Thursday, November 09, 2006

McCarthy on Rumsfeld plus

Andrew McCarthy, at National Review, is critical of the President's war policy:

"Americans were certain to have limited patience for a mission that appears more about building another nation than securing our own." ... "Perhaps more importantly, it may soon be in the nation’s vital interests to confront Iran. Are we going to have the stomach — the public support — for doing what must be done if the American people think the price tag includes another Iraq-like democracy experiment?"

"On that score, it bears remembering not only that President Bush was initially elected on a no-nation-building platform, but that Rumsfeld’s vision was an actuation of that policy. Indeed, the policy was already set in motion, after eight months of hard work, when Rumsfeld’s Pentagon completed the 2001 quadrennial defense (QDR) review. That was about a week before 9/11 happened."

Read the rest. McCarthy blogs over at New English Review.

Update: Scoblete agrees.


Blogger Always On Watch said...

Nation building in a Muslim nation was doomed from the start.

Who advised GWB that such an effort was even possible?

11/13/06, 10:31 AM  
Blogger Jason Pappas said...

Going into the 2004 election, I thought Bush was trying to “triangulate” the Democrats by adopting the traditionally Democratic foreign policy of foreign aid and nations-building. I told my Democratic friends that he can’t be that stupid; after the election he’ll surely say ‘we tried but they can’t hack it’ and leave with a benign dictator as Daniel Pipes recommended. I was wrong; Bush really believed they are like us and want individual liberty within a democratic context.

Unfortunately, the left criticized Bush for the wrong reason (it’s about oil, no WMDs, Haliburton, our soldiers kill, jihadis are freedom fighters, etc.) and completely missed the big story: Islamic culture is fundamentally ill-suited for a liberal order on a sustainable basis. As a response to the left’s “America is evil,” people naturally rallied around the President even though his quixotic dream of Iraqis rising up and embracing liberty clearly was a long shot – an honorable notion but not prudent given their history.

The Democrats still have nothing to offer other than negativity and 20/20 hindsight.

11/13/06, 10:50 AM  
Blogger American Crusader said...

You just never know how things are going to turn out. How many times have I heard that if only if George H. W. Bush had finished off Saddam Hussein, he would have defeated Bill Clinton in 92.
Now those same people criticize the current President Bush.
Nobody has a crystal ball. Maybe we should have left right after Baghdad fell. Or maybe we should never have invaded?
But now we are forced to face the current situation and I believe we need to finish this job.

11/13/06, 3:38 PM  
Blogger Jason Pappas said...

AC is right that we Monday Morning Quarterbacks are arrogant (but he was saying that politely.) And I agree that one can't know the outcome. My disinclination to try to install a democracy doesn’t mean that I was right. General considerations don’t always yield predictable results (either for action or inaction) and as I’ve stated during my first month of blogging (my 2nd post):

“Thus, we are attempting a bold and radical change – one which is a long shot. At this point we must hope that it is one of the exceptions. If not, it may have merely bought us time while we return to the drawing board. It is clear, however, that the generosity of the American people is praiseworthy and the mission is honorable.”

11/13/06, 4:06 PM  
Blogger Jason Pappas said...

The debate continues.

11/13/06, 4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush really believed they are like us and want individual liberty within a democratic context.

Unfortunately, the left criticized Bush for the wrong reason (it’s about oil, no WMDs, Haliburton, our soldiers kill, jihadis are freedom fighters, etc.) and completely missed the big story: Islamic culture is fundamentally ill-suited for a liberal order on a sustainable basis. As a response to the left’s “America is evil,” people naturally rallied around the President even though his quixotic dream of Iraqis rising up and embracing liberty clearly was a long shot – an honorable notion but not prudent given their history.

Well said, Jason!

Islamic societies are the antithesis of the material needed to create a representative republic, and canonly be ruled by a dictator with the aid of an authoritarian political party and a ruthless army at his back.

The creation of true Democracy in the Middle East would be the work of generations.

First of all you'd have to take Islam out of the picture and kill all the Mullahs, burn all the Korans and bomb all the holy sites and cities like Mecca and Medina to rubble in the Middle East; then convert the masses to reason and logic; then rebuild the formerly Muslim countries with a "Marshal Plan"...and after about a hundred years of hard work maybe... just maybe.. you'd create one or two civilized western-style democracies....

Too much trouble..Kill them all! The only good Muslim is a dead Muslim.

We need a Senator like Cato of ancient Roman frame who ended every speech he gave in the Senate on whatever subject with the fateful words:..."And furthermore, Carthage must be destroyed...."

"And furthermore, Islam must be destroyed" says "Senator" Ronbo.

11/14/06, 12:40 PM  
Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

He had an invasion force. Not an occupation force.

For months, the Dems have claimed we need MORE troops in Iraq. Now that they are in power to set the level of troops, they want to cut them? It's not cut and run until the vote is in?

Ever since President Grant used military force to break up KKK rallies, you Democrats have been loathe to public with your "ideas."

Why is that, Ducky?

11/15/06, 3:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Islam must be destroyed. That's quite an enlightened policy.

Why not start building some camps and building train tracks and renting cattle cars?

Quite an enlightened crew here, Jason. But unlike yourself he will state his position clearly

The "Final Solution" to the Islam problem?

I just go where the logic leads me, since Islam has long proclaimed the "Final Solution" to the "Infidel Problem" -- and subjects the civilizaed world to endless war called Jihad -- I submit that the coming destruction of Islam is a defensive measure needed to for the advancement of the Greater Good; it is a just war that would be approved by Thomas Aquinas.

11/15/06, 5:03 AM  
Blogger Allen Weingarten said...

With regard to dealing with Islam, I submit that *our primary objective is to defend ourselves, rather than change the enemy*. Now the Islamic nations have forfeited their right to survival by their aggression. However, although we have the right to destroy them, it may not be the best way to defend ourselves.

Note, I have not assailed them them for their beliefs, as mistaken as they are, but rather for their *method* of carrying them out (which is that of initiating force).

The problem of the West is not homicide, but suicide. We continually bestow benefits on the Arabs and Muslims, and pull our punches when we fight, out of a false sense of altruism. Were the West to cease supporting their regimes (politically, financially, economically, and militarily) those nations would wither away. Rather we ought support those countries who are aggressed by them, insofar as it is to our interest to do so.

As an aside, on the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution, consider the Suez crisis in 1956. Eisenhower stopped Britain, France, and Israel, from taking the Suez canal from Egypt. Then, after we encouraged the Hungarians to take action against their regime, America not only failed to help them (as we implied we would), but informed the world (via Yugoslavia) that we looked disfavorable upon the Revolution. Two days later, the Soviet Union attacked en mass. Thus, we helped Egypt, while spurning the Hungarians.

How should we deal with Islam? When people engage in aggression, they should be placed beyond the pale. Our approach ought not be to help or harm them, but to act for our values and interests, regardless of its impact upon them.

11/15/06, 10:58 AM  
Blogger Jason Pappas said...

My position.

11/15/06, 5:37 PM  
Blogger Allen Weingarten said...

I completely agree with Jason on establishing a deterrent. The enemy is not invincible because of his willingness to die; we must maintain our will and resolve; our support for them backfires; war is about winning; we must abandon altruism, etc.

I have but one point to emphasize, namely that in reaching them where they live, *deterrence should set back their agenda*. Many Muslims care little about their loss of life, but they are enthusiastic about their cause. Our response to their aggression ought to ensure that their cause is hampered for having harmed us.

When they attack, instead of rewarding them, we ought to cut their funding. When their emigrants harm us, we ought to cancel immigration. When they lie and fabricate, we ought to cut off discussions with them. Rather than offer them incentives, we should supply heavy disincentives.

Now there are endless ways to hamper the Muslims, whether by military & diplomatic means, financial arrangements, denial of legitimacy, computer viruses, profiling, alien registration, closing Madrassas, removing student opportunities, etc., etc. However, deterrence need not be haphazard. When Muslim’s carry on, they do so to achieve some objective; deterrence ought to ensure that our response sets back that objective.

Once it reaches the point where they pay heavily for their attacks upon us, they will find it preferable to attack one another.

11/16/06, 7:28 PM  
Blogger Allen Weingarten said...

Perhaps it would be helpful to place our discussions about the current war in the context of wars in general. Though all wars and enemies are unique, they fall into separate categories. Some wars are preventable, such as our Civil war, and the Spanish-American war. Others should never have been fought at all, such as the Peloponnesian war, and WWI. Some had to be fought, but only within limits, such as in 1776 and 1812. Still others had to be fought without restraint, such as WWII, the Cold war, and the current Islamic war.

What are the features that apply to all wars? I submit the following:

Each must be taken seriously, and dealt with as soon as possible.
When a war must be fought, we ought to follow the eight principles of war (including having a clear objective, as well as unity of command.
The sine qua non is victory (or else it is best to not engage at all).
We must build insight and resolve, noting the special features of the enemy, and determining to defeat him.
The sooner we engage, the better.

Yet we must differentiate between ‘normal’ wars and ‘demonic ones. Under normal circumstances, we seek to prevent wars from expanding, and try to bring them to a close. However, ‘demonic’ wars are different. A demonic enemy aims at our destruction, and the destruction of our civilization. He is more interested in our demise than in his own advantage. Hitler was so intent on killing the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, that he brought two military divisions from the Russian front to do so. When the war was lost, rather than working for the future of Germany, he flooded the Berlin subways, to punish his people for not winning. This was surely not to foster his own civilization, but was an extension of his destructive intent against all civilization.

Counter that with the example of the Italians, who despite being a fascist regime, sought to end the war, even in defeat. (In addition, they strung up Mussolini.)

The key feature of the demonic enemy is his *method* for achieving his aims, where “anything goes”. This constitutes the necessary and sufficient conditions for being demonic. It is necessary, for unless his method is totalitarian, the enemy could be reasoned with; and it is sufficient, for if “anything goes”, the enemy has lost touch with his humanity, and is therefore under the control of his passions.

Civilization requires placing a distinction between the civilized man (who is protected) and the barbarian (who is placed beyond the pale). When someone murders, he has forfeited his rights, and if necessary obliterated. So it is with Islam, which does not deserve accommodation or legitimization, but prosecution. There is no need for negotiations, or dialog, or a meeting of the minds, but rather a treatment that leaves him no quarter.

So although there are general principles that apply to every war, why we fight, and how we fight, differs. How then should we deal with Islam? First, we must recognize that she is demonic. Her aim is not to advance her own ‘civilization’ as much as to destroy all civilization. We must place Islam beyond the pale, recognizing that the worse off it is, the better. We should not hesitate to use big weapons, and if this renders the battle more extreme, so much the better. We ought to recognize their preferences, where Islam is a culture of death. Thus it cares little about the lives of its people, let alone that of others. In contrast to fascism and communism, that hid its murder and torture (photographing them only for their records) Islam could publicly celebrate their murder and torture. How then should we deal with it?

Although Islam doesn’t care about life, it cares about its Mosques. It fears an ounce of pig-fat touching its Kaaba. It cannot abide humiliation or ridicule, but can only respond with frantic violence. Hence we ought to provide it the disrespect it deserves.

If Islamists sue for peace, we should disregard it, except if it happens to place us in a superior position vis-à-vis them.

We must do ‘whatever it takes’ to defeat them, being restricted only by that which would undermine our moral fiber.
Rather than seek negotiations and communication, we ought supply disincentives, so that the consequence of their adverse behavior sets back their agenda.
Mostly, we should obtain psychic dominance, where it is we who act with confidence, and they who are diffident. This is more important than whether we gain or lose materially, for psychic loss leads to material loss, while psychic gain provides the morale needed for victory.

The world is in a moral crisis, where the key necessity is preventing our destruction by the Islamic enemy. We must stop being our own worst enemy, where our false sense of humanism enables and rewards those intent on destroying us

11/20/06, 12:02 PM  

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