June 27th, 2005

The Left’s plan for Iraq: Vietnam is the template

Why is Jane Fonda still hated? And why am I bringing this old subject up now?

Well, it’s connected with the process of thinking about my “A mind is a difficult thing…” series once again. It’s also connected to a passage I read in David Horowitz’s Radical Son, a book which has to go back to the library soon if I don’t want my library fines to reach epic proportions. And it’s related to this column by Quang X. Pham that appeared in today’s Boston Globe.

Fonda’s offenses were not limited to her Hanoi trip, although that’s the focus of most of the more recent publicity about her. But it’s her (and ex-husband Tom Hayden’s) other activities against the Vietnam war that interest me now, in light of what’s happening politically in this country concerning reports of dwindling support for our efforts in Iraq.

Our pullout from South Vietnam, and then our withdrawal of financial support to the struggling ARVN (arguably, a far greater betrayal), and that country’s subsequent Communist fall thirty years ago as well as subsequent bloody events in Cambodia, still rankle and fester, providing food for countless arguments. Who was at fault, and why did it happen?

One cannot underestimate the power of public opinion in this country, and it is an indisputable fact that those on the left were instrumental in shaping that opinion. In this post, I discussed how and why it was that so many on the anti-Vietnam War left still refuse to acknowledge the effect their activities had, post-Vietnam War, on the people of Vietnam and Cambodia. What I didn’t describe in that post was how far some of them–such as, for example, the prominent pair Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden–actually went in their antiwar activities. They were not simply protestors; they were (there’s no other way to put this) active lobbyists for the enemy cause, and polished and successful ones at that.

Fonda’s recent apology (or re-apology) doesn’t even begin to address the subject. And in fact, most of the critiques of her activities focus on her over-the-top behavior during her 1972 Hanoi trip. In my opinion, terrible though her actions there may have been, they didn’t really matter as much to American policy as her subsequent domestic lobbying activities, as detailed by Horowitz in Radical Son:

Hayden and Fonda organized an “Indo-China Peace Campaign” to cut off remaining American support for the regimes in Cambodia and South Vietnam. For the next few years [the early 70s], the Campaign worked tirelessly to ensure the victory of the North Vietnamese Communists and the Khmer Rouge. Accompanied by a camera team, Hayden and Fonda traveled first to Hanoi and then to the “liberated” zones in South Vietnam, to make a propaganda film. Called “Introduction to the Enemy,” it attempted to persuade viewers that the Communists were going to create a new society in the south. Equality and justice awaited its inhabitants if only American would cut off support for the Saigon regime.

Assisted by radical legislators like Ron Dellums and Bella Abzug, Hayden set up a caucus in the Capitol, where he lectured congressional staffers on the need to end American aid. He directed his attention to Cambodia as well, lobbying for an accommodation with the Khmer Rouge guerillas. Nixon’s resignation over Watergate provided all the leverage Hayden and his activists needed. The Democrats won the midterm elections, bringing to Washington a new group of legislators determined to undermine the settlement that Nixon and Kissinger had achieved. The aid was cut, the Saigon regime fell, and the Khmer rouge marched into the Cambodian capital. In the two years that followed, more Indochinese were killed by the victorious Communists than had been killed on both sides in all thirteen years of the anti-Communist war.

It was the bloodbath that [the Left's] opponents had predicted. But for the Left there would be no contrition and no look back.

Quang X. Pham’s Globe column is about the American betrayal of people such as his own father, a South Vietnamese officer and pilot trained in the late 50s in the US, who ended up imprisoned for a decade after the North Vietnamese takeover. He ends his article with the following poignant question: Now talk of exiting the war in Iraq has increased. What will happen to the Iraqis who believed in us? Will we let them down too?

Iraq is not Vietnam. But it appears more and more that the left is trying to make it into Vietnam. Jane Fonda is no longer especially active, although every now and then she makes some general statement against the war in Iraq. Hayden, likewise, is no longer the mover and shaker he once was. (Some of the more powerful antiwar cast of characters, however, are identical then and now–but that’s another story for another post).

But when I read the following words about the Iraq war by Tom Hayden, I got the proverbial chill down my spine. If he’s not as powerful as he used to me, it’s not for lack of desire or lack of ideas. The man has a plan, and his plan–strangely enough–is to repeat what worked for him back in the early 70′s:

…the [Leftist anti-Iraq war] movement needs to force our government to exit. The strategy must be to deny the U.S. occupation funding, political standing, sufficient troops, and alliances necessary to their strategy for dominance.

The first step is to build pressure at congressional district levels to oppose any further funding or additional troops for war. If members of Congress balk at cutting off all assistance and want to propose “conditions” for further aid, it is a small step toward threatening funding. If only 75 members of Congress go on record against any further funding, that’s a step in the right direction – towards the exit.

The important thing is for anti-war activists to become more grounded in the everyday political life of their districts, organizing anti-war coalitions including clergy, labor and inner city representatives to knock loudly on congressional doors and demand that the $200 billion squandered on Iraq go to infrastructure and schools at home. When trapped between imperial elites and their own insistent constituents, members of Congress will tend to side with their voters. That is how the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia were ended in 1975.

So there it is, in black and white–the plan is to repeat the glory days that led to the boat people and the killing fields of Cambodia. Pressure Congress to stop the funding, just as in 1975.

It is really, really recommended that you read Hayden’s entire document, in order to get a flavor of the unrepentant and unchanged quality of his thought processes and strategies. Just as in the 70s the Left undermined the idea of Vietnamization, Hayden is determined to undermine plans for Iraqization:

…we need to defeat the U.S. strategy of “Iraqization.” “Clearly, it’s better for us if they’re in the front-line,” Paul Wolfowitz explained last February. This cynical strategy is based on putting an Iraqi “face” on the U.S. occupation in order to reduce the number of American casualties, neutralize opposition in other Arab countries, and slowly legitimize the puppet regime. In truth, it means changing the color of the body count.

Note that one of the rationales for opposing Iraqization is the idea that it’s based on a sinister and cynical racist exploitation of the Iraqis, rather than their empowerment and the need for the US to ultimately bow out when no longer needed.

There is no sign, aside from Pentagon spin, that an Iraqi force can replace the American occupation in the foreseeable future. Pressure for funding cuts and for an early American troop withdrawal will expose the emptiness of the promise of “Iraqization.” In Vietnam, the end quickly came when South Vietnamese troops were expected to defend their country. The same is likely to occur in Iraq …

Not if we have anything to say about it, Tom.

(Linked to Mudville Gazette’s “Open Post.”)

55 Responses to “The Left’s plan for Iraq: Vietnam is the template”

  1. sven86 Says:

    I read your post and it’s really hilarious how you neo-con artists talk about what our plans for Iraq. You post didn’t change my views one bit, if anything it reinforce it.

    Now let’s talk about the Right’s plans for Iraq.

    Lemme see here… exploiting the Iraqis, espeically their oil, globalize and commercialize Iraq to death. Establish power in the Middle East (can you say Imperialism?). And don’t give me this bull about fighting for freedom.

  2. Sid_dude Says:

    Hayden is a jerk! He has and will always be an amoral dufus. I guess that is the price for tolerating fools in a democratic society. He really doesn’t care if some people live or die.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Ray, for Christ’s sake, it’s an alternate POV. Your certainty is disconcerting, truly.

    peace

    “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. . . . Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship . . . voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”
    — Hermann Goering, 1938

  4. Ray Says:

    To the Anonymous Canadian above: Do you always take unverified screeds as literal truths?

    Because, although you might not believe it, non-Westerners can be clever enough to manipulate pawns like yourself.

  5. PatCA Says:

    Anon,
    You keep telling us that war is hell. We know that. You keep telling us politicians practice…politics. We know that.

    We still think lancing the abscess of ME totalitarian governments is worth it. In fact, it is the only option left. Nothing else has worked. Time to try war–talk got us, and the good guys still alive in the ME, nowhere.

  6. Indigo Red Says:

    I was once seduced by the Haydon-Fonda leftist arguments. They appeal to the heartstrings rather than rationality. One feels so good, warm and fuzzy under the warming lights of the fast food anti-establishment. There just isn’t any moral or intellectual nutrients there.

    It’s all hot air, smoke and mirrors, folks. Anything is said to make useful idiots feel they are doing good. But, never, ever allow the masses to actually see what happens in the rear-view mirror.

    I hope enough former leftists, like me, come forward to expose the frauds and their snake-oil pitches for what they are — lies and cheap grabs at personal power.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    “If only 75 members of Congress go on record against any further funding, that’s a step in the right direction – towards the exit.”

    That’s a piece of information. It indicates that Hayden estimates there to be about 75 hard-left America-hating Congressmen.

  8. Fran Says:

    The real problems are most of the American public doesn’t know we are in a war to the death and who exactly the enemy is. Last night the president referred to those driven by that “hateful ideology” and that “murderous ideology.
    But who is that? We have to call the opponent by its name: Islam. Is that “radical” Islam? Is that “moderate” Islam? Is it ‘”old time” or “modern Islam”?
    Where does the inspiration come from that the “radical” or “fundamentalist” Muslims follow? Unfortunately, it is in the Koran, where all who are not Muslims (of whatever 7th Century variety one belongs to) are subject to being killed for their disbelief. The “War on Terror” has to be identified with the people who are creating the terror for ordinary folks to understand who we are fighting and that they intend to fight us to the death and world conquest.

  9. Bruce Says:

    I just stumbled onto your blog – thanks and brilliant, important post with your comments combined. I also love the name of your blog.

    Be blessed,

    Bruce

  10. Anonymous Says:

    “as you remain an infidel in the eyes of jihadists who would slit the throat of your children and praise allah in the same breath.”

    as you remain an infidel in the eyes of some jihadists who would slit the throat of your children and praise allah in the same breath.

  11. PatCA Says:

    Hayden is quite active these days, actually.

    He was sitting behind Conyers at the “basement impeachment,” grinning like a Queen Mother. The Dems will do absolutely anything for a headline or a taste of power.

  12. opine6 Says:

    Hayden still has some of his old buddies from the 70′s to help out; Kerry, Kennedy, et al.

    Have you noticed that the steam really began to gather for “cut and run” about three weeks ago, with the accusation of “Gulag”, by Amnesty Int’l? All of a sudden you had Durbin and other Democrats, the liberal media, and UN jump on the bangwagon.

    Seems like a coordinated effort and implementation of the Hayden plan to me.

  13. Michael B Says:

    Some good reads, Michael Yon’s blog, author who’s been in Iraq for the last six months, essentially blogging as an embed.

    Michael Hoffman, writing in Parameters, quarterly by the US Army War College, Rescuing the Law of War. A couple of excerpts from the opening graphs:

    “Terrorists are gaining an astonishing legal edge over US and other armed forces deployed against them. The present trend promises to burden future generations, as well as our own, with an ad hoc, damaging legal framework sure to thwart counterterrorist operations and even furnish inducements for those tempted to join the terrorist ranks.

    “Steps need to be taken now to ensure the survival of a realistic, useful legal framework that meets these emerging challenges.”

    Vali Nasr looking at The Rise of Muslim Democracy (small pdf), long term/strategic view, what some of its prospects are. Hopeful, drawing on some empirical examples in countries like Turkey, Bengladesh, Indonesia. Final graph is representative:

    “… it is Muslim Democracy—and not the creaky and brittle authoritarianisms by which the Muslim world is so beset—that offers the whole world its best hope for an effective bulwark against radical and violent Islamism Muslim Democracy provides a model for pragmatic change. That change will in turn be the harbinger, not the follower, of more liberal Islamic thought and practice.”

  14. Asher Abrams Says:

    Neo,

    Thanks for this post. As I promised in my e-mail, I’ve telephoned Congressman Wu’s office. I plan to make sure he hears from me every week.

  15. Asher Abrams Says:

    “For the record, I’m Canadian, I’m sorry about 9/11, and I look forward to the end of your wars, at home and abroad.”

    Wasn’t aware we were at war with Canada.

  16. Goesh Says:

    Your opinions and differences are needed to keep democratic existence healthy and vibrant. Your nationality is irrelevant for the most part, as you remain an infidel in the eyes of jihadists who would slit the throat of your children and praise allah in the same breath. I’ve never perceived such a threat as these jihadists in all my life – give me the old Soviets any day or the NVA. There is no predicting how long the US will remain there in a combat mode. We of course are keeping the strategic air bases for many years to come. Predict 12 and probably end active engagement in about 3, leaving a better historical view of the Bush administration. That’s my take.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    “In short, I would pretty much continue on with what is being done.”

    Ok. Good luck with that.

    “Contrary to Liberal opinion, they are not that easy to replace.”

    Didn’t the US administration just predict it would take 12 years to overcome the resistance?

    “Why would I reference MSM for their take on combat operations when they refuse to report on all that is being accomplished and put any positive spin on anything?”

    You mean the Times article? Christ. Nobody is happy with the mainstream media on the left, trust me on that. The Times article actually reports on the motivations of the enemy. What a concept, eh?

    “So the American government is pressuring foreign countries to censor their news. Aside from the fact that this act is the height of arrogance by the United States, it makes it exceedingly clear why so many Americans who rely on the corporate media for their news continue to be so misinformed/un-informed about the goings on in Iraq. If the American government is attempting to censor the news in foreign countries, you can imagine what they are doing at home.”
    - from Iraq Dispatches

    * * * *

    I’m done jamming this community. It’s been an interesting month. I thought the lines might be drawn less hard here, but it’s the same old stubborness.

    For the record, I’m Canadian, I’m sorry about 9/11, and I look forward to the end of your wars, at home and abroad.

    peace.

  18. Goesh Says:

    My prescription is: 1.)to obtain more vehicle armor, which is being done, but lo and behold! our troops have been improvising all along – sort of like the hedgerows in France during WW2, when GIs were stymied by this natural obstacle until some country boy came up with the idea of improvising a sort of toothed dozer blade that could be welded onto the front of tanks to bust through the hedgerows, which worked. Or, like in Nam’, when the first M-16s were issued and the bolts jammed causing many, many marines and soliders to be killed in firefights. Lo and behold! the troops went back to using the M-14 and even grabbed up enemy AK-47s. Imagine that, being able to operate efficiently in a war theatre despite f**ked up civilians back home! 2.) I would continue on with the patrols in hostile areas, drawing them out and into firefights and killing them 3.) I would continue with joint operations into specific hot-spots to engage, disrupt, confiscate material and intelligence such as computers and other documents 4.) I would continue special Ops hit and snatch operations on known terrorists 5.) I would continue with border monitoring/observation/intervention
    6.) I would continue on with the PR and psychological campaign 7.) I would continue training and equiping Iraqi forces. In short, I would pretty much continue on with what is being done. 8.) I would insist the Corps of Engineers set a reconstruction goal of 1500 by years end, and not be content with the 1200 projects they have done to date. Oh, I would encourage jihadists the world over to continue to send in field commanders and troops to be killed. Contrary to Liberal opinion, they are not that easy to replace.

    Why would I reference MSM for their take on combat operations when they refuse to report on all that is being accomplished and put any positive spin on anything?

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Goesh, to answer your questions about how to combat such an enemy, I wouldn’t. The US is snookered. Why? I’ve posted a link to this article in two previous threads:

    Bush and the Art of War

    It’s a jihad at home. An American army in the Middle East is a shit magnet. You’ve got a strategic mind, Goesh, what’s your prescription?

    “U.S. leaders have been consistently incorrect about the scope, motivations, and strategies of the insurgency. During the past two years, the administration has announced that attacks would ebb after the capture of Saddam Hussin, after the handover of authority by the Coalition Provisional Authority to the Iyad Allawi interim government, after the reconquest of Fallujah, and after the January election. Instead, the insurgency has intensified and solidified. It is now apparent that the pervasive U.S. presence motivates quite dispirate dissenters to spread anarchy.”
    - Source: George A. Lopez, “The Ethics of Exit,” in Foreign Policy Magazine, p.65.

    You’ll notice from the Times article I’ve linked to four times now that the various resistance movements agree on one thing, at least: a timetable for withdrawal. Why?

    Re. the letter from the Iraqi citizen, it’s linked to a website that I think would help inform the debate.

    10:50

  20. Anonymous Says:

    to Anon 12:14
    re Goeshpost: but this is the first time for some of these situations. I believe that was part of Goesh’s point.

    Goesh: Thank you for your response to the Iraqi.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    “There is definitely an over-focus in the Western media about this threat of civil war between the Shia and the Sunni. There are some politicians and some religious leaders in Iraq who think it is definitely a possibility, but most other people — and certainly the common people I interviewed — said, ‘No, this is really not a threat. We’ve never had a civil war.’

    “In fact, when I would ask people if they were Shia or Sunni, the most common response was, ‘I am Muslim, and I am Iraqi,’ and they wouldn’t even tell me.

    “Another thing to keep in mind is that Iraq is primarily a tribal culture. Many of these tribes are half-Shia and half-Sunni, and so many marriages are [between] Shia and Sunni. When I would ask them what they thought of the potential for civil war, people would joke with me, ‘Oh, civil war? That means I would have to attack my wife?’ They laughed at it.”

    - from Iraq Dispatches

  22. Tom Grey Says:

    Neo- really good and IMPORTANT post — better than Globe article, by far.

    The strategic questions then and now: fight evil [commies] or not; fight evil [Saddam/ terrorists] or not.

    The Left policy is to NOT fight.

    The reasonable argument on why not to fight … it costs too much. Too make that argument real, there should be some combination of body bag count (American & Iraqi), plus USD, for which you think the cost would have been worth it.

    It would also be good to criticize Bush for failing to do things he could do (or try): raise gas taxes, raise pay of military IN Iraq, increase pay of military folk who speak Arabic (LONG overdue), and increase CIA places for civilians who’ve studied it and can translate; increase supplies to military (more armor).

    Also admit that the US can NOT “win” in a Liberated Iraq — only Iraq can win, just as the US did not win WW II in France. France won.

    The US Army can make sure the Iraq gov’t does NOT lose any major battles, as long as it remains there.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    No, Goesh, it’s not the first time for any of those things, so you think we might have learned something by now, especially about putting ourselves into situations like that in the first place. Nobody gets a free lunch, except Bush and Rumsfeld, apparently.

  24. Goesh Says:

    Anonymous 10:50: How do you combat an enemy that will hide behind civilians, fire from their midst then run? How do you combat an enemy that moves into a neighborhood and asserts control at gunpoint to commandeer needed resources and manpower for safe houses and bases of operation? How do you combat an enemy that does not hesitate to kill civilians in an attempt to take out Americans in the process? How do you combat an enemy that blows up humanitarian orgnanizations? How do you combat an enemy that will go into a hospital and detonate? What would your plans be? How would you distinguish between the terrorists and non terrorists in a crowd if no one was armed? How would you persuade villagers to inform on terrorists? How would you direct the military forces to patrol and engage in a more productive way? How would you have adequately estimated the resistance to a non-baathist government in Iraq following the removal of saddam husseins military forces? What criteria would you have used and what intelligence resources would you have employed in a closed regime led by a homicidal, paranoid dictator? What would you tell our all-volunteer forces? As Rumsfeld said, ” you go to war with what you have, not what you want”. Do you think this is the first war where US troops had inadequate equipment? Do you think this is the first war where civilian leadership interfered with military operations? Do you think this is the first guerilla war the US has engaged in? Do you think this is the first time we have encountered homicide bombers? You want a quick clean war with all the variables outlined and planned for and nobody gets hurt. Nobody gets a free lunch, not after 9/11.

    To the Iraqi citizen: I could well be wrong, but I suspect you are a displaced baathist with no job. That aside, you have to ask yourself if you want life as it was under saddam or what the potential is now that he is gone? You don’t get it both ways and you have to commit yourself to action either way. Take the first path and seek the disruption, homicide bombs and chaos, and you will most likely be killed, either by Americans or Iraqi forces. Take the second path and you still may be killed by a homicide bomber, unless you down in the South or up in the North in the Kurdish area, but you stand a chance of having something good for your children. You have to choose a course of action and live by it, otherwise you are just another empty voice in cyberspace. If I were you, I would be more worried about my fellow citizens that are blowing up civilians by the hundreds than American soliders cutting the power to some village. there is more involved here than establishing a representative government in your country, and until that elected government requests we leave, we are not going. Since you are cut and pasted from another source, most likely al jazeera, I tend to disregard your message. Your last ‘message’ pretty well clarified that. I do read established Iraqi blogs and they send a different message, much different.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    “Most fighters know when the U.S. is going to launch a new offensive, so they take off. It’s a guerrilla war. Some of the basics of guerrilla warfare are that you don’t attack when you’re expected to attack, and you do attack when you’re not expected. They’re not going to try to go toe to toe with the U.S. military, so they take off.

    “Plus, if you and I are brothers, and we’re living in a predominantly tribal culture like Iraq, and someone kills you, if I don’t go avenge your death, then I dishonor the family. In that way, when we look at the fact that well over 100,000 Iraqis are estimated to have died during the occupation–the vast majority of them at the hands of occupation forces–it’s a simple matter of doing the math to figure out how many people are in the resistance.”

    - from Iraq Dispatches

  26. Rick Ballard Says:

    “His statements are consistently at odds with those of his top generals, as if he really believes he is creating his own reality.”

    You might try providing an example. Otherwise people will just believe (correctly) that you’re full of crap. The top gens sat beside him before the Quisling inquisition the other day and confirmed his repudiation of Democrat defeatists.

    No one is taking away your right to make a fool of yourself by exercising free speech. No one is taking away my right to call you on your falsehoods either.

  27. Anonymous Says:

    “Near the city of Buhrez, 5 kilometers south of Baquba, two Humvess of American soldiers were destroyed recently. American and Iraqi soldiers came to the city afterwards and cut all the phones, cut the water, cut medicine from arriving in the city and told them that until the people of the city bring the ‘terrorists’ to them, the embargo will continue.”

    The embargo has been in place now for one week now, and he continued:

    “The Americans still won’t anyone or any medicines and supplies into Buhrez, nor will they allow any people in or out. Even the Al-Sadr followers who organized some help for the people in the city (water, food, medicine) are not being allowed into the city. Even journalists cannot enter to publish the news, and the situation there is so bad. The Americans keep asking for the people in the city to bring them the persons who were in charge of destroying the two Humvees on the other side of the city, but of course the people in the city don’t know who carried out the attack.”

    - from Iraq Dispatches

  28. Anonymous Says:

    All that you wrote is true Goesh, I believe the argument comes in when we decided that a US invasion and occupation was the best response to such a scenario.

    Anonymous 12:36 said…
    Don’t you really mean that you WERE 100% against STARTING the war in Iraq, but now that we are into it, you are 100% FOR FINISHING the PEACE in Iraq? We all have a sense for the alternative.

    That’s pretty much what I mean, but at this point I have 0% confidence that Rumsfeld & Co. is capable of the job. His statements are consistently at odds with those of his top generals, as if he really believes he is creating his own reality. They completely “misunderestimated” the insurgency in the aftermath, and our guys are suffering as a result.

    Let’s see more positive statements about OUR commitment so that we don’t repeat Vietnam. We must stop the insurgents thinking they have a growing group of people here who sympathize with them.

    Or better yet, let’s see an honest dialogue about the situation we’re in and how best to resolve it.

    I would also like to see people stop equating disagreement about the war and the execution of the war with sympathizing with the enemy. For better or for worse, people have a right to free speech in this country, to express even unpopular ideas. We’re supposed to be championing these rights around the world as God’s gift to mankind. How can you tell people to not speak their minds about an issue as important as this? A nation at war needs good leaders more than good cheerleaders.

  29. Anonymous Says:

    From an Iraqi citizen to the American people:

    We always have thought that you are citizens; away from the savageness which controls many people in the world because you suffered from the injustice of your own occupation more than two hundred and fifty years ago. Therefore, you picked up weapons against the occupiers until you forced him to go out of your state which was a great victory for you.

    Naturally, this occupier was giving unreasonable justifications for his stay in your country. Like any occupation, no country ever admit that they occupy some land but always says that they are a liberator of the people who are then unable to govern themselves and so on…

    Such reasons cannot change the origin of occupation.

    Nowadays, your army is occupying our homeland, destroying our homes and killing our men, women, and our children. The occupation is leaving this country full of chaos to the point we are now facing so many disasters, including suffering from looting and robbery.

    Sudden attacks and cruel murders have been perpetrated by your army who then prevent all people from submitting judicial complaints. This encourages all soldiers to kill thoughtlessly without any threat of trial.

    We have seen our Holy Quran desecrated by soldiers, but you continue to say your soldiers do not do what the Mogul and Barbarians did in the lands they occupied.

    Your soldiers did many immoral acts but your government leaders have done even more.

    We, the Iraqi people, do not put the responsibility of this on your shoulders because you are a people and not your government. But when the people have a decision in the fate of their country and decide to go in a direction which only benefits the government, this means that the people are satisfied with their governments’ actions.

    When you elected Mr. Bush for the second time, this was a declaration from you of being satisfied with all his acts in violation of the holiness of a state which shares a place with yours in the United Nations Security Council

    Has the age of occupation returned back to a place where agreements and treaties and international laws which forbid aggression are useless? When the people who chose to defend their land and reject the occupier are then described by your government as a terrorist? How long have you heard that an occupation which continues will have no resistance against it? Do you refer to the patriots of your own country as terrorists in your history books?

    Have you ever heard that there is a peaceful occupation? One that ended in victory for the occupier?

    American people, please remember the land of Iraq and remember the Iraqi people and think of yourselves as if you were in our place. In this way you will realize what Iraqis suffer.

    I am an Iraqi who bears no grudge against any person all over the world. We simply wish that other people may realize our suffering now, especially the people who do not support their thoughtless governments and their aggressive acts. For the people who support these corrupted governments will be responsible for them, and history will hold them responsible for allowing this tragedy to have occurred.

    This will be a shame on their ancestors who will not be able to hide this black page of history.

    Thank to the American people for listening attentively, and I am wishing you reasonableness and the ability to comprehend the truth.

    - posted at Iraq Dispatches

  30. Goesh Says:

    The future would look pretty bleak and dark 3 years from now with Iran possessing nuclear weapons and its economy booming from the huge contracts it has with China for oil and natural gas, and in neighboring Iraq, zaqawri in charge of that nation and in control of the oil revenues, and baathist Syria to the left of Iraq. Give a good-bye kiss to Jordan and Lebanon and in time Egypt then Saudi Arabia, kuwait and Emirates – - (see them fleeing to the West where they have some of their money safely stored). Wouldn’t that be just lovely, to have these type of folks in control of most of the world’s oil? If I were an islamic fundamentalist, that would be my plan. Saddam hussein had pan-arab dreams but wasn’t smart enough to use religion as the driving force behind it.

  31. Anonymous Says:

    Kung Fu, you’ve answered your own question. The position you need to take is exactly the position you take in your comment. To say, “I was 100 percent opposed to this war when we went in, but now that we’re there, we have an obligation to ourselves and to the Iraqis to win it,” reveals nothing shameful about you. It shows that you are actually thinking about events and not just reacting to them according to whatever prejudices you may have held before they occurred. In fact, it shows that your beliefs are not prejudices at all, since you are arriving at them by thinking rather than by applying preconceptions.

    Those around you who are also capable of actual thought will recognize this and respect you, even if they disagree with you. Anyone, on the other hand, who tells you that you should cling to your original anti-war position by favoring an immediate withdrawal, regardless of the effect it would have upon the real world and the real people who live in it, is somebody who cannot actually think about things, but who merely reacts to prejudice. You don’t need or want the respect of such persons — your post shows you’re better than that.

  32. strcpy Says:

    ” If we fail now, I can say “I told you so” but it would be without relish; however, I also don’t want proponents of the war telling me how wrong I was back in ’03 if we succeed today.”

    I do not intend this to be mean – just reread what you wrote.

    You are not sure if you would support a war to make it work,because you might have someone say how wrong you were. I can fathom that feeling – I’ve had it before. But there really shouldn’t be any answer as to what you should do. I fought and complained about several of the conflicts Clinton took us into – but once there winning and minimising lifes lost is more important than winning a political or social victory.

    Not to mention how you can say “Nanana I was right” when it was intentionally sabotaged – you can’t claim a correct prediction of a loss if the person doesn’t ever run in the race because you broke his legs.

    I say I don’t intend to be mean with it because I think you know the answer, your post wasn’t inflamatory or anything. Just realise that the longer you are alive the more likely you are to be wrong about things. The difference between a partisan hack and a politically minded person is that for a partisan being “right” is more important than reality and doing the right thing, politicallly minded is thinking you have the answer but are focused on solving the problem – not getting bragging rights.

  33. Anonymous Says:

    kungfu – your dissenting position was spot on, before the war started. All but the most reclined knew this was not going to be a 6 month kinda thing like Grenada. 5 years (27 months and counting).

    The two questions I had then were, a) is it right? and b) can it be done? A) was easy to answer. B) broke into 2 sub questions: c) Can the Iraqis do it? and d) Can we do it? C) was answered when I started reading Iraq the Model and Healing Iraq and other Iraqi bloggers – I think that was ~ Oct 2003. They knew what it would take for freedom and demonstrated resolve. D) broke… into 2 questions ;-) e) can the military finesse it? and f) can the public maintain support? E) was answered when the transitional govt was installed, I heard how they got Saddam (they MindMapped the tribal relationships) and when the elections occurred.

    This leaves F. This is where you can fight for what you think it right, and there isn’t any need for the nanana game then.

    Oh, but that this country would unite like 9/11 to provide Iraqis with their victory and preserve our country’s word.

  34. Anonymous Says:

    The war with Saddam started before Bush was elected.

    kung fu, don’t worry about prestige, the stakes are to high for that bullshit.

    goesh, it would be a horrible for the United States if the nihilistic “fuckers”(pick a more civilized term if you like) were to take control of the country. I think it would be far worse (then an elected, by Iraqi’s, government) for the people of Iraq if they had to bow down to the next homicidal maniac. I fear that the region suffers and accepts their suffering as a part of their lives. It does not have to be that way in the Middle East or Africa. That was a crazy paragraph, sorry for the rantings.

  35. chuck Says:

    I remember watching in the late seventies as the killings took place and there were *no* protests from those peace and justice folks. None. All the talk was pure hypocrisy. I have never since presumed that they care in the least about people. Murder and torture means nothing to them, nothing. They have no connection to real people. Anonymous seems to be yet another example of these cockroaches.

    As to Coalitions forces leaving, the Iraqis have an elected government and it can ask us to leave when it wishes to. Al Jafari has expressed no desire for an immediate withdrawal, and neither have the elected representitives. They want our help in killing the insurgents.

    As to the Zogby poll, an old telephone poll, taken before the election, conducted for Abu Dhabi TV, and using a sample size of 805 is not all that convincing.

    Sorry if I sound a bit harsh, but I have watched the left ignore slaughter and genocide all my life. I have no patience with those people. *spit*.

  36. Anonymous Says:

    “I am 100% against the war in Iraq, but the American people are now stuck with a $200 billion-plus Iraq-shaped vase from Pottery Barn, with a huge crack in it. There’s no way we can pull out anytime soon.”

    Don’t you really mean that you WERE 100% against STARTING the war in Iraq, but now that we are into it, you are 100% FOR FINISHING the PEACE in Iraq? We all have a sense for the alternative.

    Let’s see more positive statements about OUR commitment so that we don’t repeat Vietnam. We must stop the insurgents thinking they have a growing group of people here who sympathize with them. Especially those of us politically closer to the cretins discussed in the original post. Man is it ever time for my fellow Democrats to shit or get off the pot. Finally a way they can get involved.

    thank you, I’ll be here all week.

  37. John Moreschi Says:

    Enabling these fascists just to be able to “win” by defeating Bush and America the way they defeated LBJ and Nixon and America is such a mystery to me. All I can figure is that they actually think that if America loses in Iraq, comes home from Iraq at our whim, the war will be over. What on earth are they thinking?

  38. Anonymous Says:

    Well ok, let’s take the long view and look what happened when we cut and ran from Vietnam: Bush is lobbying for them to join the WTO. At $6.4 billion a year in trade with the US I guess they can take their time on democratic reforms. The point is not that we cut and ran, but that we never should have gone there in the first place.

    What is the difference between a “long, hard slog” and a quagmire? How is having an enormous percentage of our military resources in Iraq cleaning up after suicide bombers keeping a nuclear bomb out of the US? Our buddies in Pakistan have already sold all the technology to whoever wants it.

    I am 100% against the war in Iraq, but the American people are now stuck with a $200 billion-plus Iraq-shaped vase from Pottery Barn, with a huge crack in it. There’s no way we can pull out anytime soon. We are in for a long, hard slog. The best we can hope for is that our Defense Secretary tires of playing his own little war games and starts playing for real.

    Maybe instead of whining about the colorful and irrelevant Jane Fonda, now would be a good time to reflect on the Powell doctrine…

  39. Anonymous Says:

    Pancho, I’m not trying to misrepresent anything.

  40. Anonymous Says:

    If they do this again, one way or the other, the war will come home and their blood will run.

    I cannot believe they are aligning with terrorists. Meanwhile, most moderates are going to allow this to happen as they sit this one out.

    This really is a Global War.

  41. Pancho Says:

    Source: Ronald J. Glasser, “A War of Disabilities: Iraq’s hidden costs are coming home,” in Harper’s Magazine, July 2005

    Anonymous doesn’t tell us….
    but, Ronald Glasser above, is Dr. Ron Glasser, a friend of mine, who served as a physician in the Army during Vietnam putting guys back together when they arrived in Japan. Ron who now works with terminal pediatric patients in Minneapolis is a caring man whom, I’m sure wanted to comment on the personal toll of the war.

    Ron wrote an excellent book, “365 Days” that chronicles his experiences as an army trauma doctor.

  42. Goesh Says:

    With the 3rd largest known oil reserves on the planet, and the forces that have blown up the Red Cross and UN Headquarters buildings, beheaded all kinds of people and sent homicide bombers into markets and hospitals and blown up their own children on the street to get at Americans, in control of said oil reserve revenues, ya’ gotta ask ,what will they do with the cash?After creating a taliban style of rule, they would export the terror into neighboring countries who don’t have an identical world view. Those vast revenues would fund the logistics for such networks and provide cash payments to the families of homicide bombers. 2.) The same revenues would purchase nuke material from rogue elements of the Russian mafia or North Korea and direct it at western nations, the US in particular. It always has been about oil and the type of people that will control it. If Iraq falls, so too will the Saudi royals, leaving a Shia/baathist hold on Iranian and Iraqi oil reserves to meet the world’s dailey demands for oil, while Saudia Arabia convulses. That would provide the leverage to prevent any serious intervention into any area where the terror was being exported. Now you know why senior terror/jihadist commanders from all over are sending their troops into Iraq to die. It’s like a game of 5 card stud and the last card is about to be dealt. The reality of our future and a significant number of other countries is being decided in Iraq as we speak.

  43. neo-neocon Says:

    kung fu writes: I also don’t want proponents of the war telling me how wrong I was back in ’03 if we succeed today. Wanting to win now in Iraq is the only rational position, yet I want my original dissenting position to be respected. How does one do that without being called a “Jane Fonda”?

    Going into Iraq seemed like the lesser of several very risky evils to me at the time, but at no point did it seem to me that there were not rational arguments to be made against it–I just didn’t happen to agree with them. That’s very different from the position of Jane Fonda, et. al., during Vietnam.

    The problem with Jane Fonda was not having an original dissenting opinion. Fonda and her ilk actively worked to see the enemy win. She could more correctly be compared to a Michael Moore who might put his money where his mouth is and go over to Baghdad and meet with his beloved “Minutemen,” and then fund an organization to help convince Congress and the American public to leave Iraq now that so many lives have been lost and Iraqization is starting to be implemented (both Fonda and Moore funded propaganda movies, however). Her activities were worlds away from merely having disagreed about going there in the first place.

  44. Promethea Says:

    That there is so much talk of cutting and running is a bit disheartening. How can neocons and others get the general public to realize that this conflict is going to last for decades, and caving in will make the next phase all that much harder to win.

    Are people really willing to see a nuclear weapon detonate over NYC or LA before they start to get serious?

    We must defeat the Muslim imperialists now (meaning in this era). That is so obvious to anyone who has taken the time to study the rise and spread of Islam and the current jihadist forces now funding it. The MSM is living in a total dreamworld if they believe that they won’t be personally affected by Islamist successes.

  45. Richard Aubrey Says:

    If you can’t have deaths, at least you can have dismemberments. You do the best you can with what you have. Try to wipe your chin.

    One blogger made an analogy. One year, the forest service did a controlled burn which got out of control and destroyed thousands of acres of forest and 235 homes. If the service were to do the same thing again under the same circumstances, they’d be guilty of at least criminal negligence, since they would now be considered to know what happens. Or perhaps they could be considered sociopathic arsonists. Because, having done it once, they cannot not know what will happen next time they try it.

    The left knows what happens when you cut and run from a situation like Viet Nam. If they insist we do the same now, are they simply too ignorant for words, or do they actively seek genocide? They cannot not know what will happen.

  46. Anonymous Says:

    That’s right, when the tenuous public support for your splendid little war starts to wane, don’t second-guess yourselves, don’t think maybe the fact we never found WMD does matter after all, don’t think there really wasn’t a strong enough link between Iraq and Al-qaeda to warrant an all-out invasion, don’t think telling the American public we would be welcomed as heroes, have the country stablized and be out in a year was a mistake, don’t think maybe there ARE limits to US military power after all, when YOU’VE failed to make the case for the war domestically, when people tire of seeing the price tag and the body count go higher, don’t take any time to reflect, on what you might have done wrong or could do better, just blame the nattering nabobs of negativism.

  47. sygamel Says:

    how sweet it was *for me* to see him…

  48. sygamel Says:

    The first time I ever voted Republican was for Dick Riordan against Tom Hayden in the 1997 LA mayoral race. Though a left-leaner at the time, how sweet it was to see Hayden go down in flames.

  49. Anonymous Says:

    “A January 2005 Zogby opinion poll found that 82 percent of Sunnis and 69 percent of Shiites favor U.S. withdrawal ‘either immediately or after an elected government is in place.’ Withdrawing in the face of such strong national consensus is not a policy of weakness but one of appropriate deference to the wishes of the Iraqi people.”
    – Source: George A. Lopez, “The Ethics of Exit,” in Foreign Policy Magazine, p.65.

    “The talks appear to represent the first serious effort by Americans and Iraqi insurgents to find common ground since violence intensified in the spring. …
    “The Iraqis had agreed beforehand to focus on their main demand, ‘a guaranteed timetable of American withdrawal from Iraq’, the source said. ‘We told them it did not matter whether we are talking about one year or a five-year plan but that we insisted on having a timetable nonetheless.’ …
    “The insurgents went on to demand US compensation for the damage caused by the American military occupation. One group put in a bid for Saddam to be restored to power, but not even his colleagues appeared to be taking that seriously.
    “After a discussion about Al-Qaeda activities, the Americans bluntly advised the Iraqis to ‘cease all support, logistics and cover for Zarqawi’s group’. Only if links to Al-Qaeda were severed would the Americans be ready to discuss Iraqi demands.
    “‘Our response was that we will never abandon any Muslim who has come to our country to help us defend it,’ the commander said.”
    – Source: US ‘in talks with Iraq with Iraq rebels’, The Sunday Times.

    “For every soldier killed in Iraq, eight soldiers have been wounded.
    “The percentage of soldiers who have undergone amputations is twice that of any of any of America’s past military conflicts; nearly a quarter of all the wounded suffer from traumatic head injuries.
    “Of the 290,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who had left active duty by January 2005, 22 percent have already sought treatment from Veterans Affairs; more than a quarter of them were diagnosed with some form of mental disorder. At this time, more than 1 million have served in these wars.”
    – Source: Ronald J. Glasser, “A War of Disabilities: Iraq’s hidden costs are coming home,” in Harper’s Magazine, July 2005.

  50. Huan Says:

    For some, appeasement is never enough. For them, collaboration is required.

  51. Anonymous Says:

    Could it be that Kennedy and Johnson were the first neo-conservatives?

  52. Independent George Says:

    Kung Fu – well, you can say, “You had your war, now let us handle the peace – or lack thereof. We were into nation building before you, and we’re still a hell of a lot better at it.”

    Yglesias and Drum fall under this camp, and I will admit there is an element of truth to it. I disagree, but at least it’s an argument I can respect.

    The problem is, even if an ideal, tough-minded Democrat rose from the ashes, telling me he would never betray the Iraqis, and explained in detail exactly what he intended to do in Iraq, I’d still have a tough time voting for him in ’08. Whatever my unhappiness with the Republicans, the fact is I don’t trust the Democrats as a whole because of the very loud portion of the base who think it’s more important for the US to lose than for the Iraqis to win. I know they’re a minority, and I know it’s unfair to you and others who don’t feel the same way, but they scare me a heck of a lot more than the usual right-wing demagogue. This is not to say I’d never vote for a Dem, but the moveon.org crowd scares the bejeezus out of me.

  53. kung fu Says:

    This gets me to think about my own position regarding Iraq. So what should one do when he did not support the war to begin with, yet does not want to see failure now, knowing how catastrophic it would be for both Iraq and the prestige of the U.S? If we fail now, I can say “I told you so” but it would be without relish; however, I also don’t want proponents of the war telling me how wrong I was back in ’03 if we succeed today. Wanting to win now in Iraq is the only rational position, yet I want my original dissenting position to be respected. How does one do that without being called a “Jane Fonda”? Any advice, neo-neocon?

  54. Callimachus Says:

    Right on. There’s a segment of the anti-Iraq force that isn’t merely influenced by the 1960s, it’s the surviving coterie of the anti-Vietnam War movement. Where I live, these are the majority of the active anti-war activists. I don’t see young and angry faces like you would have seen in 1969. I see old and white-haired “progressives” getting in a last kick at LBJ/GWB on their way to the big be-in in the sky.

  55. Bryan J Weitzel Says:

    Fantastic Post!

    It put into words what I have subconsiously known for quite some time now. The part I still can’t wrap my brain around the “why” of it all. How does having the US fail helping anybody?

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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