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.
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.
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...
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!
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).
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.
Thanks for your point of view jeltz25.
Like you, I dont 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, Im OK with that tag. Ive 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. Cant 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.
Weve 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. Im 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 dont really want.
I say we should back off soon and say to them, We have done our job, weve 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.
Ive made the point several times on FR about the administrations support of warrant-less wiretaps and how if this came from a Clinton administration, wed all be crying foul.