Sunday, February 17, 2008
"Islamic terrorism is the problem: Marines are the answer"
Got a call from my friend Keith on Thursday (carrying the "Marines are the answer" sign). The Old Ladies in Funny Hats were going to protest the Iraq war at the Marine recruiting station in Mountain View the next day. Sorry old hippie girls, but a lot of people around here actually want to defeat our enemies. That is me with the "Kill al Qaeda" sign. Photos are from the Mountain View Voice. Apologies to all the folks out there who have to deal with real winter weather.
Here are the funny hat ladies:
Caption: "The Raging Grannies sing protest songs in front of the military recruiting center. Photo by Marjan Sadoughi."
I had an extended conversation with the black haired fellow below. He was rational in his complaints--the CIA knocking off Iran's first democratically elected government in 1953, and the failure to knock off Saddam and install democracy in Iraq after the first Gulf war--but he was irrational in his conclusions. Why isn't he FOR finishing the job in Iraq now?
Caption: "Karim Mansouri, left, from the De Anza College group Students for Justice, debates the war with Alec Rawls of Dialogue Across the Divide. Photo by Marjan Sadoughi."
Don't know where that "Dialogue Across the Divide" name came from, but I guess it fits, as this picture shows. Leftists on the left. Conservatives on the right. The sign carried by the pretty Vietnamese gal behind me says: "No more Vietnams: Intentionally losing a war is EVIL!"
The scene on the street-corner was amusing. A little gray protester-man stood in front of me with a "Honk for peace" sign. I towered over him with my "Honk if you want to Kill Al Qaeda" sign. About every third light, a few drivers would honk, then they would all start honking. I think they were laughing.
The recruiters thanked us for coming out. The mother of a Marine even gave me a donut. Thanks Marines.
You guess it fits? Do you not remember how you were incapable of letting people finish their sentences without cutting them off? There was no dialogue, just you running your mouth.
I did cut off a few of his evasions, as well I should have. These idiots were out there lobbying for al Qaeda victory.
Will Mr. Andrew admit he was wrong, now that al Qaeda and the Iranian backed Mahdi army have both been defeated? Or is he like the Democrats of the 70's, who pulled the rug out from under South Vietnam even after THAT war was won?
The answer is obvious. He and his cohorts think that losing the Vietnam war was a signal achievement, and they were out on this day to try to help reprise it.
Intentionally losing the Vietnam war was the most evil act ever committed by a free people. Now here is someone who wants to reprise that evil, cavilling about the "dialogue across the divide" name. Talk about oblivious.
I had nothing to do with the "dialogue accross the divide" name, and found it rather odd. We did not go out to try to reach across any divide. We went out to support the marines in the face of this moral trash that was lobbying for American defeat.
At least the "divide" part fit, as I noted: "leftists on the left." And much as I hate to admit it, Karim and I actually did have an extended discussion. From the things he was concerned about, he should not have been out there with idiots like Mr. Andrew, who I doubt is upset that we did not finish the first Gulf War.
When I was pointing out the illogic of Karim's position, Mr. Andrew tried to butt in, not about substance, but about style, complaining when I kept shutting down the stupid excuses Karim tried to come up with for sacrificing Iraq to left wing ambitions.
Well go ahead Mr. Andrew. The floor is yours. You make your stupid excuses for seeking American defeat, and I will smash them like a bug on an anvil.
Now, If Mr Rawls would have cited points actually made by me--or at least inquired about my posistions here and then responded to them--we could have a conversation.
Were you not at an anti-war rally, urging that we pull out of Iraq? Let's hear your explanation for how surrendering Iraq to the Islamofascists is the moral thing to do, or now that the war is won, perhaps you would like to tell us why it wasn't worth it. Whatever your point of view is, go ahead and tell us.
I put my views out there. Are you chicken to state yours? Just because they can't stand up to scrutiny is no reason to be shy. It is the best reason to speak up. Rational people want their errors exposed, so they can get get expunge them and start making sense.
If you are still tongue tied, how about this for a starting point: do you recognize that intentionally losing the Vietnam war was evil?
I think supporting a dictatorial military junta in South Vietnam that oppressed political and religious freedoms was evil. Do you?
And although I find Ho Chi Minh incredibly distasteful, I believe that the will documented fact that the United States canceled elections regarding to the reunification of Vietnam because we did not agree with the obvious outcome was evil. I believe that people should be able to chose whatever sort of system they wished to live under-be it capitalist or socialist. I feel that people are entitled to make these sorts of decisions for themselves. There is a historical consensus on both sides of the spectrum regarding the Vietnamese support for reunification under Ho Chi Minh; however, those who supported the war did so knowing they were undermining the will of the Vietnamese people because of flawed theories like the domino effect. Do you believe people should have the freedom to be wrong? Or should people only live under the parameters of what you feel is right or face death?
I feel that dropping napalm on villages and blowing up levies in order to incite mass starvation was evil. Do you?
I feel that further involvement in suppressing the will of the Vietnamese people by sacrificing American boys would have been evil and to cease doing so would have not been.
But as conservatives repeatedly point out: Vietnam and Iraq are not the same scenarios, so why treat them as they were? Doing so only draws attention from having a dialogue on Iraq. And with that, I'm done talking about the irrelevant Vietnam comparison forever.
What victory have we reached in Iraq? 15 people died in a bombing today. According to the U.S. National Security Estimate less than 10 percent of fighters in Iraq are part of Al-Qaeda. The other 90+ percent are fighting for nationalistic goals. It would be safe to assume that if the U.S. were to leave the 90+ would turn on the 10-, because there goals are completely different. You have cited the supposed "defeat" of the Iranian influenced Mhadi Army as a sign of victory. If combating Iranian influence is a step towards victory then the fact that the government is dominated by the United Iraqi Alliance-Islamic Dawa Party of Nuri al-Maliki should prove that we have not reached the "victory" put forward by parameters you have established. So then what "victory" are you talking about?
There are no easy answers on what to do with Iraq. All of which have less then favorable outcomes. But the least we can do is be accurate in our characterizations of the problem and then move forward so people can attempt to come up with a solution.
North Vietnam INVADED South Vietnam, supporting guerilla attacks and terrorists attacks by the relatively small number of South Vietnamese communists, and sending their own troops down the Ho Chi Minh trail. There didn't need to be any unification at all. There just needed to be an end to this aggressive war against the south by the north.
Of course there were mistakes, as in every war. The assassination of Diem was a terrible mistake. Here was an actually elected leader (not Derek's fantasy of a popularly acclaimed communist regime), who against constant attack oversaw a booming economy, while leading a very effective war effort.
Since Derek has no problem with the idea of popularly chosen TOTALITARIANISM, I presume he has no problem with Diem being an imperfect democrat, which was hardly avoidable when as the first elected president of Vietnam he faced constant war. Much more importantly, Diem was a popular and effective democratic leader.
Blame the idiots at the State Department (Henry Cabot Lodge in particular) for Diem's murder. Then Johnson blew it by holding back on bombing the Ho Chi Minh trail. All we needed to do was stop the flow of men and arms from the north but Johnson, who wanted to focus on social programs, did as little as possible when the early war was eminently winnable.
The war became even simpler after the 1968 TET offensive, which utterly destroyed the South Vietnamese communists as a fighting force, making interdiction of invasion from the north literally the only necessity. Unfortunately, the Derek Andrews of the 60's managed to protect the Ho Chi Minh trail when it re-routed through Cambodia. Expanding the war into Cambodia became politically impossible thanks to the effectiveness of the anti-war propaganda (especially Walter Cronkite's mis-representation of the TET offensive as a tremendous setback for OUR side).
Even so, the south DID WIN. North Vietnam's Easter offensive of 1972, during which the last U.S. ground forces were withdrawn, was a complete rout of the north. The war was WON. All the south needed was continued U.S. monetary and air support and the north couldn't touch them.
Democrats yanked that in 75, intentionally handing South Vietnam to the communists. Confronted with this exact issue, Derek Andrew is unwilling to acknowledge that intentionally losing the Vietnam war was an evil thing. Instead he makes excuses for it, pretending that trying to win the war in the first place was the REAL evil (because it involved dropping napalm, oh my).
Now he wants to do the same thing today in Iraq. This evil pervades the entire anti-war movement. They use dishonest criticisms of our war effort to claim that the REAL evil was our freeing Iraq first from Saddam then from the Islamofascists. This REAL evil then becomes their excuse for handing the now free Iraqi people over to the Islamofascists.
Luckily at this point, even Obama probably could not succeed in turning Iraq over to the Islamofascists, but that in no way absolves the left for doing everything in their power to lose the Iraq war since the summer of 2003.
Those 90% of insurgents in Iraq who have "nationalist" goals? That is the Mahdi army, now utterly routed both militarily and politically. As for Maliki's government being supposedly allied with Iran, Maliki has turned on Iran, and most important of all, the Iraqi people have turned overwhelmingly against the Islamofascists. That is the ultimate victory: political victory. A democratic electorate in the heart of the middle east that HATES Islamofascists of every stripe.
Maybe Obama COULD undo that. If elected, he will certainly try, and it will be every bit the evil that the intentional loss of Vietnam was.
Derek doesn't want to hear about that "irrelevant comparison" anymore, but he can't avoid it. It is his heart of hearts. Intentionally losing wars to existential enemies is what he has chosen to devote himself to.
oh yeah? when?
"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) shakes hands with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki at the latter's office in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone March 2, 2008. Ahmadinejad hailed a new chapter in ties with Iraq on Sunday, saying he was "truly happy" to make a landmark trip to Baghdad now that Iran's arch-foe Saddam Hussein had been deposed." - Reuters, 2008-03-02