Originally Posted by vinea
Does it? Or does it just feel like it helps?
Sure, we're fighting for survival of our way of life against extremists and to secure a resource that we believe is likely to become more scarce in our lifetimes.
A resource without which we no longer are a superpower.
But you're missing the point. What, specifically is required to fight for that way of life? We're not going up a conventional army of 1,000,000 or 2,000,000 or what not. It's a very different kind of war, one that doesn't require us to use just the military in that sense.
If we are at war, (and the call GWOT a war) why shouldn't patriots WANT to volunteer? Why must we reduce standards in order to meet recruitment numbers? Shouldn't we be turning folks away?
1. Because there are other ways to serve one's country. Because we don't need all those conventional troops.
2. I'm not sure I see your point. Clearly we could be doing better with recruiting. It's not hard to understand why it becomes a bit tougher when there is a good possibility someone is going to be deployed into combat as opposed to what often happens during peacetime. Or, are you calling those who might think twice about volunteering cowards?
You're attempting reductio ad absurdum when you say "everyone"...how about "most" or even "many" patriots? Or are we lacking in true patriots these days?
Wait...wasn't that YOUR position...that EVERYONE should pick up a rife?
Lower quality but far higher numbers. Quantity has a quality of its own. The problem would be in reduction of quality while keeping the numbers the same.
Academic point. No need to go further.
Originally Posted by addabox
Wanted to respond to this point, specifically, because we hear it a lot.
"We" the judges of what is reasonable. Gotcha.
How we got there matters because, first, it has everything to do with what we think we are doing now. You can't have a mission that sequentially discards its rationales and still make strident claims for the riotousness of the cause.
No, it doesn't. It has very little to do with what we are doing now, actually.
We were going to keep Sadam from using those weapons of mass destruction against us, but that proved to be a fool's errand. Then we were going to allow a vibrant democracy to bloom that would act as a beacon to the rest of the benighted Middle East, but that clearly is a chimera as well.
Now we have some vague notion of hanging tough until there is some sort of semi-stable-not-overtly-doing-Iran's-bidding regime, or at least not "allowing" the region to descend into outright chaos.
The fact that we've been steadily ratcheting down through a series increasingly bleak options sort of ought to inform our notions of strategy and what's possible, don't you think?
It still has absolutely nothing to do with where we go from here. You can make the case, if you wish, that the goals of the mission have "ratcheted down," but that is all part of the discussion about where we go from "here"---that being various points that we've been at over the last few years. What's relevant at this time, though, is what to do next. If your position is "hey, this has really sucked...let's get out because it's not getting better and it's going to."-- fine. My own is that it's time to start drawing down...lighting a fire under the Iraqi government's ass, if you will. Others, like John McCain, want to stay indefinitely. There are three different positions there, all at least worthy of considering. But going back and trying to disqualify certain options because there were no WMD and Bush Lied™...it really serves no purpose.
Secondly, the very people who engineered this horror show, and who at every moment throughout its wretched existence have been belligerently assuring us that things are going great, or if not exactly great right now, then pretty soon, or in six months, are the same people making claims for the viability of the mission now. You don't think a horrible track record counts for anything, when someone is essentially saying "trust us"? Really?
So, an ever changing idea of "winning" coupled with what may well be the most horrific pattern of poor management of any military engagement in US history, and you want to declare that all of that is just "gotcha" politics and is irrelevant.
Oh, that's right, you think it would be just great if we did it again in Iran, because this time they surely are being completely honest about motivations, and this time they'll probably do a bang up job.
I guess if you want to live in a kind of autistic bubble of an eternal now, anything is possible.
Ahhh...that's what it's REALLY about, adda...isn't it? It's not about the policy...it's about Bush Lied™ So it really doesn't matter what the administration does. If we pulled out tomorrow, you'd say "SEE! We tooold
you! In fact, that's an admission that you've been lying some more! You should resign, Dubya! And Rumsfeld...he should go to jail...see, Bush admitted it was all a lie! And he was incompetent...see, he just proved it!"
Originally Posted by jimmac
We will go on talking about SDW as it will figure prominently in the next election. A reminder never to let this kind of mismanagement happen again.
That's my entire point, jimmac. Unless one is making political hey out it, it's not relevant in terms of policy. Politically speaking, it certainly is relevant. No argument there.
Sorry " Forgetting " will not happen. Not until it's at least as old as Vietnam.
So Iraq is Vietnam. I see.
By the way how long do you think this occupation would last if they reinstituted the draft?
Not long I'd wager as that would get many people's attention. That's the big difference between this and Vietnam. Then you'd see protesting big time. That's why they haven't turned to this option yet. This war's already unpopular but it would be nothing compared to the negativity you'd see in that scenero.
That's just rampant speculation. By the way, I think it's pretty terrible to hope for a draft so that we can lose a war more quickly. I like how you called it an "occupation" by the way. By the way, I think they sell Palestinian flags online if you'd like one.