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» Wrong War, Wrong Place, Wrong Time from Ace of Spades HQ
A very highly regarded US general agrees completely with John Kerry's assessment. Thanks to Id.... [Read More]

» Another Top US General Blasts President’s Handling of War from Solomonia
Davids Medienkritik: Wrong War, Wrong Place, Wrong Time?: Every mistake that supposedly intelligent men could make has been made in this war. The operation was absolutely useless, yet all the available strength of Great Britain and the United States wa... [Read More]

» How about some historical perspective? from marcland
As my regular readers know, I'm a big fan of perspective:He lashed out in a general indictment of Washington, asserting that ‘they’ are fighting this war as they fought the last war. He said that most of them have never... [Read More]

» Wrong War, Wrong Place, Wrong Time from Memento Moron: Remember, Thou Art Stupid
Another US General is criticizing the President's handling of the war. [Read More]

» Major General Blasts President's Handling Of The War from Say Anything
Guess who said it: Every mistake that supposedly intelligent men could make has been made in this war. The operation was absolutely useless, yet all the available strength of Great Britain and the United States was thrown into the task.... [Read More]

» US General: Wrong War, Wrong Place, Wrong Time? from S P Q R
via Ace: Yes, there is a US general who had the guts to say this during a time of war. A US general who was not afraid to speak up and stand up to an administration that he thought had... [Read More]

» Everyone's A Critic from I love Jet Noise
First it was Bremer, now this. You know, I've just about had it with Generals shooting their mouths off: Every mistake that supposedly intelligent men could make has been made in this war...yet all the available strength of Great Britain [Read More]

» Notes from an ally from Cold Fury
A couple of good catches from Ray D at David’s Medienkritik: [Read More]

» Another Top US General Blasts President’s Handling of War from Feste...a foolsblog
Ray D. at Davids Medienkritik posts from Germany: The President just doesn’t seem to get it. His handling of the war is a disaster. He just doesn’t seem to understand how many grave mistakes he has made. Far too much... [Read More]

» Another Top US General Blasts President’s Handling of War from Feste...a foolsblog
Ray D. at Davids Medienkritik posts from Germany: The President just doesn’t seem to get it. His handling of the war is a disaster. He just doesn’t seem to understand how many grave mistakes he has made. Far too much... [Read More]

Comments

Yeah, yeah, that's all nice and wonderful -aside from leaving out the part that McArtur himself had political ambitions - but it doesn't really relativate the given fact that the recent US ledearship pushed through a strategy that was obviously doomed to end in the kind of failure we see today.

@ Wired,

Uh, yeah, it kinda does relate. What, you think the people criticizing Bush have no political motivations? Wesley Clark has no poltical motivations you say? Right....

And as for the predictions of doom in the media, we saw the same thing after WWII:

http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2003/11/all_dates_refer.html

http://thecr.blogspot.com/2003_12_01_thecr_archive.html#107046828237531783

http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2003/12/what_a_quagmire.html

Maybe the reason you see only failure in Iraq and not the many successes is because the ratio of negative reporting to positive reporting on Iraq in the German media is 35 to 1! That according to research done by Medien Tenor.

The real problem is the distorted world view among Germans that the German media has helped to create. Don't you all remember how the German media predicted military disaster in Kosovo and Afghanistan??? Never happened! And the disaster they see in Iraq will be another prediction for the ash-heap of history much sooner than you think.

---Ray D.

Good article!

You should also consider the historical facts that MacArthur, a collosal egotist, conveniently ignored: The Pacific fight was strategically very different, where island hopping was the norm, not a solid land mass like Europe; the amount of resources he received were adequate for the job, as any military historian would attest, and most importantly, he was overshadowed by the Navy, whose crucial role by necessity overshadowed his own.

Die Linken und die Faschisten


"Man muß kein Prophet sein, um vorherzusagen, daß große Teile der europäischen Linken sich ohne rhetorische Verrenkungen an die Seite der islamistischen Schlächter stellen werden. Vom humanistischen Erbe der Linken wird, wenn dieser Krieg gegen den Terror vorbei ist, nichts mehr übrig sein. Und das ist eigentlich schade."


Hannes Stein ist Sachbuch-Redakteur der WELT. Er schreibt jeden zweiten Dienstag an dieser Stelle.


Artikel erschienen am Di, 5. Oktober 2004

http://www.welt.de/data/2004/10/05/341871.html

"Uh, yeah, it kinda does relate. What, you think the people criticizing Bush have no political motivations?"

No, of course they have polit. motivations. I never claimed otherwise.

"Wesley Clark has no poltical motivations you say? Right...."

I *didn't* say that, but nice try.

"And as for the predictions of doom in the media, we saw the same thing after WWII: *snip*
"

Who's talking about predictions here? Once the Iraqui army dispersed like biomatter in acid, the US and the coalition were obviously not able to establish and/or restore public order as proven through the almost week-long lootings in Baghdad and other cities. That's hardly only negative media coverage here, that's a serious fuckup on the part of those who wanted the Iraq war the way it happened, leading forefront Sec. Rumsfeld. Occupying a nation the size of Germany with less than 250,000 combat troops, man, pure genius. *rolleyes*

"Maybe the reason you see only failure in Iraq and not the many successes is because the ratio of negative reporting to positive reporting on Iraq in the German media is 35 to 1! That according to research done by Medien Tenor."

Hah! Yeah, sure. Or maybe it's the fact that day for day coalition soldiers get ambushed, shot, blown to pieces and are send home in body bags, and that their casualties are topped by tenfold that number in losses in Iraqui nationals. There's not a single day going by without a bombing or two, and not a week lately were a couple of foreign nationals aren't under the threat of getting their heads cut off. Negative media coverage, my ass! The coalition doesn't have the place under control, especially not the Sunni triangle. There's no "negative media coverage" here, you simply get the results of a US strategy a two-year old could have pointed out the flaws in...

"And the disaster they see in Iraq will be another prediction for the ash-heap of history much sooner than you think."

Uhuh, because we all know once those elections are held everyone's going to be nice and happy and Iraq will be a democratic country. Man, the naivety...

It's nice to see that you seem to be trying to blame this all on the "liberal media" or the Anti-Americanism in Germany. Usually I'd be on your side there, Ray. But the US and the coalition seriously fucked that place up with its lackluster strategy and naive approach, and it endangered the War on Terror by weakening the troop presence in Afghanistan in the meantime. And I really wish it had been different. I really wish the military approach and planning for the post-war period had been more thorough. But it wasn't. And that's not the media's fault, or due to Anti-American coverage, it's because the US fucked up.

Sorry to say that.

Wired

@ Niko

Hast du 'nen link für die Rede?

Wired

Hey Wired,

The US lost 350,000 men killed in World War II, we have lost just over 1,000 in Iraq...so World War II must have been the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time...after all, we lost 350 times more people, and you are saying Iraq is a massive disaster...what does that make World War II then? I guess we should have cut and run there as well...who the hell was doing the planning on that debacle?

Yes, nearly every day US soldiers fall victim to terror in Iraq, no one denies the losses, but in World War II we allowed a mass murderer (Hitler) to become an imminent threat, and we were losing hundreds, if not thousands of killed and wounded coming home in body bags every SINGLE day. So which do you prefer?

Let me just be clear: Nobody here is claiming that democracy comes cheap or that the US government has done everything perfectly. But the government does have a plan to train Iraqis and turn over power to them and it was right to go into Iraq and to fight and remove the terrorists who ran that country and murdered hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and imprisoned, tortured and suppressed millions more.

As for the Iraqi Army, they just performed superbly in taking Samarra back from Islamo-facists and Saddamites. They also just did very well in another major operation south of Baghdad that wrested another major piece of territory away from the terrorists. Pretty soon all of Iraq will be under coalition control, in fact there are very few places not under coalition control. Guess your theory about the Iraqi Army falling apart is pretty bogus...

As for the media, no, I'm sorry, but the negative events in Iraq do not outweigh the positive by 35 to 1. If you think the liberation of 25 million people and the difficult transition of the country to democracy is 35 times more negative than positive, you are just dead wrong. What about kids going back to school, hospitals opening, businesses opening, people registering to vote? It is simply not being reported. There is no balance.

Is it just me, or does Wired seem a bit angry and frustrated when confronted with the truth?...Don't worry Wired, that is a normal reaction when you see your worldview crumbling before your eyes. It is all apart of the process of awakening to the horrible fact that the German media has been lying to you for all this time...

"Hey Wired,

The US lost 350,000 men killed in World War II, we have lost just over 1,000 in Iraq...so World War II must have been the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time...after all, we lost 350 times more people, and you are saying Iraq is a massive disaster...what does that make World War II then? I guess we should have cut and run there as well...who the hell was doing the planning on that debacle?

Yes, nearly every day US soldiers fall victim to terror in Iraq, no one denies the losses, but in World War II we allowed a mass murderer (Hitler) to become an imminent threat, and we were losing hundreds, if not thousands of killed and wounded coming home in body bags every SINGLE day. So which do you prefer?"

That's all certainly as right as it is very dramatic, Ray, and yet it has absolutely nothing to do with what I wrote.

"Let me just be clear: Nobody here is claiming that democracy comes cheap or that the US government has done everything perfectly. But the government does have a plan to train Iraqis and turn over power to them and it was right to go into Iraq and to fight and remove the terrorists who ran that country and murdered hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and imprisoned, tortured and suppressed millions more."

And where did I question that? Where did I say it was wrong to fight the war? [b]NOWHERE[/b]!

"As for the Iraqi Army, they just performed superbly in taking Samarra back from Islamo-facists and Saddamites. They also just did very well in another major operation south of Baghdad that wrested another major piece of territory away from the terrorists. Pretty soon all of Iraq will be under coalition control, in fact there are very few places not under coalition control. Guess your theory about the Iraqi Army falling apart is pretty bogus..."

*sighs* Man, I thought it was really painfully obvious I was talking about Saddam's army here during the war... It fell apart, and the US neither had the means nor the plan to fill that vacuum.

"As for the media, no, I'm sorry, but the negative events in Iraq do not outweigh the positive by 35 to 1. If you think the liberation of 25 million people and the difficult transition of the country to democracy is 35 times more negative than positive, you are just dead wrong. What about kids going back to school, hospitals opening, businesses opening, people registering to vote? It is simply not being reported. There is no balance."

I do not deny it. Show me where I did?! And with all due respect, those schools wouldn't have been closed, those hospitals wouldn't have been emptied by looters so that they just now can re-open if the coalition had done its job - or had from the start had the means to do it.

And that the schools do re-open, yeah, that's really promising to see which direction the enw Iraq is taking in that regard...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6125357/

"The US 'fucked' it up, eh? I guess after Germany 'fucked' it up in African colonies, 'fucked' it up with the Herero peoples, 'fucked' it up in WW1, 'fucked' it up in WW2, 'fucked' it up in the Holocaust, she has forever forfeit her right to criticize other nations on international matters."

Aww, Niko, you see my heart bleeding here. I very much have to right to criticize idiocy when I see it. And you can flip-flop around it as long as you want to, the occupation of Iraq so far has been an interesting story of unecessary failures.

"Don't think so. I guess it's certain pathologies that keep creeping back into the German soul. We've seen the ugly German many times before, and perhaps it's just about time for another comeback.

Sorry to say that."

Man, pure comedy.

"Is it just me, or does Wired seem a bit angry and frustrated when confronted with the truth?...Don't worry Wired, that is a normal reaction when you see your worldview crumbling before your eyes. It is all apart of the process of awakening to the horrible fact that the German media has been lying to you for all this time..."

And exactly what truth would that be? I have little respect for the German media and its 'Gleichschaltung', but that's not going to change my view on the incompetance of the coalition's planning and leadership in Iraq in any way.

As to schools and hospitals, here is some information that might be of interest to you:

Article on media coverage of schools and health care in Iraq

Just one fact: The amount spent on health care by Saddam Hussein's government was $16 million dollars for 2002. This past year the coalition spent $950 million on health care in Iraq. As for schools, the coalition has plans to build thousands of new schools. Just read the article...it's barely being reported on.

---Ray D.

but it doesn't really relativate the given fact that the recent US ledearship pushed through a strategy that was obviously doomed to end in the kind of failure we see today.

A quote from George McClellan in the summer of 1864? Or perhaps something said during the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes mountains in winter of 1944. After Operation Market-Garden (A Bridge Too Far) in 1944?

A war is a series of failures followed by either success or defeat. The winning side learns to adress the failures and changes the strategy in light of what is learned.

During the spring the US Amrmy learned that it alone could not hold the Sunni triangle without trained Iraqi police and army formations to help. They pulled back and trained the Iraqis, and now they are back, having just taken Samarra, one of the three major cities in the Sunni Triangle.

Will they win? Nobody really knows. I think they have a fair chance of settling the Sunni Triangle down enough to allow elections to be held in January. The Iraqi's themselves will have to do much of the work. US forces can take out many of the insurgents but Iraqis will have to hold the ground won and keep the peace in association with local authorities. There are indications that this may be about to happen, at least in Samarra and possibly Fallujah.

Look Wired, no hard feelings, I just really think you should re-examine your opinions on this. Fighting a war is a difficult, messy, ugly business, but in this case, it is a war worth fighting. Do you honestly think anyone else could have done it better...if at all? Again, no one here is claiming the government has done it all right.

At least we agree on the German media, they are really failing us.

@ Niko

Wow, a group of five trying to plan some have-assed attempt of an attack. Run for the hills! It's the Nazi's taking over again! Man, you sound like a soccer-mom on the issue of gun-ownership.

And now I ask you right ahead, little self-righteous prick, don't dance around the issue, tell me where I was schadenfroh? Tell me, where was I happy that there's little visible progress in Iraq? Where was I "anti-american", huh? I have relatives fighting down there, they are contributing their efforts down there for your new and democratic Iraq, I for damn sure aren't wishing them or the other coalition soldiers any harm at all.

Maybe - just in case you get the foam off your mouth and have some breath left bewteen your ramblings about the Morgenthau-Plan and undead Nazi zombies taking over the Kanzleramt - you can tell my why criticizing a moronic military decision proposed by Rumsfeld and taken by Bush is so wrong? Even the Pentagon insisted on at least twice the number of troops to attack and occupy the country, so I can't be that far off with my anti-American and schadenfrohen ramblings...

"Look Wired, no hard feelings, I just really think you should re-examine your opinions on this. Fighting a war is a difficult, messy, ugly business, but in this case, it is a war worth fighting. Do you honestly think anyone else could have done it better...if at all? Again, no one here is claiming the government has done it all right.

At least we agree on the German media, they are really failing us."

No, I doubt anybody else could have done better, that's a rather clear point I'd say. But you - meaning the US - could have done better. The US took a seemingly rather naive approach even though data on the region as well as experience and observation rather clearly indicated otherwise.
It was abundantly clear that the purely military part was a cakewalk. I recently heard that when the "real" war started, around 20% of the country was already under coaltion control, either through Shiite militias, Kurdish peshmergas or Allied spec-ops.
The allied forces did as fine as you could have expected it from such superbly trained and equipped forces, but it became obvious that while the military part was probably sufficiently planned, the post "real"-war effort was not. The worst thing you can let happen in a country you try to occupy is let the public order be taken out of your hands.
You need troops to uphold security, troops that weren't available because the US leadership foolishly and against every ounce of common sense decided so. You CANNOT control a country the size of Germany with 25 million inhabitants with less than 250,000 combat troops. I got serious problems with the fact that obviously Bush's team was not able to grasp that simple fact. There might have been the slight chance that it could've worked, if the US had from the start on established martial law, but that they also didn't.

Look, I'm not denying that progress has been made, but there have been so many unnecessary failures from the get-go that were obviously avoidable. And that's not anti-Americanism or Schadenfreude, that's legitimate criticism on a leadership that neglects its duties!
The same could be saif about the German ISAF forces in Kundus or Faizabad! It's not a solely American issue, but Iraq simply is more apparent than Afghanistan is.


And Niko, sorry that I bursted out above, but cutting down the unecessary Nazi references could do wonders...

How dare you criticize Wired when the situation is so dire?! This is serious. And Wired can only be right when he speaks of "the incompetance of the coalition's planning and leadership", the press agrees on that. Wired can only be right when he speaks of "a strategy that was obviously doomed to end in the kind of failure we see today", the press agrees on that too. And when Wired says "the US and the coalition were obviously not able to establish and/or restore public order … That's hardly only negative media coverage here, that's a serious fuckup on the part of those who wanted the Iraq war the way it happened," the press agrees on that as well.

And don't anybody dare suggest that the negative attitudes held by Wired and citizens of Europe and throughout the US might be based on the negative coverage! It's cleary the other way around. And anyway, citizens are clearly immune to that sort of thing…

Don't forget that the New York Times has written that the occupation is a grave mistake!

The … attitude toward the American occupation forces has swung from apathy and surface friendliness to active dislike. According to a military government official, this is finding expression in the organization of numerous local anti-American organizations … and in a rapid increase in the number of attacks on American soldiers. There were more such attacks in the first week of October than in the preceding five months of the occupation, this source declared.
Serious stuff, Ray. Serious stuff.

Iraqi WMD`s:

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us."
Vice President Dick Cheney, Aug. 26, 2002

"It possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons."
President Bush, Oct. 7, 2002

The Bush administration invaded Iraq in March 2003 on the grounds that its WMD programs posed a threat to American national security.

What U.S. forces found:

- A single artillery shell filled with two chemicals that, when mixed while the shell was in flight, would have created sarin. The shell was from Saddam's pre-1991 stockpile.
- Another old artillery shell, also rigged as a bomb and found in May, showed signs it once contained mustard agent.
- Two small rocket warheads, turned over to Polish troops by an informer, that showed signs they once were filled with sarin.
- Centrifuge parts buried in a former nuclear scientist's garden in Baghdad. These were part of Saddam's pre-1991 nuclear program, which was dismantled after the 1991 Gulf War.
The scientist also had centrifuge design documents.
- A vial of live botulinum toxin, which can be used as a biological weapon, in another scientist's refrigerator. The scientist said it had been there since 1993.
- Evidence of advanced design work on a liquid-propellant missile with ranges of up to 620 miles. Since the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq had been prohibited from having missiles with ranges longer than 93 miles.


Link Al-Quaeda/Saddam:

"To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two."
"I have seen the answer to that question migrate in the intelligence community over a period of a year in the most amazing way."

Donald Rumsfeld, Oct. 4, 2004

Several hours after his appearance, Rumsfeld issued a statement from the Pentagon saying his comment "regrettably was misunderstood".
(Who´s flip-flopping here?)


Postwar Iraq:

"The single most important change — the one thing that would have improved the situation — would have been having more troops in Iraq at the beginning and throughout the occupation."
Paul Bremer, Sept. 17, 2004
(at DePauw University)

Casualties:

As of Oct. 6, 2004

US Named Dead: 1060
(925 since "mission accomplished")
US Reported Dead: 4
US Wounded: 7412

Reported civilian deaths:
Reported Minimum: 13086
Reported Maximum: 15149

"The real problem is the distorted world view among Germans that the German media has helped to create."
Medienkritik

I know, it's right up in the best-selling lists with the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" (hope I got that right). Typical symptoms of a culture that isn't able to have an objective look at itself, blaming all ill on the Jews and the zionist-American crusaders.

You know, if it wouldn't be such a serious topic, one could start to laugh about such claims. *shakes head* Sadly enough, it seems as if the majority of our 'intelligantsia' is buying those claims. I just hope there's enough time left to change the course in Germany - or Europe, that is. Because right now I get the image that it's heading directly towards dhimmitude on the long run.

@ash-heap of history

Well, but regardless, the decision to go to war - yeah, as much as I might disagree with *how* that's been handled so far - was right. Probably even a theocratic regime under the lead of the Shiite population majority is a better alternative to Saddam and his butcher sons.

@Wired

"Who's talking about predictions here? Once the Iraqui army dispersed like biomatter in acid, the US and the coalition were obviously not able to establish and/or restore public order as proven through the almost week-long lootings in Baghdad and other cities. That's hardly only negative media coverage here, that's a serious fuckup on the part of those who wanted the Iraq war the way it happened, leading forefront Sec. Rumsfeld. Occupying a nation the size of Germany with less than 250,000 combat troops, man, pure genius. *rolleyes*"

Seems like the conventional wisdom of every Bush bashing Monday morning quarterback these days is that he didn't use enough troops in Iraq, and is, therefore, incompetent. If we'd only sent in x thousands more in the beginning, everything would have been wonderful, and Iraq would already be a model democracy, etc., etc. We heard the same thing during the Vietnam War. Gen. Westmoreland was constantly whining that he didn't have enough troops. In that case, he got them. Did it turn around the war? Did we win? Did Vietnam turn into a model democracy? NOT!! All of our brilliant contemporary armchair generals never seem to entertain for a moment the thought that they may be just as wrong as Westmoreland, and more troops (at least, that is, in numbers that might realistically be available) would not substantially alter the situation on the ground at all. They also never seem to consider where all these new divisions are supposed to come from. According to some we should strip our forces in East Asia. If you bother to just count heads, it's easy to see that won't make much of a difference in Iraq, but it will have profound consequences on our strategic situation in the rest of the world. Apparently our armchair generals think there can be no conceivable reason to keep a reserve of combat-ready troops available anywhere outside of Iraq, and the US has suddenly been relieved of all its commitments or possible need for troops anywhere else in the world. Some of them say we are just supposed to "expand the size of the military." These geniuses never get around to explaining how we're supposed to suddenly raise substantial numbers of new troops. I've noticed none of them seem to have their arms up as volunteers. Our reserve and guard units are already being stressed to the limit, but somehow the President is just supposed to snap his fingers, and whole divisions will magically spring out of the ground. I've noticed that, in the US, much of the "more troops" bitching comes from the people on the left who were so fanatically determined to go to war in Iraq in the first place. The editors of "New Republic" come to mind. Now that the chips are down and we're facing adversity in Iraq, they've suddenly become defeatist, and are wring their hands that all is lost because of the "incompetence" of the administration. Believe me, I've been there in Vietnam, and their defeatism is a much greater threat to the success of our effort in Iraq than any supposed "incompetence" of the Bush Administration or lack of troops. Most of these Jeremiahs also seem to take seriously Kerry's pious idiocies about "internationalizing" war, and taking advantage of the French and German legions that are just waiting for him to win the election before they ride to our rescue with trumpets blaring.

I was never in favor of the war to begin with, but, now that we're in it, it's beyond me how anyone but an Islamofascist could believe it would be a good thing if the US lost. I can only advise Europe's leftist ideologues to be careful what they wish for.

@ ash heap:

Iraq's WMDs

The interesting thing is that you could have pulled the very same quotes on Iraq being a threat and having WMD from John Kerry or even the German intelligence service.

My question is, if Saddam had no WMDs and no intent ever to manufacture any, why didn't he just cooperate with the UN instead of risking war, sanctions and ultimately his own neck?

Postwar Iraq: If you are going to mention Bremer, than at least make an attempt to be intellectually honest (I know it is hard for you leftists) and mention Bremer's recent rowback on that very statement:

Bremer: Troop comments were in hindsight

Casualties

No one disputes the tragic losses the US is suffering to ensure a free Iraq. We lost 350 times as many men in World War II and nearly 50 times as many men in Korea, and it was worth it because democracies now flourish where before there were none. The thing that landed on the ash-heap of history in those wars were the dictatorships that had once flourished in Germany and Japan. So too it will be in Afghanistan and Iraq...but not without sacrifice and not without steadfastness.

The problem is that the only thing the media reports are the casualties and the losses. They rarely if ever report on the increased spending on health care, new schools, new hospitals, people registering to vote and businesses opening in Iraq. None of that sees the light of day. The ratio of negative reporting vastly overwhelms the positive, and it is simply creating an inaccurate and distorted view of what is really going on in Iraq.

Civilian casualties

How many people did Saddam kill? Yeah, hundreds of thousands. Saddam's mass graves are a thing of the past now! Another question: Why are most of the civilians in Iraq dying today? That's right, not because of US troops but because of Islamo-facist terrorists and Saddamites.

Take another look ash-heap...

---Ray D.

Al Qaeda Saddam:

The jury is still out on that one, you're right, Saddam and Osama were not best friends. One thing, however, is absolutely clear: A tyrant who murders his own people with chemical weapons, shovels kids into mass graves, invades two neighbors and fires missiles at several more, pays the families of suicide bombers $25,000 each is A TERRORIST. The world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power, whether he was working directly with Al-Qaeda or not.

You know what they say Niko: "Great minds think alike."

@ Helian

You lost Vietnam because the White House micromanaged and meddled with the Pentagon. You lost Vietname because despite having the means to do so you didn't go after North Vietnam because you feared the Chinese, and because you feared the Soviets. You cannot win a war on the defense. And you lost because the media created an image of that war that was off the reality - which it probably also is in Iraq.

But the difference is, there you were fighting a war where the local government did the occupation part (well, aside from bombing runs the US never was that far in NV, right?), here you are trying an occupation.
Comparing Vietnam and Iraq doesn't work, on no side of the equation.

@ Niko

Well, what would you say? I'm trying not to be jerk here, but the US planned the whole damn thing and pulled it through. Intelligence data was available, experience from other battlefields was available, too. To beat the enemy the forces sent where sufficient, but to pacify him, control him? Who else 'fucked up' if not the US leadership? You *need* more troops to control a country than you need to fight that country on the battlefield, because they have to be all over the place, they have to patrol the streets, they have to uphold the law in absence of a police force, they have to create an athmosphere of security for those ordinary they liberated!

Yes, I could go to lengths about why I don't like how things happened, but seriously, what's that gonna be good for? Anybody else want one of my incoherent rants tonight, raise your hands!?!

For the record (you may snicker now): I'm not anti-Bush. Yes, I don't like a couple of the decisions he made, but he's the right man at the right time. I just wish he and his buddies would be a bit more thorough with what they do...

Er, what about the 2 tons of uranium they brought back to the US from Iraq? I seem to recall hearing something about that.

On a totally unrelated topic:
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1349995,00.html

Another grave mistake of our political class.

@Wired

"Comparing Vietnam and Iraq doesn't work, on no side of the equation."

Right, Wired, every historical event, especially every major historical event, is in some way unique, and, therefore, not comparable to any other historical event. Henry Ford was right when he said, "History is bunk," and the people who burned the great library at Alexandria did us a favor.

@ Niko

I really have to wonder why we were at each other's throat a couple of posts above, heh.

That's a good explanation. Well, the political bias almost shut down two boards I usually frequent, and they in turn usually aren't all about politics. *shrugs*

Well, let's hope Bush & Cheney can pull it off in November. After that, we can hopefully concentrate on the real enemy again.

@ Helian

Comparing a war fought in a jungle against a regular army and a paramilitary organisation without attacking their homebases on the ground isn't really comparable to occupying a desert country where you fight terrorists and guerillas in inner-city battles. Iraq is far more complicated than the war against the Vietcong and the Vietnamese regulars ever was.

@ Niko, Ray

You might find some of the essays on that site interesting:

www.divine-salamis.com

Wired

Keiner will die Allgemeine Wehrpflicht, das Pentagon am wenigsten...

As of Oct. 6, 2004

US Named Dead: 1060
(925 since "mission accomplished")
US Reported Dead: 4
US Wounded: 7412

Reported civilian deaths:
Reported Minimum: 13086
Reported Maximum: 15149

Lest we forget:

Estimated civilian dead in France during the 2003 heat wave: 13,000

Estimated children dead in Breslan: 650

Civilian dead on 9/11/01: 2900

Civilian dead on 3/11/04: 290

Estimated Executions at Abu Ghrab under Saddam Hussein: 50,000

Estimated Executions at Abu Ghrab under Lanny England: 0

Estimated Executions by former roommates of Aussenminister Fischer: 7

Estimated homocides by Senator Kennedy's Oldsmobile: 1

Is anyone aware of any war - regardless of the historical outcome - that wasn't 'fucked up'?

@wired
Do not wet your pants in fear as you think Iraq is some type of "military blunder".
Have you any sense of geo-political military strategy, or modern realities?
Several thousands german and french soldiers cannot keep rioters down in kazoo (in fact, they run away), the french again can't do it in ivory coast, and those guys are using spear tips, voodoo charms, and Albanian loafers as weapons. So what point is it that you are trying to make?
You consider the large amount of car bombings going on a failure? That is simple-minded nonsense.
I'll tell you what failure is- FAILURE is EUROPE. It's been failing for centuries. Not even re-building your dying continent with asylum seekers from arab lands has helped you. That embrace of millions to re-populate those who have fled has been a total failure across europe with the greatest emphasis on failure in germany and france.
Evry damn bombing plot in eruope has it's roots in germany, whether it is the 3.11 madrid bombings, the strasbrug market bombers, 9.11 plotters, Tunisian synagogue bombers et al.
Failure IS THE EU.
FAILURE is for delusional half-wits priks like edwards and kerry.
His mozambique wife with a rat's nest of hair and ugly as can possibly be, has a big wallet and an IQ of 11 would never be permitted to be a First Lady in the White House. Little John K married her 9 years ago during Clintons term solely for the hope she would bankroll his run for the white house. All that long-chinned idiot kerry knows IS FAILURE. What "successes" has he ever experienced?
You actually think that the modern US will let a bunch of left over 60's freaks who are responsible for tearing the US apart during Vietnam, forcing an exit by US troops and subsequent death of 2.1 indo-chines?
Not a chance junior. You think those in the US are going to sit by and let the dusty old dinosaur imbeciles of the "eu" dictate a damn thing to the US when it comes to US security? What is a modern-day "eu" or european success the US could use an an example as we all move forward in a modern world filled with bearded freak cowards who kill for sport?
So the little jihad cowards from the middle-east and from all over euroland are coming to Iraq to meet the friendly US men and woman.
These human scum will leave Iraq's sands with panties on the heads, others will be swiftly killed.
Sadr is now on his knees looking for a ballot box. The current leader of the jihad freaks is a jordanian. Not too much at stake for him in a country other than his own, huh?
You will notice a decrease in suicide bombings in Israel. Yep, the wall is working in many ways, but more important to know is that the jihad monkeys from the palestinian ghettos have headed to Iraq as they are the one's who seek, and are promised, 72 naked girls and love to "life the life of a shahid" homicide bomber. So it's Iraqi nationalism at work in Iraq trying to defeat the US? Bullszhit it is.
Any little bearded jihad monkey can amp himself up on heroin and drive a car loaded with explosives into a school, or a group of candy seeking kids, and the UN building among others.
As car bombings are THE major problem within Iraq currently- How does one stop cars laden with explosives driven by people who actually seek death? Only Iraqi's who live among the recent arrivals (who come from afar) can do this effectively, other than that we can wait for them all to blow themselves up.
The US troops wiped the cowards off the street in Samarra recently in just 36 hrs.
Falluja is next, that will be a 72 hr process for US mean and woman to destroy the cowards within that city.
Iran's time will be a few months after that.
At some point the Iraqis will stand up to the foreigners from europe and the greater middle-east that have gone there to try to stop them from voting in an election. Those Iraqi's who are career criminals and rob and kidnap having been let go from the prisons prior to the US march, and the other dead-enders who have no focus in life, will either be killed or realize that they have no hope for a peaceful nights rest when they are in the command of the jihadis, and thus will find defeat.
My greatest question when this battle is over, and the US has indeed sowed the seeds of democracy in the middle-east is this- How can we then deny the euro priks from benefitting in anyway once again, from the blood, sweat and money of the US?

Oh and wired- I speak to you as if your a yank with a foolish euro mind set.

Everyone knows that the French aren't good at war, so it's good that they were not part of this one. And I for one am glad as hell that the Germans are anti-war, and hope they stay that way forever.

It's better to just let both countries whine, and keep on doing the right thing in Iraq without their help. Iraq will come around. Already Iraqis are wise to fact that they are being killed by the terrorists, not the coalition. Thousands have protested the terrorists in Najaf, and hundreds in Sadr City.

Off topic remark: Thanks Poland!!

@Kevin
"Everyone knows that the French aren't good at war, so it's good that they were not part of this one."
They WERE part of this one. The French actively and succesfully obstructed the US war effort. For example, the fact that the 4th Infantry Division was missing in Baghdad in May 2003 (when there were no sufficient coalition troops present to prevent the looting) was a direct consequence of the Turkish refusal to let the 4ID start from the southern border of Turkey before a second Security Councel Resolution was passed. This resolution eventually was vetoed by the French. I recommend reading Wretchards comment "The missing men attended the global test", tuesday 5 oktober, http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/

@ashheap of history
In listing the number of american casualties, your purpose apparently is to prove that the very idea of going to war in Iraq was wrong and to blame the US leadership for that. The number of american casualties in my view proves something else: Europe ommitted to have a significant share in the US-led war effort and in part actually hampered the coalition's effort. The fact that the vast majority of casualties are american young people means shame on Europe. France and Germany not only refused to help but did everything to obstruct the US and to embolden the terrorists. It's they who deserve blame. It's really very sad, but they are at least partly responsible for the american casualties.

Powl Smith: Iraq is Not Vietnam, It's Guadalcanal

Pundits these days are quick to compare the fighting in Iraq  with the American loss in Vietnam  30 years ago. Terms like "quagmire" evoke the Southeast Asian jungle, where America's technological advantages were negated and committed Vietnamese guerrillas wore down the U.S. will to fight.

People love to draw historical analogies because they seem to offer a sort of analytical proof—after all, doesn't history repeat itself? In fact, such comparisons do have value, but like statistics, it's possible to find a historical analogy to suit any argument. And Vietnam's the wrong one for Iraq.

In fact, World War II is a far more accurate comparison for the global war we are waging to defeat terrorism. Both wars began for the United States with a catastrophic sneak attack from an undeclared enemy. We had many faint and not-so-faint warnings of the impending Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor, not least the historical precedent of Port Arthur in 1904, when the Japanese launched a preemptive strike against Russia.

We had similar ill-defined warnings and precedents about Al Qaeda  and Islamist terrorism  (the East Africa embassy bombings in 1998; the USS Cole bombing in 2000), but in 2001 as in 1941, we lacked the "hard" intelligence requisite to convince a country at peace that it was about to pitched into war.

Historical apologists say that the Japanese were "forced" to attack us because we were strangling their trade in Asia. Sound familiar? American foreign policy in the Middle East is responsible for the anger and rage that has stirred up Al Qaeda, right? In fact, there is a crucial similarity between the Japanese imperialism  of 50 years ago and Islamic fundamentalism of today: both are totalitarian, anti-Western ideologies that cannot be appeased.

As Japan amassed victory after victory in the early days of the war, America and our allies could see that we had a long, hard slog ahead of us. Americans understood there was no recourse but to win, despite the fearful cost. This was the first and foremost lesson of World War II that applies today: Wars of national survival are not quick, not cheap, and not bloodless.

In one of our first counteroffensives against the Japanese, U.S. troops landed on the island of Guadalcanal  in order to capture a key airfield. We surprised the Japanese with our speed and audacity, and with very little fighting seized the airfield. But the Japanese recovered from our initial success, and began a long, brutal campaign to force us off Guadalcanal and recapture it. The Japanese were very clever and absolutely committed to sacrificing everything for their beliefs. (Only three Japanese surrendered after six months of combat—a statistic that should put today's Islamic radicals to shame.) The United States suffered 6,000 casualties during the six-month Guadalcanal campaign; Japan, 24,000. It was a very expensive airfield.

Which brings us to the next lesson of World War II: Totalitarian enemies have to be bludgeoned into submission, and the populations that support them have to be convinced they can't win. This is a bloody and difficult business. In the Pacific theater, we eventually learned our enemies' tactics—jungle and amphibious warfare, carrier task forces, air power—and far surpassed them. But that victory took four years and cost many hundreds of thousands of casualties.

Iraq isn't Vietnam, it's Guadalcanal—one campaign of many in a global war to defeat the terrorists and their sponsors. Like the United States in the Pacific in 1943, we are in a war of national survival that will be long, hard, and fraught with casualties. We lost the first battle of that war on Sept. 11, 2001, and we cannot now afford to walk away from the critical battle we are fighting in Iraq any more than we could afford to walk away from Guadalcanal.

For the security of America, we have no recourse but to win.

Lieutenant Colonel Powl Smith, U.S. Army, is the former chief of counterterrorism plans at U.S. European Command and is currently in Baghdad with Multi-National Forces-Iraq.

"Do not wet your pants in fear as you think Iraq is some type of "military blunder".
Several thousands german and french soldiers cannot keep rioters down in kazoo (in fact, they run away), the french again can't do it in ivory coast, and those guys are using spear tips, voodoo charms, and Albanian loafers as weapons. So what point is it that you are trying to make?"

The point I'm trying to make is that the US above all - given that you have the means to do so - should have been able to pacify the country as a whole right from the start on, which it didn't for the very simple reason that its leadership failed to provide it with the necessary means ie troops to do so.

"You consider the large amount of car bombings going on a failure? That is simple-minded nonsense."

I consider the absence of public safety, and be it only in parts of the Sunni triangle, a failure that can be directly linked back to the fact that there simply weren't enough troops to get the place under control in the first place. Yes, now that the vacuum is filled by Iraqi national forces, things are getting better, no doubt. What I complain about is that they shouldn't have gotten worse in the first place!

"Have you any sense of geo-political military strategy, or modern realities?"

Yes, I think so. Otherwise I wouldn't have welcomed the step to invade Iraq and make it an US ally instead of keeping Whahabit Saudi Arabia.

"The point I'm trying to make is that the US above all - given that you have the means to do so - should have been able to pacify the country as a whole right from the start on, which it didn't for the very simple reason that its leadership failed to provide it with the necessary means ie troops to do so."

The US could have sent 12 million soldiers, and it would be insufficient to completely pacify the country. Our troops can't be everywhere all the time.

Besides, if the US Military had cracked down as hard as would have been necessary to really pacify the entire country as quickly as some people seem to think is possible (i.e. 5 seconds after Bush uttered the words "Mission accomplished"), there would have been howls from the International Community screaming about how oppressive the occupiers are. We would have truly been occupiers instead of liberators. We would have taught the average Iraqi to fear US soldiers, instead of thanking them.

The bad guys are the terrorists. If we had acted in such a way as to completely pacify the country, WE would be the bad guys...at least, in the minds of the average Iraqi.

the 4th ID was on ships because of frogistan/Turkey - they would have been in Falujah otherwise.

Most of our dead are from the Sunni Triangle where the Ba'athists reside, the ones who are out of power and want it back. Most of the country is quiet, trying to live and work.

Dave, you forgot to mention the thrust of Kerry's argument, which is not only that we diverted our attention from the real enemy, but also that the entire war against Iraq was based on bogus intelligence.

But wait, that also happened in WWII. In October of 1941 at his Navy day adress to the nation Roosevelt made an astonishing claim "I have in my possession a secret map, made in Germany by Hitler's government -- by the planners of the new world order. It is a map of South America and a part of Central America as Hitler proposes to reorganize it." The putative map showed how the Nazis planned to conquer and divide South America into Nazi puppet states as well as "our great life line, the Panama Canal". The president further claimed "That map, my friends, makes clear the Nazi design not only against South America but against the United States as well." Americans were both shocked and horrified by this "intelligence".

Unfortunately, the map was a complete forgery produced by the British intelligence service at its technical laboratory in Ontario, Canada, that was then passed on to William Donovan the then U.S. Intelligence chief who later gave it to the President.

It is important to note that this forged document served, at least in part, as the political justifacation for the Roosevelt administration's adopting Churchhills "Europe first" Strategy at the ARCADIA conference in Washington in December of 1941.

I dont ever rember reading the headline "WAR AGAINST HITLER UNJUSTIFIED--WAR IN EUROPE BASED ON INTELLIGENCE FAILURE"

Europe can thank God for at least one "intelligence failure".

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