Carol Platt Liebau: A Magnificent Speech

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Magnificent Speech

President Bush finally took the fight to his domestic political adversaries with a truly magnificent speech about Iraq.

We need more of this -- and with quantifiable facts, such as the one that we have been killing 1500 terrorists in Iraq each month since January, when the surge began.

9 Comments:

Blogger Earth to Carol said...

1,500 terrorists a month? Oh please, there never were more than 1,000 in Iraq even according to Rumsfeld and the administration. So one has to guess that we are killing Sunnis and Shias.

12:31 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

More than the number of enemy killed, I appreciated his embracing history. We are trying to accomplish in the Middle East what "the Greatest Generation" accomplished in Europe and Asia during and AFTER World War II. President Bush was right to encourage Americans to show the same resolve now as we did then.

I was also glad he didn't shy away from our history in Viet Nam. Again, the president was right to remind Americans what happens when we, the most powerful nation on earth, are misled by left wing lunacy.

"...one unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America's withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens."

I'd like to see more of this from the President.

5:19 AM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

The analogy with Vietnam is indeed telling. Mr. Bush is even resorting to the foolishness of quoting body counts. That was a completely useless metric in Vietnam and it's just as useless in Iraq. But it impresses the ignorant.

Let me show you why this approach is so stupid. The population of Iraq is about 25 million. Let's assume a life expectancy of 60 years -- rather low, but given the miserable state of Iraqi infrastructure, I suspect it's a generous figure. Just to maintain that population level, Iraq will need to have about 425,000 babies every year. Assume that terrorists are only male. That means that, every month, 18,000 potential terrorists are born. And we're killing 1,500. Whoop-de-doo. You can't defeat insurgencies with body counts unless you're willing to kill a LOT more people.

We are trying to accomplish in the Middle East what "the Greatest Generation" accomplished in Europe and Asia during and AFTER World War II.

Exactly. And that goal is impossible here. Germany and Japan were excellent candidates for democracy, with strong cultural traditions highly conducive to democracy. Iraq's cultural traditions are completely antithetical to democracy. We will surely fail because we have ignored the underlying realities.

"...one unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America's withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens."

Actually, far fewer Vietnamese died after the war than during it. The same will be true in Iraq. We don't have solid estimates of Iraqi casualties to date, but the estimates range between 100,000 and a million so far.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Earth to Carol said...

He sounds a lot like Hitler.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

I also appreciated the historical analogy. I watched to see how CBS would cover it. Typical mainstream media. Gloss over of Bush speach followed by their "analyst" poking holes in it.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

"Actually, far fewer Vietnamese died after the war than during it. The same will be true in Iraq."

And Cambodians?

These are the same arguments the looney left used during the Viet Nam war.

From Peter Rodman today:

"By 1975, administration pleas to help Cambodia were answered by New York Times articles suggesting the Khmer Rouge would probably be moderate once they came into power and the Cambodian people had a better life to look forward to once we left."

9:25 AM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

And Cambodians?
Yes, it's true that, if you lump all of Indochina together, then the aftermath of the Vietnam war had more casualties than the period of US involvement. But which to blame: the US for pulling Cambodia into the war in the first place or the US for pulling out later?

And it's certainly true that the mess we've made in Iraq could well lead to a local war that ultimately kills millions. The problem is, the only way to insure that this doesn't happen is to make a permanent commitment to Iraq. As I've written many times before, if we leave now, there will be a civil war -- but if we leave later, there will still be a civil war.

1:19 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

Hold on - We pulled Cambodia into the war? We did not have the right to interdict the enemies supply lines?

To quote Ronald Reagan: "THe only mistake we made was to get into a war we did not intend to win! War is not supposed to be neat, tidy and friendly - Sorry.

The absence of an American force emboldened the sub-human element.

8:11 PM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

In three short paragraphs, Floblog manages to make three big mistakes.

1. The belief that North Vietnamese use of Cambodian soil for supply lines absolves the US of responsibility for subsequent events in Cambodia. Yes, North Vietnamese violation of Cambodian sovereignty was illegal. The US had adequate justification for invading Cambodia. However, that does not absolve the US of responsibility for the consequences of its invasion. The American invasion, not the North Vietnamese actions, caused the Cambodian government to collapse and led, ultimately, to the victory of the Khmer Rouge.

2. The "football game" concept of war, as opposed to the Clausewitzian concept. Cheerleading instead of analysis.

3. The belief that one's enemies are sub-human. This belief is common among right wing authoritarians and is used to justify any and all atrocities, the most egregious case being, of course, the Holocaust.

8:10 AM  

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