Posts Tagged ‘war of choice’

Remember How Liberals Said Every Aggressive Move Against Terrorists Was ‘A Provocation’? Why Is It A Good Thing Now?

May 3, 2011

I remember how Obama and the rest of the left decried every agressive move President George W. Bush made as being a provocation that would only result in more violence and make the new wave of terrorism being waged against America even worse.

The war on terror was a provocation.  The Iraq War was a provocation.  The terrorist prison facility at Guantanamo Bay was a provocation.  The surge strategy was a provocation.  And “provoking” the terrorists was the worst possible way to react, we were constantly told.

On the surge strategy that won the Iraq War, Obama had said:

I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”

Sending more troops to win the fight will increase the violence.  And that is a bad, bad thing. 

On the Iraq War as provocation (and therefore a bad thing), a critique of Obama’s apology in his Cairo Speech says it all:

On “violent extremism” Obama clung to the meme of “Afghanistan War good/Iraq War bad.” Obama said, “Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq was a war of choice that provoked strong differences in my country and around the world. Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible.”

This does not make sense. Iraq was not a “war of choice.” Saddam Hussein, for a variety of reasons (not just on WMDs, which everyone believed Hussein had and which he was certainly pursuing) had made himself intolerable. And Saddam was certainly not responding to diplomacy; that was the main reason the coalition forces marched.

Obama also made his first cringing apology. “The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals.” Well, no we did not. That is a flat out lie and a pander not only to liberal opponents of the war on terror but to the Muslim extremists Obama says he abhors.

It doesn’t matter that because of the very surge strategy that Obama personally demonized that Obama’s vice president was able to actually say the following about the Iraq War that Obama also demonized:

“I am very optimistic about — about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration.”

I would point out that George Bush won his “war of choice” that “provoked strong differences.”  And Obama – even after eventually abandoning his own demqgoguery on the “surge” to implement a surge of his own in Afghanistan, and even after using Bush’s own general which the left demonized to implement that surge – is floundering badly in “the good war” of Afghanistan.  Which is why Afghanistan sure won’t be “one of the great achievements of the Obama administration.”

George Bush “stupidly’ chose to fight a war against a tyrant in a terrain that the United States could actually win.  The vastly more brilliant Obama chose to put all his marbles in an Afghanistan that has been the graveyard of empires for a thousand years.  Afghanistan also happens to feature a terrain that almost entirely nullifies our vast tactical and strategic advantages.  But that’s what you do when you think you’re too damn smart for your own good, I guess.

On Guantanamo Bay as a provocation, Obama said:

Guantanamo is probably the No. 1 recruitment tool that is used by these jihadist organizations,” Obama said. “And we see it in the websites that they put up. We see it in the messages that they’re delivering.”

It didn’t matter that Guantanamo Bay was absolutely necessary, no matter how much it provoked people who were determined to be provoked.  That is just a fact, and facts don’t matter to demagogues.  It’s just an “inconvenient truth” that Gitmo is still open, and WILL REMAIN OPEN as long as Obama is president.

Then there was that nasty rhetorical phrase “war on terror” that was clearly too provocative, so Obama rebranded it as an “overseas contingency operation.”

The one thing that couldn’t be more clear: don’t you dare provoke these people.  It’s bad to provoke.  The mainstream media would crawl all over you if you dared to provoke.

So I’m left sitting here wondering how provocation suddenly went from a bad thing to a good thing just because the guy doing all the provoking was a Democrat.

Obama’s Middle East policies have resulted in dramatically escalated increases in violence throughout the Arab world.  Which would have been terrible if Bush had had anything to do with it, but which is okay because a liberal did it.  So the mainstream media has refused to harangue Obama on that unintended consequence of his budding Utopia.

In Libya, you’ve got a lot more of this “untended consequence” regarding Obama’s nearlty forgotten little third war he started in Libya:

TRIPOLI, Libya – Libyans shouting for revenge buried Moammar Gadhafi’s second youngest son to the thundering sound of anti-aircraft fire Monday, as South Africa warned that the NATO bombing that killed him would only bring more violence.

Libya’s leader did not attend the tumultuous funeral of 29-year-old Seif al-Arab, but older brothers Seif al-Islam and Mohammed paid their respects, thronged by a crowd of several thousand. Jostling to get closer to the coffin, draped with a green Libyan flag, mourners flashed victory signs and chanted “Revenge, revenge for you, Libya.”

Three of Gadhafi’s grandchildren, an infant and two toddlers, also died in Saturday’s attack, which NATO says targeted one of the regime’s command and control centers. Gadhafi and his wife were in the compound at the time, but escaped unharmed, Libyan officials said, accusing the alliance of trying to assassinate the Libyan leader.

NATO officials have denied they are hunting Gadhafi to break the battlefield stalemate between Gadhafi’s troops and rebels trying for the past 10 weeks to depose him. Rebels largely control eastern Libya, while Gadhafi has clung to much of the west, including the capital, Tripoli.

But of course NATO is denying that we’re hunting Gadafi in violation of United Nations policies against targeting political leaders.  After all, we’ve even denied we’re at war at all, preferring the nicer-sounding euphamism of “kinetic military action.”  “War” sounds so mean, and hardly something a brilliant liberal would do, after all.  The far more erudite liberals launch wave after wave of “kinetic military actions” instead.  And no matter how many of Gaddafi’s compounds somehow accidentally get targeted and blown up, that’s clearly all it is.

Now we’ve got Obama (almost as though Obama were himself one of the machine-gun toting SEALs) killing Osama bin Laden.  That clearly won’t provoke anybody.

America’s relationship with Pakistan was already at an all-time low due to Obama incessantly flying Predators over their country and launching rocket attacks on them.  But so what?  Provocation is a good thing now, because Obama is doing it instead of George Bush.  And if you’re brilliant, you don’t have to kowtow to such trivialities as consistency.

And so what if Obama ordered American troops to launch a military attack on Pakistani soil without bothering to even inform the Pakistanis?  No harm, no foul.  So what if we violated their sovereignty?  Obama is the leader of the world, and the sooner the world recognized that he is an imperial president, the better.  If you don’t like Obama pursuing “cowboy” tactics, or engaging in “you’re either with us or you’re against us” policies, well, you’re just not very enlightened.  Because it’s not fascist unless Republicans do it.

And al Qaeda, whom the left was so worried about provoking when George Bush was the guy doing the provoking?  They’ll get over it.  So we can ignore the little threat they just made less than a week ago about unleashing a “nuclear hellstorm” upon America if we killed or captured Osama bin Laden.

You think of Gitmo, the surge strategy, rendition, domestic eavesdropping, the Patriot Act, indefinite detentions, military tribunals and a host of other things Obama demonized George Bush and Dick Cheney over, and not only are they doing the same things, but they’re doing even worse.  But the same mainstream media that tore into George Bush like pitbulls going after raw bloody meat don’t seem to have time to dwell on Obama’s blatant hypocrisies.

Nor does Bush get any credit for having been right when Obama and the Democrats were so completely wrong by their own massive reversals to the Bush policies now.

We are watching a level of propaganda and fundamental hypocrisy overtake the United States of America by both the media and the White House that ought to simply stun you.

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Obama’s Afghanistan Mess Proves Why Making Iraq Central Front Good Idea

October 15, 2009

Bush didn’t make a good case for invading Iraq – and the liberal, Bush-derangement-syndrome-media certainly didn’t help him.  He certainly could have argued his case much more effectively.

It is actually easy to justify invading Iraq just by quoting Democrats:

Truth or Fiction
Freedom Agenda
Snopes

One could also point out that A) every single Western intelligence service believed that Saddam Hussein was continuing to develop weapons of mass destruction.  They only knew for sure that B) Saddam had clearly possessed WMD, as demonstrated that he had repeatedly used such weapons on his own people as well as Iran;  C) Saddam Hussein was in fact training and equipping radical Islamic terrorists who could attack the United States and U.S. interests; D) Saddam had thrown out the weapons inspectors for 4 years prior to the 2003 invasion (Saddam ordered inspectors out of the country on November 1, 1997).  And no one could know what was going on in Iraq during that period.In August, 1998, absent effective monitoring, U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter remarked that Iraq could:

“reconstitute chemical biological weapons, long-range ballistic missiles to deliver these weapons, and even certain aspects of their nuclear weaponization program.”

Kenneth Pollack, writing in the liberal journal The Atlantic, said the following:

This issue has some personal relevance for me. I began my career as a Persian Gulf military analyst at the CIA, where I saw an earlier generation of technical analysts mistakenly conclude that Saddam Hussein was much further away from having a nuclear weapon than the post-Gulf War inspections revealed. I later moved on to the National Security Council, where I served two tours, in 1995-1996 and 1999-2001. During the latter stint the intelligence community convinced me and the rest of the Clinton Administration that Saddam had reconstituted his WMD programs following the withdrawal of the UN inspectors, in 1998, and was only a matter of years away from having a nuclear weapon.

He cites a number of reasons for the U.S. view (which, again, had been held by the Clinton administration as well) and then adds:

Western intelligence agencies understandably took these actions to mean that nothing in Saddam’s weaponry plans had changed.

And to that we can also add E) There is actually good reason to believe that Bush – and the Democrats quoted in the three sites above – were COMPLETELY CORRECT in believing that Saddam had WMD.

We know that long convoys went to Syria prior to our arrival.  Colin Powell displayed satellite photos of a 50-truck convoy en route to Syria.  And there is very good reason to believe that Saddam’s WMD materials were in those convoys. And see. And see also here. And here. And here.

Here’s an ABC story reporting on the story:

Part of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein’s secret weapons program was transferred from Iraq to neighbouring Syria, and their status has yet to be resolved, Dr David Kay, the just-resigned head of the Iraq Survey Group, was quoted Sunday as telling a British newspaper.

In what it called an exclusive interview, the Sunday Telegraph said it was told by Dr Kay that he had uncovered evidence that unspecified materials had been moved to Syria shortly before the start of the Iraq war in March last year.

But there was another reason that George Bush decided to make Iraq a central front in the war on terror: he knew he could win there, and he knew that his victory would have a huge impact on the region over time.

Think of it: an Arab and Islamic democracy in the heart of the totalitarian Arab world.  Think of other Islamic states, whether Iran or Saudi Arabia, having to explain to its people why their countries shouldn’t be more democratic, just like Iraq.  George Bush believed that a democratic Iraq could potentially turn around a poisonous Islamist dynamic that was growing more and more poisonous all the time.

And with that, I introduce an article by Ann Coulter:

NATURAL-BORN LOSERS
October 14, 2009

The question of whether President Obama should send more troops to Afghanistan misses the point.

What Obama really needs to do is: Invent a time machine, go back to the 2008 presidential campaign and not say, over and over and over again, that Afghanistan was a “war of necessity” while the war in Iraq was a “war of choice.” (Oh, and as long as you’re back there, ditch Van Jones, Valerie Jarrett and that gay “school safety” czar.)

The most important part of warfare is picking your battlefield, and President Bush picked Iraq for a reason.

Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan attacked us on 9/11 — or the dozen other times American embassies, barracks and buildings came under jihadist onslaught since Jimmy Carter presided over “regime change” in Iran in 1979. Both countries — and others — gave succor to terrorists who had attacked the U.S. repeatedly, and would do so again.

As liberals endlessly reminded us during the three weeks of war in Afghanistan before the U.S. military swept into Kabul, Afghanistan has all the makings of a military disaster. It is mountainous, cave-pocked, tribal, has no resources worth fighting for and a populace that makes Khalid Sheikh Mohammed look like Alistair Cooke.

By contrast, Iraq had a relatively educated, pro-Western populace, but was ruled by a brutal third-world despot.

It’s always something with the Muslims. You either have mostly sane people governed by a crazy dictator — Iraq, Iran and Syria (also California and Michigan) — or a crazy people governed by relatively sane leaders — Pakistan and Afghanistan, post-U.S. invasion (also Vermont and Minnesota). There are also insane people ruled by insane leaders (but enough about the House Democratic Caucus). Sane people with sane rulers has not been fully tried yet.

Not only could regime change in Iraq work, but Iraq’s countryside was susceptible to America’s overwhelming air power. Also, Iraq has fabulous natural resources. Once the U.S. got control of Iraq’s oil fields, the Shia, Sunni and Kurds could decide to either prosper together or starve together. (And it’s not just oil: They’re basically sitting on top of most of the world’s proven reserves of cab drivers.)

By contrast, there aren’t a lot of sticks that can be used in a wasteland like Afghanistan, where the people live in caves and scratch out a living in the dirt. The only “carrot” we might be able to offer them would be actual carrots.

But Democrats couldn’t care less about military strategy — at least any “strategy” that doesn’t involve allowing soldiers to date one another. To the extent you can get liberals to focus on national security at all, you will find they are rooting against their own country.

Liberals sneered at Bush’s description of Iraq as the “central front of the war on terror” and a step toward the “democratization of the Middle East” — as Mark Danner did in the Sept. 11, 2005, New York Times — because sneering was all they could do. By design, Iraq was the central front in the war on terrorism.

Any fanatic who hated the Great Satan, owned an overnight bag and was not already working for The New York Times was lured across the border into Iraq … to be met by the awesome force of the U.S. military. Bush chose the battlefield that made the best flytrap for Islamic crazies and also that was most amenable to regime change.

Now nearly all denizens of the Middle East want the U.S. to invade them, so they can live in democracy, too. As Thomas Friedman inadvertently admitted, Lebanese voters credit their recent free election, in which the voters threw out Hezbollah, to President Bush. (American liberals, naturally, gave the credit to Obama, who they also believe is responsible for the sun rising every morning.)

Brave Iranian students who protested the tyrant Ahmadinejad did so because of Iraq — and then they stopped because of Obama’s indifference. Sadly for them, America’s foreign policy will now be based on a calculus of political correctness, not national security.

During the campaign, Obama prattled on about Iraq being a “war of choice” and Afghanistan a “war of necessity” for no more thoughtful reason than a desire to win standing ovations from treasonous liberals.

But lo and behold, those very liberals who were champing at the bit to fight in Afghanistan are suddenly full of objections to the war there, too. As Frank Rich points out: “Afghanistan is not Iraq. It is poorer, even larger and more populous, more fragmented and less historically susceptible to foreign intervention.”

Now they notice.

Afghanistan is a brutal battlefield, largely invulnerable to modern warfare — something the British and Russians learned. But as our military under Bush showed the world in 21 days, scimitar-wielding savages are no match for the voluntary civilian troops of a free people.

Bush removed the Taliban from power, captured or killed the lunatics and, for the next seven years, about the only news we heard out of Afghanistan were occasional announcements of parliamentary elections, new schools, water and electricity plants.

The difficult choice Obama faces in Afghanistan is entirely of his own making, not his generals’ and certainly not Bush’s. It was Obama’s meaningless blather about Afghanistan being a “war of necessity” during the campaign that has moved the central front in the war on terrorism from Iraq — a good battleground for the U.S. — to Afghanistan — a lousy battlefront for the U.S.

And it was Obama’s idea to treat war as if it’s an ordinary drug bust, reading suspects their Miranda rights and taking care not to put civilians in harm’s way.

A Democrat is president and, once again, America finds itself in an “unwinnable war.” I know Democrats will never learn, but I wish the voters would.

Ann Coulter does an excellent job depicting why Iraq was a place where we could win, and Afghanistan was a place where we could fall into an abyss.  Iraq – with its flat terrain and its conventional military dynamic, was a place where American technological might could completely dominate.

In making Iraq the central front, Bush chose a war that he knew America could win.

In demanding that Afghanistan be the central front, Democrats – and in particular Barack Obama – may well have chosen a war that we can’t win.

And Democrats now have a well-known history of losing wars since 1950.

Hence her title, Natural born losers.

And allow me to take that concept of the people now leading our country being “natural born losers,” and turn it to the even greater threat of Iran.

I’m going to close by pointing out that George Bush faced a similar dilemma in Iraq that Barack Obama will face in Iran: the utter uselessness and in fact counter-productiveness of the United Nations.

Russia, China, and France all had permanent member veto power, and all three had no intention of allowing any kind of meaningful sanction, resolution, or threat of military force to be passed by the United Nations.  While France has since joined the United States’ side, China and Russia will continue to be a thorn in the side of any effort to thwart Iran’s ultimate nuclear weapons ambitions (which merely continues a pattern that had ben going on for years).

Just today, Russian leader Vladimir Putin has put the kibosh on sanctions on Iran.

If Barack Obama still believes that he will be able to woo these countries – or for that matter Western Europe – to his side, he is a naive fool.  Just as he was always a naive fool for trusting in such patent nonsense.

And, so, just as with Bush and Iraq, Barack Obama will be largely forced to go it alone if he wants to prevent the terribly dangerous development of an Iranian nuclear bomb.

Nearly a year-and-a-half ago, I pointed out that a Democrat president who demonized the war in Iraq would be unable to justify a war to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.  And absolutely nothing has since happened to change that conclusion one iota.