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wally

the brawl is on / debate

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He got us into this mess with no fore-thought. There was no need to go. He is inept, and it was evident last night.

All he could do was keep repeatint "It's hard work". Very shaky performance.

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The major difference between the Civil War, WWI and WWII and the current Iraq conflict was the level of threat. With WWI, WWII, and the Civil war, we had an open agressor, that was posing and immediate (not potential) threat. At that point it seems like the wisest course of action was immediate. Waiting to go to war for better planning would only have resulted in additinal strikes against us, the military, or our allies. With Sadam, it was a pissing contest 6 months in advance. If we had waited for another year, it still would have been a pissing contest but we could have gone with a better plan, and a stronger alliance instead of unilateral action.

Was he a threat, yes, but potentially. Saddam wasn't attacking us and in retrospect probably wasn't going to, at least not with the much touted WMD's.

 

With all due respect, selkirk, what sort of threat was the Austro-Hungarian Empire posing to the United States in 1917? Or Germany in 1941? For that matter, what threat was Japan posing? Pearl Harbor was a hit-and-run deal. My point in all this is to say that we committed troops to war at the behest (and vigorous insistence in some cases) of our allies in order to aid their efforts against the enemy.

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My mistake Greg, your right the Austro-Hungarians' probably weren't and immediate threat to us. As for Germany, when was the Lusitania sunk? And Japan, please, they tried to completely wipe out our pacific navy.

 

But again the difference was all of those groups (Germany, Japan, Austro-Hungarian) were being immediately aggressive, they were all actively invading other nations. Waiting for a year or two and WWI and WWII would probably not have been worth joining, it would have been over with Europe and or a good chunk of Asia.

With Saddam, waiting would have only allowed us to be better prepared, but it wouldn't have improved Saddam's positions significantly.

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Yeah, Greg, the bottom line for me is projecting what would likely happen under each regime. If Kerry relies on the UN and European nations to take stands on Iran, on N Korea, on Sudan...well, we know where that will go.

 

I don't really get the impression that Kerry wants to hand every negotiation or conflict over to the UN. That's just hyperbolic speculation. For one thing, Kerry specifically supports bilateral negotiations with North Korea. That's just us and them in a room, no UN to be seen. Bush's complaint about that approach alienating China carries some weight, but that's what we have diplomats for. An armed conflict with North Korea, much more likely under Bush, would do much worse things for Sino-American relations than some diplomatic snub.

 

It's one thing to hand everything over to international allies, but quite another to get their support (what Kerry is proposing).

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I had an interesting conversation with my uncle last night. He is voting for Bush, and a lot of it has to do with Kerry's Vietnam service. According to him, Kerry got out of Vietnam 8 months early because of a loophole. Now granted if I was over there I'd probably like to come home too. Anyways, as everyone knows Kerry got 3 purple hearts, which has been subject to much controversy, and he didn't spend a day in the hospital. To put it into perspective my grandfather flew B-17s in WWII, and on their 22 mission had an accident over England, a flare gun went off in the cabin somehow, it bounced of the windshield and hit my grandfather in the head. The plane caught on fire and he miraculously got out, but most of his men did not. He was severely burned, had a broken back and leg, and spent a week in the hospital. He got one purple heart. He also retired as a Col. and only now am I finding out about some of the stuff that he was involved with, years after laying him to rest in Arlington.

 

My uncle told me that there wasn't day to day atrocities that Kerry claims and my uncle was over there for quite longer than Kerry was, and he worked for the CIA in Laos at one point. He believes that Kerry's antiwar demonstrations prolonged the war because the people in the North, who according to him were very smart because monitoring them was part of his work, believed that the pressure in the US to pull out was so strong that the North Vietnamese decided to stay in the war. He believes, and he quoted a book by one of these guys, that the war would have ended much sooner if it wasn't for this and his best friend wouldn't have been killed. BTW this is the first time he is ever talked about Vietnam to me. I'm sure my uncle's bitterness about Vietnam plays into this, but it's interesting to hear this from someone who truely served in the military.

 

This isn't an anit Kerry rant, I'm voting for the person I dislike the least here, just some interesting perspective.

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I had an interesting conversation with my uncle last night. He is voting for Bush, and a lot of it has to do with Kerry's Vietnam service. According to him, Kerry got out of Vietnam 8 months early because of a loophole..

 

He got out because he was wounded 3 times, that was the rule. Yea, it was a squeaky clean war.

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Greg, excuse me, but I think any comparisions to the Civil War, WWI, or WWII are WAY out of line here.

 

The State Dept, as well as several high ranking officials in the military command structure, repeatedly emphasized the need for post war planning. They were pushed aside and/or ignored. Read Fallow's "Blind into Baghdad" in the Jan/Feb Atlantic Monthly for an indepth look at the planning before hand. It's an eye opener.

 

The biggest difference here is that we CHOSE to invade Iraq. Rice and Powell had both emphasized in the past that he was contained and containment was working. Gen. Zinni has spoken several times about how containment worked and that it was the best policy. Even George HW Bush wrote that occupying the country would be a clusterf*@#.

 

The thing that I think alot of the media overlooks is that Bush repeatedly rolls out the line "he would not disarm" and that there would be "serious consequences" if he didn't. Look, I think the UN is a fucking useless organization. But, to disarm, you have to have the weapons in the first place. He didn't have them. I'm sure a few things got out via Syria, but bottom line is the guy was not a threat to us, certainly not a threat to Israel who has nukes and is crazy enough to use them.

 

My point is, we had more than enough time to adequately plan, and we certainly knew that we would need a larger force to maintain order in the post-conflict.

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Good point Will; I was just passing on a few thoughts heard in the drive-time this a.m. Slothrop, Kerry wants a coalition in Iraq, but bilateral negotiations in N. Korea. Why? Bilateral negotiations failed on the Clinton watch. With China and others in the mix, we have more muscle to keep N. Korea in check. It makes sense to me.

 

Jim, Kerry NEVER spent time in hospital for his "wounds" and there is credible evidence that he wounded himself twice for two of the purple hearts. I think jon's comments are well put - I think Kerry denigrates the spirit of the American Hero who is awarded the Purple Heart for bravery to the point of injury in battle. Scooting out on your service due to such a bullshit loophole is plain chickenshit.

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Jim, Kerry NEVER spent time in hospital for his "wounds" and there is credible evidence that he wounded himself twice for two of the purple hearts.

 

Huh? In contrast to having daddy's friends getting you into the guard and then begging out of that commitment?

 

Bushie lost it big time last night.

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My favorite part was when Bush was asked the question about pre-emptive war and he said, "The enemy attacked us."

 

Kerry then rebutted, "Saddam Hussein didn't attack us. Osama bin Laden attacked us. Al Qaeda attacked us."

 

Bush snapped back, "I know Osama bin Laden attacked us."

 

He sounded like the C- student who was pissed off at the Mr. Smarty Pants A student who shouts out the answer in class.

 

The bad news is that this country has a lot of C- students who resent the smart kid.

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Jim, Kerry NEVER spent time in hospital for his "wounds" and there is credible evidence that he wounded himself twice for two of the purple hearts.

 

Huh? In contrast to having daddy's friends getting you into the guard and then begging out of that commitment?

 

Bushie lost it big time last night.

 

Yes... but one campaigned with his military service as a major point and the other didn't make a big deal out of it. If you are gonna base so mcuh of you campaign around your service in Vietnam... it better be squeaky. I talked to a guy who almost got his hand taken off and still has severe nerve damage that didn't even get a purple heart. Go figure.

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Bush snapped back, "I know Osama bin Laden attacked us."

 

Excellent comeback!

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Even if Kerry had been shooting his own troops over there I'd say that his service during wartime was more noble than what Bush appears to have done during the same timeframe. "Chickenshit" is just about right. Besides, I really don't care. I don't want a president who people identify with because he has poor grammar and delivery. That's part of the qualifications. Robbob, perhaps Reagan was "dumb", but his delivery was 10 million times better, "statesman-like", than that slobbering chimp on the stage last night.

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capt.sge.ofz87.300904194225.photo00.default-384x258.jpg

 

"Monkey want a peanut?"

 

"Oooh, monkey hungry, give monkey peanut!"

 

 

I listened to the debate. As a rabid liberal I was a bit disappointed at first as it seemed like a draw. Bush did an excellent job of staying on message, i.e. "John Kerry changes his position to much"

 

Kerry took long to defend himself on that issue, BUT eventually he did. Kerry voted for the authorization of force to give Saddam reason to comply, however going to war should have been a very last resort. If you track down what Kerry said on the senate floor (posted around here somewhere) prior to voting for authorization of force he makes the point eloquantly.

 

Kerry closed strong with his critque on nuclear proliferation. If Bush really feels like that is the most important issue you gotta ask why he has done ABSOLUTELTY NOTHING about it in 4 years. North Korea has developed nukes during Bush's tenure, Iran and Brazil are both on the verge. Iraq DID NOT HAVE A functional nuclear weapons program. On top of all this not enough is being done to secure loose nuclear material in the former USSR.

 

and Greg_W.."Kerry injured himself twice to get medals"..get back to reality if you want anything you say taken seriously.

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Greg, you realize that your calling Kerry a chickenshit even though he VOLUNTEERED for both his first, and count it, second tours of duty. That sounds like a chickenshit to me, mmmmhhhhhmmmmmm, that's why he went back of his own accord, there just weren't the right opportunites to be a coward back home.... confused.gif oh wait a minute.. there's always the guard?

Edited by selkirk

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Is there somewhere on the net that has an unbiased review of Kerry's Vietnam record, tours of duty, time spent, etc.? I would certainly never call him a coward.

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Jon, try this one from factcheck.

 

http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docid=231

 

It also contains the supportnig documentation as pdfs on the right side of the page. But, the article itself is probably detailed enough. It examines the claims and evidence from both sides of the story.

 

factcheck is one of the better de-bunker non-partisan sites I've found.

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Slothrop, Kerry wants a coalition in Iraq, but bilateral negotiations in N. Korea. Why? Bilateral negotiations failed on the Clinton watch. With China and others in the mix, we have more muscle to keep N. Korea in check. It makes sense to me.

 

Yeah, maybe Kerry just needs something to differentiate himself from Bush on this issue. Or maybe he thinks bilateral negotiations will work if the Koreans can actually trust us. They certainly don't trust Bush.

 

So why not get others into the mix in Iraq, too? Put more muscle behind our efforts there? That's Kerry's plan, but Bush isn't willing to cozy up to Europe and get it done.

 

How did negotiations w/N Korea fail under Clinton? Under Clinton, there were IAEA inspectors in N Korea monitoring their reactors. See the timeline on this site, it's pretty interesting: http://cns.miis.edu/research/korea/nuc/iaea94.htm

 

And from CNN.com:

 

"Under the so-called Agreed Framework signed in 1994, North Korea said it would no longer seek to develop nuclear weapons and in exchange, the United States, Japan and South Korea agreed to help build two light water nuclear reactors to replace the plutonium-producing reactors Pyongyang was using."

 

Clinton was President in 1994. Can he take personal credit for the agreements? Maybe not. But it sure looks like the US under Clinton negotiated successfully with N Korea to keep their nuclear program in check.

 

Since Bush took power and publically insulted the Koreans ("Axis of Evil") after ignoring them for nearly two years, they have resumed their nuclear program and kicked out the IAEA. That sounds like a huge failure of diplomacy to me. Bush knows his government could never negotiate with North Korea on its own because the Koreans don't trust us now. I'm sure they're hoping Kerry gets elected.

Edited by slothrop

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Slothrop, there are currently 30 nations involved in Iraq right now. How many more do you want?

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27 more would do it for me.

 

Seriously, it would be nice to involve the real power players of the world with the conflict, not just the smaller states that we can convince with a little military aid (or the threat of withholding such aid).

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But, to disarm, you have to have the weapons in the first place. He didn't have them.

 

To me this is interesting.

 

I have seen a few polls (or maybe a few reports of the same poll?) suggesting that a signifigant number of Americans beleive that WMD were found in Iraq...

 

So, if people are that uninformed about basic facts, it makes me wonder if they really are going to put as much thought/effort into making a choice of who they vote for as you guys are. It seems to me that the election will be decided by impressions and rumours rather than facts and positions. Not that our elections are that much better. frown.gif

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I... I... I... I KNOW HOW THIS WORLD WORKS!!!! ROFL

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C'mon Greg. How many people do those 30 nations have on the ground? How many have pulled out since the threats on their people? The idea that there is a viable coalition at the moment is laughable. But then we wouldn't want to forget Poland...

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