Posts Tagged ‘Iraq war’

The Two Wars in Iraq and Mistaken Republican Support for Obama

April 18, 2008

Rusty has an excellent analysis of the wars in Iraq (yes, I said wars plural).  I covers the idea that I’ve thought of, and others have mentioned, that there were two phases to the war:  The invasion phase, in which we kicked some serious butt, and the occupation phase, where mistakes have been made and butt-kicking didn’t really happen til a year ago.  He takes the model much further, and applies it to the Democrat’s, and some Republican’s failing support for finishing the job.

[T]he root function of language is to control the universe by describing it.
–James Baldwin.

Bush screwed the pooch in Iraq. There is a good argument to be made that we should not have invaded in the first place.* There is no good argument that we should leave.

This conclusion is inevitable when one comes to the same realization as me. There was a war in Iraq and there is a war in Iraq. In fact, there we’ve had two wars in Iraq: Iraq War I & Iraq War II.

The war now is not the same as that war. The first war in Iraq was against Saddam Hussein, the second war is against Islamists of various stripes, but mainly al Qaeda.

Many of the arguments used by those who keep reminding us that Bush’s decision to invade Iraq was a mistake are valid. While Saddam Hussein strategically supported groups linked to Osama bin Laden, there was not a substantial al Qaeda presence in Iraq prior to the invasion. Ansar al Islam, the main Sunni Islamist group in Iraq prior to the invasion that would eventually morph into al Qaeda in Iraq, operated nearly exclusively in the Kurdish north—a zone not firmly under Hussein’s sovereignty.

All would agree that the invasion liberated Iraqis from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. That was the First Iraq War.* It ended the day Saddam Hussein was captured.

The post-invasion period subjected Iraqis to the tyranny of chaos. The vacuum left by the Baathist police state was filled by yet another tyranny: the tyranny of Sunni Islamists, like al Qaeda; and the tyranny of Shia Islamists, like those following Muqtada al Sadr. This is when the Second Iraq War started.

The first war was against Iraq, a nation-state. The second war is against terrorists and Islamist rebels.

It is true that mistakes made in the first war led to the second war. It may also be true that our national security was not enhanced by that first war.

But the first war is over. We won. Handily. Easily. It’s history.

 

As they say, read the rest.  You’ll be impressed and enlightened.

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How you can support General Petraeus

April 8, 2008

General Petraus will be speaking before Congress this week.  Last summer, as Ed Morrissey points out,

He had one Senator call him a liar to his face — a Senator that wants to be President, but has found it rougher going than she predicted.  A major political organization that supports and is supported by many Democrats took out a full-page ad in the New York Times implying that Petraeus was a traitor, using a playground slur on his surname.

General Petraeus returns to Congress this week, a chastised Congress that has tried its best to avoid the Iraq debate ever since Petraeus proved them wrong in the fall and winter, but one that will undoubtedly remain hostile.  Nancy Pelosi has already tried telling Petraeus that he’d better deliver a negative report — or else.  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wants Petraeus to have a better welcome back to the US for his report.

Senator Mitch McConnell decided to provide the rest of us an opportunity to show our appreciation, or any other thoughts you might have about the General.

There’s no doubt that Moveon.ogre will be hauling out the same garbage they did last fall, though I doubt the NY Times will be caught giving them preferential treatment this time.

Click on over and let your thoughts be known.