Thursday, January 04, 2007

A lesson from Lincoln …………….

………….. is always a good thing for a war time President. So if you think that winning in Iraq is and ought to be our objective you have to welcome the dramatic change in Team America. Hopefully George W. has better luck than Abe Lincoln.

Unfortunately, most Americans really know far too little about history. That’s what makes the public so easily mislead by liberals. Here’s a little historical perspective for my loyal readers. The central front in the American Civil War was the “Eastern Front” also known as the “Virginia Front”.

In the East, President Lincoln fired Maj. General Irwin McDowell-who lost the first Battle of Bull Run and took 1, 900 casualties and hired Maj. Gen. George McClellan who fought 7 battles to stalemate with another 20,000 casualties. McClellan was replaced with Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell, who lost the Second Battle of Bull Run and another 16,000 casualties before McClellan was recalled, to again fight to stalemate at Antietam, with 12,400 more casualties. Lincoln then decided to break the stalemate with a more combative general and promoted Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside, who promptly lost the Battle of Fredericksburg with another 12,600 casualties.

Not surprisingly, Burnside didn’t get a second chance since that particular loss was all in one day. In came Maj. Gen. “Fightin’ Joe Hooker, who lost his first fight at Chancellorsville three months later, with 16,700 Federal casualties. Hooker also only got only one shot at army command and was replaced with Maj. Gen. George Meade, who finally won a big one at Gettysburg, at the cost of 23,000 more casualties. At that point the Civil War was at around the half way mark.

Add this historic context, prior to the Civil War Americans had never seen battles with more than a few hundred casualties. The Civil War hit the American psyche like Armageddon. So when you think about Lincoln going into the second half of the war do you think gross incompetent? Do think the war was unwinnable? Just not worth it?

If you don’t why then does the liberal template just assume that Iraq is unwinnable and not worth it? If you are an anti-war liberal, step up and engage in some intelligent debate in light of real history. Believe me, preservation of the United States was not a popular ideology in 1863 Mississippi.

By the way, history wasn’t finished. Finally, Lt. Gen. U.S. Grant came east and, 2 years and about 69,000 casualties later, the United States was preserved. I’m glad Joe Biden, John Edwards and Nancy Pelosi weren’t in charge of U.S. foreign policy in July 1863.

33 comments:

RF said...

Sporer,

To intelligently discuss the Iraq war, we must go to the beginning. Please explain to me what was the imminent threat to the United States of America from Iraq and what made Iraq such a high priority target in the war on terror. With all the changing rationales given for the war by this administration, my head has been spinning and I have been unable to figure out the real reason. Please help this America-hating liberal who wants us all to die in the hands of the Islamofacists.

The Real Sporer said...

Glad to help.

First, I strongly urge reading the President's speeches on the subject. Several clear rationales were provided, only one of which was WMD. I would also refer you to the joint resolution authorizing the war, which can be found at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021002-2.html
Afterwards, please tell me which parts aren't and weren't accurate.

For example, weren't the US and the UK supposed to be allowed to patrol the no fly zones without interference? Since Iraq was already under sanctions (albeit breaking out) how else could we have enforced the 91 Armistice?


What was Zarqawi up to in Iraq before the US invasion. How about harboring terrorists, like the dude who blew up the Marines in 83? Isn't harboring international terrorists who have murdered hundreds of American service men in their sleep a pretty good reason for an invasion? Iraq is merely one front in the War on Terror, there are others and there will be still others in the future.

How about mass murder on a scale that dwarfs anything that Milosovic ever contemplated? Or do we only protect human rights and prevent genocide when we know our adversary won't fight back?

Wasn't the Democrat complaint that Bush ignored Israel/Palestine? Was their any chance for peace there with Saddam funding and arming the Intifada? As bad as things are there now, its way better than it was before W decked Saddam.

How about providing any credibility for the UN? How many resolutions did Saddam obey? Since you surely concede Saddam was perhaps the most evil of the worlds evil dictators, and since most liberals value the UN should it not every 50 or so years actually enforce a resolution not involving an American ally so as to provide some threat-or is it really now a very expensive and corrupt League of Nations?

Or US credibility. You tell the kids no, no, no and then you swat their ass. Same principle, bigger ass. It works, ask Mummar Qadafyi.

Second, here's a question, where are the WMD that we all know Saddam had at least at some point in time. Do you think that they just disappeared? Where did they go? Why wouldn't Saddam disclose the elimination? Do you know they aren't in Syria (like several former Iraqi military officers have said)? Since we've already found over 500 weaponized prohibited chemical weapons shells, and lots of other prohibited weapons and weapons delivery systems, don't you think that the presumption should be that Saddam, who was actually the first warrior since Italy in Ethiopia to use chemical gases in open release, simply well hid the really nasty stuff? Do you really believe that somehow Saddam just got rid of the weapons but concealed their destruction at the peril of his regime and life? If so, I want you on every jury I will ever have. People, especially meglomaniacal genocidal human monsters, like the late Saddam, simply do not do things like that.

The people who orignally opposed the war at least have the credibility that goes with standing with one's position, however erroneous it might be. But the likes of Edwards and Kerry, who are now changing their story with pure BS, are truly awful because they were either lying then or now, and either way they are liars. Again, Bill Richardson should be your guy.

War sucks. I fear this is becoming Vietnam because we won't lower the mufuggin boom, like Ike/Doug/Chet/FDR/Winston et al. Their method of global conflict resolution worked, this should be way easier but it gets harder every year we wait and pretend it is all going to be low intensity.

So finally, here' a very good reason for the Iraq campaign. We need a very large, potentially wealthy ally and source of supply in the middle of the war zone-and Iraq really fills that bill nicely.

The Real Sporer said...

Oh, and you apparently concede my larger point: that the mere existence of conflict and casualties isn't evidence that the Iraq War in unwinnable or that we aren't winning, merely that the war is in progress.

Nicole said...

There would have been significantly fewer American casualties had we just dropped a few nukes on Baghdad from the beginning. I doubt Iraqi militants would be retailiating with IEDs then. It's like we just keep slapping them on the wrist. I don't understand why the DOD puts up with.

Kenboiraq said...

I just read a great book "Ghost Wars" by Steve Coll and discovered one of the key reasons why Clinton failed to get Bin Laden.

Apparently President Clinton wanted to cover himself legally and issued conflicting and numerous directives indicating we should get Bin Laden if we could do so but if he died during an attempted capture it would be legal. The problem for the CIA revolved on the fact we could not capture Bin Laden and the only remaining options involved versions of killing him thus exposing the CIA members to prosecution if Clinton turned on them. Small wonder they could not move in that climate even though both the FBI and CIA were certain a mass casualty attack was on the way. Moreover, leaks from the media continued to give away CIA secrets. How those secrets were exposed probably has more to do with liberal tendencies within the administration more than the CIA.

The point of the above is to point out liberal thought processes will work against us in this War on Terror. The legalists intent on subverting every advantage we have in the name of self-styled freedoms are blind to the realities of a conflict against Islamofascists. This war is here and it was ongoing for many years before 9-11. If liberals would stop shooting those defending us we might discover those defending us could do so more effectively. Clinton's people knew they would hang if there was a problem. Bush's people have no such fear as he stands behind them. If Clinton had been a better President Bin Laden would have been dead in 1998. Al Queda would have died a quick death at that point without him.

We need to do more than stay the course - we need to get in the fight for real. Nuking Baghdad may be extreme but we better start getting serious. Sacking defeatest generals is a good start!

Kenboiraq said...

I am beginning to think we should've taken the blue pill from Morpheus with regard to CIETC scandal. Apparently they kept 48% of the total award for salaries and I must assume Jonathan Wilson sucked up another quarter million defending such conduct. As I flew out of DSM I read the full page spread they did for Johnny and it makes sense he is a proud Democrat given such waste. He masterfully points out this is really the taxpayer's fault in the tradition of the best blame the victim advocates. Oh, and remember - they say the Republicans have a "Culture of Corruption!"

From the Register...

The state alleges that CIETC ultimately wound up with 48 percent of the total award, leaving Iowa Comprehensive Human Services with $348,891 to spend on youth employment programs. The exact amount of the grants that were intended for this program was not immediately available from the state on Thursday.

Anonymous said...

Are we still in Kosovo? Why did we go there? Why are we still there? What was the imminent threat to America? Where were the weapons of mass destruction? Where were the 17 UN sactions that were violated? Where was the UN resolution? Why didn't ALL of our allies join us? Where was France? Where was Germany? When did they attack America first?

Why are liberals so inconsistent with their opinions on war? Clintons war was ok, but Bush's war, where we actually ARE threatened, isn't ok.

HYPOCRITES they are

Bitch of the West said...

Teddy, you are such the frustrated history professor aren't you?

Why in the hell aren't the President yet?

Yoda said...

Hmmm..... At the risk of hijacking this thread, as good a place as any to announce this...


Ted Sporer is the undisputed Champion, king, Sheriff, Ruler of the Universe, CEO, Prime Minister of Propaganda, Big Badass Bald guy of my fantasy football league.

Congratulations Uncle Ted!

Losers who got spanked by The real Sporer aka The Pachyderms:

Krusty
Yoda
Bernardo Granwehr
Joel Smits
Clarke Scanlon
And a bunch of out of state politicos

Peter said...

Greetings, oh wise one, on congrats on your undisputed title! ;)

Will you guys be starting a baseball league in the spring?

RF said...

Sporer,

It’s an undeniable fact that Saddam was an evil guy. However, there are many evil dictators in this world, and some of them have proven WMD capabilities. There are Al Qaeda terrorists in many countries all over the world. None of your arguments convince me that Saddam was any more of an imminent threat to our national security than the other bad guys. If/when we “win” in Iraq (whatever that means), we will still be threatened by Al Qaeda and other radicals residing in Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran, the UK, Sweden, Germany, Spain, inside the US, etc. Trying to think of the Iraq war from a cost/benefit analysis perspective, it is hard for me to see the benefits being worth the costs - and I’m not only talking about dollars here. My view is that after going to Afghanistan, WOT should have become more of a very aggressive, global policing-type operation and a war of ideologies. I just don’t think we can beat a diffuse enemy like Al Qaeda with conventional warfare in Iraq.

The reality is that we are in Iraq now, so I have another question for you: How and when do we know that we have achieved our goals in Iraq? When can the American president declare “we won” or “mission accomplished”?

Also, how am I supposed to believe the administration’s claims about the importance of this war when the administration is not even willing to pay for the war?

RF said...

Kosovo. I’m no expert on the current situation over there. But based on my limited knowledge, it appears to be quite a success story compared to the Iraq situation. More or less “mission accomplished.” The Kosovo conflict does point to one issue that I suspect we can agree on. It is a shame that the Europeans don’t have the will and/or capabilities to handle situations like this in their own backyard. 50+ years after WWII, Europeans should not rely on the American taxpayer to provide their defense and military muscle.

The Real Sporer said...

As always, starting with the points of agreement. A high priority of US policy should be military disengagement from Europe. By that I mean moving the major military presence into someplace closer to the Middle East, like Turkey, Jordan, etc....or at least Greece and the islands. WW2 and the Cold War are already in the victory column. It will also be fun, have you ever noticed how much more popular the US becomes when we threaten to actually close German bases.

Second, if the factual premises of the war are true then it is difficult not to see an imminent threat. Part of the asymetric nature of the WOT means that threats are not as obvious as they were when the Russkies were going to launch missles. The devastating nature of modern weapons means we can't wait to be hit, and the bad guys better understand that point. As I like to say, its time for the Arab Street to understand we're angry too.

Third, cost/benefit of the initial decision is important only historically. Failure in Iraq would be an incaculable strategic loss. It is impossible to unerestimate the impact of such a defeat. Handing control of Iraq to forces hostile to the US, or even to a chaotic Somalia like environment and the diplomatic, financial, geostrategic and credibility/propoganda could cost us the larger WOT. Remember, its the Islamofacsists who chose to make Iraq a major battlefield. They could have sent there people somewhere else and left us to only deal with the Iraqis.

Third, victory will exist when the foreign terrorists are no longer capable of meaningfully threatenting and American ally in Iraq. This means the Iranians don't win, the forces of chaos and terror don't win and the Syrian Baathists don't win. I don't know how long it will take, but we need to do regardless of cost or time. So, let's ramp up, kill a lot more of the bad guys a lot faster so we bring about the day when those GIs can be staring down the lunatics in Iran.

Finally, we pay for the war like we pay for everything else in American government-on credit baby!

The Real Sporer said...

Kosovo worked out well because it was relatively trivial as such things go. The "enemy" didn't even fight back for God's sake. We just bombed the national government of Yugoslavia until they surrendered control of Kosovo to a group that had, just one year previously been listed in the top 5 terror groups in the world by the state department.

That illustrates the threat of Saddam. There are many bad guys in the world, but how many tried to assasinate American presidents or shoot at American planes. Not that many have violated 17 UN resolutions regarding WMD, possessed and used WMD as means of genocide literally thousands of times worse than anything Milosovic did, while generously supporting global terror.

RF said...

Sporer,

Honestly, I have given serious consideration to your line of reasoning. But, when I look at it all in the context of WOT, the logic completely falls apart. Even if we go with a great a surge into Iraq and achieve victory, where do we end up with WOT? A cell of terrorists planning an attack could be anywhere in the world. They have numerous ways and sources of getting their hands on some sort of a WMD or they can inflict great harm in another way. Even complete victory in Iraq will do practically nothing to change that threat. And those terrorist bastards are smart and patient.

Sometimes you really have to work smarter, not harder. We also have to be patient and realize our superior ideology is our best weapon. We didn’t win the cold war overnight. It was a war of ideologies. It took a lot of patience. We needed friends and allies. But in the end, our superior ideology prevailed. I think the cold war provides a fairly relevant historical analogy to the struggle against islamofacism.

Kenboiraq said...

RF,

You are correct it took patience but your obvious assumptions regarding the ease of our current war need another look. Idealogy is not superior in this case as Democracy alone will be the victim against an enemy ruthless enough to kill their own children on the international stage. We cannot run from this fight and the civil war is not just in Iraq or Afghanistan. This is a civil war within in Islam and it is only in the early stages. If we don't turn this baby off or get control it will overthrow many countries with a lot more potential for international chaos than what we've endured from Iran thus far.

Forget the Cold War - that is just a warm up for what is ahead if we falter in the least.

RF said...

Kenboiraq,

If this truly is a "civil war within Islam" as you say (and you may very well be right), I don't think any objective observer can claim that what we are doing now is helping our cause in that struggle. Our actions are fueling the islamofacist fire.

I must say I am surprised about your lack of faith in the power of our ideology. Frankly, it doesn't sound very patriotic or American.

Kenboiraq said...

I am a student of this conflict up close and very personal. I know many Muslims and my perspective is based on firsthand knowledge of their plans and their culture(s).

We are in a fight we tried to avoid but it landed on us when the towers fell otherwise we would have continued ignoring it to our own detriment.

Somalia is a perfect example of the larger fight as radical Islam just got booted and Al Queda's #2 issued an immediate video calling for them for arab volunteers to flock there. If Somalia reverses to peace without Islam it sets a dangerous precident for Al Queda. Al Queda is a doomsday group attempting to fulfil worldwide conquest as well as settle the unsettled issues within Islam. They gain/lose followers among the masses on each victory or loss. If you understand that you can quickly see why Somalia is just as important to them as Iraq. If you understand the real issues it goes deeper and you see entire governments falling if Al Queda scores a victory in Iraq. This is much more dangerous than the Soviet Union as we were dealing with rational people rather than those trying to die and take us with them.

We need to WIN in Iraq and defeat in any way would lead to a much wider war in less than a decade. We are not making new enemies among the Islamic world. We had those enemies already but they did not run the governments. If we lose, they overthrow all governments and their populations will turn radical.

If we win it will refute Al Queda's interpretation of world wide conquest and status quo will return. Democracy in the Middle East would further destroy radical Islam. Those are the goals and President Bush knows them well. He also knows he cannot say such things out loud.

This is a very dangerous time.

Kenboiraq said...

Speaking of the war....

John Kerry made a stopover and look what happened. Nobody would sit with him and visits to fitness centers resulted in no autographs or in one case even a single hello from the soldiers. He is not well regarded here!

When Hillary visited they had to order soldiers to attend her events. Funny, when Rummy or Republicans visit they get mobbed in enthusiastic support.

Reality vs. the liberals. I don't think you will see Cyndi Sheehan here anytime soon.

RF said...

Ken,

I think you are right about the ultimate goals in the Middle East. I just strongly disagree with you about the way we can achieve those goals.

I think we have to agree to disagree on this one. Sadly, I don’t think even history will solve our dispute. Surely the diehards on both sides will write their own history and its interpretation. I'm sure Sporer has a draft of his historic interpretation ready.

BTW, whom the troops are excited about and whom they dislike proves nothing about who is right and who is wrong about this war. And some recent polling data suggest that your claims about the troops’ unity behind the current policies may not be very accurate. I suspect a serviceman/woman who happens to agree more with Kerry than W prefers “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to his/her feelings.

The Real Sporer said...

but those terrorists still require some governments some where to help them, especially help them make a big dirty bomb or a little nuke.

having a reliable and stable ally in the middle of the middle east is a huge strategic step forward. it provides a real beacon for our ideology.

iraq, iran and syria have given the global terror movement tremendous support. think about how much harder it is for terrorists to operate now that they can no longer use iraqi banks and diplomatic services. another example, lets assume that iraq remains as reliable an ally in the larger WOT as is France. that is still a huge victory even if they don't become as helpful as the UK, Australia or even Canada.

even better, think of the blow the loss of iranian support will have on global terror?

RF said...

"If you don’t why then does the liberal template just assume that Iraq is unwinnable and not worth it?"

There are many conservatives and R's who more or less feel this way. Gerald Ford comes to mind, I wonder about Bush 41's real feelings, not to mention the many principled conservatives like Buchanan who have felt this way for a long time. I think you are grossly oversimplifying by saying this is only a liberal view.

RF said...

Sporer,

Re: your 11:56 post. Your vision and goals are all well and good, but are they based on reality? Are we achieving those goals? And even if we achieve the kind of victory you envision in Iraq, we still have Syria and Iran left. And that’s just from the list you provided. As we all know, there are many other threats out there. I’m afraid you are the one who needs a reality check. Talk about reality vs. wishful thinking. I think you, W and Ken all have good intentions and the right goal. I just don’t think the path you are advocating will lead us there. We really need to work smarter, not harder.

Kenboiraq said...

RF,

You have great points and if only the Left listened to people like you we would have a much better time with all of this business. Reality is the Left does not listen and many actively support activities guaranteed to destroy our ability to make and win wars since they view all war as evil. They fail to understand despots and perversions of religions will seek weak willed peoples to conquer and only those fortified to face such foes survive such foes.

Your example of the homosexual soldiers silently supporting Kerry is not likely since many homosexuals work in my company (maybe 5% of the people I know) and they certainly support President Bush far more than liberal politicians. There may be some soldiers far more concerned with Michael Moore issues (I had one in my command but he was a Hollywood Liberal and not gay) but they are very few.

RF said...

Ken,

Just to clarify, my comment was not intended to be about homosexual soldiers. My point was that any person in service who happens to agree more with Kerry than W is likely to keep his/her thoughts to him/herself. Some recent polls seem to indicate there is a surprisingly high percentage of soldiers who feel that way.

Kenboiraq said...

Perhaps, but who can measure a "silent population?" But I am sure even homosexual soldiers know a weasel when one appears and they don't want any part of Kerry. Democrats have precious few who can come here and not get ignored. Obviously, Joe Liebermann was well received and many others who don't talk out of both sides of their mouths are great. Robin Williams is an outspoken critic of many Republicans but his genuine concern for the troops gives him fantastic license to say whatever he wants without offense. John Kerry gets no quarter given his smug elitism and body of work contrary to everything our soldiers live by.

It is hard to fool people putting their lives on the line for their beliefs. American soldiers fighting here care far more for American than they do about Gay Rights, Taxes, or even Immigration. They care about killing an enemy and freeing a backward people. Kerry will never understand and hence he is shunned. There mystery polls you reference could be from the not so conservative media. They never like us either.

RF said...

I'm talking about Kerry's general view on the war, nothing else. I have just been using it as an example, the generic D alternative to W's Iraq stance. By now, even few D's think Kerry has any political future. He's DOA in the '08 game.

Yoda said...

Peter,

Hmmm... No baseball. Baseball is what the boys play while the men are playing Hockey...


WAR 932 year old Jedis defying age and science who take up hockey

Nicole said...

Baseball is what Americans play; hockey is for Canadians and their fuzzy white bears.

RF said...

Hockey is the only real sport!

linnmans wife said...

Todd...are you the oldest guy on the team? Surely, there are some others who aren't wet behind the ears! Congrats on doing what makes you happy.

Yoda said...

Its an adult beginners league. I started two years ago when I was 30. The oldest guy on our team is 48 I think and the average is about 35 or so. I'm actually the second youngest cuz there is a 25 year old. Its a very expensive hobby, but I really wish I had the opportunity to play as a kid. Its truly a GREAT sport.

I play Defense and only have 4 goals in 2 years.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES!?!?!?!?!

Yoda said...

Okay, I took a slapshot in the thigh yesterday OUCH!!!..... Another one nicked my face shield....

I am getting too old for this....

BTW, Nicole.... All of our refs are canucks and I tease them about them not knowing the difference between bacon and ham and of course the metric system is an easy target... Eh...


WAR Ibupofin

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