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Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The "Experts"

Suppose that just prior to the invasive intervention of Iraq someone had predicted that Saddam would bail out of an occupied Baghdad and sent running within three weeks, and that after two-and-a-half-years he would be on trial in an Iraqi court (which is beginning to look more and more like good ol' American reality television), that 11 million Iraqis would turn out to vote in their third election (with a turn-out rate surpassing America's own in 2004), and with all of that being accomplished at the cost of ~2100 American war dead, who would have called such predictions "unrealistic," or "foolish pipedreams," or "wild fantasies," or as being "out of touch with reality?"

The same "experts" who characterize those same events occuring by that very timeline as comprising a "debacle."


Blogger The Liberal Avenger said...

I wonder how many Republicans would have supported going to war had they really known what we were getting into from the beginning.

If Bush came to the American people and said that there are no WMDs - but Saddam would like to make more. No nuclear weapons programs. We're going to destroy the country's infrastructure prior to and during the invasion only to turn around and try to fix it afterwards. We will be in Iraq for several years and the lives of more than 2000 American soldiers will be sacrificed and even after an easy toppling of the government, more than two years afterwards the country will have descended into a hell of IEDs, suicide bombings, attacks on US forces and brutal sectarian violence.

And one more thing - it is going to cost us no less than $300 billion and up to $2 trillion overall by some estimates.

Oh - and one more... We will alienate all of our erstwhile allies.

Do you think that Republicans would have supported the war in the beginning?

2:47 AM  
Blogger John said...

LA! lol

Thanks for visiting.

I'll be back to address your comment presently...

(I've been trolling...)

5:32 PM  
Blogger John said...

LA, I don't think the American people have EVER been too enthusiastic--or maintained the necessary determination-- in any long-term conflict (understandably so, since war is hell and the price often hits very close to home), and that includes the impatience and disgruntlement with Lincoln during the Civil War.

Throughout that conflict, Lincoln had to endure widely-publicised ad hominem attacks like being called "Ape" Lincoln, and "the original gorilla" (alluding to Darwin's missing link).

Sound familiar?

He was derided from New York to Paris for being plug ugly.

But forget the personal--and partisan-- attacks.

Most people expected the war to be over in a month, and as it dragged on with several thousand casualties per battle, accusations of ineptitude and malfeasance were levied... Lincoln.

There was much carping, second-guessing, and armchair generalship abounding asking why the hell was Lincoln spending A MILLION DOLLARS A DAY (in 1860's money) for...


The great contemporary orator Wendell Phillips launched this broadside at the White House:

“The North has poured out its blood and money like water; it has leveled every fence of constitutional privilege, and Abraham Lincoln sits today a more unlimited despot (i.e. "emperor," "fascist," or *tyrranus,* take your pick)than the world knows this side of China. What does he render for this unbounded confidence? Show us something, or I tell you that within two years the indignant reaction of the people will hurl the Cabinet in contempt from their seats."

Yes. Just like in 1974.

And hopefully, presumably, in 2006.

Anyway, does that stuff sound familiar?

As far as how the ACLU and civil libertarians would react to Lincoln's Commander in Chiefdom, he not only suspended habeus corpus, but SHUT DOWN opposition newspapers.

The Left FREAKED OUT today because the administration was trying to nurture pro-American media outlets in Iraq.

Lincoln would've bombed the offices of *Al Jazeera.*

What would your crowd say, if in response to your morbid exploitation of the numbers of war dead, Bush sighed something like "It's the terrible arithmetic of war."

But that's how Lincoln put it, with the blood of tens of thousands dead on his watch by his command to go to war.

Yet today, who would say that the preservation of the Union and emancipation of the slaves weren't worth it?

The same can be said for the reaction to WWI, the trench-warfare nature of which shocked sensibilities and depressed Wilson.

And the "moral war," WWII had more than it's fair share of harsh critics (and even conspiracy theories, like FDR allowing the attack on Pearl Harbor for the sake of pumping a sluggish economy with wartime steroids, among other rationalizations).

And yet, in comparison to previous conflicts, this war is a cakewalk, and is reaping successes as scheduled far beyond what scheduled expectations in previous wars hoped for.

As for the justification and necessity of the Iraqi gambit (which it what is, a bold one at that), I can only refer you to my June 22 post, "Saddam Had To Go."

5:44 PM  

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