December 16, 2006

"What If's" on WWII and Iraq

In a recent comment, G.M. mentioned a post by Assistant Village Idiot, a regular and appreciated commenter on this site. (AVI doesn't mention the name of the village where he is the assistant, but let's hope that it's not the same village that Hillary Clinton wants to raise our kids.) But, to the point, AVI's post was "Change One Thing in WWII to improve the outcome." It makes for interesting thought and allows us to ask a lot of "what if's".

Now, a lot of people are asking "what if's" about the war in Iraq, and we have recently seen the results of the Iraq Study Group, which told us what it believes that we should be doing in that area of the world. The connection with AVI's post is that we may be asking a lot of "what if's" about Iraq in the future, just as we have with WWII, depending upon whether or not we accept the recommendations of this committee--and, many of those questions and answers could be similar.

Newt Gingrich, my former congressman, is a former history professor, and he has created interesting assessments in two articles of the group's recommendations and ties them into the response to World War II to deal with Hitler. After you read AVI's post, go to Newt's and see if we have learned anything from history.

The Baker-Hamilton Report: A Prescription for Surrender
by Newt Gingrinch 12/11/2006

The release of the report confirms a Washington establishment desire to avoid conflict and confrontation by "doing a deal." In the 1930s, that model was called appeasement, not realism, and it led to a disaster. Today, we need a Churchill not a Chamberlain policy for the Middle East.


Overview of the Iraq Study Group Report
by Newt Gingrinch 12/11/2006

Two weeks ago I outlined in the Winning the Future newsletter Eleven Key Tests for the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group report. I asked whether the report would make a real contribution in helping us win the war against the Fanatic wing of Islam, or whether it was simply going to be one more establishment effort to hide defeat so the American political system can resume its comfortable insider games without having to solve real problems in the larger world.

Here are the 11 key tests from two weeks ago and a brief assessment for how the ISG’s published report stacks up: (go to article)

Of course, this discusses future courses, which should be our focus. If you want to do "Monday morning quarterbacking" on Iraq, you can find plenty of that on the left-wing blogs, if you can stand them.

So, based upon where we are and what we have learned from history, what should be our future policies and actions in the mideast? I don't want a lot of "what if's" years from now. I want us to win this war and to do it right. How can we best do that? Who will be right?

Posted by Woody M. at December 16, 2006 07:10 PM | TrackBack

We've involved ourselves in a war where a decisive victory is not possible and as such it will never come to an end. We've reached a state of perpetual warfare and had just better learn to like it. George Orwell is probably turning over in his grave right now.

The only way to really 'win' the war would be to nuke most of the Middle East and for reasons I've mentioned in other threads, that's just not very practical. Even if we could get by without Arab oil, we'd kind of lose face with most of the rest of the civilized world. I doubt that's a price that even the present leadership would be willing to pay.

Our rumps are quite well stuck in this crack but thankfully our casualties have been quite low in comparison to previous wars. Really, we can keep this up indefinitely if we have to and that's a good thing as it looks like that's exactly what we're going to have to do.

Hrm... Maybe we should just send John Kerry over there in a boat. He could ride up and down the Tigris and Euphrates and shoot teenage boys in the back as they run away from him and maybe this time he wouldn't throw his medals away.

Posted by e. nonee moose at December 16, 2006 11:59 PM

Are you able to define for me, what a "win" is, and how will we know when we have "won"?

Posted by James S Melbert at December 17, 2006 11:19 AM

Perhaps I can define it as the opposite of a "defeat," which we will realize if the Democrats are successful in their "cut 'n run" ideas.

Posted by Woody at December 17, 2006 11:21 AM

c'mon E.nonee, that's a really low blow about Kerry shooting teen-age boys in the back. And if (OOPS, no if's) when we continue an indefinitely long war, are we going to raise Taxes so it can be paid for? (dangling participle intended). I don't think the poster of this post is willing to spend his money on indefinite things. Re: GW! Global warming is certainly more certain than "winning" in Iraq.

Posted by James S Melbert at December 17, 2006 11:26 AM

Woody, your answer to my question was fatuous. Does that mean you can't define a "win"?

Posted by James S Melbert at December 17, 2006 11:30 AM

Just another thought, and please don't tell me that I hate the US Now, to-day, there have been more soldiers killed in Iraq, than were all the people killed in the WTC terrorist action.
It appears that the effect is worst than the Cause.

Posted by James S Melbert at December 17, 2006 11:35 AM

James, to compare Iraq deaths to those in one terrorist attack, you were very limited on your selection. Are your forgetting the USS Cole, the first WTC bombing, the Pentagon and airline deaths, the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanaon, multiple kidnappings and beheadings, the organized efforts to kill all non-Islamics, the risk of nuclear and chemical attacks by terrorists, people who hate so much that they will sacrifice their children and themselves to kill others, and the torture and countless thousands of deaths at the hand of Hussein--in addition to the major WTC bombing? Your criteria was too limited and ignores all past and future threats.

What is a "win?" Well, on on hand, it is absolutely nothing that the Left would agree upon, because to define a "win" and for them to accept it runs the risk that it would be achieved and they would have to lie to avoid being proven wrong.

I hope to achieve a stable government in Iraq that can take care of itself and its citizens and eliminate threats from terrorists, while maintaining U.S. influence and a forward military base in the region to protect innocent people and our economic interests.

The problem is, the Left doesn't define "wins" but only focuses on "defeats." Ironically, a defeat to the U.S. is a win to the Left, which begs the question as to what twisted logic and values that side has. But, there are other people like John Kerry, whose views are moving targets--being for the war before being against it.

On Moose's comment about Kerry, Kerry can do more damage with his visits than with his limited use of weapons, just as he did in the Paris Peace Talks.

Kerry defends upcoming trip to Syria
Bush administration officials have said they warned Kerry that his trip to Syria -- and those of two other Democratic senators -- harms US interests and sends the wrong signal to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. The administration accuses Syria of fomenting violence in the Middle East.

Giving up and appeasement doesn't make the problem go away. The Left wants to "avoid" rather than "confront," but we gave it twelve years of nothing accomplished except for continued defiance by Hussein and U.N. fraud through the oil for food plan.

If we give up now, then the battle will shift to the future, but with how many more terrorists attacks and at what price until the Left admits that we need "the daddies" of the world to fix the things that they ignored or messed up?

Posted by Woody at December 17, 2006 03:31 PM

I simply don't get this idea that we can't win and We Smart People knew that all along. There are a dozen places in the world where more people are dying. Most of Iraq is safer than Chicago. If we weren't spending an enormous amount of money on it - because that's the way we fight wars, in order to reduce casualties - Iraq would properly be regarded as a small war with not much happening.

The consequences may be dire one way or the other, and it that sense it is perhaps "large." But it doesn't have to become Switzerland. If Iraq becomes Brazil or Cambodia, that will be fine.

JSM - Revenge for bodies was never the point. And I can't imagine how the body count at the WTC is especially relevant otherwise. And despite your sneer quotes about winning - very revealing, more than you guess - I think it's pretty straightforward. When Iraq can govern itself with reasonable stability, and is not subject to destabilization from its neighbors, that's a win.

I don't think you hate the US. But I think you hate parts of it. I think you like the parts of the US that have the values of your tribe within it. That's morally defensible, but it's not the same thing as patriotism.

Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at December 17, 2006 03:42 PM

the "battle" is not against terroists, its for control of their oil and domination of the world as much as possible.
thats why we need to leave

Posted by r hogin at December 17, 2006 05:02 PM

I disagree that the war is not against terrorism. It is also for freedom for the Iraqis and stability in the mideast.

To the extent that oil is involved, apparently r hogin says that we need to leave because the U.S. wants to control the oil and dominate the world. Oil will be controlled and countries will try to dominate others, so why is it that we shouldn't be the one to do that versus France or Russia or China or Iran or North Korea? Why shouldn't the U.S. watch out for its interests, as every nation does?

Such talk sounds like anti-U.S., anti-capitalist talk carried over from communism during the cold war. Sorry, but I'm for America before I'm for foreign nations who don't work with us. Who else is going to fight for freedom and democracy and fight for a stable mideast to protect the distribution of world energy resources? Who else has the power and will?

Posted by Woody at December 17, 2006 06:34 PM

c'mon E.nonee, that's a really low blow about Kerry shooting teen-age boys in the back

That was "troll-bait" James. Woody knows me well enough at this point to ignore stuff like that. ;)

Anyway, the path to "victory" is to "stay the course" and that's exactly what we're going to do. As long as we never give up, you can't say we've lost unless you are some kind of librul-commie-pinko-terrorist-sympathizer-who-wants-the-world-to-be-run-by-the-UN. So there!

Posted by e. nonee moose at December 17, 2006 07:50 PM

moose, that's a great example of misrepresenting your opponents POV via exaggeration so that you can ridicule it rather than having to argue against it.

Play that statement in reverse, about the path to "peace," and fascist-warmonger-capitalist etc. and see how intelligent it sounds.

Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at December 17, 2006 08:56 PM

Would this be an exaggeration of my opponents POV?

Take up the White Man's burden—
Send forth the best ye breed—
Go, bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait, in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild—
Your new-caught sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.

I think that pretty much sums up the mentality of the "stay the course" crowd.

Posted by e. nonee moose at December 18, 2006 08:19 AM

Lessee. First we had Pax Romana. Then Pax Britannia, now we are going for Pax Americana?

"Revenge for bodies was never the point. And I can't imagine how the body count at the WTC is especially relevant otherwise. "
If that wasn't the reason, I don't have any recollection of our being asked to come in and destroy their country. I know that there were two or three pet Iraqi"s in Washington that give "cover" to this whole fiasco.
Now if you responders are so "hell-bent" on spending the next ten or so years in Iraq, or until the oil runs out, whichever comes first. I suggest that you get behind a reshuffle of the tax brackets, and codes, so that the beneficiaries of this war will pay for it. The Bush scheme of paying for the war with Iraqi oil exports doesn't seem to be working.
It also appears that you want to feel safe. Well safety is the result of eternally vigilence. Eternal aggressiveness will not bring you the security you seem to think it will. It will bring you more and more and more resentment and hatred. Oh yes!

Posted by James S Melbert at December 18, 2006 12:17 PM

James, do twleve years of U.N. resolutions against Hussein and the food-for-oil scandal ring a bell?

Posted by Woody at December 18, 2006 12:34 PM

Woody, once again, that reply was fatuous. Of course I know about the references you cite. Buy where di it say that if Sadam weren't a good boy, we were coming to destroy your country? When in that twelve year period, did we have an incursion from Iraq? I also note that you don't still refer to the terriorist attact as an excuse Sadam was a terrible person, but wasn't that a Iraqi problem? Now, if you say "aren't we our brothers keeper" I'll absolutely throw up. You, of all persons.
We know now, that Saddam was up to his ears in alligators, trying to bluff Iran out of their aggression. If our Intelligence had been worth a damn, which it wasn't, we would have known that. Instead we got the non-intelligence belief that Iraq was going to attact the US. Talk about the mouse and the elephant? Wow, that's not even close.
So, let me just say, that if your heart is bleeding over the plight of the Iraqi. I can tell you about some other places where people REALLY need help.

Posted by James S Melbert at December 18, 2006 02:08 PM

"I simply don't get this idea that we can't win and We Smart People knew that all along."
Your extreme modesty astounds me. But help me here, Is there any General of our Army that agrees we are winning this incursion? Is there a General that believes we can "win" this mess? Now according to your other "brain", John McCain, we are going to put another twenty thousand troops in harms way. Since you live in New England somewhere, that is the total population of several of your towns. Doesn't that give you a small moment of pause?
Smart people know when to fold 'em.

Posted by James S Melbert at December 18, 2006 02:17 PM

James, the problem wasn't that our intelligence failed as much as it was Hussein refusing to comply with the provisions of the first Gulf War agreement. If there was no reason to play cat and mouse with nuclear and chemical weapons, then he shouldn't have done it. The fact that he did would give plenty of credence to the belief that he did possess those weapons and intended to use them.

Our attack of Iraq was justified and allowed by the U.N. sanctions, for which other countries wouldn't act since they were being bought off. We may not like the way the war is going, but we had plenty of justification to bring Hussein to justice.

Posted by Woody at December 18, 2006 06:42 PM

Smart People should also have known to not bother after Dunkirk, or perhaps after the Kassarine Pass or perhaps after the debacle at or perhaps after the Bulge... or maybe earlier when the Axis had these countries conquered:

BELGIUM YUGOSLAVIA FINLAND, I mean gee Jimmy, after all that carnage, what made you think you and the other members of the Greatest Generation (and you really were you know) could possibly wrest something positive from the war machine that took all of that area?

Posted by GM Roper at December 18, 2006 09:14 PM

"Is there a general who believes we can win this mess?" Yes. Most. Please - you give evidence of my point when you say such things.

As to the being "invited to destroy their country." I don't see what that has to do with anything. That was never anything like a reason given. If the revenge motive strikes you as the main one, then no wonder you are suspicious of your political opponents' motives. You don't understand them, so you conclude they must have some evil scheme up their sleeve instead. Wise fool.

An interconnected group of Islamic terrorists, acting with state assistance, presented a continuing and growing danger. A multi-pronged strategy, including economic, diplomatic, military, and covert actions was put into place. Part of that was the decision that a Ba'athist Iraq was one of several pillars of that danger, growing and continuing.

This was explained often. Did you not understand it? I can see where someone might disagree with all or part of the assessment and plan. To pretend it was not said, or that some fancied other motive was the real one, bespeaks a deeper confusion. Or perhaps you did know this but chose to say otherwise for rhetorical effect.

I hear clearly you believe other strategies would have worked. The evidence is against your belief, but I know it is attractive. Wouldn't we all prefer that just negotiating and pressuring Saddam would have worked just as well. But preference is not reality. Saddam was not contained, and was increasingly slipping the noose. Perhaps invading Iran would have been better, or covert ops against a dozen other places more effective. But "staying the course" of the previous 12 years had already proven ineffective.

Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at December 19, 2006 06:50 PM

How many way is there to say it?
AL Quaida was not supported by Iraq. There were NO weapons if mass destruction. He was percieved to be a threat for God knows what end.
And finally, sgades of Viet Nam. Lets send in more troops. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Can't the "smart people" understand? Obviously not. Those that don't know history arwe doomed to repeat it/ That was never so true as today!!

Posted by James S Melbert at December 22, 2006 11:49 AM

James, then why did the U.N. waste twleve years on Iraq?

Posted by Woody at December 22, 2006 01:00 PM

Oppose Harry Reid

Christians Against Leftist Heresy


I Stand With Piglet, How About You?

Reject The UN
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


101st Fighting Keyboardists

Prev | List | Random | Next
Powered by RingSurf!

Naked Bloggers

Improper Blogs

Milblogs I Read

The Texas Connection
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

American Conservative

The Wide Awakes


< TR>
AgainstTerrorism 1.jpg
[ Prev || Next || Prev 5 || Next 5]
[Rand || List || Stats || Join]

Open Tracback Providers

No PC Blogroll

Blogs For Bush

My Technorati Profile
Major Media Links

Grab A Button
If you would like to link to GM's Corner, feel free to grab one of the following buttons. (Remember to save the image to your own website).

Whimsical Creations by GM Roper
My Store

Technorati search

Fight Spam! Click Here!
YCOP Blogs

The Alliance
"GM's Corner is a Blogger's
Blog, and then some!"
-----Glenn Reynolds

Coalition Against Illegal Immigration

Southern Blog Federation

Kim Komando, America's Digital Goddess
Powered by:
Movable Type 2.64

Template by:

Design by:

Hosted by: