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Friday, June 02, 2006

Support The Troops By Attacking The War?

In response to the Palestinian cartoons that portray:

Palestinian child urinating on the Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty as a suicide terrorist
The Statue of Liberty's torch igniting the world's fires
The Statue of Liberty as a prostitute
The Statue of Liberty being imprisoned by the FBI and CIA
The Statue of Liberty as an evil Condoleezza Rice, representing Israel
The Statue of Liberty destroyed with Superman at the "Gates of Baghdad"
The Statue of Liberty symbol as a heroic Palestinian woman. However, instead of representing freedom, the defiant Palestinian Statue represents violence and terror, wears a crown of machines guns and holds an infant grasping a stone.

Andrew "Skip" March writes:


Somehow there's this belief, largely in the Democratic Party, that if we don't bother Islamic extremists, they won't bother us. Or, if we're nice to them they'll be nice to us. Or that if we make a mistake in the battlefield or wherever that they will propagandize it so we should get out. Given that they were blowing up innocent people and attacking the US plenty before we went into Afghanistan or Iraq is evidence enough to refute these arguments. And if we didn't make any mistakes or weren't there they'd be making lies up anyhow....It's in their employee handbook for God's sakes.

At least now there is an alternative point of view, opportunity, way to lead your life in the Middle East. Everyone over there is waiting to see whether the US will see this through or not...it is as basic as that. An editorial in the "Ridgefield Press" newspaper from a local soldier stationed in Iraq makes this very point. The overall point of his editorial is that you cannot not support the war and support the troops...I never got that one either as hard as I tried to figure it out. This brave soldier goes on to point out that the continued undermining in our own country of the war effort and our Commander-In-Chief, while claiming to support the troops, has only put our soldiers in danger, emboldened the enemy and created casualties both civilian and soldier. So, thanks New York Times, et al for endangering our troops

This is a war that will last a generation and when we kick the hell out of these murdering barbarians in the Middle East, they will move to sub-Saharan Africa. And when we kick the hell out of them there they will move to South America. Enemy documents seized have articulated this enemy strategy. So we can tell the world that we are just willing to live with it or.......

My added comments are:

The theory of how one can be against the war, act against it, even provide aid and comfort to the enemy and still support the troops, is that the troops are mere pawns of mistaken leaders who wantonly place these innocent soldiers in harm's way. They then believe that by ending the war quicker, they have saved more soldier's lives than otherwise would have died had they not ended the war.

My view is simply that our doing nothing in response to the many attacks (chronicled earlier by Skip) created a more bellicose enemy than has been proved today by aggressively engaging them on their turf. The enemies will grow as they see success. The majority of saner members will choose life over going toe-to-toe with US soldiers. The Islamic terrorists are not fighting for their survival. We, and our allies including Israel, are. They are asserting themselves in the "re-taking" of territories they deem their due. Whether they want to return to the world caliphate they possessed circa 1200 A.D. or have designs on a new Islamic world, they have chosen the wrong enemy. Had they kept to the Europeans, they would have a shot at major territorial inroads. As a matter of fact, per Bruce Bawer, the author of "While Europe Slept", the takeover of Europe by Muslims is demographically and spiritually certain. (Can the Italians procreate, at least?).

While we may be merely witnessing the demise of the Euro West, it is heartening to know that in the face of the Leftist media, academia and fellow-citizens, there are stalwarts among us who volunteer to serve in our armed forces, citizens who articulate a survivor message to neighbors and family and people in government, yes I said "government, thank you Mr. Rumsfeld, who take the threat seriously and ensure our likely success.

13 Comments:

At 1:22 AM, Anonymous Jon said...

I'm incredibly grateful for the US military of today and yesterday for giving me the freedom to do, say, or believe anything I want without fear of persecution. I'm grateful, too, that they go to battle without hesitation, that for the most part they don't question the politics or reasoning of Dubyah's decision to go to war. If I feel my freedom, or my childrens' freedom might be compromised by a foreign enemy, I would not hesitate to fight or send them to fight (tho' it would be agonizingly difficult to see one's child off to war).

All that said: this was the wrong war. It was not a war about our freedom, it was not waged on behalf of Israel, it was about protecting America. There were no WMDs, Saddam was not conspiring with AlQuaida. If we really wanted to help people who were being terrorized by a brutal dictator, Saddam should have been #5 or 6 on the list (Kim Jong-Il should be at the top of the list). I argued against several of my friends when it came to Afghanistan -- I believe we did the right thing by routing out the Taliban in Afghanistan. The problem is that we took our eyes off the prize and went into Iraq.

It is quite possible to be against the war and for the troops. I'm against the war, against our idiot President who has squandered every opportunity that has come his way and continues to deny any wrong decision making about the people he's appointed to office, about his tax cuts, the war, the ongoing mishandling of Katrina's aftermath, the economy, the torture, Guantanamo... and the list goes on.

About a year ago, I would argue against any liberal (and I am one) who said we should leave Iraq. Like you, I would have said we need to stay the course and see the job through. We made this catastrophe, it's up to us to clean it up. But today, I feel differently. The body count grows higher every day, it's mostly the Iraqis who are suffering, the whole country and especially Baghdad are falling to pieces. Of course I hate to see anyone hurt, not least of all our own troops who are valiantly fighting an untenable war against an enemy who is not afraid of death or murdering children in the process. It's awful reading the stories of our troops and the injuries and horror they've suffered. Can we win? What does winning look like, and how will we know when we've won? So I question whether remaining in Iraq is helping or hurting. I don’t have an answer, but I’m leaning towards getting out now before any more American lives are lost.

I don't believe that just being nice to the Islamic world will win us points either. But I also don't believe that war is the only choice. Too many people are willing to rush into war without really asking the hard questions. When some people ask questions, they're called wishy-washy flip floppers, ie, conservatives turn into schoolchildren and resort to name calling rather than discourse.

Maybe there is no middle ground between our points of view. You may not ever believe that people can be against a war, could disagree with their president, or could have the gall to ask questions, AND still be American and patriotic. All I can say is America was founded by people who asked questions, disagreed with authority, and rightfully took to arms to win their freedom.

 
At 1:07 PM, Blogger Neal Phenes said...

jon:

Ignoring your heartfelt opinion of the President as an "idiot", your failure to read the economy as doing incredibly well after a recession that began in 2000, your ignorance about the benefit of the tax cuts (with a curious failure to mention the obvious error by Bush in allowing Congress to over-spend massively on entitlements) and wherever your unending list may go, on the issue of Iraq you admit to applying hind-sight to very rational bases for ending Saddam's reign of terror in Iraq. You must recognize that we were at war with him in the sense of enforcing no-fly zones and economic snactions. There was bi-partisan intelligence consensus of his WMD.

Evidence is being unearthed and reviewed that shows that there were WMD and such was moved to Syria and other parts of Iraq with the pivotal aid of Russia. The question of whether "Saddam was not conspiring" with AlQaeda depends on what your term means. Was he training Al Qaeda? Yes. Was he providing refuge for terrorists? Yes. Was he providing financial support for terrorists? Yes.

But going beyond the back-story, you offer the suggestion of just leaving Iraq. You provide no alternative approach to take. You just know it is wrong to stay there because of the US body count. Very humane of you. The soldiers re-up because they see the value of what they are doing. I did not see you mwention the strides that have been made in the drafting of a Constitution or the creation of a permanent gobvernment. I did not see you mention the increased development of Iraqi-run policing and military. You gave no mention of the growth in the local economy or rendition of utilities.

And I saw no mention of the potential for Arab growth. Did not Libya publicly quit its nuclear arms pursuit? Has not Lebanon seen the reduction of Syrian involvement?

I believe that the decision to go to war was right. It was the necessary fist step in trying to improve the mess of the Muslim world. I actually thought Bush took too long before entering it. The UN was going to do nothing (and they are repeating their act with Iran now). It provided our enemies enough time to prepare their planned invasion. I felt that if you were going to pre-empt, then do it as pre as you can.

And disagreement with the President and US policy is not unAmerican in itself. The manner in which it is done very much matters. There is a difference between being a citizen and being treasonous. But I am still waiting to hear from the Left that the enemy is an evil force seeking our destruction that must be dealt with directly, and until I hear a reasonable strategy for our success, I cannot treat them as anything manipulators and demagogues.

 
At 12:18 AM, Anonymous Jon said...

I'm not the entire left, but allow me provide some satisfaction: yes, we should wipe out our enemies. Anyone who wants to murder Americans or their allies should be stopped. Period.

But Iraq wasn't directly threatening America (it was threatening Israel, but what Arab nation doesn't?). I wasn't laying awake at night worrying about Iraq. I was worried about Al Qaida. We must read and listen to very different media, or have different filters, because I've only heard one talking head mention the movement of WMDs into Syria, and so I have doubts about its veracity (why don't you?). The so-called specialists I've listened to in newspaper and on TV have said Saddam wanted nothing to do with the religious fundamentalists and would not provide support. The tax cut should be repealed, all Americans rich and poor need to sacrifice to pay for this war. My opinion about going into Iraq was not hindsite; I was attending anti-war protests well before the war began (hadn't been to a protest march in probably 10 years before that). RE: Lebanon, is it possible -- just possible -- that we could have achieved the same means without fighting in Iraq?

This is an argument that could go on at length as we nitpick every word and point. Perhaps my first comment steered off course. The main point I wanted to make is that people who are against the war can simultaneously support the military. Our government is responsible for taking us to war, our military is doing their job to the best of their ability. Just because we are in a time of war does not mean those of us against the war should withhold our opinions.

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger Neal Phenes said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger Neal Phenes said...

Jon:

I am happy to have introduced you to the news about the evidence of pre-war movement of WMDs by Saddam. I am happy to have presented Saddam's involvement with Al Qaeda (no, not in 9-11 directly) and there is interesting information about Iraqi involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing (but on this I am diverted from the point.

Dismiss this if you want but someday in the future you will recall when you first read some of these points.

I hope we can agree that your source for the news, if it is the MSM, is decidedly pro-Democratic party. Who do you think Dan Rather Tom Brokaw,Peter Jennings, CNN and every other news outlet on TV besides Fox News favors? I suggest you read the books of Bernard Goldberg, the CBS lifer who woke up to the overt slant of network news. Then we turn to the NYT that leads the nets and most of the newspapers on major issues. Locating their anti-conservative slant is a major sport for me on the weekend when i but that newspaper and kill its pussle to boot.

I hope after 9-11 you were placed in fear of terorism. It's source is a specific location in the world by a certain tribe indigenous therein. I do not care why they feel aggrieved. I think the first country chosen for this pro-active approach had enough reasons to justify the attack.

What I will not do is treat terorism as a crime like the Gores, Kerrys and Edwards of the political world want to do. I do not want to provide them with criminal rights and render a verdict upon evidence provided beyond a reasonable doubt. That was done pre-9-11. We must now connect dots based upon an assessment somewhere between a preponderance of the evidence and that reasonable doubt.

I have waited 5 years to hear an alternative other than what had been done for decades prior to 9-11. You know that drill: Lob a few missiles somewhere and give some speeches. Maybe offer a few bucks to local chieftains or enact a boycott of something. The fascists of the Islam world require direct engagement.

But I would love to hear an alternative method to employ---or even what should have been done.

 
At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skip March responds:

I find the reference to Lebanon as an example of how democratic elections can come about without war a curious one (understated). I must have been imagining all of that carnage in Lebanon during the past couple of decades if this is the case...of course it is not the case. If there has been any example of a war torn country, precipitated by terrorist groups and the countries that support them (Syria, Iran), it is Lebanon. It is also quite clear that once a firm and resolute response to Iraq occurred, Syria was kicked out and elections were undertaken. Further, The Libyan Desert Dandy, folded up and turned over his nuclear weapons program when he saw Saddam fall. And don't be surprised if Khadaffi renews his weapons program if we do not continue to be on the offensive against Islamic terrorism and Iraq.

What the Bush Administration recognized, even before 9-11, is that the world had changed and our leadership in the world had to change...particularly through our policies and behavior. The recently foiled Canadian terrorist plot is evidence of how vicious and insidious this cancer is. The world's lack of resolve prior to 9-11 in regards to Iraq, provided the so called leaders of Islamic terrorism evidence that we would remain on the defensive. The alliances that exist between these various Al-Quaeda groups and wannabe groups will take on a new definition than the traditional 19th and 20th century alliance definitions. But the catalyst is universal for all of them, hatred of the West, and the end-game is as well, instill fear and chaos through death and destruction.

It has been beyond belief that this President has had to fight a war on 2 fronts, the latter here in the US against lies and disinformation as well as the media's and some so-called Congressional leaders' disingenuous support of our troops while really trying to undermine this offensive on multiple fronts against Islamic terrorism. Listen to the words and watch the behaviors....labeling our troops terrorsits, nazi's, and cold blooded murderers as John Roberts on CNN did last night ought to make all of us ashamed and angry that fellow Americans would do this.

Skip

 
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At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Jon said...

There’s a perception on the right that the left doesn’t understand the post 9/11 landscape. Locked hand-in-hand with this perception is the idea that the left would be, for some unfathomable reason, soft on terrorists.

Take by example Israel, in which you will find among the Israeli people and government hawks and doves – their labels are pretty self explanatory, but if you need more background, pick up Amos Oz’s fantastic book Israel, Palestine and Peace : Essays. Harvest Books, 1995. Just because someone is a dove doesn’t mean (1) they have a rosy outlook on the situation and (2) they believe that Israel should discontinue defending itself. The question is what constitutes a good defense?

In my opinion, it’s analogous to America’s right and left. While I believe we should do everything possible to defend ourselves, Iraq hasn’t helped. If anything, it’s only further radicalized the region and put us at more risk. It’s impossible to say, but would the Canadian terrorist cell have come about if we had attacked the Taliban only (and hadn’t invaded Iraq)? All this excludes the notion of pacifism, which IMHO is tantamount to letting terrorists rule.

No one (to my knowledge) debates the idea that in post 9/11 we’re living in a very different world. Further still, no one debates our need for homeland security. Most of the media I read doesn’t contest this, nor does it contest the poor progress we’ve made towards homeland security (no surprize given the bureaucracy in Washington). We’re all in agreement there, yes? The question is Iraq -- has it helped the fight on terror or exacerbated terrorism while killing thousands of innocent civilians -- and only history will tell. I believe that our President wanted to attack Iraq before 9/11 (plenty of evidence to support this), and he used the tragedy to further a belligerent neo-con agenda.

I wholeheartedly disagree with the notion that the alleged terrorists being held at Guantanamo should be withheld the right to legal council. Bush & Co. have twisted laws to keep the terrorists from obtaining legal council and in the process very likely imprisoned and tortured some, if not many, innocent men. There is no excuse for not giving these people access to a lawyer or human rights groups. None.

Not to change topics too drastically, but this whole notion of liberal media is so inane. By their own admission, Fox News has a STRONG conservative bias, but the New York Times??? Karl Rove’s talking points have made a big impact on the truth. He’s drilled into everyone’s head the idea that the media is liberal in order to further his own agenda. The right has been incredibly effective at spreading its beliefs into the mainstream and one of the biggest tools has been to dismiss most media as biased. They, the right, have taken a David vs Goliath position; poor little David has been beaten up all these years by the big mean media Goliath. You repeat something often enough, it becomes the truth. If you read the NYT with the explicit intent of finding liberal bias, I guarantee you’ll find it, but not because it's there. Is it possible that you just don’t like what the media have to report sometimes because it contradicts your agenda? Labeling the media as liberal is like labeling Kerry as a flip-flopper or Democrats as soft on crime or Bush as Nazi or whatever -- it’s convenient, politically opportunistic, and ignorant.

RE: John Roberts on CNN – I didn’t see the show, but if he said that then I agree, he’s an idiot.

 
At 11:14 AM, Blogger Neal Phenes said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger Neal Phenes said...

Why does the NYT rarely if ever quote a free market economist in their regular articles about income disparity, minimum wages, poverty or tax cuts etc.? Why is every supporter of gun rights a "radical" while those opposed to the 2nd amendment a "moderate"? I suppose if there is no rational position on any topic besides yours, then there is no need to portray the opposing argument at all or in a light commensurate with the liberal view.

 
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