Saturday, August 09, 2008


Free Tibet

I saw a very weathered Free Tibet sticker on a very old Volvo wagon the other day and had to laugh, a bitter, ironic laugh to be sure. Mark Steyn has nailed the 'Free Tibet bumper sticker versus the free Iraq reality' divide between left and right. The left talks about freeing Tibet from ChiCom authoritarian rule for decades but never does anything about it, except talk. There never were any 'Free Iraq from Dictator Saddam Hussein' bumper stickers, we just went in under a Republican administration and did it.

Loyal reader and friend T constantly writes that it is a fools' mission, that the Iraqis are perhaps genetically (or trapped by history into being) incapable of self rule. I reject that, but it is ultimately not that important whether the Iraqis can keep the Republic we helped give them, the importance is that through the sacrifice of many, and 4100 gave the ultimate sacrifice, we freed, again, strangers from a brutal dictatorship (and gave them a lot of money with which to rebuild their country).

Others on the left, call the war lost no matter what the situation on the ground there is. Many, indeed the majority of Americans unfamiliar with the reality in Iraq (the media representation was very bad indeed), think the war was not worth it. I guess the 'pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty' Democrats are indeed extinct.

There is valid criticism in the conduct of the war--hunkering down in bases when there were only a few roads on which to travel seems in retrospect to have invited the queen of the Iraqi insurgent battlefield, the IED. However, these tactical mistakes, such as they are, pale in comparison to the failure of tactics in Brooklyn, in Canada, along the York/James peninsula, at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, at Belleau Wood, along the whole of Italy and at Peleliu. In all those wars, the ultimate outcome was success despite the mistakes.

In short, I'm a Republican in part because the left has not successfully finished a war since Truman dropped atomic weapons on Japan about this time of year in 1945, and there is absolutely no reason to believe the Democrats of today will successfully fight the war being waged against us by Muslim extremists. I'm a Republican because we generally get things done while the left engages in a multi-decade, ineffectual campaign of harsh language. Just as they are now embarked in Darfur.

I'm proud of what my country under George Bush did in Iraq, and any reasonable analyst would think the same.


Do I get to make a list of nations I want to free?

"...but it is ultimately not that important whether the Iraqis can keep the Republic we helped give them, the importance is that through the sacrifice of many...we freed again, strangers from brutal dictatorship (and gave them a lot of money with which to rebuild their country)."

Roger, are you quite mad? Unless the newly hatched (certainly it has not reached fledgling stage) Iraqi Republic succeeds, the mission is a failure.

Decensus Avernus facilis est, remember?

As Bonnnie sang once "What is success?" Well for the Iraqi republic, I would settle for not failing. If there is no civil war--even if the country partates-- that would be success. If the country does not become for Iran, what Lebanon became for Syria, that would be success. If the country does not become a training ground for Muslim extremists., that would be success.

Shoot low, they're riding Shetlands.

Sorry, Rog, you cannot walk away and say: "We spent more than 4100 lives and a trillon dollars, now we expect you to build a paradise from the rubble and if you don't, well we done good anyhow, by golly, you betcha."

Do not accuse me of playing the gene card. If you took an infant from Dubuque and swapped him for one from Baquba, 18 years later you have an Arab Hawkeye in Iowa, and a butterheaded Iraqi in Baquba.

For a synopsis on Arab culture and why it is ill suited for many endeavors, including democracy and individuality, check out Kenneth Pollack's "A Path from the Desert" pp 67-120. No lefty he, Pollack's last book, "The Threatening Storm " advocated the invasion of Iraq.

Meanwhile, back at the ruins of the presidential palace...

"I am proud of what my country under George Bush did in Iraq and any reasonable analyst would think the same."

And so dear readers I have reached a fork in the analytical road. Yea and verily, before my eyes, two roads are diverging in a yellow wood. If I do not agree with Roger, then I am not a reasonable man and Roger is a reasonable man, and so are they all reasonable men.

But if I am a reasonable man, then Roger is wrong.

So which one of us is Lear upon the moor, shouting at the rain?


Are you comparing Iraq to Hell? Certainly it's not that bad. Since all we really wanted to do was get rid of Saddam and his psychotic sons, we've won that war. That al Qaeda chose to make the fight there a central front in their struggle against the Zionist/Cursaders and got their asses handed to them is an unforseen bonus which makes the political fortunes of Iraq in the future a minor concern. Maybe that's just me.
You're Lear, a smart, thoughtful Lear, but Lear just the same. We did good in Iraq. Those who can't acknowledge it have nothing more to say to me on the subject.
What is the next nation we should free. Tibet?

The Virgil was just to remind you that getting into Iraq was easy but getting out, another thing entirely.

I am throwing a flag and penalizing you for revisionism. The purpose of invadng Iraq was not just to get rid of Saddam and his psychotic sons. I think we could have dome that w/o invading the country.

As for Tibet, notw/standing that when Karen joined the Tibet society at her college when she was the only one who had actually been to Tibet and notw/standing her black long sleeved T-shirt that says "Tibet Will Be Free," I am w/ the Dalai Lama on this one. Tibet gas benefited in may ways from the Chinese presence there. As the Dalai Lama states what Tibetans need is more autonony; that and fewer Han Chinese being sent to Tibet to colonize it.

Look the Tibetans revere th eDalai Lama, not Chairmen Mao. If the Chinese Communist regime were not so paranoid, authoritarian, and mainpulative, the regime would just go w/ it and instaed of being ahted, the Chinese would be loved by the Tibetans.

I would like to free Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe must go. He has turned the breadbasket of southern Africa into a nation that must import food. On the other hand, everyone in Zimbabwe is a billionaire but then w/ the inflation there, it takes about a trillion dollars to buy a loaf of bread, if you can find one.

The guys running the Sudan are not nice people.

I know you have seen the photograph of North Korea taken from space at night. Kim Jung Il, that meglomaniacal Hollywood smitten dwiszhni must go. All we have to do is establish diplomatic relations w/ North Korea and appoint Paris Hilton ambassador. The regime will fall in a few weeks.

Unfortuately, there is no military option w/ North Korea given the number of tubes it has pointed at Seoul.

That guy running Belarus? He must go also only he is secure under the penumbra of somebody else who must go, that being Vladimir Putin, who as you noted in your post above this one, has now sent tanks into South Ossetia on the same day as the Olympics began. I wonder if he and W had a chat about that in Beijing during opening ceremonies.

I mean W is the perfect guy b/c he looked into Putin's eyes and "got a sense of his soul." What soul? Well, it was W after all. I would not have been surprised if he said he saw George Washington waving at him like Harry Potter's parents out of a photograph.

Valdimir Putin; Vlad the Impaler; Tsar Vladimir I. That is the path down which Russia is speeding.

This, of course, is only the short list and only consists of people running real countries.

I am interested in your opinion about what to do about Waziristan.

I'm with you for all your list, but wouldn't put them in that order. All have big problems associated. As to Waziristan. I would bribe/cajole/blackmail/convince the real leader in Pakistan that it would be great if he would go back in with sufficient force (The first tries cost Pakistan about 3k troops dead) to push the al Qaeda types into Afghanistan where we slaughter them. I was thinking that if that fails, we nuke the ungovernable provinces and let Allah sort it out, but maybe we're not at the point where nuking would be the best choice. Someday. Not today.
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