Responding to Local Wingnuts

February 1, 2007
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One of the fun things about living the South is that you see such hilarious stuff in the local newspaper. Some of the folks sending letters to the editor of our local rag, the Greenville News, are so tragically uninformed and tunnel-visioned that you have to laugh to keep from crying. Here’s an example from the local color from the Jan. 31, ’07 letters:

Democrats lacking alternative war plans

How much more can the left-wing press and the Democrats politicize this war? We are in a war against radicalism in the Middle East and if we do as the Democrats are espousing, we will be fighting the war here. The 9-11 attack should have proven how brazen these radicals become when the only response is to lob a rocket, talk with our allies and declare everything hunky-dory. This is exactly what Clinton and the Democrats did in the 90s. We are suffering for it now.

During the war in Iraq 3,000 soldiers have died. This is not a number anyone likes, but when put in the perspective of a four-year war that, according to the lefties, is a quagmire reminiscent of Vietnam, it is surprisingly low. It is not comparable to the 50,000-plus who died in Vietnam. In the Vietnam era it was liberal Democrats abetted by the left-wing press who caused our government to fight with gloves on, making political decisions rather than military decisions and costing lives.

A blatant attack on Americans requires quick retaliation and hard decisions. We are getting that from George Bush. We will not get that from liberal Democrats as current events and history teach us.

If the Democrats are truly supportive of our troops and keeping America safe they will offer some alternatives other than “Bush is a liar and incompetent,” since neither of these are true. Show us your plan rather than your pure partisan lust for power.

Bruce Morse, Greer

I couldn’t let that one go without comment, so here’s my response (as “McDoogle”):

My response to Bruce Morse’s letter to ed. Re: Dems and Iraq

If Mr. Morse bothered to follow any of the debate in Congress or any of the non-Limbaugh media, he would know that Democrats have proposed several reality-based alternatives to Bush’s stay-the-course program.

As for liberals causing the President to “fight with gloves on”, Bush has only Donald Rumsfeld to thank for the under-manned, under-planned results of the war. Many Democrats in Congress threw their support behind the President specifically because they did not want to repeat the mistakes of Vietnam. You can lay the blame for the current state of Iraq squarely on the shoulders of the Bush Administration and the previous Rubber-Stamp Congress (including Democrats too craven to stand up the the false pretenses for the war). To date, there has been ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and NOBODY keeping Bush from running the war the way he wanted, including torturing prisoners and illegal wiretapping, and all the “shock and awe” he cared to deliver. Sorry Bruce but the N-Cons have nobody to point a finger at.

Mr. Morse wrote, “A blatant attack on Americans requires quick retaliation and hard decisions. We are getting that from George Bush.”
I have to say it’s really pathetic that I have to remind any adult that there was NO CONNECTION between the 9/11 attacks and Iraq. You can’t use 9/11 as a valid justification for the invasion of Iraq. In fact, as we can see from the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq distracted vital resources and focus from the correct response to the 9/11 attack.

I and all Americans owe a huge debt to the men and women risking their lives in Iraq, but part of our obligation is to make damn sure that mission that we have sent them on is worth the ultimate sacrifice. I don’t think our presence in Iraq is improving the situation. It’s time to withdraw.

I know, you’re probably thinking, if we pull out of Iraq now, “islamofascists” will take over the Middle East and ultimately destroy the world. Yeah, and if we hadn’t pulled out of Vietnam (20,000 US soldiers dead after Nixon promised an end), we wouldn’t all be speaking Russian now.

My comment did encite one quick response, which I’ll include on the next page, as this post is getting long.More...

Here’s the exchange from the G-News PostChat:

Me (McDoogle):

j_richard, 

I agree that the situations (Iraq/Vietnam) are different in many ways. My point is, though the communist threat was very real at the time of the Vietnam War, our eventual withdrawl did not lead to a domino-effect collapse of the free world. Hindsight tells us that a policy of containment and diplomacy might have acheived better results and avoided the sacrifice of thousands of lives and millions of dollars. We’ll never know because the McCarthyists did their best to squelch opposition to the war.

Today, the threat from al-Qaeda is very real, and the ambitions of Iran and others in the region pose a serious threat. Having learned, I hope, from the mis-adventure in Vietnam and other conflicts, we have to ask ourselves: Is pouring hundreds of thousands of troops and hundreds of billions of dollars (some estimate to total cost exceeding $1 TRILLION) into a civil war in Iraq going to acheive more than had we used our diplomacy, our military power, and our money in other ways.

Like finishing the job in Afghanistan, for example. That war is deteriorating rapidly because the Bush was distracted by his vendetta against Sadam Hussein. If we’re going to surge troops and rebuild, it should be in Afghanistan, where the real fight against al-Qaeda began.

Imagine if we had used that $1 trillion we’re squandering in Iraq to beef up our intelligence and spy network, and focus on infiltrating al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. We’d have hundreds of billions left over to increase our ground troop count and replace aging hardware. I, for one, would feel a lot safer.

The situation in Iraq, rather than increasing our safety, has destabilized the entire region and made our world a much more dangerous place. At the same time, it’s shown our potential adversaries the limitations of our military reach. Iran and North Korea have been emboldened by our troubles. The Chinese are watching with great interest.

There’s no military solution in Iraq, it’s time to withdraw troops and use our diplomatic influence (while we still have some) to contain the situation. It’s going to be ugly and it’s going to be risky, but we finally figured out that there was nothing to be gained by wasting more American lives in Vietnam, and I think we’re at the same decision point in Iraq.

Mcdoogle Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 6:32 am

j_richard:

Mcdoogle, 

Southeast Asia cannot be compared a far as a region,
dominate culture, religion, and language as the Middle East.
Throw in the oil problem and that is what it is.

j_richard Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:11 pm

I’ll note any responses of interest here.

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