Comments: The Iraq We'd Have If We'd Heeded Obama

If we heeded Obama's words from the past, The United States would be the world's looser, second to the victims of Saddam Husseinís torture and killings, Al Qaida would be running ramped, and the greatest military humiliated and degraded. Obama gave no support whatsoever to our military personal and the efforts that made the current situation a success. And he has the audacity and gall to visit the Middle East like he was a sitting president and tell them how to do things! This is so unbelievable and embarrassing I canít believe it.

Posted by Ron at July 23, 2008 08:45 AM

Let us also remember that if we had listened to Obama and abandoned Iraq, we would have given Osama bin Laden exactly what he wanted: a humiliating defeat for America at the hands of the brave and noble mujahideen. Osama bin Laden expected, and was betting on, retaliation for September 11th. He also was betting on America running once it had it's nose bloodied, just as he learned from Vietnam. If it weren't for President Bush, General Petraeus, and the brave men and women of our fighting forces, Barack Obama and the majority of democrats would have handed Osama bin Laden the victory he so desperately wanted.

Posted by mindnumbrobot at July 23, 2008 11:32 AM

I should add that Osama bin Laden learned the lesson of America running from Vietnam from the history books, while he learned it personally in Somalia. He could have easily propagandized about defeating America twice.

Posted by mindnumbrobot at July 23, 2008 11:46 AM

There was a time when Democrats knew how to win wars. Since Korea, they have been satified with less and less. With our two party system, enemies need to be sure of who occupies the White House before any overt acts. Republicans respond vigorously to attacks even if the response in unpopular. Something about taking the oath of office seriously.

Posted by Zelsdorf Ragshaft III at July 23, 2008 05:21 PM

Might I point out for the sake of argument that winning and losing wars does not really break down along a Republican-Democrat divide.

Nor are Republicans really famous for "responding vigorously" to attacks.

Please remember President Nixon's complete inaction when the North Koreans tested him in 1969 by shooting down a USAF spy plane, killing the two dozen airmen on board. Nixon responded just as weakly as LBJ had a year earlier when the North Koreans seized the USS Pueblo.

Please also remember that it was President Nixon who lost the Vietnam War when public opinion forced him to withdraw the U.S. Army and Marine Corps before the ARVN were ready to stand up on their own, and even as the NVA occupied huge chunks of South Vietnam.

Finally, President Reagan retreated from Lebanon after the massive casualties suffered by the Marines in the barracks disaster of '83.

Examples of Democratic inaction and retreat can also be cited, of course.

The truth is simply that the American public has little patience for long, drawn-out foreign adventures, and (as in Vietnam) can force politicians of both parties to Bring the Boys Home.

The only reason this has not happened in Iraq is because the war is being fought by an all-volunteer force. If eighteen-year-old American kids were being drafted en masse and shipped to Iraq, the American people would have shut the war down by now.

Just a thought.....

Keith Nolan

Posted by KeithNolan at July 23, 2008 10:22 PM

Thanks for the history lesson, Keith.

It doesn't change the fact that on Iraq, victory/defeat breaks quite nicely along Elephant/Donkey lines, with a few stragglers on each side (Mr. Lieberman, please stand up).

I do love the way you prepared the red herring, tho.

Posted by C-C-G at July 24, 2008 07:15 AM

CCG, you cite the party fault lines regarding the current Iraq War. Fair enough. Previous correspondents, however, were reaching back to the Korean Era to demonize the Democrats as pushovers and the Republicans as tough guys. That's the unfair point to which I was responding. No red herrings involved!

Posted by KeithNolan at July 24, 2008 08:07 AM

Gee, the only comment I see regarding pre-Iraq wars actually admitted that "at one time, Democrats knew how to win wars." I see nothing in that statement to justify the venom you spewed, since every war between WWI and Vietnam (inclusive) were started during a Democrat's stay in the Oval Office.

Again, lovely preparation of the red herring, but I'm not in the mood for fish, nor is it Friday, nor am I Catholic.

Posted by C-C-G at July 24, 2008 04:59 PM

CCG, you can't be serious when referring to the "venom" I supposedly "spewed"!

Gee, I thought I just wrote a short, polite note in response to some anti-historical comments!

No venom, no red herrings.... just a reminder that (whatever the diehards of either party want to believe) both Republicans and Democrats have had good moments and less-than-glorious moments in the execution of foreign policy.

What are we even disagreeing about?!

Posted by KeithNolan at July 24, 2008 07:42 PM