Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The war in Iraq – then and now – two different things!

I think it’s important to note that comments on the initial invasion starting the war in Iraq and comments on the current situation in Iraq, are two different things.

In other words, being in disagreement with the initial invasion and the motives and actions leading up to that, are a separate issue to dealing with the current situation in Iraq. Disagreeing with the original invasion does not mean that you would (necessarily) be in favor of currently pulling out as if - because it was wrong to go in there in the first place, we should pull out now and abandon current operations now.

It seems to me that it should and in fact has to be considered that the current circumstances in Iraq are specific and direct results of our actions.

To say that we should not have gone in there in the first place is a totally separate issue from any consideration as to what approach we take, or should take concerning the current situation.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

IRAQ - various comments

It occurred to me lately that it really seems that no consideration or comment on the current situation in Iraq at this point can be made without first saying that ‘It was wrong to invade Iraq in the first place!’

In other words, if someone was to ask for an opinion on the circumstances in Iraq, you have to start out by recognizing that it was not a good move in the first place.

At this point, I think that there are not too many people who will maintain that we were right in the decision to Invade. Given the current debates among all those in Congress, those running for President and all the news, military and political pundits; it seems that there are not too many with that view.

Recently President Bush made a speech concerned with announcing the need for additional troops to be sent to Iraq. As a premise for this, he appeared to want to make (at least superficially) some form of acknowledgement that things weren’t going well in Iraq, and somewhat relied on the old “mistakes have been made” format to justify the circumstances.

It occurred to me at the time, that if President Bush really wanted to have a clean slate and the support of the American people that he could have actually gone so far as to state that he considers his actions in Iraq, to have been wrong in the first place; rather than to appear to attempt to play it off as if all the things that were wrong (going wrong) in Iraq, were results of circumstances that were caused by the ‘bad guys.’

With no acknowledgement that if we had not invaded in the first place, the circumstances would not be as they are.

At one point recently he referred to the current circumstances as ‘this war we find ourselves in.’ Again, with no acknowledgement of his initiation of the war itself.

During the State of the Union, he made the statement “This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we're in.”

9/11/01 - The world on our side; followed by a campaign of 'create hate and make enemies' - Part II

It would have been (was) without question an incredibly unique circumstance in history.

In a very exceptional and unprecedented way; for a period of time the focus of the world was to a great extent concentrated. After the attacks of September 11, there seemed to be acknowledgement, recognition and focus on the incredible harm that had been deliberately visited on the U.S. and the free world in general.

This is something that I find difficult to actually spell out.

It seems like the U.S. at this time, could have very effectively isolated and contained the perpetrators.

In combination with this, what has to be considered is that under these circumstances, the civilized world was effectively allied with the U.S. at this time.

More so than any other time, we had the backing and the approval of the countries of the world.

The Al Qaeda and the Taliban could have been effectively isolated and contained within Afghanistan. At this point, even Iran would have cooperated with the U.S. on this matter.

We were very fortunate from the beginning to have had the backing of Pakistan through their president Pervez Musharraf. At this time frame and very much since President Musharraf has supported the U.S. actions at his risk.

Under these circumstances Al Qaeda and the Taliban could have been isolated, contained within the country of Afghanistan and put on notice as to the intentions of the United States to apprehend the Al Qaeda leadership and to disband the leadership of the Taliban and the entire organization of Al Qaeda.

The focus of the U.S. forces could have been to contain the boarders of Afghanistan and the very people that we sought to apprehend. This would have been enhanced greatly by the assistance of the bordering countries; which at the time, we would have been able to get their cooperation in the matter.

Under these circumstances we could have made out moves into Afghanistan more intentional, calculated and methodical. Within time, with the right strategy, the U.S. could have well effectively enforced the disbandment of both the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

For those who would insist that there was a need to move quickly to apprehend the perpetrators of the attacks of September 11; it shouldn’t take too much persuasion to consider that the leadership of both Al Qaeda and the Taliban are currently still at large as of February 2007 and each organization has been a source of much concern to the United States ever since.

The United States severely complicated the circumstances of this matter, by insisting on invading Iraq. A completely separate issue; and as is obvious at this point, a much larger and more complicated task.

Now, currently, we have such a lack of control over the circumstances that it’s really scary.

This along with the fact that we have alienated so much of the rest of the world to an extent that we have over the last several years lost so much of our long held respect and reputation in the world.

Under the same circumstances as described above concerning isolating and containing the bad guys in Afghanistan, and without having invaded Iraq, we would still enjoy the backing and approval of the countries of the world. Given these circumstances, we could have very effectively employed a very similar tactic towards Iraq. Without any invasion, the leadership in Iraq, could have been very effectively put on notice that the collective eyes of the world are focused on any potential state sponsored terrorism or any form of state behavior considered as aggressive to other countries.

This would have been the foundation for dialogue among the countries of the world as to containing the significantly small number of terrorist states; and would have enabled a strategy of containment that would have been the ultimate and the most effective in eliminating the potential for state sponsored terrorism, or other forms of aggression.

As it is. It’s hard to see how our response to the attacks of 9/11 could have been handled any worse than they have. The leadership of the Taliban is still at large, and they are a continuing source of trouble with periodic resurgences. Same with the leadership of Al Qaeda, and the spread of al Qaeda in other countries including Iraq. With these factors in place, the country and the leadership of Pakistan has had incredibly difficult circumstances to deal with in their support of the U.S.

Iraq could hardly be in worse shape. I don’t suppose that really needs to be spelled out. Considering the recent 2006 mid term election and the current ongoing debates in Congress concerning the War in Iraq.

Another extremely significant aspect that I think should be considered concerning the current circumstances and the actions leading up to, is that with consideration to the argument that our actions in Iraq are necessary in defending the country against terrorism. Briefly stated, I think that it should be considered that in conjunction with the incredible complication and dedication of resources in Iraq, that, had we not involved ourselves there in the first place, that, our resources could have well been better focused and spent over the last several years by vigorously concentrating them within our own boarders by enhancing our terrorism defense at home.