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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Never Play Poker with a Democrat

SEVEN full-paunched eunuchs came to me, Bearing before them upon a silver shield -The secrets of my enemy.
Skipwith Cannéll, 'The King', 1917

Why is it so hard to grasp that it might be unwise to advertise our wartime strategy in Iraq to our enemies?

It isn't as if we don't know that they watch our television and read our news reports avidly. Indeed, Al Quieda sometimes runs press releases in Al Jazeera in response to remarks made on the House floor.

Rep. John (D-PA) chose to share his opinion that our troops are "broken and worn out" and "living hand to mouth" (story
HERE) in his public remarks. This is an unusual way to 'support' the troops.

For the sake of argument, let us say that he is entirely correct. Is he not just encouraging the dissident Iraqi forces to attack them? What earthly good can come of informing our adversaries that we do not intend to fight for very long, and plan to leave the new Iraqi government in the lurch? Is he so haunted by memories of his war, Viet Nam, that he cannot see he is endangering the life of every soldier on the Arabian Peninsula?

VietNam is often invoked by detractors of the Iraq War, and it is a comparison that should be resented by VietNam veterans. We went to aid the French (!) in the late 1950's, and did not leave until 1973. Public support for the war did not erode until we had been there almost ten years. We have been in Iraq for less than two - about the same time we spent in Bosnia during the 1990's. Frankly, while it is sad that there have been 2,000 casualties in Iraq, that was a bad month - or sometimes week - in VietNam.

Iraq has held successful elections for its Constitution, and a final vote is due to be held on Dec. 15th. Of the 125,000 soldiers that guarded the polls in the last election, 100,000 of them were Iraqi soldiers, defending thier own right to vote. The Shi'ite, Sunni, and Kurdish tribes all turned out, despite naysaying in advance. A map showing the turnout is

Can you imagine Winston Chruchill broadcasting to the Britons under fire that things were going badly and it didn't look like the US would enter the war? What effect might that have had on the Axis forces? Why is it so hard for Congress to understand that they could be shedding real blood in their careless attempt to score political points?
Do our House and Senate Intelligence Committee Minority members really wish to bear our secrets to our enemies on a silver shield?

In all the partisan glee about President Bush's low approval ratings, one fact is routinely omitted in the MSM reporting - the public's approval ratings of the Congressional Democrats are even lower. Americans have better sense than to give away the hand they hold, even if some of their elected leaders do not. Rep. Nancy Pelosi had better postpone her appearance on Celebrity Poker Showdown.


Blogger The Blogging Boss said...


Great post!


3:46 AM  
Blogger One Veteran said...

Enlist and fight the war on terror. Your country needs you.

5:26 AM  
Anonymous Christine Yantis Hargrove said...

Where'd you find out that the public's approval ratings of the Dems are even lower? I am really curious--I would love to include that info on my blog.

And I COMPLETELY agree with your point that broadcasting our strategy is a ridiculous tactic!!!! Good point!!

3:04 PM  
Blogger Craig R. Harmon said...

It is truly amazing that members of a party that demand to be called patriotic dissenters who intend nothing but the best for our nation, our troops and, ostensively, for Iraq, would put forth such a disasterous plan.

One thing, though. You mention that the approval rating of the Congressional Democrats is lower than for the President. As true as that is, the approval rating for the Congressional Republicans is lower than for the Democrats so the Republicans have nothing to crow about.

12:41 AM  
Blogger Monkey Migraine said...

During the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, the battle plans were on the front page of every newspaper in the world. The basic strategy of "Shock and Awe" was so well-known that it became a pop culture catch-phrase. Yet the invasion was still successful and Saddam Hussien was overthrown. The enemy knowing the battle plans doesn't necessarily mean failure.

As for your argument that knowing the US plans an exit would embolden the enemy, the alternative is that everyone including the American people should believe that our strategy is that US troops are going to remain in Iraq forever. Even President Bush doesn't advocate staying in Iraq forever. He doesn't even like to suggest it will be as far off as five years from now.

At some point, American troops have to leave. That's just a fact. The only thing to be debated is when. I don't see debating that as a problem. In fact, maybe if the administration had sat down and planned a time to leave, things wouldn't be as chaotic as they are today.

And please don't use the "criticising the war is equal to killing our soldiers" argument. The Iraqi insurgents don't need public support to kill people, as evidenced by the fact that the insurgents are killing Iraqis. The American troops don't need public support to do their jobs. To suggest that criticism of the war weakens US soldiers is insulting to real soldiers. War is war, not a popularity contest.

9:19 AM  
Blogger The Exile said...

Er, no, you have not been in Iraq for less than two years. You have been there for almost three. Maths are clearly not your strongpoint

The war against Vietnam began, oficially, in December 1961. Between then and the end of 1965 the USA lost a total of 2,225 men. That figure will probably be reached in Iraq this month or next. In other words the Iraqis are a full year ahead of the Vietnamese in their respective wars.

4:23 AM  
Blogger dolphin said...

Nobody is asking for strategic tatical maps and detailed operations plans.

What people want is just some kind of idea that we have a plan other than to just keep throwing bodies at the problem and hoping that one day it will go away.

What is your suggestion? I get tired of this "anything the President tells us is a hit to national security so we just all need to shut our mouths and let him runthe country in total secrecy"

It's so sad that "government for the people, by the people" has turned into "Would you people just stay out of it and let the administration do it their own way."

8:08 AM  

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