First there was the “Death tax” now it’s the “Surrender date”

I’m making another exception to my general rule- stick to local things. I know I’ll regret it.

Word-smithing makes a difference in marketing- and even more in politics. Put a new euphemism on something- and someone will buy it.

I doubt you will find anyone today who will tell you that the Vietnam war was a good idea. Twenty years after we finally get out of Iraq, I think people will say the same about this war.

President Bush says he will veto a bill calling for the funding to stop if troops don’t come out starting in Oct 2007. My question is what is the benchmark that he finds acceptable?

I thought- how about 2 weeks without anyone dying in Iraq- and then we start the pull out? But, then, I thought- could we go 2 weeks in the US without 2 weeks without gun violence- and I realized how insane this is. We can’t even go a week in the Dayton area, without someone dying from gun violence.

So- when it comes to the Presidents “Surrender date”- I have to think back to what “surrender” really means- it means laying down your arms, and putting up your arms. That was what the Iraqi army did when we invaded- and won. I don’t consider walking away from a war zone- with my ability to come back and kick ass at will- anything close to a “Surrender date”- and I doubt any of our troops would call it that.

Our troops are the best in the world- they’ll kick any ass that comes along- and do it without breaking much of a sweat. The only ass that they can’t beat- is the one in the White House. Keeping our troops in a war zone- where there is no war to fight- is keeping them in harms way.

As to the lame argument about fighting terrorists there- so they won’t come here, I dare the whole Muslim world to come here and try to wage a war, between our military, our police, and a whole bunch of gun-toting bubba’s- it would be the worst mistake they ever made.

Which brings me to the point that almost all these “patriots” who insist we have to “stay the course”- just think if you would ever stop taking pot shots at troops from another country – that came here and invaded our country, toppled our government, and tried to install their form of government? I can guarantee that we’d be shooting at them for as long as they stayed.

It’s time to bring our troops home. If Iraq goes to hell, that’s their problem. It’s not a “surrender date” unless we call it that.

If we need to prove it- we can always invade again.

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10 Responses

  1. J.R. Locke April 26, 2007 / 9:55 pm
    I agree Mr. Esrati the whole benchmark issue drives me crazy. The argument that by giving a date of exit, or surrender to a war that was already deemed “mission accomplished, means all the insurgents have to do is hold out until then and they win is ludicrous. Because once the U.S. power vacuum leaves the true leaders of Iraq will not be the ones who blow up infrastructure like electric generators and oil pipelines but will be the ones who can bring stability and orderly functions of these day to day essentials.

    G.W. better realize that we may surrender the battle but Iraqi lives, which was originally our main mission, will be made better.

    Death Tax= nipple sucking trust fund babies.

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  2. Phillip Ranly April 27, 2007 / 12:04 am
    This is a complicated issue, I’m sure we can all agree at least on that. Whether the war was a correct thing to start or not doesn’t matter at this point (I don’t feel it necessarily was). We need to be careful though that we’re making the correct decisions. The best way to judge the status of success would be to measure the power of the new Iraqi government. Can it function almost completely without U.S. help? That should be the main focus at this point—training and putting them in a leadership role.

    As things stand, I think the new troop reinforcements should be allowed to take their course. If it works, fabulous. Who wouldn’t be happy about that? But if not, the Dems can say every option was tried and it’s time to call the whole thing off—there’s just no correcting the situation. An arbitrary date of withdrawal certainly isn’t the way to go. There needs to be more thought than that.

    Saying “If Iraq goes to hell, that’s their problem” isn’t too cool though. The U.S. created this problem to some extent. I realize different factions hated each other before our presence but we made it our problem when we threw their leader out and installed a new government to our liking. And J.R., making Iraqi lives better was not the reason for war. Saddam continually defying the U.N., having “weapons of mass destruction” and “having connections to Al Qaeda” is what got him dethroned. It wasn’t some charity act on the part of the U.S.

    Anyhow, I don’t have all the answers. Much of the news we hear is so skewed anyway, whether you’re listening to talk radio or the evening news. They all have some agenda (some more than others). None of us are on the inside track as to what is really truly happening.

    David, this topic hasn’t gotten too hot yet on here but I think it will get a little more heated than movie reviews!

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  3. David Esrati April 27, 2007 / 7:08 am

    Phillip-
    Define a “functioning government” for me?
    How can we tell Iraq what one is- when we have houses going into foreclosure at a record pace, school funding an absolute disaster, no national health care, the highest number of people in prison per capita, a pathetic literacy rate, rampant gun violence and are running huge deficits in trade and tax collecting – and you want us to judge them?
    If it’s not an arbitrary date? What kind of benchmark do you suggest?
    And- as to WMD’s and supporting Al Qaeda – we have more WMD’s than anyone else- and we’ve supported criminals in other countries- remember the Sandinistas? Or how about the Shah?
    What this comes down to is Billions of dollars being spent on a 2-bit country- and thousands of soldiers dying, more being wounded- all being pulled from their families- and for what? Victory? We achieved that when we crushed their army, air force, navy and famed “Republican Guard” in days. Soldiers fight wars- policemen bring civil order- don’t mistake the two.
    Bring the troops home now- and unless you are sending over NYPD’s finest- stay the hell out of babysitting.
    If you want to know the one thing that made me sick- more than anything- in a country filled with guns and bombs- Colt got the contract to sell Iraq a million M-16s for a billion bucks-
    that should tell you why this “war” is allowed to continue more than anything.

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  4. Bruce Kettelle April 27, 2007 / 9:03 am
    Cut and Run, Lost War, Surge, etc. are not military tactics. These are clearly branding terms intended to boost political agendas. The tactics we need there not very appealing so why not bury them in in simple terms like these so we don’t have to confront the more difficult long definitions.

    Yesterday the General in charge of the Iraq theater said the surge was having some positive effect but that he expects it to get worse before it gets better. That started me wondering what the political machines will name the inevitable second surge. How about Resurge(nt)

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  5. Phillip Ranly April 27, 2007 / 9:54 am
    David, as mentioned, I do not have all the answers. One thing I do know is that there is not a perfect answer. Nothing that can be done will solve every problem facing Iraq and the U.S. Millions of people will be dissappointed and affected by whatever the outcome is. Let me try to answer some of your questions.

    Would you define what we have as a “functioning government”? Yes, I would. It’s by no means perfect. I’m in whole-hearted agreement with that fact. But is there some amount of law and civility? When’s the last time you stayed home because you were afraid you could be blown to bits by an IED? I never have. America has many problems but it usually doesn’t get that crazy. Well, let’s just say it’s not the norm.

    As to a benchmark I recommend using—as mentioned I’d like to see progress with the Iraqi government (and all services that includes). They don’t have to be at 100%, only on their way. I think that’s reasonable.

    Earlier I used quotations around “weapons of mass destruction” and “having connections to Al Qaeda” because those are pretty much BS reasons for going to war. Total untruth. Maybe I should have been more clear about that.

    I agree with you that the U.S. army crushed them, so it was a total victory. What did it take, something like 2 weeks to throw their government out? That’s victory to me. Now we’re just in the rebuilding and resituating process.

    ^”Soldiers fight wars- policemen bring civil order- don’t mistake the two.” Agreed. Help train the Iraqis to do this.

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  6. Greg Hunter April 27, 2007 / 9:57 am
    I am not afraid of bin Laden, I am afraid of incompetence and that is what allowed bin Laden to spend a half of a million US dollars to pull off 911. The ineffectiveness in DC is why we are spending treasure and blood in Iraq. The Dayton area is used as a test market for products, so if you are unhappy with the politicians in Dayton, just magnify the incompetence in DC. Name one Muslim country that can match the US firepower or for that matter get people over here and take us on in our back yard. We should have contained Saddam and spent the money on nuclear proliferation.

    However, to lay claim that Iraq is a two bit country is disingenuous, as it is home to a great deal of the oil that the world is addicted too. So, from a geopolitical perspective, we are protecting our drug and addicts will rationalize anything to get the fix. There is not alternative too OIL and the boys in the Whitehouse know this, so the American people better understand it. The only way to get out of Iraq is too quit the drug cold turkey. America cannot do it and will not do it, so we will stay, let them kill off the population, cut a deal with the Saudis on production and the spice will flow.

    If America leads by example, hopefully the world will follow so we can stave off more resource wars and more misery in the third world as they can no longer afford the energy that keeps them alive. Sorry people if you want to keep driving your car, heating your homes and living the American dream, then somebody has to die. It is just that simple.

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  7. Mark April 28, 2007 / 6:31 pm
    David–I’m not defending this war, but do you really think we would go back into Iraq if the present government was on the verge of collapsing? Remember Vietnam? When the North Vietnamese started their blitzkrieg in 1975 and Saigon was collapsing, did we go back in? It’s hard to forget the people hanging off the helicopter on the American Embassy as Saigon fell. When we pull out, Bush will be gone. I’m not holding my breath that a Republican will win in 2008. Will the next President and Congress have the guts to send troops back in if the do-nothing Maliki government is on the verge of falling? I don’t think so. I’m afraid the only scenario I see in this debacle, no matter how long U.S. troops stay in Iraq, is fragmentation. The Kurds will break off in the north. Expect war between Turkey and a new Kurdestan which will want to envelope all Kurds in the region. A Sunni “state” in the west dominated by Al Quaida. It might very much become the next Somalia; and a Shiite “state” in the south that eventually might be swallowed up by a nuclear Iran.

    It’s easy to “Monday morning quarterback,” but if the Bush administration had sent twice or three times the number of troops that actually went into Iraq (overwhelming force), they might have been able to secure the Saddam weapons caches, secure the borders, and stay in areas after insurgents were routed from certain areas. Colin Powell was an advocate of this policy since the days of the first Persian Gulf War. Unfortunately, he was overruled by Cheney and Rumsfeld who wanted to fight a war on the cheap. Once the government, which was voted in by the Iraqi people in overwhelming numbers (different from Vietnam), the next problem to overcome would be to keep Al Quaida at bay while the different factions learned to compromise and work together. That would take generations! These people are into the “zero sum” game (if I lose, you win; if you lose, I win; compromise is weakness; if I’m hurt, revenge is the only answer!) Actually, the Shiites in the early days of the occupation were amazingly tolerant. If enough troops had been deployed to secure the borders, chase Al Quaida, and stay in the neighborhoods, results might have been totally different.

    Another stupid mistake was to completely dissolve the Baathist army and governmental bureaucracy. We didn’t do this after World War II in Germany or in Japan. Why did we do this now?! The only answer: the Bush administration didn’t study and learn from history. God, what stupidity!

    Anyway, if all the above possibilities had taken place, then the U.S. might . . . might have been able to pull back and let the Iraqis work it out themselves; and if a foreign group (Al Quaida, Iran, Syria), tried to intervene, we would have had the political will to reenter. Do we have that political will now? No.

    Please, don’t rehash the tired arguments about “Bush lied” and “we shouldn’t have gone in in the first place.” What’s important now is what’s the best alternative to what is in place now? Pull back behind our borders and hope it will all go away? I don’t think so. Personally, I would like to see the Petreus plan work itself out. Then, “redeploy” the troops to bases outside the population centers to let them be “on call” to fight Al Quaida when necessary. Let the Iraqis work out their own problems without our interference.

    Do I think this will take place? No. Our politics and our “patience” are too f_____ up. As always, our good intentions have opened a “Pandora’s Box.”

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  8. David Esrati April 28, 2007 / 7:28 pm

    Iraq was never one country on its own. We fail to see that. So what if there is a Kurdistan? As to Al Quaida being a major force- you are giving it too much credit.
    The Shiites and the Sunnis can fight it out- Syria, Iran and anyone else- can come in and try to take over- and will meet the same resistance- and quite- frankly- it’ll keep them too busy killing themselves- to worry about killing us.
    Vietnam is now a trade partner- yes, it sucked when we pulled out- and people died- but, that was Vietnamese killing Vietnamese-
    Eventually- civil wars resolve themselves. Our only real concern was oil. We didn’t get the oil we wanted- and we’re not about to. It’s time to pull out- it’s not a surrender date- it’s a take responsibility for your own damn country.
    We can leave behind a network of Special Forces teams to train the army- and the police- and do surgical strikes on the baddest of the bad guys- the ones who really want to come get us.
    That doesn’t require an occupation army- just a few well defended bases- that will stay out of the day to day operations in Iraq-
    My main gripe is the wording – and the inability to realize we don’t need to be there.
    And as to a nuclear Iran- let the Israeli’s take care of it- they have in the past.

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  9. Greg Hunter April 28, 2007 / 8:51 pm
    Damn David, I think that is what we will do, but not what we should do. Geez, I cannot trust local government to make correct decisions, how in the world do you think setting up a Salvador style operation works? It never worked to get rid of the drugs or the dictators, what makes you think it will work in Iraq? And then you use the Israelis, who IMHO have no legal right to be in the ME anyway, to do the dirty work on Iran. My God, we used the bible as a title document, backed up by the UN, ludicrous. And now you want the Arab world to allow the bombing of Iran by the Jewish State! Listen, maybe that is coming as the Saudi’s rounded up 172 dissidents, so maybe they think they can contain the political situation, but is that how you want to solve Iraq and Iran?

    The Iranians need nuclear power and so do we, why not cut the deals and get on with life instead of driving right to the edge of disaster. You two are both nutty as where did America achieve the divine right and under what moral authority to use force to achieve an objective. Why not link on over to the Armed Forces Journal and read what a true leader has to say about America’s Leadership in the Armed Forces, the people you trust to Get’R Dun!

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  10. David Esrati April 29, 2007 / 12:31 am

    Well, Greg, here is where you and I disagree.
    Israel has a right to exist- just as the USA has a right to exist- or should we just hand over the country to the Native Americans?
    And- as to SF being able to do their true job- training and assistance- I’m 100% sure they are capable- and- if Bin Laden is still alive- he’s more likely to be visible once our occupying Army leaves.
    The whole idea of “being safe” from “terrorists” (armed people without a state) is insane- and you can’t fight a “war on terror”- you can, however, fight the causes of terrorism- but this is a whole other discussion- which wasn’t the goal here-
    the objective- was to point out how stupid the term “surrender date” is. Let’s leave it at that.

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