskeyism at its finest).” Now, I’ve graduated to being an “ism” (albeit, a very fine “ism”). Positively scholarly. Finally, you elevated me to the supreme status here, “So, why is it not possible that the likes of Bush Jr. and “Donny Dumsfeld” were not decieved as well, Mr. Monday morning quarterback Peskey?” Well, to answer your question, perhaps I hoped that President Bush and his cabinet would be a bit more discerning than the Iranian government. I do not have great illusions concerning the Iranian government; I do expect better of our elected representatives.

    Did you notice the pattern in each of these examples? Would you be willing to concede they constitute a measure of “juvenile ad hominem phraseology”? [note: I am completely unaware of when you preform your quarterback duties, but I must say you did a lousy job supporting my Packers on Sunday – now go find us some offensive tackles – that would be “football offensive” – not the typology you proffered.] I find your hypocrisy to be more than a “nattering nabobs of negativism” (it’s a republican term – look it up). How can you accuse me (with some justification I admit) without suffering from the same offense (I did not include the reference to “Daddy Woodrow Wilson”).

    Now, back to the Ark and the real problem at hand, the Iraq War. Who ordered the Ark built, gave the blueprints to a small group of landlubbers (nautical terminology alert); who called all the animals to the Ark, loaded them, then sealed the Ark. That would be the same deity who establishes governments and orders our daily lives. At least Noah embraced the faith given to him by God and obeyed even though he personally had no claim on nautical expertise.

    Would that we now would show the same trust in our God to accept his order and allow his will to direct our actions. There are given conditions for a State (aka, governing body) to bear the sword against other nations. Lutherans understand this as a “just war” and defense falls under this category. A clear example of this is December 7, 1941 – President Roosevelt was justified in declaring war on Germany and Japan (although I do find this order quite puzzling; Germany had no prior knowledge of Pearl Harbor and doubtfully supported the assault.)

    Now, you have ardently supported the Iraq War and I’ve searched your postings for justification. I found this, “Saddam was a little pissant dictator, and he was making us look weak and ineffectual by ignoring his agreements which we had insisted on. And, in 2003, we simply could not afford to let an Arab head of state make us look weak and ineffectual. Period!” Seriously??? We engaged in a nine year war which cost us 4,500 servicemen and women (not to mention the billions of revenue gone, but not yet paid for) because some “pissant” wasn’t playing nicely in the sandbox. For real? Wow, am I not impressed. This is your idea of a just war? (I don’t even desire to bring up the subject of Korea; still a war, and governed by even worse “ants” who make Saddam look like a choirboy.)

    Finally, there’s this gem, “But I am sick to death of the implication that we were lead into this war by someone who was intentionally lying to us, when the evidence is overwhelming that he was not.” Well, according to Secretary of State Colin Powell and his Chief of Staff Alexander Wilkerson, what was presented to the U. N. Security Council lacked both substance and truth. Wilkerson was the person who called this charade a “hoax” (in case your thesaurus isn’t handy, try “deception, fraud, fake”). If you can give a reasonable explanation why Vice-President Cheney made ten separate trips over to CIA headquarters just prior to Powell’s presentation, I may take umbrage at Wilkerson’s remark. If you are unfamiliar with the chain-of-command, Vice-Presidents are errand boys only to the President. If Cheney needed information from the CIA, his secretary normally would summon the CIA chief to Cheney’s office; nothing good comes from violations of the chain-of command. (I can offer no proof for the reason of the visitation nor what was discussed, only the highly unusual nature of these visits which is, without evidence, strictly correlation – not causation.)

    The war in Iraq has now be relegated to the historians, but it is far from over. While I do not doubt you sincerely desire a “democratize Iraq” I fear you do not grasp the reality of politics in the middle East. And yes, I do believe we will have a far graver situation to confront soon in Iran. For all who have read this far, please spend the effort and time to understand Islam (means: submission). Mohammad began with the sword, his religion spread with the sword, and those countries which embrace a theocracy of Islam will rule by the sword, internally and with their neighbors. If you still maintain the necessity of the Iraq War, talk to the Christians remaining in that “democratized” country – do it soon, while they may still be found.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Mr. Kerner (#49) Might I inquire, sir, do you actually read any of your posts after they’re written. I do have my doubts. Consider your opening accusation directed against me personally, “juvenile ad hominem phraseology“. Ever heard this phrase, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” Allow me to demonstrate: In post #39, you wrote, “Gee, WWII could still be going on today if the USA had just followed the Dennis Peskey plan.” This was your conclusion of assigning blame for the U. S. policy of surrogate/proxy warfare – and the reason I questioned whether you had actually taken the time to read Dr. Borer’s article. But, you did not so much as tug on the reins but let your words run further, stating “Well, in 1991, we hoped that Saddam would stay in his place and we could still use Iraq to keep Iran at bay (Dennis Peskeyism at its finest).” Now, I’ve graduated to being an “ism” (albeit, a very fine “ism”). Positively scholarly. Finally, you elevated me to the supreme status here, “So, why is it not possible that the likes of Bush Jr. and “Donny Dumsfeld” were not decieved as well, Mr. Monday morning quarterback Peskey?” Well, to answer your question, perhaps I hoped that President Bush and his cabinet would be a bit more discerning than the Iranian government. I do not have great illusions concerning the Iranian government; I do expect better of our elected representatives.

    Did you notice the pattern in each of these examples? Would you be willing to concede they constitute a measure of “juvenile ad hominem phraseology”? [note: I am completely unaware of when you preform your quarterback duties, but I must say you did a lousy job supporting my Packers on Sunday – now go find us some offensive tackles – that would be “football offensive” – not the typology you proffered.] I find your hypocrisy to be more than a “nattering nabobs of negativism” (it’s a republican term – look it up). How can you accuse me (with some justification I admit) without suffering from the same offense (I did not include the reference to “Daddy Woodrow Wilson”).

    Now, back to the Ark and the real problem at hand, the Iraq War. Who ordered the Ark built, gave the blueprints to a small group of landlubbers (nautical terminology alert); who called all the animals to the Ark, loaded them, then sealed the Ark. That would be the same deity who establishes governments and orders our daily lives. At least Noah embraced the faith given to him by God and obeyed even though he personally had no claim on nautical expertise.

    Would that we now would show the same trust in our God to accept his order and allow his will to direct our actions. There are given conditions for a State (aka, governing body) to bear the sword against other nations. Lutherans understand this as a “just war” and defense falls under this category. A clear example of this is December 7, 1941 – President Roosevelt was justified in declaring war on Germany and Japan (although I do find this order quite puzzling; Germany had no prior knowledge of Pearl Harbor and doubtfully supported the assault.)

    Now, you have ardently supported the Iraq War and I’ve searched your postings for justification. I found this, “Saddam was a little pissant dictator, and he was making us look weak and ineffectual by ignoring his agreements which we had insisted on. And, in 2003, we simply could not afford to let an Arab head of state make us look weak and ineffectual. Period!” Seriously??? We engaged in a nine year war which cost us 4,500 servicemen and women (not to mention the billions of revenue gone, but not yet paid for) because some “pissant” wasn’t playing nicely in the sandbox. For real? Wow, am I not impressed. This is your idea of a just war? (I don’t even desire to bring up the subject of Korea; still a war, and governed by even worse “ants” who make Saddam look like a choirboy.)

    Finally, there’s this gem, “But I am sick to death of the implication that we were lead into this war by someone who was intentionally lying to us, when the evidence is overwhelming that he was not.” Well, according to Secretary of State Colin Powell and his Chief of Staff Alexander Wilkerson, what was presented to the U. N. Security Council lacked both substance and truth. Wilkerson was the person who called this charade a “hoax” (in case your thesaurus isn’t handy, try “deception, fraud, fake”). If you can give a reasonable explanation why Vice-President Cheney made ten separate trips over to CIA headquarters just prior to Powell’s presentation, I may take umbrage at Wilkerson’s remark. If you are unfamiliar with the chain-of-command, Vice-Presidents are errand boys only to the President. If Cheney needed information from the CIA, his secretary normally would summon the CIA chief to Cheney’s office; nothing good comes from violations of the chain-of command. (I can offer no proof for the reason of the visitation nor what was discussed, only the highly unusual nature of these visits which is, without evidence, strictly correlation – not causation.)

    The war in Iraq has now be relegated to the historians, but it is far from over. While I do not doubt you sincerely desire a “democratize Iraq” I fear you do not grasp the reality of politics in the middle East. And yes, I do believe we will have a far graver situation to confront soon in Iran. For all who have read this far, please spend the effort and time to understand Islam (means: submission). Mohammad began with the sword, his religion spread with the sword, and those countries which embrace a theocracy of Islam will rule by the sword, internally and with their neighbors. If you still maintain the necessity of the Iraq War, talk to the Christians remaining in that “democratized” country – do it soon, while they may still be found.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • kerner

    Dennis Peskey:

    “Would you be willing to concede they constitute a measure of “juvenile ad hominem phraseology”?”

    You have me there, and I apologize. I believe I will follow your good example and cool off awhile before responding further. Excuse me while I repair the panes in my own glass house.

  • kerner

    Dennis Peskey:

    “Would you be willing to concede they constitute a measure of “juvenile ad hominem phraseology”?”

    You have me there, and I apologize. I believe I will follow your good example and cool off awhile before responding further. Excuse me while I repair the panes in my own glass house.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Kerner (#53) You are most certainly forgiven; my pray is that I be forgiven for any offense I rendered. I do try to appreciate your concern for the war, given the personnel involvement of your children. Having lived through such an experience, I do not wish this on any people unless absolutely necessary.

    For now, to you and your family, have a Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year. (and work on getting the Packers more offensive tackles – that I take most seriously given we only have five weeks to the playoffs.)
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Kerner (#53) You are most certainly forgiven; my pray is that I be forgiven for any offense I rendered. I do try to appreciate your concern for the war, given the personnel involvement of your children. Having lived through such an experience, I do not wish this on any people unless absolutely necessary.

    For now, to you and your family, have a Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year. (and work on getting the Packers more offensive tackles – that I take most seriously given we only have five weeks to the playoffs.)
    Pax,
    Dennis