Thursday, August 10, 2006

Me and Max Boot

Here's an interesting discovery. My opinion on Iraq -- either get serious or get out -- is shared by Max Boot, a conservative former Wall Street Journal editorial writer and general war supporter.

Which path should we take? My preference remains deploying more soldiers, not fewer. A couple of divisions in Baghdad, if skillfully led, might be able to replicate the success that Col. H.R. McMaster's 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment had in pacifying the western city of Tall Afar, where the troops-to-civilians ratio was 10 times higher than in Baghdad today. But at this point, I am also open to a substantial reduction in troop numbers because the current strategy just isn't working.

Bush needs to do something radical to shake up a deteriorating status quo if we are to have any hope of averting the worst American military defeat since Vietnam.

He even shares my opinion about Tall Afar!

Either I'm more of a neo-con than I thought, or Max Boot is more of a liberal than he thinks, or else the situation is getting so bad that even war supporters can see it.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Marc Schneider said...

There are no good options. Putting in more troops now is simply not a viable option politically, yet I fear that simply pulling out would exacerbate the civil war and abdicate our responsibility for what happened to Iraq. While I think we never should have gone in to Iraq in the first place, I am afraid that the liberal Democratic policy of simply withdrawing without any conception of what is to follow is irresponsible. I am open to ideas that withdrawal would make things better, but I find it hard to believe as even some of the Sunnis are saying we need to stay. This is some mess Bush has gotten us into and it might be left to a Democrat to get us out.

But, unfortunately, Sean, I don't think all the war supporters see how bad it is. My experience on other blogs suggests that a lot of people have their head stuck in the sand on Iraq. They think all we have to do is "stay the course" and things will work out. Of course, their bete noir is the MSM, which they blame for all bad news coming out of Iraq; if the media was just more positive,things would be ok.

8/10/2006 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The liberal Democratic policy of simply withdrawing without any conception of what is to follow is irresponsible..........
I thought Jack Murtha was a conservative democrat not a liberal .
Labels aside, the liberals are not asking for just a withdrawal, they are also asking for a honest debate about. A debate with no name calling and no presumption/assumption/ posturing about the anti-war side's patriotism.
unfortunately what you see is heads stuck in sand.
GK

8/10/2006 2:59 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Marc: Of course not all war supporters see it. But more and more are starting to question, if not the wisdom of the war, at least the conduct of it. It's a start.

GK: Good point about the debate. The name-calling is to some extent a two-way street, but I agree that war supporters have done more to smother meaningful debate through their heavy handed use of the "patriotism" and "traitor" tropes.

8/10/2006 3:47 PM  
Anonymous Marc Schneider said...

GK,

I did not mean to engage in name calling or anything like that and if that is what you perceive, I apologize. I'm sympathetic to the desire to get out. I was simply saying that none of the options on the table seem good to me and I think people (whether conservative or liberal) need to recognize that, at this point, there are no costless solutions, whether withdrawing or staying.

8/11/2006 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marc
You dont need to apologize. I did not take offense to your comments at all.
I was thinking we were having an honest debate.
I do disagree that there is no costless solution. We should own up to the mistakes done in iraq and then provide a plan( not necessarily a deadline) to get the troops home. The cost ? republicans actually not losing this november's elections and yes maybe the loss of face and the certain end of a few politician's careers, shouldnt that be a minor issue when we can save lives?. But it wont happen
owning upto mistakes is only for humans not the 'super human ' republicans.
So the republicans will feel the heat go down in flames and take all their contradictions with them ( I am most puzzled by one, why cant conservation(environmental) be a part of conservatism?)
Sean wrote these great lines in a previous post that I fully agree........

So for me, the upcoming election is a referendum on the governing party. And they deserve to go down in flames. Big, hot, center-of-the-sun-type flames, the ashes burned and reburned until the electrons have been stripped from their atoms, leaving nothing but a subatomic mist in their wake.
GK

8/11/2006 5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean, it's testimony that there are indeed rational people across the political spectrum. The sign of rationality is adapting one's beliefs as time progresses and new information is learned (which, incidentally, also defines the scientific process).
- Caracarn

8/14/2006 12:10 PM  
Anonymous Marc Schneider said...

GK,

I disagree with your argument that pulling out is a costless solution. It's certainly not going to be costless for Iraqis who will lose whatever (admittedly lacking) security provided by US troops. I doubt that US withdrawal will end the sectarian violence. And it's not costless in terms of US foreign policy because, like it or not, it will be seen as a victory for violent jihadists. And that's not good. This isn't like Viet Nam where all the Communists wanted was for us to get out. I'm not necessarily saying that, on balance, it would not be better to leave than to stay. And there may well be ways to do it that mitigate the problems. I'm just saying there are going to be negative consequences whatever we do. Obviously, the problem was the initial decision to invade, but that can't be undone.

8/14/2006 1:25 PM  

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