Thursday, November 17, 2005

For the record

A lot of people seem to think I've always been one of the "let's leave Iraq now" crowd. I haven't. I have, however, been a member of the "we shouldn't be there in the first place" wing of the reality-based community.

Nor, however, have I been a "stay the course" guy. I've been struggling with this issue myself for some time. One one hand, we can't just leave Iraqis in the lurch and, on the other, we may just be making things worse. Our presence in Iraq is like chemotherapy in the veins of a cancer patient--a drug that could either kill you or cure you.

That's why I think Murtha's plan, properly executed, is the one I can support wholeheartedly. Republicans are saying that he's advocating surrender or retreat, but he's not. It's amazing what you can do when you have 37 years of experience as a Marine to bring to bear on a subject like this.

Look at the second bullet of Murtha's plan: Create a quick reaction force in the region. This, to me, is ingenious. It pulls our troops back from the zone where they are serving, as Murtha says, as a "catalyst for violence" and yet allows for swift response to major emerging threats. This is smart stuff.

Again, keep it up, Colonel.

Update: Kudos to William M.Arkin for being one of the few people working in Big Media who can see the forest for the trees.


Blogger Jim said...


My take has always been that, having created this mess, we should stay as long as we are doing more good than harm (not that I could quantify what that means, mind you). But I had no better solution then "walk away" when it was clear we were causing more harm than good.

Murtha's plan makes more sense than anything else I have heard proposed. My take is that intially the Administration will continue to orchestrate attacks on Murtha (and anyone else putting forward an alternative to the status quo). But, once they start catching enought flack from the congress-critters up for re-election in '06, BushCo will roll out a plan remarkably similar to Murtha's and demand that we bow before their brilliance.

My summary (particularly aimed for those who are persuadable):

"So here we are, two years after the fall of Baghdad, and the President still has no plan to get us out of Iraq. When does Mr. Bush intend to start doing his job?"

8:02 AM  
Blogger The Heretik said...

Well said. My feelings are similar, if not identical. Included you in the round up at The Party Is Over

9:28 AM  
Blogger Rocky Smith said...

Thank goodness that you cut and run losers aren't in charge of anything.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...


Have you ever served in the military? I'm guessing no, because, if you had, you'd know that what Murtha's talking about is what the military refers to as "staging."

11:22 AM  
Blogger Rocky Smith said...

As I've said in another comment- I tried to enlist in 1981, but a bad back kept me out. Many in my family have served though. I'm not ignorant of what staging is. Are you ignorant of what that would look like to the insurgents? Apparently, yes.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

Wow. If you can read insurgents' minds you should call the CIA ASAP.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

I forgot to mention, Rocky, it's your man who seems to be in charge of nothing.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Given that, over the past two years, the insurgency has grown under our current approach, perhaps Mr. Smith can tell us why he believes continuing on this path is going suddenly going to stop the insurgency.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Rocky Smith said...

I'm not saying I have all the answers. I'm saying that if we pull out now, they win. The commanders on the ground in Iraq said the same thing. Why don't you take a shot at them while you're at it.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...


Read Murtha's statement:

General Casey said in a September 2005 Hearing, “the perception of occupation in Iraq is a major driving force behind the insurgency.” General Abizaid said on the same date, “Reducing the size and visibility of the coalition forces in Iraq is a part of our counterinsurgency strategy.”

3:50 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

I'm afraid I don't understand what Mr. Smith thinks the United States will accomplish by continuing with Bush’s current Iraq policy.

Nor is it clear what Mr. Smith means by "if we pull out now, they win," as
1) Murtha's plan has the US military continuing to play a role in Iraq (albeit a less vulnerable and less inflammatory role than our troops are currently playing), and as

2) Mr. Smith does not define who "they" are (the insurgency does not appear to be monolithic), nor what he means by "win" (and why his definition is useful).

Would Mr. Smith, please tell us what he would consider to be a "victory" by the United States, and why he believes that this "victory" is attainable.

(Note, I do not ask how we might go about achieving that victory, for Mr. Smith has stated up front that -- like so many of us -- he does not have all of the answers. However, Mr. Smith's insistence that "if we pull out now, they win" is rational only if he believes that our victory is possible. Since this is one of the things that I don't know, I'd like to discover where his certainty comes from.)

10:07 PM  
Blogger Rocky Smith said...

You apparently don't believe victory is possible. Enough said. You leftist whiners are hopeless. People who have not lost faith in this country will still defend it- and you.

Do I really have to define who the insurgency is to you? Islamic Fundamentalists bent on destroying anyone who is not- especially Israel and the US ( and they hated us long before Bush got elected).

Am I certain of victory? Not quickly or easily. I think we need to see Iraq through to a sustainable democracy and aid people in this corner of the world to more prosperity and a better life. Living in a free society instead of under a ruthless dictator is a good start. Terrorists and their acts will probably be a problem for quite some time yet. Decades at least. I think improving standards of living and freedom will be the tool to eventually bring it all to an end. It won't be easy and it will take much resources and time. It would all be worth it though to bring security and peace to our world. Not only can we win, we must.

So you liberals want to leave them alone to do as they will? Kiss their terrorist butts and then they'll like us? What's your grand answer to this problem wise men?

3:41 PM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

I believe in victory. I believe that victory is what you make it. Therefore, we should, as the saying goes, declare victory and depart the field.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

And by the way, Rocky, the Iraqis just told you to go fuck yourself.

Iraqi leaders, meeting at a reconciliation conference in Cairo, urged an end to violence in the country and demanded a timetable for the withdrawal of coalition troops from Iraq.

In a final statement, read by Arab League chief Amre Moussa, host of the three-day summit, they called for ``the withdrawal of foreign troops according to a timetable, through putting in place an immediate national program to rebuild the armed forces.'' No date was specified.

``The Iraqi people look forward to the day when the foreign forces leave Iraq, when it's armed and security forces will be rebuilt and when they can enjoy peace and stability and get rid of terrorism,'' the leaders said in the statement. The session was broadcast live from the Egyptian capital by al-Jazeera.

Bastards. We wouldn't have given them freedom if we thought they were going to use it.

8:36 PM  

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