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Kerrey: No wonder Democrats are not trusted with the reins of power

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by basso, May 22, 2007.

  1. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010107

    [rquoter]The Left's Iraq Muddle
    Yes, it is central to the fight against Islamic radicalism.

    BY BOB KERREY
    Tuesday, May 22, 2007 12:01 a.m.

    At this year's graduation celebration at The New School in New York, Iranian lawyer, human-rights activist and Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi delivered our commencement address. This brave woman, who has been imprisoned for her criticism of the Iranian government, had many good and wise things to say to our graduates, which earned their applause.

    But one applause line troubled me. Ms. Ebadi said: "Democracy cannot be imposed with military force."

    What troubled me about this statement--a commonly heard criticism of U.S. involvement in Iraq--is that those who say such things seem to forget the good U.S. arms have done in imposing democracy on countries like Japan and Germany, or Bosnia more recently.

    Let me restate the case for this Iraq war from the U.S. point of view. The U.S. led an invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein because Iraq was rightly seen as a threat following Sept. 11, 2001. For two decades we had suffered attacks by radical Islamic groups but were lulled into a false sense of complacency because all previous attacks were "over there." It was our nation and our people who had been identified by Osama bin Laden as the "head of the snake." But suddenly Middle Eastern radicals had demonstrated extraordinary capacity to reach our shores.

    As for Saddam, he had refused to comply with numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions outlining specific requirements related to disclosure of his weapons programs. He could have complied with the Security Council resolutions with the greatest of ease. He chose not to because he was stealing and extorting billions of dollars from the U.N. Oil for Food program.

    No matter how incompetent the Bush administration and no matter how poorly they chose their words to describe themselves and their political opponents, Iraq was a larger national security risk after Sept. 11 than it was before. And no matter how much we might want to turn the clock back and either avoid the invasion itself or the blunders that followed, we cannot. The war to overthrow Saddam Hussein is over. What remains is a war to overthrow the government of Iraq.

    Some who have been critical of this effort from the beginning have consistently based their opposition on their preference for a dictator we can control or contain at a much lower cost. From the start they said the price tag for creating an environment where democracy could take root in Iraq would be high. Those critics can go to sleep at night knowing they were right.

    The critics who bother me the most are those who ordinarily would not be on the side of supporting dictatorships, who are arguing today that only military intervention can prevent the genocide of Darfur, or who argued yesterday for military intervention in Bosnia, Somalia and Rwanda to ease the sectarian violence that was tearing those places apart.

    Suppose we had not invaded Iraq and Hussein had been overthrown by Shiite and Kurdish insurgents. Suppose al Qaeda then undermined their new democracy and inflamed sectarian tensions to the same level of violence we are seeing today. Wouldn't you expect the same people who are urging a unilateral and immediate withdrawal to be urging military intervention to end this carnage? I would.

    American liberals need to face these truths: The demand for self-government was and remains strong in Iraq despite all our mistakes and the violent efforts of al Qaeda, Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias to disrupt it. Al Qaeda in particular has targeted for abduction and murder those who are essential to a functioning democracy: school teachers, aid workers, private contractors working to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure, police officers and anyone who cooperates with the Iraqi government. Much of Iraq's middle class has fled the country in fear.

    With these facts on the scales, what does your conscience tell you to do? If the answer is nothing, that it is not our responsibility or that this is all about oil, then no wonder today we Democrats are not trusted with the reins of power. American lawmakers who are watching public opinion tell them to move away from Iraq as quickly as possible should remember this: Concessions will not work with either al Qaeda or other foreign fighters who will not rest until they have killed or driven into exile the last remaining Iraqi who favors democracy.

    The key question for Congress is whether or not Iraq has become the primary battleground against the same radical Islamists who declared war on the U.S. in the 1990s and who have carried out a series of terrorist operations including 9/11. The answer is emphatically "yes."

    This does not mean that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11; he was not. Nor does it mean that the war to overthrow him was justified--though I believe it was. It only means that a unilateral withdrawal from Iraq would hand Osama bin Laden a substantial psychological victory.

    Those who argue that radical Islamic terrorism has arrived in Iraq because of the U.S.-led invasion are right. But they are right because radical Islam opposes democracy in Iraq. If our purpose had been to substitute a dictator who was more cooperative and supportive of the West, these groups wouldn't have lasted a week.

    Finally, Jim Webb said something during his campaign for the Senate that should be emblazoned on the desks of all 535 members of Congress: You do not have to occupy a country in order to fight the terrorists who are inside it. Upon that truth I believe it is possible to build what doesn't exist today in Washington: a bipartisan strategy to deal with the long-term threat of terrorism.

    The American people will need that consensus regardless of when, and under what circumstances, we withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq. We must not allow terrorist sanctuaries to develop any place on earth. Whether these fighters are finding refuge in Syria, Iran, Pakistan or elsewhere, we cannot afford diplomatic or political excuses to prevent us from using military force to eliminate them.

    Mr. Kerrey, a former Democratic senator from Nebraska and member of the 9/11 Commission, is president of The New School. [/rquoter]
     
  2. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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  3. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Again no meaningful realation Iraq to 9/11. Stating it even over and over does not make it so.

    Now we must stay and keep sending working class kids, even if a majoity thinks the war a mistake,.

    In other words it is true that even though Sadam was a dictator he could have been containted with less costs to the US . A remarkable admission.
    Basso, I assume you disagree with this part of the article?

    It is true that it is a contradiction to support the iniation of a civil war and then decry in great moral outrage the type of genocide that often occurs once the dogs of war have been unleashed.
     
  4. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Suppose Al Qaeda tried to overthrow the democracy in Canada. I would expect a lot of opponents of Bush's War to urge intervention. I would..

    I agree, about the determination of Iraqis for self government, but so should American conservatives and moderates. That is why most Iraqis support attacking our occupying troops.

    OUr war has led to quite a mess..

    My conscience tells me to oppose unnecessary wars, one whose case has not been made by this author. Also someone should give him the news that there were no appreciable AlQaeda in Iraq prior to the war per admission I now believe this has been admitted by Bush and Cheney. Still aren't many and the Iraqis are in a better position to deal with these folks than our kids from our rural areas.


    This is a key question and most of the world thinks correctly that our presence strengthen the radical Islamists

    Now we have it!?

    If even a purported psychological vicgtory for Bin Laden is the real reason to continue the war in Iraq, despite the author's now admission that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, why not abandon the Iraq War and put say 10% of those resources into catching Bin Laden? Then we could do more than merely deny him a psychological victory.
     
    #4 glynch, May 22, 2007
    Last edited: May 22, 2007
  5. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    True.

    I think what the author is saying is that we caused radical Islamic terrorism to arrive in Iraq because we like democracy so much that this the high price we are willing to pay. I guess he would tie it in by saying then we have to stay till we defeat said radical Islamic terrorists. The problem with this logic is that our mere presence probably create more radical Islamic terrorists than we kill in the long forseeable future.

    I think so. No need to subscribe to the author's invade first mindset.

    The American people will need that consensus regardless of when, and under what circumstances, we withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq.
    Hopefully the author does not have in mind an Iraqi style invasion and occupation of Pakistan with its 500 million or however many people tiill we subdue the radical isalmicists that I guess even he would allow would arise against our army of democracy builders.
     
  6. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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  7. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    Dayum Glynch, you just went postal on this piece. I understand though, I can't believe someone is still connecting 9-11 and Iraq, its a joke
     
  8. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    Say it often enough and it becomes the truth.
     
  9. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    except kerrey is pretty clear that they aren't connected, so not sure what glynch's point is.
     
  10. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    It is true, I should have just said: " I could imagine disagreeing with the post. Mainly I object to it being an opinion piece, when Basso could have just put his own opinion." AS HALF-BREED WOULD PUT IT.
     
  11. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Basso, I sympathize with you. Kerrey is pretty "muddled" on Iraq, as I demonstrated above, so I guess it is tough for you not to be muddled either.

    I think, Basso, that the perceptual problem of cognitive dissonance is the obstacle you are having in actually assimilating new facts as they arise in Iraq and therebye what should be new opinions wrt to the Iraqi War.
     
  12. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    What a crock of sh*t!

    Shiites are fairly radical Islamic fundamentalists. who are currently supporting democracy in Iraq.
     
  13. StupidMoniker

    StupidMoniker I lost a bet

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    164,741,924 by July 2007 according to CIA estimates.
     
  14. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
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    Once again, the 'Saving Private Ryan' mythos of America as the great and generous bringer of democracy in WWII. :rolleyes: The mythology created around WWII has done more to harm this country that anything else.
     
  15. Refman

    Refman Contributing Member

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    Here is the problem with these threads....

    They are all the same.

    Those who are against the war are resolute in their belief. There is no changing their mind even if we found out that the Iraquis financed 9/11, masterminded the OK City bombing, and defacated in the water fountain.

    Those who are for the war are resolute in their belief. There is no changing their mind even if God himself came from heaven and told us that the Iraquis are the chosen people and that they are collectively going to cure cancer, AIDS, and bunyons.

    Basically, since there are two sides with equally resolute beliefs, it degenerates into a name calling, ire raising, exercise in futility.

    Carry on.
     
  16. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    basso, at a critical point in the battle for the future of civilization, what with the Surge being our only hope, I'd figure you'd be posting up a storm. Instead you come up with half-hearted, infrequent efforts like this. At a time when your capacities are most needed, you are coming up empty. I am beginning to doubt your commitment to total victory.

    There are so few people remaining in favor of the war or the way it has been mishandled that only the true diehards remain, who are willing to "create their own reality", to borrow a term from the Admin itself. Of course it's not going to change anything.
     
  17. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    I disagree, Refman. There are posters here who have done a 180 on the war. Not me. Not Batman. We didn't have to. Not a few others who were against it before it began, but several have changed their minds, just as the country has changed it's mind.

    Perhaps if you posted here more often, you could help raise the quality of discussion. :)



    D&D. Dream and Yao... Replicant Fantasy!
     
  18. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Deckard, in case you forget I was against the war all along.

    Frankly, the position that everyone is equally wrong, bull headed or unyielding is a sort of intellectual copout IMHO.

    Those who saw through the imperialist America uber alles bullsh** from the beginning were correct. Frankly the info was there to be had among the liberal, non-mainstream press and we reposted it from the beginning on this forum,.

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion but some are frequently more correct than others. I realize that a contented, moderate middle of the road position can be appealing to a certain extent and even give the illusion of intellectual rationality and reasonableness.
     
  19. Refman

    Refman Contributing Member

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    Noted. I'll get to work on that. :D
     
  20. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    I didn't forget. You were one of those "few others" I was thinking of. I was afraid that if I attempted to name them all I'd forget someone, which I certainly would have done, considering how good my memory is these days. (unless the subject involves sex in some way... I seem to have an excellent memory for those experiences, no matter how many decades ago they were!)




    D&D. Replicant City.
     

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