firstname.lastname@example.org (in email@example.com)
| the purpose of war is to kill people. this war has succeeded about
| 30,000 times so far.
I know you know better - but young readers may not.
The purpose of war is to impose one's political will on others by
force - usually (but not necessarily) following failure to convince
the other side through diplomacy or negotiation.
The purpose of violence in combat is to remove the opponents' will and
capacity to continue the fight before one has expended one's own
resources - by inflicting casualties (which does not mean the same
thing as causing death) and by destroying the opponents' military
Killing is sometimes necessary; but it's undesirable. Combat
eventually ceases; and unnecessary killing produces long-term
reactions that make peace difficult and expensive to achieve. Consider
the former Yugoslav Republic; and how long the healing there will take
DeSoto, Iowa USA
Aw, c'mon, Tom. It's not bad enough that the neo-cons get all stirred
up about ID, now you have to enrage them by suggesting that their
born-again leader may have made a mistake :-).
And did you see the current news report that says Bush knew in 2003 that
Rowe outed the CIA agent?
At the current pace, by the end of his presidency George W. Bush will have
been responsible for far more American deaths than the 9/11 hijackers.
For a guy who claims to do a lot of praying, you have to wonder just
exactly what God is trying to tell him, dontcha?
Just in case we want to inject some actual facts into this thread, here's
US Senators authorizing war against Iraq: 77 (even Kerry voted for it,
before he voted against it)
US Senators voting against: 23
I would have voted for the authority to go to war. The implicit
condition is that the reasons for going to war do indeed exist. In
addition, I had some trepidations before Bush went to war:
There was no plan to organize civil authority (this is very, very bad)
after liberating Iraq from Hussain (a good thing). Why not? No one was
able to get the exiled Kurd parties (certainly more than 1), and the
exiled shiites and sunnis to agree on anything.
There was no agreement with Turkey on the status of "Kurdistan". The
Turks would have liked to annex all and suppress everything Kurdish, an
obvious nono from the point of view of most people. Not enough
diplomacy to get at least a bit closer to an agreement. Result, there
was no Northern front, allowing the "rebels" to organize much quicker
There was no exit strategy, and there still isn't.
What should have been done:
Isolate Iraq better. The oil for food program was a joke. Support
indiginous opposition, covert ops to get rid of Hussain and his
Really make Afghanistan into a selfsufficient democratic (sort of) state
with lots of foreign aid to help the people there out of the devastation
of their civil wars. Contain (if not eradicate) their opium poppies.
Control the power of the war lords. Make Afghanistan an example.
This has nothing to do with wood. Bush isn't substantial enough.
Do you have any real evidence that the post-invasion
developements are substantialy different from what the
Do you really think an exit strategy was a concern, given
that Bush will be ineligible to the Presidency after January,
Do you not think he anticipated a major military
presence in Iraq for the remainder of his Presidency?
Do you think he ares anymore about what happens in Iraq
after he leaves office than his father did about Somalia?
If his successor pulls out of a rapidly deteriorating
situation and Iraq lapses into civil war it will be
his successor who gets blamed, GWB will still be the
liberator of Iraq.
I submit it was people who thought Bush was expecting less
bloodshed or a more rapid transition to a peaceful and
prosperous Iraq who were naive, not the administration.
On 21 Oct 2005 12:40:44 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I don't really understand the "exit strategy" comments. You exit when
everything is done. You only talk about exit strategy when you are
losing. What was the exit strategy in WWII or WWI or the Spanish
American War or the Civil War or 1812 or the Revolution, etc. The only
wars where an exit strategy was discussed we lost - Korea and Vietnam
or we gave away - Gulf I. Winning is an acceptable "exit strategy"
losing isn't - in my opinion. Those are really the only two options.
Struggling while immersed in quicksand isn't good strategy either - lay
on your back and float to the edge is better.
And you can't compare pre-20th century war with modern warfare.
We quit in Korea because of a very large opponent to the north - China.
Once they got in there was no way we could "win" - nobody has ever
defeated China. Yes, the Japanese occupied some cities, but they never
controlled most of the land mass.
Vietnam and Iraq are similar - both are wars we never should have gotten
in in the first place. If you think otherwise please tell me what vital
American interests were at risk if we didn't invade Iraq.
On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 14:55:18 -0700, Larry Blanchard
While neither agreeing nor disagreeing with any of your statements or
assertions above, I must ask what any of it has to do with the
concept of having and/or announcing an "exit strategy" prior to
winning a war. The very fact of an "exit strategy" (other than "win
the war") assures that you have lost the war as it demonstartes to the
other side that you do not have the will to win. You might as well
just cut and run. This is true whether it is a "war to end all wars" a
"fight against tyranny and to protect the american way of life", a
"police action", or a war to protect us from "WMDs". In other words,
whether the war is "just" or they are "wars we never should have
gotten in in the first place" is immaterial. Once you are in it you
cannot demonstrate to the opponent that if they just hold out long
enough we will give up in disgrace like in Vietnam and Somolia. If you
do, they will.
so if this had really been about WMDs, we'd have been out of there in
under a month once it was confirmed that in fact there were none. but
gwb knew that in the first place- it was a weak excuse, soon
it's not so much that there was no exit strategy- it's that the intent
was to occupy indefinitely- a concept that badly underestimated the
will of the iraqi people.
On Tue, 25 Oct 2005 14:06:26 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
To quote a phrase that seems to be all the rage these days, "That's BS".
The will of which Iraqi people? From the comments from the soldiers coming
back from Iraq, the majority of the Iraqi people appreciate what has been
done for them. As for the insurgency, despite what CNN and the NYT seem to
be saying, these aren't a bunch of freedom-loving natives looking to expel
the "oppressors"; just as in Vietnam, they are a bunch of statist despots
looking to gain control in order to again subjugate their fellow countrymen
once they get the coalition forces to leave. If you have any doubt of
that, look at who most of their victims are -- they care not a whit if they
kill innocent women or children, just so they can carry out an attack that
*might* hurt someone associated with the coalition forces. You'd think the
anti-war protesters would have learned from Vietnam, but apparently not.
If our intent was to become permanent occupiers, the US would be
demanding some sort of repayment for the occupation (say oil shipments) --
that's flat out not happening. It'd be pretty silly to become occupiers
simply for the sake of having a standing army in that country, wouldn't it?
I can just imagine the outcry from the left if the US had done as
suggested -- defeat the standing army, depose the dictator, search and not
find the WMD's that most of the world believed that he had, then just move
out and let anarchy and chaos descend on the country. Yeah, they'd have
really been praising that as the most "humane" approach.
Given how badly the pressed botched the reporting of the hurricanes in
NO, it's amazing to me that people still believe the spin that is put on
reports from those same news organizations in Iraq.
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough
Unconditional surrender of Japan and Germany followed by the
formation of a stable and peaceful non-militarized democratic
government. An essential feature was the guarantee of US
protection against foreign (e.g. Soviet) agggression, an
agreement still in effect so that in a very real sense, we
have not yet exited. The Bush administration would have us
believe that this is their strategy in Iraq, but the reality
is addressed below.
Forcing Germany to accept the terms that became the Armistice
Surrender to the US, of the islands invaded by the US.
Actually exitting from the theater took many years
and transition to self government of those islands.
Note, we still have not exited from Puerto Rico,
and are stil paying the personal income tax passed to
pay for that war.
Unconditional Surrender followed by Reconstruction.
The intial exit strategy was dependant on the successful
invasion and annexation of Canada. Having lost that
campaign the exit strategy became to survive as a nation
until Great Britain got tired of burning our cities.
On the plus side, we did get to keep Detroit (the only
strategically significant American land victory in the
war) and an end to impressment in exchange for our promise
to not invade Canada again. Plus we got to kill a lot of
lobsterbacks defending New Orleans. Too bad that didn't
happen three months earlier, we could have had two
strategically important victories.
Forcing Great Britain to recognise the United States of America
as an Independent Nation. Had a do over thirty years later.
We have not exitted from Korea, nor lost the war The current
exit strategy diplomatic, to convince North Korea to recognize
the defacto border, agree to not invade again, and demilitarize.
Reunification would be even better, but we don't have to
be there for that to happen.
The exit strategy for Vietnam as to turn the job of fighting
the war over to the Army of South Vietnam, so they could
defend themsleves and we would no longer be needed. Sound
familiar? One disadvantage in Vietnam was that, unlike
Iraq, the Viet Cong and ANV were certain to keep fighting
after we left.
The exit strategy for the Iraqi-Kuwaiti war, was to drive the
Iraqi forces out for Kuwait and, by threatening annihilation of
the remaining forces force Saddam Husein to agree to not
threaten Kuwait again. We got more out of it
How will we know if we win in Iraq? The insurgency will not
stop so long as foreign troops are on Iraqi soil. If we require
an end to the insurgency in order to win, we must exit Iraq
in order to win. It is by no means certain that the Iraqis
will not fight among themselves in the absence of foreign
troops but it is ceratin that some Iraqis will fight so
long as some Foreign troops are there.
But like I said, Bush's exit strategy is to leave office at
the end of his second term. I am not so naive as to suppose
he gives a rat's ass how long US troops stay in Iraq after
it becomes someone else's problem.
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