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To: Rembrandt_fan

failure of nerve is different from criticism

it is possible to support the war while thinking the Wh's strategy leaves a bit to be desired

Bush is not some infallible leader(as seen by his stance on immigration, spending and entitlemeents, the Harriet Miers fiasco, signing McCain-Feingold, not firing the dems in the state dept and CIA, his backdown over Fallujah I, surrendering to the EU on Iran, having his SecState openly call for a Palestinian state and saying that it would be the US' greatest legacy, and countless other things)

If he could make so many mistakes choose wrong strategies on all of those issues(and he's been skewered on FR for all of them), why is it so hard to accept that he may have made some mistakes or wrong choices on Iraq?

It's possible to support Bush and the GOP and criticize how they're running the occupation/war. It doesn't mean you're a liberal or a defeatist

I'd think if you went back on FR from Nov 2002-Mar 2003 and read the posts, very few predicted what is happening now or if they did, showed their support by it. If you had posted back then that 3 and a half years on we'd be where we are, most would have had a problem with it.

And not that this is dispositive, but if all this was happening in Iraq and Bill Clinton was C-in-C, the GOP and Conservatives would be all over his disasatrous leadership.

Criticizing Bush and trying to implement a better strategy is not defeatism.

In WW2 Germany, a lot of guys were in thrall with Hitler and just blindly followed him even when he was making catastrophic strategic blunders. Guys like Rommel, Guderian and others recognized this, but no one listened and just called them traitors or defeatists and cheered when the Fuehrer fired them or had them killed. We all know where blind faith and unwavering allegiance to one guy or one strategy got Germany.

I'm in no way saying Bush is Hitler, but the principle of unquestioned leadership and suppresion of dissent or questioning of strategy/tactics applies.

Lincoln had to fire McClellan before he got Grant

Johnson and Nixon had problems with Westmoreland and McNamara before they put Abrams and Laird in and started turning things around

Truman canned Mark Clark in Korea before he brought in McArthur to save the day in Inchon and turn things around.

If Bush needs to fire Rumseld, or cashier Abizaid or Casey, and get someone who has a better plan or strategy calling for that isn't defeatism, that's leadership.

Leadership requires the ability to adapt and recognize when a new approach is needed.

I think even Bush, Rumsfeld, the Pentagon and the GOP in Congress recognize by this point that something has to change and that things aren't exactly going to plan. Even Bush's consigliere Baker is calling for a new strategy and even pulling a Yalta with Iran and Syria(I hope Bush rejects that!)

But Perle, Adelman and other neo-cons are probably right to ask what's gone wrongm why it's happened, and what it means.

Adelman is right in that any hopes of doing anything to Iran, Syria or any other terrorists is finished.

If you had said in 2003 that by 2007 we'd still be Iraq, 100+ deaths in a month, thousands more Iraqis dead in a month, a pro_Iranian leader in charge of a weak govt in Baghdad, Iran and Syria openly supporting attacks against us, hundreds of billions spent each year, and Iran, Syria and other terrorist leaders and groups remaining unscathed, very few would have believed you and the rest would have been horrified at the thought.


12 posted on 11/04/2006 1:34:16 AM PST by jeltz25
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To: jeltz25
But Perle, Adelman and other neo-cons are probably right to ask what's gone wrongm why it's happened, and what it means.

I think it's certainly okay to question certain decisions that have been made pertaining to the war, but what I object to is characterizing the whole war as something that has 'gone wrong'. I think this kind of thinking comes about because our media refuses to show the American people all the things that have gone right in this war.

13 posted on 11/04/2006 2:05:40 AM PST by Elyse
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To: jeltz25

I am glad you brought up WW2. Can you even imagine a candidate running for office in 1943 or 1944 on the position that "we should get our troops out of Europe (or Asia) by Christmas?" Can you even imagine it? I am sure it would have so offended the sensibilities of our grandparents they would have been enraged.

So what happened in the interval? When did the NYTimes turn against us? I suppose with the NYTImes they were on our side in WW2 because Stalin was on the same side at the time...


14 posted on 11/04/2006 2:38:19 AM PST by wastoute
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To: jeltz25
Lend it to the MSM to give credibility to Perle, only hated more than Rummy or Wolfie at the Pentagon. the attempt to divide and conquer is #3 in the Rat playbook.
15 posted on 11/04/2006 2:46:33 AM PST by endthematrix ("If it's not the Crusades, it's the cartoons.")
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To: jeltz25
You mean war doesn't go as planned.

Who would have ever thought such a thing?

Great time to be criticizing the administration. Sure to give aid and comfort to the enemy. Not that you intended to do use your comments in the hope of suppressing the republican vote?????? That couldn't be it, could it!

17 posted on 11/04/2006 3:14:43 AM PST by OldFriend (JOHN F. KERRY, BETRAYING OUR TROOPS AGAIN)
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To: jeltz25

Perle is embittered because he was tricked by his darling Chalabi,who he put all his bets on. Perle was right about going to war back then, but always wrong on Chalabi.
Seing Perle now speaking like a Democrat isn't surprising at all... He IS a card-carrying Democrat. A Democrat with strong Foreign Policy opinions. Nothing else. Like Lieberman. (At least the latter shows loyalty and stands to his decisions).


18 posted on 11/04/2006 3:29:21 AM PST by SolidWood
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To: jeltz25
Adelman is right in that any hopes of doing anything to Iran, Syria or any other terrorists is finished.

I agree with this statement, unfortunately. They will have two years to work their mischief, unchecked by US power. Blame this on American liberals and their utter failure of understanding of the world around us. Of course a lot of those @$$h-les can't do simple math, either.

23 posted on 11/04/2006 5:13:03 AM PST by Hardastarboard (Why isn't there an "NRA" for the rest of my rights?)
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To: jeltz25; dasboot

Thanks for your point of view jeltz25.

Like you, I don’t have to be in lock step agreement with the President on everything he and his administration does in order to be a “true” Conservative or a good Republican and not a RAT. Perhaps that makes me a dreaded Neocon or Libertarian and if so, I’m OK with that tag. I’ve not been happy with everything that this administration has done but I support the President overall. Think he is a good man, an intelligent man and a just and honest man, but not a perfect man.

Thoughtful reasoned debate should only make us stronger but derision and splintering on every point and name-calling among us will divide and weaken us. Can’t we agree to disagree on some things and still be Conservatives?

As dasboot said, ”Perle didn't say it was a "foreign policy disaster'. CNN said he said it.”

However I do think that Richard Perle and other GOP critics should have held their opinions and criticisms until after the elections for the greater good of the party, the moral of our troops and the cause of Conservatism at large.

That being said I was and am definitely still in support of the invasion of Afghanistan and the take down of the Taliban and I think the invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam was absolutely necessary in the WOT.

What I as a Conservative have a problem with is our long-term objective in both countries. It is not clear to me what that objective is and “Nation Building”, while theoretically a noble cause, is not practical in all cases as history has proven again and again. As George Washington said in is farewell address, “Beware of Foreign Entanglements’. There is a fine line between acting in our national interests and becoming entangled and bogged down in the affairs of other nations.

We’ve freed Iraq of Saddam, mostly castrated the Taliban in Afghanistan and given the people of both countries freedom and laid the groundwork for a Constitutional government. If they reject this gift and fall into civil war and anarchy what should our response be? Where does it end?

Once we removed the direct threat to our nation, our job should be done. I’m not suggesting cutting and running, but how many of our good soldiers have to die trying to give these slobs over there, something they may never understand and don’t really want.

I say we should back off soon and say to them, “We have done our job, we’ve removed the biggest threat to us and to you, the choice and the direction you take is now up to you. But be advised, if your people and country ever poses a threat to our wellbeing and security – we will annihilate you all and without warning and with extreme prejudice!”

This policy should also apply to other nations too; Iran, Syria, N. Korea, China…
Knowing some military and DOD folks, I can tell you that Rumsfeld is not universally liked or well respected. And remember that Rumsfeld, during his tenure in the Nixon administration, was a Dove on Vietnam and a proponent of our withdrawal.

“if all this was happening in Iraq and Bill Clinton was C-in-C, the GOP and Conservatives would be all over his disastrous leadership.”

I think you are absolutely right on this observation. We Conservatives are not always intellectually honest in this regard.

I’ve made the point several times on FR about the administration’s support of warrant-less wiretaps and how if this came from a Clinton administration, we’d all be crying foul.


27 posted on 11/04/2006 5:50:51 AM PST by Caramelgal (Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. P.J. OR)
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To: jeltz25
You're missing my point. Perhaps my post lacked clarity. You wrote about the blind obedience of Hitler's staffers and planners "...even when he was making catastrophic strategic blunders."

While it's true Hitler made a number of huge strategic errors (attacking the Soviet Union, for example), it was his interference in military matters that ultimately sealed the fate of the Third Reich (Hitler's decision to go after the Caucasus oil fields rather than finishing off Moscow). You're missing the distinction between political strategies and military tactics. President Bush establishes strategy; i.e., the political goal. The military is concerned with execution in accordance with that goal.

As I understand it, there were/are three successive primary strategic goals motivating the Iraq War: (1) The removal of Saddam Hussein and his Baathist regime; (2) The establishment of an Iraqi government based on democratic principles in order to achieve the larger, more ambitious goal, (3) Fundamental change in the authoritarian tradition of Middle Eastern affairs in a way that promotes longterm stability and positive political evolution, and counters Islamic extremism.

Nothing wrong with the President's strategy, which I fully support, and those complaining about the blood and time and money spent executing that strategy have very short historical memories, seek political advantage or payback against the Administration for real and imagined slights, or are displaying the lack of nerve common to armchair field marshals when the bullets and bombs start flying.

I believe one may strongly support the President and still disagree with the way this war is being conducted--means can be adjusted--but if one disagrees with the strategic ends--promotion of longterm Middle Eastern stability by introduction of democratic principles of individual liberty and conception of basic human rights--then we might as well pick up our toys and go home. Paraphrasing Mark Steyn, it isn't about being for or against the war; it's about being for winning or losing the war.
33 posted on 11/04/2006 9:43:45 AM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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