A quick note... my comments should not be construed as unequivocal support for any political party or candidate. I've been sandbagged by others from both sides of the political spectrum for supporting a range of Orthodox social values, whether they be the rights of the unborn, the end of the death penalty, or providing assistance to the poor and the weak in society.
It's interesting how we chide Saddam for ignoring UN resolutions for twelve years while we conveniently ignored his abuses of human rights for twenty-plus! You hit the nail on the head with 'American interests,' as criminals like Kim Jong Il will go unnoticed by this administration because they're -- apparently! -- no immediate threat to our economy.
Regarding your first point... were there UN sanctions against Hussein before his invasion of Kuwait? Isn't the central pillar in the argument against the Iraq war today that there was no UN support for it? On your second point, the problem is that the N. Koreans now have nuclear weapons. Again, is the UN, particularly France and Germany, pushing for a war resolution against N. Korea? Why bring this up now, rather than six or seven years ago when military action would have prevented the current mess on the Korean peninsula?
Strelets, your idea that "these town crier types are forming their opinions...with little regard to reason and facts" has me scratching my head: we supposedly went over there for weapons we had no proof of and the threat they (didn't really) pose to our nation, only to flip-flop and use this idea of Saddam's abusive ways...who is it, exactly, who has little regard for reason and facts?
The known facts before the war, according to the UN, French-British-Russian-American intelligence services, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, John Edwards, and Tom Daschle, are that Iraq possessed the WMD's. Facts don't change upon a change in political parties in the White House, at least they shouldn't. The UN had a list of unaccounted chemicals and biological materials, a list verified by the Iraqi government after Gulf War I. Now these items supposedly disappeared. Where did they go? Are you denying their existence? Bear in mind Germany possessed an arsenal of large super-guns which were supposed to have been turned over by mandate of the Versailles Treaty after WWI. To this day, they haven't been found. What this proves is that if someone buries their weapons, chances of finding them are almost nil.
I believe your assertion to be incorrect, having regard to both Nazi Germany and MacArthur's briliance in dealing with a defeated Japanese Empire. A major military consideration is always to ensure that one does not win the war and lose the peace, surely?
If my assertion is incorrect, why don't you tell us what nation-building plan was put together before we went to war against Germany and Japan? Until then, my assertion remains correct.
As to the other theatres of conflict you bring in, I haven't commented on them so will not take responsibility for any adverse comments relating to them.
I didn't bring in other theatres of conflict.
Are you perhaps too an armchair strategist? For myself I draw on my own military experience and that of a military family for a number of generations. So I don't need to draw solely on media reporting.
With all due respect, that's exactly what you draw on. You can watch Wes Clark and a host of other retired generals on CNN give a critical analysis of the war, and you can watch another group of retired generals on Fox News giving the opposite views, and it doesn't amount to a hill of beans. You and I are not getting real time intelligence feeds, nor are we currently members of the Joint Chiefs who really know what's going on, politically and militarily, on the ground. Until these guys all retire and write the books about what really
happened in the planning and what confidential info they were working from, playing armchair army strategist and complaining about inadequate troop levels or the speed of military successes or supposed lack of planning behind the scenes is at best frivolous guesswork.
The British Army has a lovely rejoiner to military planners, P*ss poor planning leads to poor performance. I guess they just get hung up with running around borrowing the equipment to carry it out.
Military planning and nation-building are two different activities. I know of no previous war where a serious nation-building plan was concocted before the war began. That's a distant second objective to the first objective - winning the military campaign. No one can say objectively that both Iraq wars and the Afghan war were poorly planned military blunders. It's a joke. No previous wars were carried out with such speed and low loss of life as these conflicts. The only reason we are subjected to the current hysteria is because we're in the middle of an election year. This will all blow over afterwards.
However, I will come back on your response. The conflicts we all face now are asymertrical ones. The war against terrorism recognises no front lines and our enemies were no uniform, indeed they respond to no single command and control structure.
They are asymmetrical and
symmetrical. The terrorists are being funded and trained by client states, which can and should be dealt with through symmetrical means, which is what we did in Afghanistan and Iraq. It's mighty dangerous to only look at the war on terrorism as a police problem against criminals, without taking into account the rogue state problem financing it. It's even more dangerous to reject the use of police measures against the asymmetrical problems, as many civil libertarians advocate.
Therefore everyone is potentially a target and everyone a 'stakeholder'; so I respectfully suggest, Sir, that unless you are in orbit there are no armchair strategists (except those good folks the politicians who live in an insulated 'bubble' and set policies, strategies and resource levels while leaving poor 'grunts' and the rest of us to face the challenge head on - ask the folks who used the Madrid rail network).
Being the victim of a house fire doesn't qualify one as a fire inspector. Having a car stolen doesn't make one an expert in law enforcement. Furthermore, watching other people die on tv at the hands of terrorists doesn't make one a military expert. If you really believe you know something more about the facts on the ground in Iraq than "insulated" politicians who receive real-time intelligence and military feeds, then I'd say you've got the blinkers on... big time. The good folks on the ground were hired to risk their lives at the command of those insulated politicians, just as poor folks are asked everyday by us to risk their lives putting out our house fires and taking bullets to protect us from society's criminals.
These are all bogus arguments that essentially refute taking military action under any
scenario, as someone is always going to be killed, and many of them poor and innocent. Every one of these arguments is a excuse for the world to be living under Nazism or Communism today.
All the best.