Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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VDH on a sensible surge

Here. The conclusion:

Our past errors were not so much dissolving a scattered Iraqi military or even de-Baathification, but rather giving an appearance of impotence, whether in allowing the looting to continue or pulling back from Fallujah or giving a reprieve to the Sadr militias.


So, yes, send more troops to Iraq — but only if they are going to be allowed to hunt down and kill vicious and sectarians in a manner that they have not been allowed to previously.


This surge should be not viewed in terms of manpower alone. Rather it should be planned as the corrective to past misguided laxity, in which no quarter will now be given to die-hard jihadists as we pursue victory, not better policing. We owe that assurance to the thousands more of young Americans who now will be sent into harm’s way.

Read the whole thing.

Discussions - 9 Comments

Bear in mind that sending in more troops and telling them it’s okay to shoot people on sight because they think those people might be suspicious, well, that could be interpreted by the rest of the world differently than it is here.

Are we not allowed to kill known jihadists and sectarians now?

Who said anything about "shooting people on sight because they ... might be suspicious?"

If you are concerned about global opinion, perhaps you might want to consider the impact of the sight of American weakness and paralysis might have upon global opinion, if not on global order itself?

Our weakness, our lackluster war effort is only intensifying our difficulties in Iraq, most especially in Afghanistan, which is becoming increasingly problematic because Pakistan concluded they could cut a separate deal with jihadists and the United States was too weak-willed to do anything about it.

I would prefer global opinion to deem us people not to be trifled with, instead of global opinion concluding we can be killed and maimed with impunity.

We’re in a global war, George Walker Bush and his gang of incompetents are doing a great deal to make sure we lose the damn thing, and after that humiliation and defeat, the world is going to become infinitely more deadly and dangerous, and it’s going to get that way in a hell of a hurry. If you want to move towards a future of dialogue and discussion, then you had better get about killing our enemies now.

Now we’re getting somewhere.

I’m glad to see you saying that the prosecution of this war has made us look weak; I agree. We under-committed in the beginning and as a result we are being sucked into what I’d call a quagmire, if there was more moisture in the desert. I hope adding more troops will help; at this point I doubt it but the new SecDef knows things I don’t.

Where we probably disagree is the necessity of going into Iraq in the first place. Whatever reason you chose (and you can start by eliminating anything said by the administration publicly) there were less costly options which should have been pursued instead. As a result we have most of our military concentrated in a small meaningless area when they should be ready to put out more imminent fires elsewhere in the world.

Oh, and that shooting people on sight remark comes from this:

So, yes, send more troops to Iraq — but only if they are going to be allowed to hunt down and kill vicious and sectarians in a manner that they have not been allowed to previously.
What other manner could this refer to? If we’re not allowed to shoot KNOWN sectarian enemies then the entire chain of command must have been Quakers.

The Congressional leadership decided not to wait to hear from the president. In their letter, they have in effect embraced the Baker commission approach. I don’t think this is a terrible opening bid. Much depends now on how persuasive President Bush is, and on whom he can enlist to pitch his recommendations.

The Dems didn’t need to wait, Bush’s minions have been leaking what he’s intending.

Absent SIMULTANEOUS strikes at terror facilities and military targets in Syria and Iran, and absent fundamental alteration of our current rules of engagement, I’m inclined towards surging our forces in Iraq. Before any surge should occur, we should demand a change of Iraqi government, AND FURTHERMORE, demand a referendum of the Iraqi people asking them whether they favour our continued presence and assistance, or would prefer to see us leave. WE MUST KNOW THE NUMBERS of those who support our presence. Such a referendum WOULD IMMEASURABLY strengthen the President’s hand with Congress, the American people, the world, and most importantly, strengthen his hand in the waging of this war.

Let’s ask the Iraqi people what they want, and if they vote for sectarian strife, then we are we to prevent them from going after one an other’s throat. But I’m sure that the ordinary people want our help, appreciate our assistance, and want us to succeed in building a better, albeit not perfect, new Iraq. Additionally, after the results of the referendum reveal the desires of the iraqi people for us to remain, endless talk of a "civil war" WILL BE SHOWN FALSE, MISLEADING AND DEEEATIST. The American people will know that we’re dealing with blood-soaked vampires, and the only thing to be done with such creatures is to drive a stake through them.

We need a referendum, we need a purge of corruption in the new Iraqi government, [corruption is historically endemic to the region] and we need genuine energy in the executive.

Really need to closely edit....

That should read "Absent SIMULTANEOUS....I’m NOT inclined towards surging our forces in Iraq."

But you guys get the gist.

Geez.

Surge, surge, surge, surge, surge. What you mean is escalation.

I have no problem with escalation. Because I have a problem with defeat.

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