Thursday, June 04, 2009
Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq was a war of choice that provoked strong differences in my country and around the world. Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible.
Under what criteria was it a war of choice? Only if you consider the August, 1990, bloody invasion and occupation of Kuwait a nullity, no harm, no foul, was our invasion of Iraq in 2003 a choice. You could just as easily consider our war against National Socialist Germany a war of choice. Germany had not attacked us; Imperial Japan had. We had partially ended the Gulf War, as we call our kicking Iraqi forces out of Kuwait, not with a peace treaty but with a cease fire with conditions--quite a number of things that Saddam Hussein had to agree to do to keep our forces out of Iraq. He did not keep his promises on more than one or two of the several cease fire requirements. We dithered a while, mainly under Democratic leadership, while attempting to force changes in Iraq though the diplomacy of the UN, et al. All our efforts were a complete failure, and only if we considered the cease fire requirements worth nothing was it a 'choice' to finish properly the war crime that was Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Our actions in Spring, 2003, resulted from and indeed proved the limits of diplomacy and an international consensus. And as our President grudgingly admits, we improved the lives of most Iraqis. That we also dealt al Qaeda a near mortal blow went unmentioned, as the speech contained no praise of America or our Armed Forces.
But there's worse. Behold:
9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals.
Let me translate: My predecessor was a war criminal.
Complete bullshit and utterly contemptible. Only if you do not consider taking swift and effective steps to protect our nation from further attack a laudable ideal, did our successful efforts to defend the nation by taking off the kid gloves, and moving the venue of the war to those nations who supported and protected those who waged it on us, not conform with the principles we have consistently held.
But there's even worse. See:
On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people – Muslims and Christians – have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.
The Christians in the former Palestinian Mandate have suffered at the hands of Israel? Transparently untrue. If there has been any suffering of Christians in the area it was nearly exclusively caused by the Muslims over the past 60 plus years. The pain of dislocation of the Muslims who lived in the Palestinian Mandate is purely a self inflicted wound. Most willingly left their homes in 1947 and 1948, secure that they would soon return after the 5 Arab Armies made the area as Judenrein as the Nazis had made Hungary just 3 years prior. The reason there is an 'occupation' is because the Muslims keep attacking the Israelis. Following the first attacks, the West Bank, as it is called, was occupied by the Hashemite Kingdom of Trans-Jordan and the former Gaza Strip was occupied by Egypt. Had the Palestinians, as they call themselves, recognized Israel and not sought to effect a second Holocaust, the would probably be bitching and moaning about those occupations, which were brutal. Israel was however subsequently attacked by Jordan and Egypt, et al., beat them, and took over the territory those nations had taken over. How in the world is that Israel's fault? The Israelis recently left Gaza voluntarily. Only because the Gazans routinely shell and send rockets into Israel is the border closed. Again, how is that Israel's fault? What's intolerable about the Palestinian situation is that they refuse to allow the area to have Jews in it. This is in stark contrast to the situation of Muslims citizens in Israel, who have full civil rights, Jimmy Carter's apartheid smear notwithstanding.
Obama's speech was not so much naive as full of misinformation. To quote the Gipper: "It isn't that Liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so much that isn't so."