Carol Platt Liebau: "Renouncing" the President?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

"Renouncing" the President?

Today, the Washington Post runs what feels like a slightly hopeful piece headlined, "Pundits renounce the President."

As something of a conservative "pundit," it's new and exciting to me that the opinion of some of my more celebrated colleagues would merit such respect. Of course, predictably, it's those who are questioning the success of the Administration's efforts in Iraq who are receiving the attention.

Much has been made of Joe Scarborough's show questioning the President's intelligence. Of course, the easy response is to note that those who live in glass houses themselves had best not throw stones -- given that few have had occasion to extol Scarborough's own dazzling intellect. Putting all that aside, however, what's really going on is that Scarborough is trying to prove that he's a bona fide, fully "objective" member of the MSM. The clips he ran, highlighting the President's inarticulateness, do nothing to adduce evidence for (or against) the President's lack of intellect; glibness is just one type of intelligence, not the distinguishing feature between those who are smart and those who aren't.

As for the other pundits who disagree with the President, it's predictable that when times get tough, dissent grows louder. The problem, however, is that few of them have a decent answer for how to address the issues in Iraq. Withdrawal isn't the answer; an American failure would open the way both for an infusion of anti-American confidence among our enemies in the Middle East, allow Iraq to be turned into a new springboard for terrorism, and enhance Iranian influence throughout the region.

So it's easy to second guess, take potshots and dump on those who are trying to get something done, but until another viable strategy is presented, it makes no sense to change course, despite the difficulties. After all, it's no longer a question of whether the war itself was a good idea; it's a matter of whether America can afford to be defeated.

7 Comments:

Blogger Editor said...

Carol writes, "it's those who are questioning the success of the Administration's efforts in Iraq who are receiving the attention."

Wow is that a mistatement. Iraq is a hell hole, out of control and in a civil war.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Cavalor Epthith said...

Carol does make a good point that no one has come up with a "Plan B" for Iraq. The problem with formulating this plan is the same reason there are several paragraphs of partisan support for the Commander in Chief before the truth can be realized.

America does not fight political wars very well. The Soviets did, until Afghanistan, utilize brute force to impose their will on other nations in the name of Marxist Leninism. Now the USA is trying to do the same in the name of democracy and they have done it with half steps and without the necessary killing efficiency a Red Army would have brought to the field.

Politically, Bush has lost his "legacy" and this should be his last concern. Withdrawal is an option because the Iraqis will have to stand on their own someday and every soul whether a die hard supporter of the President or not knows that as soon as the last boots are off the ground in Baghdad the whole thing will collapse.
Is there any way to achieve victory (note that is victory not democracy)with honor in Iraq? Sure, there are several ways:

1) Re-invade Iraq. As many of the patriotic flag waving folks that comment here regularly always say the People need to get behind the war. If you really want to do that we need to end the bickering and actually get down to the job. Increase the gasoline tax by $1 to pay for a full on invasion of Iraq. Another 150,000 troops or so moving from south in Basra from town to town toward Baghdad and support from Turkey in allowing 100,000 additional forces to stage from there to move south and west clearing each village supported by air power to subdue al Anbar province and the Syrian frontier. the Turks would go along with this because it would quell their fears of the coming push for a Greater Kurdistan. With nearly 400,000 troops on the ground and support form HumInt elements from CIA DIA and NSA monitoring communications between insurgent elements using public and private communications village by village sweeps for insurgents would devastate the enemy. The cost would be high and Americans back at home would feel the pinch but they would be fully invested in victory and that is what has been missing from Bush's timid effort at trying fight the spectre of Vietnam.

2) The only other option is to cut a deal with any strongman that comes to the fore and prop him up while he massacres the other side. While this is the more brutal of the two options it would get the job done. See the success of the cruel but effective Ba'ath Party since 1963. An understanding by the American people of the ba'ath party ideology would have made it clear that Iraq could have no dealings with Islamic radicals.

But as I have said the pottery is broken and America has only a troika of choices. Depart and leave the nation to finish the civil war between Shi'a and Sunnites, re-invade, or throw all the US weight behind a Muqtada al Sadr or an Ayatollah Sistani and his militia.

One thing I do know is there are not enough troops in Iraq to do the job and when the Shi'ites and their militias are ar the ramparts of the Green Zone it will be too late.

C.E.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Carol writes, "So it's easy to second guess, take potshots and dump on those who are trying to get something done, but until another viable strategy is presented, it makes no sense to change course, despite the difficulties."

So Carol don't you believe that more tax cuts, a flag burning amendment, and bashing gays and immigrants is a viable strategy? Just curious, because that is pretty much all your Republican stalwarts have proposed.

Carol Platt Liebau: Out of touch with her party; Out of touch with America.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

Cav,

I applaud your attempt at an alternative. You may be the first to actually suggest one. Kudos for that. Usually, when requested, the response is the sound of crickets chirping and no ideas.

I would dispute your idea in this regard. Despite the rantings of eddy, only a small portion of Iraq is dealing with problems of "insurgency". So a portion of Iraq may be hellish, but to say "Iraq" is a hell hole is to believe what isn't true. And the civil war angle is also crapola. There was civil war before we kicked Hussein's ass out, as he fought with the Kurds, Shi ites, and Sunnis who didn't buy into his crap. Now, there are militias messing with each other, but not with the Iraqi government per se.

But back to your plan. I don't believe such large numbers are required based on assessments of the American military who are actually there. They claim progress in the training of the Iraqi army and their confidence in the ability of the Iraq army is high. More and more military operations are being planned and led by the Iraqi army with coalition forces in support, rather than the other way around as it was early on. I haven't heard anything suggesting that the Iraqi government or army has requested more American troops, only that they request that the coalition sticks around a bit longer. Iraqis continue to enlist to serve their country. The same goes for the police, though their progress is slower and hampered by some infiltration of scumbags. Most of the calls for more troops seems to be coming from people here, rather than anyone over their, Iraqi or American. Perhaps you've heard different.

I would hesitate to throw any support to al Sadr. He's a wackjob who wants to be the next Hussein and is probably supported by Iran. al Sistani has shown great restraint in holding back his people from reprisals and should be given support of some kind to further his cool headed influence. He has shown a willingness to work the plan. I think only tweaking is necessary due to positive talk from people doing the actual work there. Due to the type of enemy in this war, as it is throughout the Middle East with the Islamofascists, unique and unprecedented problems are being faced. I would add that as one military expert has said (don't have a name--sorry), more troops means more targets. The hew and cry from the left would be deafening. One thing is certain, losing won't cut it. Leaving is losing. And it's the only way it will be viewed by the enemy and nothing brings new recruits to the terrorist orgs than the thought that America turned tail.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

One more thing. America is not "imposing our will" no matter what the lefties say. That is a purposeful distortion of reality and beneath you. We overthrew a despot who begged us to do so by his willful disregard for 12 years of UN resolutions and repeated violations. Some like to use the "Bush lied" nonsense, but they suffer from BDS.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Editor said...

Marshall,

Pretty sure Israel disgarded 65 UN resolutions.

12:10 AM  
Blogger Editor said...

Carol says “the President's inarticulateness, do nothing to adduce evidence for (or against) the President's lack of intellect; glibness is just one type of intelligence, not the distinguishing feature between those who are smart and those who aren't.”

Poof that grade schhool bodily function jokes are signs of intelligence and proper behavior……

He loves to cuss, gets a jolly when a mountain biker wipes out trying to keep up with him, and now we're learning that the first frat boy loves flatulence jokes. A top insider let that slip when explaining why President Bush is paranoid around women, always worried about his behavior. But he's still a funny, earthy guy who, for example, can't get enough of fart jokes. He's also known to cut a few for laughs, especially when greeting new young aides.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/politics/whispers/articles/060820/28whisplead.htm

3:11 PM  

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