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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Friday, August 26, 2005

Iran So Far Away, Part 6

The illustrious and beautiful Kanh responds to Iran So Far Away, The Novel:

...Reading your post, a few things came to mind. What is it we are trying to accomplish in the Middle East? Peace, OK maybe just stability, in the Middle East? Uninterrupted oil flow? Freedom for oppressed people? Security here at home? Big boys getting a chance to use big toys? Or could it be all of the above?

I find it interesting that those that are the first to complain about oil prices are the first to complain about our actions in the middle east, or drilling off their coast, or about the pollution refineries create. They want the gas, just not everything that goes with getting it. Talk about hypocrisy. I also find it interesting that those who exploit free speech the most are the ones that don't want others to have it (i.e. a little girl in Iran, Afghanistan or where ever they aren't free). More hypocrisy?! I also find interesting, people that say they support our troops, just not their actions. HELLO! We are what we do.

I'm not saying everything I do lines up perfectly with what I believe, but at least I'm striving for that. Not by making everyone around me validate what I believe by agreeing with me. Rather by putting it to the fire. Using the reason God gave me and not the boob-tube Satan controls. Reason tells me freedom is not free at any level. I grieve for Ms Sheehan. I can't imagine losing a child. But don't let his death be in vain. Celebrate that he was willing to give the ultimate sacrifice for an ideal. I know she has to miss him terribly, but don't take away what he and others like him are doing.

OK, maybe Iraq isn't going how we (the general public) thought it would, but guess what: that's life. I think we only see a piece of the big picture. Maybe if the administration would come off their thrones of intellectual supremacy and tell John Q. Public why we are doing what we are doing and what we hope to accomplish they would have more support. It's kinda like fighting disease...the treatment may be excruciating, but you'll willing to go through it in hopes of overcoming the disease. Most people are willing to go through it even if the odds are against it. But they need the info and what to hope for. That's why people were willing to wear shoes with holes, repair old panty hose, have sugar rationed to them, give up tires off their cars to fight evil in WW II.

We like to think we are so enlightened now that we don't have to fight. I think we are just fat cats that don't want to sacrifice and share. I guess what I'm saying is the administration needs to paint a picture us average simpletons can understand... Here is what we hope to accomplish... Here is what will happen if we don't take action. Maybe with a clearer picture Ms. Sheehan could use her grief to celebrate her sons life not use it for blame and anger.

In His Love,


The answer to your first set of questions is, "yes." "All the above" works quite well, thank you, to which I'd add a few more reasons:

Miltary presence and a demonstrated willingness to endure sacrifice, casualties, and political unpopularity adds credibilty to any deterrent threat we may use to hold the interests of Middle Eastern nations like Iran and Syria at risk.

Concrete military presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Turkey, Kuwait, Bahrain, the Stans, the Persian Gulf, and the Indian Ocean is intimidating, particularly to Iran, the largest and most powerful adversary in the region.

I reiterate that freedom for oppressed peoples currently under the yoke of islamist jihadism and the regimes that support it should also reinforce our security. That's the theory anyway. Could be that many of these nations, as they become more like modern states, will go through a "second wave" warlike phase, as Europe did during the later industrial era. If so, then it's even more imperative that we maintain our hegemonic predominance. We don't want the world plunged into a hundred World War I's as every emerging industrial power jockeys for regional domination. (Of course, such conflict is not a foregone conclusion: the first half of the "second wave" in Europe was largely peaceful under Britain's regime of hegemonic stability -- a telling lesson for us today. Things only started to get ugly when near-peer competition arose.)

Oh, yes: And everyone -- I mean everyone, including the UN -- was fooled by Saddam on the WMD issue. We probably would have detected his best-ever maskirovka if we'd had inspectors in the country after 1998. (Thanks again, Bill!) Bush only made it the lynchpin of his justification for invading because WMD is what the UN itself had cited as justification for intervention in Iraqi affairs in half a dozen pronouncements between 1991 and 2002. Bush and Powell both were desperate to involve the UN (in part, ironically, because Clinton had thumbed his nose at it and sought NATO-only approval for his War on Impeachm...excuse me, War on Serbia in '99. How's that for a kick in the head?) The Admin. should never have been so concerned about the delicate sensibilties of the UN's pooh-bahs and goat-grabbers in the first place. "Try twice to be nice and then go about your business" should have been their motto.

Now, I grant you that the administration has done precious little to help the public understand why we are doing what we're doing, even though there are good reasons. This is a little bit understandable (but only a little bit): the subject is complex and not easily explained. They'd lose most people long before the first "hegemonic" rolled out. There's another thing fighting against disclosure that I touched on in "War and Peace, Iranian Style:" Rebublicans in general, and the Bushes in particular, are a secretive lot. There's a bit of arrogance to this. There's always a whif of, "the public are cattle; they'd never understand and have no right to know anyway." That's Bush the Elder, at least. Unlike the Clintons, who were very much this way, too, in an in-your-face, nouveau riche way, the Bushes would never be so gauche as to say something about your "inferiority" to your face and I think W is much more populist, but I still don't think he appreciates how much having his smartest and most ariticulate advocates make the case would do for him at this juncture. He's tried to make the case himself, but he just isn't up to the task as a public persuader. What's more, W carries so much baggage with the MSM that his efforts may actually be hurting national strategy in the long run. The Admin. needs to game this and make "sales" an explicit part of that strategy. They need to take a page from the Democrats' playbook on this one. (The latter are too good at it -- they're all presentation, with no real agenda or strategy behind their flash and jimcrack other than, "let's get back in power.")

In short, your "come off their thrones of supremacy" remark is spot on. They need to make the case better before it's too late. We already have have protestors heckling our wounded outside Walter Reed hospital. I sense that impatience is gaining ground around the country (perhaps just because I listen to too much MSM) and the stakes are far too high for us to pull out prematurely and lose everything we've gained on the ground in Iraq. I think you are right to point out that we are spoiled, but the President and his staff need to be making a better case for why the sacrifices we're making are worthwhile.

I will be posting some notional examples of what I think a comprehensive strategy should look like in the near future.


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